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Crystals, Astrology and Magic
This talk is part of my research into the history of birthstones for a Masters Degree in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology.
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Crystal Blessings – Revisited
It is always such a joy when I hear how crystals have changed people’s lives. When Joginder, who runs the Tree of Life in Birmingham, was introducing me last year he told the story of how he’d been in despair, feeling very lonely and finding it impossible to meet a partner who was on the...
Two things came together to nudge me into writing this new year blog. One was looking back at the guest pieces I had written for the Cygnus Review. One in particular struck me and I wanted to see how far I had moved on. That piece had prompted more correspondence from readers than any other – and this was in pre-Facebook days so they actually had to set pen to paper. It struck such a cord that I think it bears repeating although I have redacted some of it as it is no longer relevant to my life. The other stimulus was a workshop participant saying to me, ‘I haven’t seen you for fifteen years and you look exactly the same.’ Really? I don’t feel it! I’ve been soul-scoured and utterly and totally transformed from my old self. After the workshop she came over to say. ‘That was amazing. I won’t leave it so long next time.’ So I guess she experienced a difference too.
My transformation went along with that of the Cygnus Review. The then-editor, wise-woman Ann Napier passed on to other realms (see http://source.cygnusreview.com/author/ann-napier/Cygnus). Her husband Geoff struggled on for awhile trying to keep things as they were. It looked as though it would fold. But gradually a new community-building initiative emerged through the Cygnus cafes where like-minded people can meet up. Recently the Review has been reborn as part of the Watkins Media family. A family to which I am delighted to belong. News of the rebirth of one of my own projects with them will be out soon. More of that in a later blog.
But first, let’s take a look at what I said back in 2005 and what I’ve learned since. Although I didn’t I realise, I was writing about mindfulness long before it became fashionable. I’m using different colour type so that you can distinguish between ‘now’ and ‘then’. I’ll leave the grimmer ‘then’ in black as written – but have moved it into the past tense – and transformed
to hopeful blue for ‘now.’
In 2004 I had an interview for an M.A. course. One of the interviewers asked what I had learned from my life experiences and how I used the understanding that I gained. The other interviewer laughed and said: “You obviously haven’t read Judy’s books, she teaches from experience.”
That conversation with the MA tutor came back to me when I was asked to write ‘a letter from the heart’ in 2005 for Cygnus. At the time, my heart was battered and bruised, a 19 year ‘soulmate’ relationship having ended painfully as those relationships often do, and I was in the process of healing. Not for the first time, I was in a place where so many people find themselves – and I use that phrase deliberately, this was where I was rediscovering me. As I felt that was the place I was meant to be at that moment in time, and I knew that other people found themselves there too, I wanted to share being with what is.
Insight 1: It’s ok not to be ok.
When I look back now at that whole ‘soulmate’ experience, one thing has become very clear to me. Apart from teaching me the many ways in which our souls become tied together, and how we can release, it was part of my discerning what love actually is – and what it is not:
Nor, I would add, being needed with being loved.
I have since found many reasons to be grateful for those 19 years and what I learned during them. Out of the experience came my book ‘The Soulmate Myth: a dream come true or your worst nightmare?’ A rebirth of an earlier, much less wise book. I realised that what I was really seeking was a twinflame: a soulmate without the karma or soul lessons attached. But a twinflame rarely comes along until all the soul learning has taken place. Nevertheless you can be ok as you are until it does. And, as I’d learned in 2005, if you’re not OK that’s OK too. What came out of the whole experience was that I discovered how true these words by another Judy, Judy Garland, are. My life has been radically different since then:
Over the previous two difficult years, I’d been immensely grateful for three wonderful gifts: friendship, laughter and astrology without which I could not have stayed sane. Friendship and laughter go together, of course. Laughing with a friend at the absurdity of what was happening, and at how inept the lies were, took me out of the fear and confusion that, I felt, were being deliberately created around me. Phone a friend took on a whole new meaning.
