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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dalmationite and Dogs

For Alex…

My family’s dogs were a big part of my life when I was a little girl. I learned to stand, clutching fistfuls of fur and hauling myself upright against our German Shepherd Nikki, who bore my maulings good naturedly. I created miniature worlds between his paws as I sat and played, marching little animals across his shoulders… He also taught me my first adult lessons in grief… Returning home from school to find him gone, it broke my heart, but I thank him for his gentle love and guidance. In comparison to myself, my mother has always been a ‘dog person’. I am primarily a ‘cat person’ but I love dogs too and have had a couple who have co-existed happily alongside my various cats.

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Rosie was another notable character from my mother’s succession of dogs… my first sister dog, she taught my older son how to treat a dog. She would tolerate no nonsense, yet was loving and kind. When my younger son was born, I laid him at her paws. She sniffed him delicately, sensitive nose reading all the nuances of this new little person I had brought to her for inspection. Then she gave me a look as if to say:

Another one! Don’t you think I’ve done my duty?” However, she went on to become an adored auntie dog, to hug at the end of a hard school day and receive comfort and understanding from her wise brown eyes.

My older son was quite offended on one – he went towards his little brother, intending a play fight… he never reached him, as Rosie stood and pushed herself in front of my younger son. She bared her teeth – just slightly, but the message was clear:

Hey! We’ll have none of that here!”

She grew older as my son moved from toddlerhood into a little boy – he learned the same lesson I did at about the same age, our beloved animals never live as long as we want them to, but our lives are the better for having known them, and learned their lessons of love and loyalty that they have to teach.

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Next was Rowan, beautiful and golden. She took more to my older son, but had plenty of time to spend with my younger son. I watched them both, once, outside at my mother’s as my son drew complicated chalk pictures and explained them to her. She watched, fascinated, her ears twitching to the enthusiasm in his voice and eyes following every line of the chalk.

Good natured and loving, she also had a congenital heart defect that my mother was unaware of until it was too late. My son and I stood outside the vets while my mother said her goodbyes. As I comforted him, a tiny white feather floated down from the sky to land at our feet. I had my words:

Rowan was such a good dog, God could only lend her to us for a little while, then He needed her back. She’s left you a feather from her angel wings.” My son still has it.

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Now my mother has Erin, paler than the traditional Shepherd colours of black and tan – her father was white – show quality, but really just our little girl. She’s the most vocal dog Mum’s had, and can say things like “Horrible”, “Hungry” and “Harare”. Perhaps she’d like to visit. She’s loving, affectionate and trusting, my mother’s constant companion – I’d worry about her a lot more if she didn’t have a dog. Erin has one particular game that I find reasonably amusing… she shows me she’d like her toybox moving so she can look into it. Then I have to get her toys out, one by one, and show them to her. She’ll prod them with her nose and that’s a sign to put that one away. When I happen to choose the one she wants, she’ll grab it and run off… sounds quite tedious but the dog enjoys it! Another favourite is to chase my younger son around the garden, leaping and grabbing and SQUEEZING his bottom with her teeth to produce a scream…

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All these canine family members had, and have, love, loyalty, trust and an innocent sheer joy of life… Dalmationite helps you live in the moment, rather like a dog, encouraging you to enjoy this present incarnation and connecting to the base and sacral chakras. It is both protective and sensitive, a guard dog for the spirit, as it will enhance your awareness of danger but help you to remain calm and deal with it.

IMG_6222 (2)The black spots are Tourmaline – skulls don’t have to be scary, they are actually quite  a powerful symbol of new life and knowledge

A typical interpretation of this stone is that it can help you attune to the innocent child within, strengthening your sense of fun, helping to dissolve depression and restoring energy. Dalmationite can stop you from overthinking and help you get out there and just do it… At the same time, instilling awareness and the ability to plan for every eventuality. A good stone for children – what child doesn’t love puppies! – it encourages fidelity and stabilises emotions and can help you release the desire for revenge that could be potentially harmful to yourself. It’s another good stone to use for animals, enhancing the link between Mother Earth and her children.

I think we could learn a lot from our canine family, their unquestioning love and trust in us should be repaid in our care and love for them. Their ability for love and joy in life is one that we would do well to adopt ourselves… dogs just get along.

Walkies anyone?

