philosophy, spirituality

Frustrations at the magyikal rock shop

Yeah. So you know I did go back to the rock shop today. Kinda embarrassed to meet the same salesperson as helped me last time. While there I touched a lot of stuff, looked over a lot of crystals, with no time limit. Of course, both M and D got tired and went to sit in the car while I made my selections.

This…I don’t know exactly why I do this. Actually, I do. I have a little Raven in me and get attracted to little sparklies that are supposed to be magic. I’ve also decided that if I’m going to be investing in things to make me feel like I have something, I should make sure it isn’t just colored glass. (Synthetic materials have different energetic profiles than actual stones, at least according to what I can feel.)

I did come away with a number of little colored stones. Unfortunately, one of these was Stibnite. At least, I think so. Stibnite, I found upon later research, is the same thing as Antimony Trisulfide. The primary ore of the metalloid Antimony. Antimony is toxic.

[[EDIT, 8-20-2019: I have since remembered the actual name of this material, and looked it up online. The material is “Shungite,” a carbon-bearing stone, not “Stibnite,” an antimony-bearing stone. Many apologies to the people who run this store! See more details in today’s post. I am leaving the rest of this post as-is to be honest about my folly.]]

Of course, there was a book at that store talking about how Stibnite (if I’m recalling correctly) was mostly carbon, and how to make potions using it (which I assume would be consumed internally; though I didn’t read that far into it, honestly).

I am wondering about the publisher of that book, now, or if there was an ulterior motive to selling it other than driving sales of Stibnite (most of which comes from China, I found on my Web searches). Of course, I’m also wondering if I really saw what I remember seeing, because that was utterly false and dangerous information. It’s also causing me to wonder whether that shop is on the level ethically; or whether the people running it just don’t know what they’re doing, or anything about chemistry or basic research.

And I wish I didn’t have to say that, but looking up “Stibnite toxicity” on Google — at least with my search history (your search history on Google alters your future search results, unfortunately) — comes up with a ton of sites on the first search, saying how highly toxic it is.

Yeah, so given that I was rubbing it on my fingers like graphite (because I thought, at the time, that it was like graphite — and it has a Mohs hardness of 2)…I’m not too cool with that, right now.

The bright spot is having a bunch of other crystals which are beautiful and which I may be able to use in the future, where it comes to meditation. I think. It’s been so long since I’ve done this that I can’t exactly remember how to properly use them.

My project had been envisioned to broadcast energy of healing and strength, roughly. Kind of like a metta meditation, but not Buddhist. Negative emotions are pretty much inevitable; falling victim to them, isn’t. In my mind, life can’t all be Heaven all the time, but we can keep it from becoming Hell.

I am having a little bit of solipsism driving me, as well: the idea that there’s a reason I’m looking out through this particular experience at this particular time — and is it because I’m supposed to do something?

Letting go of organized religion, that is, and not forcing myself to pretend to believe what a group believes, has left me with a sense of the positivity of my own resting space.

Life is a mystery…and even more mysterious when I stop trying to force obviously untrue explanations on it. I have not, however, gone to the point of disbelieving any non-naturalistic explanation, as that requires me to abstain from the possibility of affirming an explanation which might be plausible. (Just because some spiritual explanations are implausible, that doesn’t mean all are.)

I have more to say, but my medications are kicking in, and I’m not going to be able to think on this level for much longer.

As a note to myself, though: that light-colored blue stone (not gem quality) is rough Aquamarine. I know I’ll forget this if I don’t say that. The tiny green stone is a green Garnet — probably Grossular or Demantoid, though something called “Uvarovite” I remember from my book, which can be green. The “massive” (not by size, but manner of formation) blue-green stone in black matrix that looks like Turquoise, is Emerald; and the dark pink stone is Rhodochrosite. Everything else, I should be able to identify easily.

I should also mention that I did go to a bookstore today, and am somewhat surprised at all the dark magic books. Seriously? Coming from a life experience where I had to deal with dark emotions for a fairly long time, I can see it as a developmental step on the way to positivity…but in my case, it wasn’t a place to stay. It’s hard to believe in yourself, that is, when you think or know you’re wrong or lost. What I did read was not…something I could tolerate for long, or something I would go back to.

