Trademarked Stones and Crystals

“Why don’t you sell or work with insert-trademarked-name crystal?”

Truth is, I’m often working with stones and crystals that, had I purchased them from a particular dealer, would have been labeled with a trademarked name. We’re all probably working with trademarked stones and don’t even know it. It isn’t that I won’t work with a specific mineral because of its other name – it’s that I won’t work with a crystal based on a trademarked name and its accompanying story. Neither will I sell anyone a crystal by its trademarked name. (For example, if you contact me desiring to work with Anandalite ™, I will tell you that I can provide you with a naturally iridescent quartz geode from India sometimes trademarked as Anandalite ™ but also called Aurora Quartz, Rainbow Quartz, and 7-color Quartz, and I can save you a bunch of money because I’m not buying or selling it from the company that trademarked the name ‘Anandalite ™’). 

A couple years ago I visited a rock and mineral shop in Sequim, owned and operated by a gentleman who had traveled the world for 40 years, personally collecting just about every item in his store. It was a sight, let me tell you. I saw he had “Cinnabar in Quartz” for $5.00 each. Not having any Cinnabar and knowing that Cinnabar is toxic, I thought, “This would be a cool way to work with the energies of Cinnabar,” so I bought 1 one tumbled, again for just 5 bucks.

When I purchase a new-to-me stone, I come home and start researching the mineral’s properties: chemical composition, internal crystal structure, formation origin, mineral class, etc. The first thing I do is a Google Image Search to make sure that yep, I’m actually holding what I was told I was buying. (This can be tricky and not always the best way of identifying stones, but more on that at another time).

I keep scrolling and JACKPOT! There it is! Only wait a minute, these pieces – similar in weight and size – are being sold for $64 and $32. What???? How did my $5 pieces suddenly become worth $30-60?

And then I see it – the Trademarked Name. 

And I’ll admit, I get a little irritated when I come across this and for a few different reasons, not least is because usually when someone applies a trademarked name to a stone, they remove any actual helpful information about the stone such as manner of formation and chemical composition. In the place of this factual, objective information (from which we then get to experience the stone individually), they sell the stone based on their personal, subjective experience. The prices for what are usually very common minerals (easy to obtain) suddenly go through the roof. People often pay more than they need to for lack of knowledge. It’s problematic on a lot of fronts.

Why do I get so bothered about these applied trademarks?  There are a few issues at play. 

Nomenclature confusion

Sometimes minerals already have multiple accepted mineralogical names from within the mineralogical community. Then there are trade names – names that aren’t necessarily trademarked but is a name sometimes given because the mineralogical name is complicated to pronounce. Then the new age/healing community will sometimes give minerals what I refer to as a nickname. For example, in some circles, Malachite is known as the Midwife Stone (in other circles Moss Agate is called a Midwife Stone). As you can see, the nomenclature is already confusing enough without adding another group of names to the mix.

In recent years, there are a few who have taken it upon themselves to assign yet another name – the trademark name. Oftentimes, the name hides all mineralogical information from the buyer in lieu of a story about a spiritual experience to be had. There are exceptions when a trademark is helpful like when the trademark name helps us identify a common mineral’s location that, because of the location, the mineral’s chemical composition or physical appearance makes it uncommon.

From a purely practical perspective, with all of these names for minerals floating around, it can be difficult to ID and research crystals and stones. It was tricky before, but now with the trademarked stones, I’ve noticed it has gotten more complicated. Generally speaking, these pieces being sold under a trademarked name have descriptions that make fantastic healing claims and are labeled “high vibration” (another pet peeve of mine). There are rarely any notes given of the actual mineralogical name, let alone chemical composition, crystal system, occurrences, manner of formation, etc.  Why? Well, I’m spitballing here, but if I can buy a tumbled blue onyx stone from an Etsy seller for $7, why would I buy a tumbled blue onyx stone called “Ocean’s Rapture” from another seller for $30? But if I don’t know that “Ocean’s Rapture” is actually blue onyx, I might be more willing to roll the dice for that beautiful blue mystery stone suggesting a rapturous experience. See what’s happening here?

Trademarked crystals are sold with suggestions that the stone will offer heightened mystical experiences and are often sold as having been “super activated.” The stone usually arrives with an authenticity certificate and it should be noted that, generally speaking, this certificate authenticates only that the stone in question came from a specific dealer/shop. It is not typically guaranteeing elemental makeup and of course, no one can guarantee an experience so neither is the certificate guaranteeing specific energetic qualities. Which leads us to ask, to what end? 

(Clarification: the stones themselves are not trademarkable. It’s only the name that is trademarked. For example, I cannot now sell my Cinnabar in Quartz stones under the trademarked name I found online because I did not acquire them from the person who owns the trademark. Make sense? It’s like Nike can’t stop Adidas from selling running shoes, but they can stop Adidas from selling running shoes using the Nike name and symbol).

I need to be clear here about something – I don’t question that someone has had a specific experience with any stone. That’s not my place to question other people’s experiences. But it is my place to remind myself and others that one person’s experience does not guarantee another person’s experience. The prescriptive culture of healing (ironically similar to the Rx culture of traditional medicine which is often eschewed in subtle healing circles) is antithetical to everything I have learned about subtle energies and the way they interact through my personal healing experiences, study, and professional practice. I am not questioning another person’s healing or mystical experience. I am calling into question the idea that it is transferrable, buyable, or one-size-fits-all.

Let’s dig deeper – and it harm none? 

There are ripple effects that I see playing out in the crystal healing community that come from this trademarking/marketing. From where I sit, the practice of assigning specific roles and a “hierarchy of specialness” to crystals is disadvantageous for a few reasons:

One – it is disempowering to people seeking their healing who work with crystals as allies. How do people come to know a thing from an empowered place? They get facts like mineralogical names which lead to chemical compositions, crystal systems, manner of formation – in other words, the crystal’s story – rather than only the stories of other people’s experiences (Third Eye awakening! Quick ascension! High vibration!). The facts about the crystal allows the crystal to tell its own story and those facts inform our inner wisdom and allow us to discern with nuance what energetic messages are being conveyed for us in that specific moment in time.

“Wait, you mean a crystal can provide different energetic support from moment to moment?” Absolutely. I might pick up a Zambian Citrine and work with it for one purpose on a Tuesday morning, but Thursday evening, for many, many reasons, it is communicating something entirely differently to me. This is but one example why I don’t read  crystal prescription books anymore. In the subtle field, where this work is done, where this energy exists and accessed, there are no hard and fast rules, definitions, or labels.

When we approach crystals from a prescriptive stance, it’s like going to a meet and greet with a friend whose mouth you’ve duct taped shut. You walk around introducing people to your friend, telling others all about your experiences with your friend based solely on your personal, subjective perception. The friend meanwhile, never really gets known on her own terms and the people meeting her don’t really have a true sense of the kind of relationship they might have with her.

When I understand the process a crystal went through to get from its seed to my hand and all of the elements included and its sacred geometry and more – my intuitive experience with that crystal is much more heightened, grounded, and most importantly – Heart centered. (There are no egoic hopes and dreams hanging in the balance, getting in the way of my healing work).

When I was new to self-healing and crystals as allies, I glommed onto anything that promised a quick healing/awakening or an amped up experience of any kind. I was eager to grow and expand my awareness. I was a sponge and I soaked up EVERYTHING I read or was told about each crystal and I was so anxious to evolve that I didn’t question where this “information” was coming from. I didn’t yet realize that healing and evolution is almost always a process – a meandering journey – with no quick fix. I also was still under the illusion that I could be “fixed” by someone else/something else outside of me. I wasn’t taking responsibility for my healing. So of course I read the books that told me what crystal to use for which issue presenting! Which brings me to number 2:

Discernment
My personal concern about this marketing method is that it may take advantage of people who have not yet honed their discernment skills. Discernment – the ability to judge well – is so important and is something learned over time as we get more familiar with our Selves and our Hearts. The more honed a person’s discernment skills, the less flitting and fluttering, the less grasping about there is; the more grounded a person’s experience will be with deeper, lasting healing taking place.

