Thursday, February 26, 2015

Spiritual and Healing Properties of Smoky Quartz

Gorgeous Smoky Quartz Points, public domain
**Republishing here for now, see note.

A Rare Beauty

Smoky quartz is underrated. It may not be as flashy as rubies or emeralds, but it's one of the most elegantly beautiful crystals and gemstones around. Maybe I'm biased because I love the color gray, but smoky quartz proves that gray can be beautiful. It's also one of my favorite healing stones as well as an excellent meditation stone for staying calm, centered and connected to the present moment.

Learn more about the healing properties of smoky quartz and how you can tap into those energies for your well being. Crystal healing is an experiential alternative healing method. I'm not a professional crystal healer. I share my research along with personal experience. Nothing in this article is meant to replace medical advice. But if you're an energy healer in a system like Reiki or are sensitive to the energies of stones or just interested in becoming more sensitive, then you may find this information useful.

Physical Properties of Smoky Quartz

Smoky quartz is a member of the common quartz family which is silicon dioxide and gets its gray color from irradiation, by natural or artificial means, and aluminum traces. The color is more of a transparent gray often with specks of darker gray or black throughout, sometimes even mixed with citrine, which is a yellow stone. Smoky quartz that is dark gray to black is also known as Morion, especially outside of the United States.

Metaphysical Properties of Smoky Quartz

This stone is commonly known as a grounding crystal which is explained further below. But it has other properties including providing protection from negativity and acting as a barrier around the person carrying or wearing it. This can be in the physical realm or on journeys to otherworldly realms during meditation and trance. It helps bring calm to emotional situations. It also helps dissolve negative energies whether they stem from the user or from an outside source.

Katrina Raphaell, founder of The Crystal Academy of Advanced Healing Arts, states in her book Crystal Enlightenment: The Transforming Properties of Crystals and Healing Stones (Crystal Trilogy, Vol. 1) that working with smoky quartz would be helpful for people with depression and those who set high goals for themselves but never seem to be able to follow through. She says it allows people to come to terms with their own reality in a loving way.

In everything that I've read and personally experienced with smoky quartz, this is an incredibly gentle stone. It doesn't hit you between the eyeballs with what you need to do but allows you to peel away layer by layer of whatever emotional or spiritual blockages that are keeping you from realizing your path. Physically, it has been reported to help with problems of the hands and feet as well as regulate minerals in the body.

Cleansing Before Use

As mentioned, the irradiation process can be done artificially and often is. This should be clearly marked by the person you buy the stone from but you may not always have the luxury of the truth or the seller may not even know. You should clean every stone you buy no matter which one it is, but because this artificial process is traumatic to the smoky quartz, it's especially important you clean these crystals before use. An easy way to do this is by placing them in sea salt for one to three days to draw out energetic impurities.

Using Smoky Quartz for Grounding

Smoky quartz helps you gain a sense of groundedness, but unlike other grounding stones, it still allows the user to have spiritual insight. Sometimes when we first step onto a spiritual journey, we have a tendency to dismiss the physical realm as if it's not important. If we let ourselves become too heady, we end up ungrounded and not being able to tend to our own survival in the mundane world by holding down a job and managing finances. Not being grounded also adversely affects relationships. When things get past the initial romance stage, we need to stay grounded in reality if we want the relationship to last.

In her book, Crystal Wisdom: Spiritual Properties of Crystals and Gemstones, author Dolfyn shares her vision of the intrinsic qualities of smoky quartz as if the stone is speaking:
"I am the beauty of practical things While stirring the oatmeal, the spirit still sings. While tilling the soil, the heart can still love; The daily routine becomes spirit's elation. For as is below, so is above. When you make the mundane a deep meditation."
I don't see smoky quartz as one of what I call the deep grounding stones like hematite or black obsidian. But it has what is a gentle grounding quality. If you want a grounding stone to help you through a trauma that has shaken you to the bone, then this might not be the one for you. However, smoky quartz is a good stone to use if you're experiencing flightiness and unclear thinking.

