Balls! And… Bad Cats…

18618234_1841153562871479_138935753_oA Clear Quartz sphere… excellent for clarity of thought, overall body healing as well as amplifying the effects of other crystals…

Balls. A satisfying word and an equally satisfying crystal shape… The word can be used as a derogatory exclamation of disbelief, mainly because it is used as a slang term for… um…men parts. Or it can be used as a grudging admission of admiration, as in: “I can’t believe she had the balls to do that.”

Either way, a wonderfully satisfying word in the mouth and form in the hand. Not only are the polished crystal spheres extremely tactile but they have an esoteric history behind them that is rich in meaning and symbolism.

18596736_1841153579538144_689155423_oHoney Calcite to enhance intellect and memory and ease the challenges of change…

Along with black cats – of which I have two – crystal balls – of which I have many – are traditionally associated with witches and foretelling the future… but they can also be used in Reiki and acupressure, and of course the individual crystal will bring its own healing properties too.

18596692_1841153626204806_1223593920_oRose Quartz, my personal favourite crystal, a stone of unconditional love and happiness, promoting positivity while nourishing and comforting… 

As a sphere, a ball, the shape symbolises wholeness and infinity, the unity between body and spirit. They can help call forth the integrity within you and encourage clear thinking. As the crystal vibration is contained within this particular shape, the actual energy is emitted gently in all directions when the ball is used.

18575950_1841153646204804_1711473908_oA Yellow Calcite sphere to boost energy levels, self confidence and hope… 

Now… I don’t believe that any animal is ever consciously “bad”… perhaps bad-tempered. Charlie can be hideously grumpy if you catch her at the wrong time of day… my son and I both bear scars as proof of this. Other people may see my cats as being “badly behaved”… like it is a bone of contention as to exactly who has ripped up the carpet in the hallway…

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I don’t for one minute think it’s Charlie, even though she is known for being a little free with the old toe knives… this is because I actually witnessed, with my own eyes, innocent Tooty, who wouldn’t say “boo” to a goose, digging her claws in luxuriously and pulling…

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Cats are mostly motivated by curiosity and self-preservation, therefore when they do what may be considered “bad” things, like digging up a favourite garden plant, they are merely demonstrating extreme examples of natural behaviour. Cats aren’t naturally, thinkingly bad…

18596804_1292691514101468_477574274_oGuest appearance from Ozzy, looking suitably mischievous!

Charlie! Charlie! Stop dragging Alex around by his head! He’s not a prey item you know…

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Strawberry Quartz and Sparkling Cats

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When I was a little girl I went through a phase when I would only eat strawberry jam sandwiches -white bread, crusts cut off – and fishfingers. Not together, obviously…

I don’t like fishfingers now, but I am still quite fond of jam, so I was delighted when my son’s lovely crystal lady Lizian identified this piece of quartz as Strawberry Quartz. It reminds me of a spoonful of good quality jam and brings with it the same sense of simple happiness I get when spreading jam on hot buttered toast…

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Metaphysically, then, I was pleased to learn that Strawberry Quartz does bring joy and awareness to life. It’s a happy, uncomplicated stone that shows you the humour in life and how to live every aspect of it with this sense of light and love.

It works with the heart chakra to gift your life with love and positivity, so you can shed old, negative thought patterns, pinpointing the causes and transform them into new and more hopeful ways of living. A sugar boost for the soul, a burst of sparkling energy and joy…

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Sparkling” can be used in various descriptive ways; it may seem a harder-edged word than something like the softer “glowing”, but I enjoy it as it brings crystalline qualities to mind.

I love to see the play of sunlight in my black cats’ fur, Lily and Tooty, as the light touches each hair with sparkle and bestows a rainbow radiance…

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I love Ting’s blue eyes, that sparkle with adoration as she looks at me… slightly cross-eyed.

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And of course, there is Charlie. My little princess is possessed of a sparkling intellect. Seriously. She’s the most intelligent cat I’ve ever known.

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Two summers ago, I made up a song about Charlie…as you do… and I used to sing it to her, quite a lot. It had a particular name in it, which I called her, so imagine my surprise when last year, the same name was used in the lyrics of a song for a soft drink… then this year, the song was released as part of a compilation album.

My little cat has demonstrated a sensitivity to music that I was not aware felines had. Unless it’s just my singing… but the first time she heard the song for the drink, she looked at me with interest, obviously recognising the words. Then, as the advert was played… again… and again…she grew visibly weary of it and slightly irritated by it.

I heard the advert for the compilation advert for the first time the other day and thought:

Oh no! She’ll think I’ve done it on purpose…!!”

