Sunday, February 27, 2011

Crystal Ball

Crystallomancy is just what you think it is: the ability to accurately read a crystal or crystal ball and it's something I've always wanted to be able to do. Last week I bought myself my first crystal ball, a pristine clear dusky purple crystal that also reads blue in some light. I held an amazing clear quartz ball and an even more incredible amethyst ball but they were loaded with striations that I felt would make my first attempts at reading more difficult. That and their exorbitant price tags. I mean, what if I don't ever get the hang of this? How could I justify spending that much money on what would become merely a gorgeous paperweight, albeit one with really great energy?

So I spent some time handling and getting to know my new crystal ball, then I carefully cleansed it and a few days later sat down one evening for my first try at reading it. I'm aware that this form of divination is considered to be one of the most difficult to master, so I was prepared for a challenge. But seriously, this was hard. To begin with, I had trouble with my light source and despite fussing with my candles and dimming the room lights up and down, and up and down again and again for a good twenty minutes or so, I never truly did find a comfortable amount of light with which to work. I relaxed and grounded and then threw up around me a bubble of safety. And at last I was ready to try to read. Sigh. I managed to find my soft eyes, that sort of pre-trance, almost day-dreamy feeling I get when I read auras or do a visualized journey. But an hour later I had seen nothing at all, not even a wisp, and I had managed to give myself a bit of a sore neck and a violent and unexpected case of extreme nausea that took more than two horrible hours to subside.

Needless to say, my ball and I have kept a fairly respectful distance from one another since that night while I await the arrival of three new books on mastering the art of crystal gazing since I think it best I not try my hand at this again without at least a small amount of guidance beforehand. I'm anxious to give it as many tries as I need in order to begin to actually see something, but I'd prefer to do it without incapacitating myself for hours on end. Trust me, nothing is worth feeling the way I did that night, not even foretelling a strange and glorious future. And until my books arrive, I'll just have to admire my beautiful new purple-blue paperweight safely from across the room.

John William Waterhouse, The Crystal Ball, 1902 (detail)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Healing Gemstones

A selection of healing gemstones. Clockwise from the top: lapis lazuli, red jasper, blue fluorite, iolite, jet, orange calcite, clear quartz crystal, tiger's eye, aventurine. In the center: apache tear.

I decided that if a chakra meditation is great for opening them within your body and a chanting chakra meditation is good for balancing them, and if certain stones can activate or relax your chakras, then why not do a prone meditation that incorporates all three elements? Why not lay flat on your back with the appropriate stones placed upon your chakras and meditate while the healing stones do their job to balance and activate each chakra? It's taken me some time to decide which of the many stones that are effective for each chakra would be the best choice for my own personal chakra issues, and then it took some more time to find the specific specimens whose energy felt in tune with mine. At long last, I have all seven (with only one being a "second choice" as my first choice couldn't be found) and am now in the process of cleansing and purifying them. Soon, I'll be ready to put them to use for the first time and I really can't wait.

Red jasper for my root chakra, orange calcite for my sacral, tiger's eye for my solar plexus, aventurine for my heart chakra (I was hoping to find some green jasper but alas it was not meant to be), blue fluorite for my throat, iolite for my third eye and quartz crystal for my crown. I also picked up a few extra stones this weekend: jet for my spiritual journey, lapis lazuli not only for my spiritual journey (this is a very powerful ancient stone) but also to help me with the dizziness I've been suffering from courtesy of an on-going inner ear issue that's now months' old, and a tiny apache tear for protection and luck.

God, do I love rocks more than just about anything. And with the exception of malachite, which I hate with a passion and always have (I like to tell people I must have been stoned to death in a previous life with this stone), I adore them all and am on a perpetual, never-ending search for more and more and more.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Moons and Totems 5

Everybody knows their western astrological profile and most people also know their eastern, or Chinese, astrological sign as well, but few know their moon profile from the Native American culture and the totems for each moon. As with the two more mainstream belief systems, the moon totem profiles are not only a very accurate read of an individual's personality, but they also add a rich dimension to who we are and where our weaknesses and powers come from.