Insight 2: Reach out for support, you don’t have to do it alone.
Still so true! So this is the moment to say a deep and heartfelt thank you to all my true friends for being there, for accepting me as me and loving me as I was regardless of how deep the pit became – and how often I fell back in again. It was with your help and understanding that I stayed there long enough to find the real me and eventually emerged into a reborn self. Still some work to do, but with your support I’m getting there. And to all the friends who turned out to be ‘freemies’ – apparent friends who criticised and carped and tried to mould me into another shape, the one they thought I ought to be, or wanted me to remain wounded so that they could feel superior, thank you too for showing me who I was not.
I’m psychic. I know when things are not as they appear. But for over a year I foolishly allowed myself to be persuaded that the problems were … all in my imagination. Eventually, it became clear that these were horribly real. It highlighted a problem I’ve seen all too often in ‘the New Age’, we’ve turned to therapists, gurus and ‘those who know’ to tell us how it is rather than trusting our own perception of reality. Something that the wider public has also done in trusting the politicians who took us to war on false pretences and, for the most part, against our wishes. So, one of the blessings I’ve received is that I fully trust my intuition again.
Insight 3: Know that you know.
I’ve pondered long and hard about leaving that one in, and I’ve deleted some of it, as I’ve worked hard to let it go and I realised when I read this just how far into the distance it had receded, but it was true then and it’s relevant now. It really did teach me to trust myself.
I’ve used astrology for over thirty years, but never had I been I so thankful for it as during my [then] recent second Saturn Return. Astrologically speaking, this is a period of re-assessment of where your life is going, is it on the right path, is it following your spiritual purpose, is it sustainable? I have to say, mine wasn’t and I’d known it for sometime but had become trapped in believing it was what the universe required of me (an all too common delusion). This Saturn Return happens to everyone around 58-59 years old. In my case, it coincided (although I don’t believe in coincidence) with the great transformer, Pluto, getting together with several planets in my birthchart. Pluto ends what is dead and should be decently buried, providing fertile compost for new growth. It did an excellent job in my case. Knowing what the process was, I was able to cooperate with it and with its innate timing. Friends pushed me to leave but I knew that, when the timing was right, the relationship would end and the karma of grace could come into operation. It worked perfectly. A week after my partner left I sold my first novel (a reworking of my past life experiences) and the Crystal Bible became, and remains, one of the best selling mind-body-spirit books in Britain.
Insight 4:Embrace right timing.
Something I need to remind myself of as Saturn has moved to sit on my Sun and, if you’ve being reading these blogs, you’ll know that’s a difficult transit. I’ve moved from the long dark lunchtime to a still-dark-but-getting-brighter teatime of the soul – well we are now past the winter solstice and the days are getting longer after all. Saturn’s chief job is to assist in integrating lessons and putting them to work so that we transcend our previous boundaries. I’ve certainly grown immensely since then and have many new tools to handle this latest transit with grace and greater ease.
I’ve always loved the idea of the karma of grace. When you have done all you can, you can walk away and you won’t have to go back into the situation in this or any other life. I found this comforting because I did not feel the need to allow my ex-partner the space to make reparation or for me to obtain my revenge (something my birthchart suggests I could easily get into). As I wrote in Hands Across Time, [the precursor to The Soulmate Myth] your soulmate is often a person who has come to help you learn a difficult lesson. I …knew it was about letting go at a very deep level. We had made soul agreements in the past that had to be dissolved. That led me into finding new ways of releasing (which went into my ‘Soulmate or Twinflame?’ workshops) and I was at a point where I can say, and mean: “Thank you for leaving.” My intention was to:
Insight 5: Recollect in tranquillity.
