Monthly Archives: August 2017

sugilite for interpersonal harmony

Sugilite was named for Ken-ici Sugi, the Japanese petrologist who discovered it. Its rich pink-to-purple color comes from the combination of metal elements within it, including iron, manganese and aluminum. It’s uncommon, and usually comes in small pieces. It can be a very helpful crystal to use at work and in other situations where group cooperation is needed, because it can help clear away “negative vibes” that remain after discussions, competitive situations, and other uncomfortable interactions. Even if there are no special problems in your workplace, sugilite can help maintain a harmonious, cooperative environment.

Sugilite is also helpful for many spiritual purposes, including shamanic work and personal transformation. It’s sometimes also called Sugelite, Sugalite, Lavulite, Luvulite, or Royal Azel.

Properties: Use at the 7th Chakra (Crown Chakra) to aid in opening one to divine energy, to enhance meditation, to promote astral travel, to stimulate lucid dreaming and dream healing, to aid one in learning and understanding shamanic practices and rituals, to communicate with one’s ancestors or spirit guides, and to aid in working with the Violet Flame of St. Germaine.

One way to use this stone: You can make a spray mister to take to work to clear away negative energy and promote harmony. Just put a small piece of polished sugilite at the bottom of a glass spray bottle, and fill it up with purified water. If you plan to have it sitting around for awhile, you can add a little witch hazel or vodka to keep it fresh. Adding a couple drops of a purifying essential oil will make it smell nice and add an extra dimension of effectiveness; we suggest palo santo, sage, or an evergreen oil of some type.

The image in the square above was photographed by Ra’ike

cavansite for spiritual direction

Cavansite is a recently discovered stone that seems to grab everyone with its vibrant blue color. Its name comes from a simple abbreviation of the names of the minerals that make it up: Calcium vanadium silicate. It forms in little globules or rosettes, often on a white-to-brown matrix of heulandite or stilbite. Although it’s somewhat fragile, it’s often made into beautiful jewelry. It’s a good crystal for spiritual growth, especially when you’re coming out of a time of crisis or change. Cavansite can help you reach better self-knowledge through spiritual means, and improve all types of communication. If you’ve recently been feeling spiritually restless or unbalanced, there’s no better crystal for helping get firmly back onto your chosen spiritual path.

Properties: Use at the 4th Chakra (Heart Chakra) or at the 5th Chakra (Throat Chakra) to facilitate deep emotional healing, to connect one with the energies of the sea and the water element, to enhance one’s ability to express love by means of creative endeavors, to stimulate compassion and create a gentle and nurturing attitude, and to clear and balance one’s chakra system. It’s good for meditation and connection with spirit guides.

One way to use this stone: Cavansite can aid you in all kinds of dream work, spiritual guidance while sleeping, and sleep journeying. Set your intention of what you want to do; it might help to write this intention down in your dream or crystal journal, or simply on a slip of paper. Then set your cavansite on a bedside table or somewhere else near the head of the bed while you sleep. (Unless the cavansite is firmly embedded in its matrix, it’s going to be too fragile to put under the pillow.) As soon as you wake up, record whatever you experience. Don’t try to interpret it right away; just write it down as you experienced it. Later you can meditate on these experiences, and see what message comes out of them. This can be a very powerful way to connect with your spirit guides.

sunstone for charisma

Sunstone is a type of feldspar, like moonstone and labradorite. It has a warm, sparkly look due to bits of hematite, goethite or sometimes copper naturally included in the stone. Sunstone has an extremely positive, warm, outgoing personality, making it perfect for people who have trouble putting themselves forward, either socially or in the workplace. It is associated with a sense of joy, and can be especially helpful for chasing away winter blues.

Lore: Sunstone is such an attractive stone that people have been noticing, collecting and wearing it for a long time. Some ancient people believed it consisted of pieces of the sun that had fallen to earth during a solar eclipse. Many cultures used it as a ward against harm, for example embedding pieces on the rims of plates and cups to counteract poisoning.

