crystal healing, Holistic health and wellness

Shungite: A Stone for November

Raw shungite

Raw shungite

Shungite is a mineraloid from Karelia, Russia and named after the village of Shunga near where it was discovered. It is 98% carbon which relates it energetically to jet, another mineraloid with a similar carbon composition. Deposits of shungite have only been found in regions of northern Russia. Extremely light to hold, the density, texture, and luster of shungite is very unique, setting it apart from other minerals and stones immediately upon touch. The purifying effect of shungite has long been known. In 18th-century Russia, Peter the Great established a spa in the region shungite was mined to advocate the use of the mineral’s water-purifying capabilities. Its properties can be most easily used to create a crystal or gem elixir. An elixir is created by energetically charging a glass or jar of water with the transmutational capacities of shungite. By placing a tumbled piece in a glass water bottle for at least 12 hours, you can energetically filter the water before consumption. Shungite is also excellent for dampening electromagnetic interference from cell phones and wifi. If you are sensitive to EMF radiation, placing a grid of shungite around your apartment, your bed, or just a wireless router will absorb much of the unhealthy inference you may feel in your personal subtle field. By extension, shungite allows our bodies to detoxify themselves from negative conditioning in order to prepare us to align with the true spiritual nature of Light. Shungite subtly works to restructure our bodies on a quantum level.

Shungite pyramid

Shungite pyramid

Due to its carbon fullerene composition, shungite connects us with our most ancient genetic ancestry. Carbon, present in and fundamental to all living organisms, gives us an organic blueprint to trace our most ancient genealogies. It taps us into the evolutionary lineage of Earth itself, linking us directly with the primordial single-celled invertebrates swimming in the dark Precambrian seas—back in the depths of unfathomable time. In this way, shungite will aid us in ego-dismantling endeavours, taking us to an aeon of abundant emptiness—pre-culture, pre-language, pre-industry—long before human interference. It is here our collective consciousness can rest—nameless, faceless, formless—and exist as Pure Being, inextricably linked to All. Shungite, being such a potent detoxifier, can also facilitate unprecedented healing with the capacity to clear millennia of genetic programming. In order to make the shift into fifth-dimensional consciousness, there is first a necessity for repairing our very DNA that carries these programs of behaviour and thought. We have unconsciously come to embody the Patriarchy to such an extent that we carry it in our genetic structure. Written in our very bodies, too long have we been encoded with its incorrect paradigm for our current time—that the primary mode of being is one fixed on scarcity and competition, and thereby predicated solely on survival. The alternative to this is cooperation and communication as tactics for communities to form around collective goals to generate abundance and prosperity for all sentient beings.

Kundalini rising up the Spinal Column

Kundalini rising up the Spinal Column

Shungite can work to aid us in dismantling centuries of ubiquitous conditioning and begin to slough off the husks of subjugation and create new sacred and sovereign habitations within us—ones in which we honour the importance of remaining aware of the power of our individual spiritual agency. We all possess the ability to shapeshift out of/away from the patriarchal, capitalist illusion that seems to permeate Western culture, thereby dominating the current Collective Dream on Earth itself. However, as shamans from all world traditions have been saying, we’ve been dreaming the wrong dream for too long and can see the horrific repercussions manifesting everywhere. There is a need to grant permission for the new dream to form—admittedly amorphous—with the potential to usher unprecedented freedom and expression. This can only be arrived at and truly claimed by the individual through their own experiences and desire. The challenge is certainly great, to shrug off the yoke of slyly engrained forces and inhabit a much more unknowable mode of being. Shungite can aid this process. It can facilitate the stripping away of the unhealthy advances in technological evolution—providing a direct link to our most primordial essences. The one common element we share with those earliest vertebrate ancestors, is the spine, and even before that, simply the fluid motion of undulation. This is the movement of Shakti—of Kundalini. By connecting with shungite’s deep, grounded Earth energy, it can begin the emancipation of the Sacred Spiral within our being and its coiled dance as it ascends the spinal column—from the Micro scale of the helical structure of DNA, to the Macro revolutions of planets around stars, and the wheeling arms of great galaxies through time. The rising Kundalini lends power to awakening Shakti within us from her long reticence, further empowering the spiritual wisdom of Sophia descending from above. This union of the Sacred Feminine manifests at the heart and emanates outward to the world. The serpentine symbol comes to us from other traditions as well—the Caduceus of Greek tradition is the staff carried by magical Mercury/Hermes Trismegistus. Up the central axis—the spine—are coiling two serpents representing Ida and Pingala—the feminine and masculine energy channels of Vedic and Tantric pranayama. Also, it is the Ouroboros—the ancient primordial serpent, coiled about the World Egg—from the beginning of time and consuming its own ending into eternity. We see this movement of energy in the coiled motion of the Serpent through Eden—seeking out Eve to whisper to her ideas of wisdom free from the patrilinear bureaucracy of God and Adam. Without consulting her sacred consort—out of whom she was reverse-birthed—Eve accedes to wisdom through her own ambition and will. Like Eve, we have to claim this wisdom each for ourselves. It can only be acquired from within—connecting with Muladhara at the base of the spine—the coccyx is the tip of the snake’s tail—allowing our energy to ground into the solid foundations of Gaia, opening the Sacred Gate—mula bandha—the perineal lock—so that we commune in oneness with this ancient essence.