Discernment is about being able to recognize when something is truly resonating with your Heart or when something is feeding an aspect of your ego. It’s about being able to recognize when I am trying to take the easy way to healing which is a short road full of disappointment and confusion. It’s like those weight loss ads – “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days with this new fad diet!” We all know that for most, generally speaking, losing weight in any real, lasting way requires a well balanced diet of limited caloric intake and a consistent exercise schedule; in other words – it takes work, much like lasting personal growth and healing.

And three – it places crystals in the role of quick-fix servants. They aren’t our toys – being used to play out a scene. They are the teachers. We don’t tell them what they do – they show/tell us how to work with them for the highest good. Remember when you were first drawn to crystals and realized they had the capacity to help you evolve? Wasn’t there wonderment? For me, it was an understanding that there was something here to uncover in/about me; there was no urge to categorize or figure out what this object was going to “do for or to me.” As I began exploring, I learned to see crystals as quick-fix, one-size-fits-all tools from various sources within the community. I had to unlearn that in order to find the wonderment (and respect) again.


The aim of this article isn’t to suggest that all trademarked crystals and purchases of trademarked stones is bad or wrong. This article is about being aware of what we are doing and why we are doing it. There are some instances when trademark names are informative. When we hear, for example, Auralite 23 or Aurora Quartz, we automatically know, oh, that crystal is amethyst from that specific mine in Canada or, oh that is quartz from India. So yes, I have an Auralite 23 and some Aurora Quartz. But I also know that Auralite 23 is Amethyst with inclusions and that Aurora Quartz is quartz often found as plates of small points, having an iridescence. I know the price reflects availability and not an experience.

Fair questions any consumer might ask:

  • Am I buying into hype? Have I considered working with this stone from my Heart Space or is my brainbox and Solar Plexus on overdrive right now?
  • Am I drawn to this crystal because of someone else’s experience, hoping to bypass important self inquiry?
  • Am I expecting this crystal to provide a quick-fix in my healing journey?
  • Does the seller freely give important information like mineralogical name, chemical composition, and crystal system? (Which can also inform us of important safety information like toxicity).
  • Does this energy exchange feel empowering or does it feel like I am relying on someone else or something else?
  • Does this exchange increase my feelings of dependence on the seller?
  • Is there a mark-up that is not in line with current market value? Why?

Have questions? Email me at tana@tanaschott.com Remember that I don’t identify crystals and stones through photographs, but I’m happy to answer any question related to the above.

Crystal Healing Spotlight: Stilbite

Crystal Healing with Stilbite

crystal healing stilbite

Stilbite is often found in “wheat” or “bow-tie” formation

Stilbite isn’t a “sexy” mineral in the crystal healing world: it doesn’t garner the attention that say, Amethyst, Ajoite, Sugilite, and others enjoy. I don’t often hear people recommend stilbite to others or mention working with the mineral personally because, well, I don’t know. It’s a fairly inexpensive and easily obtained mineral both in rough/natural and tumbled form. And it’s a great mineral to work with when we understand its physical properties and know how those aspects might have effect on the subtle anatomy. (Real quick note – stilbite is sometimes confused with stibnite because the spelling is so similar. Stibnite is the silvery-gray mineral that contains sulfur (S) and antimony (Sb). Super different minerals with super similar names). 

Stilbite is actually a series name. Depending on the chemical formula, we might have Stilbite-Ca or Stilbite-Na. Stilbite-Ca is the most common type and the differentiation is usually not mentioned because without proper testing, it is impossible to tell the difference. The appearance and growth, crystal system, and manner of formation are usually the same. So -Ca is assumed when testing has not been done. Because it’s the most common and the chemical formula doesn’t deviate drastically, this article is going to talk about Stilbite generally.

Stilbite is found in zeolite deposits, often found alongside apophyllite when in matrix in its most common habit – that of bow-tie or sheafs of wheat. Often peachy in color, stilbite can also exhibit a pearly luster and is often mistaken for heulandite (and vice versa).

Stilbite stats:
Chemical formula: NaCa4Al9Si27O72 · 28(H2O)
Manner of formation: secondary/sedimentary
Mineral Class: tectosilicate, zeolite group
Crystal system: usually monoclinic
Mohs: 3.5
Crystal habit: thin, tabular aggregates in bow-ties or sheafs of wheat; can also be found globular

crystal healing stilbite

When in matrix, stilbite is most often found with apophyllite Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Each physical property listed above an inform us of the mineral’s healing properties. I’m going to take just three physical properties and break them down with you, to show you how the crystal itself is always telling us what its role might be in our healing practices. When we understand how to approach crystals in this way, it helps us make sense of the prescriptions provided in crystal healing books (in case you’ve ever asked, “But how do they know?”). It can also explain why you might have had a different experience than what is described in the crystal Rx books (no, you’re not wrong). It also, if we allow it to, deepens our understanding of and relationship to our crystals because when we learn about the whole crystal and each of its physical properties, we experience it in a multidimensional way that the crystal encyclopedias simply can’t convey.

I typically like to explore new crystals in this order: Manner of formation, mineral class, chemical formula/elements, crystal system. (Color rarely plays a role in my personal practice).

Manner of formation: secondary/sedimentary

The sedimentary (or secondary) MoF is about awareness of influences. Sedimentary minerals are deeply affected by outside influences – weather, erosion, water, wind, and more. As such, sedimentary minerals can be excellent agents of support when we want to become more aware of the ways we are influenced in our lives. Our thoughts, actions, and beliefs are formed and continually influenced by the world around us: our families, cultural mores, societal expectations and norms, religious upbringing, and more, these influences can affect the way we perceive and interpret the world around us which in turn, affects our reactions and responses to it. When we desire to change a thought pattern or belief or way of being in the world, we are often calling into question assumptions about life that have in fact, been taught to us one way or the other. When we begin the work of self-inquiry or calling into question our beliefs, sedimentary stones and crystals can be a supportive ally. Being a sedimentary crystal, stilbite can be a useful ally in this type of healing work. Let’s learn a little more about stilbite to get a more nuanced view of the stone and the specific ways it can assist us.

Mineral Class: tectosilicate, zeolite group

Simply put, minerals are organized into classes according to their chemical composition. Stilbite is a tectosilicate. Some classes are further subdivided based on factors such as appearance, the presence or absence of water, which cations are present and more. Silicates are a huge group and in the Dana class system, there are 6 subcategories, of which tectosilicate is one.  Tectosilicates, also called framework silicates, are 3-dimensional crystalline structures which according to Gienger, have an absorbing and reflecting energy. When tectosilicates are opaque in appearance, they tend to have a more absorbing effect. When having a translucency, a more reflecting effect.

Stilbite, with its pearly sheen and opaque appearance therefore, is a tectosilicate that has absorbing qualities that also have a calming and sobering effect on the mental and etheric aspects of the subtle anatomy. Stilbite is a great stone to work with then, when we are feeling emotionally or mentally overwhelmed, specifically by anxiety or fear. When we are beginning to look at our “stuff,” things can get overwhelming pretty quickly sometimes. If we’re ready to have reflected back to us that which we need to see to create change, we might want to work with a translucent tectosilicate. If it’s beginning stages of this type of personal healing work, and maybe we need to slow things down so that we can process the anxiety and/or fear that is arising, a tectosilicate that is opaque might be a more appropriate ally.

What does the chemical formula: NaCa4Al9Si27O72 · 28(H2O) tell us?

When we look at the elements a crystal contains, we can start to get a more nuanced view of how the broader categories of formation and class might be applied to healing work. Don’t worry – you don’t have to be an expert in chemistry to refer to a chemical formula for information. Let’s pull two elements from this formula and check out what Michael Gienger said about them: Calcium (Ca) and Aluminum (Al). Gienger conducted numerous crystal healing clinical trials with doctors and non-medical practitioners alike who tested the effects of different minerals with a wide variety of people. The results of these trials, together with his scientific understanding of the elements and their roles in geology and biology, provided a grounded and nuanced understanding of how elements can inform us about the healing properties of minerals. His findings are shared in the book, Crystal Power Crystal Healing. Application of crystals in any way is meant only to be carried or worn against the skin – never ingested.