Properties: Use at the 2nd Chakra (Sacral Chakra/Spleenic Chakra) or 3rd Chakra (Solar Plexus Chakra) to instill joy and happiness, to manifest abundance, to promote a positive self-image and self confidence, to encourage inner strength, to enhance feelings of gratitude and one’s willingness to share, to bring light to dark or negative thoughts, for psychological healing, to stimulate creativity, to aid in digestion and problems associated with the sexual organs, to counter the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), to warm the heart and soul, to balance the mind, body, and spirit, and to promote a positive attitude.

Thoth, Egyptian scribe god

Thoth
(rhymes with “both”)
Egyptian Pantheon
God of knowledge, occult wisdom & the moon. Patron god of scribes.
Also called Djhuti, Tehuti, Hermes Trismegistos
Husband of Maat, father of Seshat (though various versions of his family appeared through time)

His name carries two meanings: thought and time. We usually see him as a male figure with the head of an Ibis, but in the past he sometimes had the head of a baboon. Thoth invented the art of writing, and was the scribe of the underworld. Originally a moon god, he was associated with the phases of the moon, and thus with the ability to measure the passage of time and also with astronomy. In Khmun, his cult center, worshippers mummified and buried hundreds of ibises in his honor. He’s not the main character in many myths; more often, he appears as a wise counselor and a source of magical wisdom. He helped Isis bring Osiris back from the dead. Thoth himself is said to have written the most ancient parts of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. He was a favorite deity of the Golden Dawn, and Aleister Crowley invoked him and claimed to channel Thoth’s occult teachings through his Book of Thoth tarot deck. As the sun god Ra is associated with mortal life, Thoth is associated with the afterlife. He is the spiritual father of sacred geometry.

Symbols:

  • ibis
  • moon disk
  • papyrus scroll
  • often shown with baboons, or sometimes as a baboon himself
  • stylus & papyrus scroll

The Morrigan, Celtic warrior goddess

The Morrigan
Celtic Pantheon
Goddess of Battle, Strife, Victory
Her name may mean “Phantom Queen” or “Great Queen”
She is one of the Tuatha de Danann. In some myths she is a consort of Dagda

The Morrigan is a fierce warrior goddess, associated with life passages as well as literal battle. She is a shapeshifter who takes on many forms, human and animal, but she especially favors crows and ravens. In mythology, she sometimes use her shapeshifting ability to trick mortals into mistakes that would change their fates. She may also appear in various forms as an omen. Some consider her to be a psychopomp, escorting mortals between the worlds of the living and the dead. She also has an aspect a triple goddess — maiden/mother/crone, or birth/motherhood/death — though she’s mostly associated with the crone part of that trio. The Morrigan is strong and willful, and crossing her can be dangerous. But those she favors are able to draw from her strength, even if their own past has left them scarred. Some believe the Morrigan to be a precursor of the Morgan le Fay. Symbols:

  • Crow and Raven
  • Her sacred plants are mugwort and yew
  • Triple spiral
  • Art may show her as part bird, part woman

Artwork by André Koehne

Ganesh, Hindu god, remover of obstacles

Ganesh (गणेश))
Hindu Pantheon
Remover of obstacles, god of births & other beginnings, patron of arts and sciences, deva of wisdom
Other names: Ganesa, Ganesha, Ganapati
Son of Shiva and Parvati, brother of war god Kartikeya. There’s considerable debate about his wife, but two sons are attributed to him: Kşema (prosperity) and Lābha (profit).

Ganesh got his elephant head when, as a young man, he stood guarding his mother when Parvati was taking a bath. He did not know his father, so when Shiva came in, Ganesh blocked his path. Shiva’s angry glare burned his head to ashes. But when Shiva saw how sad this made Parvati he repented and gave his son an elephant’s head.

Ganesh is worshipped not only at the beginning of religious rituals, but also on secular occasions such as buying a new car or starting a new business. As the remover of obstacles, he is often called upon in practical matters, and invoked for the lucky beginning of all kinds of ventures.

Symbols:

  • One of his tusk is broken, because he used the end of it to write a holy text.
  • The color red is sacred to Ganesh.
  • In some stories the mouse at Ganesha’s feet, who serves as his mount, is the giant god Kroncha, put into rodent form to learn humility. In others he is tiny Mushika, symbolizing the god’s ability to accomplish things that seem impossible to humans.
  • Ganesh may hold a chakra wheel, a sacred conch shell, a lotus, a sacred thread, and an elephant goad

Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom & war

Athena (Ἀθηνᾶ)
Greek Pantheon
Goddess of wisdom, war, civilization, arts & crafts
Also called Pallas or Pallas Athena
Burst forth from the head of Zeus, armed and ready for battle. She swore to remain a virgin forever and never married.