Of course, “dark” may basically mean, “not Llewellyn brand”, but I haven’t been deep enough into that particular scene, to know.

creativity, spirituality

Metaphysics and mineral collections

Earlier this week, D and I dropped by a local mineral shop. I picked up a gorgeous little pyrite and an agate sphere which looks like a planet. Today, I took the minerals off of the windowsill where they had been clearing in the sunlight, and got back into the box I have of little mineral specimens. That, in turn…has gone ignored for months, on the altar table which has also gone ignored, for months.

It’s been a while since I’ve dealt with minerals — especially, openly with the metaphysical properties of minerals. Although I hesitate to ascribe official meanings to minerals, stones, and crystals, I definitely feel a connection to certain specimens of certain stones. I’ve also felt those connections change. Whether that’s truly one-sided or vibrational resonance or what, I’m not entirely able to say.

Anyhow — the last time I dealt with people taking metaphysical properties of crystals seriously, it was in Hawaii (at a bead store which mostly sold gemstones). Historically, I’ve hesitated to ascribe metaphysical properties to my beadwork, as they’re unproven and generally taken on a basis of belief (or as selling points). The suspicion that metaphysical properties of gems are an economic ruse to generate perceived value; ecological concerns; and cost concerns; have been reasons I haven’t updated my stone collection (or my semiprecious bead collection) recently. Before this week.

It is a fact, however, that some stones do cause a primal response in me. I wouldn’t trust that I could untangle what all of these are, however; or whether any of them were more than subjective.

At one time I had an encyclopedic text called Love Is In the Earth (which has many additional pieces that go with it, which I never obtained) — this went over metaphysical mineral associations and/or properties. I must have sold it, however: I have not seen it on any of the bookshelves I’ve checked tonight.

What’s weird and/or interesting is that when I went into the box that contains my mineral samples, things felt different than usual. It’s like they cleaned themselves. Like they’re ready for me to feel them in my hand again. I’m thinking that it may have to do with my own clarity…

In particular, I have a wand that I bought maybe a decade ago, which I never used: both because of not being able to find a tradition I connected with in which I could use it, and because it just really did not seem to conduct my energy very well. I have two wands. One is alder wood with a quartz point; the other is pewter with a lead-crystal point. Whereas before, the alder wood felt active to me (like an extension of myself) and the pewter wand felt like a piece of tubing, I’m getting a feeling of conductivity from the pewter, now.

Could be nostalgia, or it could be something else.

I do think that it’s appropriate that it’s a Fire wand. I believe Alder is connected with Water. Of course, the four-element association is not universal (the Alder wand in particular may be given meaning by Druid tradition, if memory serves); but I’m thinking that I could take the best elements of the Fire that helped me through a dark time in my life (the will to live), and move forward that way, guided by myself and not so much by pre-established paths which don’t fit me.

Of course, now I’m sounding like a Chaos Mage, although I know not to randomly and constantly wish for stuff from the Cosmos, which is what the few Chaos Mages I’ve known (when I was about 25) seem to have been into.

I wonder if Chaos Magick is still a thing. Even when I was investigating it, they were shifting further underground…

I suppose Liber Null and Psychonaut (a foundational text for Chaos Magick) actually is here.

Not to mention that there are useful ends to wish for, at this point in history. Like, non-selfish ends. I mean, I shouldn’t consider casting self-crafted healing spells for the planet and its life and peoples to be offhand a waste of time (because I don’t know)…and it could help give me some self-guided spiritual direction.

That was what I saw in the little agate sphere…a reminder of the preciousness of this planet. Now I have three planet-looking spheres: a Rose Quartz, the Agate, and a black fiberoptic sphere which looks like a Gas Giant. (It was something my sibling bought online because it was advertised as “Black Materia” from Final Fantasy VII and we were silly that way. Of course, the Black Materia was actually a pyramid, but don’t tell anybody.)

I also feel the need to mention the fact that I’m reading a book right now which is trying to scientifically quantify a lack of empathy, which the author sees to be at times (though not all the time) associated with the capability for cruelty (not all the time, at least because one can have a lack of empathy and still wish harm on no one). I’m not sure what I think about it, yet, though after I get through with it — if I see it to hold water — I should post on it a bit.

