Stone Whisperer Newsletter

  February 28, 2010
Full Moon – Snow Moon  


Thursday night I couldn’t fall asleep. I’d been reading my new rock book…and then started thinking about my next trip to Michigan’s U.P., and the mines we were going to explore...then I started thinking about putting together a display for the next Michigan Mineralogical Society’s rock & mineral show in October... By this point I was far too excited to go to sleep. And then it occurred to me: I have a newsletter to write this weekend! I had completely forgotten about it. And I certainly didn’t have a topic planned. Then, suddenly, it popped in my head: salt, I’ll write about salt. And then, I fell asleep.

Even though it took me a few days to get the newsletter sent out, I actually did write it on Sat. Feb 28. Saturday was the 2nd full moon during February. So that’s why there are 2 newsletters going out for February.


Check out my shop, Flying Cat Design, on Café Press . My art is available on various products: from mugs, to clothing, framed prints, bags, ornaments…and all kinds of cool stuff. More designs to come.

Blessings to all!
LL&P \\ //

~~~ Alicia

Halite is Salt

Naturally occurring salt is a mineral, as is naturally occurring ice. Salt actually occurs as the mineral Halite, and in massive forms it is considered a rock, called Rock Salt. Halite is sodium chloride (NaCl). If you have a mineral that you suspect may be Halite, the best way to test it to see if it is indeed Halite is to lick it! Seriously. If it tastes like salt, it’s Halite. Halite forms as a result of the evaporation of saline water. For example, an ancient salt-water sea could be completely or partially cut off from the greater ocean, though movement of the continents during the formation of the Earth. Sometimes the isolated salt-water continued to exist in liquid form. An example of this is Utah’s Great Salt Lake. Other times, if the conditions are just right, the liquid water evaporates leaving behind solid salt, Halite. Halite is highly soluble in water, and should be stored in dry low-humidity conditions if you want to keep your Halite crystals intact. Halite occurs in cubic crystals, and is actually quite soft – only 2 ½ on the Moh’s hardness scale, meaning it can easily be scratched by a copper coin.

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Halite from Detroit Salt Mine

Although commonly white or colorless (actually the purest Halite) it can occur in other colors: blue, brown, grey/black, orange, pink, and violet. Various colors can be caused by chemical impurities in the mineral, or by the structure of the crystal system itself. For example, Hematite creates the orange color. Blue occurs because of irregularities in the crystalline structure, which reflect light differently from the adjoining white or colorless crystals.

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Grey/Brown Rock Salt

Halite often occurs in desert areas, in combination with other evaporate minerals like Gypsum and Anhydrite. It can be exposed as rock salt caverns; often these become mines. The world’s largest salt mine is in Retsof, New York. Poland also has large salt deposits underground. In the Wieliczka Salt Mines , in the Krakow region of Poland, an entire chapel was carved out of the rock salt by the miners, so they would have a place to worship. This mine dates from the 13th century. Polish salt is so pure it can be marketed without further processing to eliminate impurities. The city of Salzburg, in Austria, is also famed for its salt deposits. It’s name actually means “city of salt”. Salt deserts occur in America’s Southwest. Salt domes occur in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Middle East. The Dead Sea, in Jordan, has the highest saline concentration of any body of water. People easily float on the waters of the Dead Sea, because the salt is so densely concentrated. Salt form the Dead Sea is extremely healing and restorative to the body. Locals and tourists bathe in the salty water to refresh their skin, release tension in their muscles, and even to treat dermatological conditions.

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Peach Himalayan Salt

There is even a salt mine in Detroit, Michigan. It is no longer open to the public, however, as far as I know it is still a working mine. When I was younger, about 7 or 8 I think, my Mom and my Grandma and I took a trip to visit the Detroit Salt Mine. We actually got to go down into the mine, ride a tram, learn how the mineral was gathered and transported to the surface, and the coolest thing of all: we got to take samples. I still have 3 pieces of Halite from the Detroit mine – 2 small colorless well formed crystals, and one grey/brown piece of Rock Salt, which is about hand-specimen size.

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Detroit Salt Mine Hoist

