As a girl, I always thought of the face I'd see shining in the night as the Mother in the Moon. It just didn't look like a man to me. It looked like a cameo. My Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Aunts... all of the women in my family had a cameo of some sort, either as a pin, pendant, charm, earrings, ring, or bracelet and I was always incredibly enamored of them.
I was given the cameo I currently wear when I turned 18. I rarely ever remove it. It is my Goddess symbol. Some folks wear a pentacle as their symbol of spirituality, I wear a cameo. I didn't know Her name when I was little, but I now know my Patroness, Diana, as the Goddess of the Full Moon and my cameo is a vision of her. It's not like the one pictured here, or with a bow or quiver or dog or deer, but my image of The Mother shining down. It is the Moon I Draw Down when doing The Work.
She was known to me when I was a child. I thought I took up Her mantle when I received my cameo and was welcomed into my family's Circle of Women, but it wasn't until I was pregnant with my child that it all crystalised and I started working with her daily, a Mother working with the Mother of All.
The word origin of "cameo" is debatable (shocking, I know). "This modern Italian word, meaning "to engrave," is thought to have come from the ancient Hebrew/Arabic word "kamea", meaning "charm" or "amulet." Folklore relates cameos' mystic capacity to attract health and good fortune."
Health and Good Fortune? Sign me up!
One of the oldest wearable cameos come from the 3rd century BCE, and is believed to have been made in Alexandria. No one knows for sure who the two figures are, but there have been lots of guesses. They're not just of women and for women. Men are featured, Deities, people, rulers, the Three Graces, snakes... anything you can think of.
Today, the art is most popular in Italy and historically was centered in Greece and Rome.
Do you have a favorite charm or symbol you work with regularly? Something you always wear? Do you wear it for devotion, protection, to aid in your work, add energy?
Don't forget, next month, to look for the face of The Mother in the Moon. I bet you'll see it. ;)