Although she is a goddess of war, she comes to the fight in a spirit of justice rather than anger. She is the patron goddess of heroes and artists of all kinds. She shows up in many myths as the helper of heroes; she helped Jason get the golden fleece, Theseus slay the Minotaur, Perseus slay the Medusa, and Herakles complete his seven labors. She took her chastity very seriously, and no man was allowed to so much as see her naked. A man named Tiresias came upon her while she was bathing, and she struck him blind; however, the one glimpse of her naked gave him the wisdom to see the future and understand the speech of birds. She was a favorite of ancient Greek writers, and shows up to help heroes of the Illiad, the Odyssey, and many other works of literature. As goddess of wisdom and learning, she came to be a symbol of civilized life.

Symbols:

  • Owl
  • Shield made from the head of a gorgon
  • Spear & armor
  • Olive tree
  • She often holds Nike, the goddess of victory, in her hand

sahasrara, the crown chakra

The Chakras are an ideal roadmap for personal growth and development. In 2017 we are journeying through the Chakras and focusing on one Chakra a month. August brings us to the Crown Chakra, the center of spirituality, enlightenment, transcendence, oneness, awakening, and understanding. This month, the Crown Chakra asks you to explore your connection to all the dimensions around you — the spiritual world as well as the earth plane. Are you connected to the divine, humanity, and your higher self? Or do you feel alone in the universe, disconnected from the source and your soul?

Brief Overview of Chakras: The Chakras are the main energy centers in our subtle body. They are the openings for life energy to flow into and out of our aura or electromagnetic field. There are main Chakras, minor, subpersonal, and transpersonal Chakras. The Chakras’ function is to vitalize the physical body and to bring about the development of our self-consciousness. Each chakra is associated with certain physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual interactions. Each chakra has personal growth themes, functions, and purposes. The concept of the Chakras has been around for thousands of years.

The Crown Chakra is located at the top of the head. Its functions and purposes include spiritual connection, enlightenment, transcendence, awakening, serenity, beliefs, morals, understanding, thought, awareness, knowledge, wisdom, universal intelligence, pure consciousness, karma, grace, and bliss. It is humanity’s connection to the universe and that, which is beyond death. In Sanskrit, Sahasrara means “thousand petaled,” because this chakra is said to be in the form of a lotus with 1,000 petals arranged in 20 layers and resides in the “plane of truth and reality.” There are over a thousand names for God, yet it remains nameless and formless. The lessons and goal of the Crown Chakra is to guide us into developing our spirituality, achieving enlightenment, and understanding the secrets of the universe as well as the bigger picture in our own lives. Crown Chakra needs that must be met for transformation and transcendence to occur include having a spiritual connection, faith, and oneness with all.

August 2017 Crown Chakra Forecast: As the center of oneness, the Crown Chakra asks for an honest inventory of your spiritual life and connection to the world around you. Are you fulfilled with your human relationships? Or is something missing? Do you believe in something greater than yourself? Do you have a strong relationship with the universe/God/Mother Earth/The Divine? Can you connect to the divine? How? Do you feel connected with your higher self? Is the divine a relationship you nourish or allow to sit on the backburner? Are you too busy in your life to make room for what is really important? This month, it’s time for your mind to step out of the way of your soul…..

Crown Chakra Aromatherapy Blend

  • 3 drops Frankincense essential oil
  • 5 drops Myrrh essential oil
  • 4 drops Spikenard essential oil
  • 3 drops Palo Santo essential oil
  • 2 drops Angelica essential oil

The above blend is meant for a diffuser. Place the drops into the diffuser and as you turn on, deeply inhale the aroma and breathe it out through your crown chakra at the top of the head. Visualize your crown chakra beaming up to the heavens. As you do this, state the following affirmations: “I am integrated, whole, complete and one with the divine energy. I am connected to the source, guides, guardians, and my angels.”