Then it just so happened, I was in bed, Charlie was lying at the end of the bed and my son popped in to say goodnight. The advert played. I said:

Uh-oh! Watch her!”

When Charlie heard her special song, she turned around to look at me and her face said, clear as day,

I suppose you think that’s funny. It’s just plain childish!”

She gave me such a contemptuous look, I shrank back into my duvet, while my son started to laugh…

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Just one example of Madame La Princesse’s sparkling intellect …. and ability to make me, a not inconsiderably-sized human, feel about two inches tall…The song? No! I’m not telling you! Oh…all right then…enjoy!

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Flint and Fear

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The very first stone that I can remember being actively drawn to and picking up was actually a piece of Flint. I felt it had some sort of story to tell me… Not surprisingly, Flint and humans have a long-standing connection.

It was one of the first stones to work for Man in the creation of fire and tool making, both means of fending off fear for the early Man. Thus Flint manages both male and female energies, and perhaps harking back to its earliest connection with humans as tools, can be used to spiritually sever negative thought patterns, sharpening thought and response to any challenges that Life may put in your path.

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It is another highly protective stone and will shield you from curses and ill wishes; and again, has the dual purpose of both helping to keep you grounded, yet acknowledge and come tot terms with your own spirituality… A stone of comfort and ability, a metaphysical pacifier, if you will…

Despite the common usage of the term “scaredy cat”, I wouldn’t say that my cats are particularly fearful… unlike me. I’m afraid of loud noises… the dentist… spiders… deep water. Well. I could go on. But my feline family demonstrate what I prefer to think of as a healthy sense of self-preservation… apart from Charlie (of course) who has the soul of a tiger captured within her small furry body.

She terrified a fox once… it was passing through the garden, minding its vulpine business, and stopped to have a look in the pond. Our landing window overlooks that part of the garden so I am able to bear witness to Charlie’s fearlessness.

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My little cat spied the hapless fox and at once began walking menacingly down the path towards it. And as she walked… she fluffed…. Until by the time the fox looked up, it was being pummelled by a tabby tiger striped fur bomb…. It fled. Rapidly… leaving a rather large tuft of its fur behind on the hedge as it forced its way through in panic.

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I went rushing downstairs to comfort my little cat, but she was:

No worries. I had that. Got rid of the large, stinky squirelly looking thing…”

However, fear, no matter how irrational it may seem, is there to serve a purpose. This response is part of the human psyche, deep-rooted, for self-preservation where the primary response to a threat is flight, fight or freeze. As mankind evolved, progressed, adapted, our fears became more complex… fear of failure, of not fitting in or matching up to expectations.

Sometimes, we may feel that these fears will overwhelm us, that we are alone. Sometimes, the first step to overcoming these fears is to reach out, hold out your hand, feel the warmth and the love and know that you are not alone.

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Iolite And Impressions

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A lot can be learned from first impressions. Generally I am a reasonable judge of character, but sometimes I just get these… feelings. I would hesitate to claim any psychic ability, but these impressions have been strong enough, or made a lasting enough impression on me to the extent where I avoid the person or place.

An ex-neighbour is a case in point. My partner thought he was all right, one of the lads. I hated him. Wouldn’t give him house room. My partner couldn’t understand this, since the man was always perfectly pleasant to me; but we later found out that he’d been arrested for domestic abuse.

Another instance of impressions… my son’s class were doing a performance in a pub in the city so of course I went along to support and watch. It was actually taking place in an old music hall that had been restored – there has been some sort of public house on that location since the 1400’s. I was uncomfortable from the word go… the whole place felt like a musty old jacket from a charity shop… too many echoes, too much going on, too many voices to process…

Iolite – pronounced “eye-OH-lite” – ( I didn’t have any on me that day!) is a vision stone… it switches on your ability to tune into your surroundings, your gut instinct, if you will. Not surprisingly then, it’s a crystal of journey and insight, often used in shamanic ceremonies. Iolite can bestow the understanding and clarity of a clear night sky, which it so closely resembles, dark blue with paler flecks.

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Thus it helps with the clarity of thought, banishing negative ties and releasing your true self. It makes you aware of yourself and your place in the Universe, a kind and gentle stone to help with spiritual growth and creativity.

Always trust an animal’s first impressions… that’s what people say, although if I trusted my cats’ first impressions of people who come to our house I would spend a lot of time a) up in the apple tree b) running across the park or c) under my bed… nothing would get done…

It’s always interesting to watch an animal meet someone new. I remember the first time my old cat, Walter, set eyes on our new next-door neighbour, a tall, good-looking man à la Sidney Poitier… Walter couldn’t stop staring. To the point where I was so embarrassed I had to get up and remove my cat from the room, in case he asked for an autograph…

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Impressions then… knowledge and hints from others and our surroundings, built in responses and learned behaviours… Nature vs. Nurture, almost as we impress upon others our own self-images and interpretations. Listen, learn, absorb, but always trust your own self, your own judgement.

