This is simbircite. It is a gemstone formed from ancient ammonite fossils from Simbirsk, Russia. It's a combination of pyrite, aragonite, quartz, and calcite, and it has a beautiful, warm energy. I love the open pyrite chambers and the incredible warmth of the golden calcite. It combines the quality of all of these gemstones, and also brings with it warmth, happiness, and a deeply spiritual energy supporting self-esteem, creativity, and personal growth.
I've started writing a series of articles for LoveToKnow outlining the symbolism and meanings associated with the major arcana tarot cards from the Latin Tarot (Rider-Waite-Smith).
The tarot was originally designed as playing cards with four suits (wands, swords, cups, and pentacles) and a trump suit. In game play, the major arcana cards are the trump suit. In tarot readings they represent archetypal energies, and their presence in a spread suggests something the querent should pay careful attention to.
Quickly before I get to the major arcana cards, understand that even the suit cards are significant. They have numerological associations, imagery rich with symbolism, and each of the suits represents a classical element and an aspect of life.
If you're looking for crystals that will help you grow and change quickly, I recommend specific cuts (called Vogel crystals) developed by IBM research scientist Marcel Vogel. He held multiple patents for IBM and specialized in magnetics and liquid crystal systems.
Vogel's earliest research in the 1950s was dedicated to the energy interactions between humans and plants, measuring how plants responded to his own thoughts about them. From those studies, he reached the conclusion plants stored and responded to the energy of human thought, which led him to the realization the energy the plants most favorably responded to was love.
In the 1970s, Vogel began researching the energy of crystals cut in specific shapes and how the vibrations of those crystals could affect the vibration of the subtle body (energy system of living beings). In his research, he also studied how crystals affected water, noting the water behaved differently in their presence.
After retiring from IBM in the 1980s, Vogel formed his own lab, Psychic Research, Inc., where he dedicated his time to studying energy anatomy and crystals. His work focused on quartz crystals - primarily clear quartz - and he discovered how certain sacred geometric shapes and cuts affected the crystals' energy more strongly. He also did research demonstrating that when liquid crystals were cooling and solidifying, focus and thoughts could affect the shape of the crystal's lattice structure.
Vogel further explained that crystals, which grow from a single seed cell, contain all of the information necessary to continue crystal growth. When the crystal is fully formed, the intelligence matrix it contains from the original seed cell goes dormant and remains so until human interaction and intent reignites the intelligence of that matrix. Then, it interacts with subtle vibratory fields associated with living beings - in other words, with your energy anatomy. Likewise, science shows crystals can store information that can be retrieved and reactivated. So, Vogel viewed the crystal matrix as a way to store, retrieve, and transfer the energy of intent, thought, and creation.
During his research, Vogel start to experiment with faceting quartz and other crystals in specific, mathematically precise designs that reflected the mathematics and proportions of sacred geometry. He discovered that with precise faceting of the crystals, they developed powerful intentional energies that could affect the vibrational energy of living beings. He developed designs based on the Tree of Life (as in the wand above), the Star of David, and other shapes.
Vogel's faceting of crystals was highly precise and after his death, only a few (three) of his students continue the work in the manner Vogel prescribed. Each crystal must be cut on a certain axis (the C axis) with specific angles for each of the facets and tips. Very few people carry on his legacy of crystal cutting. Vogel crystals are hand-cut from natural quartz and some of its derivatives (such as citrine or smoky quartz) according to precise measurements, and they have a very powerful energy.
You will find wands cut according to Vogel's precise specifications are powerful tools. They are not inexpensive, and there are many faceted wands that are called Vogel style but lack the precision necessary to be a Vogel wand as there are three people in the world cutting them. Three places that sell authentic Vogel crystals include Luminary Studios, VogelCrystals.net, and Crystal Wings.
Properly cut Vogel wands have intense energy that can help focus healing energy. The number of facets (ranging from six to 38) determines the type of energy the cut brings, amplifies, and works with.
Tools for Evolution jewelry is also designed based on the principles developed by Marcel Vogel. These powerful tools have been transformational in my experience, and for many others, as well. The jewelry manufacturer uses the precise cuts, but with a number of crystals besides quartz, and they also have a powerful and sacred energy that can bring about change and transformation quickly.
I have worked with both the Vogel wand and the Tools for Evolution. They provide tremendous clarity and are highly transformative. I wear my Tools all the time, and I work with my wand in meditation and healing. To be honest, I almost don't want to put the wand down it is so powerful.
I believe Vogel crystals (and Tools for Evolution), like all crystals, choose you. Each is created for a specific individual, and the information about to whom they are to eventually come is stored inside of them. They come into your life when you need them, and they are there for as long as they can serve your growth and evolution. If you feel drawn to them, it may be that is because there is a Vogel crystal with your energy stored in it, just waiting for you to come along so it can choose you.
