Archive for the ‘Crystals and Stones’ category

Into the Woods: Purple Heart, Yellow Heart, Birch

March 23, 2007

Frank, the wand maker, calls this wand “Triple Treat”.

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I had no intention of getting another wand; it seems I’ve already got quite a collection. But when he said that it hadn’t found a home yet, I heard the words, but didn’t listen right away.

My guides, however, made sure I got the message later that day after I’d gone home. So I called Frank and asked about the wand.

I never thought I’d go for the real “exotic” woods, but apparently, the “heart” in purple heart and yellow heart is important for me right about now.

Interestingly, I’d ordered a few more cubic zirconia crystals way back in January. I’d almost given up on them arriving, but they finally appeared in last week’s mail. One is purple, another one yellow.

So what am I going to do with this “Triple Treat” wand and these pretty crystals? I have no idea! I just know that, somehow, they’re going to be used in combination.

I’ve only brought the wand home today, so I haven’t had a chance for it to reveal itself to me yet. But I’m looking forward to the discoveries.

I never realized just how many wands I had until I started this series of posts. I knew that I had to give each wand its chance, and I’ve learned a lot about them as I’ve gone from one to another, day by day being surprised by new ideas or recalling important lessons I’d learned in the past.

While I’ve enjoyed writing them, I also must admit that I’m looking forward to moving on to different subjects, and leaving the woods behind for awhile. Well, not really; I’m sure I’ll have one more post soon about what I’ve learned about purple heart, yellow heart and birch. But until then, as the trees give way to open sunlight, I walk a little faster, straighten my shoulders a bit, take a deep breath of the new wind blowing in, and wonder, “What will I discover today?”

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Into the Woods: Sequoia

March 21, 2007

The most businesslike of the wands I have is a big sequoia wand.

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To me, sequoia embodies collective wisdom acquired over hundreds or thousands of years. Looking out on the world with that kind of long lifespan, a sequoia doesn’t get caught up in all the moment-to-moment things that characterize life on the human time-scale. We live moment to moment. As children, an hour is an eternity. We are pulled in the contradicting directions as we grow older of seeing life as very long and very short. We can easily take things in stride because we have already experienced so much, or we can become frantic to do many things because we feel like we don’t have much time left.

Anyway, the unique thing about this particular wand is that it has a piece of goethite in the handle. Goethite is a stone that forms in such a way that its crystal structure looks like the pipes of a pipe organ. It is supposed to be excellent for accessing the music of the spheres.

One other note about sequoia. Whenever I see the name of this tree, I am powerfully reminded of Sequoyah, the Cherokee chief who gave his people a written alphabet. So the sequoia, for me, is also tightly bound up with ideas of speech, communication, expression and passing on stories and lessons from generation to generation.

This wand is clearly a “working wand” for me. I don’t go looking for it when I want something light and fun (that’s lilac). I don’t pick it up when I want insights into my overall journey through this life (that’s jin dai maple). And I don’t seek it out when I’m trying to sort through my own mix of emotions (that’s rosewood).

But if I’m working on “Soul Essence” pieces, or if I’m preparing for a piano recital, sequoia is an invaluable tool. Last night, thinking about writing this post, I put it under my pillow before going to sleep. In the only dream I can recall, I was in a hotel room. It was the morning after one big recital I had played and I had another one that night. Nothing else, just waking up in this hotel room and being aware that I was suspended between two concerts of my own.

I’m sure “Soul Essence” composition will be beginning soon, most likely in April. My guides have been sending musical fragments again. It’s not as if they’re saying, “OK, enough rest! Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!” It’s more like, “Just reminding you that you’re going to need to start working on these again soon, so be sure to pay attention to what you need.”

So this wand will be set aside until April, when I will certainly need its teaching again.

Into the Woods: Apple

March 14, 2007

Whatever cultural or religious background you’re coming from, the apple tree is fraught with meanings, and not all of them warm and fuzzy. Tree of life, or the bad fruit … whatever stories you subscribe to, there’s more layers of legend around this particular tree than moss on the north side of the most venerable specimen in a forest from the dawn of time.

That’s not even getting into the tree’s metaphysical traits. Lots of people hold that fruit trees are all feminine mystique (what with all those delicious ripened ovaries that fruits are), gentle, loving and benevolent.

Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s a tough side to them. Apple might be likened to rose quartz in that it’s all about love, but I think you’ve got to take that analogy a bit further. Not everyone is ready for rose quartz, and so, not everyone will be receptive to the lessons apple can teach.

I know I wasn’t and maybe I’m still not. I got an apple wand months ago, when summer was in high bloom and I was just starting out on this journey of discovery. I tried meditating with it once or twice, but set it aside. It made me feel to fidgety.