Recollecting in tranquillity. This was something that came up when I recently wrote my crystals to support mindfulness book (it’ll be out soon). I know that being mindful is usually taken to mean staying in the present moment. We don’t need to dwell in the past. But sometimes looking back and reflecting is beneficial to see how far we’ve travelled. As I’m doing now. These things go in cycles and I’ve certainly had to return to letting go time and again, each experience at a deeper level still. Staying centred and digging deep to find the true me. And guess what the new stone named after me does, helps you to stay centred no matter what you’re doing! (You can buy Judy’s Jasper/Eye of the Storm specially charged by me from www.angeladditions.co.uk.) Here’s a taster from my new book:
Serenity is being centred within your own inner peace.
Featured crystal: Eye of the Storm (Judy’s Jasper)
Keywords: Centredness, calm, perspective.
Qualities: Eye of the Storm is a stone of dynamic stillness and emotional peace. It switches off the body’s ‘fight or flight’ mechanism, de-stressing you and placing you in a still, calm space. Acting rather like a life support system, the stone contains raw energy on which to draw. Highlighting that what you focus your mind on is what you’ll see, it stops you obsessing over details. It reminds you that an informed decision or action can only be made by knowing the current picture. If based on yesterday’s forecast, the moment has passed. Eye of the Storm offers you a higher perspective moving above ‘pressure’ (situation around you), ‘wind’ (thoughts), ‘likelihood of precipitation’ (emotion) and so on. You will be shown what has to be let go to achieve serenity. With Eye of the Storm you take the decision, make the move, and cease worrying about how it will work out.
What this crystal brings to mindfulness: Eye of the Storm has an incredible ability to bring calmness into the midst of chaos. It creates a strong central core nothing can shake. It feels like standing in the eye of a hurricane. Pandemonium may be whirling all around you but you objectively assess what is happening and choose how to respond – if at all.
Crystal reflection: Standing in the Eye of the Storm. Savouring tranquillity.
Using this crystal to become centred: Place the crystal, or its picture, over your heart for a few moments. Breathe in slowly saying to yourself, ‘I breathe calm into my heart’. As you breathe out say, ‘Calm remains in my heart and radiates all around me.’ Carrying the stone assists but putting your hand on your heart and quietly saying the words is sufficient when you have absorbed the crystal energy.
One of my most useful tools appeared in a meditation one sleepless night: a ‘virtual alembic’ in next door’s dahlia patch. An alembic is the glass vessel in which alchemists cooked the prima materia, the base materials out of which gold was distilled. Into this virtual alembic I tossed overwhelming feelings, …, everything and anything that was fuel for my transformation was left in the care of Pluto but I checked in from time to time. The alembic expanded and grew ‘arms’ so that I could filter off what was ‘mine’ from what was ‘theirs’. At the time of writing, it was cooking nicely. But that didn’t mean I rejected my pain. I stopped trying to make it go away, realising that it wasn’t there to torture me but rather was a signal that something needed to be acknowledged. With the help of an empathetic therapist, I embraced the dark, sat with it and discovered what it was about, and allowed it to transform in its own time. I kept seeing a glimpse of gold in the alembic depths.
Insight 6: Don’t repress, transform.
The alchemical process really deepened my writing.
But I’m always aware that transformation is an on-going process. I’ve just found a ‘new’ stone that really assists. Well, actually no, that’s no quite true. I’ve had the stone for four years but I’ve only just discovered its deeper purpose. The Cradle of Humankind (which I prefer to call the Cradle of Life). It not only shows you what you still need to transform and let go, but also how much of someone else’s energy you are still holding on to and must release. It’s in my ‘junk DNA or jumping genies’ blog and it’s on www.judyhall.co.uk under the ‘new crystals’ tab. You can buy it from www.angeladditions.co.uk.
I wish I could say faith helped me during this period but the remnants of my childhood notions of God were also stripped away and I was actively renegotiating my relationship with the divine, an exciting process. I knew this was the perfect place for me – and for you too should you find yourself here. If you do, reach out, I’ll be with you.