Both calcium and aluminum are abundant elements in the earth’s crusts. According to Gienger Aluminum has physical, mental, and spiritual effects. Physically, Al promotes alkaline metabolic processes, supports absorption of iron in the intestines, and normalizes conductivity in the nerves. Mentally, Al has a calming effect on nervousness and fears, as well as feelings of guilt. Al also can support one in expressing feelings and releasing behavioral patterns – releasing that which no longer serves. Spiritually, Al helps with loss of identity and finding out who we really are and what our purpose might be in this life while also exposing illusions for what they are and helping us learn to deal with them (p 112-113).

Calcium’s physical support is in the metabolism of the cells and absorption of nutrient by cell membranes. Ca is necessary for the formation of DNA and RNA. We all have heard that strong, healthy bones and teeth rely on proper Ca intake. And Ca plays an important role in a healthy heart: regulating rhythm and strengthening the muscle. Mentally, Ca affects receptivity, is emotionally stabilizing, and lends self-confidence. When feeling confused and lethargic, grab those Calcium-bearing minerals. Spiritually, Ca regulates development. Where a person is sluggish, Ca speeds up and regulates that evolutionary process. Where development is happening too fast and there exists chaos, Ca assists in normalizing it.

In looking at two important elements in stilbite’s chemical formula, we come to understand that being a sedimentary tectosilicate, stilbite can specifically assist someone seeking energetic support in maintaining a healthy pattern of spiritual growth, who might experience fear and anxiety, who might benefit from some support in speaking their truth. Stilbite, as with other minerals that contain Al, can help someone who is feeling rather undefined and purposeless, who may benefit from seeing that there are aspects of their life which is holding them back from seeing their true self.

 

crystal healing stilbite

Stilbite is less commonly found as globular formations: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

crystal healing stilbite

Stilbite can be found tumbled

I have found great freedom in relating to minerals in this way. While these “properties” (I rather prefer the term “possibilities”) are, in my opinion, more grounded being that they arise from a less singularly personal experience (instead arising from different clinical trials combined with what we can learn from the geology and mineralogy of the stones), the most important information (energy that vibrates) that you can get from any crystal is the information it gives you directly when you work with it. I do this type of research with crystals I’m called to work with, but then I follow it up with a meditative experience too. At the end of the day the overriding message has to come from the crystal itself, through my heart space. And I encourage the same for you – give yourself permission to have your own unique experience with your crystals and stones and take their lead, regardless what any book or website has to say about it.

Grace and peace.


PS – Interested in approaching crystals in your personal or professional healing practice in this unique, empowering way? Check out my course here. Enrollment opens in September.
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Working with Cathedral Quartz

cathedral quartzCathedral Quartz in subtle energy healing

Cathedral Quartz Information
Quartz are given unique names to help distinguish between different growth processes, environments, and appearances. Both the mineralogical community and the metaphysical community give names to different formations, for different reasons. Sometimes the names match, sometimes they don’t. And yes, that can be confusing. To make matters more confusing, metaphysical folks tend to apply names based on the energy of the piece, rather than its appearance and formation. This creates confusion about true rarity and quality, location, as well as price. In the mineral world nomenclature is a bit of a mess. Don’t worry, the more you engage with different communities, minerals, and sellers, the more comfortable you’ll get identifying minerals and quartz formations. It just takes time and experience.
A mineral’s price is (or should be) most affected by the availability of the mineral. The more difficult a mineral is to mine, or the less frequently it is found in excavations, the more expensive the mineral will be (before considering internal clarity, color, weight, and condition). When I first started studying crystal healing, natural, unheated Citrine was relatively easy to acquire and afford. In recent years, natural, unheated Citrine became scarce and the price jumped accordingly. Same with Sugilite. Ajoite, especially that from the most popular site – Messina – is no longer available except from collections and the price has gone through the roof. Should a new pocket be discovered for any of these minerals, we will see the price fluctuate accordingly.
Sidenote: (In my opinion, pricing a mineral based on subtle energy experiences is unethical. A personal experience cannot be proven, let alone guaranteed for anyone else, and conveying that minerals and certain quartz formations only offer X is misleading and limiting. Promising a specific energetic experience based on working with a specific mineral and then upcharging sometimes 10 times the actual value of the stone is taking advantage of the customer base, especially those who are new to the art. I have seen this done time and again and it breaks my heart. People are easily influenced and people who are hurting and seeking answers can be especially vulnerable.
Each of us needs to be empowered to have our own experiences: to build our own unique relationships to the mineral kingdom based on sound, grounded knowledge that helps inform the most important aspect of communication between a person and a crystal – that person’s HEART. Just because some people find Moldavite to be powerful doesn’t mean everyone will feel that way with Moldavite. And that doesn’t make either party wrong in their experience or interpretation of their experience. When we price a stone or mineral, the only ethical thing to do is price it according to availability and quality (as well as the hours and energy it took for us to source it. I’m not suggesting people cannot make a living or have a business selling crystals), and to provide the actual, mineralogical name, rather than a made-up and trademarked name that hides the fact that the mineral is actually very, very common and can be purchased elsewhere for pennies on the dollar).
I’d like to address what a Cathedral Quartz IS, because there are a lot of quartz being sold as Cathedral Quartz that are not, in fact, cathedral quartz. Elestial/Jacere quartz, sprouting/artichoke quartz, cactus quartz, candle quartz, and others are often mis-identified and sold as Cathedral Quartz. It’s confusing partly because the term ‘elestial’ has been a mineralogical identifier as well as a metaphysical identifier. Meanwhile other metaphysical names are flat out rejected by the mineralogical community. Knowing which names or labels are truly mineralogical (and therefore used to identify properly the types of minerals we have) can be tricky and just takes time and experience to figure out. Sometimes the mineralogical community will begin to use metaphysical labels when the label just won’t go away and becomes common, or, when they realize they can make a bigger profit selling certain minerals using the metaphysical labels. (Hint, when you know your stuff and can buy your crystals from rocks shops rather than metaphysical shops – you will save money a lot of the time).

cathedral quartz

But even without the mineralogical community, we in the metaphysical community can make things rather complicated all on our own. :) For example, Lightbraries are often known to be Cathedral Quartz, yet the Lightbrary name has since been applied to sprouting Citrine Quartz, once very popular from the DNC (Congo). If you do an Internet search for “Cathedral Quartz,” you will see images of Elestial/Jacare, Sprouting/Artichoke Quartz, Candle Quartz, even Quartz clusters and Cactus/Spirit Quartz. Different groups giving different names to the multitude of quartz formations can create a bit of confusion.
For example, if Crystal Healer Steve decides that Artichoke form should be called Lightbrary because of his personal experience with the stone, and then begins teaching about or selling Artichoke growth crystals as “Lightbrary” crystals, it makes sense that those who have read elsewhere that Cathedral Quartz are also called Cathedral Lightbraries start mixing up Artichoke Quartz formation with quartz that display the specific parallel-grown, stepped formation that we know as Cathedrals.
Artichoke/sprouting quartz are much easier to come by while Cathedral Quartz is rarer. The price tag often reflects this because not only is the formation rarer, but to find a Cathedral Quartz with good clarity and not a lot of damage can be difficult. Plus – Cathedrals seem to arrive in waves every 20-30 years. Right now, we are entering a drought. How long that drought will last is anyone’s guess. But past experience shared tells me that these special formations tend to be found in spurts before a long dry spell when none are mined. I do wonder if the time between showings is getting shorter. 
Though Mindat.org states that parallel, stepped growth formations of quartz are quite common, I have found that true Cathedral Quartz formation is one of the rarer formations of quartz growth and I know I’m not alone in that experience. It can take some time and experience to learn how to distinguish a true Cathedral Quartz – having a specific parallelly-grown, stepped formation – from other parallel growth forms but once you see it, you’ll be able to identify a Cathedral forevermore. (When I say “true,” I am not speaking about the crystal’s energy. I’m speaking about the formation requirements to be classified as a Cathedral Quartz).
What are the identifying features of Cathedral Quartz?
One very important identifying distinction is this: while it might appear that there are numerous quartz points which grew together (smaller attached to one primary larger center crystal), the crystal is in fact, one crystal. If you turn the crystal upside down, you won’t see lines where crystals fused together. Sometimes a Cathedral Quartz can actually be multiple Cathedrals which fused together in which case you will see those boundary lines on the bottom – but the individual points which fused, may still, in their own right, be Cathedral formation.

