Hard Rock Candy

Stones – A journey of understanding

Rock Candy from Virginia

I am absolutely enamored with rocks and minerals and always have been. In my 20’s, I frequently did the “must have a piece of [insert name of exotic rock]” thing and would then haunt local New Age shops relentlessly in search of it. If I failed to find it, eBay was the next option (this was in the early 90’s, so Amazon was not the no-brainer source for everything then that it is now). I was also dirt poor at the time, and am ashamed to say that it was not unusual for me to spend money on a flashy crystal instead of the phone bill. There was even a time that we had to heat our run-down trailer home with the oven during a blizzard because we couldn’t afford fuel oil for the furnace. Our newly born son was placed on the open oven door in his bouncy seat so he wouldn’t freeze (don’t worry – he’s 25 now, so he made it, despite some of our unconventional parenting techniques). My addiction wasn’t directly responsible for our lack of heat, but it was certainly a contributor to our overall lack of funds.

The hold that these rocks and minerals had over me primarily arose because I am inherently attuned to the natural world and I’m a natural energy worker. Put those two things together, and you have a person who is constantly seeking the next level of energetic connection via the most natural means. The New Age movement fueled this like an atomic storm, because everywhere I looked, there was someone talking about how the metaphysical properties of a certain stone enhanced a certain psychic ability or brought balance during turmoil (and there was a LOT of turmoil at that point in my life), or supported financial success (no need to even explain that one). So I collected beautiful, polished, shiny stones from all over the world. I put them on the windowsills, I carried them in my pockets, I sat for hours with them in my hands, desperate for them to become the bridge to the things that I desperately needed and wanted. I placed them by my children’s beds to heal the hurt of a traumatic divorce, I buried them in the yard to keep us safe, and I kept boxes and jars of them everywhere, hoping that, at some point, their collective energy would deliver the promises made by their sellers.

Needless to say, there was never any positive singular moment or event which I could contribute to any particular stone. My ex-husband still acted like a Neanderthal, my children were still suffering, my bank account was still empty, and there were still mushrooms growing eagerly in the carpets of our leaky trailer.

However, the worst disappointment was the fact that when I would hold one of these stones, I could not feel the energy from it that everyone else seemed to claim was there. I am a natural psychic, so my assumption was that I should be able to read the energy of these stones better than most, but my attempts were one epic failure after another. A piece of Rose Quartz would feel pleasant in my hand, cool and smooth, but where were the vibrations of love that others swore were present in the stone? The sphere of Obsidian that was purchased with the money that was supposed to pay the electric bill was heavy and full of mysterious silvery striations when the light hit it just right, but where was the boost to my scrying work? I would stare into that sphere until my eyes teared up and never got anything out of it except a headache.

I was perplexed by and ashamed of my inability to work with the stones I loved so dearly. I was also heartbroken because I thought there was something wrong with me – how could I walk through life as a child of nature, feeling the connection of the things around me, and yet be unable to connect to the energy source in these stones that everyone else said they could feel? I felt like a fraud.

So I stopped buying stones. And then I began to disregard the ones on the windowsill and in the yard. I stopped carrying them in my pockets. I think I even began to hate them just a little bit. Over time, they were discarded or packed up into boxes or given away. That was more than two decades ago, and I don’t think I can tell you where any of those rocks are today, except for one. Technically, it’s not just a rock – it’s a chain bracelet encircled with a series of kyanite beads, and I still have it.

When I discovered kyanite all those years ago, it immediately became my favorite stone. There was just something about it that spoke to me. My first piece of kyanite was in a necklace – it was a raw piece of stone wrapped in wire, made by a local artisan. The bladed composition of the mineral fascinated me – in the light, it would flash from blue to silver, and back to blue. I was mesmerized by it, and it was the one stone that I could feel the energy of. Unfortunately, at the time, I was not aware of the fragile nature of kyanite, and the piece in my necklace eventually disintegrated. That was when I purchased the bracelet (from eBay). I was disappointed with the bracelet – I did not feel the same connection to the faceted and polished stones as I did to the blade encapsulated in my necklace. That should have been my first clue – the solution to my inability to connect with the hundreds of stones I had purchased was right under my nose, and I totally missed it. It wasn’t until many years later that I would finally understand.

