Copper And Corpses…

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Given up by Mother Earth and lovingly shaped by Tethys, these nuggets of sea tumbled Copper are warm to the touch and blessed with various metaphysical benefits. Wearing Copper bracelets is well-known to be helpful in reducing the pain of arthritis and rheumatism.

It is connected to the sacral chakra and will help the body to heal and regenerate, whilst also stimulating your primal creative energy. Copper was present when the world was born – thus it will help you give birth to your own dreams and bring them into being. With this in mind, it is an excellent focus foe meditation, as it will take you back, deep within your own psyche to find and develop answers for your own spiritual growth.

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Copper pictures courtesy of Lizian – thank you! x

As already mentioned, Copper is anti-inflammatory and soothing for aching muscles and it can also help to release creative frustration and emotional tension… Corpses by their very nature induce emotion… as mother to the Furry Four I am regularly presented with a variety of little corpses, from moths to birds, mainly through the generosity of Lily.

Ting caught a fly once and Tooty attempted to murder a pigeon, but my little princess Charlie has never caught and killed a thing… However, I accept my role as undertaker and dispose of these little ones with care, sending them on their way with love and a prayer. I have only ever seen one dead human body, my partner’s father, and I was struck by the sense of difference, of something no longer needed and left behind like an old coat…

I remember when I was a little girl and my beloved Snoopy made his final journey, my father buried him under the apple tree in our garden. A couple of years later, when I was still quite young, I was distraught to find that my mother’s dogs had exhumed my cat. Crying, I ran indoors screaming:

Mummy! Mummy! The dogs have dug Snoopy up and they’re playing with him in the garden!”

I was devastated – my mother laughed… I can only ascribe this to her somewhat morbid sense of humour and the way I said it…

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“Hey! I’m just sleeping!!”

My most recent encounter with a corpse came courtesy of Erin, who is normally the most ladylike and refined of dogs, with manners as impeccable as her pedigree. Whilst out walking the other day, she discovered a rotting frog corpse… and rolled in it. Thoroughly. I was too late too stop her. She stunk. Thoroughly.

Walking back, tiny bones smooshed into her fur and entrails hanging off her head, I lectured her:

That is absolutely disgusting. What is so attractive about rancid amphibian? Chanel No.5 I could understand…”

As we entered my mother’s house she yelled:

Oh my GOD! She stinks! What have you been DOING??”

I laughed….

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Wonderfully atmospheric photo taken by Alex…
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Conversational Creatures…

22396626_136249047120511_319908426_oNow. Everybody knows that animals can talk – well, of course you do, as I even follow a number of blogs that are run exclusively by animals, and some that have human assistance… (The Canadian Cats, Seven Cats and Counting, Adventures In Cheeseland… I would link, but I haven’t quite managed to work out how to do that yet…)

When I was a little girl, I used to watch a wonderful television programme called “Animal Magic”, which was about the adventures of a zookeeper and the animals in his care. The zookeeper was the lovely Johnny Morris, (pretend another link here…) who also voiced all the animals, giving them individual characters and mannerisms. This programme held me transfixed, my sister too, even at the superior age of ten years older than me.

So, to entertain me, my sister began to give voices to our animals – she did wonderful vocalisations for our rat colony, and, as you do, when she and I had our own children, we carried it on. Even now both my sons are older, I still do it, possibly more for my own amusement than theirs; but my present girls have such individual personalities they are irresistible…

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                     “Of course I can talk…you just have to listen VERY carefully… “

However, my mother’s dog, Erin, really takes the biscuit…dog, of course. Mum has always had German Shepherds, ever since she was a teenager herself, and they have all been a delight to know and a joy to our family… Nikki, Rosie, Rowan.. and now Erin. Sister dogs and daughter dogs to me, but none quite as vocal as Erin.

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She is a very soft-footed dog, and adept at sneaking up behind me while I am washing up and delivering a sudden “WAH!” to demand a chew. One particular day, she had been bothering my mother for treats and she said quite sharply to her:

No! You’re not having any more chews! You’re having your dinner in a minute!”

Erin gave her a wounded look and said:

Ha-WIBBLE!”

