Like herbs, stones have been used in magical practices for millennia. Long before people figured out how to cut and polish stones for jewelry, they were carrying rocks for luck and magic. The principle of sympathetic magic assigned meanings to the stones that lay about everywhere on the surface of the Earth, based upon such qualities as color and shape -thus green stones such as Aventurine were used to promote growth and fertility, and red stones such as Carnelian were used to promote strength and vitality.
Moreover people's natural psychic ability helped them to determine how to use stones, by picking up on the qualities of the stone's AURA. Everything which exists has an energy field, or Aura. The aura is as distinctive in its features as the physical form, each thing which exists having characteristic strengths and weaknesses as well as its own individual variations. These energy fields are not abstract, and they do not exist in a vacuum: auras affect each other when they come into contact, especially when conscious focus is applied. In this way the individual characteristics of a stones aura will affect your own aura when brought into contact with it, thus influencing you in various ways.
There are a number of ways in which people use stones to create a desired effect:
The stone can be used to attract or increase (amplify) energies which are in sympathy with its aura: as wearing Rose Quartz to increase inner happiness or attract romance, or placing a Malachite on top of paper money to stimulate financial increase.
The stone can be used to focus energy for a particular purpose, rather as a colored "gel" is used to change the qualities of theatrical stage lights: as visualizing a beam of light passing through an Amethyst to stimulate psychic opening, or passing through a Flourite for healing.
The stone can be used to create or strengthen energy pathways: as when several pieces of Quartz Crystal are laid out in a triangle or square to create an energy VORTEX to aid in psychic or magical work.
Every kind of stone has specific characteristics which determine its best use. Moreover each individual stone has qualities peculiar to it alone -a personality if you will. Two Garnets will not necessarily function in the same way, or be equally good for the same function.
The best way to find the stone you need for your purpose is to run your hand over a selection of stones, a little bit above them -so that you can feel their energy without actually touching them. The stone you need will feel different from the others: often it feels warmer, sometimes colder, but always it will feel different.
There are many lists detailing the "meanings" and uses of stones, which may help you to determine the type of stone you need. These lists however do not always agree on the qualities they accord to the stones. This is because stones work on different levels depending on how you access them. If you seriously work with stones you may find that they interact with you in highly personal ways that are unique to you, because of the manner of your individual interaction. Of course this is usually how things work, but it is rarely stated. Thus while I include a list of uses for common stones, I caution you to be alert for individual variations that will enhance your experience.
Generally people access stones through their color vibration -though there are many other ways as well. The clearer a stone is, the purer its basic characteristics will be. The more OCCLUSIONS, striations, etc., a stone has, the more individual its character will be. This is why clear, bright, crystalline forms such as Emeralds or Diamonds with few or no occlusions are so highly prized -for their ease and predictability of use. Yet the highly individual stone if correctly used may be far more precise and effective.
Not only gem stones, but also perfectly ordinary rocks can be used in this manner -though one must be alert to their individual nature. It is widely held that the most useful stones of all are those that are "found" rather than those that are specifically sought out. Lady Krystel, the head of the Correllian Tradition, maintains on her altar a small river stone, which appears to bear the most perfect likeness of the Crone Goddess on one side. Lady Krystel found it on the ground while walking along a perfectly ordinary road, yet in working with it has found it a powerful stone for psychic and spiritual attunement.
Remember also that synthetic as well as natural stones have auras, and therefor are sometimes useful. Many synthetics are extremely shallow, but others like Goldstone or Marlenite have a powerful aura that prove very effective.
Whatever kind of stone you use, remember that you are not only working with its physical form, but with its spirit as well. You may greatly facilitate your working by calling forth that spirit, visualizing it, and interacting with it. You may visualize the stone's spirit as a larger more perfect version of itself, radiating light. Sometimes also the STONE'S SPIRIT may come to you in human form, or as an animal, according to what is needed in the circumstance. Sometimes the stone's spirit will give you advice, feedback, or needed information. Always focus is increased by working with it.
Just as you clear and release after each working, so too stones should be cleansed after being used. Some people cleanse their stones by running them under cold water. Others visualize white or yellow light as a cleansing agent. many other techniques, such as immersion in salt, are also used. Be alert for what works best for you.
Remember to thank your stones for the gifts that they bring you, for they too are part of the circle of life, and deserve respect.
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