The Beauty and Power of “Ordinary” Stones


The Stone People spoke to me.   It was cool in the cave, and the dark silence was complete except for the occasional dripping of water from the invisible ceiling. I often felt its fine mist on my head and shoulders.   The cool walls, sometimes covered over with slowly seeping water, felt solid and strong as I ran my fingers along them. Occasional deep pools were embraced on floors of massive rock, the absolute silence in the cave also upon their still surface.  Though the air felt chilly, there was also a warmth inside, an aliveness that the rough, dry, cool stones might not at first seem to suggest.  I sat on the rough rock surface of the floor, and enfolded in walls of ancient stone, I relaxed and let the feeling of the rocks envelop me, inside and out.  Sitting down, I let my awareness extend into the darkness, into the sense of aliveness I felt, and let go of even my sense of myself, and just let myself be.   As I sat, I listened.  As I listened, I slowly began to hear, and the silence little by little became filled with the “voices” of the stones.  I felt as if I was connecting with the spirit or essence of the stones and could then “hear” from them, sharing in something beyond words or ordinary understanding.  Eventually not only these rocks spoke to me, but I heard from all stones, even from those forming the core of our earth.   Feeling as if I was in the presence of what was most ancient, and wise, and having worked so many years with crystals and gems, I asked, “What else needs to be communicated about stones and crystals that hasn’t been said yet?  What have we forgotten, or what would round out our knowledge and skills?  What do we stone workers need to know now?”


Here is what I heard echoed within me:  “The powers of crystals and gems and the ways to work with them, along their possible connection with other worlds, aliens, angels, or other light beings, embedded messages and the like, have been well explored.  However, in your focus on these stones and powers, you have forgotten something important, that intricately connected with every crystal and gem is a matrix of other rock.  This matrix is not only what originally surrounds the crystal or gem, but is also what connects that crystal to all the other rock on the planet.  In other words, the crystal’s rock matrix is connected to the rock surrounding it, which is, in turn, connected to an even larger rock mass, perhaps a cliff, which is part of a larger land mass, the mountain and land it’s on, and so on until you include the entire planet.”  As I listened to these words resounding within, I felt myself connect even more deeply with the rocks around me, being embraced in their silent communication and held in their ageless strength.   And they became all rock so that I felt as if I expanded to be one with the entire planet of rock.  As I sank more deeply into the beingness of the rock, I heard further:  “As Earth, all rocks are of space and the stars as well, floating as a planet within infinite space.  Rock, Earth, humans and space all share the same elements.  As such, we are all infinite.”


That said, there is a lot to learn from all rocks.  We need to pay more attention to “ordinary” rocks than we have because they, too, have their lessons to teach.  It is easy to assume that regular rocks have little or no power, and thus have no value to us, and that there is nothing to learn from them.  However, understanding rocks on this deeper level, you realize that the reverse is true.  Like crystals and gems, regular rocks are quite live and have many lessons to teach us, from valuable life lessons, to time travel, to healing and ultimately about our own infinite nature.  As the “stone people” have spoken, now is the time for us to shift our attention so that we begin learning from regular or “ordinary” stones.  Then our crystal and stonework will be more complete, giving us more “tools” with which to work so that we can become even more effective.

All stones, whether crystals or “ordinary” stones are rocks.  Sometimes we seem to forget this, consciously on unconsciously ascribing attributes that are distinctly “un-rocklike” to certain stones, especially quartz crystals.  As was described in the opening paragraphs, each gem or crystal is embedded in a surrounding matrix or rock environment which is as important as that which it embeds.  It is only our regard that distinguishes one stone as more valuable than another, or that divides a stone into parts. More often than not, we are the ones who separate the surrounding matrix from the crystal or gem.  Sometimes nature does it, but even then, you will likely find it with other rock, perhaps resting in a river bottom, or lying within a heap of fallen gravel.  None-the-less, even if separated from the “regular” stone that surrounds the “precious” stone, the two stones shouldn’t really be regarded as separate, but joined as one object/entity, even if we artificially separate them.  At the very least, they share the same elements, the gem or crystal birthed from the matrix stone by the addition of additional minerals and other influences.  So, it could be said that the gem contains the matrix as much as the matrix contains the gem.  Even if we have separated a gem from its matrix, then, to truly know a stone, whether it be a gemstone, crystal or another, we must also pay attention to its surrounding rock.  This is true even if we have to visualize the physically absent matrix.  By doing that, we access more that the gem or crystal can offer us, not only the influences of the surrounding rock, but through that, perhaps even lessons of the cosmos and off infinity itself.


In our work with crystals and stones so far, not only have we forgotten to regard the entire stone, in our attention to the spectacular we have failed to see the beauty of the “ordinary.”  We have become “stone snobs,” only finding beauty and usefulness in certain gems and crystals, ignoring the rest.  In dismissing some rocks as “ordinary,” however, we have closed our ears to their voice, as if assuming these rocks to be mute.  But they aren’t.  Though it may be different information, we can learn just as much from “ordinary stones” as the crystals and gems. “Ordinary” rocks can tell us of the massive forces of the earth, of the inexorable passage of time, of patience and acceptance, of longevity, solidity, security and comfort, among other things.  We assume them to be cold and lifeless, only the crystal having life, yet if we pay attention, we will find that all stones, even “regular” rocks, can be warm, humorous and informative…just like a crystal.  And, just because they’re solid, don’t assume they don’t move.  They do.  Pay attention.  If we harmonize, then, with these ordinary rocks as well as the more precious, paying attention to the entire rock, we can get much more information than just paying attention to the crystal.  We not only get information about the more other-worldly realms, but also about the forces of earth and nature.

This is earth magic, earth healing, earth medicine as practiced by indigenous peoples for thousands of years.  The rocks they used didn’t have to be fancy.  Shamans and medicine people of all ages and places have used ordinary rocks, often more valued than what might be considered more fancy.  Peruvian Shamans, for example, pick up any rock that attracts them and carry it with them, talking and listening to it for months and years so that they may use it for healing, ceremony and expanded consciousness.  This doesn’t mean that they ignored crystals and precious stones.  They used them also.


As pointed out earlier, when you think of earth medicine, it is important to remember that paying attention to the earth doesn’t limit your experience of the heavens.  The Earth is just one star in an infinitely larger universe.  Just as a crystal doesn’t stand alone from its surrounding rock, neither does the Earth from space.  To work with the Earth is also to work with infinity.   We are also being of Earth as well as Beings of the Heavens.  We share the same elements.  Just as the Earth is part of and one with a larger macro-universe, by sharing the same elements, the Earth is also part of and one with the micro universe of our bodies, each particle like a planet in space.  Like the roots and branches of a tree, our connection exists both as part of the macro universe of space and the micro universe of our bodies.  We are not separate, then, but are the same, forming an infinite pattern that persists beyond time and space.

All rocks “speak” in the language of universal intelligence, their voices communicating through the essential unity of which we all share, whether human, mineral or otherwise. It is because of this essential, unifying intelligence that we can “listen” to stones, “talk to stones,” “feel” stones or otherwise have “conversations.”  We have only to open our perceptions and extend our awareness as we harmonize with the stones and we can experience this.





©Uma Silbey-Aug. 21, 2015

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