Tumbled shungite stones

Tumbled shungite stones

Since it is so carbon-based, shungite possesses within its atomic structure the energy of once-living material upon the Earth—thus holding an energetic imprint of this spiraling movement through epochs and aeons. It is the result of great metamorphoses driven by the coiled serpentine essence laying dormant in all things. Like coal, shungite’s carbon composition draws in also the power of fire and ignition. By working closely with this substance of the deep earth, we begin to stir and awaken this ancient spirit. The profound transition through densities that occurs during the Kundalini rising aligns us properly with the sustaining quality of Elemental Earth and the material world itself. Our bodies become bridges between Sky and Earth to allow the rebalancing of these forces to take place within ourselves as microcosmic reflections of the Macrocosm. With shungite we can begin the process of delving deep into our ancestral past.

Caduceus of Hermes

Caduceus of Hermes

A significant part of taking this step requires us to allow ourselves to acknowledge spiritual anguish—in many cases hugely subconscious from generations of programmed amnesia. Western medicine invalidates etheric pain since it is not obviously generated by or immediately felt in the body itself. Nonetheless, if left unaddressed for generations it can manifest from the Astral into the physical body as a slow distillation. It is symptomatic of a lack of equilibrium in our lives, and the recent recorded—and not recorded—history of the world as a whole. What we innately know in our soul structure is not being reflected by the external world, thereby cyclically fuelling only a negative worldview focused solely on survival. By existing within such a restrictive paradigm, the possibility for alternate modes of being seems utterly unimaginable. Because of the culture of castration and crucifixion we are indoctrinated into from birth, we see only scarcity, competition, disregard, and apathy reflected back to us. Centuries of slow genetic trauma have been exerted upon us. When we experience trauma—physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual—a part of our soul vacates our being to return to Source. By tapping back into the primal essences of our being, we can begin the process of Soul Retrieval—to seek out the pieces that have left us—not just as individuals, but as a collective race and global organism. Our attention has long been misplaced, now seeking for it solely in all forms of materialism.

To begin to counteract this programming, we can begin to dismantle it first on our most etheric levels—in our least dense bodies. With progressive work, the shift will manifest successively through your subtle system into your physical tissue and structure itself—into your cellular, molecular, and atomic being. I propose a meditative journey to trace back through time—and in many senses, unknit—our genetic threads back to the deep primordial Oneness that pervaded all form and structure. We are beginning a conscious move back to the wisdom of the ancients, connected to the land, the sea, the sky, animals, and the very weather itself. We are moving away from the domineering and oppressive structures of the last 4000 years, and welcoming back the honouring, recognition, and integration of Shakti—the Sacred Feminine.

