Rough And Tumble…

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Fluorite (left) ~ to increase concentration, balancing and positive, Moonstone (right) calming and soothing

Not that I would ever engage in that myself… no… Alex and I visited a new crystal shop last week, a lovely lady with some unusual rough pieces of crystal in stock. I am often asked, which is better for using, rough or tumbled crystals and I always reply that there is no right or wrong – it’s simply a matter of taste, personal preference.

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Rhodonite -~ the pink stone in the foreground, good for dispelling emotional pain.

Obviously, if like me, you carry a lot of crystals on you – my partner always warns me to stay away from water… – then tumbles are a lot easier to shove in your pocket and off you go. That’s purely practical though…

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Rough Howlite ~ good for calming the active mind, relieving muscle tension and stress. It’s sitting in a flattened nest of my ornamental grasses, mentioning no names. (Ting)

I asked Liz the same question and she gave me a lovely explanation that completely made sense and that I’ve been able to pass on to other people who ask me without getting too confused.

Rough crystals are basically a mass of energy – polishing them into tumblestones, wands or palmstones, helps to contain and focus the energy and healing benefits. Liz used the example of walking into a room and turning on the light, or using a flashlight. Focus, direction – that’s what polishing does, perhaps making the energies a little more accessible too.

Sometimes, though, rough pieces are simply too beautiful or too unusual not to have… my very first crystal, courtesy of Alex, was a piece of rough Rose Quartz, whose loving, warm energy was a big help at a rough time.

My relationship with my sister is a good example of rough and tumble, although now we are a little older, not literally of course! We have only just – well, about two years now – really started speaking after a fall out of ten years, that ended up being one of our more epic sister scraps….

When we were younger, our rough-and-tumble was slightly more physical. Anyone ever tried an onion fight? No? They can be quite good fun, providing your opponent is smaller and weaker than yourself… The aim of the game is to seize a piece of cut onion and hold it to your adversary’s eye, for as long as possible – or without being caught by your parents.

As my sister is ten years older than me, you can probably guess who came off worse on a regular basis. Like a cat, then, I made stealth my skill… and crept up beside my sister to shriek “BOO!!” in her ear just as she was taking a roast chicken out of the oven… it ended up as an involuntary foot covering.

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Ting… tenderly licking Tooty on the top of her head!

It’s a joy to see the family link between Ting and Tooty, there is a definite bond of love, affection and sisterhood that is exclusive to them and not shared with the other two girls. It doesn’t stop them having pretty spectacular kicky scratchy fights and slapping matches where tufts of fur fly as do the hisses.

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Ladies, please!

But as with most relationships in Life, as long as you respect one another you learn to take the rough with the smooth…

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My sister cats xx

Who Ate All The Pi’s…

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No, not really. And obviously don’t eat stones either… not good for you… although I have a distant childhood memory of eating both sand, soil and catfood – purely in the spirit of exploration. Not as a regular food choice.

The pi’s that I mean are these wonderful shaped round stones, with a hole either in the middle or towards the top of the crystal, so it can be threaded on a cord or chain and worn, an item of both fashionable and practical jewellery.

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Pondering the Meaning Of Life… 

Due to their circular shape, they are also sometimes known as “doughnuts” (mmm…doughnuts…) but they are also symbolic of the circle of Life, the path the sun follows in the sky and basically the entire concept of wholeness.

These pi stones encourage awareness of the eternal pattern – we’re born, we live, we die … and so on, because the energy that we are never really dies, it just re-emerges in a different form or way. Pi’s are wonderful tools for use in healing and energy work, and in addition to the symbolic shape, there are the crystal benefits too.

The main photo is Lepidolite, the most recent member of the family, courtesy of Alex from when he went to Bristol. Lepidolite is a good stone to wear next to your skin as it actually contains lithium, as used in antidepressants, so it helps with anxiety, panic attacks and depression. It’s pretty and sparkly too…

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BEE HAPPY!

Then, of course, the basic starter kit as I like to call it, of Rose Quartz, Amethyst and Clear Quartz. Rose Quartz is a kind and caring crystal, stone of infinite love and compassion. Amethyst, again another lovely crystal – sorry, I know, they’re all lovely… and even if I meet a crystal I can’t get along with, I can still find something to admire – traditionally used to guard against drunkeness. But I use it more as an anchor as it is highly effective at both warding off negative thoughts directed at you, and also any self-directed negativity that you may feel bubbling up within you is gently soothed away.

