I’m sure most of my readers remember my posts on the ethics of using silver in ritual, and the reactions and suggestions by others. I had an amazing response from others who feel the same way – that Earth-centered Pagans should really try not to support mines that ravage the Earth Mother! It is just unsustainable.
Today, Count on the Birds posted a wonderful article on how to find your own crystals! I loved it and could definitely relate since I’ve started to rely on the forest spirits’ generosity for my magical resources. The author recommends looking around uprooted trees. I can think of a few near my home that I’m hoping to visit later today. We’ll see what I find! Usually I happen upon quartz by chance, but I have found some rose quartz. Count on the Birds is from Switzerland, but I could relate to her accounts of finding quartz most often.
Inspired, I’ve dug out The Crystal Bible: A Definitive Guide to Crystals by Judy Hall. It’s part field guide and part New Age book, so keep that in mind when considering it as a resource. I wanted it way back when I was first poking around with Wicca. Hubby gave it to me as a gift. Although my interest in crystals waned, I’ve kept it around because of the amazing photographs which are useful in identification. Now I find myself growing more interested in learning about native gems and crystals. According to the New York State Museum, the formation of precious gems, such as diamonds and rubies, is probably impossible in NY due to the lack of necessary stone and mineral deposits. However, along with quartz, one could find “calcite, fluorite of several colors, sphalerite, moonstone, labradorite, and celestine.” Unfortunately, the most likely location of gems, especially the much celebrated “Herkimer diamond,” a type of very clear quartz from that region, will mostly be found down by Herkimer and Little Falls – too far south from the North Country. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but my engagement ring is actually a Herkimer diamond. It was important to me not to support questionable diamond mining operations and to support local, ethical miners who I knew personally.
|Some quartz balls I’ve had for ages and new, wildharvested white stones and quartz from the forest soaking up moonbeams.|
Although crystals are not a large part of my spirituality, I have started to charge quartz and white stones for magical purposes. When consecrating items for magical use, I like to surround them in a circle of quartz and white stones charged by the full moon. They are useful in the creation of charms and talismans and, in my experience, they also make good offerings to bodies of water. To me, Druids are supposed to connect with their location. Working with the stones and local land spirits seems somehow more appropriate most of the time. I understand some may feel important situations require different, more rare materials – but I think, most of the time, we should start learning how to use what is around us.