The Gothic Side
In different parts of the world, the word Gothic can mean
different things. This one word has had many symbolisms and representations
throughout history. As a result of its history, if you choose to start a
conversation about Gothic, and do not specify gothic jewelry or subculture,
understand you may receive different reactions from different people in
different parts of the world.
The term ‘gothic’ derived from Visigoths, an army led by Alaric
who sacked Rome in 410AD. This led to the fall of the Roman Empire. When the
French understood what had taken place during the Renaissance period, it
inspired the style of architecture we know as ‘Gothic’. Therefore, if you go to
certain parts of Europe, mostly Italy and France, and ask about anything
Gothic, you may be taken to church. The reason for this is many of the Catholic
churches in parts of Europe were built with the gothic architectural style.
Gothic architecture differs from other styles in that the arches are pointed,
tall spires, gothic architect first introduced stained-glass windows, and they
also boast statues of gargoyles and flying buttresses.
If you go to Great Britain, or even get around a group of
people who love to read, and begin asking for something Gothic, you may be
taken to the library or the bookstore. The origin of Gothic literature came
about in 1764 when English author Horace Walpole wrote his novel The Castle of
Otranto: A Gothic Story. Gothic fiction, which is seen in literature and film,
is a combination of various genres put together. In gothic fiction you will
mainly see horror, but you will also see death and romance. A very well-known
novel in gothic fiction is Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which dates back to the late
The term ‘Gothic’ that is mainly known of today is regarding
the subculture. Also, derived in Europe, more specifically, in England, the
Gothic subculture includes fashion, jewelry, and music in the gothic lifestyle.
In the early 1980s the subculture emerged embracing the dark side - black
clothes, black eyeliner, and hair dyed jet black. It was influenced by Gothic
fiction, which mainly focused on horror. The subculture, itself, along with the
jewelry represents death and reminds some that life on earth is short and
widely embraced in Paganism.
Gothic jewelry, depending on the pendent, has deeper meanings
embraced by the one who wear it. Mainly symbolizing death, and therefore
emphasizing living, gothic jewelry varies in style. You can choose to wear a
skull ring as a representation of someone who has died, and to remind yourself
to live while you can. You can also choose to wear a cross to represent the
deep spiritual aspect of life. Tribal art can be incorporated into both skull
rings and crosses, along with other types of gothic jewelry. Each tribal print
holds its own meaning.
Because the term ‘gothic’ is seen in various lights, depending
on where you are, expressing your gothic side in the form of skull rings or
gothic jewelry will allow others to catch on to what you mean by the term