Monthly Archives: March 2015

Crystal Controversy: Rough vs Tumbled

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Category: Crystal Healing

by Cathy Douglas

(photo courtesy of the Wellcome Museum in London, Wellcome Images [email protected])

Which is better: a rough crystal, or one that’s been polished? We hear that question all the time at Mimosa. My own instinctive feeling has always been that rough stones have a purer energy and a more forceful presence than stones that have been cut or polished. But others with lots of experience say the form of the stone makes no difference.

To reach a better understanding, I thought I’d examine the range of expert opinion on this topic. So here are some quotes, starting with our own in-house crystal expert, Ashley Leavy:

“Tumbled stones or polished stones have a really subtle, gentle energy that radiates outward in all directions… rough stones I usually use when somebody really needs an energetic breakthrough…  More isn’t always better.”– Ashley Leavy

“The healing properties have not been compromised in polished stones. These are rocks. They are pretty tough. You cannot bruise their egos.” — Benjamin Dean

“The more natural a stone is, the more ‘raw energy’ it contains… When a stone is carved into a shape with particular meanings, i.e. spheres, eggs, pyramids, this can also heighten its power.” — Pete “Lumos” of Mind, Body, Spirit

“Many feel that crystals in their raw, rough state are actually more powerful because they have come from Mother Earth in their natural form. This energy can be good for someone who really needs an energetic break through. However, if someone is sensitive to crystal energies then tumbled stones are the way to go.” — Jen Mergell

“I prefer, for my personal use, the rough gemstones. I find that for me they tend to have more vibration. However … As humans are most definitely a visual being, the appeal of something that looks wonderful such as a tumbled stone can be very healing in its own right. ” — Angelus, via Luna’s Grimoire Community Forum

“Let’s say I’m working some energy healing and I want to focus on a specific area…I break for my laser cut smokey quartz wand, as I feel that it helps channel energy more effectively than a rough piece of quartz. But if I’m balancing chakras and I just want the natural energies of the crystal … a rough specimen is perfectly acceptable. A tumbled piece will work just as well and often I will mix and interchange depending on necessity and availability.” — Het Het, via Earthsong Forum

In that same forum, a shamanic practitioner (who goes by MonSno_Leedra) felt strongly that natural stones have greater power: “Perhaps because I follow the shamanic pathway it is a bigger issue to me when dealing with the stone people.”

“I prefer to think of it simply as either walking around in your birthday suit or putting on a pretty dress.” — Kristi Huggins

One thing that makes a difference with certain crystals is that polishing puts a layer of security, in the form of polish, between users and toxic minerals. For example, we were excited to get in some tumbled cinnabar last year from the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. Cinnabar contains mercury, so we wouldn’t want to carry it in its raw form. While you’d still want to be careful with it, the polish made these specimens much safer to handle.

One commenter who got dizzy while handling tiger’s eye felt the same way: “I like both, but will be switching to polished crystals as, it has freaked me out about the asbestos in Tiger Eye. I went on to scare myself further reading Malachite is toxic to animals. I want to heal myself not intoxicate myself.” — Pouter, commenter at Aeclectic Tarot Forum

Obviously, there’s not total agreement here, and never will be. It’s natural that sifting through the opinions of many people brings a variety of experiences. Still, I think the pattern is clear: Crystal energy exists in rough, cut and tumbled stones — but the more natural the form, the more direct the transmission of that energy. Unsurprisingly, people tend to feel more raw power coming from rough stones. But in some circumstances, softer energy is more appropriate. And sometimes other considerations, such as toxicity, make tumbled stones the better choice, as a buffer between the raw nature of the stone and the practical realities of human needs.

This is why Ashley advises that professional crystal healers should probably have some rough stones and some tumbled. The rest of us, though, can usually be confident in following our intuition. If, like many people, you feel stronger energy coming from rough stones, you’ll want to take that into consideration when choosing your crystals. But that doesn’t mean rough is always better. If safety, aesthetics, and/or desire for a softer energy lead you to tumbled stones, that’s the right choice for your circumstances.

For a fascinating video discussion of this topic in depth, check out this sample class from Ashley’s crystal healing school: Basic Crystal Healing: Crystal Shapes.


