Lapis Lazuli Healing Properties, Correspondences and Meanings

Hibiscus Moon Uncategorized 4 Comments

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Lapis lazuli is one of the most mysterious and a favorite among crystal healing, mineral collectors and metaphysical purposes. It’s natural good looks also keep it in high demand in the jewelry trade. We’re going to dive deep into all its aspects today.

History and Lore
Ancient texts often referred to this stone as “sapphire” yet oftentimes they were actually citing lapis.

“Lapis lazuli” literally means “blue stone”. Lapis is Latin for “stone”, hence the word “lapidary” meaning work involving working with stones; engraving, cutting, or polishing.  Then “lazuli” originally comes from the Persian word, “azul” meaning “blue”. 

This gorgeous and enigmatic stone has been used in countless ways with evidence of mining going as far back as 7000 BCE. Archaeologists have documented its use in many cultures as talismans, jewelry, adorning religious objects, sculptures and structures.

[caption id="attachment_47169" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Arguably the most ell-known burial mask of all; King Tut’s burial mask incorporated significant use of Lapis lazuli. Photo credit: Jon Bodsworth [Copyrighted free use][/caption]
Egypt’s love for Lapis
The bluestone has been known to hold major religious as well as royal significance in many parts of the world but probably most notably in Egypt. Egyptologists have also noted lapis lazuli’s frequent use for medicinal purposes as well as in statuary, structures, scarabs and burial masks for its spiritual and metaphysical uses.

[caption id="attachment_47471" align="aligncenter" width="635"] Lapis scarab. Walters Art Museum [Public domain][/caption]Ancient Egyptians also used lapis to create vibrant blue eye shadow by grinding it up into a powder form and creating a paste. They felt it made them look more god/goddess-like with its sparkly pyrite flecks and deep bright blue intensity.

Later on, lapis powder was used during the Renaissance period into the 1800s for creating the vivid Ultramarine blue paint.

This paint is very rarely used today due to its scarcity and expense.
Locales
Afghanistan is THE world’s leading source of high-quality lapis lazuli.

However, this stone can also be found in Chile, Russia, Canada, Argentina, and Pakistan, California, Colorado (Blue Wrinkle), and Arizona. But the quality (and therefore pricing) varies quite a bit.
Metaphysical Uses
Lapis is known for its ability to:

  • strengthen our intuition, inner vision, and inner knowing
  • powering up confident truth-telling
  • protect us on a psychic and spiritual level
  • enhancing meditation
  • strengthening the clairs (our diving abilities)
  • removing blocks to spiritual evolution

You may be wondering if the energy from all the various types of lapis from the different locales also varies. Although I feel that all lapis has a similar energy, I do feel that the energy of the Afghan lappy is definitely more intense… but you really have to check this out and determine that for yourself.

Chakras
This stone is ideal for balancing, strengthening and awakening the Third Eye chakra while inviting in better visualizations and receiving of energy and information from this chakra; including past and parallel life viewing.

It’s also quite powerful for the throat chakra. Please always use caution when using it for this chakra as it may be too intense for some.
Geology
Lapis lazuli is not a mineral.

Instead, it’s a rock.

See, one of the criteria for being a mineral is to have a consistent chemical composition, which lapis doesn’t have. So just like granite, it’s is a rock composed of several different minerals.

The inconsistency of exactly which minerals are present in lapis is the very reason why its Mohs Hardness varies so much — so we can’t use that as a method of testing to see if it’s real.
Color Variations
Most lapis from locales other than Afghanistan is usually much less expensive and less “dazzling”.

It has:

  • more gray in it
  • is more of a dull blue
  • and lacks the pyrite flecks

Here’s an example of the “less dazzling” lapis lazuli (my stash from Chile in this photo below). You’ll note there’s no pyrite and there’s a lot of grey (from calcite).

Afghan lapis (in this next photo) has little to no grey and the blue is much deeper and more vibrant — but also has that characteristic pyrite. Now, too much pyrite may give the stone a slightly greenish hue in some places.

Keep in mind, the deeper and more vibrant the blue (plus the presence of the sparkly pyrite) is the more preferred lapis lazuli, which is just one reason it’s more expensive and a bit harder to come by. We’ll get into the other reason in just a bit. 

Color Origin
There’s a geological debate on exactly WHERE that deep vibrant almost indigo dreamy blue color comes from. Most geologists used to agree that the blue came from the main mineral component; lazurite (a blue silicate in the sodalite family).

BUT it seems most geologists have since decided that most of the blue comes instead from the gorgeous mineral haüyne; (also, in the sodalite family).