Grounding corresponds to the root chakra based on Eastern spirituality. This is an energy center located in and just above the groin area. One way to use smoky quartz for grounding is to place a stone on this area or near your feet while meditating. You can also carry a stone in your pocket or wear jewelry, especially to places you feel you might feel less grounded throughout the day. For more tips on techniques, visit my article Grounding and Centering Techniques: A Foundation of Magical and Spiritual Practice.

Quick Grounding Meditation

After using the grounding and centering technique of your choice, place a piece of smoky quartz on your first chakra or hold it in your hand.

Begin gentle deep breathing. On the inhale, visualize rays of light entering your body from the stone and surround your entire body with the color of the crystal. On the exhale, breathe out any flighty or jittery feelings.

This is a good quick meditation you can do practically anywhere when you need to feel grounded fast.

Sources consulted:

  • Akhavan, A.C. Smoky Quartz. The Quartz Page, 2005-2010.
  • Dolfyn. Crystal Wisdom: Spiritual Properties of Crystals and Gemstones. Earth Spirit, Inc. 1989.
  • Melody. Love is in the Earth: A Kaleidoscope of Crystals. Earth-Love Publishing House, 1995.

© Trish Deneen. 2011. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Psychic Shielding - Techniques for Psychic Self-Defense

Republishing here for now, see note.

Psychic Self-Defense

Do terms like psychic attack and psychic self-defense frighten you? Or do you think that it's all a bunch of rubbish imagined by a group of paranoid new-agers? While these terms do suggest that there is an imaginary battle waging on the astral plane, in actuality, most of us who practice banishment and/or psychic shielding believe that true psychic attack is very rare.

Why then would there be a need for such protection? Magic practitioners among others believe that there is a spiritual plane of existence. We are just as affected by what happens there as we are by what happens on the physical plane. Both planes react to each other. If we are weakened on the physical plane then our astral body will be weakened and vice versa.

Incubus by Charles Walker, 1870.  An incubus was believed to be a male demon that preyed on sleeping women.  A succubus is the female equivalent.
Psychic Vampires

Every day stresses of our own can cause such weaknesses as much if not more so than any person or thing actually directing negative energy towards us. A person does not necessarily have to be intentionally attacking us. They can be what is called a psychic vampire, that is someone who drains our psychic energy.

Many of us have met at least one of these people. We feel drained of vitality after being with them even though we haven't done anything to physically exert ourselves. For these reasons, visualization techniques for protection are a valuable tool for magic and your psychic health.

Visualization Techniques

Below is a visualization that can be adapted to your needs:

  • Try to give yourself at least 10 minutes to do this exercise. Begin by doing a relaxation technique such as deep breathing with any grounding and centering meditation you feel comfortable with.
  • Visualize a sphere of white light surrounding your body about arm's length from you. Imagine that surrounding this sphere is a grid of brilliant blue lines.
  • Surround this sphere with a wall of white light extending arm's length from the grid of blue lines. This wall has grids on both sides and locks into place with the first grid. Actually try to hear the click they make while locking in place with each other.
  • One more arm's length from this second grid, visualize another wall of light with a grid locking into place with the second grid. Again, hear the clicking sound they make together.
  • Surround this outer wall that is now three arm's lengths from your body with a brilliant blue flame about 6 inches thick. This is your flame of protection. Some associate this with the flame of archangel Michael.
  • Bask in this energy surrounding you for a few minutes. When you are ready, visualize this flame and grid system fading away from your mind's eye yet know that it is still there.

You can vary this technique to your comfort level. For instance, you don't have to use white light. Whatever color makes you feel safe is what you should use. You can even imagine a brick wall instead of a wall of light. You can also visualize a symbol such as a flaming pentagram, sword, cross, Thor's hammer, a shield, etc. to personalize it. Practice with your own protection rituals and see what is the best fit for you.

It is a good idea to do this every day especially if you are empathic. After steady practice, you might be surprised at how quickly you can put up your wall of protection. Psychic shielding along with grounding and centering are also important to do before more elaborate ritual and/or magic work where you are opening yourself to influences from the spiritual plane.

