Crystals to Boost the Immune System

using crystals to boost the immune system

Lots of people are focused on staying healthy right now. In addition to washing your hands, and social isolation, now is a good time to use crystals to boost the immune system. So, which ones are the best?

Amethyst

If you ask 10 crystal users what they use for immunity, I’d guess 9 out of 10 would have amethyst at the top of the list.

Amethyst has really interesting mythology associated with it. The word itself is Greek and it means “not intoxicated.” A beautiful Greek maiden was on her way to the temple of Diana when a ferocious beast sprang upon her. Unbeknownst to Amethyst, the wine god Bacchus was angry over an insult. In a fit of anger, he vowed that the first person he met would be torn apart by his tigers. Amethyst appealed to Diana for help. Diana saved her by turning her into a clear, white crystal. Bacchus felt sorry for his wrath and poured grape juice over the crystal as an offering, turning it purple.

Amethyst is sobering, grounding, and helps to control evil thoughts. It protects from treachery, surprise attacks, physical harm, psychic attack, disease, and infection. The high vibrations purifies and protects and helps the user to connect to the spirit realms.

Black Tourmaline

Everyone has at least one black tourmaline, right? It has so many uses! Probably the most common reason people work with black tourmaline is for grounding and protection. In ancient times, it was used to protect spell casters from earth demons as they did their magic. It’s still used today as a psychic shield deflecting and dispelling negative energies, entities, or destructive forces. Additionally, it guards against radiation and environmental pollutants, and is highly useful in purifying and neutralizing one’s own negativity.

As for physical uses, black tourmaline defends against debilitating disease and strengthens the immune system, heart, and adrenal glands. It also is beneficial in treating the bowels, constipation, IBS, and diseases of the colon, as well as ridding the body of heavy metal toxins and environmental pollutants. For mental uses, it helps to relieve anxiety and paranoia, keeping one grounded.

Emerald

Emerald works well alone, but it’s especially good for boosting the immune system when paired with other crystals with like qualities. It is associated with spring, youth, the heart chakra, unconditional love, and overall vitality. As the heart impacts all the other organs, emerald can revitalize all organs. It may be useful in treating the lungs, liver, gall bladder, pancreas and kidneys, as well as the spine and muscle system. It also aids recovery after infectious illness. Additionally, it helps with emotional heaviness.

Fluorite

Fluorite cleans negative energies by absorbing them, so it should be cleaned often. It aligns the body to its natural energetic state of mind, body, and spirit wellness. It may be used to dispel disorders at the beginning of symptoms, and is regarded as a natural antiviral, immune stimulator, and anti-inflammatory agent.

All colors of fluorite are highly beneficial to the skin, mucous membranes and respiratory tract, and may be utilized to dissipate symptoms of colds and flu, sinusitis, bronchitis, dry cough, emphysema and pneumonia, as well as staph and strep infections, canker sores and herpes, ulcers, shingles and nerve-related pain. Fluorite may also be used in treatments of violent or highly infectious disease, as well as a protective preventative for those who work with infected patients.

How to Use Crystals to Boost the Immune System

Wear it. Keeping the crystal close to your skin will help to heal you through resonance. This is where the energy of the crystal balances your energy.

Meditation with them. Crystals are intelligent. They have things to teach. When you create a relationship with them, you will begin to hear them speak (or see, we all receive information differently). They tend to stay within their energetic wheelhouse so don’t ask a crystal that is good for travel about love affairs!

Create an elixir. Putting them in water or oil (either on the full moon or not) imbues the water with the essence of the crystal which you can then drink or use for annointing. Be careful though! Crystals that are water soluable will dissolve! The rule of thumb is, if it ends in -ite, it’s water soluable. However, you still want to check because there are others that don’t end in -ite that are also water soluable like turquoise and lapis lazuli.

Another caution is to be sure that the crystal is safe to ingest or put on the skin. Some carry impurities or toxins, like cinnabar! To be safest, put the crystals in a glass container, then put that in a larger container of fluid so that the crystal is within the fluid, but not actually touching it.

Do a ritual with them. Follow your own inner guidance about how to use crystals in ritual. It helps to already have a relationship with your crystals and include them in the planning. The more interactive it is, the better.

