Blue Things- A Collection

Awhile back I read somewhere that people most commonly state that blue is their favorite color. It comes in so many shades and hues that it’s easy to imagine how people are drawn to it. I am no exception, although if pushed to name a favorite color I usually say orange. But I do love blue, especially shades of turquoise, and I can never resist the eye-popping electric blue.

Blue is associated with the sky and the sea, and is the color of stability and depth. It symbolizes loyalty, trust, faith, truth, wisdom, intelligence, and confidence. It also represents calmness and tranquility.

I love working with color and it’s symbolism, so this week I decided to pay homage to the color blue. But rather than discuss it’s attributes in full detail I wish to approach it a different way and instead take a look at some blue things.

Blue Mood: Even though blue is associated with many positive attributes, when it comes to emotion blue can take on a different quality. We are probably all familiar with the blue mood wherein we feel depressed and bummed out. I’m not sure how this expression came to be since blue generally has such positive qualities. Perhaps the blue mood is the extreme depths of the tranquil nature of blue.

Krishna

Krishna

Blue Blood: For some reason the notion of blue blood has always intrigued me. Most commonly a blue blood is someone of royal lineage. There are a number of Hindu deities that are depicted as having blue skin due to their blue blood. This blue blood concept even has a name, ichor, and I wrote a little about it in a post for the 2012 PBP. Here is what I had to say:

Ichor– Originally this was Homer’s word for the “blue blood” of the gods, which made these gods both blue and immortal. We commonly see these blue gods in the sacred art of India. In the European Middle Ages, these gods became reviled, as did their mystical blood. Now, instead of meaning magical blue gods blood, ichor means watery purulent discharge. Medieval churchmen claimed this was the blood of devils and the word has also been used to describe the blood of insects.

Aquamarine: I love stones and crystals and work with them a lot. One of my favorites is the crystal blue aquamarine (it can take on a green hue as well, but never mind that right now). I could write a whole post about aquamarine (should’ve thought about that one when we were still in A) but instead I will only share a few of the attributes of aquamarine.

Taken from “Crystal Power, Crystal Healing” by Michael Gienger:

Aquamarine

Aquamarine

Aquamarine encourages spiritual growth, foresight, farsightedness, mediumistic qualities and clairvoyance. It makes us upright and honest, goal-oriented, dynamic, persistent and successful.

 Aquamarine bestows light-heartedness and a happy, relaxed disposition that is due to all things undertaken developing quickly and smoothly.

 Aquamarine clears up confusion and stimulates orderliness, bringing unfinished business to a conclusion.

 In my work with aquamarine I have found it to be great for spiritual work, particularly things like scrying or divination. It has also been a great stone to carry in my pocket when I need a lift, or a little luck.

The seven chakras and their locations along the spine.

The seven chakras and their locations along the spine.

Blue Chakra: I almost made this my B post, but obviously I did not go that route. Instead I will simply summarize.

For those unfamiliar with the chakras, in short they are the energy centers of the body. I am most familiar with the seven chakras, but different schools of thought will have different numbers. The chakras start at the root, or base of the spine, and go up to the top of the head, or crown. C.G. Jung referred to the chakras as the “gateways of consciousness”. Each one is associated with different attributes in regards to its location in the body, and each one is also associated with a different color.

The blue chakra is found at the base of the neck and is also called the throat chakra and the fifth chakra. Because of its location it deals with everything related to sound on both the physical and metaphysical level. It is this chakra where feelings and emotions are transformed into expressions like laughing or crying.

Blue Chakra

Blue Chakra

In working with the chakras one would strive for balance between the seven. Recognizing which chakras are low energy and which ones are overactive helps a person identify areas of physical, emotional, and spiritual growth they can work on. I find it to be a great practice to attempt to balance the chakras, although I have only experienced fleeting moments of total chakra harmony.

There are two other blue things I discussed in other posts, the good old blue jay, and the stone larimar. Please check those out if I peaked your curiosity in any way.

So there are some blue things to think about. My Gemini, magpie nature loves to do that, collect little tidbits and put them together. Hopefully you enjoyed this collection of blue things!

Variscite

Variscite is one of those rocks that came to me when I really needed it. It glinted at me in a little crystal shop and I held a piece in my hand. This uniquely green rock fit perfectly and gave me instant comfort, so of course I took it home with me.