cathedral quartz

Elestial quartz is more of a patterning on the surface of the quartz. Sprouting or artichoke quartz has one center crystal with numerous, smaller crystals growing separately but attached to the primary point. In a cathedral, even though it may appear that separate crystals are growing off of a main point, in fact, it is all one piece.  A great website to visit is QuartzPage.de (specifically their Growth Forms page). This site is a wealth of information about quartz.
Parallel, step-growth occurs when a quartz crystal experiences a phenomenon called twinning during its formation. In the case of Cathedral Quartz, a double spiral rotation occurs which gives the point a multi-terminated appearance, though in reality, it is ONE crystal, rather than multiple crystals fused together during growth. This is KEY for identifying a Cathedral.
Cathedral quartz are interesting quartz specimens in that they can look like completely different pieces depending on which side or angle you are looking at. Consider that these two photos show the exact same piece – just from different vantage points. For this reason, if purchasing online, be sure to ask for numerous photographs from different sides of the piece if not already provided.

cathedral quartz   cathedral quartz

One more thing: Cathedral Quartz can be found in clear, smoky, and citrine
Cathedral Quartz Crystal Healing & Properties Information
I hope that more than anything you feel empowered to discern for yourself what your crystal masters are trying to communicate to you and through you. Crystals are not stagnant. They are pulsing energy sources with one of the lowest rates of entropy of any physical thing on planet Earth. They are always working with each of us individually in the NOW moment. Therefore, their messages to us will be unique from person to person and applicable to the NOW moment. Tying them down to a singular purpose or chakra or healing focus limits OUR ability to work with them to the highest good of all Beings and to evolve and grow spiritually.
Having said that, when we are learning something new, it helps to have a starting point, a spring-board, right? In the new age community, many have written down their personal experiences with crystals and published them so that we could have just that – a starting point from which we can begin our own unique work with crystals. Even when an author insists their understanding is THE understanding – I always encourage my students to hold these writings lightly, to not create dogma or true/false narratives based on other people’s personal, subjective experiences. The following information comes from Katrina Raphaell’s book, The Crystalline Transmission: A Synthesis of Light, pages 173-183. Katrina Raphaell is considered by many to be THE teacher for metaphysical work with Quartz. Many people resonate with her work and her experiences and so her books have, over time, become the go-to reference tools for learning about different quartz formations from a metaphysical perspective.
Here are some highlights from her section on Cathedrals:
  • Are “universally oriented…synchronized to universal frequencies.”
  • A Thought-Form gatherer and translator:
    • A tool to “…receive new waves of consciousness…” from the Masters. These messages are translated for our understanding through the crystal so that we can comprehend and integrate these messages. “…the wisdom of the soul can take tangible form in thoughts that the mind is capable of understanding.”
  • Exist to aid whoever comes to them, when the heart is open and the desires are in alignment with the Light.
  • Contains knowledge written in the language of Light. (Though is also said to be void of information until programmed – which is not my personal experience).?
  • Can be an access to the Hall of Records (Akashic Records – records containing every thought, word, and deed of every living thing throughout time).
  • Is said to be a “group” crystal (2 or more) though an individual can work with Cathedral Quartz imo
Recommendations for working with Cathedral Quartz
cathedral quartzGroup work
In a group of 2 or more like-Hearted individuals, who all share the intention of grounding Light to Earth, and bringing Universal Divinity into their joint endeavor. Sit in a circle with the Cathedral in the center, apex pointing up to the sky. Holding hands, focus on the inner world of the crystal. Imagine oneself within, focused on the common intention and desire, open to receiving knowledge from the Universal Masters.
Individual work
While many teach that Cathedral Quartz are not “personal” crystals or are specifically meant to be a Master Tool for groupwork, I have found that communing with a Cathedral Quartz can be a very expansive, powerful, empowering, and humbling experience. Holding the crystal or being near it, open yourself to the messages awaiting you. I recommend getting grounded first, firm in your Light, centered in your Heart before entering into this energy so that your discernment is clear. Setting the crystal on your Heart (if not too heavy), or placing the crystal at your feet pointing up, at your head pointing down, or however feels “right” to you in the moment, go into your meditation. Focus on your breath and allow your body to relax. Be open to receiving wisdom, assistance, messages.
Some people meditate while gazing into the crystal. This is particularly wonderful when the crystal has an internal clarity and lots of clear facets on its surface through which to look. Some say that each of the turrets or spires is a room of knowledge unto itself and that we can enter into these rooms and access Akashic Records or universal wisdom or enter into the collective consciousness through these “rooms.”

Personal share:
I do personally find Cathedral Quartz to be neutral, Universally-oriented, as Katrina Raphaell has mentioned. That resonates with me and my experience of the crystals. Whenever I post a picture of a Cathedral on Instagram or Facebook, I add the following hashtags: #oneness #divinemind #collectiveconsciousness because that is what this formation communicates to me. So, when I work with them, my approach and attitude reflects that. This may not be your experience – your message – from the Cathedral you’re called to work with. That’s perfectly okay. There is no one-way or right-way to work with the Crystal Masters. There is YOUR way.
I work with Cathedral Quartz when I am seeking clarity on a “big world” type of issue. Or when my mind is not serving my Heart and I am seeking to create a calm ebb and flow between the two with the Heart in the lead. I find myself reaching for Cathedral Quartz when I want to consciously, intentionally send waves of compassion to the Earth or to a specific group of people experiencing difficulties. I go to the Cathedral to ask for clarity; to see the Mirror being reflected back at me from my community, country, from the world. When I perceive the world to be “going mad,” I must ask how I might be going mad. How might I be contributing to the madness within and in my community? I find the Cathedrals to be powerful helpers in this. I also asked for help, guidance, and perspective-widening from my ancestors.
Because Cathedrals are Universally-oriented, they are about The All. Our work with them can often be to understand our place and purpose within The All.

crystal healing course

Are you interested in learning about crystal healing from a grounded, empowered perspective? Do you want to learn how to become less reliant on limiting prescriptives and learn how to experience each crystal on its own terms and work with it in expansive ways? Crystal Therapy in Subtle Energy Work is an accredited crystal healing course available as a personal enrichment experience which can be found here, or if you are interested in receiving a certification, 2 program options for this highly praised program are available here. Elemental Healing Arts and Training is currently accepting deposits to reserve spaces, which are limited, for the September enrollment period. Please feel free to send questions to Tana – tana at tanaschott dot com or you can fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page. 
And yes! I can find a Cathedral Quartz crystal for you. I happen to have a select few on hand, waiting for their new homes and you can check those out on my Instagram Page
cathedral quartz

cathedral quartz

cathedral quartz

cathedral quartz

cathedral quartz

cathedral quartz

Crystal Spotlight: Crystal Healing with Sugilite

crystal healing sugilite

Crystal Healing with Sugilite

Discovery 
Sugilite (less frequently known by the trade names lavulite or royal azel) is an increasingly rare mineral. It has been found in various places including Canada, India, Italy, and Australia; however the deposit in South Africa has yielded some of the most popular and sought-after material. Its gorgeous purple hues – sometimes bright and vivid like neon lighting – have endeared many a subtle energy worker to its energies. Oddly, the first discovery of Sugilite was described as an ugly yellow-green-brown rock-forming mineral, discovered in Japan by a petrologist named Ken-ichi Sugi in 1944. Sugilite’s prices rose dramatically in 1980 when the stone was classified as a rare gem after other deposits were discovered containing the gorgeous purple stones. (The correct pronunciation of Sugilite is with a soft “g,” having been named after its discoverer – Sugi (su-ghee), but the mineral was mispronounced by so many for so long that the common and accepted pronunciation is now with a hard “g”). 
Identifying
Sugilite’s color range is somewhat wide, depending on quality and location. The most sought-after Sugilite is the vivid purple or dark magenta colors, but it can also be found with bluish-purple, dark-purple, and gray-purple hues. The color comes from the manganese and lithium content. The stone can have a layered, mottled, or veined appearance. Rarely occurring as individual crystals, Sugilite’s habit is most often massive. It can also be found in fibrous-massive habit. Its hardness on the Mohs scale which is 6-6.5. “Gel” Sugilite is extremely rare and quite sought after, considered the highest gem quality for its vivid purple hue and translucency.
Care