Health is one of the most important things we all possess. When it’s threatened, things can get really scary. If you have crystals and do crystal work, you can use crystals to boost the immune system and help yourself.

Sovereignty in a Time of Disease

soveriegnty

Wayne Dyer said, “When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out because that’s what’s inside.” The corona virus is squeezing us. What’s coming out? Are you really a modern animist? We’re all being tested.  How do you practice sovereignty in a time of disease outbreak?

How you conduct yourself is up to you. Here are some ideas.

Take Care of Yourself First

Nature has a order. Children needs adults to protect them, provide for them, and nurture them until they are mature enough to do it for themselves. The elderly and sick also need this support from adults. Adults are Atlas who holds up the sky for everyone else. As an adult, your primary responsibility is to yourself. If you have dependents and animals, you are also responsible for them. If adults can’t care for themselves, the whole system collapses.

There are always going to be dependent people. When we have a society of responsible adults who can take care of themselves, the load is easier on those who bear it. “Responsible adult” means someone who provides for his own food, healthcare, transportation, shelter, clothing, water, and other necessities.

During a disease outbreak, you make the call whether it’s in your best interest to isolate or serve in some way. That choice impacts others. Choose wisely.

Remember also that sometimes exercising sovereignty is knowing when to ask for help. If you can’t do it alone, no one will know if you don’t speak up.

Reduce Your Vulnerabilities

All adults want to feel secure and competent- especially if you are to assume responsibility for yourself. The more vulnerabilities you have, the less power you perceive yourself to have. The less power you have, the more fear you have. This is not a great place to be when there is a disease outbreak. Fear creates mistakes and panic. You can’t hold up the world if you are afraid. So how to you become less fearful?

Have Resources

The most commonly used resource is money. Money buys products, services, and experiences. It can assure your safety in some cases. However, in times of disease outbreak, the things you need may not be able to be bought at any price. So what do you do when your money is useless?

There are human resources – family, friends, and neighbors are resources. If you have cultivated relationships, you can work together to do things that would be harder or impossible to do alone. It’s like Stone Soup. If we all get together and pool resources, we can share the work, food, hardship, and happiness.

Information is another resource. If you have useful information, you can make wise decisions. Of course, it’s only as good as your ability to interpret it.

Land is another resource. It gives you a place to live, provides food, and helps you to stay healthy. If you care for it, it can care for you. There other resources, but you get the idea.

Develop Skills

Skills allow you to take charge, do things for yourself, help others, and be independent. Some skills can help you to acquire money if you use them in employment. Other skills- like emotional regulation- help you to get along better with others.

The more skills you have, the fewer problems you have because if something comes up, you can just deal with it if you have the appropriate skills. Otherwise you struggle.

Skills also give you options. If I can weave a basket, I have a choice whether I want to weave one, buy one, or sell one. If I can make natural medicines, I can go to the doctor, care for myself, care for others, or do nothing. Choice is a huge component of stress. The more options I have, the more secure I feel.

What skills you cultivate are entirely up to your values and desires. Some suggestions are: communication, emotional intelligence, wild crafting, sewing, hunting, medicine making, cooking, writing, leadership, driving, food storage, carpentry, auto repair, small engine repair, energy healing, conducting rituals, and gardening.

Help Others

Now assuming you’re healthy, can take care of yourself, and have skills, you’re in a position to help others. Situations like disease outbreak overwhelm the system. Too many people have the same needs all at once. Too many people need help all at once. If you are in a position to serve, how can you help so that everyone else can stay safe? Here are some suggestions.

  • Make grocery store or pharmacy runs for people who are in isolation.
  • If it’s safe and you are well, go to work so that products and services continue to be produced.
  • Care the for sick.
  • Check on your neighbors, the homeless, or other vulnerable populations.
  • If you have food or supplies to share, share.
  • Care for the animals that belong to the sick.
  • Can you fix something for someone who is unwell?
  • If you are unwell, you can voluntarily isolate and ask for help meeting your needs so you can stay in isolation so that you don’t expose others.
  • Can you house others so that someone can stay in isolation?
  • Are there kids who need care so that their parent can stay in isolation?
  • Are you leading, helping, healing, and inspiring – or creating panic and anxiety? Calm and joy are great healers.