I'm sitting here feeling high as a kite as I've finished my Sunday morning ritual. It starts with brushing my teeth and feeding the dogs and cat because some things just can't wait. But once that task is taken care of, I engage in another Sunday morning ritual. First, I cleanse all of my crystals using sound, smudging, incense, or whatever feels right to me in the morning. I do a general cleansing as well, walking through at least the parts of the house where Jim isn't sleeping and cleansing with sound, smoke, or Reiki. As I do, this, I give thanks to all of the objects and beings that support my life, from the couches and chairs I sit on to the foods in my refrigerator to the plants that clean my air to the Feng shui objects that support positive flow of chi throughout my space.
Once I feel satisfied with this task, I bring any burning incense, palo santo, or herbs I might be using with me (notice in this picture it's in a small jar of clear crystals), I put a few drops of my favorite aromatherapy scent on my diffuser stone, and I sit down. I cleanse any crystals I am wearing with smoke or sound, cleanse the coins I will use for my I Ching, and then I cast the coins for my daily I Ching reading. The reading becomes the point of focus for my meditation that follows. I sit with my hands in Gassho (a Reiki meditation technique), reflect on the 5 principles of Reiki, and then hold a stone (sometimes - this morning I used a smoky quartz with rutile Vogel wand) in my receiving hand while I place my giving hand on my heart chakra to channel Reiki energy to it. Then, when I feel peaceful and centered, I meditate on my I Ching message, visualize things I choose for my life, spend some time on gratitude, and eventually open my eyes and start my day. The whole process takes about 30 to 60 minutes, which is why it's a Sunday morning ritual. But it's an important one to me, and it sends me into the week to come feeling balanced, peaceful, and in a centered place where I can move forward with a spiritual focus.
On weekdays, ritual is still part of my mornings. First thing every morning I (feed my dogs - always feed the dogs) cast my coins and reflect on my I Ching message, reflect on the five principles of Reiki, sometimes do crystal work, meditate, visualize, and reflect before I start my day. When it feels appropriate, I may cleanse any crystals that have been working hard for me, as well. I have a night-time ritual, too. I quiet my mind, reflect on the principles of Reiki, reflect on gratitude, maybe toss in some visualization if I think I can do it without falling asleep, and I always end the day requesting the universe, "Tell me what I need to know" so any information that isn't coming in consciously can enter as I dream.
Participating in rituals gives me a quiet semi-private (as private as it can be with dogs and cats everywhere) moment in which to center and focus on what is truly important to me, and it helps me set intentions for each day so I can walk through them as gently, compassionately, purposefully, and equanimously as possible.
Rituals can be simple or they can be involved. I've developed most of mine intuitively over the years, seeking what makes me feel connected and full. When I feel I need something a little different, I pay attention to what my spirit urges and toss that in. My rituals are ever evolving as I grow and change. And I encourage you to develop your own rituals as well. They don't have to be involved - just a minute or two of focus can help you re-center. So if you feel called to do try something, whether it's burning an herb, chanting a mantra, doing chakra work, or meditating with a crystal, welcome that and make it part of your life. Listen always to the calling of your soul. Take the time to tune in and allow what your higher self has to tell you. Ritual makes this possible and provides a space where the Divine part of you always knows it can connect to help you move forward on your life's path.
This is less of a blog and more a series of links. If you're interested in feng shui and space energetics, here's a list of articles I've written for LoveToKnow. They offer a decent primer on some of the principles of feng shui. I'll add to it as I write more.
What Is Feng Shui Decorating?
Feng Shui Metal Element
Feng Shui Water Element
Feng Shui Wood Element
Feng Shui Fire Element
Feng Shui Earth Element
Feng Shui Plants
Feng Shui Paintings
Feng Shui Money Corner
Bad Luck in Feng Shui
I love plants and the energy they bring to a home, and I also really like what they do for a home's air quality and just making it feel more...homey. But I'll tell you a secret. I have well-earned a reputation among certain members of my family as a plant serial killer. I love plants, but my efforts at cultivating and caring for them haven't always ended well.
Still, hope springs eternal, and I've continued to try to cultivate and maintain plants because they bring earth and nature energy to spaces, help improve chi (especially plants with rounded leaves), and they can clean toxic indoor air. Fortunately, I've been more successful with both indoor and outdoor plants recently thanks to a smartphone watering app I downloaded called Waterbug. If you are someone who tends to over water (that's me) or under water plants, I highly recommend downloading the app, entering in all your indoor plants, and following its watering schedule - you can even set it with push notification reminders about when watering is due. The app also tells you how much light a plant needs, which can help with placement in your home.