_MG_6279“Hey! It’s good for all animals you know!”

Crystals and Canines

Although I am no longer blessed with a dog of my own, I have always had dogs around me as I was growing up and my mother’s succession of German Shepherd dogs have been my sister dogs throughout my life – the featured image is a photo of me as a little girl with our German Shepherd, Nikki. Consequently, and also thanks to BrianLilyandArdbeg, I thought perhaps a dog and stones post might be in order.

IMG_5114 (2).JPG“Hey! What about cats?”

Crystals can be used to help animals as well as people, although I must emphasise that they are a complementary aid only and not a substitute for veterinary care for underlying medical conditions. There is, of course, the practical application of crystals to dogs, since, more often than not, they are unwilling to wear jewellery…and they don’t have pockets…So. At a recent Mind, Body and Spirit event, I met a lovely lady who made padded collars for animals, where you could insert tiny crystals, the tumbled ones, so they don’t press uncomfortably against the dog’s neck. You can adapt your own dog’s collar by sewing in a little padded pouch; or alternatively, you can place them in your dog’s bed, again, tucking them somewhere safe where an inquisitive snout can’t detect them and swallow them.

IMG_5227 (2)Erin snout inspecting various shades of Aventurine, for animals they can help wth purifying and healing the physical body…

Also you can “stroke” your dog with a polished crystal, or wand or egg, as you would use a brush to groom them, sending your intentions for the dog through the crystal. Individual animals will let you know which crystals they are drawn to by sniffing with interest or licking the actual crystals. Charlie made my Tiger’s Eye “hers” by rubbing her face on it, while Erin seems to like Dalmationite…

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Another method is by gridding your dog or cat whilst they sleep. Basically, what it says: placing the crystals around your dog with them at the centre of the pattern. I tend to use the Star of David formation with Charlie as she fits neatly in the middle, but again, I must emphasise, safety first. Do not leave your dog unattended with crystals in case they swallow them. Very important. (On a side note, my son told me that some people have chakra stones actually medically inserted in the appropriate place under the skin on their body. Hmm…interesting idea, but I don’t think I’d go that far…)

IMG_5858And here we have Charlie demonstrating…

Clear Quartz is perhaps the number one crystal to have to hand when working with your dog. Known as the “Master Healer” it is very beneficial for humans and animals alike, when used primarily for dogs, it will enhance their vitality and balance their temperaments. It can encourage healing, boost their immune systems and alleviate symptoms of pain and inflammation. It is also good for amplifying intentions between dog and owner, so useful during training sessions.

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Another good crystal for animals, dogs and cats in particular, is Amber. Although strictly speaking, it is fossilised tree resin, it is protective and detoxifying. It can be used to help with respiratory issues and is a calming positive crystal, good for use in direct contact with the dog, when grooming perhaps.

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Amethyst is another useful crystal, a good absorber of negativity, so beneficial in reducing stress in nervy dogs; likewise Blue Lace Agate, which is good for grumpy animals and calming anxiety. Carnelian is a good crystal for nerves, but again, it is down to which stone your dog is drawn. Selenite aids restful nights as it can help relax tightness in the muscles and aid with spinal alignment. Again, please note, these are complementary aids only and no substitute for veterinary treatment of any pre-existing, underlying medical issues.

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Finally, Black Tourmaline is a good crystal for dogs that spend a lot of time in human company, mainly working dogs although I’m sure house dogs would also benefit from Black Tourmaline as it can help with skeletal problems, muscle strains and hormone imbalances. Another warning- Malachite, although beautiful to look at, is a crystal that MUST be handled with caution as it is VERY toxic, especially when rough, and should only be used in its polished form. If in doubt, check it out. Don’t take my word for it, consult a qualified crystal therapist. Safety for you and your dog (or any other animal) is my main concern here.

IMG_5924 (2).JPGThe beautiful, but toxic Malachite… never let your animal lick it or sniff it!

On that note, I would like to thank BrianLilyandArdbeg for the idea for this post and I can highly recommend their blog, filled with love and care, and useful, generous help.

Animals are closer to Mother Earth than we humans, and as such, many will respond to and benefit from the careful use of crystals in their day to day life. Dogs are creatures of joy and love; their capacity for happiness is infinite and rewarding.

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All photographs Copyright © 2016 Alex Marlowe… apart from featured image!