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Answers to your Questions

We asked you on what questions you had about crystals. We’ve picked out several to address in this email but we will be answering more soon! Do you have a question you want to ask our crystal experts? Click here to send it in.

What is the difference between Onyx and Sardonyx? Can they be used for the same purpose?

AnswerOnyx is a black and white banded variety of Chalcedony, a cryptocrystalline form of Quartz with dense, fibrous layers and a hardness of 7. It is also defined as a black and white banded Agate, also a variety of Chalcedony. They differ only in that Onyx’s alternating layers are parallel to one another while Agate’s layers are curved and more chaotic. While many think of Onyx as a solid black stone, the term refers to the Chalcedony banded black and white.

A variant form in which white layers of Onyx alternate with Sard (a reddish-brown Chalcedony) is called Sardonyx. Both have been known and utilized for over 4,000 years for hardstone carving, stone inlay, and jewelry, treasured most for their use in intaglio seals and cameo engraved gems where the white bands are carved away to make the image contrast with the dark background. In some specimens, black Onyx may be layered with Sard, and in many cases, the material may be a combination of all three.

References to Onyx and other closely related stones are found in many ancient cultures and their texts, including the Bible, at times with conflicting definitions and overlap in terminology. The following is meant to help clarify their meanings and provide additional information:

Onyx – a layered Chalcedony with black and white parallel bands, or a wide band of solid black. Reputed to be the eleventh or Shoham stone in the breastplate of the High Priest inscribed with the tribal name of Gad. Onyx comes from the Latin and Greek words meaning “claw” or “fingernail” for its resemblance to the human nail, and is referred to by the Arabic term el jaza meaning “sadness.”

Sardonyx – an Onyx with a reddish-brown base where white bands of Onyx alternate with Sard. The name may have been derived from ancient Sardis, or the Greek word Sarx meaning “flesh.” Also called Sardinius in antiquity. Some scholars say this stone could be the first in the breastplate of the Hebrew High Priest, though most agree it was the Sard.

Sard – not Onyx, but dark-hued Carnelian, a translucent brown Chalcedony with red to orange overtones. Also called Sardius in the ancient world, designated as the first, or Odem stone in the breastplate of the High Priest inscribed with the tribe of Reuben. Sard was regarded as a protection against incantations and sorcery, used to sharpen the wits, and made one fearless, victorious, and happy. Sard stones, including Sardonyx, were often worn with an Onyx to neutralize the latter’s negative influences.

For the different uses, the Crystal Metaphysical Encyclopedia entry for Onyx spells out the different uses for Sardonyx and Onyx. Check it out here.

I’m pretty new to crystal essences and elixirs and use them on my wrists and chakra points. Can either of these products be ingested?

Answer: The answer is “it depends” The issues are twofold. First, to sell an elixir or essence for internal consumption commercially often requires the maker to have a certified drinking water plant and laboratory. That is not practical for such small quantities as the crystal market has. The second issue is the method of making an essence or elixir at home. If you use dirty crystals or crystals that are harmful your essence or elixir will not be healthy.

On the other hand, if yours the indirect method to make elixirs or essences you can safely drink them. For more on this method see the Guide to Crystal Elixirs. It should be noted that all of our crystal essences and elixirs are safe for this use.

Are irradiated quartz crystals good healers? Or are they ruined from the process?

Answer: To begin with did you know that Smoky Quartz is Quartz that grew near naturally radioactive sources such that the radioactivity darkened the Quartz? This is a natural process. So in the case of Smoky Quartz, it would seem that they are not “ruined” as that is the natural way they are found.

We do know that radiation treatment changes the color of crystals but does not affect the crystal structure or the natural chemical composition of the crystal. Our experience is that radiated crystals are not as energetic as crystals that are not radiated. We find them a bit “brittle” in their energy and somewhat dull. In particular, the very black irradiated “smoky” quartz is not nearly as satisfying to use as the natural variety.

What is the best way to use crystals for astral travel?

Answer: Astral Travel is one of life’s greatest gifts and an even greater mystery. What exactly is astral travel, you ask? Astral travel has been practiced throughout history. Astral travel is an interpretation of an out-of-body experience that assumes the existence of an “astral body”; separate from the physical body and capable of traveling outside it.

