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The Magic of Rocks and Stones

Apophyllite

Written and compiled by - Patricia Jean Martin

Apophyllite is a beautiful hydrated Silicate mineral whose sparkling crystals command attention. Though it comes in several varieties and colors, I am currently working with the crystal clear type...and I DO mean crystal clear! A good specimen of this captivating crystal can at times put Rock Crystal Quartz to shame.

Apophyllite was given its name in the year 1800 and stems from the Greek words "apo" meaning "away from" and "phylliso" meaning "to leaf". This is evidently connected to the crystal's tendency to do just that, to leaf away or flake off when heated and water molecules within the crystal are lost.

For those of us who also like to know the science behind the magick of stones, here are the physical and chemical properties of Apophyllite:

Chemistry: KCa4Si8O20(F,OH) • 8H2O – Hydrated Potassium Calcium Sodium Silicate

Fluoride Hyroxide

Class: Silicates

Subclass: Phyllosilicates

Group: Apophyllite

Color: Clear, white, gray, green, yellow, pink, violet, brown.

Luster: Vitreous (glassy) to Pearly. Transparent to translucent.

Crystal System: Tetragonal – ditetragonal bipyramidal; 4/m 2/m 2/m.

Natroapophyllite is Orthorhombic, 2/m 2/m 2/m.

Crystal Habit: Found in Basalts, most often as short glassy pyramidal prismatic crystals or blunt pseudo cubic crystals. . The faces of the pyramid-shaped crystals line up with the edges of the prism faces instead of the face itself, thus giving the pyramid 4 edges and a diamond shape instead of the normal triangular shaped face (as in common Quartz crystals). Also found in druses, masses, and some rare tabular Hydroxyapophyllites.

Cleavage: Perfect in one direction – Basal

Fracture: Uneven

Hardness: 4.5 – 5.0

Specific Gravity: 2.3 – 2.4

Streak: White

Other Characteristics: Prism faces are vertically striated. Crystals flake when heated. Some specimens fluoresce a pale green or yellow.

Notable Occurrences: U.S. (NJ, NC, PA, VA); Nova Scotia, Canada; India; Mexico; Brazil; Germany; Iceland; Greenland; Scotland, U.K.

Best Field Indicators: Crystal habit, environment, associated Zeolite minerals, luster.

Uses: Mineral specimens. (although we know they're good for much more than that! ;))

Apophyllites are beautiful and widely collected crystals which are often found in clusters and often growing next to or combined with Stilbite or other Zeolite minerals. `Apophyllite' was redefined as a Group in 1978 to include Fluorapophyllite, Hydroxyapophyllite, and later, Natroapophyllite. The most common and my favorites are those which are clear in color and are sometimes mistaken for Quartz. What sets Apophyllite apart, though, and which makes it easier to identify, is this crystal's strong reflective surface which is due to its unique micaceous pearly base. This pearlescent luster at the base makes the rest of the crystal appear mirror-like when viewed from a certain angle. There is also a marked crystal clear water-like quality to Apophyllite's appearance because of this – and rightly so, as the crystals actually do contain an abundance of water molecules. This has given rise to Apophyllite's nickname, "the fisheye stone". The internal structure of these crystals is also quite distinctive, containing a three-dimensional interconnected four and eight-member ring structure unique to the Apophyllites. The open cavities within the crystal structure are what hold the traces of water and other elements, and each is interconnected by channels running the entire length of the crystal. These channels, which are open at the crystal's surface, allow electrically charged atoms (ions) to move freely within the crystal. They also allow Apophyllite to physically capture and exchange ions. Taking that to the metaphysical, Apophyllite performs a similar feat, most notably its ability to help us connect to higher realms of consciousness and Astral fields, and the ability to absorb and retain the information and knowledge we gather there. But more about that later, as first we'll concentrate on this mineral's physical beauty.

Apophyllite crystals almost always form in two different ways – one, the elongated rectangular prism capped off with a four-sided pyramid point or, two, a pseudo cubic crystal with no pyramid top that makes it look square and blocky. (Other forms of Apophyllite are found in druses or masses, or more rarely in tabular form.) The crystal's prism faces are striated with parallel vertical lines and the base of the prism is pearly in luster. Being Igneous, Apophyllites are born during volcanic activity where, as the magma cools, air bubbles get trapped and form a cavity within which the crystals begin to grow. So naturally, the best places to find Apophyllites are in Basalt and ancient lava flows, most prominently in the Watchung Mountain area of northern New Jersey, the Bay of Fundy area in Nova Scotia Canada, Iceland, Greenland, and the best green varieties coming out of India.

