This set of Boreas prayer beads consists of twelve beads, to represent the Greek dodecatheon of twelve gods; there are many more than twelve Greek gods, but most cities had their own group of twelve. Joining the string is a pendant, a symbol representing the god. The compass represents his directional association with the north wind, while the snowflake reminds us that he is also the god of winter.
Those familiar with modern seasonal and directional correspondences may notice that the seasons associated with the directional Winds are different. To the Greeks, Boreas the North wind ruled the cold gales of winter, Zephyros of the West wind brought the gentle spring breezes, and Notos of the South wind came with fierce summer rainstorms. The ancient Greeks knew four winds but three seasons (winter, spring and summer), which were associated with Boreas, Zephyrus and Notos respectively; while the East wind Euros' association with autumn is less well documented, it is a comfortable one.
The deep green-blue of the beads is that of winter skies and frozen seas.
It is made with 10mm deep green-blue fire-polished Czech glass beads, separated by silver-toned metal spacer beads, and glass seed beads to provide a comfortable transition from one bead to the next and to make the piece lightweight, supple, and easy to handle. The string itself is approximately 10.5" (26.7cm) in circumference and is designed to be used in prayer and meditation, to decorate an altar or shrine, and/or to adorn a statue. The small size makes it easy to keep on hand in a drawer, a purse, or a pocket.
The beads come with a prayer to Boreas, written specifically to be used with this prayer bead design, and with a cotton muslin bag for storage.
You can, of course, use the beads with any prayers, or for any god or gods, that you choose or that resonate with you.