Hard to transcribe phonetically, but most definitely “Horrible!”

She has a vast repertoire of groans and sighs and huffs which she will use to conduct a conversation:

Would you like to go out?”

Hwah!”

Shall you come here and get your lead on?”

Ahh! Ha-RUH! Wahh! Ouahh!”

The funniest to date though, has to be what she said to me the other week. I like to read, while I am eating my dinner, as does Mum, and Erin is aware that I generally give her pieces from my plate. Yes… I know I shouldn’t… but…

I was obviously taking too long in giving her a titbit, since she heaved a loud sigh, shifted her front paws impatiently and said:

Nom-noms!”

I laughed so much I felt obliged to give her the rest of my dinner…

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Sodalite And Sympathetic Cats

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Generally speaking, cats aren’t known for their sympathetic natures. For example… I have done one of my “Oops Mummy fell over a fairy” comedy falls and the cats present have looked at me as if I’m not right in the head…

I have been on the receiving end of one of Lily’s Murder Mittens that has left me tearful and bleeding…

Charlie! Look what that little b*&%$ did!”

And I have received the reply:

Well, I don’t think she really wanted the flea treatment…”

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But also a sympathetic lick across my scratched hand. Unless she was just tasting my blood.

I do like it when you have your hand near a cat when they are having a quick wash and brush up – quite often you will find yourself on the receiving end of a sympathetic lick…

Poor woman – hasn’t the first idea about personal hygiene…” (I do. Really.)

There have been times though, when I have been low or sad, and I would like to think that my girls realise this, and come to offer me sympathy and comfort with their furry purring warmth.

There is real sympathy, empathy and emotion between animal and human at these times, something to be treasured, encouraged and nurtured.

Sodalite can be used to promote these bonds of communication: as it is blue, it works with the throat chakra to bring compassion and emotional intelligence. It’s a good crystal to use in group sessions as it promotes emotional balance and understanding.

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It itself, Sodalite possesses the inherent quality of sympathy as it works with you, gently encouraging self-acceptance without judgement, sympathy without pity, fitting neatly into the crystal rainbow repertoire as the metaphysical “Agony Aunt”…

And who hasn’t shared their problems with a warm furry comforter, and felt better?

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Desert Rose And Destructive Dogs… !

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This wonderfully sculpted crystal is actually a relative of Selenite and, as such, has the ability to bring peace into your life and help judgement and insight…Legend has it that these flowery crystals were discovered by Arab nomads wandering the deserts, giving their camels comfort breaks and discovering the Desert Rose in the resulting puddle…

A charming but mostly untrue story, however as a crystal, it does bring relief from old habits that are blocking your progress in life and can help you to find a better, more fruitful way of thinking.

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As Desert Rose stabilises emotions, it also strengthens your sense of purpose and determination, making you more open to receiving love in a positive equal relationship.

This crystal, particularly apt for Mother’s Day, helps to forge a positive healing connection with Mother Earth and restore her protective energy grid where it has been disrupted in areas, for example, where heavy industry may have taken place.

Speaking of mothers – appropriately – and earth (humorously), I rather think my mother has forgotten just how … into everything a puppy can be. Erin is now a dignified lady of seven years and regards all the chewing and dragging out of cupboard contents as a little beneath her…

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As Rocky trots into my mother’s front room clutching a dead plant in his jaws from outside and gaily scattering dried compost everywhere, or emerges from the cupboard gleefully crunching a peg between his puppy teeth, Erin looks at him with the outraged and somewhat disbelieving expression of an elderly maiden aunt as if to say:

WELL! Really! The youth of today – absolutely no respect for anyone or anything!”

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To date, Rocky has destroyed the sweeping brush, the mop, the clematis, the passion flower, the bird table, my oldest son’s work boots…but we won’t talk about that … and dug two very large holes in the back garden.

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Despite all this, Rocky’s total joy in life is infectious and utterly charming – Erin is devoted to him, and Mum enjoys the “busyness” of two dogs… and me? Well… I’m just hopeless with baby animals…. Yes, I do the baby talk…”Who’s handsome? Does ‘oo want a biccy..?”