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Rose Quartz and gladioli…

A comfort then, rather like the reassuring steak and kidney pie dinner on a wintry night. Pies have a long and honourable history, believed to be a Greek creation dating from the 5th century. Essentially, they started life as handy containers for savoury fillings, but now, obviously, there is a wide variety… the whole thing, top and bottom, encased in pastry, just a bottom, just a top, an individual rolled up thing – although we are straying into Cornish pasty territory there…

I must confess… I don’t really like pies. They seem to promise much and deliver little, and if my mother serves pie for dinner I invariably infuriate her by taking the lid off, generally giving it to a conveniently placed dog and dissecting the contents… rather appropriately I feel, since in mediaeval times pies were also known as “coffyns”.

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Shepherd pie!!

I think though, what finally did it for me with pies was when I had actually managed to find a decent brand, with a reasonable filling of chicken and asparagus, where the pastry wasn’t too stodgy either.

I left it on the baking tray for a minute while I went to fetch something and when I came back, Ting was curled up asleep on top of it…

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Hematoid Quartz And Hot Cats

37867639_297316924347055_2763508256054706176_nI’m very into these Dragons’ Eggs, or Seer Stones, as they’re sometimes known, at the moment. Shaped into ovals and roughly polished, and then with a slice taken off and that side polished to a high sheen, you are supposed to be able to see the future, whilst gazing into the polished side.

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I have quite a collection of these, a recent addition being this lovely Hematoid Quartz egg. I bought a darker one for Alex too… As the name suggests, this is Clear Quartz with inclusions of Hematite. It has a very smooth energy to it as a crystal – the natural grounding properties of Hematite are amplified by the Clear Quartz to help calm your mind, giving you the focus to filter out distractions whilst retaining the information you need to utilise at the right moment.

This is a good stone for students, as it will help bring creativity to your thinking and help you find the simplest solution to most issues. Hematoid Quartz will bring determination and perseverance to boost your willpower. It gives you the genuine desire for peace and harmony in mind, body and spirit and the physical world too.

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Hematoid Quartz is a great stone to use in healing and crystal therapy as it cleanses and organises the chakras, reabsorbing negativity and replacing it with unity and self-worth. As a crystal, Hematoid Quartz is also associated with the healing and calming energy of water.

Water – an always important resource, even more so at the moment in this unexpected heatwave. Obviously, now it’s more important than ever to look after your animals’ welfare, making sure they have plenty of clean, fresh water, somewhere cool and shady for refuge and that they are not stressed or uncomfortable in this hot weather.

Leave dishes of water out for birds, hedgehogs and other wildlife, ensuring it is fresh and changed regularly. We haven’t cut our grass in ages, to make sure there are some cool spots and undergrowth left for the toads and newts and the cats, of course.

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My girls are all short haired, but even so, they’re feeling the heat and I keep a careful check on them. I leave the bedroom blinds drawn so the room is slightly cooler, and when we all retire, the fan is usually running.

I’ve come across some helpful hints, which you may already know, but they bear repeating. Keep some towels in the freezer for a pleasant chill down – you can even buy self-cooling gel mats. My girls have one but they prefer a more direct method of cooling down… lying on the bed while I fan them…

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“I’m waiting….!”

Don’t leave wet food down too long in this heat either – it will very quickly spoil and the last thing anybody needs is an upset tummy…Wiping paws and the inside of ears with a cool damp cloth is also useful. Do NOT shut your animals in a small, enclosed unventilated area – there are still people out there leaving dogs unattended in hot cars and they can’t sweat like we do. Panting is how they cool down and if there is no fresh air coming in, you can imagine how quickly the atmosphere becomes stale and the animal begins to overheat.

Despite the weather warnings, I still see people who think it’s a greta idea to take their dog for a walk at midday – would you take a child out for a barefoot walk in scorching temperatures??

We leave a large plastic bowl of water out on the park for passing thirsty canines…Rant over… but stay safe friends, watch out for your furred and feathered family and our wild friends too.

Crystals, Community – And Cats, Of Course!

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My CrystalCats community is growing!

Sometimes when I’m talking to someone about crystals I’m asked “Do any of them not work well together, or cancel each other out?” A good, relevant question which I always try to answer honestly, on the basis of my own personal experience if necessary.

The whole range of crystals with which we have been blessed by Mother Earth can be directed to help with a particular ailment or emotion – rather like asking a plumber to fix a burst pipe and a counsellor for relationship advice. Everybody has their allotted role to fill within the community, providing cohesion, continuity and a sense of belonging.

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Ting and Lily… sweetly sleeping!

