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The Magic of Rocks and Stones

Selenite (Gypsum)

Written and compiled by - Patricia Jean Martin

Selenite is an alternate name for the mineral Gypsum.  The word Selenite comes from the Greek “selenites”, meaning “moon stone” or “moon rock”, with the root word “Selene” meaning “Moon”, and for good reason - the mineral Selenite is the near transparent and colourless crystal form of Gypsum that exudes a pearly luster which glows and can very much resemble the moon.  Selene is also the name of the Greek Goddess of the Moon (a.k.a. Artemis or Diana). 

Gypsum is a common sedimentary mineral - the most common of all the sulfates - and is usually found in massive beds of tabular or block crystal form.  These sedimentary deposits are formed through a hastened acceleration of evaporating saline water, and in the process may retain trapped bubbles of either air or water called “enhydros”.  Gypsum is often found in caves, in evaporated lakes or seabed’s, or salt flats.  It is interesting to note that if the natural conditions become extremely dry and the Gypsum becomes overly dehydrated, it transforms into the mineral known as Anhydrite.  If water is then reintroduced, it is restored back into Gypsum. 

There are five main types of Gypsum, known by the following names:  Selenite, Satin Spar (not to be confused with Iceland Spar which is a related Calcite), Gypsum Flower, Desert Rose, and Alabaster.  The first four crystalline varieties are commonly known as Selenite even though they contain some notable differences in appearance.  The larger crystalline form of Selenite, being a clear colourless crystal, is more rare than the other forms of the mineral.  Satin Spar is usually fibrous, translucent white and satiny.  The other forms of Gypsum are readily available in tabular, rosette or needle-like crystals, with Alabaster being the granular massive form of the mineral.  Selenite crystals can be quite large, but the mineral itself is very soft and slightly flexible (although not elastic, meaning it can be bent but will not resume its original shape on its own).  Often fibrous, it can be easily broken or scratched.  In fact, all forms of Gypsum are soft (between 1 1/2 and 2 on the Mohs Scale) and can be scratched with just a fingernail. 

As a form of Gypsum, Selenite is a natural insulator and will appear much warmer to the touch than other crystals.  Industrial grades of Gypsum are used in making sheet rock drywall, concrete, and Plaster of Paris.  Both Selenite and Satin Spar are often vitreous (glassy), pearly and silky to the touch, and both may exhibit chatoyancy (cat's eye reflections).  They also both contain a fibre optic quality, have the ability to double refract, and some specimens are fluorescent or phosphorescent.  Gypsum Flowers, Desert Roses, and Alabasters are usually not as lustrous, and often will have a gritty appearance.  In very dry areas, sand becomes trapped within and on the surface of the forming crystals, and often these inclusions are seen as shapes, such as the common “hourglass” shape found on Selenite crystals in the Great Salt Plains Lake bed.  The Desert Rose variety is shaped like a rose as its name suggests, its “petals” formed by overlapping blades of Selenite.  They are often a dusty rose, reddish or brown colour.  With their softness and natural formation related to water, all of the Gypsum varieties should never be left standing in any liquid, and all cleansers should be avoided, as the water will degrade and eventually dissolve the mineral, while soaps and cleansers will affect any lustre. 

A famous location for Selenite blades is found in the Naica Mine in Chihuahua, Mexico and is called the “Cave of Swords”.  Here giant crystals have formed, some measuring over 30 feet long.  A fairly common mineral, Selenite can be found throughout the world.

General Information:

Chemistry:  CaSO4.2 (H2O) - Hydrated Calcium Sulphate

Class:  Sulphates.

Group:  Gypsum.

Colour:  White to colourless, and transparent to translucent. In some varieties, shades of red, brown, green and yellow may be present due to inclusions of other minerals.

Lustre:  Vitreous to Pearly, especially on cleavage surface.

Crystal System:  Monoclinic, 2/m

Crystal Habit:  Tabular, bladed or block crystals with a slanted parallelogram form; also needle-like crystals. May be massive, granular, crusty or fibrous. Tabular varieties show pinacoidal faces with jutting prismatic edges. In the long, thin crystal variety, some may exhibit bending where certain specimens coil into spirals - a variety nicknamed "Ram's Horn Selenite". Two type of twinning are common, one producing a "spear head twin" or "swallowtail twin", the other producing a "fishtail twin".

Cleavage:  Good in one direction, distinct in two others.

Fracture:  Concoidal and fibrous.

Hardness:  2, and can be scratched with a fingernail.

Specific Gravity:  2.3+

Streak:  White.

Other Characteristics:  Crystals are flexible but not elastic.  Some specimens exhibit fluorescence or phosphorescence.  Gypsum has a very low thermal conductivity (hence it's use in drywall as an insulating filler). A crystal will feel noticeably warmer than a crystal of Quartz or the like.

Notable Occurrences:  Mexico; Italy; Utah and Colorado, US; Australia; Greece; Spain.