Sit in darkness, perhaps in a bath with sea salt mixed with vetiver and sandalwood essential oils and the light of a candle Line the bottom of the bathtub with tumbled shungite pebbles. Lay in the water and feel the ancient pulse of primordial Earth begin to awaken in the stones and stir and swirl in the water. Shift your attention inward and focus awareness on your breath. Continue with deep, rhythmic inhalations—drawing in the vital Prana of the Universe, of which you and your breath are an integral part. On the exhalation, remain aware of the opportunity to release that which is no longer necessary for your journey. Hold awareness that the water you are immersed in is absorbing this energy. The water is becoming a liquid portal that allows you to slip out of your current physical body and become merely an essence in the Astral, transcendent through time, as liquid as the water around you. Fix your inner sight on the space between your eyes, gaze inward and upward at your brow and begin to see with your hidden wisdom. Just as the Kundalini rises and stirs within you, it clears all your energy centres on its journey up the spinal column. This connection plugs you into your ancient awareness, free from the imposed jurisdictions of culture that have accrued, obscuring our ability for pure being. Feel the inner eyelid of Ajna Chakra beging to flutter like the sleeping eyelid of a great slumbering dragon. This is Shakti—the forgotten Ouroboros—the circling serpent about the World Egg, ready to birth the New Aeon. Count down in your head from 10 to 1. As you do so, connect with the serpentine energy radiating from the shungite, permeating the water, rising into your sacrum and beginning its journey up the spine. Feel yourself begin to shed layers, beginning with the most densely manifested in the physical world—your body and ego, your name, your career and status. As your spiral back through time, see yourself swirling with the Milky Way—dissolving—witnessing the backward procession of evolution. This is not a returning to ignorance, but rather a shedding of artifice. You are returning to your base nature—that passed on through time from one generation to the next—encoding us individually with the wisdom gathered by the experiences of those informing our makeup. Become aware of the infinite waves of ancestors from whom you are descended—from your grandparents and great-grandparents, back to Australopithicus and the earliest hominids. Travel back further still—mammal to reptile, vertebrate to invertebrate—the simplest soft structures undulating in the ancient briny womb of Tiamat—the primordial sea. Let the water drain from the tub and feel the surface tension—the meniscus—the fleeting edge of now—the moments pull back until you are one with the sediment at the bottom of the ocean—deep in the Abyssal Plane. Simply hold an awareness that here you are the Rainbow Bridge channeling the open, free, and healthy flow of energy between Sky and Earth—Yin and Yang—which we can think of energetic poles, animating the flow of energy between them in the form of the coiling Caduceus in every DNA molecule. When you are ready, lay the shungite stones on your body to allow your awareness to coalesce back into your physical body and move forward with this ambitious but necessary work.

Ouroboros

Ouroboros

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Garnet: A Stone for January

Garnet is the traditional birthstone of the month of January. Largely invented by the 19th-century jewelry industry, the system of birthstones as we popularly know it today is based on a poem published by Tiffany & Co. in 1870. While I have never given much credence to this notion of birthstones due to its history in the early roots of modern consumerism, garnet kept coming through as I was meditating on a stone for January.

Garnet in matrix

Garnet in matrix

The tradition of birthstones in general terms has a long and developed history. Some credit the idea to the twelve magic stones adorning the breastplates of the Israelite high priests as outlined in the Book of Exodus. Other ancient mystical traditions, including those of India and Mesopotamia, attribute stones to each of the zodiacal signs, roughly corresponding to the twelve months of the Gregorian calendar. While many birthstones have been changed or added throughout the centuries due to fashionable trends, garnet has been steadfast as the sole stone associated with the month of January since the 1500s. Garnet also has strong magical associations with the planet Saturn, the ruling planetary influence of Capricorn. As Chronos—the ruler of time—Saturn focuses an, albeit sometimes somber, energy of maturity through garnet. A very rooted, pragmatic energy emanates from this crystal. The deep burgundy coloured almandine garnet naturally forms in beautiful dodecahedrons on a rock matrix. The sacred geometry of the number 12 links us with perfect completion—the solar and zodiacal cycle of the year. The rough nodules, once removed from the matrix, can be cut and polished to showcase this stunning natural geometry.