From the moment of conception our feet may be placed on the path we choose to lead in this Life; walk lightly, my friends, and be aware of every step.

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Seraphinite And Siamese

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I’d seen pictures of this crystal before, but when I actually got to hold a piece, I was pleasantly surprised by its “vibe”… Its name is derived from one of the older words for an angel, Seraphim – they usually hang about with Cherubim… but I’m not writing about those…

Seraphinite has a wonderfully soft, tactile feel to it, the smooth, dark green surface is flecked with silver formations of mica that give the appearance of divine feathers; and indeed, this is one of the crystals most popularly used in making angelic connections and opening the crown and higher crown chakras.

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It’s a beautiful stone to use in meditation as it will open your awareness to the possibility of spiritual enlightenment and help you access self-healing. With such a gentle and loving energy, this crystal is good to help with living from the heart, by which I mean instilling every action, every thought, with positive love.

It cleanses and opens the heart chakra while the silvery feathers of mica aid travel to the higher spiritual realms, protecting the physical body whilst the ethereal body travels. It will bestow clear vision to help you view your life progress and identify and complete any changes you need to implement for a peaceful and fulfilling life.

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On a healing level, this crystal works with the spinal cord and helps to relieve muscle tension. Each time I hold this crystal, I feel a flick of energy against my fingers, as soft and warm as feathers… or cat fur.

There have been so many books, histories, articles and even poems written about the origins, character and personality of the Siamese cat; how they can be aloof, or demanding, vocal and annoying… I have only ever had one pedigree cat – my Burmese, Ming, when I was a little girl, all my others have been assorted Domestic Short Hairs, to give them their formal term.

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And yet Ting, my Siamese, although she has no papers to testify to the purity of her bloodline, is practically a picture book example of this distinguished breed, with her own very personal take on Life and how she sees it. Left in a hedge with her sisters, she began her life a far cry away from the fabled palaces of Siam that surely should have been her heritage.

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This traumatic start could have affected her temperament adversely but it is no exaggeration to say she is a furry angel… Far from being aloof, my little Ting is warm and loving and will stop what she’s doing at any given time for a cuddle…

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Never mind eating, all right, we’ll just have a bit of a cuddle and I’ll even throw in a few purrs, no extra charge… “

She is the only cat I have ever known who is unfailingly warm and friendly, not given to the sometimes stand-offish attitudes of Madame La Princesse and the other two girls.

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From the tragedy of a taxi ride to the vet for her booster…

NA-OOOHHH – where ARE we?? WA-OHHY are we HERE?? to the relief of going home..

Oh, I’m here, home, I love everything, hello door, hello table, hello Charlie – ouch – hello chair…” my Siamese greets all of Life’s little adventures with unfailing love and optimism, the other side of the coin to her sometimes grouchy feline sisters, but it just goes to show, really, that we all have our own paths, our own interpretations of Life, and it doesn’t matter what you call it, we are all seeking a return to Light, to Source.

It’s all about energy, interpretation and of course, Love.

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Ammolite and Artistic Cats

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I quite like snails. Not so keen on their homeless cousins, slugs – my mother’s front lawn sometimes looks like the aftermath of a music festival after a damp evening – but snails I find amusing, cheerful and determined. I’ve been reading the adventures of Elliot on Sue’s blog over at Space, Time and Raspberries… please go and have a look.

Strictly speaking, Ammonites look more like a squid has borrowed a snail shell, but they all originate from the same major family of molluscs.

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Now. Ammolite – not to be confused with Ammonite – is the result of an ammonite becoming opalised. Opals are the wonderful crystals that glow like tiny pieces of captured Universe magic, and they are formed from a combination of water and silicon dioxide.

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Water will naturally find its own level as it travels through the Earth and as it passes through sandstone deposits it picks up silica. The silica-rich water then bleeds into natural gaps and fissures in the ground, finding spaces left by decomposing fossils and replacing the organic matter with opal solution. Over time, this hardens, and we are left with a beautiful crystal, vivid and vibrant, distilled from the very essence of Mother Earth… a crystal snail… squid… that in the right light has beautiful flashes of intense colour.

I have Ammonite fossils, mostly from Whitby – another little piece of information being that they used to be called “snakestones”. They were thought to be actual snakes that had been turned into stone by St.Hilda and were sold as souvenirs, sometimes with little snake heads carved into them.