Astral projection or travel denotes the astral body leaving the physical body to travel in an astral plane. It can be a very moving experience and one that can change the rest of your life. Very few people are able to astral project on their first few tries. In fact, many people study years to be able to not only do it, but be able to control it and travel to anywhere they want to go free from the chains of a heavy body. Crystals can not only help you to achieve astral travel but they can also help protect you while you are the astral plane.

Astral travel is an amazing and undefinable experience once you are able to achieve it. Many people practice years before they are able to finally astral project. Crystals can not only aid you in your ability to astral project, but they can also project you in the astral plane and help you connect with loved ones that have passed. If you are seeking to enhance your astral travel we suggest using olive colored crystals such as Prehnite and Pyromorphite.

When the vibrant green rays of growth combine with the yellow of pure sunshine, the powerful color ray of olive is produced. The combination awakens us to the possibilities that are rapidly developing. As life on Earth, still in high bloom, sees the promise of the approaching hot summer sun and a time of less vigorous, yet strong growth, we can use the olive crystals to focus our efforts that began well but now need strength to mature.

Olive colored crystals help focus and enhance our early efforts to seek wisdom, lighting our path to understanding. Olive is the color ray of receptiveness to new meanings and ideas. Olive colored crystals are excellent to help you at the beginning of a search for knowledge and enlightenment. It is the color of the acolyte, the apprentice, and the assistant. The awakening and enlightenment it brings us is essential in learning to astral travel. We must go deep within ourselves in order to be able to leave.

One excellent crystal to facilitate astral travel is Prehnite.

Prehnite crystals help focus and enhance your efforts to seek wisdom, lighting your path to understanding. It has a powerful Olive ray. Olive is the color ray of receptiveness to new meanings and ideas. Prehnite is a Dispeller Bonder Crystal. Dispellers are very helpful talismans for mental and spiritual problems. All of us have problems. Some are physical, some spiritual. Certainly, our lives would be more enjoyable and more productive if we could rid ourselves of them. Worry, anxiety, fear, and doubt can literally cripple us and make our lives miserable. The wisdom and understanding it brings you are essential to beginning astral travel. Since is this a dispeller crystal, it will also help rid yourself of the fear and anxiety that usually comes along with leaving your body in the beginning.

Pyromorphite can also help.

Olive colored Pyromorphite is a crystal used to augment the energy of other healing crystals. It should be in your healing environment bringing the Life Force to your healing crystals. In this instance and for the intended use, a Pyromorphite and Prehnite crystal used together would be a powerful combination. Pyromorphite, with its Olive color, provides Wood Energy. Wood energy is traditionally associated with the East and Southeast areas of a home or room. It is associated with the Family and Health area and the Prosperity and Abundance area. Wood energy is vital to your wellbeing. It is associated with family, ancestors, and the community. This added link to your past family and ancestors makes this the perfect crystal if you are astral traveling to speak to loved ones that have passed on.

You can also try crystals other authors have recommended such as Ametrine and Blue Calcite.
Judy Hall recommends Ametrine which is a wonderful talisman for use in the creative arts.

Ametrine connects the physical realm with a higher consciousness. This stone facilitates and protects during astral travel and relieves a psychic attack.

Robert Simmons advocates Blue Calcite which is primarily a stone used by women as a balancing and meditation stone for re-centering.

Blue Calcite provides a ‘cocoon’ of gentle blue spiritual Light which gradually wraps itself around the auric field of those who hold or carry it. This field enables one to float gently out of the body, either in the dream state or the domain of astral travel.

How do I attune to my crystals?

Answer: A crystal or stone has to be focused on a clear purpose for it to work for you and with you effectively. Just like you, a crystal works better when it has a clear understanding of what it is trying to accomplish. Like you, it needs a purpose.

The Universal Life Force within the crystal needs to be aligned, dedicated, or programmed so the crystal can focus and amplify the Universal Life Force to assist you.

Each crystal is unique. It has a specific crystal energy structure, a color ray, and its fundamental earth power based on its chemical makeup. For more detail visit us at The Crystal Vaults or pick up a copy of “The Seven Secrets of Crystal Talismans” from your favorite bookseller.