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Current Transits for April, 2015

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Category: Current Transits

By Barry Kerr

Sun moved into Aries on March 20

If the journey through the Zodiac, toward spiritual consciousness, seemed complete last month in Pisces, it begins again, in Aries. The Zodiac is actually a spiral. With each revolution, we find ourselves higher up the spiral, at a finer vibration, ready for another go-round, and reaching for even more creative mastery in this world of dualities.  Thus, Aries – here I am!

Aries bursts a new sense of self into the world. Our youthful, fiery spirit enters time and space, expressing our soul as a unique embodied being, and once again we experience the illusion of separation.

Our inner Mars asserts our right to be here, to claim our space, to pursue our desires, and build a personality through which our larger soul can creatively express. Each time in Aries, we are learning more about how to be independent, self-aware, and assertive. We strengthen our ego through self-nurturance and constructive self-interest.  Aries’ spiritual intention is to inspire and impel us to live, speak, and act as we feel driven, authentically and with vitality.

In Aries, we learn to trust our impulses, free of the need to please or be “nice”. We learn to moderate our giving to others, making sure we are fair with ourselves, too.  By enthusiastically and confidently sharing our talents, gifts and leadership, we inspire others to do the same, empowering them to join us as co-creators in this world.

Our unconscious inner Aries, if lacking enough experience in the art of relationship, can let our Martian assertiveness turn to aggression, overriding the needs or desires of others, insensitive to the feelings around us, with a willfulness that pushes others away and invites judgments of “selfishness”.  We see others as enemies who block our path.

Full Moon April 4

The Full Moon on April 4th is a lunar eclipse, increasing the manifesting effect of this monthly occurrence. The Sun opposite Moon will come in alignment with the remaining energy of the culminating Uranus-Pluto square that has been repeatedly churning up turmoil and transformation for over four years now. Add Mercury, Jupiter and the North Node to this alignment, and it could be a powerful three days.  Personal communications and world news may present sudden changes that challenge emotional equilibrium.  Trust your intuition (Uranus) to align with your rational mind (Mercury) to draw upon an expanded view (Jupiter) that lifts your emotions (Moon).  Practical Saturn will continue to square with idealistic Neptune, helping us ground our dreams into the “reality” of this world.

Venus and Mars will help ground us

As attractive Venus and desiring Mars move through Taurus during April, be clear how your values determine your wants and needs and how you go about meeting them.  During this month, responsible Saturn will oppose these two planets and challenge you to be more conscious of your choices. How much is needed to bring comfort and pleasure? Excesses and distractions may be precipitate stress. Clarity and discipline will enhance authentic manifestations of desire.

Jupiter goes direct April 9

When Jupiter comes out of inwardly directed retrograde on April 9, be ready for opportunities to apply outward action toward personal and collective change. Independent orientated Uranus will continue to fuel Jupiter’s drive toward expansive awareness and growth as the Moon harmonizes with each planet to give emotional comfort to anxiety.

Good Aries activities in April

Do something, anything, impulsively, without a need to know why or for more information. Read a book or watch a video on how to assert yourself more confidently and with more grace, then go confront that person you’ve been afraid to address. Don’t pretend to like something you don’t. Say “no” without an excuse. Spend time with yourself, alone. Find ways to affirm your right to exist, to be on this earth, to express your self into this world. Feel a desire, a lust, and do something about it. Flirt. Try something spanking new to see if it’s you, or not. Make an assessment of your likes and dislikes and honor your right to feel as you do. Take leadership in a situation, for a minute, for a year. Be you.

Good Aries questions to ask your self in April

To heal and evolve your Aries self, aim for self-awareness. How well can you describe you? Your likes, dislikes, values? Are you willing to risk impulsive choices so as to learn what you value? Can you be calmly assertive or does your inner warrior angrily attack and ask questions later? Do you trust yourself? Do you puff yourself up when feeling unconfident? Are you overly concerned with what others think of you, what others need, and what’s fair and just?


Barry Kerr, a certified soul-based astrologer, has 33 years of experience with an international clientele, including many medical professionals and alternative healers. He and Kristine Gay, a licensed psychotherapist, are owners/practitioners at Inner Essence Center in Madison. Both have extensive training in soul-guided healing of mind, body, heart and spiritual systems. Barry offers astrology readings and coaching by phone, Skype or in person in Madison, WI. Inquiries are welcome – free 15 minute consultation to explore if this is for you.  Visit www.ChooseConsciousLiving.com for more information.