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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Obsidian: A Stone for November

Tezcatlipoca

Tezcatlipoca – Aztec god of magic

Many of us are familiar with the smooth, glossy black stone called obsidian. Truly, obsidian isn’t a stone at all. Rather, it is a naturally occurring glass that forms when lava from a volcano has cooled under special conditions. Because of its fragile nature, obsidian fractures with sharp edges which is why it was used as a weapon by ancient indigenous peoples who fashioned obsidian shards into arrow and spearheads. Among the Aztec culture, obsidian was sacred to Tezcatlipoca, the god of magic and divination. Large black mirrors were made from obsidian that were used for prophesying during shamanic ceremonies. The black jaguar was sacred to Tezcatlipoca and, because of its colour, was connected with the magical associations of obsidian as the black mirror used to pierce through the illusions of the world to see our true, refined essences. The tectonic crucible from which obsidian originates also links it with Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes. Lava was sacred to Pele as the primordial matter that is always regenerating, melted down deep in the earth’s core. As raw, kinetic essence, it bursts forth in grand spectacle, often clearing whatever path is necessary and then shapeshifting once again. Congealing into solid form, it takes on a new identity as a shiny, smooth black glass—the mirror of the magician. The stone of the shaman—the jaguar shapeshifter—obsidian today is especially appropriate and appealing for those who walk the boundary between definitions, refusing categorization—holding a space of openness, one-ness.

Obsidian arrowhead

The mirror-like quality of obsidian draws energy in, much like a black hole, to be devoured by its intense gravity. That’s how I perceive obsidian—a strong, yet gentle magnet that has the ability to dampen and absorb those energies no longer serving positive change. When working with obsidian it becomes impossible to remain stagnant, it doesn’t allow indulgence to linger. This is why I have chosen to discuss obsidian at this time of year. It embodies the type of shadow work I addressed in my previous post regarding the darkening part of the year as experienced in the months of October and November throughout the northern hemisphere. During this time of repose, it is fitting that obsidian offers us a true reflection of self—in its black mirrored surface we are given an unadulterated view of ourselves, a holistic view containing our strengths, glory, failures, and weaknesses. In its reflection we are able to perceive the shadows that hide in daylight. Obsidian allows us to peek behind the curtain of our preferred constructed identities and glimpse those elements that only come out at night, those fears and worries that came out of our closets and from under our beds as children when the bedroom lights were turned off. By working with obsidian we can foster a healthy relationship with these energies. Obsidian allows us to discern through the shadows, bringing them into awareness but while also acting as a sentinel to keep them in check. Just as Cerberus, the three-headed hound guards the realms of Hades, so does obsidian help keep these energies, thoughts, memories, or worries from taking over. Obsidian is, in a sense, dark matter. It represents all the unseen forces at work in the Universe, giving us structure and shape. What, to the eye, we consider empty space, is a vast world of dark energy and dark matter—the stuff of our dreams and nightmares. These ancient myths and fairytales exist in the vast chasms between the churning neutrons, electrons, and protons within the very atoms of everything we see and touch.

Obsidian outcrop

Obsidian outcrop

Obsidian can be readily found in most metaphysical shops. It comes in a wide variety of forms from small tumbled pieces, to raw specimens, to beautifully carved spheres and large mirror discs. I would recommend working with a piece of obsidian around this time of year in the following way: every night before bed sit with the stone in the palm of your hand, preferably by candlelight, firelight, or moonlight. Use the stone as a physical mirror, gaze into the light glinting on its dark surface, as if it were the vast reaches of outer space or the dark still waters of a lake at night. As you are gazing into its depths consider your dark energy. What does it look like? What is its source? When does it emerge? Does it ever get out of control? What do you fear could happen if it did? What holds you back? Keep a journal to answer these questions if you like. The act of writing in itself is sometimes enough to excavate and purge unwanted energy. As you contemplate what you see in the mirror, develop a relationship with the obsidian, it is the gatekeeper for you to acknowledge and contact your shadow self. As the month progresses use the obsidian in different ways: keep it beneath your pillow, place it in your water bottle, bury it in your garden, or place pieces in the corners of your bedroom and note the ways it speaks to you, the dreams you have, shifts in mood, etc.

Obsidian, because of its close ties with deep earth energy, is also extremely grounding. In this way it can send, like a taproot, any residual negativity or unwanted energy deep into the abyss to be broken down and regenerated. If you ever need to access this stabilizing power, reach for a piece of obsidian, carry it in your pocket, and visualize a great root descending from your sacrum and coccyx, down through your legs and the soles of your feet, into the tectonic forces of the earth. Visualize this mighty personal tendril anchoring into the very core of the earth itself. Here you are anchored, empowered by the gravity of the planet on whose surface we walk. This image can be called upon whenever you feel anxious, nervous, distracted, or unsettled. Simply close your eyes for a moment, bring awareness to your breath, stand or sit and bring the above image to mind and hold a meditative intention. Obviously, this type of visualization would be most advantageous if done outside on the ground, at the beach with your feet in the sand, or at the base of a tree.

Apache Tears

Lastly, a particular variety of obsidian, known as Apache tears, are well suited to issues of grief and recovery. Apache tears are small nodules of translucent obsidian found throughout the Arizona desert. So named because of an armed conflict between the Apache nation and the US cavalry in the 1870s during which the Apache were defeated. The tears of the mourning families were said to have turned to stone upon falling to the ground. These stunning specimens carry a very uniquely powerful energy to aid in expressing and transmuting grief and sorrow in both a literal or metaphoric sense.

As with any energy-based work, it is important to remember that crystals and stones are simply tools to be used to aid creative intent. With continued practice, intent is all that’s necessary, however, using objects like crystals and stones is appealing because of their beautiful and unique energies and qualities. Developing relationships with individual crystals and stones is an extremely rewarding experience, an experience I’ve been exploring most of my life.

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