Borealis Meditation

Science and Spirituality

Category: mineralogy (page 1 of 2)


Physical Characteristics
Bornite also known as “Peacock ore”

chemical formula: Cu5FeS4
Hardness: 3
Luster: metallic if fresh, iridescent tarnish

Distinguishing features:
The brownish bronze color of fresh surfaces distinguishes bornite from chalcopyrite.

Bornite is common in copper bearing hydrothermal sulfide deposits and is mined as a source of copper but is not as important as chalcopyrite.

Metaphysial properties:

Melody (2):
Bornite facilitate the synthesis of the chakras and be useful in the individual activation of the chakras. It can bring freshness and newness to ones life and stimulates the inner spirit to seek further heights.

It is a stone of happiness, and protects from negative energy bombardment and assists in the recognition of the source of the negativity. It is also an excellent healing stone.

(1) Introduction to Mineralogy, by William D. Nesse
(2) Love is in the earth, a kaleidoscope of crystals, by Melody


Physical characteristics of Covellite:
It is pretty!!!!

chemical formula: CuS
Hardness: 1.5-2
1 perfect cleavage plane
Luster: submetallic to resinous
Color: indigo blue, sometimes darker may be iridescent

Distinguished by the blue color and cleavage

Occurs with other copper sulfides in hydrothermal sulfide deposits
Mined as copper ore

Metaphysical properties:

Melody (2):
Melody notes that most of the covellite she has seen was from Butte, MT copper mine.

Covellite stimulate the third eye and initiate psychic power, and enhances communication skills and stimulates positive outlook as well as assisting in transforming conscious dreams to realities.

Covellite can act as a mirror showing one the defective reasoning which leads to problems, and helps heal the wounds of vanity

(1) Introduction to Mineralogy, by William D. Nesse
(2) Love is in the earth, a kaleidoscope of crystals, by Melody


Physical Characteristics of Marcasite
chemical formula: FeS2
Hardness 6-6.5
Uneven fracture
Luster: Metallic
Color: pale bronze-yellow to almost white darkening on exposure
Streak: grayish black

Different structure “petals” usually called cockscomb
Generally it stays close to the ideal formula but can have minor Copper substitutions for iron and As for Sulfur

Resembles pyrite but has different crystal habit and is someone paler colored if fresh

Marcasite is common in hydrothermal sulfide deposits at low temperatures and is usually associated with galena and sphalerite. Concretionary masses in shale limestone and coal are also common.

It can replace the material in fossils which can make for beautiful samples

Not normally of economic value. (but can be used as a source of sulfur and iron)

Metaphysical properties:

The non-crystalline form posses the same properties as pyrite…

It provides you with a view of yourself from an outside perspective and can produce insight with respect to the methods available for correcting the qualities which are unwanted. Marcasite shows you if you appear dull to others and encourages you to shine.

It also illuminates the senses and the intellect softening expressiveness and dispelling both the use of rash words and the actions of impatience. It represents spiritual development, providing for prosperity of eliminating starvation of the spirit.

(1) Introduction to Mineralogy, by William D. Nesse
(2) Love is in the earth, a kaleidoscope of crystals, by Melody


Physical characteristics of Chalcopyrite:
chemical formula: CuFeS2
Hardness: 3.5-4
Luster: metallic
Color: brass yellow, maybe tarnished and iridescent
Poor cleavage
Streak: greenish black

Chalcopyrite is distinguished from pyrite by its lower hardness, different crystal habit a richer yellow color.

Small grains may resemble native gold but are not sectile and yield a greenish-black streak.

CHalcopyrite is a common copper-bearing mineral and is found in many hydrothermal sulfide deposits often associated with galena, sphalerite, pyrite, and other sulfide minerals.

It is the principle source for copper and major deposits are found in many areas of the world.

Referred to as “yellow copper” (2)

Metaphysical properties of Chalcopyrite :

Melody (3):
Chalcopyrite can be used for assistance in finding lost objects, and it also often disappears to accumulate information which will be beneficial to the user.

It can also be used to enhance ones abilities of perception and strengthen ones contact with the ancient cultures of the universe. It is called a “stone of the mystic” and helps us connect with other cultures and receive their information.

