Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stonewise: Mahogany Obsidian

I missed last week's Stonewise! I'm a bad blogger. (*hangs head in shame*) And I managed to miss yesterday too...ugh. Well, I'm here today, and that's better than never, right? Right?

So I've already talked about Obsidian, but there are several different kinds, and each I feel deserves its own entry. I've been working with Mahogany Obsidian a fair bit lately, and figured it'd be a good topic.

Ardriana says:

Mahogany Obsidian is dark red-grown with black striations through it. It is the friendship Obsidian. Represents male energy and beauty. Clears subconscious blocks.

Yeah, it's a short entry, but that's ok...if she had all the answers, there wouldn't be anything else for the rest of us to do. :D

How I use it in my jewelry...I have loved Obsidian for a very long time. I know I've mentioned how my personal power stone is this wonderful chunk, etc...and yet, Mahogany Obsidian is a relatively new find, in the last ten years or so. Actually, I remember discovering both Mahogany and Snowflake Obsidian about the same time, and was excited to learn there were different types of a stone that I loved so well.

In any case, in a vast variety of stones that have decidedly feminine energy or qualities, Mahogany Obsidian is absolutely masculine, which of course means that I have an interesting relationship with it.

What you mean? Well, as some of you may know, I'm a bit of an Amazon in my temperament, definitely a feminist (not that I'm a man hater by any stretch of the imagination), and I will always gravitate to the feminine before the masculine. So I found it odd that my initial reaction to a variation of a stone I adored was very superficial. I loved how it looked, but didn't have a deeper connection to it the way I do other stones.

It made sense once I learned more, and have grown past my initial reaction. And it still serves as a lesson for me to not always trust my first response to a stone...some of my favorite pieces were once ones that I would have thrown back in the box.

Mahogany Obsidian has become a stone of great power, energy, and vigor for me. Something I'd use for a banishing. You want to bring your greatest strength forward when you want something to really go away. It's the heavy shoulder set into the door, either closing or opening.

I have a fair few tumbled pieces, but nothing really large...and I find that I'm particularly picky about the ones that I keep.

And now you know a little bit more about why I do what I do.

Till next time, be well,

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Helping out.

For the next couple weeks, I'll be donating 25% of my jewelry sales to the American Red Cross to help the Haiti relief effort. During that time, I will not be offering any sales or specials, as I want to give as much as I can, even if it's just an extra dollar.

Take a look at
and see if there's anything
you can't live without.

Thank you for your time.
Till then, be well,

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Stonewise: Rutilated Quartz

I know I'm a day late, but I figured I'd post late rather than not at all. So here's this week's Stonewise...Rutilated Quartz!

As you all probably know by now, I start with some information from writer and witch, Ardriana Cahill, and this is what she says:

Rutile occurs as shiny, elongated, needlelike or hair-like silver crystals of titanium dioxide or gold crystals of titanium oxide in other minerals such as quartz. A beautiful stone produced by large inclusions of golden Rutile needles in clear quartz is called Rutilated Quartz. This stone is produced because at high temperatures and pressure, the compounds that make up quartz and rutile are in a stable state. But as temperatures cool and pressure eases, the two separate with Rutile crystals trapped inside the Quartz.

Etymology: The name quartz comes from the Saxon word querklufterz which meant cross vein ore. The name rutile comes from the Latin word rutilus meaning red. Rutilated Quartz as been refered to as Venus Hair Stone, Cupid's Darts and Fleches D'amour.

Magick: The Golden-hair Rutile takes on both lunar and solar properties and the qualities attributed to stones under their influence. Copper-hair Rutile, also named Venus Hair Rutile is an excellent gem for meditation on any feminine themes or Venus themes of the power of love and the depth of beauty. Use to remove obstacles and get insight to one's problems. Carry as a natural symbol of the Goddess to remind us of the welfare of and obligation to our common Mother, the Earth.

How do I use it in my jewelry...the first place I found was in my Air bracelet, which was a challenge in and of itself. Do you know how many stones are attributed to the element of Air? The direct opposite of Earth...yeah, not so many...

The Rutilated Quartz are the small rounds between the Citrines.

In any case, I liked that they were sometimes called the "Scrying Stone", which worked, because part of Air's influence is mental acuity. By being able to scry out your problems, one could find wisdom or understanding and find a good resolution. See? I thought I made it work...hehe...

Back when I first started collecting stones, I was all about perfection. The clearer the stone, the more beautiful it was to me. So Rutiliated Quartz was right out. There was nothing but stuff inside! Where was my pristine clarity? Thankfully I grew out of that phase and have collected a number of interesting Rutile pieces.

My two favorites are a tie between a river polished nugget (that's right, no help from man) and a piece of Smokey Quartz where the Rutile is so thin and curly that it reminds me of the images of an atom smash (which strangely enough I cannot find pics of...). It reminds me that everything is connected and that the world is bigger (and smaller) than we even conceive of.

I have not designed any pure worship jewelry yet, but when I do, I will most certainly include Rutilated Quartz.

And now I know a little more of why I do what I do.

Till next time, be well,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

If Your Religion... Part 2

So I should probably start this post with a sort of disclaimer...why would I write about my thoughts on religion on a blog about my jewelry? Well, I create my jewelry using information I've been picking up for the last twenty years, and that information is filtered through the philosophies I have been studying also for the last 20 years. The two are interconnected, and so I get to rant here instead of creating a separate blog. Handy, no?

Anyroad, I'm thinking of doing one of these segments about once a month, as they really do inform the reader as to my methods, in creating jewelry if nothing else. So, without further ado...

If your religion makes you're doing it wrong.

