Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Crystal Help

Crystals make good Christmas presents, I think, when you can’t come up with any other ideas.

Yes, I do participate in Christmas. Society at large makes a big deal out of it, and I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. The grandchildren would be disappointed if we didn’t send presents; friends who invite us to Christmas dinner might feel unappreciated if we refused. In any case, we like giving — and receiving — presents, and we like sharing feasts! If we lived in the Northern Hemisphere, we might do these things at Yule, a few days earlier, or else celebrate Yule on the 25th (which is sort of what the early Church did, tying the celebration of Christ’s birth to a seasonal festival already widely celebrated) but Yule is Midwinter which, in the Southern Hemisphere, falls in June.

So, as I was saying, when you don’t know what else to get, crystals can make good gifts.

I needed something for my Younger Stepson, who arrived on the 24th to visit us for a few days. And I needed something for the brother of the woman who claims us as her surrogate parents and always invites us to her Christmas dinners. This year the brother said he didn’t want lots of people, ‘just family‘ — which, it went without saying, included us!

Younger Stepson travelled interstate to visit us, and was going from us to an old family friend further north. Surrogate Daughter’s brother works overseas and only comes home to visit family at Christmas. Some kind of crystal that would be good for travellers, I thought, for both of them. So I went to see Ev.

Ev has a shop called Crystal Treasures. She also does psychic readings and healing treatments there, and sells esoteric books. I first met Ev a number of years ago, when I was doing psychic readings at George’s shop. George was a friend who had a vegetarian cafe in town. All the seats and tables for customers were outdoors, and so was my reading table. Ev came and had a reading from me. She told me she did readings too, but felt the need to consult someone else at that time. We had a wonderful conversation and I never quite forgot her.

Fast forward several years: I’m semi-retired and only do the occasional reading at home if someone tracks me down. Ev opens Crystal Treasures; I go in to check it out, and find her behind the counter. We’re delighted to reconnect, and we swap some readings for each other. From time to time I buy books or crystals from her shop.

Where else would I go to find my crystals for travellers? She recommended smoky quartz and hematite, both very grounding. I got some handsome tumbled stones of each kind for both the men, and on Christmas Day they were well received. While I was there, my eye was caught by a lump of raw emerald — not of precious gem quality, I hasten to add, but pale green, grey and black. It had a gentle look. I read the description of its qualities:

Known as the stone of successful love. It brings domestic bliss & loyalty. Enhances unity, unconditional love, & partnership & promotes balance. Emerald keeps a partnership in balance. It eliminates negativity & brings in positive actions.

That was enough for me! I had been very stressed, trying to deal with my husband’s symptoms of early Alzheimer’s. I wanted to be patient and understanding but often found that hard to maintain. I confided in Ev what was going on and she agreed the emerald would be perfect. She hugged me and said, ‘It’s your journey too, isn’t it?’ Her eyes widened at the thought of the adventure my husband and I were both embarking on. 'Stay in the moment,' she advised.

I bought a pouch for the emerald too. I have been wearing it around my neck every day since, and keeping it by the bed at night. We have undoubtedly been more loving, and I find itt easier to be patient with him. Is that because of the crystal, or is it acting as a placebo and working because I think it will? I don’t know or care — so long as it’s working, the how and why are beside the point.

The confusion he could get into troubled me for his sake too. I went back to Crystal Treasures. My old friend Priya works for Ev some days; it was one of her days in the shop. I told her the situation and asked what crystal would help his clarity of mind. Without hesitation, she said, ‘Fluorite!’ I found a thick point, like the end of a wand. She looked for a longer wand they had had, but couldn’t find it; meanwhile I was holding the short piece and it felt ‘right’. He is very thrilled with it and keeps it by the bed. (It’s a bit big for a pouch around the neck.) It certainly seems to be the right stone, judging by these qualities listed:

A stone of mental enhancement and clarity, improved decision making &memorization. Brings structure & focus to incoherent energies. Assists balancing the brain chemistry. Enhances concentration, study and learning. Quiets anxiety.

Yes, he does seem considerably less confused at present, his mind more stable. Mind you, he has also started taking tablets to stop the condition getting any worse. It may be that they are beginning to kick in. I’m certainly not saying it’s all down to the fluorite. I would have to have a lot more anecdotal evidence from a lot more people, to be able to argue for that. Meanwhile, though, every time he sees the stone, I think it must reinforce in him the idea of mental clarity.

Personally I think crystals do have a positive effect. But I don’t neglect the obvious. If I'm bleeding, I use a bandage; if I'm sneezing, I blow your nose; if I were to have a heart attack, I'd call an ambulance — and only then look for a suitable crystal.

While not substitutes for medical treatment, crystals could give extra help. If you don’t know the specific stone for your needs, remember that rose quartz is an all-purpose healing stone, and that clear quartz, as well as having its own qualities, can be substituted for any other crystal.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's not enough to be kind

One must also be thoughtful, not quite the same thing.

I respect spiders, even though some of them creep me out a bit as they do most people. They are such sentient creatures! I find them very responsive to telepathic contact. And when I first self-initiated as a witch, I was guided by both spontaneous mental imagery and sightings of actual, physical spiders to put myself under the protection of the Goddess in her form as Spider-Creator archetype; therefore I feel a moral obligation to treat spiders with respect.

So in my house no-one is allowed to kill them. I would make an exception in the case of a venomous spider that posed a potential threat to people and/or pets, but the Goddess knows that and keeps them away. I do, however, communicate with any spiders I see in the house, to tell them that the cats or any visiting humans might do them harm if they saw them. 'Keep out of sight for your own safety,' I tell them. And for the most part they do, or scurry to get hidden if they happen to be spotted.

So I did the usual when I saw a small Huntsman in the loo about a week ago. (No, not right IN it: on the wall near the mirror over the hand basin.) I didn't think to take a photo, but it was about half the size of the one pictured at the above link.

It had probably come inside to escape the rain; they do that. I suggested it stay behind the mirror as much as possible, and so it did, sometimes coming out just a little. I would greet it in a friendly way and then forget about it.

Once it was on the windowsill, and ran like mad to try and get out of sight, until I told it to calm down, it was only me; just not to let anyone else see it. It stopped running, and thereafterI didn't see it for a while — until the day I pulled on the end of the roll of toilet paper, to discover 'my' spider clinging to the paper further up. I did let out a small squeal at that — but bear in mind, it was a very small Huntsman, so thenI just shook it off as gently as possible.

Again it disapeared for a day or so. Then I noticed a spot of fluff or dust in a corner. An insect, perhaps? Oh no! Could it be ...? Yes it was, all dried and dead with its legs curled in. As I disposed of the body I realised that we live in a house fairly devoid of insects. We have flywire screens; I have an arrangement with the local insects, along the lines of 'Stay outside or you're fair game'; and if any that count as pests do come in, I do indeed kill them.

My poor spider must have starved to death. What was the point of my making it welcome (albeit with provisos)? I'd have done better to put it right back outside again!