About: Christina Wilke-Burbach PhD, RMT, CA is a Holistic Health Consultant, Certified Aromatherapist, Herbalist, Master Gardener, and Reiki Master Teacher with a PhD in Health Psychology. Her business, Mind, Soul, and Self LLC is based out of Wisconsin. For more info on Dr. Christina and her upcoming Chakra Retreats, Chakra Classes, Chakra Bootcamps, or to schedule an individual reading or appointment, please visit mindsoulandself.com. Many Blessings and Be Well!

If you are interested in learning more about the ‘Crown Chakra and Connecting to the Divine through Meditation’ please visit the Chakra Mini-Series page for monthly $17 online mini chakra classes https://mindsoulandself.com/2017-chakra-mini-series/

Join us for our ‘Autumn Equinox Women’s Chakra Retreat’ in West Bend, Wisconsin September 15 to 17, 2017: https://mindsoulandself.com/womens-wellness-retreats/

 

Ametrine… (sigh) It’s complicated.

Ametrine is a naturally occurring combination of amethyst and citrine. Both minerals have the same chemical composition, but when exposed to high heat purple Amethyst transforms into golden citrine. In ametrine, that transformation was only partially finished, creating a beautiful golden-to-violet range of color, uniquely combined in each individual piece. The combination makes it an interesting crystal metaphysically, connecting the solar plexus with the higher chakras, connecting physical and mental planes. In fact, it’s a wonderful crystal for communication, especially when connecting with the spiritual realm. Most pieces on the market are heat-treated amethyst, since naturally occurring ametrine is uncommon. In fact, it was unknown in Europe until Spaniards brought some back from South America to the Queen of Spain.

Lore: There’s a legend that goes along with this origin story, saying that the ametrine mine was a wedding gift to a soldier marrying the daughter of the chief of the Ayoreo tribe. But soon it was time for the soldier, Don Felipe, to go back to Spain. His bride Anahi was torn between her husband and her tribe, but in the end decided to go back to Spain with Don Felipe. The tribe didn’t want to lose her, though, and some of them conspired to kill Don Felipe. Anahi warned her husband of the plot in time to save him, but was herself accidentally injured in the attack. As she lay dying, she gave Don Felipe a piece of ametrine, telling him the two colors represented her divided loyalty. He took some of the precious stone back to Spain, along with a broken heart. There’s still an Anahi Mine named after the young woman in Bolivia, where the stone comes from.

Properties: (Also known as Bolivianite, Trystine, Amethyst-Citrine, or as Citrine-Amethyst) Use at the 3rd Chakra (Solar Plexus Chakra), the 6th Chakra (3rd Eye/ Brow Chakra), or at the 7th Chakra (Crown Chakra) for enhancing lucidity, to aid in decision-making, for personal strength, to increase knowledge, and to create a connection between oneself and the Universe. This stone is a combination of Amethyst and Citrine found in the same stone. This combination is due to uneven heating during the crystal’s formation. Therefore, it also embodies the properties of both of these stones.

One way to use this stone: If there’s someone on the other side you want to communicate with, you can use ametrine to help make that connection. Find some small thing that belonged to them, or a photograph of them, or if that’s not possible simply write their name on a piece of paper. Place the ametrine on top of this, and cover the ametrine with both your hands. Be very focused on the person you want to communicate with. You may feel a message coming from them, and/or feel called to deliver a message to them. This technique also works for connecting with animals, spirit guides, and other types of beings.

unakite for heart balance

Unakite is primarily green epidote, combined with clear quartz and inclusions of pinkish feldspar. It’s sometimes called Unakite Granite, and is named after the Unakas mountains in North Carolina where it was first found. Since it contains both pink and green, the two colors associated with the heart chakra, it can be the perfect stone for heart healing, balance, and other work with the heart chakra. This balancing effect can be especially helpful for couples working together. It’s also an excellent support stone for pregnancy and childbirth.