Inflammatory, I know, but this part is really important. How many remember the story of the guy who shoved 50ish or so needles under his son's skin to kill him? The guy claimed that it was a religious tenant that prompted him to do it. Some might say that makes him crazy, and maybe there is a chemical imbalance I am unaware of, but I think that it just makes him stupid. How could he possibly believe that killing a child is acceptable in any way? (How could anyone? But that's a rant for another day.) I don't care what answer he gives, whatever it is, he's just wrong, and being swayed to perform this obscene act in the first place makes him stupid.

This next case in point was actually the genesis of this piece, I just held on to it long enough for Dumbass with Needles to make the news, and I felt it was a very potent example.

So in the course of my new networking adventure, I've found all sorts of people on the internet. Most of them have interesting links for me to follow, this one in particular was to an auction (no, I won't post the link, I don't want to send any traffic their way).

These auctions were offering items that were said to be magical, blessed by a coven, and promised to do all sorts of amazing things. One was a love spell that promised you *anyone*, including someone famous, or people who didn't know you. I find this highly irresponsible, how dare someone claim they can toy with someone's emotions that way. Another was for a wealth ring that would bring the wearer money. The site even claimed that the last wearer had eared over $120,000 over the course of three years. That sounds great right? I suppose it could be if it didn't work out to a $40k a year job.

Guys, this isn't magick. This is promises that cannot possibly be fulfilled by people who will take your money and then give you some sort of excuse when it doesn't work. Offering this sort of mockery makes me angry. Believing in it makes me sad.

((A friend of mine pointed out that I might not be clear enough on the types of magic I am accusing of being stupid...allow me to clarify...

There is magick that makes sense, using earth and "bloodstones" to help a woman feel better during her moontime. Lighting a candle to help the bank approve of your loan. These are the sorts of spells I not only endorse, but practice.

Then there is magic that makes no sense, promising someone that even if it's Brad Pitt, the object of your desire will dream about you, and make their way to you.

Use reason and judgement, wisdom and knowledge when looking at magick, and if you have a good grounding in common sense, you'll know the difference.))

But Red, how is that different from what you do?

First off, I will *never* claim that my jewelry will do something *for* you. I always only offer an item that will help you help yourself. My Creativity bracelet isn't going to work if you don't put your butt in the chair or in front of the easel. My Awakening bracelet isn't going to do anything if you don't make the conscious decision to be more open to the world around and within you. The qualities of Air, clarity of thought and enhancing memory aren't going to help you pass that test unless you study.

Secondly, it doesn't bother me if someone just wants a piece of my jewelry because they like the colors. They want to wear it without knowing or caring about the intention I put into the piece, be my guest. The stones themselves are beautiful, and I am truly grateful to anyone who wants to give them a good home. You don't have to handle my jewelry with mock reverence in case it gets offended, or to keep from doing something to blaspheme or some other silly thing.

You decide how you want to wear my jewelry, if at all. I offer it the way I do because I enjoy it. It makes me happy to think that somewhere, someone might have a little easier time sleeping because they're focused on the calming properties that blue lace agate is said to have. I get to play with stones all awesome is that?

Don't be mislead, there's lots of people out there using lots of charisma to fool people with promises or offers that don't make sense, have no bearing on real life or cannot possibly be kept.

I choose a different way, and so should you, whatever it may be.

Till next time, be well,

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Stonewise: Blue Lace Agate

You guys are in trouble now...guess who got an updated copy of Ardriana's Stones for Christmas? That's right...this witch! *cackles*

So, since today's Shop Item of the Day over at Crystallized Intentions is my pair of Tranquility Earrings (ooh...shameless in 2010!), I thought that looking at Blue Lace Agate would be the thing to do.

So just what does Ardriana say about this beautiful stone?

A chalcedony quartz of delicate blue with swirls of white.

Magick: Wear or carry this stone for peace and happiness. Effective for reducing household and/or family quarrels. Useful in reducing stress when held in the hand. Stimulates foresight. Promotes all feminine qualities, intuition, caring and tenderness.

How I use it in my jewelry: It's funny, Blue Lace Agate was really low on my radar for a long time, till The New Pioneer got this amazing selection of larger (larger than a quarter) pieces. Richard, the awesome old hippy who runs the place, said that there was a new mine, and that with these larger pieces, people were starting to call it Blue Storm Agate.

I filed away the information, but the name never really stuck because there's nothing storm like about Blue Lace. It's to frosty, to subtle...I'm not really a pastel person, but there's something to the color of this stone that really appeals to me now that I know it better.

It is the first stone I think of when wanting something to promote peace. It's the main stone in my Sleep Well Bracelet, as one of the major problems that people seem to have is just not being able to relax enough to slip into sleep.

See that big, frosty stone in the center?

It's always so interesting to look at, with the bands of white and darker blue running through it. Ardriana suffers from migraines, and the Sleep Well wasn't helping, so I asked her what qualities she wanted in something to of the first things she mentioned was the coolness of an ice pack on her forehead. The oddly interesting bracelet I put together has onyx, for a pain sink, blue lace agate, for the cooling, relaxing properties, and citrine (yeah, black, light blue and yellow...), to help keep one able to think above the pain. It's one that I would only make by request, as I feel it's function over form, but it seems to help (this is, of course, after she's taken her medication and laid down to rest with a real ice pack have to do everything else along with the magick...more on that later though).

Where was I...oh yeah, Blue Lace Agate...I'm a pretty laid back person, and don't usually feel the need to calm myself further, so I don't have a ton of these stones. The few pieces I do have sure are beautiful however, and I am lucky to have them.

And now you know a little more about why I do what I do.

Till next time, be well,