The updated White House statement is that roughly 100,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed by Harvey. There is a heartbreaking short video of the damage at the top of the linked page. In this video, a make-shift shelter in Houston was flooded with people in it. A woman talks about how there are fish, tadpoles, and frogs inside the bathroom there. I unfortunately do not have the means to donate money. As the woman in the second linked video requested, I will continue to send prayers. I am aware that many who would like to help just are not able to provide finanical assistance. However, if you have the ability to donate and would like to help, I encourage you to do so. You may donate at the Salvation Army website, to the American Red Cross, or one of several other trusted organizations. There are even charities aiming to help animals in the effected areas.
I don’t claim to be a crystal expert. However, I do love and collect crystals. I have learned some things about shopping for crystals during my years of low-budget collecting. In this I will give advice on the subject.
To start with, you don’t need a lot of money to acquire a few crystals for your spiritual practice. Clear quartz is probably the most generally inexpensive crystal I have found. This is due to its wide availability. I purchased the quartz pictured above for around $1. It is said to be the most versatile crystal as it can be programed for any intention, and it amplifies the energy of the crystals it is paired with. It also comes in many forms with wisps, rainbows, and inclusions adding to each crystal’s uninqueness. It’s no surprise that I have a serious appreciation for clear quartz.
It’s not just the type of crystal (specifically the availability of that type) that affects price. The seller is obviously a major factor. Once must take into consideration that sellers have to cover their costs and make a profit. Thus sellers who are able to get their products at a lower price are likely to be able to sell for a lower price. For example, you may find lower prices if the seller lives near a lot of mines and is friends with the miners (or is himself/herself a miner). Similarily, there is a park maybe half an hour from me with a gem “mining” attraction. I say “mining” because really you purchase a bucket of dirt and pan it at sluice trough. The attraction also allows park visitors to purchase crystals that are displayed inside of the little shop. The shop seems to acquire the crystals at a low cost, and it is able to sell them without adding tax because of it’s status as a local park attraction. The overhead is likely covered by public donation and taxes. Because of these factors, the park store can afford to sell little tumbled stones for a quarter each. Comparatively, those tumbled stones could sell for $4 a piece from a new age shop. Unlike a park-based store, the new age shop owner has to personally cover all the costs and deal with business taxation.
That being said, don’t overlook new age stores. They tend to have a pleasing atmosphere which many enjoy experiencing. I adore being in a good new age shop when I rarely get the opportunity. (There is no such store locally for me.) Another advantage of purchasing from such stores is that employees can recommend crystals based on your intent for them. Sales associates in secular stores are not as likely to be able to pair you with rose quartz for self-love or black tourmaline for spiritual protection. Sales associates in secular stores might consider metaphysical properties to be imaginary. An additional benefit of shopping at a new age store is supporting a fellow witchy person.
Something else to take into consideration when shopping for crystals is that geologically-minded sellers are likely to have more expertise in properly identifying stones. This is because many of these sellers have extensively studied geology and have experience mining (actual mining). There is a store in Blowing Rock, NC called Doc’s Rocks that is ran by a man who has extensive knowledge about rock identification and hosts occassional digs at permitted mining sites. Going to his store and asking him a question can lead to a scientifically educational experience. If you have a pretty good base knowledge of metaphysical properties, you don’t necessarily need recommendations. The sceintific education can enhance your own crystal identification skills.
But he has really been into attacking my feet again lately.
I just carved a protection prayer into a chime candle. The intent is to help those effected by the weather in Texas and Louisiana. I lit the candle, then decided to go to a different room. I knew to take the candle with me for safety sake. As I carried the lit candle across the carpeted house, kitty decided it was the perfect time to attempt a foot attack. Oy. He used to pull the same mess when I was carrying hot coffee. I choose to think he is ignorant of the dangers of hot stuff instead of plotting to destroy me.
Last night was another night I fell asleep watching TV. This time I fell asleep on the couch at home. About 4 in the morning I moved to my bed. I ended up eventually having a rather lucid dream I would categorize at a level 4 or 5. I don’t recall a trigger in the dream, I just knew I was dreaming. I recall an additional sliding glass door appearing in our den. I believe it was in the area our fireplace is. I opened the door and I could see from a bunch of brush a little animal starting to come through the opening at the bottom of the door. It looked like it was going to be a bunny, but it ended up being a puppy. I turned in the other direction and I remember seeing two little dogs there. One was a brown dog resembling a Yorkie. The other was white. The white one was a little smaller than the brown one. I recall petting the dogs. I then opened our main sliding glass door and started walking out into the backyard. I remember feeling the texture of the wood on my hand as I touched the handle of the steps. As I walked out into the yard there was some snow. I took my shoes off so that I could feel the snow under my feet. I remember there was a garbage bag in the backyard that had been torn open with its contents partially fallen out. Around that area I decided to look at my hands because I have heard it said that such is interesting dream experiment. I think I had glanced at my hand and noticed something odd without intent which made me remember that. When I looked at my hands, my right hand I think had five fingers but quickly became pixelated like a censored image on a TV screen. I looked at my left hand and seemingly counted six fingers before it quickly turned pixelated. Around the pixelization was a ring of clarity so that the background still appeared normal. I then decided this would be the time to turn the dream into the one about traveling in ancient Egypt. So I told myself that I wanted to go to ancient Egypt and I wanted the trip to be rather instant. I was transported to the scene and it started to pop up as if it were quickly being put together by stage props on sand. I was in an outdoor market. I didn’t get a good look around yet as I was trying to stabilize image first, but I did notice that there were little items out on blankets or low to the ground on tables. I started to interact with the items to feel the textures. I remember thinking it would be nice to have a raisin because eating in a dream helps to stabilize lucidity. Then a man offered me raisins on a plate. I gratefully took one. Then my side started itching in real life, and I woke up. I was hoping to explore a pyramid. Perhaps I will get to eventually.
