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The Magic of Rocks and Stones

Smoky Quartz

Written and compiled by - Patricia Jean Martin

Smoky Quartz is another macrocrystalline variety of Quartz.  Another name for this variety is Cairngorm, named after the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland where its crystals were once found and once prevalent.  The very dark brown and black opaque specimens are called "Morion", and the ones containing alternating bands of black and gray are called "Coon Tail Quartz".  The transparent brown, gray or black color makes Smoky Quartz easily recognizable.  The range of "smoky" colors found in this crystal come from clear Rock Crystal Quartz which contains traces of aluminum and where the crystal has been subjected to natural radiation over long periods of time.  Sometimes specimens are artificially irradiated and collectors who prefer natural occurrence should be wary of this when purchasing.  Faceted specimens placed in jewelry have been misleadingly called Smoky Topaz. 

Smoky Quartz most often occurs in Quartz veins where it forms inside rock cavities called "vugs".  It is also commonly found in the cores of pregmatites, and more rarely as a secondary crystal within geodes.  It is not unusual to find small cavities inside a Smoky Quartz crystal which contain carbon dioxide or water and sometimes both.  These are called enhydros.  When movement of the gas and liquid inclusions within a cavity can be seen with the naked eye, they are called elestial enhydros.  When a substantial number of fluid inclusions occur in abundance, the Quartz becomes opaque and is called Milky Quartz.  You will find that most Smoky Quartz crystals will form on a bed of Milky Quartz, one grading into the other.  Other common mineral inclusions that may be found in Smoky Quartz are Hematite, Chlorite or Goethite. 

Another interesting and relatively common formation that may be found in all the Quartz varieties, including Smoky Quartz, is when a separate shape - called a "phantom" - is noticeable in the interior of the crystal, and subsequently has been named "Phantom Quartz".  These "phantoms" are most often comprised of another mineral such as Chlorite, Milky or Rock Crystal, but also occur through simply containing a lighter or darker shade of its own mineral...for instance, Smoky Quartz within Smoky Quartz.  The latter happens when an interruption or cessation of growth in the crystal occurs.  Then, when the crystal resumes its growth and if the conditions of its environment have now changed, the outer crystal will grow differently and will appear separate from the inner one which often takes on a ghostly look; hence the name Phantom. 

Smoky Quartz has also been called "Champagne on Ice".  It is the national gem of Scotland, and their national scepter contains a large Smoky Quartz crystal on top. 

General Information:

Chemistry:  SiO2, Silicon Dioxide.   

Class:  Tectosilicates. 

Group:  Quartz 

Color:  Brown to gray to black. 

Luster:  Vitreous.  

Crystal System:  Hexagonal-Rhombohedral; 32 (trigonal-trapezohedral). 

Crystal Habit:  Macroscopic crystals that form six-sided pyramids at termination. Trigonal trapezoheldral faces can occur in upper right or left of alternating prism faces which identify right or left-handed crystals respectively. Twinning is possible. 

Cleavage:  None. 

Fracture:  Conchoidal. 

Hardness:  7 

Specific Gravity:  2.65 

Streak:  White 

Other Characteristics:  Transparent with refraction index of 1.54-1.55.   

Notable Occurrences:  Brazil, Pikes Peak area in Colorado, Switzerland.  

Best Field Indicators:  Color, hardness, crystal habit.  

Uses:  Gemstones; ornamental; collector specimens.  

Much of the geological information for Smoky Quartz is the same as clear Quartz [see Quartz (Rock Crystal)], but I will list any differences here. 

Myths and Lore:

Smoky Quartz was, and remains, sacred to the Druids.  It is also associated with the goddess Hecate, as are many of the darker crystals and stones.  The crystal has also been associated with Samhain due to its smoky and sometimes ghostly effects in appearance.  There is a sphere of Smoky Quartz, now displayed in the British Museum, which is reputed to be the famous "Shew-stone" of Dr. Dee, the court diviner to Queen Elizabeth I of England.  Dr. Dee alleged the Shew-stone was brought to him by angels.  Through scrying with the Shew-stone, Sir Edwar Kelly obtained a series of diagrams reportedly containing the "Keys to all the mysteries of the Universe".   

While there is little else to be found in myth and lore concerning Smoky Quartz, the crystal of course is linked closely to Clear Quartz (Rock Crystal) and thus it can be said to also share in that wealth of myth and lore. 

Metaphysical Properties:

Astrological Sign's:  Capricorn and Sagittarius. 

Element's: All, with a preponderance toward Earth and Fire.   

Chakras: Root, with a Root to Crown connection.  

Meditation. 

Mental clarity. 

Calming. 

Grounding. 

Centering. 

Stabilizing. 

Organizing and prioritizing. 

Uplifting. 

Filtering and clearing. 

Protection. 

Assists in achieving goals. 

Transforms negative emotion to positive energy. 

Gives physical aid in treating:  Kidneys, pancreas, adrenals, sex organs. Alleviates disturbances of the nervous system. Helps remove toxins from the body; counters negative effects of radiation. 

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. 