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Maybe that was because the tree the wand was carved from had been growing in a grove full of Herkimer diamonds, quartz crystals notorious for their high, clear vibration rate. Some people sleep with them under their pillows; I always look at them as if they’re crazy! They make me too zingy at night; who needs coffee or Red Bull with one of those babies nestled in the sheets?

Anyway, I set the wand aside. It’s a very delicate thing, very light in the hand, but there’s nothing petite about it. It means to teach, and I knew I’d better be ready if I wanted to learn.

The past few weeks have been an emotional roller-coaster for me. There have been high points when I’ve felt totally connected and in tune with the universe’s goals for me; but there have also been deep valleys of sorrow as I watch friends struggle with health and careers.

Through all of it, I have tried mightily to keep myself from getting bogged down, as well as striving to keep all my emotional baggage to myself. After all, who needs something off my load when they’ve got plenty of their own?

Sunday, I started a seven-day self-healing program, and whatever my guides prompt me to use, I’m using. So, I’ve worn ruby and kyanite, slept with selenite, taking baking soda baths, gone outside and let the sun pour through me. And last night, I tried again with the apple wand, putting it under my pillow before going to sleep.

I still had a fairly high-energy night; it wasn’t the same deep, restful sleep I’d had using selenite. But I also got some very clear and forceful messages.

The main one was something like: “If you want to achieve what you’re dreaming of, go do it because you can.”

This particular message has to do with my concert pianist endeavors. I love traveling, and while I enjoy audience feedback, my main goal as a performer stems from my view that I am, at heart, a teacher. I want to take listeners into places they wouldn’t go on their own and demystify some things. For instance, Bach isn’t boring, twentieth-century music isn’t all noise, Chopin isn’t all fast notes and show, and Schubert didn’t just right songs. At least, those are the lessons I’m bringing people with the recital program I’m preparing right now.

On another level, I also want to show people that, whatever they think they know about blindness, it’s not as bad or scary or depressing as they imagine. A blind person can have a fulfilling life as an integral part of their community.

Finally, I want to demonstrate that we all, as human beings, have gifts that we can use to bring light and love to people in this world. Each of us is a storehouse of creativity, whether or not we are in the arts as a profession or an avocation. Gardening, building, scientific pursuits, cooking, manufacturing … each of us has a talent that allows us to express creativity. If we find it and don’t get caught up comparing our gift to everyone else’s and feeling inferior because we’re not all alike, then the world we live in can be a much brighter place.

I don’t think I’m done learning from this apple wand. But I do know that I got up this morning thinking that if I don’t ask about what opportunities there are for me to use my gifts, then I can’t really feel bad if they’re not getting used. There are plenty of places where I could give recitals, even right here within my own community. But if I don’t let these places know I’m here, then these opportunities will never materialize.

I struggle with the balance between thinking that I don’t want to be too pompous about promoting myself and being persistent. But I think that, for the most part, if I’m not telling people what I can do, no one else is going to do it for me. And if the opportunity comes along to point them toward someone else I know who has exactly what they need, then by my making the connection between giver and receiver, I’m not stepping on everyone else in my climb to the top.

Today and tomorrow are full for me with lessons, meetings, and rehearsals. But Friday is wide open. I can contact three people about what I have that they might want. It’s a challenge, but this winter has been all about growing and stretching, as well as looking within. Friday, here I come!

A Scattering of Pebbles

March 7, 2007

Last year, as I was beginning my journey into healing, crystals, reiki and “Soul Essence,” I began carrying a small bag of stones with me on my travels, and I began looking for stones in the places I traveled to.

The searches for stones to bring home haven’t always been fruitful. Often, the stones I bring back aren’t for me, and I take delight in giving them as small tokens of affection to people when I come home.

But on this trip, for the first time, I carried two little bags of stones: one contained my own personal collection used for healing, whether it was myself or someone else, while the other bag was filled with stones I had no intention of bringing back home.

I am by no means an expert on stones and crystals, but I am deeply interested in them and what they can convey to us that’s important for our continued evolution as human beings on a spiritual path. I also don’t have anything remotely resembling an exhaustive collection, so I don’t have a storehouse to draw on in choosing stones for people.

I am gradually building up what I have on hand, but right now, the list is short and eclectic: rose quartz, hematite, moonstone, carnelian, and ruby with kyanite. I also had a few pieces of Dalmatian jasper and aventurine before last week, but they went into my little bag of “stones not to be returned home,” and of course, they aren’t here now.