I consulted Melody’s book, “Love is in the Earth” first. She states that this stone is great for aligning the ethereal nervous system to the physical nervous system. This enables the stone to help one go from despair to peace. When I encountered the stone I was indeed at a very low point and I felt something instantly when I picked it up. I also have a very extensive stone collection so there is a certain level of symbolism in that I did not have any variscite, then it came to me when I needed it most.

I cleaned and energized my piece of variscite and carried it with me. I held it in my hand for comfort and I used it for meditation, and I did feel better. I was surprised by the power this one little stone had.

Melody also states that variscite stimulates the heart chakra, so it brings a some love with it’s nurturing powers.

Collen Marquist and Jack Frasl mention in “Crystalline Communion” that when used in healing, placing variscite on the first chakra helps channel unwanted energy into the earth.

Some other good things about variscite- (from “Crystal Power, Crystal Healing” by Michael Gienger)
– It promotes authenticity and truthfulness and when worn or carried helps people show who they truly are.
– It helps us express ourselves clearly and increases perception.
– It helps with spirituality and the development of interests.
– I mentioned that it is a spirit lifter, but this translates into variscite being an energy lifter in general and can be very helpful with persistent tiredness. But while it lifts the energy it produces a calm feeling and soothes inner turmoil.

All in all, I have found variscite to be a great stone. It came to me when I needed it most and really helped to ease my woes. I highly recommend it to anyone who needs a little pick me up, spiritual energy boost.

Let’s Talk About Larimar

I think it’s about time I discuss another precious stone in this blog. I am a stone and crystal junkie. I love them and my house is full of them. I’m a pretty good arm-chair gemologist, if I say so myself. I can usually surprise people with my ability to identify precious stones and gems, and I know a lot of strange ones. I’m always thrilled when people bring me stones I do not have in my collection and I’m always on the look-out for new acquisitions.

polished larimar

So, onto larimar. Larimar is a beautiful sky blue stone. I’ve heard that it comes in other colors, but I have never encountered it in anything but an amazing blue tone. I have a strange reaction to the color of larimar (and some colors of turquoise, particularly Sleeping Beauty). Maybe I’m revealing a personal oddity here, but whenever I see these beautiful blue tones I want to put the rock in my mouth. Weird, I know, and probably revealing a deep-seeded oral fixation of some kind, but that’s how it goes.

Larimar was not discovered until very recently in the Dominican Republic, perhaps only a decade ago. I couldn’t come up with an exact date, but honestly I did not look too hard. This late discovery is interesting to me. I love the idea that there are still precious stones out there waiting to be discovered. I also think when a stone is recently discovered it unearths itself because it has something prevalent to say to the present world. Or perhaps its particular properties are very needed in the time of the stones discovery.

Now, before I go into the properties of larimar, I have to point out something that troubles me. I love, love, love stones and gems but I have a problem with how we obtain them. That is, these stones have to be mined, which doesn’t sit well with me. I hate that we have to dig-up the earth to get to these stones. Many stones are collected in basically respectful ways, but many others are not. Sometimes you know how a stone was harvested, but that is pretty rare. At first I thought the mining wasn’t too big a worry because the stones were limited. But then I went to the Tucson Gem and Mineral show in the early 1990’s. That drove home the point that these stones are mined, and they are mined in large quantities.

Needless to say, I still buy, trade, and collect stones. To the best of my ability I try and stick to stones that are hand collected rather than coming from a big mining conglomerate. But I can’t always know that what I’m buying wasn’t mined. My point of this little diatribe is, if you are a rock lover just be aware that we get rocks from mines. Think about what that means to you and make buying decisions you are comfortable with. One stone I do not have in my life is diamond because I cannot come to terms with how diamonds are obtained. They really are a blood stone and even my wedding ring is diamond free.

Alright, onto happier more positive thoughts…onto the healing properties of larimar.

Larimar is said to represent the blue part of the flame, which is the hottest part of the fire. Therefore many of its properties play into this notion of the heat of the flame. For example, larimar helps burn out things like viruses, germs, bacteria, molds, and fungus making it a great aid in relieving the common cold or the flu. It also helps us share our internal fire with others. That is, larimar helps us express our inner selves to the world. Along these lines, it also promotes the externalization of our internal beauty and intensity.

rough larimar

This blue flame idea is also seen in larimar’s ability to act as a beacon that attracts good intentions, prayers, blessings, and healing energy. In the spirit realm, larimar is referred to as incandescent because in that realm its energy is very clear and brilliant.

