SELENITE: Sacred Center: I was named for the goddess of the moon, Selenite hoots. The moon is a dark thing, but I am light. Not light reflected, refracted, or redistributed. No, I am brightness shining from within. I am a wellspring, not a mirror. Selenite reminds you that you can be a source of light. Consolidate your energy so you can let it shine, not just for yourself but for those around you. You are multidimensional, Selenite instructs, you hold within you the energies of moon and sun and earth. Of wind and fire and water. You are life and you are life’s decay. You don’t have to choose; you can both shine and reflect. When you flow between your polarities, you come to sacred center.
RITUAL: Honoring Polarity: Peruvian medicine workers sometimes use a pair of stones, one light, one dark. The light stone is used to pull in brightness – the light of the sun and the stars. The dark is used to remove and compost what needs to be released. The light stone is the dynamic and creative energy of fire; the dark stone is the grounding of solidity of earth.
Choose a light stone and a dark stone from your collection, or from your yard, to hold these two polar energies. Feel into it – do these two stones want to work with you? Once you’ve found your stones, sit with the light stone in the morning, using it as a focal point for calling in the creative fiery energies of the day to come. In the evening, sit with your dark stone, using it as a focus to release what isn’t needed from the day and stabilizing your energy for the night to come.
REFLECTION: Being Both: You might be asking yourself, Am I more like fire or more like a mirror? Our brains tend to work in dichotomies, but remember, a lantern can house both a flame and a mirror that amplifies and distributes the flame’s light. When we are in balance, we too are both.
In what ways are you a light, shining from within? In what ways are you a mirror, reflecting and redistributing the light you find in the world around you?
“If you light a lantern for another, it will also brighten your own way.” Nichiren, thirteenth-century Japanese Buddhist priest.
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IMPERIAL TOPAZ: You Live in Abundance: When we are satiated, when we feel that we have enough – full spirit, full heart – we can relax and offer abundance to those around us. This is Imperial Topaz’s gift: the ability to savor life and take nourishment from its beauty. Topaz helps us find sensitivity within ourselves so we can notice with all our senses, and appreciate with our whole being, the minute workings of the world. From this place of abundance, we become a cornucopia full and overflowing with energy, which can be shared as kindness or courage or wisdom with those around us. There is wonder everywhere, Imperial Topaz whispers. It’s up to you to take it in and assimilate it into your heart.
RITUAL: Savor Sensation: Sommeliers have been know to suck on Topaz before a tasting to enhance their ability to distinguish subtle flavors. Noticing layered tastes is the ultimate spice. Foods change as we chew them; as a piece of bread or cheese breaks down in your mouth, layered flavors emerge. When you rush through a meal, you miss a good deal of what’s on your palate, including the sense of abundant richness eating can provide.
Make yourself a meal to savor with all your senses. You don’t have to cook something fancy unless you want to; this experience works just as well with a pizza or a fabulous dessert spread.
Choose an environment that ignites your senses (a forest for some, a boudoir for others). Light some candles or string twinkly lights. Set out some flowers. Add some music. Use your favorite table settings. Invite some interesting conversationalists to join you. Now, slow down and savor. Relax over this experience and allow it to fill you!
RELFECTION: Assimilate Your Life: Many of us suffer from poor digestion. This lack of assimilation leads to constant food cravings. We are perpetually putting food in our mouths trying to achieve that wonderful but illusive sense of being not just full but satiated. From the outside, it might look like we are eating plenty. But from the inside, from the lining of the intestines, you would notice that very few nutrients are actually being absorbed. Sometimes, despite putting the right stuff into our lives, we are unable to process and assimilate it. It looks like we should be happy with our house or job or partnership, but on the inside we’re starving.
Are you able to absorb the abundance in your life? If not, look deeper. What’s blocking you?
The word “Imperial” was added to Topaz during the nineteenth century when Russian czars declared the royal family the only people to own it! “Imperial” only refers to Topaz in the golden to pinkish color range.
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SALT: The Fundamentals of Humanness: Before there were Diamonds, Emeralds, and Rubies, there was Salt. This ancient crystal was used a currency, building cities, trade routes, and new technologies. While you might desire Moonstones or Opals, only Salt is so necessary that you are hardwired to crave it. Do you know the difference between what you desire and what you body and being truly crave? Salt asks. Can you put aside the glitter to feed your real hungers? To embrace and take joy in, the fundamental building blocks of humanness and happiness? All Salt originally came from the sea, whether an ancient inland seabed or the ocean itself. It calls to the sea of our blood, reminding us that without a foundation of Salt, we are nothing.
RITUAL: Salt Washing; Historically, Salt has been used to separate; it pulls liquid from meats and proteins from liquids. This process is called salting out. We can use “salting out” as a metaphor to help us release other people emotions that we may be holding onto. This process is especially wonderful for people who work closely in another’s emotional space, like a therapist or coach.
Add a pinch of Salt when you’re washing your hands or bathe in saltwater. In the shower, you can fill a washcloth with Salt and tie it shut; the Salt will dissolve through the cloth as you scrub your body. You can also scent the Salt with essential oil (one drop per handful of Salt will do) to make this a sensual experience. As you rinse with the Salt, imagine any sticky emotions being pulled from your body and flowing away with the water.
RELFECTION: The Salt in Your Social Circle; There are people in our lives who serve the same function as Salt in our food: at a party, they’ll introduce strangers, offering a conver-sation starter as they wend their way through the crowd. In their presence, discussions gently come into balance, people find humor even in a moment of hot disagreement, and personalities that might otherwise seem too brash or cloying are tempered and tasty. Often, like Salt, we only notice these magical people in their absence. Who in your life is like Salt?
Salt’s relationship to flavor is multidimensional: it has its own particular taste, and it enhances the flavor of other ingredients. Used properly, salt minimizes bitterness, balances sweetness, and enhances aromas, heightening our experience of eating.