A disease outbreak is not my problem or your problem. It’s our problem. We can all get through if we do our part. When we show up in the world as our highest, best, and most skillful selves, we all benefit.

Am I a Shaman?

am i a shaman

Have you read or heard something and now you are asking yourself, “Am I a shaman?” You are the final authority on your reality. No one can answer that question for you, however, let me provide you with some things to think about that might help to make this clearer.

What Is a Shaman?

“Shaman” is a Tungus (Russian) word that describes their name for a person who walks in the spirit world for the purposes of helping the living and dead. It really doesn’t have any meaning outside that context because culture matters. What the person does in that role, and how she does it, varies from culture to culture, so using the word “shaman” generically isn’t all that useful or accurate. 

Some indigenous or animist cultures have healers that don’t work in the spirit world, yet they are still called shaman by outsiders. So perhaps it is more useful to call each culture’s healers by the name that they use. For cultures that no longer have this tradition, I usually use the name spirit walker.

How are Spirit Walkers Chosen?

The answer to this question varies from culture to culture. Generally speaking, spirit walkers are chosen when the person is young. In some cultures, women can be chosen after child rearing is over and menopause sets in. 

The initiation often follows a severe illness, near death experience, or some life changing event. During this process, the old person dies so that the spirit walker can be born. After this process, the old personality’s life is over. He or she may not care about the things they used to care about, may not like the things they used to, and has a radically altered personality and lifestyle. After a transition period, he is generally much wiser.

Spirit chooses spirit walkers. One cannot decide to become one. It’s a demanding and often painful life. These people tend to be isolated and strange. The work they do demands a lot from them. Although they are respected and are a part of the community, they often live on the fringes because they have one foot in the spirit world. As such they don’t have the same cares as other people. They don’t tend to be materialistic, egotistical, or business minded. In no culture that I know of does the spirit walker do this as a business. It’s a calling, a service.

Some cultures say that a person can refuse the call. Some say that to refuse is to die. In some cultures, if the gift is abused, the spirit walker spirit leaves the healer. 

How Are People Trained for This Role?

Shamanism is an animist practice. It’s the belief in animism that gives power to the healer. The animist training for this role comes from culture. From birth spirit walkers are taught how to have relationships with Nature, people, plants, animals, and the ancestors just by watching how those around them live. Spirit walking is the ability to function in the nonmaterial world. Without this foundation, none of the work, love, or understanding required to do this work can exist. Everything is relational to animists. 

The skills required to do this work come from the spirit walker spirit that now inhabits the human body. The person is not the healer. The person is the hollow reed through which the spirit walker works. As such, there is no “training” that happens. Some describe it as being downloaded with the information from all spirit walker incarnations that ever served the community. It’s like the spirit walker spirit never dies, but continues to learn and grow, finding different bodies to inhabit to do this service.

These are generalizations. They do not apply to all people in all cultures at all times. There are always exceptions. When the spirit comes to westerners, they need guidance to understand what is happening to them. They may need guidance to learn the basics of how to connect with their spirit guides. 

Words of Warning

There are many people teaching shamanic skills now. Learning shamanic skills does not make one a spirit walker. One can have very effective healing skills without being a spirit walker. There are many forms of energy healing and faith healing that work very well. Spirit makes one a spirit walker.

In most indigenous cultures, this is not something that one desires or pursues. It is a burden, a responsibility, a sacrifice. If you feel called to this path, I urge you to consider what it means. Ask yourself if you have the necessary relationship with your ancestors and all of creation to do this well. Are you firmly plugged into the matrix of life to serve the whole web well? The primary role of the Healer archetype is to heal oneself. Are you balanced enough in ego and health to serve? 

Lots of people are on the shamanism bandwagon. Many people say that pathologies are spiritual. They say crises are calls to initiation. For example, I hear that highly sensitive people are very spiritual. Psychics and past life readers are telling their clients that they are shaman or were shaman in a past life. All symptoms are signs of dis-ease, however some really are mental or physical issues and should be treated as such.