It posses an energy that can remove energy blockages and totally open the crown chakra, cleansing and activating at the same time. It is also excellent for meditation helps to active and maintain a state of no mind.

Chalcopyrite has also been used to assist in acupuncture treatments to increase the movement of the Chi

(1) Introduction to Mineralogy, by William D. Nesse
(2) Wikipedia page
(3) Love is in the earth, a kaleidoscope of crystals, by Melody


From the greek: purites meaning “of fire” or “in fire”
In Ancient roman times this name was used for several types of minerals that would create a spark when struck against steel. Pliny the Elder described one as being brassy and is almost certainly a reference to modern Pyrite (1)

Physical Characteristics
Chemical formula: FeS2
Hardness: 6-6.5
Concoidal to uneven fracture, usually no cleavage
Luster: metallic
Color: pale brass-yellow, tarnishes darker with iridescence
Streak: greenish black to brownish black

Most pyrite is close to this ideal composition although sometimes Ni or Co can substitute for Fe in small amounts.
Micro-inclusions of gold or chalcopyrite may be present in pyrite as well

Pyrite normally occurs as cubes although it can also form with octahedral faces which are less common and can form in pairs or twins and these are known as “iron crosses”

Pyrite is known as fools gold because it is commonly misidentified as gold, however in my personally experience pyrite has a brighter and shinnier appearance then raw gold which is a duller yellow when raw (in personal experience) Although this might just be a comment on the samples I have seen and not characteristic of pyrite and gold. My mineralogy book literally says :everyone should read Mark Twain’s Roughing It. On this topic. So there you have it, like you needed an excuse to read Mark Twain!

Pyrite is distinguished by hardness brittle fracture, greenish black streak, and from chalcopyrite by the fact that chalcopyrite is a richer yellow and softer.

Pyrite is the most common sulfide mineral and few hydrothermal are without it. Igneous rocks of almost any composition can have pyrite as well as occurring in metamorphic rocks. Pyrite is also common as fine grains in shale and precipitated from sea water in reducing environments, and coal usually contains some pyrite.

Pyrite is a source of iron and sulfer and is used as a feedstock in the manufacture of Fe bearing chemicals. Pyrite is usually associated with other economic minerals such as chalcopyrite, galena, and sphalerite. Also gold has been extracted from inclusions within pyrite.

In the 16th and 17th centuries it was used as a source of ignition for early types of firearms, most notably the wheellock, where the cock held a lump of pyrite against a circular file to strike the sparks needed to fire the gun. (1)

During the early 20th century it was used as a mineral detector in radio receivers and is still used “crystal radio” hobbyists (1)

It is used to make Marcasite Jewelry (which is NOT marcasite) and its made from small faceted pieces of pyrite and is often set in silver and was popular in the Victorian era (1)

environmental impacts of pyrite:
When oxygenated surface water interacts with pyrite, it oxidizes the iron and releases sulfuric acid. This is a natural process that occurs naturally, however, mining and increase groundwater flow into pyrite bearing rocks providing an easy route for this water and thus facilitating the acidification of this groundwater. Older mines in particular have a problem with acidic waters escaping from old portals. This water can be very acidic and carry heavy metals like lead in solution and it poses a real problem when it enters stream systems and can alter ecosystems and be a potential health hazard.

Metaphysical Properties

Melody (3):
Pyrite can be used as a shield from several forms of negative energy, and simply wearing it activates the shielding and protective aspects. It works on the physical, etheric, and emotional levels.

Pyrite can help keep out the negative vibrations of pollutants on the physical level due to the energy field which it creates within the aura.

Pyrite can inspire the universal energies to activate the nourishing energies of the body, and encourages health intellect and emotional well being.

Pyrite symbolizes the warmth and presence of the sun.

Pyrite can be used to recall of beautiful memories of love and friendship and is also used to help in seeing behind facades and enhance memory and recall of information.