Not everyone needs a stone, and different people will appreciate and use them in different ways. A ten-year-old will play with them, name them, bring them to life in her imagination and set them on all kinds of fabulous adventures. She’ll appreciate them for how smooth they are, or the way they’re shaped. For her, they’re special because of when she got them, or because of who gave them to her. The healing properties have no meaning for her, and why should they? For her, the world is a place of unfolding drama and wonder, and stones are just another small part of that big, wide world.

For someone in their fifties or sixties going through one of life’s severe rough patches, whether it’s family-related or career-centered, the drawing power of stones can be anything, from the way the light hits them and reminds him of artwork or a recent conversation. For him, the meaning behind the stone is deeper, and it will be unique to each individual.

One thing I learned, or maybe I should say relearned, on this trip is that we often have no idea what someone needs. As a healer, we can have all kinds of ideas about why we think they should have one stone or another. But in the end, over and over, I was prompted to let them choose for themselves. In every single case, they chose the stones I would have expected, as well as some I would never have guessed. If I had only given them what I thought they needed, I would have closed a door of opportunity for them to discover lessons they needed, and I also would have lost the chance to see the wisdom of the universe in action, unbounded and unhindered by our own limitations or perspectives.

So I could watch, smiling inwardly, as someone who had lost touch with their heart picked up rose quartz, or another who was too busy to stay connected to himself and his truth pick up hematite and carry it around for days afterward so he could keep touching it. I would have missed the gratitude from someone caught off guard by generosity and reminded of the stillness and peace that’s at the core of us if we only pause to look inside. I also wouldn’t have witnessed the delight of a child who has made one stone into a princess and another into an opera singer and who spends the next hour regaling everyone (but mostly herself) with the goings-on between the two.

When I left, I thought, “Gee, this is a lot of rocks to carry!” I thought I’d never have the opportunity to give them to anyone who could use them. And yet again, I was surprised. When I thought what people might need was hands-on healing, the chances to do it always seemed to slip away. Yet in the five minutes it took to give the same person their stones, I touched more deeply and got to the root of things than I could have in an hour of hands-on work, and all because I took myself out of the equation, gave freely when prompted without questioning, and just took it on faith that it was right.

Stones are interesting little things. We get them in our shoes and complain about the pain and nuissance of them; we dig them out of our gardens, cursing the way they seem to sprout like unwelcome fruit with every spring thaw: we pour them on our driveways, put them in rivers to change their course to suit our needs, throw them, skip them, pile them up, dump them out. We polish them, cut them, heat them, dye them. Yet we have no idea, until we step back and let the universe speak, what any one of them can do for any one of us.

In giving stones, I don’t give many instructions beyond, “Do with these what feels right to you.” Whether it’s to rekindle a heart, restore inner peace, or represent an opera singer, it doesn’t matter. People learned from stones this week, both giver and receiver.

Rise and Shine!

February 26, 2007

Yesterday was busy, and by the end of it, I was tired and a little sore.

My dogs, Kiefer and Ecko, are great about being bathed, but with Kiefer being old and Ecko being big and both of them needing to be lifted over the edge of the tub, then the on-my-knees job of the bath itself, which, in Ecko’s case also includes kind of holding him in the tub, my body was kind of complaining. (But the dogs look and smell great, and they’re so silky now!)

That was in addition to vacuuming (no use bathing and brushing and combing if they’re going back on dirty, hairy beds), packing, doing laundry, making last-minute phone calls to make sure no students show up looking for lessons (I don’t think they want Ted teaching them … sword, maybe, but not piano!) In short, I was just plain tired.

But I’d agreed to a nine o’clock distance reiki healing session. But feeling like I did a little before eight, I was in no shape to be healing anyone.

So, I thought I’d lie down and see if I could take care of the ache in my lower back from lifting an eighty-pound dog. But I was so tired, I kind of worried that I’d sleep right through the session.

But what are guides for if not to help us? So I said to them, “I’ve got to get some rest, but I don’t want to sleep too long, and I wouldn’t mind waking up less sore than I am right now. Can you guys help?”

I started out lying faceup, but then one of them said I should put selenite on my lower back, so I rolled over and put the big piece I had at the base of my spine. Then, I lay there worrying about waking up on time, until one of them said, “How can you rest if you just keep worrying? You asked us to do something; now let us do it!”

I don’t remember falling asleep, but when Ecko started barking fiercely and the doorbell rang, I most definitely woke up. I got out of bed fast, but Ted was faster. Who was it at whatever hour it was, and oh, God, had I slept through the session?

In the almost two years we’ve lived in this house, no one has ever rung our doorbell late at night looking for directions to a gas station, but that’s what the young man on our doorstep was asking Ted for now. Ted gave them, shut the door, and came back upstairs. As we heard the car zoom away, he asked me, “What do you think that was about?”