Attracting Positivity

Since you will be changing your own energy to that of power and self-confidence, you may also find your surroundings following suit. For instance, not only will you be better able to handle people who drain your energy, they might not even want to be around you since you have ceased to allow them to feed off your strength.

Of course, such techniques do not replace the advice of a proper medical practitioner if you believe you are ill. While some claim that symptoms such as migraines and fatigue are signs of psychic attack, they could very well be symptoms of a more serious health problem. Please use common sense and see your health care provider if necessary.

© Trish Deneen  All rights reserved.  Please do not copy but links are appreciated.

Related:  Chakra and Flame Psychic Self-Defense Meditation

Reposting Articles

I'm still considering website hosts but in the meantime I'm reposting some of my old articles here just as a temporary parking measure.  Many of them were originally published at either BellaOnline or Squidoo and were later republished on HubPages.  Thanks for your patience.

© Trish Deneen

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Angry Mom Blasts Anti-Vaxxers and Positive Thinking Pundits

A mom with righteous anger took to Facebook to post her thoughts on the anti-vaccination movement when she found out from her doctor that her baby may have caught measles from someone he was exposed to at the office.  She says eloquently what so many of us are thinking.  I'm tired of anti-vaxxers, anti-GMO people, and pot cures everything and never harms anybody people being thrown in with the New-Age.  It's embarrassing, though somewhat deserved.  In part of post she states:
"You think you are protecting them through extracts and homeopathy and positive thoughts and Laws of Attraction and dancing by candlelight on a full moon? You aren’t. I PROTECT YOUR CHILD. We protect your child. By being concerned world citizens who care about ourselves, our fellow man, and our most vulnerable. So we vaccinate ourselves and our children."
I remember the 90s as much as the next Gen-X former hippie wannabe, but we need to stop with the persecution complex that was so prevalent, i.e. Big Pharma is trying to keeeeel us or Big Whatever boogie man it is these days.  Her full post is well worth reading and sharing.

H/T: Truth Revolt

© Trish Deneen

Friday, February 13, 2015

New Directions

Several years ago, around 2007, I self-identified as a Pagan after about 15 years of practice and also was aspiring to write for the web.  I applied to write for the Pagan site at BellaOnline and was accepted.  It was a great way for me to learn to organize a topic.  Eventually for many reasons, mostly personal, I left the site and parked the articles I wrote for BellaOnline at various other websites including HubPages and Squidoo.

The internet has changed and Squidoo is gone.  I fear the same fate for HubPages.  I've closed one of my accounts there and will close the rest by next month.  In the meantime, this blog will be undergoing some changes.  I'll still have a blog section, but I'll also have pages devoted to the different topics I wrote about online as I want to have a place to put these articles without having them be at the whim of other website owners.  Most of the articles I wrote originally were only ever meant to be introductions to various topics, not in depth explorations of spirituality, so I hope readers will keep that in mind and use them as springboards for their own journey.

I'm at a different place spiritually than I was back then and I've returned to combining my Christian roots with new-age spirituality, which since Edgar Cayce was one of the authors that helped set me on an alternative path at age 13 isn't so very strange.

One of the things that made me a seeker is that I didn't fit in a particular box religiously or politically.  I'm a new-age, Jesus-loving, gun-toting constitutional conservative.  I still love crystals but I don't buy into the manifestation ideology and what I see as positive thinking dogma to rival any fundamentalist Christian dogma.  I believe in Jesus but I'm not a fundie.  It saddened me to see the fundamentalist turn some in the Pagan community have taken which is one of the things that has turned me back to where I came from.  However, fundamentalist Christianity sent me in a leftward direction so many years ago, so once again I forge my own path.

I don't want to get too political here but I will be exploring the boxes that get formed in religious and political communities in the blog section here.  I've never claimed to be any kind of guru, just another seeker posting her thoughts on the internet.  You're welcome to peek into this portion of my world.  Please be patient as this site is slowly transformed.

© Trish Deneen