8.03.2010

Miss Mouse & Demeter

Bianca, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry): peridot and fine silver mouse charm

I have this secret fascination for rodents. Growing up, I was the kid that begged their parents for gerbils and hamsters. An avid reader of Stuart Little, I always wanted to hang out with the gang in The Rescuers or An American Tail.

Rodents. I love them and yet can't explain why. What's even more surprising is that I've found a whole slew of people who love them too through my shop!!! My Bianca mouse charm is one of my trusty sellers and usually each purchase comes with a story attached concerning a beloved pet rat or a daughter nicknamed "mouse."

They're just so sweet and irresistible! I guess they have to be because how else could such a small creature become one of the most important characters in the Magic Kingdom?



Italy, Lucania, Metapontum. c.335 - 330 BC. AR Nomos. 7.83g.
Veiled head of Demeter right, in triple-pendant earring & necklace.
Seven-grained barley ear with leaf to left and right; mouse on left leaf


Maybe Disney or Stuart Little had a hand in my love for small, furry rodents, but lately I've been wondering if there is a deeper connection. A while ago, I stumbled across these ancient coins that have the goddess Demeter on the obverse and a mouse perched on a ear of barley. Hmmmm...this peaked my curiosity!

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find anything decisive about this little mouse linked to Demeter, so I've had to come up with my own fanciful ideas concerning the connection.

Demeter is the Greek goddess of agricultural or Corn Mother. She is the overseer of all fields and harvests, so it's no wonder that an ear of grain would be symbolic of her powers, but why a tiny mouse?

Hey, I'm not a farmer and don't know the first thing about cultivating grain, but it seems logical that mice might have been an agricultural threat during the ancient world. Perhaps this image was a way of asking these tiny rodents to be considerate of the field and not take more then what was necessary. Then I began to wonder if this mouse was actually another way of viewing humanity from Demeter's point of view.

Are we not mice? Scurrying around in our fields, gathering as much as we are able and sometimes forgetting how we fit into the whole picture. Maybe to adore a mouse is to understand and cherish that part of you that is deeply loved by Mother Earth. It is the mousy part of you that she asks to remember to take only what you need and trust in leaving the rest.

I don't know what ancient stories this little mouse could tell us. Maybe you have some ideas or insights. What could this little mouse mean?

For right now I'm taking great pleasure in imagining being a tiny mouse looked after and cared for by the Great Mother :)


The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go oft astray

And leave us nothing but grief and pain

Instead of promised joy!


Robert Burns, To a Mouse

3 comments:

  1. Well, I love that charm. It looks even better in real life!!! I´ve always been so fond of rodents. I kept them as pets, stuffed animals and loved watching them in the pet store. And now I´m making a lot of mice in polymer clay.

    I read somewhere that mice is about awareness, paying attention to detail. They teach us to see the small details which might get overlooked in our effort to see the big picture.

    Anyway mice and other rodents are lovely. So I hope you´ll make more charms with them.

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  2. ooooohhhh... Love this!
    I had a dream a couple of weeks ago about 2 mice that I saw under my house... They were sort of personified in my dream as they had a fire burning, and were warm and cozy by it, with blankets around them... walking upright... Demeter to me is the archetype of the mother and also at her depths the goddess of the underworld like her daughter persephone... I have always resonated with the light and dark in myself and in nature's cycles... As we harvest our food in this heat, I sense a gradual pull to go back underground to replenish and keep warm still in the months to come when darkness falls over the land... Love this charm! Mouse also reminds us to pay attention to details... Bless.

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  3. Lone, thank you for your warm feedback on my mouse charm! I see we share this connection to rodents. What fun :) I love this idea that they teach us to look at the same things to see the big picture. Thank you for bringing this thought to my blog! I tend to get wrapped up in the big picture and forget the value in details. It's a great thing to learn about myself.

    Lauren, what an interesting dream! Gosh, I don't think I've ever dreamed of mice, so imagining your dream was really a treat. Demeter is such a gigantic goddess that I struggle to understand. I like how you linked her to the underworld with Persephone. I've never seen her in that way before and I'm seeing that myth in a whole new way.

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I'd love for you to share your ideas and stories on my blog! Please know that I may not always be able to e-mail you a direct response, so be sure to check back to my blog and continue the dialogue. Many blessings for connecting with me through word and image :)