I had looked at my watch; it was ten of nine. I started smiling.

“I don’t know,” I said, “but I have a reiki session at nine and I asked my guides to make sure I woke up on time.”

One of them, my guide from Level 1, has quite a sense of humor, so I’m pretty sure it was her idea. Ted had also been thinking he had nothing to write about in his blog, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the two sets of them got together and planned the whole thing.

“Hey, Ted wants something cool to write about.”

“Yes, and I’ve got to wake Steph up by nine.”

“I know, let’s really give them a head-scratcher and send someone to their house looking for a gas station!”

“That’s too obvious.”

“Well, you know I’ve got to practically drop bricks on Steph’s head to wake her up, so …”

And, on top of all that, my back wasn’t sore anymore. (Hmmmm, another use for selenite … )

Thanks, guides.

Stepping Stones: Selenite

February 20, 2007

Selenite is one of those stones that have far-reaching benefits and many uses. It can be found shaped into lamps and candle holders, eggs, and other things. But I enjoy the pure chunks of it, and I picked up quite a piece Sunday at the stone shop.

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We have several selenite lamps in our home, a collection of eggs in various sizes, and a candle holder that’s big enough to hold a fair amount of loose stones or jewelry or anything else we might want to put in it. And my chakra pendant is built on a selenite wand.

But this is the first piece I have that’s not part of something else or that has other stones attached to it. Selenite is noteworthy for its ability to cleanse itself as well as anything else that it touches. During winter months in the Northeast, this is helpful when the sun doesn’t make appearances for days on end.

It’s a very soft stone (you can scratch it with your fingernail), and if you drop it, it’ll shatter. So it’s a stone that I tend to be somewhat cautious with so I don’t break it. But despite it’s fragility, its powerful transmutation and dissipation of negativity make it an ideal tool.

It can be used in healing oneself or others and will bring up deep-rooted stuff that needs removal. Even though it works on such a deep level, it is one of the gentlest stones I’ve encountered. It is very easy to experience the tender care of the universe while using selenite for healing work.

As the basis for chakra pendants, selenite not only encourages the other stones in the pendant to maintain themselves at the highest, purest energies possible, but it quickly allows all the stones to begin working together in a synchronized way, blending their differing vibrational states into a harmonious whole that is most useful to the wearer of the pendant.

I love the smooth, silky feeling of selenite, even when it’s unpolished. It also has a “singing” quality and will ring like a bell when tapped lightly. In short, I’m thoroughly enjoying getting reacquainted with selenite using the new arrival for my tour guide.

Stepping Stones: Celestite

February 19, 2007

I had said to Ted on Saturday night that I wasn’t going to buy much, if anything, when we went to the stone shop. Of course, when we got there, I started exploring, and I found many treasures, including a geode containing many celestite crystals.

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I didn’t think I’d ever be drawn to something like that, but when I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. I also couldn’t explain what I was going to use it for, since I had no idea.

But, like every other stone, its purpose revealed itself after I brought it home.

I’ve got a very small piece of celestite in the throat chakra position on a chakra pendant I made late last year. Other than that, though, my experience with the stone could be summed up as reading about it in books. It’s supposed to be an “angel” stone, good for communication with the angelic realms, as well as enhancing dream recall, deepening meditative states, increasing one’s experience of the self as a being of light, and aiding those in the creative arts or music.

So, I meditated with the celestite I’d brought home. I went into a very deep state very quickly, and other than the sensation of having a stream of energy being drawn out of the crown of my head, I don’t recall anything about it.

But I put it over my head when I went to bed and figured I’d know more in the morning.

I can’t say it made me recall any dreams any more clearly, but it certainly unblocked something. I’d been saying for months I was going to finish my “Water” CD, and since late September, it had remained half finished.

Then, with no “Soul Essence” work on my to-do list until April, I said in January I’d be finished with the disc by February.

Well, February’s almost gone, and while I’d kind of nagged myself about procrastinating, that’s as far as I gotten until this morning.

I didn’t hear any music during the night or get the overall structure for any pieces, but I did start the third of the four pieces for “Water”, and I’ve got a little over two minutes of a projected fifteen-minute song recorded as I type this.

I came home with more than celestite yesterday, but all the other goodies got set aside for unwrapping on another day. For now, I’m going to enjoy what celestite has to offer. I find myself excited about the prospect of finishing this composition series now. I have a trip to California next week and have no idea where I’ll be in the recording process when I leave, but I have no doubt it will be further along the path than I was yesterday.