Cunningham (4):
projective energy
planet: mars
element: fire
powers: money, divination, luck

Pyrite was used by ancient Mexicans in polished mirror that may have been used to divine the future, and also placed in American Indian shamans medicine bundles perhaps to lend extra energy. In ancient china pyrite was used to guard against crocodile attacks

Due to its color and shinny-ness its used to draw money and wealth and it is suggested that you can place five pieces of pyrite on your alter and surround them with 5 green cancels light the candles and visualize money coming your way to fulfill your monetary needs…

Pyrite can also be carried to bring money and luck, and the “face” or shinny side can be used as a magic mirror to awaken psychic impulses and carried it is a luck bringer.

Cory at new world witchery also adds that Pyrite is used in hoodoo money drawing spells.

(1) Wikipedia page
(2) Introduction to Mineralogy, by William D. Nesse
(3) Love is in the earth, a kaleidoscope of crystals, by Melody
(4) Cunningham’s encyclopedia of crystal gem and metal magic by scott cunningham



Mineraloid not really a mineral!
Composition: SiO2*nH2O
Some opal needs to be kept in water or it dries out and cracks
Hardness: 5.5 -6.5
(less then quartz)
Luster: vitreous, waxy, greasy, dull
Streak: white
No cleavage
Concoidal fracture
Only a mineral for historical reasons not a true mineral its cristobalite and tridymite and amorphous silica
4 types:
§ Opal –CT
§ Opal C
§ Opal AG (amorphous )
§ Opal –AN (anhydrous = no water)

Fluorescent, Short UV=greenish yellow, Long UV=white. ( web mineral)
From the Old Indian upala – “precious stone.” (web mineral)

Found: hot springs deposits, petrified wood, and voids in volcanic rocks, cements sedimentary rocks, and the shells of diatoms.
Distinguished from quartz: inferior hardness.
(Introduction to Mineralology)

Color called fire due to the stacking of uniform spheres (and uniform stacking) diffracts light. (Love is in the Earth)
Jo says: money, want to be invisible, night vision
Kathleen says: signifier of water (it has water in it!)

Cunningham reference says:
– all planets (Jo: Venus)
– all elements (Jo: fire, Kathleen: water)
– cupid
– bay leaf
– astral projection, psychism, beauty, money, luck, power
– has been seen as back luck but that’s due to a reference (Water Scott Anne of Gierstein)
– all the colors and qualities of other stones, can charge with energies of other stones ( stand in for other stones)
– program or change to meet needs
– create invisibility wrap ion bay leaf
– blending in, in crowds
– helps with eye site
– astral projection and worn for protection and help in projections
– recall past incarnations
– favored to develop psychic powers
– warn to bring out inner beauty

Love is in the earth says:
– associations with cancer, Libra, Pisces and Scorpio
– amplification of traits of characteristics overcome lesser attributes
– recognize and fuel creativity
– Instill faithfulness and loyalty in love, friends, and business.
– Astral projection, happy dreams and changes
– Awaken oycic and mystical qualities
– Grounding.
– Common:
o Increase earn and retain money and self worth
o Balance male and female energies
o Align chakras
§ Proper flow and energy and alignment with your higher self
– Used to invoke visions!

Media Astra Ac Terra episode 13 had opal in it!
– Found on Mars!
– October birthstone
– Found in Australia
– Fire opal in Mexico
– Nevada opal!
– Romans: foresight and prophecies (maybe not the same stone)
– Protect against diseases.

Quartz part II

Varieties of Quartz:

Amarillo Stone
Arkansas Candle
Ball Jasper
Blue Lace Agate
Blue Quartz
Botswana Agate
Brecciated Agate
Bull Quartz
Cape May Diamonds
Capped Quartz
Citrine Clear
Lake Diamonds
Cloud Agate
Crazy Lace Agate
Cubic Quartz
Dendritic Agate
Egyptian Jasper
El Doradoite
Enhydro Agate
Eye Agate
Fairburn Agate
Ferruginous Quartz
Fire Agate
Fortification Agate
Fossil Agate
Gwindle Quartz
Hair Amethyst
Hedgehog Stone
Herkimer Diamond
Herradura Diamonds
Iris Agate
Jacinto de Compostela Quartz
Keystonite Chalcedony
Laguna Agate
Lake County Diamonds
Lake Superior Agate
Landscape Agate
Lithium Quartz
Mexican Lace Agate
Milky Quartz
Mocha Stone
Moss Agate
Nipomo Agate
Oil Quartz
Orbicular Jasper
Owyhee Jasper
Petrified Wood
Pigeon Blood Agate
Plume Agate
Prase-malachite Quartzine
Riband Agate
Riband Jasper
Rock Crystal
Rose Quartz
Rutilated Quartz
Sagenite (of Kunz)
Sceptre Quartz
Smoky Quartz
Star Quartz
Vallum Diamond
Wilkite Youngite
variety of Chalcedony which is in turn a variety of Quartz….
A distinctly banded variety of chalcedony
type locals: Dirillo River, Acate, Ragusa Province, Sicily Italy
Name: derived from Achates River in south Sicily

