Stone Whisperer Newsletter

   October 16, 2008
Blood / Wine Moon   

64th Annual Greater Detroit Gem, Mineral, Fossil & Jewelry Show
This past weekend a couple of my friends and I attended one of the coolest “rock shows” in Michigan. The Greater Detroit Gem, Mineral, Fossil & Jewelry Show takes place at Macomb Community College in Warren, MI and runs for 3 days. I go every year. And I am always impressed.

There are vendors selling everything from mineral specimens, carved gemstone art and beautiful jewelry, beads & jewelry making supplies, to fossils, lapidary supplies, books, and fluorescent minerals. Besides having great vendors, they have lectures, videos, book signings, kids’ activities, a silent auction, and beautiful displays. Displays are set up by local universities, museums, and rock clubs, as well as private collectors. The displays have a theme, and this year’s theme was “Every Rock Has a Story”. Besides the usual informational display of igneous, sedimentary, & metamorphic rock, crystal formation, and mineral identification, they had displays on native Michigan minerals, Herkimer “diamonds”, amber carving, fossil hunting field trips, and collectors’ prized specimens.

I was inspired by a display presenting the varieties of Gypsum. So I thought I’d write about this mineral and the various shapes & colors it can occur in, as well as its metaphysical properties.

Blessings to all!

Varieties of Gypsum
Gypsum is a calcium sulfate mineral in a category of minerals called the “Sulfates”. They are mostly light in color, rather delicate & fragile, and easily scratched. Minerals in this category like Gypsum, Barite, and Epsomite (commonly known as Epsom Salts) are readily dissolved in water.

Gypsum has the same chemical composition as another Sulfate mineral called Anhydrite, however Gypsum has water in its composition, and Anhydrite does not. The name Anhydrite comes from the prefix an meaning “without” and hydrite referring to water. Gypsum comes from the Greek Gypsos meaning “plaster”. The mineral Gypsum has been used in the making of Plaster of Paris for centuries.

Gypsum can occur in a few different varieties: Alabaster, Satin Spar, and Selenite. The most familiar of these is usually Selenite, which itself, occurs in different varieties.

Alabaster is extremely soft. You normally don’t think of rocks and minerals as being soft at all, but when we discuss the hardness of a particular mineral we refer to its ability to scratch or to be scratched by something else. Certain minerals are considered “soft”, meaning they are easily scratched by common glass. Alabaster is one of them. Alabaster is often very beautiful, occurring in pure white or with veins of other colors within creamy white. It is likened to marble in its fine-grained, velvety, sometimes translucent appearance.

Satin Spar, as the name implies is satin-like in appearance. It often has a fibrous texture, as if it were made up of individual long white fibers. It is silky to the touch. It also occurs in white and a shiny translucent pearly white. Some references will categorize Satin Spar as a type of Selenite, others will not. I consider Satin Spar a form of Selenite; the form commonly seen as pearly white, translucent, long wand-like specimens, where you can clearly see the fibrous nature of this mineral.

Selenite is the most common form of Gypsum found at rock shows and crystal shops. Pure Selenite is colorless and glassy looking. It is usually transparent. However, impurities within the mineral as well as subtle variations in its original formation will cause changes in appearance.

It can occur in a variety called Fish Tail Selenite , which is colorless or white and resembles a scaly fish tail. As all Selenite is calming and cleansing, the Fish Tail variety, sometimes called Angel Wing Selenite, also facilitates contact with the angelic realms.

A light brown to tan colored form of Selenite is called Desert Rose Selenite . It forms in round compacted masses that look like roses made of sand. It’s very cool stuff. Desert Roses help us to release self imposed negative programming. It aids in dissolving the issues that led us to negative thinking and clear the way for a positive solution.

Orange-Brown Selenite also assists in contacting the Angels, and accessing their healing energies. Blue Selenite , which is the palest of pale blue in color (and I have never seen it in person) is good to use in meditation when your mind is cluttered. It helps quiet the mind and “chatter” in your head that interrupts the meditative state. Green Selenite (another I have not actually seen) is good to use when meditating on a situation where you must work toward the highest good for all involved. It helps us to see the situation more clearly and come to a conclusion where everyone benefits.

Selenite is calming to us when in the midst of emotional turmoil, and quieting to the mind when we are overwhelmed by a problem. Selenite wands, especially the Satin Spar type, are excellent for directing healing energy. Body workers and crystal healers will often use a Selenite wand (even over a Quartz wand, which is more common) to find problem areas in the body, draw out unwanted negative energies, or direct healing energies into the Chakra system, because it is so perfectly attuned to all healing frequencies. All forms of Selenite assist in cleansing out the auric field. To me, Selenite is one of the best crystals to use in cleansing your aura, cleansing other crystals, or using smaller pieces to arrange a grid in a room to cleanse and charge your living space or work environment. Selenite dissolves blockages within a person’s auric field and helps the chi energy flow more easily and more consistently. Because Selenite clears these stagnant energies from our consciousness, it helps us to access our Higher Self and access higher forms of energy like Angels, Spirit Guides, and Goddesses.

Selenite is named for the lunar Goddess, Selene. And a perfectly round sphere of Satin Spar Selenite looks like a gorgeous full moon. I have heard different theories on cleansing or not cleansing Selenite crystals. Now I firmly believe crystals should be cleansed on a regular basis, as they absorb and can hold on to outside energies both positive and negative. But there are some crystals that are “self cleansing”. Their vibration is so high and they are so spiritual in nature that they really do not have to be cleansed. I find Selenite to be one of these crystals. I rarely ever cleanse my Selenite wand or smaller specimens. If you do feel the need to cleanse your Selenite, of course do so……but DO NOT clean it in water, as it will eventually dissolve. The best way I have found to cleanse and/or charge Selenite is by smudging it with sage and then placing it outside or on a windowsill in the light of the full moon. You will find your crystal resonating with the nocturnal feminine Goddess energy of the full moon.


Full Moon

The Pagan Blood Moon or Wine Moon occurs during the harvesting time of year when grapes were crushed and fermented to make dark red wine.


Additional Sources

The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall. 2004.

The Witches’ Almanac, LTD Spring 2008 to Spring 2009.

Traditional & Metaphysical Meanings and Uses for Selenite. Mystical Resources.

The Book of Stones by Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian. 2005, 2007.


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