Almandine garnet's dodecahedral shape

Almandine garnet’s dodecahedral shape

Some of the interesting characteristics of the garnet family are its myriad forms and colours. Most of us think of a blood-red stone when it comes to garnet, and that certainly is the most common variety of the crystal on the market, especially in jewelry. The word garnet originates from Middle French and refers to the pomegranate’s red colour— grenade. However, garnet occurs in a variety of other colours: notably green, orange, and black. Uvarovite is an especially intriguing green variety of garnet from Russia that forms aggregations of very finely sized crystals. The black form of garnet is known as melanite. Another, called spessartite is an orange garnet that forms usually in dense crystalline clusters on smoky quartz. Almandine garnet, the red dodecahedral variety, is the one associated with the month of January and the one I wish to explore further for the purposes of this entry.

Spessartite on smoky quartz

Spessartine garnet on smoky quartz

Just as in my previous post about citrine—and its associations with fire and sunlight—all crystals and stones can be associated with an elemental power—one of Earth, Air, Fire, or Water. Ancient cultures from Greece to China had a system of elements, the raw forces of nature as perceived in the day-to-day lives of the people. Each element developed its own mythologies, magical folklore, and personifications. The four classical elements listed above, as most commonly understood in Western Hermeticism, were developed largely by Aristotle, and later Paracelsus. Considering this, I intuitively link garnet with the Earth element—with deep roots and solidity—as heated by Fire. The garnet’s dark crimson speaks of the primordial earth’s molten core, tectonic force, as well as the eternal smouldering flame from which new fires are awoken. I also strongly associate garnet with the Gnomes, the elemental rulers of Earth. Since these mythological creatures are the guardians of all the gems and minerals within the Earth’s surface, one could associate them with all crystals and stones. However, something about the energy of the deep red garnet has always reminded of me these staunch, gentle creatures and their underground kingdoms. The ethereal Fey—the fairy folk—have always been associated with beautiful underground realms where unwitting humans are easily carried away for lustful trysts and luxurious feasts, or for darker, more nefarious purposes. For me, garnet embodies the energy of what is underneath—underneath the earth’s surface like the kingdoms of the Gnomes and Fey, underneath our own skin, and, in the month of January, what is underneath the frosts and snow. In this way garnet is the blood beneath the surface of our skin, the bones giving us strength, the thudding and throbbing pulse of the earth’s core and our hearts of flesh and blood. Garnet represents the hushed breath of the hibernating creatures beneath the blanket of winter, the bulbs and rhizomes of plants slowly and patiently waiting, laying the basis for what will sprout in the spring.

The Immaculate Heart

The Immaculate Heart

In a similar way, garnet vertically links aspects of our energy bodies—the below with the above. The gentle but confident strength of garnet builds a bridge, connecting Muladhara—the Root Chakra—directly with Anahata—the Heart Chakra. This is a unique pathway between these two energy vortexes. It allows us to anchor into the earth— the sacred womb/tomb— the otherwise boundless energy of love generated by the Immaculate Heart. It facilitates a conduit for an otherwise naturally diffuse energy to ground and manifest. In Qabalistic terms, this pathway joins Malkuth—the three-dimensional kingdom of bone and blood—through the astral, lunar sphere of Yesod—the Sacral Chakra—directly to Tiphereth—the pure realm of unconditional compassion for all sentient beings. Tiphereth is the Sun/Son—the Christ/Buddha consciousness—the place of divine union where we become the anointed ones. In Hebrew Gematria, the link between Yesod and Tiphereth is the energy of the letter Samekh, which in Tarot is Temperance, the reconciler. This sacred pathway between root and heart allows us to explore the polarities of Love and move freely between Agape—spiritual loveand Eros—sexual love. Garnet enables the transition in grace between two aspects of love that seem estranged in our modern state. Too often in our culture we create spaces for only one or the other to exist. Orthodox religious institutions deny sacred sexuality and, in so doing, perpetuate the virgin/whore dichotomy—that we must commit to celibacy to experience the divine, or walk a path of shame and guilt, tarnished by lust. This is the sacred endeavor of Temperance, to unite two opposites to form a tempered whole. By exploring this pathway we combine a lower, base form of reality—which doesn’t mean bad or sinful—with a higher, more spiritual reality. We begin to acquaint the Mundane Self with the Higher Self so they no longer remain estranged or at odds. We blend in the crucible of Temperance our psychic atoms to become a unified whole. Garnet is this crucible—warming and nourishing our hearts through the wintry month of January from its deep roots in the earth.

Trump XIV: Temperance

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