How to find your own crystals

If you really, really want to use crystals for magick or jewellery it’s actually not impossible to find them yourself. And you don’t even need a mine! All you need is a forest, patient and sharp eyes. Of course  the conditions for finding crystals will change depending on where you live but If you live near a forest in the northern hemisphere you should have a decent chance. When I first started looking for crystals I did a huge mistake. I went to a quarry. Then I went to another quarry and then a ravine and I found nothing. The best place to find crystals is, believe it or not, here:

Beneath uprooted trees. Probably, I think, because the earth and rocks beneath have been safe for many, many years and also, you don’t have to dig very much because the tree has already done the hard bit! If the earth is stony, as in this case, you’re chances are pretty good, if it’s just mud and marshland I wouldn’t bother with it.

Study each rock carefully. Sometimes you can only see a few millimeters of the actual crystal. Sometimes all you need to reveal a crystal is clear water, a strong brush and a pair of calloused hands. In other cases you may have to grind it. If you don’t have the equipment or knowledge to do it yourself you can ask a jeweller or even at a museum (preferably one with a geological section).

What crystals can you find then? First you should find out what crystals are native to your country (and which are legal for you to pick, this post is adapted to the Scandinavian laws, make sure you check what the laws are in your own country) and where those are usually found. Quartz are what I mostly come upon. From personal experience I have determined that rose quartz are the most uncommon while rock crystals are so common I don’t even understand why anyone would pay for them. I have heard rumours you can find amethysts here in Sweden but I’ve never seen one. Then there’s the crystals I don’t know a name on (I’m not a geologist after all).

Above is three of my crystals in different states. The rose quartz has obviously been polished to reveal it completely. The crystal in the middle is recently picked and has neither been cleaned or polished. The last crystal has been cleaned roughly.

Have fun finding you own crystals and spare Mother Earth while at it! 🙂

The Autumn Equinox and The First Day of Autumn

For the Autumn Equinox yesterday I did nothing. Or. A boy invited me to dinner so that’s what I were doing. It was horrible. This fine Sunday morning however, my sister and I decided to have a little celebration in the forest. It didn’t exactly turn out as we hoped but then again it usually doesn’t when my sister and I actually tries to plan something. We ended up having a picnic on a mountain. But the only thing we had to eat was apples and some cookies we found (we were going to bake our own cookies but that went to hell). It was nice anyway. It was beautiful, chilly and sunny. The first day of Autumn. After the picnic we went looking for adventures. We climbed another mountain and found the most awesome half-cave. We also found some rocks that we were both convinced were trolls in disguise. It was great to spend a few hours in the forest with just my sister and her puppy.

Killing Beautiful Things

Today was a beautiful day. The weather was cold and the sun was shining bright. I went out for a walk and on one of my favourite paths I found a huge Moor Frog. It looked at me and it was just stunningly beautiful. I looked at it for a moment and then It jumped of the path and down into a brook. However, living animals wasn’t the only thing I saw during my walk. I also saw a lot of dead animals. Someone in my neighbourhood must be a true snake-hater because I always find snakes with their heads squashed. They come up on the road to sunbath and instead they get their heads smashed in. Sometimes it’s adders but most often it’s Slow-worms. Who would kill  a slow-worm? They’re beautiful, their faces looks like a dinosaurs’ and they’re pretty much the definition of harmless. They can do nothing. Literary nothing, that can ever harm you. Why would you kill something that is lying on the ground defenceless? What is the point?

Moor frog photographed by Lars Bergendorf

The worst part is that I am the youngest person in this neighbourhood. If I found out it was a kid I would give them a lecture and be over with it but there are no kids around. Whoever is doing this must be at least 30 or older. And it’s not a small amount of dead snakes I’m talking about. I haven’t counted them but I have found at least one new every day during this summer. I now what the problem is but I don’t understand it. The problem is that certain animals are considered “disgusting”. Snakes, snails, worms and frogs are some of those. My cousin once smashes a toad under her shoe. The same cousin that always keeps angry lectures about people hitting their dogs.

Whenever I speak up for those animals I always hear things like; “but they’re only snails” or “they’re disgusting”. Apparently things are only worth caring about if they’re beautiful. Idiocy is a short term for that kind of thinking.

Slow-worm, or copper-snake as we call them where I come from.

The (not so special) Blue Moon

To tell the truth I don’t really understand this Blue Moon hype. In my eyes it’s full-moon. Nothing more, but nothing less either. Sure, it’s the second of this month. But only because we have decided that August has 31 days. And it only applies to the Gregorian calendar (which, believe it or not, isn’t used by everyone in the entire world). If we had given August 30 days instead of 31 there wouldn’t have been a Blue Moon yesterday. Now, I do consider the moon magickal, but I don’t think she cares about our calendars. At all. She cares about coming and going in an endless circle. What I’m trying to say is that I think some people read way to much into a perfectly normal thing.

Actually I don’t even understand why the term Blue Moon even exists. The reason this happens sometimes is purely mathematical. It’s the same moon. And it’s not even blue.

Blue Moon by StamatisGR

Us Collectors

Last night I found trouble sleeping (as usual) and instead of staring into the roof I looked around for new podcasts to listen to. I found one called A Pagan Heart in Maine, aired by Greywolf Moonsong. In the first episode he was interviewing Michelle “Shelley” Hanson about shell divination. It was very fascinating and when Shelley spoke of collecting and studying things on default only to one day realize it means something more I just felt “wow, this is me!”. Actually I think this applies to many collectors.

I collect all sort of things and I never really thought about why I choose a certain object and discard another. I was really inspired to start looking at my collected things in a new way after listening to Shelleys story! Now, I don’t have any shells even though I live by the ocean. Actually I’ve never even seen one so perhaps they are rare in the Baltic Sea but this thinking can be applied to all sort of things, flowers, rocks, insects and so on.

This one, I actually stole from my mother of whom I inherited my magpie gene. A branch from her witch-hazel.

I’m not sure how other collectors are but I can loose all boundaries when going to a stony beach or take a stroll through the woods. I can spot a perfect cone from a kilometre away (not really, but you get the point). Anyhow what I found interesting is where in my home I have placed these objects after bringing them home. On my writing desk, for example, I have “always” had a really nice pine cone. I literary do not remember how and when it got there. This is interesting because when I searched for the meaning of pines I found this description in Jane Giffords book Wisdom of the Tree: From its lofty position above the tops of most other trees, the pine reminded ancient peoples of the importance of taking the overview, encouraging objectivity and farsightedness. We are advised to cleanse ourselves of negativity, neither dwelling on mistakes nor apportioning blame. Pine is a symbol of the elevated mind and the birth of the spiritual warrior.”  These are things I always think about and want to accomplish when I write! 

A really old thimble, a piece of heart-shaped coral and a stone with fossils.

A daisy from two summers ago, three favourite rocks, some flower and a fir cone.

The more I look into this the more interesting it becomes and I started adding things that were not actually collected to this project. For example I have a butterfly garland in my window, which I can see from all places in my home except the bathroom. I just kinda woke up one morning and thought; “Hey, I should totally make a butterfly garland”. After exploring the internet for some 30 minutes I’ve come to conclusion that butterflies represents freedom and courage. Two things I try to aim for but always have to remind myself about to not fall back in my old “don’t mind me I don’t even exist” pattern. I start every morning with opening my windows (yes, even in the winter) so these little symbols of independence is basically the first thing I see every morning!

Now, I realize this is starting to get a bit long but I’m having a serious spiritual realisation here! Are there any collectors who’s reading this? Have you ever tried to find a meaning with the things you surround yourself with? If not, you should totally give it a go!