Yes, these are the kinds of vacations I went on when I was a geeky is that?! And I loved it! How many 7 year olds get to say they visited a working mine…? Personally, I think it’s pretty cool. I had always picked up rocks and seashells when I was little, and was digging in the dirt looking for treasures when I’d go outside; I had a little rock tumbler, and one of those ‘make-your-own-volcano’ kits; and I actually started collecting rocks and minerals when I was about 6 years old…so my interest was there at a very young age. And I often cite the Detroit mine trip and my vacation to the Mammoth Caves in Kentucky – I was around 11 or 12 then – as the two experiences that solidified my interest in geology and the wonders of the Earth.

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My Grandmother and me collecting salt in the Detroit Salt Mine.

Halite has been harvested since Neolithic times. It has been used as currency, to preserve food (in warm climates without ice and snow, and before commercial refrigeration it was the only way to preserve food), to flavor food, to heal the body. It is used in cosmetic products and lotions. It is used by farmers for their animals. It is used as a flux for melting metal. It is put in glaze for coating porcelain. The chlorine is extracted from Halite and used in the formation of hydrochloric acid. It is used in the manufacture of glass, and the making of soap. It is the source of sodium carbonate (soda ash) and sodium bicarbonate (baking powder). And from around November to March, here in Michigan and in other states with harsh Winters, salt is commonly used to melt ice on the roads. Besides it industrial and culinary uses, salt has been and still is, used as spiritual offerings in religious ceremonies and spiritual cleansings.

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Salt Crystals forming on ceramic.

Just think of all the things we could not do, and foods we could not eat, if we did not have this precious mineral. Halite is as important to human culture as agriculture or the smelting of metal.

Metaphysical Properties of Halite

First and foremost, Halite is a spiritual cleanser. It easily clears our auric fields of negative energy. It is excellent to use in grids – especially effective used in combination with Selenite (another great cleanser) and colorless Quartz (which enhances and amplifies energy) – to clear stagnant energy in one’s environment. It is a purifier of energy. It removes dense energy and obstructions in one’s auric field, and anything that cannot be removed, it can transform into lighter energy that vibrate at a higher level. Being a wonderful cleanser, Halite helps to dissolve old habitual negative thought patterns that are harmful to one’s growth.

Pink Halite and Blue Halite are the most widely used in spiritual cleansing, ceremony, and crystal healing.

Blue Halite cleanses the Third Eye & Ajna Chakras, and the Throat Chakra. Used with indigo, violet, and colorless crystals it clears debris from the Crown Chakra as well. A trio of Quartz, Amethyst, and Iolite, accompanied with Blue Halite acts as a triple activation on the Crown, Ajna, and Throat Chakras, increasing psychic awareness and clearing one’s mind to better receive spiritual messages. When used in a layout on the Third Eye Chakra is can eliminate a block that hinders one from seeing one’s true path in life.

The Pink variety of Halite, as well as being used for the usual cleansing, is an ideal mineral to manifest self-love. It clears out feelings of guilt, unworthiness, and un-forgiveness of one’s own mistakes, and helps to replace these detrimental thoughts with acceptance, self-worth, and forgiveness. It helps to dissolve disorderly, cloudy, or foggy thinking. It helps one to see truth more clearly and accept it more easily. Dissolving some Pink Halite in a cleansing bath is a relaxing and therapeutic experience. As well as softening the skin and relaxing the muscles, it also clears the etheric field. It has a calming effect on the mind and relaxes the body. It is also used in detaching unhealthy spirit entities from one’s energetic field.

Grey/Black Halite is used when clearing the densest and most negative energies from one’s environment. It can be used in home clearings and blessings to eliminate the stagnant and residual negative energies from previous occupants before moving into a new house.

Red Halite draws out infection from the physical body and impurities from the etheric body. Someone undergoing any type of detoxification may want to carry this type of salt with them to help them detox, and give them the added vitality their body would need while going through the process.

Violet Halite actually helps to eliminate unpleasant dreams. Place a piece under your pillow with a piece of Amethyst to help counter any disturbing nightmares and relax into a deep restful sleep.

Yellow Halite increases physical vitality. It helps one with retaining knowledge, and encourages self-discipline when learning a challenging task.


Quote of the Month

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture in on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not the man less, but Nature more.

George Gordon - Lord Byron
Childe Harold's Pilgrimage


Additional Sources

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

The Crystal Bible II.
Judy Hall.

Mineral Collector’s Handbook. Barry Krause. 1996.

Rock and Gem. Ronald Louis Bonewitz. Smithsonian Institution. 2005.

About Geology

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