The most common colors of Apophyllites are clear, white, gray, green, brown, pink or violet:

          

          

And so what are some of the metaphysical properties of Apophyllite that also lend their energies to our magick? I'll list what I (and others) have come up with, below:

Metaphysical Properties

Astrological Sign(s): Libra, Pisces, Gemini

Element(s): Air & Water

Chakra(s): Crown & Brow (Third Eye)

Astral Travel

Ethereal connections; Higher Realms

Meditation

Aid to Reiki

Healing

Scrying

Dreams

Visions

Shamanism

Clairvoyance

Clarity

Purification

Awareness

Ascension

Light and Truth

For Physical Healing*: Apophyllite is known to aid with problems related to ~ Respiratory System, Asthma, Allergies ~ Eyes; vision ~ Depression; Anxiety.

 

*NOTE: Stone therapy should NOT take the place of medical evaluation and procedures, and should be used merely to enhance one's health and well-being.

 

Like the majority of clear or white crystals, Apophyllite works well as a link between all the Chakras from Root to Crown, bridging the physical realm with the spirit realm. I like and agree with what Naisha Ahsian says about these beauties: "Apophyllite crystals are mini-temples dedicated to the healing and enlightenment of the Earth and her children." These crystals do help elevate the vibration of whatever or whomever they touch, all the while keeping one grounded and all channels clear. Because of this, Apophyllite is known to enhance psychic and intuitive abilities and also acts as an excellent aid in meditation, Shamanic journeying or Astral travel. Even physically the look of this crystal mimics the intense, vivid and shimmering unearth-like quality of the Astral's "atmosphere", making one more comfortable in and adaptable to the differences between realms. Once there, Apophyllite allows its bearer to become attuned with and to communicate better with the higher field entities one finds there (be it Gods and/or Goddesses, Guides, Angels or Elements and elementals) or with any spirits one attempts to connect with. And, whatever information you do happen to gather there, this crystal will help you process and retain it within your consciousness upon return to your "waking" state.

Called an "Ascension Stone", Apophyllites are also noted for bringing light and clarity to emotional situations, breaking through old blockages, and for promoting an explorative nature which moves us toward bringing the truth out into the open. Deception is hindered in the presence of Apophyllite; you'll have trouble even deceiving yourself. I thoroughly agree with one of Robert Simmons' notation on this in his and Naisha's very knowledgeable book where he states:

"As Jesus said, "The Kingdom of Heaven is spread out upon the Earth, and men do not see it." This spiritual blindness, from which those of us using stones and crystals are working to recover, is one of the reasons that scientists and others can view matter as lifeless and without consciousness. Once the veil has been lifted, one sees all the world, inner and outer, as alive and filled with intelligent awareness. Apophyllites are one of the most powerful mineral tools for lifting that veil."

Because of Apophyllite's water content and open-ended channels which allow both intake and outtake, this crystal has the wonderful ability to act in both a receptive or projective manner. It contains properties of both masculine Air and feminine Water, and can be a powerful transmitter and receiver. It can help improve memory and concentration and is good for dream recall (I sleep with Apophyllite near the head of my bed) and for calling in those ever-so-helpful telling dreams. It can also be used as an aid in past life recall.

Apophyllite can be very healing and is often used in Reiki sessions. Emotionally, these lofty fire-born water-bearing crystals bring light and energy which helps in alleviating worry and anxiety. They contain a breezy uplifting quality and can help one deal with uncertainty through their ability to light the way to resolution. In this regard they are also helpful to anyone going through what some call "the dark night of the soul". Bodily, Apophyllites work well in the areas of the Respiratory System, sinuses, and for eye related problems. The crystals are especially rejuvenating and refreshing, bringing a crisper clarity to self and one's surroundings. The pyramid-shaped crystals can be used to help open one's Third Eye by placing one, base down, upon the forehead during meditation and, as stated before, they are especially helpful when Astral traveling or channeling. The pyramids can also be used to rejuvenate and to preserve the integrity of whatever it rests on, making them a good candidate for charging other stones. To recharge the Apophyllite itself, place it under a stream of cool running water and then give it a brief sit (only 1-2 hours) in the early morning sun.

Depending on this mineral's color, there are additional properties to be noted - i.e., Green Apophyllite is said to aid in matters of the heart; the yellow for a more uplifting energy; the brown for added grounding; the pinks and violets for enhanced healing.

Myth & Lore:

Having only been discovered at the beginning of the 1800s, I haven't been able to find much myth connected to Apophyllite, but I can't imagine its crystals having not been used for as many things (and probably more) as they are used for today. Prior associations and perhaps alternate names were used by our ancestors for this attractive stone. With Apophyllite being widely found in the Watchung Mtns. area of northern New Jersey, I can't help but wonder what the native Lenape tribe may have used Apophyllite's interesting crystals for. These crystals hold a very high vibration in the rock world, and their use in trance work or journeying is invaluable. Unfortunately, they are not strong or hard enough to be widely used in jewelry or artistry, so there is no Apophyllite trail there either.