Best Field Indicators:  Hardness, flexibility, cleavage, crystal habit.

Uses:  Mineral specimens. Other forms of Gypsum are commonly used in plaster and wallboard, certain cements, paint filler, fertilizers. 

Myth & Lore:

Said to be the "Stone of Mental Clarity," Selenite is thought to be a bringer of light. 

Associated with the Greek Goddess Selene, Selenite contains feminine energy and is often used to connect and commune with the Divine, especially goddess energy.  Some use it for angelic or spirit guide connection, or aid in interacting with the Ancients.  Selenite crystals, or polished wands of Selenite, are often used as magic wands or as aids to help facilitate transporting one's intentions to the Higher Self and/or the Universe. 

Often referred to as "scanners," Selenite is said to have the ability to scan the body for disease or malfunction, pinpointing what areas may need attention.  The stone itself is also thought to have the ability to clear etheric blockages so one can gain knowledge on how to move forward toward a cure.  It is thought to have been a healing tool in Atlantis.  Selenite can be used for scrying into both the past, present and future.  Past life regressions are assisted with the use of these crystals.  They are also said to be good for dream recall. 

It is long thought that Selenite helps in procuring long-lasting relationships, ensuring fidelity and furthering commitments.  It can help reconcile differences by going to the root of any issue. 

It is believed that Selenite is one of two minerals (the other being Apophyllite) that are strong enough to clear negative energies from Quartz.  It's also believed that it has the ability to help program (charge), or reprogram (recharge), a Quartz crystal.  It is good for charging all one's magickal tools.  To cleanse and recharge your Selenite, place it under the light of the Moon.

Metaphysical Properties:

Astrological Sign's: Cancer

Element's: Water

Chakras: Crown

Greater insight.

Increases sensitivity.

Psychic development.

Awareness, sheds light.

Mental clarity.





Access to subconscious.

Decision making.

Transmits energies.

Connects Spiritual and Physical bodies.


Angelic and Spirit world contact.

Access to past lives. 

*Gives physical aid in treating: Spinal column, skeletal system, cellular structure, skin, bones and teeth. Calcium deficiencies. Epilepsy and seizures. Soothes nerves. Removes blockages. Improves libido. Fertility. 

*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:

I love Selenite, especially in its clear crystal form, but I think even more so in it's Satin Spar form.  I also find it interesting that I had trouble finishing this text *until* today...the feast day of Selene. :) 

Working with Selenite, I find it does bring the clarity of mind that it's metaphysically famous for, but tends to bring it more swiftly when actually asked to.  Even though it's satiny lustre seems to project and transmit light, it is more of a receptive stone than anything else.  It is peaceful... ethereal... and can be quite hypnotizing -- a good crystal to work with when attempting to access guidance from entities on the other side and from Higher Self.  It will open your mind's eye to greater potential.  An excellent stone to use in meditation, it enhances intuition and clairvoyance, allowing you to receive what knowledge you may have had trouble in the past deciphering or seeing clearly.  Anything that was once obscure or cloudy in your mind will suddenly clear as if a fog has been lifted, and messages and/or alternative solutions will be gently recognized and at hand, usually in a kind of soft "aha" moment. 

What I found more amazing about the crystal is that even though it works softly as it slowly clears a pathway for you through the mists and sheds light on the very root cause of any issue... it is actually a very healing stone.  With the insight it brings into the very nature of something, it allows you to intuit what is needed in order to help heal thyself.  Selenite is an excellent crystal to use for problem solving and for help in communing with Deity, as the crystal itself seems to keep a foot in both worlds -- the earthly and the ethereal, connecting matter and Spirit. 

Looking up and meditating on the Moon is what it feels like when working with Selenite.  It calms, yet can be exciting and awe-inspiring.  It soothes, yet can bring epiphany.  It envelops you in its soft ethereal glow, yet can bring a powerful flash of insightful light into your being.  There is an unmistakable flow of energy that traverses a crystal wand or blade of Selenite.  At times it almost appears to be lit up from within -- a good physical symbolic demonstration on how it will metaphysically work for you.  And like the Moon, it absorbs light with remarkable speed and reflects it back to you with a very soft voice of revelation.   I find it is a perfect conduit, a transmitter if you will, for accessing ancient knowledge that leads to long sought after steps into wisdom. 

I feel that my workings with Selenite over the past few weeks has helped me to align myself and open up a more vital and significant channel between me and the gods.  I believe it even prompted me to ask about them, but aside from that, it definitely set me on a much clearer path to a greater understanding of some things that were enigmatic and cloaked in uncertainty for some time now.  To this key-bearing crystal I say, “Yes! Let the lunar magick of Selenite be your guide”.



