Think of a skull and what do you see in your mind’s eye…? The dry skulls of longhorn cattle, abandoned and forlorn, lying in a desert…the years’ old skulls of dinosaurs, hanging and monstrous…the greasy skull of a zombie, threads of rotting flesh and slimy hair still clinging to it…
I visited an ossuary once, and was overwhelmed by the neat stacks of dried and powdery human skulls, piled carefully in alcoves. And everyone at some point in their life will have seen the heaps of skulls, carelessly tossed aside, the markers of one or another despot…
Powerful symbols that imprint on your memory and it is precisely due to these negative connotations that one remembers them… In Art, skulls are sometimes referred to as deaths heads and used to symbolise the impermanence of humanity. Commonly believed to be the seat of the soul, the material vessel of the spirit, the skull was often used by alchemists as a container for use in transformation processes. It is precisely because the skull was held as the seat of intellect, the soul, the essence of being, that the practice of “Anthropophagy” evolved.
Left: Carnelian, promotes creativity, positivity and confidence. Right: Stromatolite, fossilised microorganisms, helps you to understand life’s lessons and ‘go with the flow’
There’s a word to conjure with… Anything with “anthro” in it is usually to do with humans, ‘phagy’, eating… so yes. Cannibalism. It was a common practice within some ancient tribes who believed that they would absorb the strength and intelligence of their enemy by consuming their brain and flesh; and sometimes, the leader or shaman would be sacrificed and eaten for that same reason, as well as being an offering to the gods. Therefore skulls are a potent symbol of strength, intelligence – and death.
Front row: Lepidolite, Preseli Bluestone and Carnelian. Back row: Stromatolite and Lapis Lazuli
My introduction to crystal skulls was through my son’s lovely crystal lady Lizian, who encouraged me not to dismiss them out of hand as gory piratical symbols with a bloodstained history… Instead, regard them as a metaphor for all the positive aspects of humanity, light and love and intelligence. A vessel yes, but for a higher purpose, as this representation does not relate to physical death; rather, it is a key to access the information retained by the collective human consciousness. It is said that by working with the particular vibration of crystal skulls mankind can expand its own consciousness whilst adding to the general pool of human knowledge. The skull is a tangible reminder of this and when coupled with the properties of the crystal from which it is carved, it is then a beneficial and potentially powerful tool.
Left to right: Dalmationite, Fluorite, Mookaite, then artistically out of focus unidentifiable skulls
So then… crystal skulls are a reminder of our own humanity. Not in the sense of physical death, but a bit like tying a knot in a handkerchief…We only use a small proportion of our total brain capacity, the skulls are a way of encouraging us to use more, expand our horizons and learn more, utilising them as a way of accessing knowledge left to us from previous civilisations and becoming part of a human “whole” again.
Thank you to In The Autumn Of My Life for the idea for this post, and thank you to Lizian, both for the beautiful examples which my son photographed, and letting me pick her brains for information… if you pardon the pun…!
Preseli Bluestone… this is the same crystal that Stonehenge is made of, a magical crystal with an ancient vibration…
All photos were taken by my son!