Geologists also used to say that to technically be called “lapis lazuli,” it had to have a distinctive blue color (still holds true) but that it also should contain at least 25% blue lazurite. Obviously, this is no longer the case being that lazurite is no longer considered the reason for the color.
Blood Mineral Status
Over the last few years, much controversy surrounding the mining of lapis lazuli has come up.
There’s been a lapis lazuli shortage happening that began trickling into the gem market around 2016.
At that time, I did an investigative blog post to see what was going on.

[caption id="attachment_47170" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Afghan Lapis. Photo Credit: Hannes Grobe [CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)][/caption]I discovered that lapis is still being mined but the price has been driven higher. Allegedly, this was because the largest mine in Afghanistan (where the finest lapis is from) had been “taken hostage” by militia and the Taliban, creating a shortage in the supply. You can read more about that here. To my knowledge, this is still the case.

The Global Witness, a non-governmental agency that exposes natural resource corruption, has also drawn some major attention to the problem and was “calling for the government to ensure publication of mining data, reform mining oversight, and support community monitoring of mining.” They want lapis defined as a blood mineral. To date though. I don’t see that this has been accomplished yet.
What I’m Doing
Personally, I decided several years ago not purchase ANY Lapis Lazuli (talk about HARD to pass up!!!)… until I hear that things have been restored back to normal there. Sadly, I still haven’t found evidence of that.

When I heard about this issue, I made a decision to alter our required school supplies for my Certified Crystal Header Course to make sure not to include any lapis at all.  So, I’m not purchasing any (even if it’s been around in someone’s shop for years) — because that will create a void; a need for the shop owner to get more for someone else. Right?
Listen, I’m not preaching what anyone else should do. Heck, I don’t know what the right solution is! This is just what I’ve decided to do.
Watch Out for Fake Lapis!
It’s attractiveness, ease of “fake-ability” and difficulty in recognizing the fakes make lapis A POPULAR one to keep on our “Fakes Short List”.

Soap Box Side Bar: I have a mission to create a well-educated Crystal Family so that we can make well-informed decisions when adding specimens to our sacred collection.

I just want us all to have the knowledge first and then you can make an informed buying decision. If you want a fake in your collection then have it at. No judgment there. I just want you to be able to tell the difference.

As always, the moral of the story here is… Buyer Beware:

    • Who are you buying from?
    • Are they reputable?
    • Do they know what they’re talking about?
    • Are you doing your own homework? 

The best way to protect yourself is through education.

**Please SHARE this info with other crystal lovers so that we all stay in-the-know and well-informed. No duping us with FAKES!!!**

Can you tell I’m passionate about this stuff? If you are too and want to know more about the mineral kingdom so you can be CONFIDENT in what you’re getting then you may want to check out my Crystal Savvy: Crystal and Mineral ID Class Elective here.

[caption id="attachment_19207" align="aligncenter" width="576"] Genuine Lapis Lazuli. Used with permission. (photo credit: fr:User:Luna04 )[/caption]
The Dying Game
Many times, poor-quality and much less expensive sodalite, calcite, jasper or white howlite are dyed blue so they can be deceptively passed off as lappy. Sometimes even plastic, resins or glass (either mixed in with lapis lazuli “powder” to make “reconstituted” lapis or pure) will be sold as the bluestone!

Since it’s porous, lapis itself can be “enhanced” — often wholesalers will put some dye in it to colorize the calcite portion of the stone making it look like a more vivid and deeper blue. This practice is actually quite common and I don’t mind it as much as passing something off as lapis when it’s not.
My 9 Tips for Spotting Fake Lapis Lazuli

  • Look for areas that are TOO dark blue –  (a good giveaway) of overdye. Overdye can also rub off on your fingers. Acetone (nail polish remover) or alcohol can remove some of the dye from a fake but may also damage the stone so tread lightly.
  • Sniff for sulfur (rotten egg) odor when cutting for lapidary purposes – that’s a sign of a genuine piece because true lappy always  contains the element of sulfur
  • Teeth Tap– One way to test if its plastic is to tap it on your teeth. Plastic will give a dull tap whereas the real-deal will make a higher-pitched clink.
  • Cool to Touch – Real lapis will feel cooler to the touch when compared to fake plastics.
  • Meltability – Plastics can melt or catch on fire too so hold it up to a flame (carefully!)
  • Too Perfect – If it’s very uniform it may be reconstituted (which is not technically fake but completely altered by man). Or it may be plain ole’ plastic, resin or glass
  • Too much white – Lapis can be easily confused with sodalite but will have much less white calcite, also too much white is a sign of a lower quality lapis — if it’s too heavy on the white then pass. If you know how to do a streak test, sodalite will have a white streak whereas lapis will have a slightly light blue streak
  • Too much grey –  If it has a lot of grey in it, it may, again, be sodalite or sign of a lower quality lapis; streak test!
  • Cheap Price – this is usually an indicator of a fake. If its too cheap; too good to be true most likely is.
  • Remember… the inconsistency of lapis is the very reason why its Mohs Hardness varies so much so, unfortunately, we can’t use that as a method of testing to see if it’s real.