Hmm. Then, there’s that whole Lightworker thing…which I mention because…a certain neural network just fired and it’s making me think it’s relevant. (I accidentally picked up a self-published Lightworker book also about a decade ago, without which I’d have little ground to even know what I am meaning, right now.) The point of Ascension (or failure to Ascend) just seems to be getting very much closer, and the stakes are getting higher.

I’ll keep the rest of what I have, on that…

beading, beadwork, craft, jewelry design

After all that…

It’s been a long time, and I’m feeling the need to get back to my jewelry and lace work.

I still haven’t gotten around to making that goldtone and freshwater pearl necklace, though I have all the materials. It’s something to think about, at least — if not work on. (Why not work on them? I have to decide whether to use brass or gold-fill wire…this is 26 or 28 gauge, not plated very thoroughly, in the case of the gold; and I can’t expect the working properties between the metals to be the same.)

The major issues are the possibility of running out of the gold-fill wire and of forgetting which type I got last time; and of finding that my pearls aren’t all drilled (or shaped) correctly. The latter would mean I might have to thin them out. It doesn’t help that, because of the fineness of the chain I purchased, I have to attach the drops integrally, in the process of making them. Standard jump rings just won’t fit inside the links.

Right now I also have a strand of button pearls, with which I’m not sure what to do. I was thinking of interspersing them with the woven drops. It would be easier if they drilled them lengthwise, like maybe with two horizontal piercings, instead of drilling them vertically from top to bottom. Button pearls, basically, are shaped like little mounds, with one flat side. They’re a relative design challenge because of it, although if they were drilled like “Candy” beads (two parallel holes along the base, cabochon-shaped), it would be fine.

Well, most anything could be a design challenge, if one thought hard enough, I suppose…(“Let’s make something that doesn’t look like anything that came before!”)

The bright side of having them, though, is that they’re relatively inexpensive, so I could afford a good luster — even if they are cream as versus white. (I get happy with a good rainbow sheen…which was a reason I often went to my local bead store to pick out individual strands of pearls. [That particular store, however, no longer exists.])

I still have to go through and cull the dull ones out, though. To be honest, I’m not sure how many of the ones on the strand I have, are usable. Just…natural things happen to them, which sometimes makes them not look so good. If you’ve seen the various insides of shells, like from mussels or clams…you probably know what I mean. Sometimes they just look marred, for reasons I can’t imagine.

I also have to keep myself from buying these, at bead conventions. There are often a lot of pearls, and the good ones — like the iridescent ones (along with some of the not-so-good ones) — often cost a decent amount, per-strand. Pearls are also some of the hardest things I could work with…they’re not as regular as seed beads or calibrated beads, and they kind of demand that whatever goes with them, not be so humble as to allow the pearls to outshine them. This means that pearl jewelry…it can get expensive, quickly.

I guess from a sales perspective, that means you get back your investment. But pearls are basically gems, just organic ones. Gemstone jewelry isn’t cheap, in most cases (unless you’re working with very small quantities, as with earrings, or you’re using an abundant or inexpensive material, like hematite).

It’s been a really long time since I did any macramé, as well. It’s not that I don’t want to do it; it’s that my materials are hidden, stashed away in drawers, so I don’t think about working with them, so much. The hard part is when they become hidden in plain sight, so you see their container every day, and just don’t think to look inside. (Now that I mention that, I remember the tatting shuttle on my nightstand…I’m concerned that it will become like my knitting and crochet, and be too repetitive for me to avoid feeling like I’m wasting my life. But I’ll give it a shot.)

Along with all this, I’ve continued experimenting with the Tri Stitch chains. Apparently, I can fit a 4mm fire-polished (FP) bead into each gap on either side of the chain, and it will lay flat…though I haven’t measured the exact length of those “4mm” beads. My major issue at this point is the fact that those 4mm FP beads are too wide to fit in between a Tri Stitch lattice (also that the lattice looks cheap next to them, depending on the beads I use).

However…what I did before with a 3mm Magatama drop, between two 15° Toho spacers? That…might work! Of course, it would turn the Magatama vertical, so that it would stand out of the fabric instead of dropping to one side, but that may be enough leeway to allow the bracelet some motion. It would also add texture.

And, of course, as I saw before…not all of those drop beads are the same size. So I also have some leeway, there. It would…just be kind of nice, though, to know who made those beads…not every supplier divulges their sources (sometimes, intentionally).

And…yeah, it’s…now 2 AM here. I…should go to bed…