Properties: Use at the 4th Chakra (Heart Chakra) for creating emotional balance, to stimulate compassion and empathy, to encourage gratitude, for spiritual ascension, to establish a connection with nature (especially with the plant kingdom), to balance chakra energy, to instill determination, and to facilitate feelings of love and friendship. This stone contains Epidote, so these properties also apply.

azurite for spiritual growth

Along with malachite, azurite is a mineral commonly found near copper deposits, where it can take on an astonishing variety of formations. You may see it as a crystal, a stalactite, a bright blue stone with lighter patterning, a midnight blue mass, a prickly little nodule, or in hundreds of other forms. Along with the variety of formations, it’s gotten a lot of different names over time, including Chessylite, Chessy Copper, Lasur, Blue Malachite, and Kuanos.

Lore: Because it is a soft stone with an intense color, ground-up azurite has long been used as a pigment. For example, priests in ancient Egypt would use it to paint the Eye of Horus on their foreheads. Its connection with the brow or third eye chakra is very strong, and it’s often recommended as a crystal to use for intuitive development and connection with heaven. In fact, ancient people of China believed it helped them find the Heavenly Gateway, the path between heaven and earth. It’s a good crystal to have near when you’re meditating, or when you want to connect with your guides and angels.

Properties: Use at the 6th Chakra (Third Eye Chakra/Brow Chakra) to enhance a connection with the Earth, to facilitate the growth of one’s nurturing qualities, to enhance psychic vision and mystical experience, for protection during astral travel, and to aid in acceptance of one’s natural intuitive gifts.

Safety and care: Be mindful of the fact that this ore contains a lot of copper. It may also give off harmful sulfur fumes when exposed to water, so please keep your pieces dry and handle them with care.

 

septarian for calm

Septarian shields are a formation where brown aragonite has formed into a concretion or nodule*, then cracked as it dried out over time. The cracks were then filled in with a solution of calcium carbonate, which hardened into a white-to-yellow mineral. When these nodules — a type of geode — are cracked open, we can see the two minerals have formed a fascinating pattern. No two pieces are the same. The name “septarian” comes from the Latin word for the number seven, because seven is a common number of main divisions to find in the geode. This formation is also called a Thunder Egg.

Properties: Use at the 1st Chakra (Root Chakra/Base Chakra) or at the 2nd Chakra (Sacral Chakra/Spleenic Chakra) to promote bravery and courage, to calm fiery attitudes (anger, frustration, etc.), for grounding, to connect one with the energies of the fire element, to aid one in learning the importance self-control, to stabilize the emotional body, to aid in transformation (physical, emotional, and spiritual), and to help someone to become well-rounded. This stone contains Golden Calcite and Brown Aragonite, so these properties also apply.

Lore: Septarian shields are great for peaceful contemplation, but they originated from processes that were not peaceful at all. Way back in the time of the dinosaurs, when water covered a large part of what is now America, volcanic eruptions killed large numbers of tiny sea animals. After their shells sank to the bottom of the sea, mud balls formed around them. Later, when the seas dried up, the mud balls were left high and dry, and they cracked. But as they say, nature abhors a vacuum; in time, mineral-rich water filled in the cracks with chalky guck. The pretty patterns we see in the geodes we call septarian shields come from the conglomeration of all these sources: whitish calcite from in the center, brown aragonite from the shells, and grey limestone from those primeval mud balls. When you crack one open, you’re seeing a piece of the earth’s history.

* Note: There’s a technical geological difference between concretions and nodules, but the septarian shields are commonly called both concretions and nodules.

rhodochrosite for releasing negativity

Like Rhodonite, Rhodochrosite is an ore of manganese. Although they are similar in color, you can usually tell rhodochrosite because it often forms as a stalactite, showing distinctive circular banding. But it can also take a gemmy, semi-translucent form. In whatever form, it’s an excellent stone for dismissing negativity, releasing our emotions from “the dark side” and restoring light to the soul.

Lore: Another name for rhodochrosite is “Inca rose,” and it’s said that the Inca believed it to be the petrified blood of their former kings and queens. They used this stone for funerary jewelry and items. It grows as a stalactite, often forming interesting bullseye, zigzag and circular patterns, and is found near silver ore. Great quantities of it were left behind in Inca silver mines — mines abandoned many centuries ago — untouched by the silver miners. This is perhaps not too surprising, since the elements in it can interfere with silver mining. In the US and Europe, rhodochrosite used to simply get tossed on the slag heap, until modern rock hounds started picking it out for collector specimens, jewelry and other decorative uses. Rhodochrosite’s association with the heart chakra comes from India, and it’s still valued nowadays as a crystal for love and for strengthening the heart. It’s also helpful for finding balance, and for regulating many inner organs. And rhodochrosite can also be beneficial for memory — which seems most appropriate for royal blood turned to stone! Rhodochrosite is the national stone of Argentina. In South America, it’s even said that somewhere under the Andes mountains lies a giant, heart-shaped piece of rhodochrosite, which “beats” once every two hundred years.

