Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stonewise: Moonstone

Since this month is Valentine's day, I went looking up my index of intentions to see what stones appeared under Love/Desire and Attraction. Since I talked about Red Jasper last week, I focused on what other gems where in the list and saw Moonstone stand out at me.

So let's jump right in and see what Ardriana has to say shall we?

Moonstone is the name attributed to actually two different feldspars that grow together. This stone can be confused with Selenite as well, though Selenite is very soft and can be scratched with a fingernail, while Moonstone is relatively hard. Moonstones are classically white, but can be blue, green, peach, gray (also called Silver, Black or Norwegian Moonstone), creamy yellow or yellow-pink and has a pearly schiller (a bronzelike luster, sometimes with iridescence, occurring on certain minerals) to it. Another related feldspar variety is known as Rainbow Moonstone, in which the sheen is a variety of colors.

Folklore: The Greeks named the stone Aphroselene after two of their goddesses, Aphrodite and Selene. In India, it is sacred to lovers and would confer prophetic powers during the Full Moon. The island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) has produced some of the most beautiful Moonstone, with the steps of the altar of the Moonstone Temple of Anuradhapura, 100 C.E., that were once faced with mosaics of the gleaming stone. The ruins of this temple still can be seen today, but the mosaics have long since been plundered. Europeans thought that Moonstone could foretell the future during the Dark Moon. Asians thought the shine was that of the good spirit in the stone. The Romans who used it in jewelry from as early as 100 C.E. thought that Moonstone was formed out of moonlight and thus has the power to grant wishes.

Magick: Tradition has held that the schiller in the stone follows the cycles of the moon, brightening at the Full Moon and darkening with the Dark Moon. Thus it used the power of the moon to hypnotize people. Placing it under the tongue stirs ancient memories in the pocessor, or when done by lovers, it awakens passion and helps them divine their future together. This stone influences women's mysteries: conception, creativity, intuition, dreams, psychic ability, natural magick and divination. It draws love and aids in reconciliation. It can be used in dieting, giving birth and to maintain a youthful appearance. Moonstone is a gently protective stone, and is useful when traveling at night, over water and while swimming.

Ok, after all that wonderful info, how do I use it in my jewelry...So, every stone is magickal, but there are some stones that just seem inherently more so, because of how they look, what their name is, or their history is, and Moonstone is one of those for me. It holds a place with Bloodstone as something that's just magickal to have, whether or not you use it for any purpose. When I was younger and just starting my stone collection, I always felt extremely lucky to find a moonstone, even if it was a tiny chip.

It's one of those stones that I could happily include in any of my designs, just to give it that little extra edge of magick...I don't because I would quickly run out of space and Moonstone. >.>
I do, however, use it in my Moon bracelet design (convenient that, no?), to represent the Full Moon in the cycle.

From the middle out: Onyx, Snowflake Obsidian, White Howlite, Moonstone...

This design represents to me the constant cycle of the Moon, the elements, the seasons, it's a reminder that things just have to change and that's ok (I am a creature of deep habits and struggle with this constantly). Lunar energy and imagery are connected to the feminine to me, so I also wear my bracelet as a constant reminder of the magickal sisterhood I share as a Pagan and Witch. And lastly, but certainly not least, it is a reminder of the connection I have with Goddesses that have become my patronesses over the years.

Moonstone was always central to this design, but I struggled with it until I discovered the beautifully marbled Howlite. It remains one of my favorite designs, and the only one in which I made the prototype for myself.

I have three tattoos, and each of them has some connection to lunar imagery: A stag with the triple Moons in his antlers, the Moon phases around my ankle, and a labrys (a double headed battle axe) on my thigh. The labrys is an ancient symbol of the moon, the goddess and of butterflies, which were symbols of transformation and regeneration. Even as a child I thought the Moon was more magickal than the Sun, as she could go into his domain, but he never could enter hers.

Mystical, magickal, beautiful, wonderful...Moonstone holds a special place in my heart, even though I have very few pieces, perhaps it's part of why the stone is so precious to me. In any case, now you know a little bit more of why I do what I do.

Until next time, be well,

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