Abakusz-kö Agate-Jasper Blue Lace Agate
Botswana Agate Brecciated Agate Cloud Agate
Crazy Lace Agate Enhydro Agate Eye Agate
Fairburn Agate Fire Agate Fortification Agate
Fossil Agate Haema-ovoid-agates Herbeckite
Iris Agate Laguna Agate Lake Superior Agate
Mexican Lace Agate Mocha Stone Nipomo Agate
Onyx Pigeon Blood Agate Plume Agate
Riband Agate Sardonyx Vogelaugenachat

Chalcedony: “Traditionally defined as a fibrous cryptocrystalline variety of quartz, more recently it has been shown that chalcedony is a mixture of quarts and moganite*, another silica mineral”
*I guess this one gets a post too!
Crystal system: Trigonal
Notes: concentrically banded its agate, layers/bands also called onyx, non banded forms (moss agate) and also its what replaces wood in petrified wood.


Amarillo Stone Amberine Azurchalcedony

Beekite Binghamite Bloodstone


Carnelian Chrome-Chalcedony

Cubosilicite Damsonite

Dendritic Agate**

Diackethyst Keystonite Chalcedony Landscape Agate**

Moss Agate** Myrickite Orbicular Jasper

Petrified Wood

Plasma Quartzine

Sard Seftonite

*Agate varieties are listed above
** not true agates



Empirical Formula: (SiO2)
Synonyms from webmineral:

  • Agate – banded variety of chaledony
  • Amethyst – purple
  • Avanturine – feebly translucent chalcedony
  • Carnelian – flesh red chalcedony
  • Cat’s Eye – chatoyant
  • Chalcedony – microcrystalline quartz
  • Chert – cryptocrystalline quartz
  • Chrysoprase – apple green chalcedony
  • Citrine – yellow
  • Flint – microcrystalline quartz
  • Hornstone – flint
  • Jasper – red or brown chalcedony
  • Moss Agate – variety of chaledony
  • Plasma – green chalcedony
  • Prase – leek green chalcedony
  • Rock Crystal
  • Rose Quartz – rose colored
  • Sapphire Quartz – blue colored
  • Smoky Quartz – brown to black
  • Tiger Eye – pseudomorph of asbestos

Check out that list! Its going to be a long post this one! First the general information and then I am going to pick it apart one at a time and for metaphysical stuff!

Cleavage: {0110} indistinct
Fracture: conchoidal fracture (characterized by smoothly curving surfaces)
luster: vitreous (glassy)
streak: white
Environment: sedimentary, metamorphic, AND igneous rocks!
crystal habit: crystalline (course and fine), druse (Crystal growth in a cavity which results in numerous crystal tipped surfaces)
color: brown, colorless, violet, gray, yellow, rose, green, orange….
crystal system: tiagonal
hardness: 7
optical properties: uniaxial
Quartz notes: Quartz is the most common mineral found on the surface of the Earth. A significant component of many igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks, this natural form of silicon dioxide is found in an impressive range of varieties and colours. There are many names for different varieties.

*what I really want to focus on here is what makes something “quartz” vs “chalcedony” vs “agate” for example, and I am going to make a separate post about varieties, there are just too many of them!


Rocks that I got!

Ok pictures later tonight but I thought I would start writing this up!