So be careful. Consider the source and motivation of anyone who is saying they are a shaman or is suggesting that you are. If spirit choses you, you will know it. You will hear it from the spirit themselves. If you have to ask, “Am I a shaman?” the answer is probably no.

Solo Ritual to Reconnect with the Earth Element

earth element ritual

There are times when our root is not strong. Or perhaps our birth chart or constitution never had a strong connection to the Earth element. Sometimes we just want to connect to the Earth element when the season changes to winter. Earth is also the element of business, sensuality, sexuality, fertility, money, and physical health. We can call on her when we have questions or need support in those areas. Here is a solo ritual you can use for that purpose.

Set Your Intention

Before you begin, get clear on your intention for this practice. Do you want to be more stable, follow through, experience the love of the Great Mother, be nurtured, feel whole? The more clear you are, the better your results. Perhaps you don’t really know what you need. If that is the case, let your journey to the Earth guide you.

Assemble Your Tools

Read through the ritual and decide what “tools” you want to use. Make a list beforehand so that you have everything handy before you start. This is especially important so that you don’t tear a hole in your sacred space to go retrieve something once you’ve started. Your tools will be things like soil, wine, seeds, water, and anything else used for the ritual.

Create Your Altar

The altar is the focal point of your ritual. They are often crafted for just one ritual. Sometimes they are left up longer, for example an altar dedicated to the Spring Equinox may be left up for days. An altar dedicated to a season may be left up for the entire season. Some people have four altars for the four cardinal directions that are always up.

Here is a simple altar idea for this ritual. Drape a small table with a green (for plants that grow on the earth), brown (for the color of earth), or red cloth (root chakra). Artfully arrange items on it that symbolize Earth, such as flowers, twigs, pine cones, pine needles, bark, soil, salt, resin, and spices. You may wish to also use incense. The smoke will help to raise any heavy energy generated into the air. Candles can help to illuminate what is unseen. Darkness and silence are the realm of Earth, so if that feels more right, you can keep it dark. If you like scent, some essential oils that have Earth resonance are patchouli, vertiver, and oak moss.

Purification

We always want to enter into ritual in a state of purification. We don’t want to bring distractions, negativity, or baggage into sacred space with us. First clean the space you intend to use for this ritual. Then purify yourself with smoke, water (bathing or spritzing), or a calming meditation. You may also wish to purify your tools with smoke or flame. Once the purification is done, you can don ritual clothing, remove all clothing, or wear what you had on before. Some people like to use special clothes to separate the mundane world from the sacred. Some like to do rituals nude to symbolize the pure state. Since all ritual and magic is personal, do what feels right and authentic to you.

Create Your Sacred Space

You can do this in one of two ways. In your mind’s eye, imagine that you are creating a safe bubble of energy in the area that you intend to work. Use your finger to create a circle inside of which you will work. Alternatively, you can walk the perimeter of the space three times knowing that as you walk, you create a border between the mundane and sacred worlds. You are creating a container for your work, so once you are inside the bubble, stay inside.

Invocation

Call in the element of Earth saying something like, “I call to the element of Earth, our Mother, my home. I welcome you to this space and ask that you be with me.” Your call should be heartfelt and a pure expression of your wish. You may also wish to call in your helping spirits/guardian angels, helping ancestors, spirits of the place, gods and goddesses, or the other elements to support you. This strengthens the boundary, provides you with a witness to your work, and lends energy to your ritual. If you do this step, don’t move on until you feel that they have responded and are with you.  If you are new to ritual, you may wish to wait to call in energies until you have developed a relationship with these energies.

Welcome Your Guests

You are the host of a party. Welcome your guests. Do you want to offer a song? A dance? A prayer? As a show of reciprocity and gratitude for the support to the energies you have called in, make an offering. This can be water, wine, food, flowers, or whatever feels good and right for you. For Earth, put soil or sand in a large bowl. Place your hands in the bowl and feel the soil. Smell it. Let your hands be surrounded by it, feeling the fertile, life supporting nature of it. Feel the solid nature of it, just like your body. Let yourself be one with it. Give yourself time to notice what you can about this element.