I seem to recall a new chain of false awakenings from the dark hours of this morning. I slept in my grandmother’s guest room which I do usually once or twice a week. I went to sleep with the tv on, and at some point I decided to turn it off. In dream I grabbed the remote and pushed the off button again and again with the TV refusing to turn off. I believe I even tried unplugging the tv before realizing I was dreaming. The tv remained on even after unplugged. After I realized I was experiencing false awakenings the dream loop turned realistic enough to blur the lines of wakefulness and sleep. I think it was like I just kept feeling myself reach for the remote (seemingly often with eyes closed), and realizing quickly that I was having another false awakening when the remote didn’t work. I believe I had the thought in dream that I could try turning the experience into a lucid dream as has been recommended, but at that point I just wanted to turn the tv off. I think I was pretty happy when I woke up for real and turned it off. I went back to sleep and seemingly had a short span of lucidity. I might have been lucid when I caused trees on my grandmother’s street to grow more leaves. I think I then tried to fly over water to a lighthouse that appeared across the street. A large wave rose which was a problem since I was flying low. I know people can breathe underwater when in a lucid dream though. I let the water come over me and swam the remaining short distance. Then started climbing lighthouse steps. I seem to have lost lucidity then. Details are not the most vivid in this case.
*Didn’t listen to lucid dream videos this time. No internet at my grandmother’s. A playlist would use far too much data.
For anybody with a new interest in lucid dreaming, one of the first things we learn about are reality checks. These are checks you perform every day to test whether or not you are dreaming. A common one is seeing if you can make your finger etherically go through the palm of your opposite hand. Another is to choose a “dream totem” such as in the movie Inception and to pay attention to how in reacts in waking reality vs a dream. For example, if you can only get a spinning top to spin for up to 10 seconds in real life but notice it will keep spinning until you stop it in a dream. You would spin the top at least once every day to program that routine into yourself and make you more likely to do that check in your dream. I believe I have heard one reality check is to try to fly, but some people have trouble flying in lucid dreams as well. None of these checks really call to me. However, today I thought of one that might work for me.
The idea is to ask myself “Is this weird?” and then analyze my surroundings. I did this reality check once today. I asked the question and looked around the room to see if anything looked unusual. I looked at the tv screen with the weather channel on, and I easily read the words on the bottom of the screen. Seemingly most people cannot read well in dreams. Thus, I decided that I was not dreaming.
I think this could be a very effective reality check because we tend to take weird things for granted in dreams. Your neighbor has a pet giraffe? Of course he does. Your grandmother’s house is ontop of a system of underground tunnels? Of course it is. You are talking to a mermaid? Just a day in the life.
If we program ourselves to ask “Is this weird?” and analyze our surroundings and situation, perhaps we can take advantage of the weird scenerios that occur in dreams to achieve lucidity on a regular basis.
I just woke up from a level 4 lucid dream. It was quite short but not because of getting too excited or a loss of dream stability. Instead my actual nose started itching. My real hand on insinct jerked up to eliminate the itch. That instantly woke me and I spent the next few minutes (while typing the first part of this post) in an allergic sniffle frenzy. Of course.
I became lucid I think after arguing with some biatch for a while. Apparently I had bought the trailer I lived in as a youngin. I was annoyed because it was a 3 bedroom trailer which was being taken over by several other people who thought they had permission to live there. My small childhood bedroom had the walls gone and was turned into a second laundry room. That pissed me off. Then this one dream generated blonde chick who was friends with my brother and sister-in-law starting giving me the stank eye and attitude. I think she even mumbled a threat to cut me. I demanded she get out. I was about ready to Ronda Rousey on her ass. Then after some time in anger mode I realized I was dreaming. I told Bitch Face (what I shall call this character) that this was just a dream. I then proved it to her by changing the color of her arm to like green and blue for a moment and then by going outside and levitating off the ground as I went across the yard. She then became friendly to me. I took off for a path in the woods and she followed behind. There were runners along the path and I remember feeling the fabric of a woman’s top when she bumped into me. I started reaching out to feel my surroundings to keep dream stabilization going. Then of course my itchy nose woke me before I could transport myself to Ancient Egypt or ice skate.
Update: I believe I know what caused lucidity to occur in this dream. Among the other people moving into the trailer were my brother and his wife. I recall thinking essentially “What the heck are they doing moving in this little trailer with all these people? He makes plenty of money for their own place.”
Last night a played a lucid dreaming podcast while waiting to go to sleep. Perhaps the podcast ending before I was asleep could have contributed to a lack of lucidity even with a couple of alarms set to momentarily wake me in hopes of aiding lucidity. The self-made recording I played the other night also ended before sleep. This makes me wonder if this altered MILD method works best if you hear some of it while sleeping. Even though I didn’t reach lucidity, I did ice skate in the dream. Perhaps our favorite dream activities can be programmed into our subconscious to occur even without lucidity.