This is how I’ve found it works with crystals. For example, although Indigo Gabbro (also known as Mystic Merlinite) is a beautiful crystal with its sheen of Pyrite, it does make me over-emotional (no surprises there… just as long as it doesn’t give me flu…) so it needs to be balanced with some sort of Jasper, possibly red, for its grounding and clarifying properties. And also, one of my stock replies is that when choosing a crystal to work for you, there is no right or wrong – it is completely a matter of personal taste, trying the various crystals and their properties out.

Obviously as anyone with a little bit of crystal knowledge can give you basic guidelines – a crystal starter kit if you will – like Citrine for happiness and good fortune, Amethyst to ward off negativity and clear Quartz to amplify and enhance… but it is only through experimentation and experience as you build your own little crystal family that you find out what suits you best.

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Sister Scrap!

You learn to read your own body’s energies and feel what you need. If I am feeling anxious then I reach for the comfort of Smoky Quartz or Black Tourmaline. Rose Quartz – even though I don’t always carry my first original piece – is generally on me in jewellery, or in my handbag. I seem to be drawn to the green or clear crystals mostly, with the occasional pink or sparkly one thrown in because – well, just because.

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Old Faithful – Lotus Jasper

They provide balance, support and comfort – a sense of wholeness and unity, not unlike the whole ethos of the LizianEvents community. Alex and I have known Liz and Ian, the people behind this community for quite a few years now, but it is only really recently that I have become aware of and really understood the concept of “Celebrate Life – Become A Well Being”, the community manifesto if you like.

Liz and Ian’s carefully planned and thoughtfully publicised events are a pleasure to attend. The exhibitors have little crossover in their products, be it crystals, essential oils, reiki therapists or psychics, a logical decision designed to benefit and balance everyone. The talks and workshops are interesting and informative – I could go on and on, really, but please do go and have a look at LizianEvents News. I may sound biased but what never ceases to please me is the reality of the growing community, a wonderful network for the 21st century of people who want to explore alternative ways to improve both physical and mental health. Welcoming and friendly – if you’re ever in the area when a show is on I would recommend visiting.

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Tooty … getting in touch with her inner panther

I promised cats… didn’t I… and although cats and community are two words you don’t really associate with one another, living in a multi-cat household I see it in action every day. Ting doesn’t like Tinkerbell, our nearest neighbour cat, and will chase her unmercifully yet she flirts outrageously with the ugly black tom from across the park. Big Ears from the house opposite is allowed to come as far as the garden gate – but no further, if Charlie is on duty. All of these cats, however, will unite against the weird looking ginger cat that’s just moved in further up the street.

So even though all these cats – my girls included – are very different personalities, they all have their own little role to fill within the cat community of our street. And as I get older, I realise the importance of community and beyond that – friendship.

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Charlie says: “Celebrate Life – Become A Well Being!”

Hemimorphite And Hisses

29251460_217471818998233_951516155_oAlex was given the piece pictured by a lovely lady, from the crystal community, and to be honest, I never really paid it much attention. I dusted it… moved it around…displayed it nicely… then one day it was sitting in a beam of sunlight and it sparkled. Which caught my attention, so of course I thought I would investigate further.

Now, Hemimorphite is actually an extremely protective stone, but also a very compassionate one too. It brings self knowledge and can show you how to develop your inner strength. It can give you the courage to voice your deepest fears and by acknowledging them, release them.

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Hemimorphite can help you achieve your highest realistic potential whilst maintaining a healthy balance and awareness of your own humanity. It’s a lovely gentle stone to help promote both physical and spiritual health, making you aware of ingrained emotional patterns you need to dissolve. It was also traditionally used to protect against malicious thoughts and deeds…

Cats can be pretty malicious… most obviously in deed… perhaps less so in thought. For example, I actually find it quite terrifying (and funny) when my cats hiss… When Alex came home for the Easter holiday last week, it was late so I had already gone to bed. Charlie was curled up comfortably beside me, and fast asleep.

We heard Alex come in with his father downstairs and he came rushing up to see me and say hello.

Oh Charlie, what a lovely girl, have you missed me?!”

With outstretched arms and smiling face Alex leaned towards the cat to give her a kiss, no doubt expecting the same level of love and affectionate greeting as he would have received from the other cats.

Charlie whipped her head around, as fast as a striking snake, opened her mouth REALLY wide and HISSED! She hissed loud and fiercely, drawing on the power of all her mighty feline relatives… the powerful tiger … the graceful snow leopard … the elegant ocelot… and a bit of snake.

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Her fangs gleamed, white and deadly in my bedroom light and her eyes glowed with anger. Her temper was not any further improved by the fact that we were so taken aback by this extreme demonic reaction that we … laughed.

She did, however, earn herself another title, to go with “Princess Charlotte Oddpaw”… “Grand Mistress Of The Hiss” !