    Thanks for joining me for this spotlight on Lapis Lazuli! Let me know in the comments below; what’s your favorite way to work with Lapis Lazuli?

    Crystal Blessings,

    Turquoise Healing Properties, Correspondences and Meanings

    Hibiscus Moon Crystals 16 Comments

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    Let’s talk about one of the most popular gemstone minerals in history; turquoise.  We’ll discuss the many colors and varieties while also taking a look a this stone’s healing properties, correspondences, and meanings.

    Also, read on to be sure you’re not being duped by turquoise fakes! 

    This stone is quite popular in jewelry (whereas selenite – with a Mohs hardness of 2, is not as popular because it gets scratched up much more easily), particularly in Native American jewelry and southwestern designs. Some of my fav jewelry pieces are turquoise!

    Metaphysical Properties and History
    Treasured for thousands of years, used in ancient Africa, Asia, South, and North America for many different purposes, this mineral is perhaps most often used as some form of protection.

    Historically, turquoise was found to be worn by nobility in Ancient Egypt. There are so many museum pieces displaying the use of turquoise along with lapis lazuli, carnelian, and a few others. Plus, turquoise adorns the burial mask of Tutankhamun (aka King Tut) — one of the most well known and recognized artifacts of ancient times!

    • Additionally, there’s evidence and artifacts of turquoise and copper mining activity in Sinai.
    • Here’s a great article to learn more about turquoise’s significance to certain Native American cultures.

    Considered sacred to the Navajo, this stone is known to be of the bringer of rain.

    Since ancient times, it’s also been used as a traveler’s companion, given to those embarking on a long journey over the ages. It’s said that when many explorers and traders were crossing the seas by boat, turquoise was to help provide a safe voyage.
    In fact, I always travel with turquoise as part of my travel mojo kit.
    [caption id="attachment_9458" align="aligncenter" width="597"] My travel mojo bag which includes a rough turquoise & hematite[/caption]

    This mineral invites in strength and vitality along with good communication skills (great for public speaking!) I personally like to pair it up with clear quartz for this purpose — amplifying its effect.

    Chakras
    We most often associate this stone with the Throat Chakra.
    Remember, it’s all about communication, Babe.
    It assists us to clearly articulate while being sure to speak our truth (and remembering to listen well too). Again, this includes all types of communication; public speaking as well as writing.
    Geology
    Turquoise is an opaque (not transparent) phosphate mineral with a Mohs hardness between 5-6, depending on the type of turquoise. You may not think of it as a technical crystal because its crystals are not actually visible and it doesn’t allow light to pass through. However, it IS indeed a crystal.

    How?

    It’s due to its crystalline structure (not visible to the naked eye), but it’s there at the micro-crystalline level.

    Turq is now primarily found in the US Southwest as well as Iran, Tibet, China, Australia, and Afghanistan, typically dry arid climates.

    Being a copper-derived mineral, its color can be a whole range of blues and greens… (think of an oxidized penny or the Statue of Liberty).

    Since it also contains aluminum, I don’t recommend that you put it in a crystal bath or use it to make an ingestible gem elixir.
    Why Green or Blue?

    • bluer turquoise comes from more copper being present (Arizona turquoise is known for this characteristic). [The most sought-after color has the least amount of green in it; more of a lighter or robin’s-egg blue. And it’s the color that’s most often faked, so beware! More on that below.]
    • greener turquoise happens when you have some iron mixed in there (Nevada turquoise is known for this). 

    Turquoise can often be found alongside calcite, azurite and malachite, chrysocolla and gem silica minerals. Being these minerals are all copper-derived, they tend to grow together in the same deposit. That’s a miner’s big clue – when they would find such specimens it was an indication that there was copper in the area and time to start digging!

    I visited an awe-inspiring copper mine in Bisbee Arizona not too long ago (where Bisbee Turq hails from). The Queen Mine opened in 1915 and officially closed operations in 1975, but it’s still open for tours.  Fun Stuff!

    [caption id="attachment_45311" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Bisbee Turquoise specimens[/caption]
    Often Faked
    Due to mines being depleted, authentic turquoise has become rarer and consequently, more expensive.
    So, unfortunately, the fakes abound!
    There’s actually a thriving market for faked turquoise (often in the form of dyed howlite).

    You may be wondering about the other turquoise colors out there. Perhaps you’ve heard of purple or White Buffalo turq?

    • White Buffalo turq – there’s hot debate over whether this material is real-deal turquoise at all. You can read about that here.  Personally, since the jury’s still out with the geologists, I’m staying neutral on this one.
    • Yellow “Turquoise”  – you may have heard of or seen this one. Not so much a fake as a misrepresentation. It’s really actually serpentine or some form of jasper. Don’t be fooled!

