Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli is a stunningly beautiful blue stone that has been used since ancient times.  Mostly mined from Afghanistan, Lapis artifacts have been found in ancient Egyptian and Sumerian archeological sites.  Composed mainly of the mineral Lazurite, Lapis can also contain calcite, sodalite, and even gold coloured pyrite.

Lapis is thought to be able to cure melancholy and fevers, as well as increasing mental clarity and intuition.  It is associated with truth, memory, awareness, balance and justice.

For healing, Lapis Lazuli supports the throat and upper chest areas, draws anxieties to the surface, aids communication and meditation, and provides insight and clarity of mind.

The Essential Guide to Crystals – Simon & Sue Lilly

© A Year And A Day (2013)



Kyanite (Pagan Blog Project)

Kyanite is an alumino-silicate mineral often found in metamorphic rocks, such as pegmatites.  It forms thin blade-like crystals that often radiate from a common centre.  The name kyanite comes from the Greek kuanos or kyanos, meaning ‘deep blue’, however not all kyanites are blue!  Kyanite can be black, green, orange, with the white/grey variety called rhaeticite.

File:Kyanite crystals.jpg

Kyanite is known for its connecting, channeling, and release of energy.  It is an excellent conductor of life energy and aids communication.  It is said kyanite crystals do not absorb negative energy, therefore never need to be cleansed.

In magic, kyanite acts as a catalyst to speed up other processes, makes rapid links between all things, and aids rapid communication.  In healing, kyanite balances the whole body, calms and releases blocked emotions, brings tranquility and quietness, and aids meditation and access to all levels of awareness.

The Essential Guide to Crystals – Simon & Sue Lilly
Wiki – Kyanite
FengShui – Kyanite

© A Year And A Day (2013)


Jade (Pagan Blog Project)

Jade is a beautiful green ornamental stone that has been used for centuries in many parts of the world.  However gemstone jade can actually come from two metamorphic sources, both similar in texture, hardness, and appearance.  Nephrite is amphibole-silicate mineral Actinolite (whose fibrous form is known as Asbestos) and the other source being Jadeite, a pyroxene.

Used around the world for its healing properties, jade can be found in a variety of ancient items such as jewellery, buttons, weapons, and sculptures.

Jade is known for increasing belonging, stability and instinct.  Jade’s magical properties include being associated with longevity, and helping to connect people with their departed ancestors.  Healing functions include balancing the heart chakra, increasing a sense of belonging, enhancing the ability to act appropriately and effectively, and relaxing us at deep levels to accelerate healing.

Wiki – Jade
The Essential Guide to Crystals – Simon & Sue Lilly

© A Year And A Day (2013)


Amber (Pagan Blog Project)

Amber is not a stone in the traditional sense, as it is composed of fossilized tree resin.  But its warm yellow tones and natural beauty makes it a great gemstone.  Amber is also known for its healing properties.

Mostly from Baltic sources, amber is light enough that it floats on water, leading to it being found in many places worldwide.

Since amber is formed from sticky tree resin, it is common to find biological organisms trapped inside, such as spiders, flies and other insects.  When conditions are right, the preserved tree resin fossilizes into hardened amber, creating a ‘time capsule’ preserving organisms that usually would not have been preserved.

File:Spider in amber (1).jpg

Amber also generates static electricity when rubbed with a cloth.  In fact, the terms ‘electron’ and ‘electricity’ come from the Greek word for Amber.

Amber has been used for its healing properties from Ancient Greece to Medieval times.  Amber is thought to boost energy, generate enthusiasm, help with nervous disorders, and is generally enlivening, stimulating and strengthening.

Amber has been associated with mythology and folklore for centuries, and is a beautiful gemstone for jewellery and helpful healing stone.

Essential Guide to Crystals (Simon & Sue Lilly)
Wiki Amber

© A Year And A Day (2013)


Quartz (Pagan Blog Project)

Quartz is such an interesting mineral.  Ancient Greeks called the clear crystal ‘crystalos’ (permanent ice) because they thought the ice was frozen so solid that it wouldn’t melt.  Simply put, quartz is the most abundant mineral in the earth’s crust, and has been prized for centuries.