I keep reminding my mother it’s all a matter of perspective, and how you look at things, or to put it simply … out of sight, out of mind. Just put things out of a little one’s eyeline or reach – they soon forget about it and find something else more appropriate for kiddy canines to play with.

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This is a frame of reference left over from when my sons were little-anything they shouldn’t have had was placed away in a secure cupboard, or on top of something out of reach. I still find myself doing this, although my youngest son is now considerably taller than me at 6’1”.

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Works for most animals and children, although perhaps not cats… as I type this, Charlie is busily engaged in helping herself to cat treats from the jar, having unwrapped my Mother’s Day presents for me…

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

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Labradorite and… oh yes all right then, Labradors

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I was initially attracted to this wonderful stone by its colour. I came across it at my son’s lovely crystal lady’s stall, where her partner gave me a large freeform to hold. The iridescence of it is like capturing a rainbow in your hands, the vibe from it is something else altogether. Holding it was a bit like a scene from a sci-fi film… a low powerful throb and a picture in my mind’s eye of the deep, cold depths of the Universe, relieved by the flashes of colour, heavenly blues and golds, the warmth of pinks and purples… it’s quite a stone.

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It is also known as the ‘Actor’s Stone’, possibly why my son is drawn to it, but I must confess I find it a little overwhelming. Maybe I’m just shallow… but I find that I am rather more drawn to its gentler cousin, Moonstone. Both are types of Feldspar and its layered formation is what gives these crystals their iridescence.

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Labradorite is, then, a very mystical stone that connects with the Light but also offers protection of the highest order, by creating a barrier to deflect negative energy whilst sealing positivity in.

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Labradorite manages to be both grounding and uplifting … it can raise consciousness to increase awareness of spiritual purposes and simultaneously harness this energy within you, within the physical body. It can be a comforting stone for as it opens the door to unfamiliar territory, such as the awakening of psychic gifts, it will also banish your own fears and insecurities. It can calm and order a busy mind and infuse you with purpose to carry through changes in lifestyle and circumstances – a comfort blanket for the consciousness, if you will …

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This crystal was originally found in Labrador, in Canada, hence its name. Like the dog. Not one of my favourite breeds, although I find something to like in most dogs, I’m pretty impartial.

My mother had a memorable encounter with a Labrador… to be fair, the following incident was more the fault of the owner, than the actual dog. During the course of her dog walking adventures, my mother has met a wide range of dogs and owners. There is one particular example she now tries to avoid … Labradors and older men.

Erin is impeccably behaved, when out with my mother. She is obviously aware that my mother is older and smaller and more fragile than me… we seem to run a lot… but with my mother she does perfect recalls, will only go a limited distance from her and generally acts as though she is in the Champions ring at Crufts.

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This owner seems to have absolutely no idea of how to be with a dog, how to make it respond to him or even simply to do as he asks it. It’s not a vicious dog, although it is unsafe. Unsafe by the fact it runs in front of the maintenance tractors, unsafe in the way it approaches other dogs when their owners are clearly uncomfortable. Basically, his dog is a nuisance. Some of the other walkers and owners have pointed this out to him, but he has done little, and I can see it ending badly…

However. On this present morning the Labrador took advantage of its owner’s inattention to run over to my mother and fling itself against her legs. Hard. Now, my mother is an older lady, she’s only small, this dog is quite large and heavy. It BROKE her leg. My mother didn’t know this – she’s very stubborn, and returned home limping and cursing, a worried Erin by her side.

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She told me all this when I saw her later that day.

Mum, you should really go to the doctor at least, and have it checked out.”

Don’t be stupid, Samantha, I’ll be fine, I’ll just put a tubigrip on it.”

Here, I would like to say that my mother used to be a nurse… It took three weeks for me to persuade her to have her leg looked at. Her painkiller consumption was worryingly high, and after one morning where she looked particularly small and angry with pain, I said:

No. I can’t bear it. We’re going to the hospital. I’m ringing for a taxi…”

No! I’m not paying taxi fare, it’s horrendously expensive! We’ll get the bus…”

The conclusion to this story is … yes. My mother’s shin bone was fractured. I couldn’t believe it and actually took a picture of the x-ray. On the plus side, it had nearly healed. She was extremely lucky, the doctor pointed out, that she was so fit for her age – there could have been all sorts of horrible complications. She left with an air cast and crutches:

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I’m taking this bloody cyborg boot off as soon as we get back. I can’t walk in this, it’s far too heavy!”