 

Having a 6.0 – 6.5 hardness on the Mohs scale, as well as an indistinct cleavage, Sugilite makes a great crystal to set in jewelry and decorative pieces. It should be noted that the surface can still be scratched when in contact with minerals or materials with a higher hardness. Sugilite can be washed under tepid water and a very mild soap can be used if needed.
Working with Sugilite
In the metaphysical community, Sugilite is often prescribed for healing the Third Eye and Crown chakras. Said to carry the Violet Flame, it is a stone often recommended for those who are on a personal spiritual quest, seeking spiritual wisdom. It is also known as one of the premier love stones, aiding a person in accessing divine love and forgiveness – both of self and others.
Let’s look at Sugilite’s physical properties and see if they don’t help support these ideas.
Sugilite’s manner of formation is usually sedimentary, sometimes metamorphic, and rarely igneous. Crystals and stones which come to us through the sedimentary formation process offer support when we know that things are not going quite right, but we’re blind to our ability to change anything.
As we grow in our emotional, mental, and spiritual development, it is crucial to be able to recognize the ways we have been shaped by our society and culture, and influenced throughout our upbringing by family through tribal perspectives, religion, and politics. Our ability to recognize these influences does not necessarily mean we must change them; but understanding the root of our beliefs and behaviors enables us to at least examine how we got to where we are, and ultimately discern if any influences need to be released. We cannot let go of that which we don’t know we’re grasping.
crystal healing sugiliteWhen we consider this in light of Sugilite’s crystal system – which is hexagonal – we see how Sugilite might especially be helpful to those of us who tend to be efficient, rational, consistent, and driven by a strong personal set of ethics. While efficiency and honesty are helpful attributes to hold to, when clutched too tightly, they can cause a person to become inflexible and unforgiving.
And this is where Sugilite’s chemical composition Na3KLi2(Fe3+Mn3+,Al)2[Si12O30] can come into play. As a potassium sodium lithium iron manganese aluminium silicate (whew!), Sugilite has a complex composition. Let’s consider two of the major elemental players here: manganese and lithium. According to Michael Gienger, manganese offers specific subtle energetic support through increased empathy, generosity of heart, and forgiveness. It also helps us reframe our reality by helping us clear outdated consciousness. (It should also be noted that manganese supports heart function).
Lithium, according to Gienger, also serves to calm down the physical body, dampening physical and nerve-related restlessness. It is calming and soothing. Lithium also encourages self-confidence while promoting spiritual humility and devotion to that which we acknowledge is bigger than our individual selves. I have personally had great experiences working with crystals that contain either of these two elements.
Sugilite’s mineral class also supports the kind of work we might want to do with this rare gem. Cyclosilicates which are opaque, tend to have a “spongy” amorphous ring structure which is less conductive and more absorbing. (Other cyclosilicates, such as beryl, have a pillar structure which makes them excellent energy carriers (through and into).This makes Sugilite, with its spongy opaqueness, an excellent hexagonal crystal ally for someone who finds themselves clutching to their efficient, rational ideals.
The color of Sugilite definitely supports the idea that Sugilite carries the energy of the Violet Flame. Containing potassium, which supports the functioning of the pineal gland, also makes it a great contender for healing, balancing, and opening the Third Eye. And we now know that the chemical composition contains elements which support heart health and functionality at the physical level which can certainly help transmute imbalanced energies at the etheric and auric fields. Crystal healing with Sugilite can be a multi-layered, multi-field experience.
Sugilite makes an excellent meditation crystal and can be worn in jewelry. Aura sprays and crystal essences made from Sugilite (indirect method) are also very potent and effective ways of working with the energy of Sugilite.

Alchemy and Crystal Healing: the story of the Cinnabar Skull

Alchemy and Crystal Healing

I woke up one morning this past December, and in my mind’s eye I saw a crystal skull of Cinnabar in Dolomite staring at me. It was the first image I saw, it was the first thought I had that day. This is strange for 3 reasons:

One: My first thought upon waking is always, “Coffee. Now.” I would love to say that my first waking thought on any given morning is gratitude or compassion or a prayer for peace for the world. But no. It isn’t. It’s coffee. You should know this about me if we become friends.

Two: I hadn’t thought about or seen this particular skull in nearly a year. It simply wasn’t a part of my consciousness.

And three: I don’t relate to crystal skulls like other people do. I got the first (and I thought only) crystal skull because of a message I received. “It’s time to work with skulls.” I thought, okay, maybe students will start asking about them soon, and I need to know more. I’m not naturally drawn to them. I respect what they represent to many people. They can be excellent examples of gemstone art. But I’m typically not drawn to the more enigmatic aspects of crystal healing.

Because I want to become more and more open, listening and trusting, I texted D that same morning to tell her what happened and after a short conversation, she set the skull aside for me to pick up when next I visited her studio.

In the world of crystal healing, being called to a particular crystal is an honor. It means a lesson has arrived and we are ready to learn it with the subtle energetic support of the elements of the Earth. It’s a privilege: not everyone is drawn to crystals in this way. This has happened with many minerals – I’ve been called to them and then we do healing work together. I felt off-kilter about not being excited about working with this skull. Skulls have a magick about them that I can’t seem to grasp onto. And that’s okay – each of us has our “thing.” Skulls aren’t my thing, except they seem to be: there are four staring at me right now, after all. Perhaps my job is to provide a home for them until the person who is meant to work with them comes along. Who knows? In the meantime….

After the waking vision in December but before I actually picked up the skull in mid-January, I began re-reading the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. When I bought the Cinnabar skull, I was still in Book 1, A Discovery of Witches. A couple of nights after I brought the skull home, I was getting ready to read before sleep. I had placed the skull on my bedside table and there it was staring at me when I read this line:

“It is a wedding – the chemical marriage of mercury and sulfur. It’s a crucial step in making the philosopher’s stone.” (page 444 on my Kindle app).

Cinnabar, with a chemical composition of HgS (what the skull pictured is made from – cinnabar in dolomite) is mercury and sulfur.

I know it is fiction, but Deborah Harkness’ doctoral degree focused on the history of magic and science in Europe, especially during the period from 1500 to 1700 (from her website). And fiction or not, I’ve learned to not only recognize but also appreciate “coincidences” wherever they occur and follow where they lead. We are being given opportunities to expand at every turn. It’s up to us to recognize them and follow-up. So of course I opened webelements.com and looked up Hg and S.

Mercury – “It is a rather poor conductor of heat as compared with other metals but is a fair conductor of electricity. It alloys easily with many metals, such as gold, silver, and tin. These alloys are called amalgams. Its ease in amalgamating with gold is made use of in the recovery of gold from its ores.” (https://www.webelements.com/mercury/)

Sulphur – “…is essential to life. It is a minor constituent of fats, body fluids, and skeletal minerals….Sulphur is found in meteorites, volcanoes, hot springs….Jupiter’s moon Io owes its colours to various forms of sulphur. A dark area near the crater Aristarchus on the moon may be a sulphur deposit. (https://www.webelements.com/sulfur/)

(See how understanding the chemical composition can be so helpful in crystal healing)?

Historically, the philosopher’s stone is essentially a quest to overcome death. It was a thing that was believed to be able to transmute base metals into gold or silver and heal any illness, prolonging the life of anyone who partook of it. Many alchemists throughout human history sought to create the philosopher’s stone.

For me, the philosopher’s stone is an important symbol. The sought-after riches and health represent a potential born only from a simultaneous awareness of death while at the same time living life fully present in the now through an open heart. What are we the most afraid of? Death. And what is death if not a loss of control. At a time when fear is running rampant throughout the States and echoing throughout the world, now is the time to look death in the face and say, “Come at me.” The Philosopher’s Stone’s offering of overcoming death represents a life lived fearlessly.

When my gaze rests on this interesting piece of art, I am reminded that in every moment I am offered a chance to transmute and resurrect. That’s powerful stuff.

An aside: Deborah Harkness and Diana Gabaldon have ruined my experiences with other authors and book series. This is a compliment to them and also a shaking of my fist at the sky.