This stone also provides the stimulation for people to take control of their lives. It eases constructive thinking and stimulates creative activity. It brings inner peace and helps to dissolve sacrificial behavior and suffering. It can ease excess emotions and larimar helps one remain calm and relaxed during dramatic life changes and situations. On top of all this, it dissolves energy blocks and strengthens one’s ability to self-heal, be it emotional or physical.

A very cool property of larimar is it helps us just let life happen. It allows us to refrain from trying to manipulate things and events. Larimar is always trying to teach us to be calm and let life’s events happen as they will, while trusting that we are heading in the right direction.

And finally I have to share this very fabulous property of larimar. I think this is best as a direct quotation from Michael Gienger’s book, Crystal Power, Crystal Healing.  “Larimar makes us aware of the extent of the effectivity of our personal spectrum and shows us that the spirit only has boundaries wherever it believes in them.” Wow. That’s a really fabulous statement, and a really powerful rock.

I think larimar has surfaced recently because it wants to share its spirit healing properties with the world. It’s trying to tell us to get back in touch with our inner flame, and stop manipulating the world to fit our needs. It’s time to trust in the soul of the earth and let nature run its course without trying to change Mother Earth to comply with what we think she should be. Larimar is also telling us to rediscover ourselves and the amazing powers humans carry within that have ultimately been buried over the centuries.

So there you go. Larimar is a pretty cool rock with a lot to teach us. I’m so happy to have it in my life, and I will do my best to keep it out of my mouth. Although, perhaps sucking rocks is an underutilized way to get to their healing properties…I just might test this theory and get back to you…and don’t worry, I know enough not to put any rocks which may be harmful into my mouth.

References:

I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I own and have read many, many books on crystals and stones and the following books are by far my favorites and the best in my humble opinion.

Gienger, Michael. Crystal Power, Crystal Healing, the Complete Handbook. Octopus Publishing Group Ltd., 2009

Frasl, Jack & Collen Marquist. Crystalline Communion 2000. Earthlight Inc. 1999

And although I did not use her books for this post, as long as I’m shouting out the best books on crystals I have to mention “Love is in the Earth” by Melody. Her books also top my list as some of the best crystal books EVER.

A is for Amethyst and Amber

            I have always had a deep love for rocks and stones. As a child I used to find the most beautiful rocks in the yard and then try to sell them to the neighbors. I must have been quite the sight, sitting at my table full of stones in the middle of our yard landscaped with river rocks. We had very kind neighbors who would actually purchase my wares for anywhere from five to twenty-five cents. But after all, I had spent all that time carefully combing through many, many rocks to select only the most sparkly and beautiful.

My love for rocks followed me into adulthood, and even resulted in my majoring in geology for a while. But now my interest lies in the healing properties of gems and minerals. I have many stones that I am particularly drawn to, and conveniently two of my favorites, amethyst and amber, begin with the letter “A”. So, for my second “A” post for the Pagan Blog Project I would like to discuss the properties of these two wonderful gems.

Amethyst:

Amethyst is in the quartz family, and it is known by its beautiful purple color, which can range from pale lavender to an intense violet. There is a wonderful Greek myth that explains how amethyst gained its color. It seems that after the God Bacchus was insulted, he threatened to consume the first person he saw. The unlucky individual was Amethyst, who was on her way to worship the Goddess Diana. Diana intervened and swept down to save her by turning Amethyst into clear quartz crystal. This did not please Bacchus, so to retaliate he poured grape juice over Diana the quartz statue, turning her body purple.

This fantastic exploit of the Greek Gods/Goddesses has led to the belief that amethyst is a cure for drunkenness. In fact, it does possess properties that help with sobriety, and it is known to counteract excessive behaviors. People struggling to overcome addiction or obsessive behavior of any kind could benefit from having some amethyst around.

Amethyst is also known to connect the Earth plane with other worlds, and it connects human mental, physical, and emotional aspects. It also restores peace, creates stability, awareness, and strength, and helps one to face difficult situations. Another fantastic property of amethyst is its ability to clear negative energy and counteract negative thought patterns. Over time, amethyst can actually shift patterns of negativity learned in childhood. This is a powerful tool if one is trying to reprogram reoccurring negative thoughts carried throughout life.

