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July 2017 - Safe Travels

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This item is permanently password protected and available to members of The Geocoin Club only. If you are a member of The Geocoin Club, you will receive the month's password in your monthly club mailing.



Dimensions 1.75 inches tall

Thickness 4.0 mm

Finish Shiny Silver

Enameling IHE

Trackable? Yes

Has Icon Yes

While working on the Hart of the forest last year I enjoyed working on the face side with the swallow, but really wished I could have gone full color. It really doesn't work for that coin or that story so I decided to revisit it about a year down the trail. This time I'm diving into the symbolism of the Barn Swallow. The humble swallow has been a omen of safe travel both over land and sea for about as long as humans have been around. Carvings, tattoos, ornaments and so on continuously portray the swallow as a symbol of safe travel and successful homecomings throughout history. From the earliest recorded history of northern European lands to modern day naval seaman, the runes and symbols of safety are a integral part of traveler's lives.   

On the face side, the swallow with scissor-like tail spread full whips through the sky trailing a bit of ribbon with the ancient Norwegian blessing of safe travels "Ha En God Tur" over a background of the ancient Vegvisir, itself an ancient symbol of travel and navigation. Lower layers use a pattern recreated from an ancient golden disk brooch from the 6th-7th century era on display at the Liverpool Museum. Bracketing the entire edge are ancient Futhark binding runes of fortune in travel.  

On the reverse, a binding rune based on Anglo-Saxon rune Raido for travel is centered and surrounded by a flock of barn swallows flitting about two of the monikers the swallow has been charged with; "Bringer of Hope" and "Binder of Travel". The flourishes are inspired by the ancient Scribe Godeman's work on the The Benedictional of St. Æthelwold, a book of liturgical blessings considered the most important surviving work of the Anglo-Saxon Winchester School of illumination.


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