A Beginner’s Guide to the Healing Power of Crystals

A Beginners Guide to Crystals from Psychic Readings by Ronn on Vimeo.

 

Welcome to the amazing healing power of crystals. Crystals are known for their intrinsic power to heal and contribute to spiritual awakening. But for many that are new to the realm of crystal spirituality, where you start? What are the benefits of quartz compared to amethyst? Are bigger, shinier stones better?

From the dawn of ancient civilization to modern society, crystals have been considered sacred and powerful. They have been used since the dawn of ancient civilization, whether for mysticism, jewelry, or currency.  Their first recorded use by Ancient Sumerians for its proposed magical effects.

Crystal healing can help anyone.  Crystals work by harnessing energy, which is the essence of the human body.  There are hundreds of crystals, in all different shapes, sizes, weights, and colors, and each vibrates to its own unique energy.

When you pick up a crystal, the energy of the crystal picks up to rhythm of your own energy. This amplifies the vibrational frequency in your human body as the crystal works to maintain your body’s mental, physical, and spiritual status.

In working with crystals, you embark on a journey of self-discovery. It’s exciting but understandably daunting.

I hope to clarify this information to get you started on the path toward ultimate crystal spirituality.

First, let’s look at some popular crystal varieties. I explain both what they are and how you can best use them to affect change in you.

Amethyst: This purple gem aids in relaxation and suppresses negative thoughts.  Keep amethyst with you at all times, such as in your pocket. Cradle it during times of self-doubt. That is when this gem will most likely inspire you.  Another ideal spot for amethyst is underneath your pillow, lulling you into restful sleep by warding off nightmares.

Citrine: With an erratically mirrored surface, citrine spirits away nasty negative energy. Therefore, it enhances your ability to attract abundance and consider self-esteem. A great spot for citrine is right in your wallet, accumulating abundance directly to the source.

Clear quartz: Quartz aids helps you with personal aspirations and thus guides away from harm.

Rose quartz: This mystifyingly beautiful crystal inspires radical self-love. Like amethyst, keep it with you when you need a spark of self-appreciation.

Black onyx: Absorbs all negative energy, also protects and provide support.  Many people Keep a large black onyx stone at their front door to protect their homes from negative forces.

 

Before you use your crystals, it is important to cleanse them. You can do this by rinsing them under cold water and setting them in the sun for a day or two. Or, pay attention to your horoscope to find the best time to set the crystals outside in the moonlight.  Because rocks are deeply connected to the energy of the ancient earth and cosmic movements, take a moment to honor your crystals’ memory. This relationship with all the forces that have brought them to you will help cleanse them.

 Thanks for reading! This post was originally featured on PsychicReadingsbyRonn.net. I hope you enjoyed the accompanying video. Stay tuned for more.

Themes for September 2015

Energetic themes for September 2015 are faith and trust. We are currently in the process of expanding the boundaries of our creativity, perception, and understanding. As we expand, we’ll need a bigger container in order to accommodate our evolution. Fear, limited thinking or the need for control will limit us, preventing expansion and growth, which is why the central theme of September is trust.

Throughout the month, one might feel out of control or see others lose control of their rational thoughts. It may feel chaotic and it may not be clear to you where to best delegate your energy. “The best-laid plans may go haywire as spirit shows you in no uncertain terms that there is another agenda for you to follow.”

Rather than follow suit with your rational mind, try to tune in to your higher mind of intuition. Allow for inspiration to take charge. You never know what will trigger inspiration but it allows you to accomplish something true to you.

Transform your skills for organizing your physical life into organizing your spiritual life. The external physical structures of security and support may not be as firm and true as we thought. What about that inner structure, our inner spiritual life? If we can satisfy our inner, spiritual container, the better we can feed our outer container with trust and faith. Let go of the things you once relied on.

Tap into the Artisan within for it is an Artisan year. Artisans are masters of chaos and destruction as well as masters of creativity. Trust yourself to navigate the chaos and find the outrageously beautiful, highly creative work of art.