Strong Winds Moon
February 11-March 10

This is the time of winter when the winds blow at their hardest and their coldest, thus the name given to this moon, and the night skies are at their most vivid. People born under this moon are very bright and intelligent, with unique minds and a quick wit. Often these people are light years ahead of everyone else, thus giving them the label of "odd" or "quirky." Strong Winds folks tend to be easily distracted from their tasks and need to learn to be more consistent and steadfast rather than jump rapidly from one thing to another. Being on such a vastly different wavelength from others often leads them to feel lonely and isolated, something finding a kindred spirit or two can easily solve. This sense of loneliness frequently comes across as an intense neediness, something Strong Winds people need to acknowledge and address.

The element for this moon is air and the animal totem is the goose, a bird who returns to the north at this time of year, thus heralding the return of spring and the earth's new birth. The Strong Winds Moon's plant totem is the willow, a tree whose bark is at its most vivid color this time of year; a tree that is easily bent this way and that way. The willow is a medicinal, healing plant (aspirin originates from its bark). This moon's mineral totem is moonstone which is symbolic of the great mother goddess. Moonstone balances the emotions, brings clarity to one's thinking and is very potent when working with the moon. The color for the Strong Winds Moon is dove gray, the color of dawn and of purity. This is a soft color and is symbolic of the awakening of spirit.

Everyone is most compatible with those people born under the moon opposite to their own and the opposite moon of the Strong Winds Moon is the Hunters Moon (August 11-September 10).

Photo courtesy of ER Post on flickr.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Everything in its Time

Like everyone else on this earth, there are many things in my life I wish I had never chosen to do, or for which I wish I had followed a different path, or wished something hadn't taken nearly as long as it did to work out. Life is full of "what ifs" and "I wishes" and if we dwell too much on them, we're doing a disservice to our present and even our future. People like to say 'we all make mistakes' and while it's true that it's human nature to make poor choices, if you think about it, are they really mistakes or poor judgments? In hindsight, maybe they are, but at the time we do/don't do those things we so wish we could go back and change, they are right for us (even if they're ultimately bad for us). I believe that everything happens for a reason and sometimes it all really sucks, but whatever is happening in our lives at any given time is what we need when we need it.

Someone very close to me likes to argue that this belief is silly as it means our entire lives are planned out in advance for us and thus free will doesn't exist, but I don't agree. I believe that before we come here in our present incarnations, we do plan things out. I like to think of it as a brief outline of what we desire to achieve soul-wise in this incarnation. Are all the details laid out? Of course not, but the essential bones are there. And when we get into this life and begin to really live it, there are options, paths and crossroads at which we need to make the choices that will move us in one direction or another. Regardless of whether or not we've forgotten what it is we are meant to learn this time around, those "choice moments" are presented to us and we either go the right way for that previously drawn up soul outline or we go another route; a route which may take us to the same place albeit in a very roundabout way, or one that has us miss our "moment" entirely and perhaps learn other lessons or even nothing at all. At those times we either have to hope for another moment in time when we can make the needed decision or risk having to repeat that part of our soul's journey once again in another life. But regardless, everything is in its time; perfectly in its time. And everything we do and say and act on happens when it is meant to, even if it takes you half a lifetime to realize someone you've tried to love is not a very nice person and needs to be jettisoned from your life. Or you were meant to be a missionary and not a school janitor. Or you're never, ever going to master the violin enough to make it a lucrative career despite decades of hard work.

As humans, it's in our nature to regret that which isn't perfect to our eyes and to be self-critical to the nth degree, but life isn't about easy or perfect or timely, nor is it about our own feelings of regret or our own shortcomings we wish we didn't have, it's about the end result and that- despite our fears of having wasted so much time- is going to take just as long as it's meant to.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Silvery Snow

Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again.

-Bill Morgan, Jr.

Photo courtesy of krystian_o on flickr.