In 2013, I moved to Buckingham County (Va) for a job. I am an independent consultant in the commercial construction industry, and I had landed a contract for a large project in that county. It was going to be a demanding, long-term contract that I could not accomplish by commuting, so my family stayed at our home a couple of hours away, and I moved to a location only 15 minutes from the project.

It wasn’t long before I discovered that there was a kyanite mine less than 10 miles from my new house. In fact, it is the largest producer of kyanite in the world. Then I discovered something else – the mine is located on Willis Mountain. Willis is my last name. The synchronicity of these two things were not lost on me. In fact, it made me sit up and pay attention so fast that I nearly gave myself whiplash. Something was afoot, and I was eager to find out what it was.

You may be wondering how, if I was so enamored with kyanite, that I did not already know about the mine or the fact that I share the name of the mountain itself. After all, I may not have always lived in Buckingham County, but my family’s home is less than two hours from here. The answer to that is an easy one, but it makes me feel really dumb to admit it.

The reason I didn’t know is because I always had this idea that, in order for the stones I purchased to be “legit”, they had to come from some exotic place; it never occurred to me to look in my own backyard. This idea wasn’t something that I had consciously fabricated. Instead, it was an unconscious assumption that arose from the fact that supply houses, retail shops, books, and online sources seemed to make a really big deal about amethyst coming from Brazil, fluorite coming from China, garnet coming from India, kyanite coming from Africa, and so forth and so on. I had been brainwashed by advertising, and I didn’t even know it.

I was disappointed to learn that I could not get access to the local kyanite mine in order to search for a few pieces of this beautiful stone, but was then elated when I subsequently learned that smaller deposits of it can be found in many places within a five minute drive from my house. Astonished to learn that this wonderful mineral could be found by simply scratching around in the local dirt made me wonder what ELSE may be lurking beneath my feet. In my research, I also learned that there was a HUGE deposit of top quality amethyst only 30 minutes to the south. Then I learned that prehnite, amazonite, garnet, muscovite, chlorite, and even covellite (a very rare copper sulfide mineral with gorgeous iridescence) were in the ground, the creeks, and the rivers all around me. And those weren’t the only ones – I discovered that there is an unbelievable variety of rocks and minerals here. Nearly every stone that I had ever been drawn to, searched out, and purchased was right here – an integral part of the natural geology. This was a dawning of understanding for me, and it sparked a fire. I was determined to find these stones in their natural habitats.

Then, my research led me to something I had never heard of before: blue quartz.

As soon as I read the name, there was a bloom of energy in my chest. I’d never seen this stone, never heard of it, and yet there was an instant connection to it. The kind of connection I had yearned for all those years ago. I knew I had to find some.

There was something about this stone which was calling to me even more than my beloved kyanite. With some exploring and a lot of determination, I located a spot where this fascinating mineral was reputed to be found. I parked my car on the side of a narrow, curvy, gravel road in the vicinity of the alleged deposit and began to search along the steep, muddy bank. It wasn’t long before I saw a sliver of milky blue color peeking out amongst the red clay. Holding my breath, I reached forward to touch it.

When the tip of my finger made contact with that blue stone, something amazing happened. I could feel, immediately and intensely, the foundational energy of it. It traveled up my arm in an energetic current and then spread quickly around me like a body of warm water. The sensation had the qualities of calm, strength, balance, and an attuned connection to everything around me. It wasn’t overpowering or dramatic in a Hollywood kind of way, but it was crystal clear and unadulterated. It also felt somehow concentrated, as if ten pounds of potential had been stuffed into a five pound sack. In a word, the sensation was magical.

I inhaled sharply in surprise and moved my finger off the stone. The feelings immediately withdrew. I gingerly touched it again. They came back.

I’m writing another post about blue quartz, so I’m not going to elaborate any more about the stone itself here. What I AM going to tell you is what I learned from that connection, which pretty much came in an instant. It was delivered as soon as I touched that tiny piece of blue nestled in the mud, like a compressed file downloaded onto a computer and then unzipped. I didn’t have to think about the info – it was just THERE, full of pictures and little snippets of what looked like movie clips, along with words, conversations, and even thoughts that I recognized as being from my past. But the information wasn’t random – it all had to do with my affinity for (and frustrations with) stones. This all sounds very sensational, but it really wasn’t – it was kind of like trying to see something in a dimly lit room and then someone turns on the light, making everything visible. It was just a simple act that enabled me to see. But it felt amazing, just the same.