“Your life as a creative project will unfold in its right timing with power and purpose as long as you can practice Faith and Trust every step of the way.”

Release anything holding you back, old dreams or lost opportunities and embrace the unknown, beautiful, inspiring future. Stay strong on the inside and avoid dramatic external events. There is no need for them to infiltrate your core.

The History of Christmas

Right around this time last year, I wrote a post about the history of significance of the Winter Solstice.  As we draw closer to the Solstice and the Christmas holiday, I thought I would write a more detailed follow up post about how the way Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus has been influenced by ancient traditions.

When we think of Christmas, we think of spending time with friends and family, decorating the Christmas tree, and waiting for Santa Claus to visit.  The cynical among us think of the holiday season as an excuse for companies to make a major advertising push to help the bottom line before the end of the fourth quarter.  Regardless of your feelings about Christmas, let your inner historian at least appreciate the thousands of years of rich tradition have converged and adapted to produce this unique holiday.

Before Christianity

Walk through New York City’s Herald Square and spend a minute watching the shoppers frantically enter and exit Macy’s department store decked out in holiday regalia. Then try and wrap your mind around the fact that some of the seeds of Christmas as we know it were sown long before the Virgin Mary was forced to find refuge in a stable in Bethlehem.

The seeming disconnect can be quite a trip, but let your mind travel back to a time before skyscrapers and automobiles, before Newton told us what goes up must come down, before knights in shining armor stormed castles, and even before three wise men started following the brightest star to Bethlehem.

The Saturnalia

Roman Poet Catullus

The Roman poet Catullus described Saturnalia as “the best of days.”

We find ourselves in the height of the late Roman Republic.  At this point in history, the Roman Republic is the most powerful military and cultural force on the planet.  The Republic controls most of the Mediterranean rim and Julius Caesar will soon incorporate Gaul (modern day France) into the Empire in one of the most storied, but brutally violently conquests in the history of the empire.

It was against this backdrop, that the Roman poet Catullus, a contemporary of Caesar, wrote his famous words about the festival of Saturnalia: “Saturnalibus, optimo dierum!” or “The Saturnalia, the best of days!”  By this time, the ancient festival of Saturnalia had been celebrated for hundreds of years.  Many historians view Saturnalia as one of the oldest influences on our Christmas holiday but you don’t need to be an archaeologist to see the similarities.

Roman God Saturn

Many historians believe that the Saturnalia, in honor of the Roman god Saturn, is a predecessor to our Christmas.

The timing of Saturnalia is one of the most apparent elements that the Roman holiday shares with Christmas.  This was not an accident, but we’ll get to that in a moment.  Saturnalia was celebrated from December 17th through December 23rd and was thrown in honor of Saturn, one of the chief gods in the Roman pantheon.  Saturn was thought to influence the outcome of the harvest which is why the festival in his honor was so important.  A key element of Saturnalia was the reversal of the usually rigidly stratified social order of Rome.  Slaves became temporary masters in their homes and peasants were in control of the city.  The History Channel has a good write up of how Saturnalia was celebrated.  The reversal of the social order can be seen as a predecessor to our focus on those in need during the holiday season.

Like Christmas, and most Roman festivals, Saturnalia involved heavy feasting and liberal consumption of wine.  Imagine the ancient version of a Christmas ham and a glass of eggnog.  Instead of hearing, “Merry Christmas!” on your way to the grocery store, you might hear, “Io Saturnalia!”, the traditional salute of the holiday.

Mithras and Sol Invictus

Sun God Mithras

The birth of the deity Mithras was celebrated on December 25th, before the Christian church had settled on a firm date for this birth of Christ.

