Most of us are familiar with obsidian from its use in arrowheads and other early tools, but few know where to find the material or how it is made. Obsidian is a type of igneous rock, which is created when magma or lava is cooled. Unlike many other igneous rocks, obsidian is a glass, created when lava cools quickly and doesn’t allow for crystal growth.
The absence of crystal allows artisans to hone obsidian to an extremely sharp edge, which made it ideal for early projectiles, blades and other tools. Today, obsidian is rarely used for pragmatic purposes. Most obsidian products are now simply for aesthetics, such as an obsidian sphere or points
For as long as I can remember, I have been enamored with geodes and minerals. There is something miraculous in the fact that these exquisite materials are forged within the earth. As the second most abundant mineral in the Earth’s crust, quartz is utilized in a variety of ways today.
My affinity for minerals has given birth to an extensive collection of jewelry and other collectibles. One of my prized pieces is a crystal quartz pyramid that I got on vacation in the Middle East. The pyramid is beautiful by itself, but when it refracts light, it creates a kaleidoscope of incandescent coloring that astounds me.
As the second plentiful mineral in the Earth’s crust, we are constantly surrounded by quartz. There are dozens of varieties of quartz, including some that are semi-precious gemstones. One of the most commonly encountered forms of this abundant mineral is rose quartz.
Due to its cloudy appearance, rose quartz is rarely used as a gemstone in jewelry. Instead, you can find rose quartz used in an assortment of other products—from simple rose quartz sphere to elaborate figurines and carvings. Rose quartz’s color also lends itself well to heart shaped carving and pendants. It is believed that the mineral gets its red coloring from titanium, iron or other trace minerals.
In my opinion, fools gold looks absolutely nothing like the real thing, which is probably how it got its name. The scientific name for fools gold is iron pyrite, which is an iron sulfide. Although its name is widespread today, the mineral’s uses are somewhat limited.
Centuries ago, fools gold was used as ignition in firearms, but that use has long been antiquated. In the early 20th century, iron pyrite was used in radio receivers, although the vacuum tube eventually overtook it. There is some hope for a pragmatic use of fools gold however; researchers are experimenting with the mineral to see if the cost efficient material can be utilized in photovoltaic solar panels.
In chemistry, mineralogy and materials science, a crystal is a solid in which the constituent atoms, molecules or ions are packed in a regularly ordered, repeating pattern extending in all three spatial dimensions. The word crystal is derived from the ancient Greek word krustallos, which had the same meaning, but according to the ancient understanding of crystal. At root, it means anything congealed by freezing, such as ice. The word once referred particularly to quartz, or “rock crystal”.
Most metals encountered in everyday life are polycrystals. Crystals are often symmetrically grown to form crystal twins. There are numerous applications of crystals, including jewelry and home décor figures. In my home I keep a collection of exquisite quartz crystal points on the mantel.
There’s nothing quite as hectic and exciting as working in the world of theater. The preparation that goes into any given play is tremendous, both on the individual and group level. Before the curtain ever rises on opening night, there has already been days upon days of work, preparation, and dedication that have gone into the production. Especially if you work behind the scenes on costume, set, or prop design, you don’t have to worry so much about onstage jitters, but you do have that opening night anxiety as you see the fruits of your labor displayed and used onstage.
If you’re looking to put together a play at your local community center, high school, or even your own backyard, you have an amazing selection of tried and true favorites to choose from. One of the most celebrated and often performed plays is Shakespeare’s Hamlet. And if you decide to tackle this challenging and moving play, remember that props and sets can make all the difference. For Hamlet specifically, the most important prop is the skull used in the famous graveyard scene. Every audience member will be waiting for that skull, so make sure you have something special on hand. In my high school production, we invested in a set crystal skulls to help make the climatic scene more dramatic.
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula comprises the vast swath of land east of Wisconsin and north of the Mackinac Bridge. This proud region was once home to a booming mining industry, although most of the copper and iron mines have closed down. Logging and tourism now make up the framework of the local economy, but reminders of the U.P.’s rich mining heritage still abound. It’s apparent in a few of the town names: Iron Mountain, Copper Harbor; and the daily newspaper in Houghton, called the Mining Gazette.
The Upper Peninsula’s soil is still littered with copper nuggets – small pieces of raw material that bring to mind a distant time and way of life. Hobbyists like to collect, polish and display these copper deposits, whether or not they’ve ever been lucky enough to visit Michigan’s northern reaches.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009@ 2:25 PM
In a dark and quiet room light one or two candles. Place your crystal ball or other favorite meditation crystal on a table in front of you. ( My favorite is an all natural quartz crystal ball filled with wonderful inclusions and a few rainbows.) Burning incense is sometimes helpful for setting the mood. I use a wood scent. Sandlewood, cedar wood, etc.
Relax, gaze into the crystal. Try not to blink. Slowly take deep breaths in and out while gazing deeply. You should feel a sense of calm and peacefulness. At this point, gaze steadly for 15 minutes. You may increase your time by 5 minutes every new session until you reach 30 minutes or so.
You might see a fluffy cloud forming in the center of your crystal. This is your “focusing area” where your visions will appear. You may or may not get a vision on your first try. For some it might take several sessions. Always relax and don’t force anything. Whether you receive a vision or not this is always an excellent relaxing and stress reducing exercise.
Saturday, September 19, 2009@ 5:16 PM
A very special friend was involved in an extremely toxic relationship. He knew it was destructive, but he was unable to make the permanent break. When he asked for our help we immediately cleansed and charged a tumbled unikite stone and a rutilated quartz crystal. We added these to a special powerful crystal point and gave them to him.
Unikite is a moss green and salmon pink composite rock. It enhances personal power and the ability to completely take charge of your own life. It helps ensure that you will be the guardian of your own fate and not be taken over by someone else. Rutilated Quartz and Tourmalinated quartz have the same energy. It helps you become more discriminating about who or what one allows to be of impact.
It has been rough, but the bad relationship is finally over! He has met a new lady ( also out of a bad relationship ) and slowly they are healing together. Never underestimate the power of the crystal.
Thursday, September 10, 2009@ 5:00 PM
The origin of birthstones actually can be traced back about 6,000 years to Moses wandering in the desert. Every tribe of Israel, and there were twelve of them, had a different stone represented in the Hosen or breastplate of Aaron.
The stones were: (Stones will change according to what translation of the bible you use)
Carnelion /Ruby Reuben Symbol of love and marriage; aids conception, pregnancy and birth
Peridot Simeon Brings blessing of joy and abundance to your life
Emerald Levi Symbol of generosity, modesty and kindness
Turquoise Judah Leads to success in business affairs
Lapis Lazuli Issachar Symbol of honesty and clarity of thought
Quartz Zebulon Bestows strength; symbolizes purity and the love of truth
Jacinth/Topaz Dan Stimulates creativity; brings on to self-fulfillment
Agate Naphtali Has a special calming effect
Amethyst Gad Symbol of spiritual strength; guards against negative energies
Chrysolite Asher Purifies both body and soul; brings inner peace
Onyx Joseph Strengthens one’s courage and self-control
Jasper Benjamin Bestows physical strength; raises self-esteem
Years of study, argument, reasoning and all sorts of questioning has gone into the meaning of the stones. Then when you realize that according to scriptures this is just the tip of the use of semi-precious stones and other stones we have no idea what they were, well, it is fascinating.
In the meantime, the above list just might give you some kind of idea why that piece of Onyx on the mantle really seems to do something for you and or why that Emerald just seems “right” on your hand.
This article contributed by a dear friend. Thank you Kelly