So what did I see?

First and foremost, I saw why I “connected” with that blade of kyanite in my necklace all those years ago, but failed to connect with the hundreds of other stones I had purchased during that same period of time: the kyanite was “raw” – it had not been ripped from the ground by industrial processes, faceted or polished by machine, or sold in bulk to the highest bidder and then commercially distributed. Instead, it had been lifted from the earth by someone who appreciated it and carefully wrapped in a silver enclosure by hand. Because of this, it retained its full energetic potential, and I could feel it. The second half of this realization was how industrial mining practices, the processes to turn raw stones into shiny baubles, and commercial distribution deplete or strip the natural energies from most of the stones available for sale in common markets.

I finally understood why all those stones felt “dead” to me – they had been unceremoniously torn from their source, broken, cut, crushed, and then polished to be appealing enough to warrant a price tag. For an instant, I felt positively awful, as if I had been supporting puppy mills or deforestation of the rain forests by laying down cash for hundreds of these stones over the years. Then I understood something else – if I HADN’T bought all those stones and endured all those frustrations, I wouldn’t be standing on the side of the road with my finger stuck in the mud, downloading the wisdom of a vibrant slice of blue. If I had pretended that I could feel the energies that everyone else said was there in order to hide my inability to detect them myself, that fraudulent activity would never have led me here.

The second thing I saw was strange – it was like a flipbook, with the same information being repeated over and over again as the pages whizzed by. I realized that I was looking at the standardized language that described the metaphysical properties of the most common stones on the market. I was perplexed for an instant, but then I got it: most sellers (and users) of these stones were just regurgitating descriptions. They weren’t sitting with the individual stones and reading their energy before they posted a listing for them; they were simply copying descriptions and properties that had already been copied thousands of times before. This made me wonder if there weren’t a LOT of people out there who couldn’t actually feel the energy of these stones, and were just trusting in the labels that someone else had given them.

I immediately felt bad for thinking this, because I had no idea if it was true or not – maybe there are LOTS of people whose ability to connect with stones is much more proficient than mine. Maybe they CAN sense the subtle energy of a commercially processed stone, and my internal wiring just requires the more powerful charge of a raw stone before I can feel it. This thought left me sufficiently chastised, to say the least.

The third thing I saw was myself standing in a nondescript but natural location (it was a field, with trees in the distance, and I could sense the presence of water nearby). As with the flipbook, I was unsure of the message for a second, but then I saw things twinkling and shining all around me, both at ground level and below it. I realized that these were all of the varieties of rocks and minerals which naturally occurred at my location. There was data associated with each one, information about what I might feel if I picked one up out of the dirt or retrieved one from a streambed.

I realized that many of the “descriptions” of these local stones matched the properties of stones which were only available elsewhere. The metaphysical description of labradorite was, for all intents and purposes, the same as the one for blue quartz. Green apophyllite and prehnite were kissing cousins when it came to vibrational energies. Obsidian and hematite were virtually interchangeable when it came to utilizing their energetic frequencies for grounding, cleansing, and protection.

Blue quartz, prehnite, and hematite are all part of my local geology. Labradorite, green apophyllite and obsidian are not. The lesson was clear and profound: no matter where you are, there are local stones which carry the standard frequencies used in metaphysical work. There is no need to buy lapis lazuli mined in Afghanistan if there’s sodalite lurking in the creek behind your house. Both are attuned to the same purpose.

On the heels of this was the realization that putting in the time to research local geology, locate deposits, and get your hands dirty while hunting for your elusive quarry creates a connection to your stone of choice that can never be forged by hitting a “Buy Now” button.

The data stream that I connected with when I poked that piece of blue quartz for the first time was absolutely full of information, much more than I can opine about in this limited space. However, the overarching message was clear:

  1. Use what is naturally available to you; there is no need to go elsewhere.
  2. The act of learning about your local geology and sourcing your own stones forges a bond with their energetic potential that cannot be duplicated with purchased stones.
  3. The joy and delight experienced when digging a stone from the dirt yourself or seeing the familiar flash of it’s color as you peer into the shallows of a streambed not only connects you to the stone itself, but all of nature.

So go forth and seek – happy hunting!