Why Crystal Prescriptions Can Leave Us Wanting More in Crystal Healing: An Allegory

Zina and her struggles with Crystal Healing

Zina, was struggling to know what her purpose in life was, so she went to her favorite crystal prescription book, looked up “purpose” in the Index, and…. Uh oh. It wasn’t listed. Okay, maybe “destiny.” Nope. “Fate”?  No, not listed either. Hmmm. Well, Zina knew from past experience that the next step was to scan the Index until she found a keyword that might apply. Then she knew that she’d find either a short list or a very long list of crystals associated with that keyword. She would then have to go look up and read about each one and try to determine if the general properties listed would help her with her specific and not-at-all-general situation. She could also do a Google search and see what various people on the Internet had to say – often contradicting and confusing, or she could try another book which usually bore the same results.

Zina loved working with crystals. She felt a deep connection to them and couldn’t give them up, even when it felt frustrating and fruitless. She wished there wasn’t so much mystery.  She didn’t want to have to rely on what other people said crystals “do” – especially when they don’t explain why and how. Moreover, she had a suspicion that crystals were not magical talismans meant to be carried and poof! problems would disappear but that’s the only kind of information she could find.

Zina has a lot of questions:

What exactly is crystal healing? 
What relationship do crystals have to our subtle anatomy and healing? 
How then, do we work with them from this paradigm?

The first thing Zina already knows but hasn’t realized she knows, is that crystals are not cure-alls. Anyone who has begun the study of healing knows that there is no such thing as a magical cure-all for any emotional, mental, or spiritual wound. That means the “carry X Crystal to experience Y result,” is too simplistic. It’s ignoring the energy from within that wants to be seen and engaged with. In other words, it’s a form of spiritual bypassing. (A quickie explanation of spiritual bypassing is  when we use spiritual/religious practices and beliefs to avoid the hard work of personal and evolutionary growth. Robert Augustus Masters has more recently written on the subject, since the term was coined in the early ’80s, and you can read his blog here).

In my personal healing work, it has always been through the pain, not around it, that has brought clarity and peace. The times I’ve either knowingly or unknowingly tried to bypass the work of healing have resulted in frustration and confusion and sometimes anger. The symptoms of imbalance get more pronounced.

When I agree to meet the symptoms of imbalance face-to-face, from my Heart, it might be uncomfortable at first, it might even be painful, but I also pass through a level of my study a stronger, more Heart-centered, more grounded person.

Most crystal resources present crystals as tools for spiritual bypassing, not healing. Have a headache? Carry Bustamite. Feeling blue? Carry a Lithium Quartz. Need a new job? Wear Citrine or create a citrine grid.

Not only that, these “need this, carry that” prescriptions are based on subjective, personal experience that’s been passed around long enough to have turned from “an experience” into “fact.” That’s happened with a lot of crystal lore that has been passed down through the ages as well. Not only are both of these resources highly subjective and too general (which limits our ability to fully work with them) but they are sometimes downright wrong depending on the individual seeking healing support.

Most of the time, Zina has much better luck choosing to work with a crystal intuitively yet she’s still wondering what more she can know about the crystal that is such a help to her. She wants to be more deeply connected to the mineral kingdom she so loves. Zina wants to understand crystals more deeply.

crystal healing

Cathedral Quartz – Pakistan

What exactly is crystal healing? 

Crystal healing is the practice of working with the intelligence (energy = information that vibrates) of the mineral kingdom to support us in our healing work and evolution. Crystal healing is energy medicine. We come into relationship with the energy of the mineral kingdom to find support as we do our healing work within.

This means that we have:
1. agreed to do our deep study, our deep healing work
2.already identified imbalances and areas that we need to pay attention to when we approach the crystal
3. taken responsibility for our healing and come into relationship with the crystal as an energetic ally.

Crystals are tools in our toolbag: ancient, powerful subtle tools from the Mineral Kingdom that deserve our utmost respect.

What relationship do crystals have to our subtle anatomy and healing? 

In crystal healing theory, of all the natural world, crystals emit the most stable vibration. Humans on the other hand have the least stable vibration. We take a cue from the concept of entrainment and, when applying the stronger, more stable vibration of the crystal into an aspect of our subtle anatomy (auric fields, etheric field, chakras) we suspect that the crystal’s stronger vibration guides the weaker vibration into resonance with itself.

How then, do we work with them from this different paradigm?

A key difference between the current, popular Rx approach to crystal healing and the crystal therapy approach outlined here has a lot to do with the level of personal responsibility someone believes they have in their healing work and how we each relate to the guides, tools, and teachers available to us. If we’re looking for a quick fix, a savior, a guru, dare I say a bypass…. the Rx model is the model that will be the most attractive to us. There is still a lot to be learned through that model. It’s where a lot of us start out.

If we understand that there is no quick fix or guru and that the work to heal comes from within, we can begin to relate to our external modalities, tools, and teachers in more authentic, deeper, richer ways.

Mineral Kingdom. I love that it’s called the Mineral Kingdom. Picture the Kingdom of Minerals in your mind’s eye. Who sits on the throne of this Kingdom and rules? Who are the lairds? (Yes, I’ve been reading too much Outlander). A world-renowned crystal author? A crystal healing teacher? A book? Or did you picture a crystal sitting on the throne of its kingdom? Crystals running the hamlets (mineral classes) and guiding the subjects?

In the library of this kingdom, do you see shelves lined with books written by people outside of the kingdom describing the Beings within the kingdom? I don’t. It doesn’t make sense. Autobiographies are so much more interesting than biographies. Why? Because I’d much rather hear from Shirley MacClaine herself about Shirley MacClaine’s life and experiences than I would anyone else who could only tell us how they interpret the life of Shirley MacClaine.

When I work with a crystal – the crystal is the guide: the teacher. I am the one doing the work, the digging of the well so to speak, and the crystal is the Director.

Every time I’ve tried to force a crystal into someone else’s box (X does Y) – everything goes radio silent. Crystals instruct me by “speaking” to me through the field of my Heart. Since I began to approach them based on what they tell me about themselves both physically as well as intuitively I have been able to work with them in deeper and more expansive ways than ever before. Confusion? Gone. Self-doubt? Gone. Lack of resonance? Gone. Before I found what I call the “Gienger Method,” I was frustrated by this feeling that I was missing some really important piece of the puzzle. That frustration is gone.

Crystal Power Crystal Healing, by Michael Gienger, teaches us that the crystal, through its own numerous physical aspects, tells us directly what its healing properties are. No middle man. No confusion. No generalities. When we understand what the physical aspects of the crystal are telling us about the subtle energetic aspects of the crystal, our work with them becomes more and more refined. We understand the various ways to work with crystals, why we’re working with them for a specific purpose or in a specific way, which crystals would work well together as an energetic ally with a singular purpose, and more. When we intuitively pick up a crystal, we do so understanding on a much deeper level what that crystal is offering to us.

crystal healingI encourage you to find Michael Gienger’s Crystal Power Crystal Healing if you’ve experienced the same kind of frustration Zina has had. It’s a required textbook when you register for the comprehensive, in-depth course that bridges crystal healing with the subtle energetic realm, the subtle energetic anatomy, personal healing, professional healing, and more. This course will not make you reliant on me. Its whole purpose is to empower you in your healing – personal and if applicable, professional. See more here: http://tanaschott.com/crystal-therapy-certification-course/

 

Protection and Shielding – part of our healing and evolution?

protection shielding Protection and Shielding – part of our healing and evolution?