Quartz is known to amplify energies of other stones if placed nearby, helps reveal the truth, and is used for divination and scrying.  Healing includes amplifying/strengthening the aura, cleansing/shifting energy, releasing blocked emotions, bringing calm, increasing clarity of though, and bringing spiritual peace (for meditation, etc).  Keywords include Brightening, Organizing, and Amplifying.

There are so many varieties of quartz given its common chemical component of silica dioxide (SiO2).  Macrocrystalline varieties (larger grain sizes visible to the naked eye) include:

Clear Quartz “Rock Crystal”, clear, colorless
Amethyst Purple, transparent
Citrine Yellow to reddish orange to brown, greenish yellow
Rose quartz Pink, translucent
Rutilated quartz Contains acicular (needles) inclusions of rutile
Milk quartz White, translucent to opaque
Smoky quartz Brown to gray, opaque

Cryptocrystalline varieties (microscopic grain sizes) include:

Chalcedony Cryptocrystalline quartz and moganite mixture.
Agate Multi-colored, banded chalcedony, semi-translucent to translucent
Onyx Agate where the bands are straight, parallel and consistent in size.
Jasper Opaque cryptocrystalline quartz, typically red to brown
Aventurine Translucent chalcedony with small inclusions (usually mica) that shimmer.
Tiger’s Eye Fibrous gold to red-brown colored quartz
Carnelian Reddish orange chalcedony, translucent

Essential Guide to Crystals (Simon & Sue Lilly)
Wikipedia – Quartz

© A Year And A Day (2012)

Essential Guide to Crystals

The Essential Guide to Crystals” (Simon & Sue Lilly)

An authoritative illustrated guide to crystals reveals the full power and mystery of these gems, which can heal our spirits and enhance our lives. More than 100 crystals are grouped by color and then presented individually through color photography and in-depth discussions of appearance, followed by descriptions of individual healing properties and other practical uses, and the myths and legends surrounding each. There’s advice on building and maintaining a collection, as well as expert guidance on crystal healing and meditation, using amulets and birthstones, and working with crystals aligned to our auras, chakras or reflexology points. (Amazon)


When I was searching for a guide to crystals and gemstones from a health and healing perspective, the Earth Scientist in me demanded some scientific content.  This guidebook provides the chemical composition of the gems, minerals and rocks, as well as their origin and method of formation.  It organises the minerals and rocks by colour, which is useful when you don’t know the name of the mineral, however therefore doesn’t group different colours of the same minerals together (ie: quartz, milky quartz, rose quartz, smoky quartz, etc).  I found the specimen pictures very detailed and colourful, I’m jealous of the mineral collection!  Each page has information about the magical and healing properties, as well as practical uses and keywords.  The Introduction covers crystal colours, auras, charkas and birthstones, as well as crystal healing techniques.  All in all, a good crystal reference book, and I’m sure it will be a useful resource on my bookshelf.

© A Year And A Day (2012)


This week’s Pagan Blog Project was for the letter ‘J’, and the Earth Scientist that I am, I chose Jasper.

Jasper (SiO2)

Jasper is a type of quartz-chalcedony, similar to other stones like Carnelian, Agate, and Flint.  What gives Jasper its unique colour is impurities.

  • Hematite makes them red
  • Limonite makes them brown/yellow
  • Chlorite makes them green

Jasper has been used for centuries as talismans and amulets due to its rich vibrant colours and healing properties, and also as ornamental building stone.

Jasper is grounding and helps focus on the practicalities of life.  It also nurtures damaged areas of the body, aiding recovery and repair.

A variety of Jasper is Bloodstone (or Heliotrope), which is green Jasper with red, brown and yellow markings from iron oxides.

Bloodstone provides motivation and encouragement, strength and good health.  Its traditionally linked with healing wounds and stopping blood loss – a warrior’s stone under the influence of planet Mars.  It also energizes and balances the heart and root chakras.

Essential Guide to Crystals (Simon & Sue Lilly)