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Ammonites have held a lasting fascination for me, ever since I was a little girl, so consequently I was aware of what Ammolite is, but I’d never seen it before. Till last Friday. Our city is sometime visited by wonderful markets from Europe, with stalls selling handmade clothes, amber, wood… and crystals.

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I’d actually seen this Ammolite on Wednesday… I stood at the stall and poked around the crystals, exchanging suspicious looks with the owner… I walked away. I thought about this Ammolite for the next two days. I read Sue’s Adventures of Elliot the Snail… I was tidying my bead collection and found these beads…

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I went back and bought the Ammolite. I have had to read up on its metaphysical properties as it’s a new one for me, but it is said that the spiral shape represents the soul’s path in this Life, its full spiritual journey; and, as such, can be used in healing past life traumas.

The glowing colours each have their own significance – Feng Shui masters call Ammolite the Seven Colour Prosperity Stone, and claim it brings health, wealth and vitality to you, your home and business. (Red symbolises growth and energy.) The spiral shape contains and transforms negative energy into a positive flowing spiral, moving energy freely through the chakras to cleanse, align and heal. The chambered shell represents structure and clarity, stimulating survival instincts. Snails do, traditionally, symbolise well-being and longevity – hence the recent craze for snail oil as the new anti-ageing cream…

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But I am drawn to the wonderful colours, a little example of the more extreme colours available from Mother Earth’s paint palette…

Ah yes. My cats are all very fond of the various branches of the Arts… their lithe and graceful bodies lend themselves naturally to all forms of Dance, whether it be Modern, Interpretive or Ballet… watching my cats interact with each other and the world around them is fully as entertaining as any television programme…

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But…but…WHERE’S ALL THE FOOD??” (cue dramatic “dunh-dunh DERRR!!”)

Did Tooty eat it?” (accusing looks all round)

Where’s our mother with supplies?” (cue lost soulful music..)

SHE’S HERE NOW!! Panic over!” (cue suitably comedic music to announce my entrance…)

Charlie is very fond of expressive Arts… my old headmistress sent me this wonderful book, called “Why Cats Paint” and in it there is a selection of photos of clawed furniture. Art installations. I used this book to back up my point when my partner discovered Charlie’s artistic self-expression all over the back of the sofa after a recent trip to the optician to get his prescription updated…

Suffice it to say, all animals are examples of Mother Nature’s Art and creativity.

The smallest feline is a masterpiece.” – Leonardo da Vinci

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Jet And Joyful Cats!

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Jet is one of those inbetween crystals like Amber, where it isn’t actually a stone, but was formed from fossilised wood millions of years ago. And not just any wood, but a particular sort from the wonderfully named Monkey Puzzle tree.

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Jet has been used since ancient times as a talisman against violence and illness. Perhaps because of its organic origins, rooted in Mother Earth’s love, it has always had strong protective qualities attributed to it. It is also said that people who feel especially drawn to Jet are “old souls”, who have been on this Earth before and travelled her paths in a previous life.

Jet became popular again during Victorian times when it was the fashion to have elaborate mourning jewellery made to commemorate the passing of a loved one. The best quality Jet comes from Whitby, a small Northern coastal town in Yorkshire, here in the U.K. and very dear to my heart. It is also immortalised in classic literature as the place where Dracula landed in England, in the novel of the same name by Bram Stoker.

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Thus Jet’s inherent quality of spiritual protection is very appropriate. It can soothe unreasonable fears and give you the strength to take control of your life and move it forward in a positive and fulfilling way. As it is such a kind and empathetic crystal, it should be cleansed after each time it has been used in healing. Likewise, if you do happen to inherit a piece of Jet jewellery or buy one, then it would be advisable to cleanse it thoroughly as it’s a bit of a psychic sponge…

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Jet, therefore, with its uniform texture and colour, light and calming to the touch, brings the same quality to emotions, lending an even balance to your life.

There have been times in my life when the way forward has seemed very bleak and joyless. Sometimes it can feel like the Universe is handing you a plateful of trouble with a side order of difficulty and no knife or fork…

I take so much joy and comfort from my beloved cats and I would like to think they find a similar joy in sharing their lives with me… Tooty’s uncomplicated joy in finding me waiting with the right flavour catfood;

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Lily’s joy when she sees me from across the park;

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Ting’s joy in everything around her

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and Charlie’s joy when she realises I have the ideal jumper on for kneading…

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Simple little things that link our lives in joy.

So then, when you feel like when really it’s all too much, stop. Just stop. Give yourself a moment, take a breath and look at the simple joys in Life. Every day the Sun rises, bringing warmth and light and life… putting the shadows behind you.

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