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
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 years 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 Id 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
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 dont
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
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
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. Its 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
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 persons
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
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.