Speak to the Earth

Now that you have acquainted yourself with Earth, speak to her. Tell her what inspired you to call on her. Ask her your questions. Ask for help if that is why you called on her. Listen to her wisdom. Experience what she has to teach. If you are in pain, release your pain into her huge, filtering body. Like the roots of a tree, she can support all that you have to release and transmute it into harmless energy. Let the process connect you firmly into her body, into your body. If you need to cry into her or even wail into her, give yourself that freedom.

Manifest the Magic Into the Material Realm

With your intention complete, we now want to bring the results into the material world. Place soil into a small pot. Plant a seed and water it. As you do this, know that this seed is the seed of the new reality that you wish to create. As you nurture it and watch it grow, know that the Earth is also nourishing you and growing within you. Although all plants belong to the Earth element, some of the stronger Earth element ones are herbs. I recommend planting an herb like oregano, chives, cilantro, basil or something that you would eat and can nourish you.

Close the Sacred Space

Once you are finished with bringing your intention into the physical world, thank and release whomever/whatever you called in just as you would thank guests who have come to your party. Now we are going to undo the separation between the mundane and spirit world. If you used your finger to draw a circle around it, reverse the circle with your finger. If you walked a circle, reverse that. Whatever you did, reverse it. Then touch the earth or floor to ground down any excess energy. Say something like, “This ritual is now closed in the real and apparent worlds” or “My rite is now ended.”

Do not skip this step! You opened a doorway into the Otherworld. It must be closed. Lots of people are drawn to paganism and magic who practice ritual without discipline. The veil between worlds exists for a reason. It’s for our protection. Only open it intentionally. Only open it while in sacred space, and always make sure you close it behind you.

The time within ritual is distorted. You may forget what you learned, so it’s a good idea to have a ritual journal where you write down the insights you received. Focus on the meaning of the content versus the content itself. Continue to add more insights as it is gained so that you grow from the experience.

One last tip. It helps to have a set way that you open and close sacred space. Repetition will give it more power and meaning. For that reason, you may wish to memorize the words you wish to say or write them down. Use the same words and format each time until you get a Pavlovian response of beginning and noticing the feeling immediately of being in ritual time and space. Good luck!

The Spirituality of Scars

The Spirituality of Scars

If you want to know about the spiritual significance of scars, visit a battleground, a holocaust site, or any symbol of horror. I’ve been to Tuol SlengCulloden, and Wounded Knee. I hope to visit Auschwitz some day too. You might wonder what that has to do with spirituality. Aren’t those places of darkness?

Actually, yes. The energy at  Tuol Sleng, Culloden, and Wounded Knee is oppressive. The lingering promise of horrible death wraps itself around you and threatens to choke you. It enters your pores and drowns you in unimaginable sorrow. They are wounds in the spiritual flesh of humanity.

So, why should anyone go there? To never forget. To heal. To forgive, and to stand renewed.

“The wound is the place where light enters you.” ~Rumi

We live in an age where scars are seen as ugly. We want perfection and flawlessness. However, you can’t grow if you never engage in battle. Life is not a safe adventure. Neither is growing spiritually.

Having scars used to be a way of saying, “I am an adventurer! I’ve crossed a dangerous threshold and come out the other side.” It was a badge of honor that people respected. Those who were scarred were seen as credible authorities who had something of worth to say about things. Now we respect titles, degrees, and money.

It used to be that proving your worth was a rite of passage. Now days our parents want to provide us with a “good life” by removing all our obstacles. So, we grow up weak, superficial, and untested. As adults we continue the pattern by withdrawing from things that could hurt us. Consequently, we have no way of identifying ourselves and end up feeling lost inside our own skins. We have to search outside ourselves to find ourselves.

In places like Tuol Sleng and Wounded Knee, men met the darkness and lost. The soil leaks with pain because they remain open wounds.

“I just don’t want to die without a few scars… It’s nothing anymore to have a beautiful stock body. You see those cars that are completely stock cherry, right out of a dealer’s showroom in 1955, I always think, what a waste.” ~ Chuck Palaniuk, Fight Club

When sit in our grief, there can be no healing. Thus we have no scars, only wounds. Isn’t it time to heal the wounds?