“The words you speak become the house you live in.”
~ Hafiz
Words are incredible tools that reveal conscious and subconscious thought patterns. We carry these thoughts (forms of energy) around with us always, until we determine that the energy no longer serves us and we seek healing. Our thought fields are really subtle energetic manifestation generators. This means the words we choose to describe our experiences are important symbols.
I engage with people who are in the spiritual/metaphysical/healing (SMH) community-at-large and I read SMH blogs and articles. The SMH community is filled with people who express an authentic desire to help other people heal and to work on their own healing. They see this Earth and their life in it as a school of sorts, designed to provide opportunities for evolution.
Over the last few years, I’ve noticed one particular recurring theme that reveals a need to shift subconscious thought patterns so that we can more accurately convey to each other and to ourselves what we desire – which is our personal healing and the desire to help other people experience healing. Metaphysical-based healing talk can have a self-victimizing energy. Here I’m speaking specifically to the concepts of protection and shielding – a belief that we need to protect or shield ourselves from “negative” energy. Whenever we point outside of ourselves for how we feel, we dis-empower ourselves and we bypass our healing work. Blaming external sources for our discomfort subconsciously perpetuates the idea that we are not fully responsible for our lives and how we choose to experience them.
I do think much of this is subconscious because when I speak to other subtle energy workers or clients of subtle healing, no one says they don’t expect to take responsibility for their lives or that they are looking for “easy healing.” Many acknowledge that this experience of healing is not for the faint of heart. People are willing to do the work.
I think what has happened is that humanity has evolved but our language has not. I think our realization of Oneness has blossomed but we’re still using duality-based, tribal language. What once felt empowered now creates a defeated and passive energy because we haven’t updated our word processing software.
Let’s look at some examples:
“What crystals should I carry to protect me?”
“How can I protect myself from energy vampires?”
“How can I shield myself before going into a store/session/family gathering?”
When someone asks me how to protect or shield, I ask, “What do you believe you need to protect yourself/shield yourself from?” and, “Why or how does X feel threatening for you?” I want to help the person (and me) get clarity about exactly what they are seeking to change and why. Through discussions I come to understand that the real opportunity for each of us is to learn how to maintain our energy and space by knowing ourselves deeply and authentically. Usually the person isn’t seeking protection or shielding at all; especially when their overarching desire is to evolve and heal. Protection and shielding are separators and rely on a foundation of dualism. To learn and grow, we require integration – being fully present in the classroom with everything that is present.
Let’s talk about separation for a minute. People who work with subtle energy experience physical time/space and subtle time/space. Physical time/space – our 3-dimensional reality of time – yields birth and death, growth and decay, and is dualistic in nature. Separation abounds. Subtle time/space is Oneness. It is where everything nearly exists simultaneously in harmony. All options are available, popping in and out of existence at faster than light speed. There are variations on this theme, but this is the gist. Subtle time/space is where we do our work, the “place of understanding” from which we experience healing. It is everywhere and nowhere. We experience our lives in multiple dimensions simultaneously so paradox, which is “both/and” is natural. This is important in healing work.
In The Gift of the Body, Jonathan Goldman writes, “The heart is truthful and clear; it refuses polarization.” When we are living from our Heart space duality feels uncomfortable. That feeling of discomfort is a signal that we’re being given a choice to move from response to reaction, from Heart space to ego. Duality is firmly in physical time/space and we see it being lived out in the way people choose to live and view the world. It is perpetuated by philosophies such as nationalism, tribalism, and is found in religion. Humanity is slowly shifting from dualism to integration. But we’re in Redwood seedling stage and we’re still relying on old dualistic language to talk about integrative, Heart centered healing.
Protection and shielding are words that by their definitions create “us versus them” energy which is a dualistic approach to a situation perceived as a threat. It is a reactionary stance. Seeking protection or shielding indicates you need to defend against someone or something that can harm.
Think I’m being overly pedantic?  (It’s entirely possible. I was an English major who wanted to focus on Rhetoric. Because there are so many career opportunities for English majors with a concentration in Rhetoric). But just for grins, let’s imagine we are standing in a park. You are barefoot, feet in the grass, at peace, enjoying the view. Someone walks by and says to you: Protect yourself. How do your body and mind react to that phrase? Do you take a boxing stance? Think of all the exit strategies out of the park? Cower? Look around for a table to hide under? Panic and wish you had a weapon?
Shielding is the act of creating a barrier between a person and something else for the purpose of providing protection. Its definition is also defensive, creating a dualistic and reactionary attitude.
“Wait,” I can hear people saying. “Are you suggesting that we not protect ourselves? Are you suggesting we actually interact with that which we perceive as harmful?”
Buckle in because yes, that is what I am suggesting – most of the time and when we are feeling strong enough to engage. Why would I suggest such a thing? Because perceptions are not necessarily truth and we are rarely in actual danger. There are certainly experiences which can end life or severely cripple us in some capacity and no, I am not suggesting we run toward that. However, we need to ask ourselves, for the sake of Heart-centered healing, whether we truly require protection or if we are simply uncomfortableThere is a natural tendency to treat anything that makes us uncomfortable as a threat. But 99% of the time, it’s simply a natural state of growth. Learning and growing and healing are uncomfortable experiences. If we are comfortable all the time, we’re in stasis.
When people ask me how they can energetically protect themselves and I ask from whom/what? The answers are usually something along the lines of:
  • I don’t like how I feel when I go to someone’s house/a public place/etc.
  • A person really makes me uncomfortable and drains me of my energy.
  • I don’t trust the energy of that person/place/thing.
What I’m hearing is, “I feel uncomfortable, I don’t feel like I’m in control, and I don’t know how to process it.”
“I don’t like how I feel at…” is an example of not feeling sure how to stay firmly Heart centered and grounded no matter where I am at.
“A person really makes me uncomfortable and drains me of my energy…” is an example of not feeling sure how to stay firmly Heart centered while being clear about my boundaries.
“I don’t trust the energy of that person/place/thing (or the energy is really negative/evil)…” is an example of not feeling sure how to stay Heart centered and grounded in my truth no matter where I am or who I am with.
When we are willing to face what we fear or what makes us feel uncomfortable and work toward understanding it, our perception of it changes and we open ourselves up to healing and transformation. To approach something from the space of our Heart requires letting our guard down. If we’re healers and we’re shielding ourselves, how are we engaging with our clients’ energies? I know it can feel scary to feel other people’s stuff or unfamiliar energies. But we need to be willing to learn to discern between feeling scared of what actually helps us do our work, and feeling scared because we are actually in danger.
As a subtle energy worker, I don’t teach people shielding visualizations. I personally find the practice disempowering. That is my personal experience. I know it is a helpful practice for others and if you practice shielding and it is helpful – I’m not telling you to stop. I tried to learn how to shield for a couple of years after I was first told that I was an empath because it was what I was told to do. I felt frustrated and stopped trying to learn the technique when I realized that in order to heal I needed to be with what made me feel scared. For me, shielding (or attempting to) kept me in a state of fear of the unknown which was actually quite knowable and usually not at all scary once I came face to face with it. The energies that made me uncomfortable for so long just wanted to be seen. All I had to do was look and acknowledge it and the fear dissipated.
As a crystal therapy practitioner/teacher, I don’t recommend crystals for protection. I don’t view myself or others  requiring protection and in my practice, crystals are not worked with as talismans. Crystals are fantastic subtle energy tools for those who are sensitive to them. They offer much in the way of subtle energetic support when worked with for the highest good of all. In my practice crystals help us see ourselves more clearly, help us get in touch with our subtle anatomy, our emotions, mental processes, and spiritual development as well as offer energetic support as we work toward healing. Crystals can help us transmute unwanted energetic patterns, yes, but before we can work with a crystal for that purpose, we need to understand what we want to transmute and why. If you ask me, “What crystal would you recommend to me as I learn how to become less fearful,” I can help you with that with some discussion.
So, okay, you won’t recommend a crystal for helping me protect myself, and you don’t teach shielding exercises. So what do I do?
Creating healthy boundaries is about becoming familiar with your own energy, learning how to maintain Heart-centered groundedness, and being clear about what energies you are willing and ready to work with. When energy you don’t want to engage with arrives, you can say, “I see you. Not now,” without experiencing fear or self-doubt. It’s the difference between feeling fear and victimization, or being firm in one’s autonomy, willing to take responsibility for their experience of life. That’s what we focus on when I work with people.
Someone asked me, “What is the difference between setting a boundary and shielding?
When I visualize an energetic boundary, I see it as a wooden fence a little lower than shoulder height. Similar to the fences people erect to discern property boundaries. (This is my dance space. This is your dance space. Let’s cha-cha.) I can easily talk to my neighbors over the top of the fence. Sometimes I open the fence gate and invite them in for coffee, dinner or game night. Other neighbors who meander by are acknowledged from my Heart space, but are not invited in because I know that in that moment I’m not up for it and I am respecting myself by not engaging out of shame or guilt. But I see them and they see me. We smile at each other. There is still movement and interaction between me and what is on the other side of the fence.
When I was taught to shield, it involved visualizing being completely encompassed within a golden egg of light. I know there are variations on the theme, but this is what I was taught and when I couple that with what I envision when I hear the word shield: I see myself crouching behind a big metal plate, sword drawn – it just doesn’t feel fluid enough for me. To me, shielding feels defensive and carries an energy of survival – it’s either it or me. While setting a boundary feels both/and to me. I’m still available for engagement with whoever comes along if I decide I am up for it, and I’m also responsible for how I choose to engage and for how long. Again – that might feel pedantic to some. That’s okay. My point is – are we being defensive or open? Are we honoring ourselves without shutting down or shutting out?
This is a lifelong process and we can expect to change our boundaries to accommodate new findings and growth. For the person who desires to heal – there is no getting around the work. It involves learning to be honest, vulnerable, living with integrity and in your truth. Regardless from where or how the work arrives – it often involves feeling uncomfortable and even sometimes existentially scared. But we are not alone in this work. We have each other and if we are willing to be vulnerable with trusted fellow journeyers and honest with ourselves, the experiences of this life can be infinite and expanding in ways we can’t even imagine.
In gratitude and Love, Tana