In lore, Apophyllites have been often used for scrying, and it is suggested that you peer into the crystal sideways and through the corner of your eye. It is also said that this stone helps those who participate in Fire Walking – first by helping the person achieve a strong meditative state, and then later as the stone is said to help cool the feet.

Sources for above:

Peterson Field Guides - Rocks and Minerals

Smithsonian – Rock and Gem: The definitive guide to rocks, minerals, gems, and fossils

The Book of Stones: Who they are & what they teach, Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian with contributions by Hazel Raven

Love Is In the Earth, Melody

The Crystal Bible: A definitive guide to crystals, Judy Hall

http://www.galleries.com/Apophyllite

Apophyllite, itself.

http://www.minfind.com/mineral-75499.html (Green Apophyllite photo)

All other photos from my personal collection.

My Own Personal Experiences:

I've sometimes pondered about all Igneous stones, born as a result of Fire, and why they are not all considered Fire Stones. But the more I worked with Apophyllite, my question was answered. See, we most often associate the Fire Element with vibrant life force, passion, energy, and movement – properties all too often only seen as things associated with our physicality while on Earth. But is that the only kind of fire there is? I've found Apophyllite works with the ethereal spiritual fire. (For Christians, think `halo' or the Apostles `receiving the Holy Spirit flame' which was seen above each their heads. And for some of us who go pre-Christianity, think Brighid, holder of the Sacred Flame which spiritually inspires us to create – without which, Fire Element would basically be rendered impotent…or at the very least, producing unproductive chaos.) It is what I call `the spark that ignites the flame'. It is actually Air-born, birthed first in the mind and heart through Spirit, and can be felt as either a softly glowing yet steadily growing ignition or as a swift and sudden lightning bolt. But however it is felt, it is born of spiritual intent. It is the gentle fire of truth that glows so hot that it appears a cool blue.

Apophyllite has been nicknamed the "Stone of Truth" because of its ability to help one see more clearly the truth in any given situation – thus its frequent use as a scrying stone in divination. And while I don't disagree at all with that ability of this stone, I most often use my Apophyllite when I wish to commune with otherworldly entities and spirits. So, for me, it works best as a Shaman's stone, being placed at both the head and feet during journeying. Not only does it help facilitate the journey, but I find it encourages and allows me to dwell in the Astral for a longer period of time than I would normally spend there. And of course, once I am there, I've found that it helps me to see and hear more easily and clearly those who I encounter or am connecting with. The bridge Apophyllite forms between worlds always allows for a more conscious view of both realms simultaneously and grants me the ability to consciously retain what I've gained there. It also helps to keep all things pure in the process. For me, Apophyllite is definitely a clairvoyance and clairaudience-enhancing crystal. And I love it.

I do find that Apophyllites (especially the crystal clusters) energize my emotions, though, but keep me calm and stable while delving into the icky tendrils of anything I've been suppressing… for this pretty `fisheye' stone will not let you off the hook! It has a strong tendency to break through blocked emotions and it will drag you (sometimes kicking and screaming) into facing the truth of a situation or any unproductive realities you've surrounded yourself with. And I say "surrounded yourself with" because ultimately we are each responsible for our own lives and actions, and it is we who create (or allow to happen) exactly whatever it is we need to confront, examine, and correct.

I've always had a strong attraction and love for these sparkling watery crystals we call Apophyllite (regardless of their blunt and to-the-point truth-telling <g>). It is their mirroring light and beckoning liquid aura that I first fell in love with. Oh, and the Fey love them too just as much as they love Quartz and all other sparklies, but it is the elemental Undines who truly find them irresistible for their watery pearlescent luster and sheen. As do I.

I have also used pieces of this dynamic crystal in spells where I require preservation, clarity of intent, and/or ease of transportation. In ritual, I've used it as an enhancing link between the Elements (often placing it in the Northwest quadrant for emotional clarity and stability) and for strength of connection and communication with my Power Animals, Guides, and the Divine.

© Patricia J. Martin, April 8, 2008

Best wishes and Blessed Be

 

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In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar.  For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following:  Birch /  Rowan / Ash /  Alder /  Willow Hawthorn /  Oak /  Holly /  Hazel /  Vine /  Ivy /  Reed /  Elder

 

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Murdered by Witchcraft The Fairy Witch of Clonmel A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) /  Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife /  The Story of Jack-O-Lantern The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) /  The Two Brothers - Light and Dark

 

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