Crystal Intentions

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Smoke of Air and Fire of Earth
Cleanse and bless this home and hearth.

Drive away all harm and fear;
Only good may enter here.

One of the few metaphysical things I feel a real draw to or affinity with (I saw few because the whole casting of circles, etc., doesn’t resonate with me and that seems to be the first thing many people thing of), is the use of crystals. I’ve always been drawn to them, even as a child. I remember my grandfather giving me large numbers of tumbled rocks (mostly plain agates, if I remember them correctly) and I would hold them in my hands and move them through and through my fingers, over and over.

Anyway. Over the last few years I’ve purchased or been given several crystals. When we moved here I put them out on a bookshelf in my book/art/sacred space room, and didn’t think much of it. At some point a few months ago, I went several days without going into that room (we keep the door shut most of the time, to conserve energy), and when I did – I was struck by the feeling of restfulness as soon as I entered. Restfulness, relief, ease. It was strong that I was startled, even as I enjoyed it – and I sat down at my desk, pondering. After a few minutes I happened to notice my little display of crystals. Unassuming, almost out of sight. But the only thing different about that room than any other in my house.

That day I moved them to the wooden bowl on top of a low bookshelf (picture in the first post), accompanied by the orchid. That day I also began rethinking my recent lackadaisical approach to spirituality – i.e., my lack of anything spiritual in the last two years.  I am unsure of so many things. Yet the stones – they resonate with me, they pull me, and it’s not a new fancy. So I’ve been studying, and I’m greatly intrigued (if not entirely convinced) by the idea of their power to influence the state of mind, to heal, to protect, or to draw good things/repel bad things. Crystal grids in particular have captured my attention. I’m still trying to decide what exactly I want to do as far as a grid, but I’ve added a few more crystals to my collection. My first concern was how to cleanse them, and after reading until my eyeballs were about to fall out of the sockets…I decided on a plan of action.

  • First, I used sage smoke to clear my entire house. I did this when I first moved in, but it felt rather unsatisfactory, for whatever reason – but I wasn’t sure what to do about it. I used a white sage bundle, started at the front door, opened a window on each side of the house that HAS windows, and softly sang the chant at the top of the post. It felt much better.
  • Second, I decided to use sound to cleanse the crystals. I read about the saltwater method, the rinsing method, the moonlight method, the sunlight method, the rice method, the salt method. None of those seemed right to me, though obviously they work for some people. As soon as I read about using sound though, I remembered the Tibetan singing bowl my Reiki mentor used and I knew. I didn’t have a bowl, but I found a small, inexpensive one on Amazon. Yes, Amazon. Le sigh. I simply can’t afford one of the larger, gorgeous handcrafted ones I found. I made a circle of crystals around my bowl (after some practice to get the tone right), meditated for a few minutes on my intention to “reset” the energies of the crystals, and began. I had a few necklaces and a pendulum that I also passed through the sage smoke.
  • Last, I secured the crystals in cloth bags. Most black, but some burlap. I stored the stones I plan to use together, together, and left out my new citrine sphere next to my orchid.

I’m still learning, but I feel like I’m on the right path. I’m very interested and cautiously excited.

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Yes, that is a wrapped Christmas present. There’s a bracelet inside that I wanted cleared as well, haha.

 

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Altar Space

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There’s very little on my “altar,” if you can call it that, or even in my sacred space. This is the top of a bookshelf in a window. There’s a Green Man statuary hanging on the wall on the other side of the room.

The plant is an orchid gifted by a friend. My dear kitty friend has twice now decided it needed un-potting, or perhaps that it was unhappy sitting in our main room, so this week I repotted it again (third time’s a charm?) and gave it some love in hopes that maybe it will bloom again before we move and I give it away (transoceanic journeys are not for most plants).

The bowl is a hand carved thing I picked up at a arts festival in Floyd, VA, with a friend about 4 years ago. I use it for anything and everything regarding energy work. Plants, incense, crystals.

The crystals in the bowl are literally all the ones I own, with the exception of the tumbled amethyst I wear around my neck. This includes the pieces of a couple that I’ve broken. I suppose I should take that as a sign that they’ve finished their work with me, but I was devastated when these particular ones broke, I kept the largest pieces. I’ve since taken them out of the bowl, but they’re sitting next to the orchid still.

The framed quote is from Dr. Mikao Usui, the founder of the Reiki movement. I’ve had this out in my book room ever since I received my Reiki level I and II attunements, but I haven’t practiced much in the last 3 years. I really want to get back into it, both meditating and using it for myself and sharing it with others.

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No Religious Preference

That’s the box I check on my employment profile. My employer won’t let anyone leave it blank, so…that’s what it says, even if I feel it’s not entirely true. Anyone who happens to see it inevitably asks, “Oh, so you’re an atheist?”

No, you nitwit, or I would have checked THAT box.

I’m not – yet – comfortable aligning myself with a specific religious tradition. I was brought up EXTREMELY inside the box, but it has been over a decade since I stepped outside of that particular box. In that time, I’ve been almost exclusively drawn to earth-based spiritual practices. Yes, I feel there’s a difference between being spiritual and being religious, which is yet another reason I have continued to tick the “no preference” box.

At work, we’re not supposed to wear jewelry outside of a watch and or one ring on each hand, but a “religious” necklace is allowed.

This is what I wear. I keep it pretty much hidden, but every now and then someone will see it and ask what it is. My response is always simply, “A tree of life,” because to me that’s a term that resonates with nearly every religion of kindness and compassion, and a surprising number of people understand it. The sun and the moon occasionally draw more comment, particularly from fundamentalist Christian types that have a particular aversion to the moon and tell me that, “You need to be careful I think that’s a symbol of witchcraft, but I’m not sure.”

The point of this is…I’m growing more and more unhappy with this particular label. While I’m not religious, I do believe in a spirit world, in energy, in the earth…so does that actually make me Pagan? I’ve hesitated to use the term because I don’t feel I have the level of belief necessary to fit into that sphere. And yet, I definitely don’t fit any OTHER sphere.

Is a label even necessary? If you call yourself pagan, buddhist, christian, or anything else…why?

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