Properties: Use at the 4th Chakra (Heart Chakra) to stimulate the memory, to encourage empathy and a compassionate attitude, to instill confidence, and for emotional balance. Rhodochrosite is a good companion stone to Rhodonite. When used together, the two stones will enhance each other’s energetic qualities.

One way to use this crystal: You can use rhodochrosite in a drumming meditation to release negativity. Set the crystal in front of you, close your eyes, and drum to the beat of your own heart. (If you don’t have a “real” drum, it’s fine to use a box or piece of furniture as a substitute.) Gradually, drum louder and with more intensity, until you feel the negativity detaching from you, ready to be released. Slowly decrease the intensity of your drumming as you watch the negativity recede, until it is so faint you can no longer hear it. Open your eyes and thank the stone and the drum for helping you in this work.

 

rhodonite for forgiveness

Rhodonite is a silicate mineral, an intense pink ore of manganese, usually showing black veins where that manganese has oxidized. It’s often found in close proximity to rhodochrosite, with which it has both a physical and energetic bond. Both are quintessential heart chakra stones, well suited for emotional healing and connecting with the great River of Compassion that flows through the universe. When you need to release a burden of fear, shame, resentment or regret, rhodonite is a sure helper. It can also help you rebuild self-esteem and self-worth after psychological trauma.

Lore: A lot of rhodonite is mined in the Ural Mountains of Russia. People in that area called the stone “orletz,” or “eagle stone,” because it was claimed that the great mountain eagles of the area carried chunks of it their claw to place in their aeries. Area residents decided to do the same, placing pieces of rhodonite in their babies’ cradle, the idea being to make the infant as strong as a mountain eagle. In St. Petersburg, there’s a beautiful altar carved from massive rhodonite at the Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood in the Winter Palace, pictured here. This church was built on the site where Czar Alexander II was assassinated. Rhodonite’s association with blood and with the heart seem to extend worldwide.

Properties: Use at the 4th Chakra (Heart Chakra) for encouraging love, to promote group cooperation, to reveal all aspects of a given situation, for grounding, to balance the mind, body, and spirit, to encourage successful meditation using mantras, to encourage new friendships, to stimulate generosity and the spirit of giving as well as gratitude, to heal the physical body as well as the emotions, to facilitate independence, to encourage compassion, empathy, and forgiveness, to aid in healing form past life experiences, to bring peace and calming, to enhance confidence, to heal wounds and insect bites, to reduce arthritis pain, & to ease the symptoms of shock. Rhodonite is a good companion stone to Rhodochrosite. When used together, the two stones will enhance each other’s energetic qualities.

Protective Symbols: Hamsa, Evil Eye & More

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Written by Mimosa
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The “evil eye” is an interesting concept. It can be a way of resisting and reversing negative energy we may feel as a result of encounters with certain people, without the need for confrontation. This isn’t the same as when someone intentionally harms you or others; in those cases, confrontation may be unavoidable since the person’s wrong actions must be stopped. But sometimes we feel “bad vibes” from someone who’s not doing anything overtly wrong, and the idea of the evil eye can help us get a handle on those situations and put a stop to negativity.

Here’s an example: Imagine you build a swimming pool, and notice your neighbor looking over the fence, admiring it. He compliments you on how nice it came out and says things like “I wish I could afford something like that.” So one day, being neighborly, you invite him over to hang out by the pool. But even though everything seems pleasant enough on the surface, something feels a little “off” about the whole situation. After the neighbor goes home, you may feel a strong need to smudge the area, a sense of foreboding, or even notice a headache coming on.

Even though your neighbor’s not a bad guy, the negative energy attached to his feelings of envy have left their mark on you and your environment. Smudging and protective devices are ways to take back control of the situation. You don’t, of course, want to fall into the trap of blaming others for every bad thing that happens in life. But once you’ve taken responsibility for the things you truly can control, protective devices can help you make peace with other things and people that are otherwise hard to understand and elusive to handle.

