Good Vibrations

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“Egyptian Sun” pendant in silver featuring a Red Jasper focal stone and Carnelian accent beads.

Do stones have healing properties? I don’t know for certain. It sounds implausible at first blush, yet people (mostly indigenous people) have believed in the healing power of stones for thousands of years.

I’ve always been drawn to stones for some reason, but I always assumed it was simply because I appreciated their natural beauty. I know people who say they can sense the energy of stones and crystals. I’m not one of those people–at least not consciously. I don’t physically feel or sense energy in a way that I can clearly articulate, but I have come to realize through many years of dealing with emotionally incongruous people that I am extremely sensitive to emotional energy. I seem to be something of an empath in that regard. I pick up on the emotions of pretty much everyone around me, which certainly explains why I tend to prefer the company of animals.

Animals are masters of emotion. They move fluidly through a full emotional spectrum, and they’re able to live in the moment. People, on the other hand, have a strong tendency to live in either the past or the future where they cling stubbornly to emotional extremes. This inability to live in the moment and process a healthy range of emotions fluidly results in emotional incongruity. We all have that one friend who smiles and jokes loudly (often inappropriately) to mask “negative” emotions like grief or anger that she simply doesn’t want to acknowledge.

It’s those masked emotions that I seem to absorb like a sponge. I actually don’t have many emotionally incongruent people in my life anymore because I’ve spent the past ten years systematically eliminating them from my inner circle, but there was a time when I was completely surrounded by them; and they literally sucked the life out of me. For years I wondered how I could feel so emotionally drained while I was surrounded by other people yet I immediately felt better the moment I was alone. I blamed it on the fact that I was an introvert, and (naturally) I assumed that it was my fault that I felt so overwhelmingly sad or angry when I was surrounded by people who appeared to be happy, albeit superficially.

You might be wondering right now what any of this has to do with stones, and that is in fact the same question that I’ve been asking myself. For the past three years, I’ve managed to live inside a happy little isolation bubble. For the first time in my adult life, I’m not working outside of my home. I’ve had very little contact with anyone besides my husband and our daughter during that timeframe, so I’ve enjoyed the luxury of steering clear of most of the emotional pollution out there in the world.

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“Desert Moon” pendant in copper featuring a Wood Jasper focal stone and Tiger Eye accent beads.

These three years have been a social sabbatical of sorts, but as my business grows, I’m finding it more and more necessary to interact with the outside world. I’m being invited to teach classes and to be a vendor at local craft shows. I’m getting more requests for custom work and private commissions, which involve a great deal of back and forth communication to hash out the details of the customer’s jewelry design. I’m toying with the idea of writing tutorials or perhaps starting a YouTube channel to share my own jewelry making tips and tricks. Additionally, I’m starting to get involved with my daughter’s school now that she’s attending a unique little charter school. Her school is growing at an alarming rate due to the phenomenal academic achievements of its high school students, so the PSA is desperately in need of parent volunteers to help support the teaching staff.

Basically, I’m having to come to terms with the fact that, whether I fully understand how emotional energy works or not, I am an emotional empath. Avoiding prolonged contact with all but my closest friends and family members certainly made coping with this innate ability easier and more comfortable over the past three years, but it’s become increasingly clear to me since I opened my Etsy shop that social avoidance is no longer practical. I’m going to have to learn how to function in a world of emotionally incongruent people in order to grow my business, so I’m looking to the energetic properties of stones to help me stay balanced in a decidedly imbalanced society.

Not surprisingly, then, my jewelry is starting to move away from the glass beads that I’ve always loved. I’ve recently found myself drawn more to gemstone beads in general and jasper beads in particular. About a month ago, I went on a bit of a shopping spree and splurged on more than a dozen strands of beautiful gemstone beads. It’s the largest single supply purchase I’ve made since opening my Etsy shop in January.

Almost none of the strands I bought were marked with the actual gemstone name, so once I got all those gorgeous beads home, I set about working to identify them by name. I was somewhat surprised to discover that the vast majority of the stones I chose are various types of Jasper. Once I began researching the energetic properties of Jasper, though, I realized that I’d intuitively chosen precisely the kind of stones I need at this particular phase of Door 44 Jewelry’s development.

Jasper, it seems, is widely regarded for its grounding and balancing characteristics. Deeply connected to the earth, and used for thousands of years in various cultures around the world, it’s said to be a warm, nourishing, and protective stone that balances the feminine yin and masculine yang energies. These energies are unquestionably out of balance in our society presently. One only needs to turn on the news to see the latest antics of two of the most wildly inappropriate presidential candidates in our nation’s history to see clear evidence of that fact.

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“Egyptian Moon” pendant in silver featuring a Picture Jasper focal stone.

I don’t know if stones really do have healing properties or not. What I do know is that I’ve been powerfully drawn to various forms of Jasper lately, and I’ve felt almost compelled to create Jasper jewelry over the past couple of months. I’ve also been wearing Jasper jewelry almost exclusively in that same period, and I’ve noticed that I feel generally calmer and more confident and grounded while wearing it.

Maybe my jewelry can help restore a healthier energetic balance in the world. Maybe not. I won’t go so far as to claim that the stones I’m currently using in my jewelry have magical healing powers. They are pretty, though. Perhaps the simple act of wearing or gifting a piece of lovingly handcrafted jewelry made with a beautiful natural stone will do nothing more than make someone happy. And maybe more happiness in the world is ultimately the answer to restoring balance.

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