Another influential ritual that fell around the time of Saturnalia and on the date we now celebrate Christmas, was the birth of Mithras.  Worshipping Mithras was outside the traditional Roman pantheon of Gods and was popular amongst the military and the upper classes.  The Cult of Mithras probably has origins in the Zoroastrian tradition, but once coopted by the Romans, Mithras transformed into a distinct god with uniquely Roman rituals.  The Roman version of the Mithras myth tells that the infant sun god was born out of a rock on December 25th.

The official sun god of the later Roman Empire was known as Sol Invictus, or the Unconquerable Sun, and while historians are somewhat unclear on the exact relation to Mithras, the birth of Sol Invictus was also celebrated on December 25th.

December 25th

So back to the the proximity between Saturnalia, the birth of Mithras, and what eventually became Christmas on the Roman calendar.  The three major festivals fell within a week of one another.  Was this just a coincidence or do the gods just dig the end of December?  The answer is complicated, but there are two major reasons for the gauntlet of major holidays before the new year.

The first is the Winter Solstice.  Cultures from around the globe, many who had no cultural contact with one another, celebrate the Solstice as the beginning of the end of darkness and the welcoming of the sun.  In fact, many of our more modern Christmas traditions are drawn from Nordic and German solstice celebrations.

The second reason involves a bit more politicking and early public relations by the leaders of the nascent religion of Christianity.  While some Christian historians argue that the date of December 25th was chosen as the birth of Christ because it falls nine months after March 25th, a proposed date for the Immaculate Conception, there is almost definitely more to the story.

The earliest documentation of December 25th as the birth of Jesus comes from St. Irenaeus almost 130 years after the traditional year of Christ’s birth.  Some historians believe Christ was actually born in the spring, and some Eastern Orthodox traditions celebrate the birth in early January.  So why all the confusion?

Part of the reason for the disagreement on the actual date is that there isn’t much evidence that early Christians celebrated the birth of Jesus at all.  Then, as now among the devout, the most important holiday in Christianity was Easter, the remembrance of the Passion and the subsequent resurrection of Jesus.

Early Christians had a rough go of it in the Roman Empire to say the least.  They were widely persecuted by Roman leadership. From brutal and unstable emperors, like Nero to the most academic and thoughtful, like Marcus Aurelius.  Being fed to lions in the Coliseum or executed for performing Christian wedding ceremonies (St. Valentine is a story for another day) were not uncommon ways of being punished for performing Christian rituals.

Constantine Bust

Constantine the Great’s conversion to Christianity shepherded in the Christianity as the Roman Empire’s official religion.

As the empire began to decay in the later centuries, the tide of Christianity began to turn.  More and more Romans, especially the poor and enslaved, turned to Christianity as a source of hope.  The groundswell culminated in the deathbed conversion of Emperor Constantine the Great.  Constantine credited his conversion to a Christian vision he had before a battle which he felt led to a seminal victory.  After Constantine’s conversion, it was only a matter of time before the official religion of the Roman Empire became Christianity.

So back to December 25th.  An edict declaring Christianity the official religion is one thing.  Having an empire of millions with thousands of years of pagan tradition buy in is another.  Many historians believe that in the 4th century A.D., leaders of the Christian church decided to celebrate Christ’s birth during the same period as Saturnalia and the birth of Mithras as a way of softening the blow to pagan religions.

Ironically, the Christian church deftly applied the Roman tactic of conquest by inclusion into their strategy of religious conversion.  Unsurprisingly, the disappearance of the Cult of Mithras, which had been made an official religion of the military by Emperor Aurelian in 274, corresponds with the introduction of Christmas in the 4th century.

The Feast of the Nativity, as it was known, spread to Egypt by the early 400s and was widely celebrated in England and Scandinavia by the 7th century A.D.

Shadows of Saturnalia

One of the pervasive traditions of Saturnalia that survived into the Middle Ages was the idea of reversal of the social order during the Christmas season.

An officer known as The Lord of Misrule was appointed from amongst the peasants to preside over the Feast of Fools, the Christmas feast which carried on the traditions of excessive drinking and partying which accompanied Roman Saturnalia.  Drunken peasants were known to visit the homes of the wealthy and ask (or demand) gifts, food, and drink.

