I wandered into a tiny store in Holland and found unexpected magic.
They were tucked in a box in the corner.
There were stories on each one.
Tiny pictures from the 1600s, still with pieces of cement on their backs
where they will pulled from decayed or falling apart buildings.
I chose the one with a dog on it.
I walked up to the cash register and dug for the ten euros to pay for it.
“Ah. A protection tile,” the woman behind the counter said.
I had just picked the tile because it reminded me a little of Niney, my little dog, and because we’re attempting to tile our kitchen in the next few months. I am always on the lookout for little international treasures to bring home from my adventures. Most of the time, I find rocks or shells or small bricks to incorporate into the foundation, but this was in my budget and it was cute. I didn’t know that there was more to it.
“There’s magic in all of these tiles. They have stories in them.”
She pulled the box of them closer.
“Doorways have always been enchanted things. Crossing a doorway is an opportunity for magic. A moment where you walk from one space into an entirely different space. These tiles are blessings for a doorway. A way to bring their stories into a home.”
One was of a fisherman carrying many fish in his basket which symbolized abundance and food.
One was of an owl that symbolized wisdom.
One was of a ship on calm seas which symbolized safety in travel and at sea.
One was of an idyllic house with a large windmill that symbolized a solid home life.
Symbols and stories.
It was also common for people to put the tiles around the hearth of the home or in the kitchen where food was prepared, as the hearth/kitchen was always considered the “heart” of the home.
She told me that when she was little, her Grandmother let her pick out two antique tiles to put in the top two corners of their door frame. She picked two dogs, facing each other – to look out over the house.
I left with my story tile wrapped in pretty paper to take home to Curiosa.
My little protection dog.
Many different cultures throughout the world have used charms to protect their homes from the Feng Shui practice of hanging a bagua mirror over an outside door to repel negative energies to the old tradition of placing a horseshoe over a door to bring good luck.
But I had never heard of the magic behind the Dutch story tiles before.
I love the idea of having visual pictures of what I want to create in a space right before I walk into it.
I thought about what pictures I would want on tiles surrounding my front door.
I would want pictures of instruments – so my home could be a place for people to create music and songs and sing together.
I would want pictures of people gathering around listening to a good story.
What are some pictures or symbols you would want to create to decorate the outside of your door with? Do you have enchanted things over your doors inside or outside? If so, what things and why?
Share in the comments!