“Rocks and Minerals” ~ Frederick H. Pough

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

Photo by Patricia J. Martin


© Patricia J. Martin, April 8, 2008

Best wishes and Blessed Be


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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 Doreen Valiente Witch” (A Book Review) /   


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Rituals contributed by Crone:


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Tools of a Witch  /  The Besom (Broom) /  Poppets and DollsPendulums / Cauldron Magick Mirror Gazing




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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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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


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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





A "Who's Who" of Witches, Pagans and other associated People

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Remembered at Samhain

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Pagan Pioneers:  Founders, Elders, Leaders and Others


Abramelin the Mage /  Agrippa Aidan A KellyAlbertus Magnus - “Albert the Great” Aleister Crowley - “The Great Beast” /  Alex Sanders - “King of the Witches” /  Alison Harlow /   Allan Bennett - the Ven. Ananda MetteyyaAllan Kardec (Spiritism) /  Alphonsus de SpinaAmber KAnn Moura /  Anna FranklinAnodea JudithAnton Szandor LaVey /  Arnold CrowtherArthur Edward Waite /  Austin Osman SpareBalthasar Bekker /  Biddy EarlyBarbara Vickers /  Bridget Cleary - The Fairy Witch of Clonmel /  Carl " Llewellyn" Weschcke Cecil Hugh WilliamsonCharles Godfrey Leland /   Charles WaltonChristopher PenczakChristina Oakley Harrington Cornelius Loos /  Damh the Bard - "Dave Smith" /  Dion Fortune /  Dolores Aschroft-NowickiDonald Michael Kraig Doreen ValienteDorothy MorrisonDr. John Dee & Edward Kelly /  Dr. Leo Louis Martello /  Edain McCoy /  Edward FitchEleanor Ray Bone - “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” Eliphas Levi /  Ernest Thompson Seton /  Ernest Westlake /  Fiona Horne /   Frederick McLaren Adams - Feraferia Friedrich von Spee /  Francis Barrett /  Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca /  Gerald B. Gardner - The father of contemporary Witchcraft /  Gwydion Pendderwen Hans HolzerHelen Duncan /   Herman Slater - Horrible Herman /  Heinrich KramerIsaac Bonewits Israel RegardieIvo Domínguez Jr. /  Jack Whiteside Parsons - Rocket Science and Magick /  James "Cunning" Murrell - The Master of Witches /  Janet Farrar and Gavin BoneJean Bodin Jessie Wicker Bell - “Lady Sheba” / Johann Weyer  / Johannes Junius - "The Burgomaster of Bamberg" /   Johann Georg Fuchs von Dornheim  -  the “Hexenbrenner” (witch burner) /  John Belham-Payne John George Hohman - "Pow-wow" /  John Gerard /  John Gordon Hargrave and the Kibbo Kith Kindred /  John Michael Greer /  John Score /  Joseph “Bearwalker” Wilson /  Joseph John Campbell /  Karl von Eckartshausen Lady Gwen Thompson - and "The Rede of the Wiccae" /   Laurie Cabot  - "the Official Witch of Salem" /  Lewis SpenceLodovico Maria Sinistrari Ludwig LavaterMadeline Montalban and the Order of the Morning Star /  Margaret Alice MurrayMargot AdlerMichael Howard and the UK "Cauldron Magazine" /  Margaret St. Clair - the “Sign of the Labrys” /  Marie Laveau - " the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" /  Marion WeinsteinMartin Antoine Del Rio Matthew Hopkins - “The Witch-Finder General” /   Max Ehrmann and the "Desiderata" /  Michael A. Aquino - and The Temple of Set /  Monique WilsonMontague Summers /  Nicholas CulpeperNicholas RemyM. R. SellarsMrs. Maud Grieve - "A Modern Herbal" /  Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning GloryOld Dorothy Clutterbuck /  Old George PickingillOlivia Durdin-Robertson - co-founder of the Fellowship of Isis /  Paddy SladePamela Colman-SmithParacelsus /  Patricia CrowtherPatricia Monaghan /  Patricia “Trish” TelescoPaul Foster Case and the “Builders of the Adytum” mystery school /  Peter Binsfeld /  Philip HeseltonRaven GrimassiRaymond Buckland /  Reginald Scot /  Richard BaxterRobert CochraneRobert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and the "The White Goddess" /  Rosaleen Norton - “The Witch of Kings Cross” /  Rossell Hope Robbins /   Ross Nichols and the " Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids" (OBOD) /  Rudolf SteinerSabrina Underwood - "The Ink Witch" /  Scott CunninghamSelena Fox - founder of "Circle Sanctuary" /  Silver RavenwolfSir Francis Dashwood /  Sir James George Frazer and the " The Golden Bough"S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” /  Starhawk /  Stewart Farrar /  Sybil LeekTed Andrews The Mather Family - (includes:  Richard Mather, Increase Mather and Cotton Mather ) /   Thomas AdyT. Thorn CoyleVera ChapmanVictor & Cora Anderson and the " Feri Tradition" /  Vivianne CrowleyWalter Brown GibsonWalter Ernest ButlerWilliam Butler YeatsZsuzsanna Budapest /  



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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