My own thoughts and experiences:

This earthy crystal has a very cool, calm and collected feeling to it, but is by no means sedate in its gift-giving.  What warms this stone up is that it carries an inner spark of fire (and even dips toward water at times), as its dark rich tones and often multiple inclusions, rainbows and mists lend themselves to gentle but deep stimulation of your own innate qualities.  The crystal also acts as a bridge between you and whatever ancestral communications have been trying to make their way through to you. 

Seeing Smoky Quartz has been recommended as a tool for meditation and as a "companion for Nature workings", I decided to try it in both areas, as well as letting it open me up to whatever areas it wished to reveal to me.  In meditating, I found it helped me to relax and clear as the meditation began.  To start, it very noticeably acts as a facilitator—lending it's clarifying and calming energies to wave aside anxieties, stress and pressure, while at the same time firing one up to prioritize and focus on a single task at a time and to achieve it with the least amount of angst.  These are very important aspects to attain and hold while attempting meditation, and the Smoky Quartz works well here.   

But it was during meditation that I found one of the dark, soothing crystal's greatest strengths.  As it acted to clear the mind of extraneous clutter, set priorities straight and encourage strength and determination to get the job done, it then began to allow for a better and more direct connection between the ethereal to the physical self.  It seemingly bypasses all other Chakras as it opens a direct channel from Root to Crown... the emphasis on the Root (physical life-force energy) which receives and filters that which comes from the Crown (essence of spiritual self).  Expression becomes clearer and more to the point, allowing for better integration of the physical body to remain in focus when communicating with the Higher Self.  As an added bonus, it also brings with it a feeling of safety and security while contemplation and analysis of any situation takes place.  

For me, this crystal performed best in its "Nature work" capacity, leaving me more in tune and attracted to all things natural.  In its promotion of the physical aspects of Nature (and that includes one's own nature), I've found Smoky Quartz to be a get-back-to-the-basics stone.  It pushes one to move and act in very basic and natural ways.   

Smoky Quartz can also show you what is hidden - be it through anywhere from scrying for something lost to journeying into your inner sanctum.  It does this by way of its natural inclination toward directing intrinsic focus and cutting to the sacred chase.  In this way, it mimics Bear medicine.  Yet, this versatile stone can act as a shield too, as it can hide you just as well by creating a natural cloak of invisibility for its bearer.  Like a beacon through the smoky mists, this strong crystal easily becomes what I now dub it...The Facilitator and The Protector.

Sources:

"The Book of Stones - Who They Are & What They Teach" ~ Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian 

"Love Is In the Earth ~ Melody 

http://www.mineralminers.com/html/smqminfo.htm 

http://www.thaigem.com/infocenter/buyer_guides/a-z_gemstones/quartz.asp 

http://www.hermetic.com/   

Photo by: Patricia J. Martin

© 2006 Patricia J. Martin

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Other things of interest:

 

Gods and Goddesses (Greek Mythology) /  Esbats & Full Moons Links to Personal Friends & Resources Wicca/Witchcraft Resources What's a spell? Circle Casting and Sacred Space  Pentagram - Pentacle Marks of a Witch The Witches Power The Witches Hat An esoteric guide to visiting London SatanismPow-wowThe Unitarian Universalist Association /  Numerology:  Part 1  Part 2  /  Part 3A history of the Malleus Maleficarum:  includes:  Pope Innocent VIII  /  The papal Bull  /   The Malleus Maleficarum  /  An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum  /  The letter of approbation  /  Johann Nider’s Formicarius  /  Jacob Sprenger  /  Heinrich Kramer  /  Stefano Infessura  /  Montague Summers  /  The Waldenses  /  The Albigenses  /  The Hussites /  The Native American Sun DanceShielding (Occult and Psychic Protection)  The History of ThanksgivingAuras  - Part 1 and Part 2 /

 

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Rituals contributed by Crone:

 

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Trees:

 

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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Rocks and Stones:

 

Stones - History, Myths and Lore

 

Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:

 

Apophyllite  / Amber Amethyst Aquamarine Aragonite Aventurine Black Tourmaline Bloodstone Calcite Carnelian Celestite Citrine Chrysanthemum StoneDiamond  /  Emerald / Fluorite Garnet /  Hematite Herkimer Diamond Labradorite Lapis Lazuli Malachite Moonstone Obsidian Opal Pyrite Quartz (Rock Crystal) Rose Quartz Ruby Selenite Seraphinite  /  Silver and GoldSmoky QuartzSodalite Sunstone ThundereggTree AgateZebra Marble

 

Wisdom and Inspiration:

 

Knowledge vs Wisdom by Ardriana Cahill I Talk to the TreesAwakening The Witch in YouA Tale of the Woods I have a Dream by Martin Luther King /

 

Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:

 

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

 

Old Masters of Academia:

 

Pliny the ElderHesiodPythagoras

 

 

Biographies

 

Witches, Pagans and other associated People

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Many of the above biographies are briefs and far from complete.  If you know about any of these individuals and can help with additional information, please contact me privately at my email address below.  Many thanks for reading  :-)

 

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