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H.R.H. Princess Charlotte Oddpaw and Grand Mistress Of The Hiss

Auras And Angels

22522291_137378393674243_422824421_oI’m loving the Aura Quartzes at the moment. The most readily available is the Angel (also called Opal) Aura quartz. Clear Quartz is already well-known as the Master Healer, that amplifies the effect of every other crystal that it is used in conjunction with; so, to produce the wonderful shimmer, Clear Quartz is bonded with various precious metals.

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                  Thank you to Lizian, for letting me photograph these beautiful examples

This was originally an industrial process, used in the manufacture of the reflective backing on car headlights, but used for a higher purpose and created with love, it has produced some fascinating and beautiful crystals.

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Some beautiful pieces of Aqua Aura, great for communication and expanding possibilities.

Everything on Earth emits an energy, a subtle vibration – these aura quartzes can be used to link up with the higher energies, that some choose to call Angels, and as they utilise all the colours, these crystals are very beneficial for chakra work, both healing and aligning.

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Some beautiful Rose Aura Quartz – good for love, passion and self- esteem

They channel a high level of Life force that can be used to help stimulate the immune system and balance the Mind, Body and Spirit. Emotionally, they are calming and relaxing, and can assist with the release of negativity. They are little bubbles of loving energy from the Universe that connect us to the whole Bar of Soap… sorry… but they are naturally uplifting, a joyous connection to that higher level of vibrational energy that some call Angels.

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                                                                        Grumpy angel…. 

Now. Just because I haven’t seen one doesn’t mean they don’t exist…Angels of course. I’ve never seen a panda in the flesh, but I’m pretty sure they exist. As I’ve said, everything on Earth has an energy which can be interpreted in various forms. Some choose to see angels as wonderfully kind, feathery beings of Light… I knew a cockatoo once, called Angel, which was anything but… some, as great explosions of awesome energy, and I mean “engendering awe”, not just pretty cool. Although that too, I suppose.

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                                                                  Sweet angel…. 

Which ever way you choose to look at it, we are surrounded by this loving Energy that is with us always, so when our own particular bubble of energy bursts, even though it has changed form, remember it with love. As long as you remember, It exists. And there is Love. Always.

Zoisite and Zen Cats…

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I borrowed “Zen” for the sake of alliteration here, for although I have my own belief system, personal to me, I like the 21st interpretation of the word. “Zen” has somehow evolved to mean calm and centred, possibly derived from the practice of meditation in Buddhism. There is much to be learned from the art of meditation: it is both calming and grounding, even if you don’t at first achieve a state of enlightenment. It can help to deal with depression, stress and anxiety as you are within yourself, and at one with yourself.

Cats are masters at the art of meditation. I have sometimes mistaken Ting’s deep, contemplative state as one of her shifts at her part-time job of being a garden rock…

No! I’m not sleeping! I was a paw step away from total peace…”

Oh, sorry, I thought you were just sleeping…”

Charlie is an excellent meditation partner – she likes to sit on my legs to ground me and purr soothingly, while I refresh and re-connect. Sometimes we are joined by one or two of the other cats, just sitting, and purring, sitting and purring…

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Zoisite, therefore, is an excellent stone for meditation, and one that I mean to try for myself, rather than my “Go-to” stone of Rose Quartz. In The Autumn Of My Life did a wonderful post about her personal experience of Zoisite, go and check it out…

A typical interpretation of this stone is that it is positive and uplifting, it can transform negative energies, dispel lethargy and give you a hotline to the spiritual realms, so to speak. Zoisite is a stone of direction, enabling positive character traits and focus. Ruby in Zoisite is a combination stone, bestowing the benefits of Ruby too as it is linked to the Crown Chakra. It can help to access the soul memory and facilitate spiritual learning, maintain your connection to other people whilst amplifying the biomagnetic field around your body, protecting your sense of inner peace and calm.

A little piece and serenity can go a long way to self help and healing, not least making you feel better after a long, horrendous day. Then I look forward to sitting down, cup of tea in hand and cat on knee; after a few minutes, the stress oozes away, the dark depressive cloud lifts and I can see a way forward.

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My cats are both calming and restorative to me, there have been quite a few articles written about the health benefits of owning a pet, with scientific proof, but as well as being good for the body, they are also good for the soul. What you see is what you get with a cat, there is no artifice or deception, they don’t understand – or care – about how people perceive them, they just know that they are cats. They sometimes aspire to greater things, but ultimately they accept themselves for what they are and are at peace with that:

If there were a universal sound depicting peace, I would surely vote for the purr.”

Barbara L. Diamond