Rolling Stones

For the day that’s in it: Happy Halloween.

Musicians, artists, dancers, writers – there are goodly numbers of creative types who can’t get it together until they’ve a few drinks taken, or smoked something, or popped a few pills. Or at the very least, taken on  board a gallon of coffee to get the creative juices flowing.

A piece of purple amethyst is said to banish headaches and promote sleep. But it won’t write your novel for you, no matter how nicely you ask.

In my case its crystals.

There I’ve said it. I am a (sometimes frequent) user of healing crystals to enhance my creative prowess. I know, I know – Dumbo and his feather.

Actually, I’m not sure crystals do anything more than focus my mind on what’s already there – but I like to think they help with the transference of head-stuff onto paper. And at the very least, they’re attractive to look at, and nice to handle.

I rarely suffer from writer’s block – my problem is how to finish a project before I’m on to the next thing. Which is one of the reasons I like poetry and short stories so much – perfectly formed pieces of writing, complete in their brevity, and possible to finish in a limited time-frame.  I’ve come to this conclusion as I struggle to complete the novel or two I’ve been working on for way longer than is seemly. But that’s another story (ha!).

My own collection of crystals and gemstones was started back in the last millennium when I ran ‘Rock of Ages’ (way before Tom Cruise made a film of that title).

Amethyst for insomnia, jet to fend off  emotional vampires, amber for general protection, aventurine for good fortune, quartz for clear thinking, lapis lazuli for creativity, blue lace agate for communication, carnelian for grounding. Lots of different crystals, and just as many theories as to what each one has in the way of power.

No, I don’t know, either

It sounds a bit far-fetched, but apparently, when our forefathers found life too fast and furious, they took time out with clear quartz – rock crystal – finding it beneficial to clear the mind for meditation and prayer.  That was before the rhythmic pulsing of quartz was recognised and then harnessed to make quartz watches and clocks.

And who would think that a piece of purple rock could help beat insomnia? That would be amethyst, known for its relaxing qualities,  useful for soothing tension headaches.

I know scary, right?

Amber, 60 million-year-old fossilised pine tree resin, is one of the earliest materials used by man to carve sacred amulets to guard against illness and misfortune, still a favourite crystal for protection against ill health. Many asthma, rheumatism and arthritis sufferers swear by amber’s anti-inflammatory abilities. I confess that I haven’t experienced this effect of amber myself, although my late father (a card-carrying sceptic) wore a big chunk of polished amber on a cord around his neck in his battle with arthritis.

My favourite of all though is jet, another fossil, this time the 180 million-year-old remains of Jurassic monkey puzzle trees.  Jet was popularised by the Victorians, who made jewellery and artefacts from this light-weight, shiny black material, copying the Romans before them who carried jet to banish evil.  Many people nowadays have discovered how effective jet is at warding off psychic attack.  Emotional bullies and those exhausting people who can leave you drained after only a few minutes’ contact, no longer have effect if jet is carried for protection.

I’m rarely without a piece of jet on my person – most of my favourite pieces were collected on the beach near Whitby in North Yorkshire and painstakingly polished by hand.

Back in the day when polishing stones was something I did when I really should have been writing.


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