Crystal Healing and Citrine

Choosing and Working with Citrine in Subtle Healing

 Natural Citrine is difficult to find these days and when one does find it, it is usually quite expensive. Most of what is sold as Citrine in metaphysical and crystal shops is actually heat-treated amethyst. These heat-treated amethysts should not be as expensive as naturally occurring Citrine because amethyst is an abundant crystal and the treatment is not expensive. Additionally, I would assume that unless a piece is labeled as “natural” that it is not – so buyer beware.

Amethyst gets its color from iron – Fe2 or Fe4. Michael Gienger gives the exact same chemical composition for Amethyst as he does Citrine, noting that the difference is in how many valences the iron is lodged within the crystal lattice. Because the chemical composition of Amethyst and Citrine is the same, I personally do not have a problem working with a baked amethyst as a Citrine piece. The process of Amethyst changing to Citrine is the same whether it happens naturally in the earth or by human hands in an oven: it requires heating.

But what is Citrine when it is found and sold as a naturally occurring crystal? If you do a message board search in www.mindat.org, you’ll notice that there are on-going debates about what exactly counts as Citrine: which trace element included in the SiO2 changes Quartz to Citrine Quartz (Al or Fe3+?), and how exactly it is included into the atomic structure of the Quartz. What we realize is that among mineral collectors of all stripes, what counts as “true” Citrine is debatable and on numerous levels.

So is all yellow Quartz Citrine? Some say yes, so long as the Quartz is not made yellow by an external iron dusting. Others say no – that there are more qualifiers that must be met.

Does it matter?

For crystal healing therapists: does it matter if we are working with yellow Quartz or Citrine? In recent years within the crystal healing community, naming has become quite important – so important that some have created trademarks on the names given. I sometimes wonder if this focus on nomenclature might sideline our personal and practical progress toward healing our Selves and helping others to heal. When we work with a crystal, are we working with it because of what someone else calls it? Or are we working with it because of the subtle energies we sense? Does the name determine those subtle energies present, or does the crystal itself declare its purpose?

In the crystal therapy world, color is a big deal because chakras each have their own color assignment which correlates to the visible spectrum of light: ROYGBIV – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Crystals are essentially Light information. One of the ways (there is more than one way) this information from a crystal is organized and conveyed (its purpose being declared) is through its color. (Recommended: What is Light? by Jonathan Goldman of The Essential Light Institute.)

Yellow is the color ray of the Solar Plexus Chakra. This is the chakra where the energies of destiny, personal will, emotional baggage, fear, Who Am I questions, ego, and personal health tend to reside. When this chakra is imbalanced – more specifically, underactive, the color yellow can be applied with the intention of boosting that energy – re-reminding that chakra of its role in a healthy, balanced state.

Crystal Therapy Practitioners turn to yellow crystals to help clients in a type of color therapy. Can we work with any yellow crystal to help bolster the solar plexus chakra’s energies? Sure. So in one respect, it doesn’t matter if we’re working with yellow Quartz or Citrine. However, we could get a little more refined in our approach.

 Let’s get refined

Consider what yellow Quartz is: SiO2 with impurities in the atomic structure and according to the mindat.org thread on the topic, these impurities could be from Aluminum (Al) or Iron (Fe). What subtle energies are carried in the elements Aluminum and Iron? This is when I turn to Michael Gienger’s book, Crystal Power Crystal Healing. (When we look up the roles each element plays in the realm of biology and physics, we begin to understand the connections being made on the subtle energetic level between elements and our subtle well-being.)

Gienger assigns the following properties to Aluminum (Al):

  • Calming effect on nervousness, fears, and feelings of guilt
  • Encourages the expression of feelings and releasing of behavioral patterns of holding back and holding onto things

To Iron (Fe), Gienger assigns the following properties:

  • Stimulating, activating effect
  • Encourages activity, initiative, dynamism, endurance, willpower, the ability to assert ourselves and more

We can see how, based on the subtle energetic roles of the Solar Plexus Chakra, either Aluminum or Iron could be helpful aids in reestablishing a healthy, balanced Solar Plexus depending on the unique situation and needs of the client.

I’m not a geologist – how would I know what elements are present in my yellow Quartz?

If your approach to crystal therapy is like mine, it is ideal to purchase a crystal knowing its chemical composition. This is why I prefer to purchase crystals from rockhounders, mineralogists, mineral hobbyists, and geologists. I purchase crystals from reputable, knowledgeable metaphysical dealers too. Of course, sometimes I purchase a crystal from someone who does not know the chemical composition and I can do some mineral testing or I simply can’t know for sure what I am working with. In those cases, other energies are drawing me to work with the crystal and I don’t have to know the elements present – it’s not important.

Just as we can get caught up in nomenclature, so too can we get caught up with any other aspect of a crystal, including chemical composition – sidestepping our personal healing by getting distracted. If we can’t know, we can’t know. When we can know – we work with that knowledge to help us refine our art.

 A baked Citrine druse:

citrine and subtle healing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A natural Citrine point, likely from Zambia:

citrine and subtle healing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Not Citrine. This is a “golden healer” or yellow Quartz from Arkansas:

citrine and subtle healing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Citrine cluster from DRC (Congo):
citrine and subtle healing

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information about my Private Practice and Crystal Therapy Course offerings, please visit www.tanaschott.com

© Copyright, All Rights Reserved, Elemental Healing Arts & Training, LLC 2015

What’s so great about Black Tourmaline?

Why do so many people talk about Black Tourmaline being important? For many, it’s THE go-to crystal for grounding, earthing, protecting. Why might that be?

Black TourmalineTourmaline is both pyroelectric (generates a charge when heated) and piezoelectric (generates a charge with applied pressure). These qualities are notable in subtle energetic healing practices when we wish to transmute energies that no longer serve. There are well over 4,000 named minerals on planet Earth. Of those, only a handful of common minerals are both piezo- and pyro-electric.

Black Tourmaline is a basic sodium iron aluminum boro-silicate. The primary elements in Black Tourmaline are Na (Sodium) and Fe (Iron). Iron is believed to make up 80% of the Earth’s core and has magnetic properties providing us that grounding energy we sometimes need when we haven’t spent enough time in nature, away from electronics, or when we’ve spent too much time inside our heads. Sodium and boron are known for their cleansing, protective properties giving us the support to transmute energy which no longer serves.

Fun fact: both Sodium and Iron are found in the stars and the Sun.

Black Tourmaline can be found in both igneous and metamorphic rocks. Igneous formation is, simply put, liquid turning into a solid. Sometimes our energy is like uncontained liquid – all over the place. Igneous formations carry an energy of regrouping and reorganizing into a productive form. Metamorphic rocks – nothing remains as it was before. Sometimes we need change – transformation – and with that transformation comes pressure. Black Tourmaline offers a reminder that it is entirely possible to survive major pressure and transformation.

© Copyright, All Rights Reserved, Elemental Healing Arts & Training, LLC 2015