Olivine – engagement ring
Olivine – sand
basalt – lots from Hawaii
Redoubt Volcano Ash
my first stab at lapidary
calcite – GIANT cool rock from the mine my S.O. worked at last summer
coral – Hawaii
fossils – Jewelry
Garnet – pentacle ring I have had for 10 years
Moon Stone ( feldspar) – Necklace
various beach and river cobbles
book end
thats all I can see from where I am sitting, I also have a rock collection box in the closet, under the bed, the really nice ones are in a nice box in the bedroom, and several on my desk at school…


Why I am starting with Olivine: Olivine is one of the most abundant mineral in the mantle and its properties make my research possible! Plus its very pretty and that’s what my engagement ring is made of! So here we go!

From Wikipedia: magnesium iron silicate with the formula (Mg,Fe)2SiO4. It is one of the most common minerals on Earth, and has also been identified in meteorites, the Moon, Mars, in the dust of comet Wild 2, and within the core of comet Tempel 1.

Mineral data – most of this is what you use to identify the mineral so… the general public doesn’t really care about most of these but I’ll put them here anyways…

Composition Olivine Group: (Mg,Fe)2SiO4

Forsterite (Fo): Mg2SiO4

Fayalite (Fa): Fe2SiO4
Color: Green! Yellow to yellow green and olive green (Hence the name)
Crystal Habit: massive to granular
Crystal system: Orthorhombic
Cleavage: poor ( {001} good, {010} distinct )
Fracture: Conchoidal – brittle
Hardness: 6.5-7
Luster: vitreous (glassy)
Streak: white
Optical properties: biaxial

Composition notes:

Most olivine exists between Fosterite and Fayalite, and the majority is fosterite rich.

You can also get Manganese (Mn) substituted in and form tephrolite (Te) Mn2SiO4

Uses: a clear gem variety is called peridot. It is also used as a refractory sand to make molds for certain types of casting procedures in foundries and infrequently as an abrasive. It can also be used in CO2 sequestration

Why is it important:

The mantle is dominantly olivine and thus the anisotropic nature of the olivine splits seismic waves and allows for studying the mantle flow patters which is my thesis. Cool huh?

At higher pressures and temperatures olivine is not stable (it also isn’t stable at surface pressures and temperatures)

At around 400km depth in the mantle olivine undergoes a change from an olivine structure to a spinel structure. This causes an increase in seismic velocity called the 410 discontinuity

Olivine is more important to me because well I’m a seismologist and I study the deep mantle. Which I think is the most bad ass thing to study! But that’s just me

Names: Olivine, peridot, chrysolite, Fosterite, fayalite, tephrolite

Energy: receptive
Planet: venus*
Elements: earth
Powers: Protection, health, wealth and sleep
“this stone is used to attract love as well as to calm raging anger. It is also used to sooth nervousness and to dispel all negative emotions. Because it is calming to the nervous system, it is also helpful in promoting a good nights sleep if warn to bed. Use in wealth-attracting spells to increase the odds of attracting more money or assets.”

* now I want to know what Venus is composted of…Basalt is the answer! There is olive then

Peridot associations: Scorpio, Healing and protective. Allows one to understand changes in one’s life, regulates life cycles,

Peridot olivine is the birthstone for August

“Found in meteorites. Completely aligns all the subtle bodies. This helps one receive information from the higher self more easily. Good stone for channeling. Visionary stone – it helps connect us to our destinies and to an understanding of the purpose of existence. Keeps the mind free from envious thoughts and jealousies. A good stone for people who cannot relate to realities beyond the physical world. Aids in manifesting physical work into material abundance. A healing stone working with the heart and solar plexus chakras.

Balances glandular system. Aids tissue regeneration. Has beneficial influence on heart, pancreas, spleen, liver, adrenals. Purifies body. Enhances bloodstream. Overal balancer and tonic for body/mind. Aligns subtle bodies. Increase intuitative awareness. Reduces stress. Stimulates mind. Accelerates personal growth. Opens new doors or opportunity.”

site 4

Chrysolite: A golden yellow variety of peridot. It supposedly can help prevent fever and madness.


Gem quality (the pretty ones):

Hand sample:

Thin section:

In rocks:


To me olivine represents something primitive and deep. The mantle is olivine and the oceans crust is basalt which usually has a fair deep of olivine in it. Basaltic volcanoes like Hawaii’s Kailua also come to mind as well as the deep rich green. If you were looking for a mineral to sum up the whole earth well… this would be one of them! In my mind.

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