Energy Healing for Your Plants
I've also discovered that along with placing and watering my plants correctly, using energy healing techniques has also helped. Above is a fluorite crystal in matrix in my jade bonsai (those aren't yellow dying leaves, by the way; it's a reflection from a lamp). In the image to the left, you can see I've placed crystals around the base of an indoor magnolia plant, which can be a bit persnickety. The green aventurine is a particularly beneficial stone for the plant's energy, while the rose quartz adds love and the clear quartz amplifies the healing energy I put into the plants. I also reiki the plant by placing my hands on it, and by holding the plant's water in my hands and giving it reiki before I water my plants.
Crystal Elixirs for Watering
Another way to give your plants better energy is by creating a plant crystal elixir. I'm always cautious in recommending crystal elixirs, because many crystals have toxic elements that seep into the water if you put the crystals directly in the fluid. Instead, I recommend a method of making elixirs that infuses a crystal's vibration into the water without adding any of the crystal's potentially toxic elements (such as copper or aluminum) to your plants. To make a safe crystal elixir, I put a newly cleansed crystal in a sealable silicon pouch and allow it to sit in a container of distilled water for two or three hours. For even more power, you can put it out in the moonlight overnight as it steeps. Then, remove the crystal and seal the water into a labeled jar. The water has now been infused with the energy of the crystals, and you can add a teaspoon to your watering container every time you water your plants or to your spray bottle for misting them. Crystals especially good for this purpose include green calcite, clear quartz, and moss agate, which all have beneficial energy for plants.
Plant Feng Shui
Plants are also a beneficial element for positive energy in feng shui. Some feng shui suggestions for plants:
-Choose plants with rounded leaves, which invite positive energy.
-Plants are especially beneficial in the bauga areas associated with wood, fire, and earth. These include the south, southeast, and east areas of your home or space.
-You can also place a plant in places to diffuse negative chi, such as between a front door and a back door that are aligned, or at the base of a staircase that faces the front door (I have this in my home, and I have a plant there).
-Remove dead plants, leaves, and blossoms right away because they create "dead" energy.
-As some of my friends whose spaces I've helped to create better feng shui can attest, I am not a fan of fake plants because they don't have the same alive energy as real plants - and they are often dust collectors. Avoid them as much as possible.
-Choose plants considered "lucky" or good feng shui to boost various energies in your spaces. Here's an article I wrote for LoveToKnow about good feng shui plants.
-Avoid plants with spiky leaves or with thorns or spikes, as they can create "poison arrows" that direct sha chi, or negative chi around a space.
You'll notice that the above cacti, which all sit in my kitchen window, are surrounded with crystals. We purchased the larger cactus because Jim absolutely loved it; we call it Audrey 3 because it reminded us of of Audrey 2 in Little Shop of Horrors. At first, I fought bringing a cactus into the house, but Jim kept returning to it and talking about how much he loved it, so eventually I gave in figuring I could use feng shui to transmute the sha chi. So I've placed crystals around all the cacti, and the largest is surrounded by rose quartz hearts with the reiki symbols on them to cleanse the energy as it passes through the plant and into my home. Another good remedy for sha chi created by plants you fall in love with that are spiky or pointy is to place a hanging crystal above the plant to change sha chi into shi chi (positive chi). You can see an example of that to the left, where I've hung a crystal over a bromeliad plant with spiky leaves to cleanse the energy.
Bringing Plant Energy into Your Home
Plants can do a lot for your home beyond just making it look nice. They help improve your home's air quality and vibe. If, like me, you have a dubious history with plants, consider a plant watering app, and start with something simple and difficult to kill like a succulent or a peace lily. Then, utilize energy healing techniques available to you to help keep the plant healthy and strong, and employ feng shui techniques to make sure the plant provides the most beneficial energy possible to your home.
This is a polished goniatite ammonite that is between 250 million and 400 million years old. Goniatite ammonites are some of the earliest species of ammonites from the Devonian Period. Notice this specimen has a smaller ammonite in the fossil in the matrix, which is pretty cool.
For people who love fossils, ammonites are a great place to start your collection. There were hundreds of ammonite species spanning hundreds of millions of years, and they've been extinct for about 65 million years. They are plentiful, affordable, and many of the specimens are beautiful and in really good condition. Some have vibrant and flashy exteriors that shine like opals, while others may be covered in pyrite (fools gold) or other materials. Other fossils you can commonly find that are relatively affordable include fossilized coral, petrified wood, trilobites, and orthoceras.
Metaphysically, fossils are links to the past, and some people may use them as journey stones for astral travel or to view past lives in meditation.