A property of amethyst that I find particularly interesting is its ability to help mediate conflict. It enables a sense of justice and allows the user to be a particularly effective counselor and judge.  If  one finds her/his self in a heated debate, it’s good to be wearing amethyst or have a little piece in a pocket, as it will aid with quick decisions and the ability to think on one’s feet.

Another powerful property of amethyst is it helps with sadness and grief, and it helps people come to terms with loss. It can be a very stabilizing stone to have around during times of extreme sorrow. We’ve all been to that place of crushing grief, and amethyst can help to make sense of that.

In regards to physical healing, amethyst is fantastic for headaches, it supports the nervous system, and it has a clearing effect on skin conditions such as acne blemishes and psoriasis. It also helps with insomnia, and is a powerful dream-working tool. If one puts a piece under the pillow at night, at first it will create vivid dreams. These dreams are the subconscious issues coming to surface to be worked out in the mind. Once these undigested impressions have been cleared, amethyst supports calm, deep, restful sleep.

The best way to work with amethyst is to wear it or meditate with it. When meditating, it helps one find peace and quiets the mind. One can also make a circle with pieces and then sit inside the circle to absorb its many benefits. Of course, before working with any stone it’s very important to clean it, and different people have different ways of cleaning their stones. Stones can simply be held under cold water, set out in strong sunshine, or some people place their stones in a saltwater solution. Although, if you use saltwater be careful as not all stones can handle being placed in salt. I personally prefer putting the stones in a clear glass bowl filled with water (I usually let the water settle in a silver jar placed in an altar) and then I set the bowl in the light of a full moon.

Amber:

Amber holds a very special place in my heart, and I am always drawn like a moth to a flame to any pieces of amber I encounter. Part of this connection comes from the color. I love warm colors and the honeyed tones of amber constantly speak to me. Amber is also connected to the second chakra, and as I mentioned in my previous post, I am always seeking ways to stimulate that creative, emotional, sexual chakra.

Amber is tree resin, or sap, that over millions of years has lost its water and gradually mineralized. It is said to be the first precious stone in human history and its use goes back 7000 years. Like amethyst, it can be found in a few myths from various cultures. In regards to Greek mythology, amber comes from the tears of the sisters of Phaeton, son of the sun God Helios. It is also said that Apollo wept tears of amber when he was driven out of Olympus. I also read a post last week about amber in regards to Freya, I believe…if the writer of that blog happens upon this post please let me know and I’ll provide the link back to your blog.

Amber is a very sunny, cheerful stone. It dissolves oppositions, makes one more adaptable, and encourages creativity. The wearer of amber has a strengthened self-belief, feels free of care, and experiences good luck. Amber also aids manifestation and helps one both to choose and be chosen.

Young amber (amber that has not completely hardened) can actually be burned as incense. When used this way it cleanses the environment and can absorb trauma. To do this, take a good-sized chunk of burnable amber outside. As it burns, bathe in the smoke and allow it to take trauma away with the wind.

Physically amber purifies the body, as it is known to draw toxins from body tissue.  It helps the stomach, joints, kidneys, and bladder and even strengthens brain tissue.

To reap the benefits of amber it is best to wear it for long periods of time. But, amber is very absorbent, meaning it has to be frequently cleaned, and amber is one of those stones that cannot be placed in salt water. When cleaning your amber use only fresh water, sunlight, moonlight, or some combination of the three.

I hope everyone who reads this can find some benefit from these two very ancient and powerful stones. When we get all the way up to “S” in the Pagan Blog Project I am sure I will come back to the topic of stones on a more general level. In the meantime, pay attention to what stones speak to you. When you encounter various stones start noticing which ones call you to touch and buy them. Also, what stones seem to come to you? Start identifying these and then study their properties. That will illustrate what could need strengthening in you, and help you to identify areas in your life that you want to support.

For this post I used material from my top three crystal/stone books. I highly recommend these books if you are interested in working with with crystals and stones.

Love is in the Earth, by Melody: Earth Love Publishing House

Crystalline Communion, by Collen Marquist & Jack Frasl: Earthlight, Inc.

Crystal Power, Crystal Healing, by Michael Gienger: Cassell Illustrated

Images from http://happyher.hubpages.com/hub/All-About-Gemstones-Part-I