Originally an homage to the Roman tradition of reversal of the social strata, the mobs would sometimes become violent, causing the church and the wealthy to make a concerted effort to rebrand Christmas as a peaceful holiday to be celebrated in the home with family.

We just hurtled through about a thousand years of Christmas tradition.  I hope it shed some light on where some of our customs came from.

Notes and More Information

Check out the History Channel’s History of Christmas, the and the Wikipedia pages for Saturnalia, Sol Invictus, The Cult of Mithras, and the Lord of Misrule to learn more.

If you want to learn more about Christmas in America, check out this piece on when the Puritans banned Christmas in Boston.

Love Trumps all When it Comes to Spirituality

Monk walking toward light

There are many ways to define spirituality.

Have you ever tried to define spirituality?  If you have chances are it got fairly murky fairly quickly.  As we discuss regularly on this blog, spirituality means something different to everyone.  No matter how much we try to quantify, measure, or define spirituality, there will always be a subjective element to it.

Are there any commonalities that everyone’s definition of spirituality share?  Probably not, but that doesn’t have to stop us from constantly striving to find what’s at the root of spirituality.

Mastin Kipp recently had an article published on the Huffington post Spirituality blog that attempted to bring the spirituality’s core into focus.  Kipp agrees that spirituality is almost impossible define, but he has a very simple way of spotting it.  The tell tale sign?  Love.  Kipp argues that doing certain things from religious rituals to yoga won’t necessarily help us achieve a higher purpose or higher self.  Living in an Ashram in India won’t bring you closer to your spiritual side if the essential ingredient is missing.  Kipp implies that many people who are seeking a spiritual life may be looking for the easy route rather than letting their actions bring them closer to a higher level of existence.

Much like buying an expensive juice diet rather than eating healthy and exercising, some people look to achieve spirituality by cross off a series of spiritual checkboxes rather than doing the heavy lifting which will actually bring them what they desire.  Focusing on incorporating love into your daily interactions can help you feel like you are living a more fulfilling life.

Are We Ready to Merge Science and Spirituality?

The dichotomy of science and spirituality is ever present in our daily lives.  From the latest political debates about creationism in the classroom to Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos, the tension is all around us.  NPR’s Marcelo Gleiser wonders, does it have to be that way?

In a recent post, Gleiser argues for bringing science and spirituality together in harmony.  The rigidity of both sides can be detrimental to greater understanding.  The idea that science and spirituality are mutually exclusive not only leads to and unproductive standstill in thought, it also shapes our ideas about the natural world and the universe as a whole.

In his post, Gleiser quotes Lucretius, a Roman poet writing during the time of Julius Caesar.  Many in his time, as in ours, felt that the mysteries of the universe and the sinking feeling that comes with the human realization of the miniscule part we are here to play could only be resolved through faith in the divine.  Lucretius eloquently refutes this idea when he says:

“This dread and darkness of the mind cannot be dispelled by the sunbeams, the shining shafts of the day, but only by an understanding of the outward form and inner workings of nature.”

Essentially what Lucretius is saying is that we cannot rely on divine revelations to understand our world and our place in it.  The only path to understanding and inner peace is by continuing to try and understand who we are using the information available to us.

Gleiser’s thesis is that through an almost religious dedication to gaining scientific knowledge, we can achieve a higher purpose and sense of being.  While that may be true, we can take it a step further.

One of the ironies of the debate between science and spirituality is that both schools are trying to arrive at the same conclusion and are simply coming from opposite directions.  In other words, spirituality accepts some kind of divine and seeks to become closer with it to achieve another level of understanding, while science uses physical evidence to uncover answers to those same mysteries.

In some ways you can think of the mysteries of the universe as a math problem.  Spirituality helps lead us right to the answer while science seeks to show the work.