When something happens that wounds you, let it be a stepping stone to bravery, survivorship, strength. If it’s not, it will crush you. Let it be the moment you emerge from the chrysalis as a butterfly. You’re a survivor. Once you do that, you’ll have the beginnings of a scar.

We all love heroic tales and rites of passage stories like The Odyssey, Huckleberry Finn, and The Lion King because they are satisfying. They inspire our own greatness. Don’t let that be the story of someone else’s life. Live it!

Eradicating the reminders like our battlefields and monuments, never speaking of the thing that threatened us, and denying that a thing hurt us, doesn’t make us heroes. Nor will it close the wound. Only walking through to the other side with healing will do that.

The resulting scar is not something to be ashamed of. Wear it like a badge of honor. When a Native boy goes out into the wilderness for a three or four day Vision Quest, he doesn’t limp back complaining of mosquito bites, hunger, fear, and scars.  He uses that experience to know who he is and find his spiritual center. It becomes a badge of honor.

Sometimes you choose your battles. Sometimes they choose you. All you can do is decide how you want to go through. So, get scarred. Show them off. Tell your stories of how they came to be. And let them be the symbols of healing and growth that they are meant to be.

The Spirituality of Surfing

The Spirituality of Surfing

If anyone had ever told me that surfing was a spiritual pursuit, I would have said they were completely nuts. The spirituality of surfing? Bah!

Funny, but it really is. I finally get why all those lonely guys in wet suits would be out riding the waves long after the summer crowd had gone. They’d be there early. I’d see them late. Rain didn’t keep them away either. So what is the magic of surfing?

Well, the only way to really do it is to surrender. The ocean is a powerful, moving force. You aren’t going to control it, manipulate it, or outsmart it. The only way to work with it is to become one with it. To do that, you have to surrender.

And surrender is bliss. It’s the complete letting go of your worries about the past and your plans for the future. Surfing requires you to be right here, right now. If your mind wanders, you could splat really badly. But right here, right now, all there is is peace.

I often talk about the feelings of being No Thing and Everything. Surfing can give you that. When you’re on a wave, it can feel like you and the wave are one, so your ego completely disappears. But yet at the same time, you’re part of this massive, powerful force that is both super soft and gentle and pounding and rough. It’s like all things that exist are either right here in this moment, or at least has the power to manifest right then. It’s a completely magical experience that I’ve not had in any other way.

But, like life, surfing isn’t like that all the time. In fact, most of the time, you’re just bobbing up and down waiting for the swell to carry you in. The water is moving up and down, like your belly taking in air and letting it out. It’s like the ocean is meditating, so it lulls you into a meditative state too. Your brain waves slow way down. Your thoughts slow way down, and you get really tuned into whatever is happening. You forget about the traffic, bills, and  your dating life. It’s just about taking in the twinkle of light as the sun reflects off the waves or the majesty of the seagulls as they hang in the air. It’s about taking in and appreciating all that you miss on any other day.

But you don’t just tune into the outside. You tune into your inside. Whatever you have going on in your life becomes background noise and you know, even if it’s just for an hour, that deep inside is a ball of energy where everything is alright. So even if you have to go back to really big problems, you can put those problems in perspective so that they seem more manageable.

Surfing also teaches you spiritual values. You need discipline to surf. You’re not going to just get up the first time. You fall – a lot. Life is like that too. If you don’t have spiritual discipline, you could give up believing in anything.

And you need courage. Facing sharks, rogue waves, drowning, and wipe outs can intimidate lots of people. I’ve certainly seen people give up before they were able to learn how to do it. Without courage, we stay small. When you’re surfing, it’s easy to want to go for bigger and bigger waves so this keeps you growing.

Surfing also gives you the opportunity to have fun. I always get so much water in my mouth because I can’t stop laughing. Shouldn’t life be a joyous adventure? I always think that when you’re laughing you the closest you can be to love.

I suppose anything that gets you closer to God is a spiritual pursuit. If you are looking for something unusual and fun, you might give surfing a try. But be careful. You just might get hooked!