But Mum, you heard what the doctor said –”

Don’t be stupid, Samantha, it’s practically healed! I’ll just put a bandage on it, I have to go shopping tomorrow…”

She’s fully recovered now. Erin hates that Labrador though. Mum must have smelled ‘hurt’ after coming into contact with it and Erin is aware that the Labrador was the cause of that hurt. It stays away from them, now. Erin doesn’t growl or bark at it, she’s not that sort of dog. She just… looks. I’ve seen her do it.

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Animals are definitely capable of sending and interpreting subtle communications… Now, when my mother takes Erin out for her walks, she always takes her mobile phone, just in case. She has firmly dismissed my efforts to make her carry a piece of Labradorite with her… (“Don’t be stupid, Samantha!”)

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Shaman Quartz and Shepherds

_mg_9193This is Shaman Quartz with inclusions of iron…

Both of these words have a similar meaning or essence… guidance, knowledge, nurturing. A conduit both for learning and teaching. Shaman Quartz is a wonderful crystal for bridging the gap between the spiritual and physical worlds. It aids the seeker on journeys and will facilitate visionary experience and spiritual healing.

Shaman Quartzes contain various secondary minerals that will help access the knowledge available from the higher realms. Chlorite Shaman Quartz is a lovely crystal – the chlorite shows as green, mossy patterning within the stone, clear as a mountain spring. When I held my son’s piece, I had a mental picture… aged forests and ancient guardians, the Green Man… Unsurprisingly then, Chlorite Shaman Quartz has strong links with Mother Earth, and as you seek your healing, Chlorite Shaman Quartz will help your own self-knowledge, cleanse your past and support you through Nature.

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Shaman Quartz can have various inclusions: Fluorite gives protection, Rutile, karmic diagnostics and Hematite dissolves negativity.

Shaman Quartz will clear cellular memory… it is believed that some physical ills present in this life can be attributed to accidents or traumas from past lives, thus clearing these imprints away will help you to make changes in your life and banish potentially harmful thought patterns.

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The essence of this crystal then, is guidance and compassion, key words when it comes to Man’s long association with canine companions. German Shepherd dogs have been the featured dog for most of my own life.

A relatively new breed in the eyes of canine history, Max Von Stephanitz, a German ex-cavalry officer, is generally credited with standardising the breed, in 1899, through careful breeding, designed to bring to the fore this breed’s best qualities of intelligence, loyalty and stamina, basically a working dog for guarding and herding sheep. Due to its German origins, the breed suffered a decline in popularity during both the First and Second World Wars, and was renamed the ‘Alsatian’ and it wasn’t until 1977 that the breed was re-registered as ‘German Shepherd’.

The breed has quite a few colour variations, black and tan, black and gold and even all black and all white. Erin’s father was white. They are also quite … hairy dogs. They – and their owners – are blessed with double coats. This means that German Shepherds have a long, dense outer coat that sheds all year round, with a woolly undercoat to keep them warm. Quite hard on vacuum cleaners though…

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German Shepherds are a popular breed for the military and police, because they are strong, brave and intelligent dogs. They respond to training well and are devoted companions. This makes the shocking neglect of some human officers to their K9 counterparts both heart wrenching and hard to understand. The wonderful Dee (of ‘A Vegetarian Gammy Takes a Hike ~ And Then a Permanent Detour’) has brought attention to bear on these shocking incidents of cruelty. Please, go and have a look. Dee is an amazingly brave lady, her blog is well worth a visit, as is that of her beautiful dog, Sasha, who has had some severe medical issues. Dee has challenged accepted veterinary standards and tirelessly sought the best care for her beloved dog… well. Go on and see for yourselves, please do.