    I’ll get to the purple stuff in this next section. 😉
    STRAIGHT UP FAKE ALERT 🚨
    Purple “Turquoise” – (aka Mojave Purple Turq, Magenta Turq) this one looks too good to be true — and it is. Often times it’s a result of reconstituted mineral, stabilized then mixed with a red-colored synthetic resin (oftentimes plastic) then pressed. Blue + red = purple.

    More on what “reconstituted” means below.

    [caption id="attachment_45313" align="aligncenter" width="466"] Purple Turquois. Photo Credit to our Crystal Family Member, Courtney Goodwin. TY, Courtney![/caption]

    FYI: Sometimes people refer to sugilite as purple turq (which they really shouldn’t do because it just adds to the whole naming confusion… we have enough to contend with already without adding to the confusion, right?)

    Found these examples of plastic resin fakes + who-knows-what below in a local shop labeled as “Unbelievable Turquoise hand mined in Madagascar”!!

    When asked if they were mislabeled, they told me “No”.
    Listen, if you like fakes; fine. It’s the deception (or ignorance) I’m against.
    I feel that ignorance can’t be your excuse for long — if you’re gonna sell the stuff then you have a responsibility as a seller to educate yourself on what you’re selling. And if you’re not sure about something then please just be honest about that and then make it your business to go find the answer.

    I have a blog post here that I wrote all about spotting turquoise fakes and frauds (plus some other minerals).
    Reconstituted Turquoise?
    Essentially, this means that small amounts of authentic turquoise that would otherwise be wasted are recycled by grinding it up into a fine powder. Resins (usually plastics), synthetic fillers, and adhesives are then often added and then pressed into a mold, carved or shaped.

    I totally get the need for this (so we don’t waste that valuable turq-powder), but just keep in mind that this means that there are mostly synthetic chemicals mixed in with your turquoise. If you’re down with that, then go for it.
    Shopping Tips

  • If it’s cheap, sorry to say, it’s likely not the real deal since the price of turquoise has been on the rise for several years now due to its growing scarcity.
  • One key thing to always ask about when purchasing turq is:
  • “where was it mined from?”

    It’s a good selling practice to attach the name of the specific mine to authentic turq. The reason for this is that each mine produces a distinct looking sort of turq. Knowing precisely what mine the piece came from raises the value of the specimen.

    If the turq you’re eyeing has no mine name attached to it — AND the seller has no idea what mine it came from, that could be an indication that it may not be the real deal. Here’s a great blog that shows many examples of different types of turquoise

    3. This tip was given to me by a loveable silver and turquoise miner named, Mongo from The Good Enough Mine in Tombstone, Arizona. If can’t tell whether your specimen is chrysocolla or turq, LICK IT! Mongo says turquoise is harder and not as “boney-chalky-sticky” to the tongue. I tried it and he’s right! 

    Be savvy
    Want more tips on turquoise and how to be savvy about spotting other fakes? Then check out my Crystal Savvy Class Elective.

    And in my next newsletter, I’ll be gifting out my Ultimate Reference Guide to Spotting Crystal Fakes to all my subscribers. This is a HUGE 105-page handy guide that you don’t want to be without if you collect crystals or perhaps are a seller. If you’re already subbed watch your inbox for that. If you’re not already subbed, get on the list here. 

    Thanks for joining me for this spotlight on Turquoise! Let me know; what does this stone mean to you?

    Crystal Blessings,

    What’s a Jade Roller ? | Benefits and How to Use It

    Hibiscus Moon Uncategorized 32 Comments

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    Ready for some jade roller fun today?

    Below, I have some more tools for a luxurious, relaxing and effective Crystal Facial. These were the tools used by my aesthetician.  Here we have several massage and acupressure tools in clear quartz, rose quartz and jade.

    Bliss!

    And this below is my personal cure for sinus issues: jade facial and eucalyptus essential oil.

    Oh yes. (Be sure to pop the jade roller into the freezer for about 15 minutes beforehand).

    And then just for fun… you’ve Courtney Cox over here bringing her rose quartz roller out to dinner. Yeah. Really.

    In my Certified Crystal Healer Course, I teach specific aspects of crystal massage, energy points, meridians using crystal tools such as jade roller, wands, etc. for health and energy flow along with so much more around working with crystals effectively.

    If that sounds interesting to you, I’ll be opening registration again in February, you can get on the Interest List here.

    Once you’ve had a chance to watch, I’d love to hear from you. Please share your gem-infused beauty routines in the comments below. I and our Crystal Family is waiting to hear from you!

    Gorgeous Crystal Blessings,