Traditional amulets of protection go back to the stone age. The earliest ones we know of are arrowheads, and one of these (especially made of obsidian) still makes an excellent protective amulet. Over time, every culture came to use protective symbols of one kind or another. Many of these symbols use eyes, hands, and/or horns.

Hamsa: The hamsa is an ancient protective amulet that originated Northern Africa. Hamsa means five in Arabic, referring to the five fingers of the human hand. The amulet is also known as the Hand of Fatima, named for the daughter of the prophet Muhammad. A folk story about the origin of this name says that Fatima was cooking soup one day when her husband came home with a new wife. She was so startled, she dropped her spoon, but continued stirring the hot soup with her bare hand without getting burned. Since God protected her hand, that hand took on the power to protect others from harm.

The hamsa is part of Jewish tradition as well, where it may be known also as the Hand of Miriam. It has also been associated with Venus, and with Mary the mother of Jesus. The symbol has always offered special protection and luck to women, used by brides, those hoping to conceive, and as a charm mothers use to protect their children.

The eye part of the symbol represents the divine watching over us. This watchfulness protects us not only from external forces, but also from our own fears and self-sabotaging thoughts and actions. Some say when the hand is shown with fingers up, it is to ward off the evil eye, whereas fingers pointing downward indicate calling in luck and success. Since a mixture of religious significance are attached to the hamsa, it has recently become a symbol of what middle eastern cultures have in common, and therefore of peace, hope, and of mutual understanding, for the Middle East and for the world.

Nazar, or evil eye charm: One traditional Turkish talisman, the nazar, has come into wide use for protecting against the evil eye. This talisman, which itself looks like a wide, blue eye, can be worn or hung in a house or vehicle. Babies are considered especially vulnerable to the evil eye, so they may be wrapped from head to foot and protected with charms in their bedding, their clothes, or even braided into their hair. Other cultures, including Latin American ones, use similar charms.

 

Eggs: Another Latin American tradition is to use an egg to remove negative effects of the evil eye (mal de ojo). There, if the mal de ojo makes a person sick, a traditional doctor (curandero or curandera) may pass an egg over their body to remove the curse and restore health. It’s said that the negative energy passes from the patient into the egg. There’s some resemblance between an egg and a human eye, which is probably how this practice got started.
Wadjet eye, Eye of Horus, Eye of Ra: These ancient Egyptian symbols ward off evil and offer many kinds of protection. The Egyptians painted it on boats, carved it into pharaohs’ tombs, incorporated it into carvings, and wore it as a pendant, bracelet, or other piece of jewelry. The six parts of the drawing also represent the six senses, as defined by the Egyptians: taste, smell, touch, sight, hearing, and thought. Offering protection by way of the senses, the wadjet helps control the ability of outside things to affect us internally.
Abhaya mudra: This “gesture of fearlessness” is one of the most basic mudras, the hand symbols used in Hinduism, Buddhism & Jainism. It’s simple to perform: raise your right hand with the palm facing outward, at about shoulder height. It can be interpreted as one’s own hand raised in a “stop” gesture, or the hand of God offering reassurance and safety.

 

Italian horn, also called the cornetto or unicorn’s horn, is a single curved horn usually worn as a pendant. The symbol is associated with pre-Christian goddesses, which is why they’re often made of either silver representing a lunar goddess or blood coral sacred to Venus. You sometimes also see them of gold, bone or amber (like the one in the image.) An alternative version is a pendant made of an uncarved piece of branching coral, especially one shaped like the horn of a stag.
Algiz rune: Among the runes, Algiz the elk rune is the one most generally associated with protection. People of northern Europe also also raise their hand in the shape of this rune for warding and protection. It’s also associated with Heimdall, the watchman of the gods who guards the rainbow bridge between the realms of gods and men. This rune and bindrunes created from it are powerful protective symbols.

 

There are of course many crystals associated with protection against the evil eye, including tiger iron, malachite, and obsidian. Basic protective stones like tourmaline and jaspers are always helpful, and you can even create a protection grid around your home using black tourmaline and selenite.