I saw something you don’t see very often the other day… a German Shepherd guide dog. It was perfectly well-behaved, and looked after its companion with care and attention, but I had to smile at the thought of Erin as a guide dog…

Oh look! Quick there’s something behind that bush, now we have to see what’s in that garden. Quick, run across the road, oops, forgot to warn you about the kerb. Ah, the bookies… let’s walk very slowly past here because for some reason I find looking in the window absolutely fascinating. RIGHT! That’s far enough – we have to run very quickly home…”

Entertaining perhaps to watch, but not recommended practice for guide dogs.

All my mother’s Shepherds though, from those that have already crossed Rainbow Bridge, to her present dog, Erin, are linked in a timeless circle of love and devotion, protective and guiding, canine companions and family that remain faithful and loving, whether in this world or the next.

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Dragons’ Eggs and Dogs

img_8615Beautiful Clear Quartz Dragon’s Egg, the ‘open’ side allows insight and vision whilst containing the healing properties of Clear Quartz. It stores information and will work with all chakras as it contains all colours.

Dragons’ Eggs, also known as Seer Stones, are usually naturally water polished crystals that have one side sliced off so you can access the inner world of the crystal.. These are wonderful stones for focus and meditation, as they are very tactile… As you hold them, you visualise and concentrate, returning deep to your inner self for healing and awareness.

img_8609My lovely Amethyst Dragon’s Egg – one of the most spiritual stones as it encourages selflessness and intuition, reaffirming our connection with the Divine. The ‘scrying’ or vision allows you to centre your emotions positively whilst dispelling the negative. 

It is also said that you can ‘programme’ your Dragon Egg to return you to a specific moment in time so you can experience it again and learn how to progress forwards. I prefer rather, to use them in the ‘here and now’, as a gentle focus to clear your mind and get in touch with your inner peace.

img_8626Two Smoky Quartz Dragons’ Eggs – these give you the insight to realise and accept your physical body. It is linked to the Base chakra, allowing energy to pass freely through the body and is grounding and protective. The stone on the left is chambered, due to the repeated chemical structure of crystals – added storage to hold your love and intentions. The one on the left clearly has four chambers and a cross… A powerful symbol in itself.

My mother is somewhat… sceptical of the idea of inner peace, yet if she is unable to walk her dog, Erin, then she is stressed and grumpy. Walking with her dog in the local country park is her way of retrieving inner calm that she may have lost touch with during the course of the day.

img_4842“AAAANNND EYEEEEE EEEE EYYYEEEEE WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOUUUUUU!”

Erin is, herself, a calm and loving dog, her company is restorative and her eagerness, her ‘in-the-moment’ dogginess never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Dogs have an inbuilt intuition, perhaps born because of their long and close association with humans throughout the years. They instinctively know when we are upset, or worrying about something, and they do their best to comfort us.

img_5193-2“Tooth hygiene – important you know!”

I grieved terribly for my old cat, and mum’s dog at the time, Rowan, was so comforting. She would lay her head on my knee so I could stroke her, or prod m with her nose until I paid her some attention, as if to say:

I’m still here. Look, I feel your pain too…”

I read somewhere that when dogs put their paws on your knee, or anywhere else – my son has had a paw in the unwary face before – then they are trying to stroke you back.

I sometimes wonder what they would say to us if they could speak… I’m sure they would have deep, philosophical words to offer, secrets of the Universe… or maybe just:

Really? I’m having this brand of dog food again…?”

I know there is an indefinable comfort to be drawn from the presence of the dog, and although for the moment I am primarily a cat person, I miss the presence of my little dog, her unquestioning love and pleasure just at being alive and with me.

img_4821-2Patrolling the garden with mother…

I know I would worry about my mother more, as although we see her everyday, she lives by herself. Erin is with my mother constantly, both companion and comfort, instinctively knowing how to be around my mother. Dogs have the infinite wisdom of soul companions and a vast canine store of knowledge and love, the sort we can bless ourselves with through the sympathetic guidance and vision of these beautiful crystal Dragons’ Eggs.

img_8611My lovely Rose Quartz Dragon’s Egg – warms the heart as it works with the Heart chakra to instill emotional balance and healing, while allowing you to give and receive compassion.