However, even with those key attributes, a crystal needs to be aligned with your mind and spirit before it can work with you to accomplish anything.

A crystal contains the Universal Life Force and it can amplify that force when combined with the heart and spirit of a human. Aligning, dedication, and programming accomplish the task of focusing the power
of the crystal on your personal needs and desires.

Before we go any further, you are likely asking, do “aligning”, “dedicating”, and “programming” all mean the same thing?

Actually, they are similar but have important differences. Here is a quick summary…

ALIGNING: Crystals are aligned to a specific purpose in your mind. If you are going to actively use a crystal for a specific purpose to benefit yourself, you must align the crystal to that
purpose by connecting its energy to the power and purpose of your mind. Meditation crystals, amulets, talismans, and divination crystals are aligned.

DEDICATING:  Crystals are dedicated when their use will be to honor or aid others.  Crystal used in healing and in honoring the divine or light beings is dedicated.

PROGRAMMING: Don’t let the idea of impersonal computer programming interfere with your understanding of programming a crystal. It is not an impersonal act. Crystals are programmed when they will need to function without direct contact with a human. Crystals used for Feng Shui, garden crystals, and Guardian crystals are programmed.

Focusing a Crystal | Using the Moon’s Energy

The sun and the moon are the two great luminaries in the earth’s sky. The sun as we learned is used to charge a crystal. The moon is used to focus a crystal. Whether you are aligning a crystal to your mind’s desire, or you are dedicating a crystal to a goddess, or you intend to use a crystal to facilitate the flow of Qi within a home, you need the power of moonlight to focus the crystal.

The moon reflects the light and energy of the sun. It tempers it, moves it to the ultraviolet, and gives it a cyclic effect as it wanes and waxes.

The moon is the Yin to the sun’s Yang; light in the darkness; and the ruler of tides and affairs of mankind.

The moon shines when the veil between the unseen and the seen is thinnest when the curtain that separates the natural and supernatural, the boundary between this world and the Otherworld is thinnest. The
moon rules the time of melding, dedication, and attunement.

The moon presides over the union of the dark and light, human and crystal, mind and spirit, and hopes and fears.

The communication between your spirit and the crystal spirit is enhanced and facilitated by the cool, calming energy of moonlight.

In moonlight, the Universal Life Force is pliable, bendable, varying, and responsive. It flows gently, almost wandering. Crystal spirits are in a more dreamlike and communicative state in the moonlight. Speak to them at such a time.

Now there is some debate on which moon cycle is the best. The proponents of the new moon point out its growing energies. Those that advocate the full moon point out that the moon’s power is at the maximum at this time. From our experience, we suggest that you use a new moon for focusing on transparent crystals. They don’t seem to need the maximum energy of the full moon. For opaque crystals and stones, the night of the full moon is recommended.

Crystals that you intend to use in your own life for specific purposes need to be aligned with the specific purpose you intend. If you are going to use a crystal as an amulet, a talisman, a meditation crystal, or in efforts to communicate with the spirit world, you need to align the crystal’s energy and power to focus and amplify your own.

If you have a transparent crystal, take it outside on the night of the new moon. If you have an opaque one, take it outside on the night of the full moon. Hold the crystal in your hand. Focus on the crystal and establish a rapport with its spirit. Feel its energy. Now take a moment and think of what you want and why you want it.

For example, you might intend to use a crystal as a protective amulet during an upcoming trip overseas. Focus on your need for safety and your desire to be reunited with your family on your return.

See a mental image of the end result, then beam that desire into the crystal. Try to imaging a laser beam going from the center of your forehead or your third eye, directly to the center of the crystal. See the beam absorbing the moonlight. See the moonlight flowing down thru the beam of light.

Usually, only a minute or less is needed. You should receive back some indication that your message is accepted and that the crystal is aligned. For most people, there is a sudden feeling of acceptance. Be aware that in alignment, no words are spoken. You are seeking a direct link from the crystal to your mind. It is all thought. Your mind and spirit have to directly connect to the spirit of the crystal

If you would like to learn more, our Guide to Preparing Crystals has the complete instructions. You can find it here.

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