I discovered myself, through crystals, crystal consciousness, the crystal oversouls and all the beings associated with these wonderful tools for soul evolution and expansion. I rediscovered a deep and strong connection with goddess energy and with Gaia, Mother Earth. Crystals were considered divine in ancient times and I can see why. They take you out through the multi-dimensions of being and dive into your deepest self to discover what has been there all the time. Or should that be for all time and beyond? As above, so below. As without, so below. The old hermetic maximum. We are already divine beings. I met divinity in each and every one of my workshop participants and fellow travellers along the way. Together we can ‘accomplish the miracle of the one thing’. More about that in other blogs as it forms the roots of the birthstone traditions.
Update 1: In April 2006 things were moving on very well indeed. My energy and zest for life had returned. The Pluto transit was almost at an end and I was seeing the positive gifts in all that I had been through. New crystal books had been written and were out at the end of 2006 and early 2007. My alembic was still bubbling but a golden being leapt and bounded around the dahlia patch under the light of the full moon before returning to cook a little more. Watch this space!
Update 2: Eventually the alembic released a golden being who sped across the garden and jumped into my heart. The alchemical marriage. In the years that have followed I’ve lost count of the number of books that have been published – and are still to be published. Many of them drawing on the research material from the M.A. that brought up the self-reflexive question in the first place. The workshops that have spun off have facilitated earth healing and opening higher consciousness, healing the ancestors, contacting star beings, finding our true selves, and so much more as we release our innate potential.
Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter
I’ve learned to have protracted joyous noisy lunches with friends instead of a long dark lunchtime. We’ve even been thrown out of a pub for making too much noise – laughter, shamanic drums and flutes weren’t to the other drinkers’ taste. Their loss not ours.
I’ve learned to say no to being manipulated – and strenuously resisted efforts to turn me into a plastic person to fit a perceived market for my wares. ‘The market’ has already amply demonstrated its readiness to embrace me. I’ve appeared four times on the Watkins Review of the most spiritually influential living authors and that list is mostly based on book sales, and my appearing on the list is the result of the process I’ve been describing. I’ve learned to be authentic, empowered and congruent – although I am still trying to escape from jargon and find the right words for myself!
Served by plastic people. No way! What do they know?
I’ve stayed me and enjoyed the process enormously. I’ve become a great grandmother (the Minion pic is especially for you Charlie-Skye). I won’t pretend that all is absolutely fine with my life, it has its gaps and its up and downs and I freely acknowledge that. But I’ve learned to live with what is – and thank the lovely Margaret Cahill for setting a shining example and introducing me to mindfulness even if my version is a little different to the ‘norm’. But then, what else would you expect?
I’d like to leave you with these thoughts from the inimitable Cat in the Hat, which brings back memories of reading to my beautiful granddaughters, who can stay sad when you have such treasures around you? I’d have added these insights to my list, but this does it so much better:
I wish you a very happy, abundant and above all love-filled 2016. Let’s make this the year we bring peace to ourselves and to our Earth. As I drove to Salisbury to catch the train to my latest dragon workshop, a torrent of rain hit the car, then a blinding shaft of sunlight lit up the road, and I looked up to see a rainbow hanging over the soaring spire of the cathedral. It lifted my heart as always. All in the space of a few minutes. So like life!
It’s all a question of balance!
P.S. Having just sent this blog off to the lovely Mark so he could schedule it for New Year, I had an email from the College of Psychic Studies headed ‘Feedback from a very happy student.’ It was the person I’d last seen fifteen years ago. I love serendipitous synchronicity. I’ve included it here in case you are considering coming on a workshop – I have some amazing ones coming up next year including one with Edwin Courtney that will continue the deep earth healing work we did on this particular dragon weekend. Here’s what she said:
Just wanted to say a big thank you with regard to both the Judy Hall lecture and workshop this weekend and it was greatly appreciated and I experienced her work as most helpful, healing and uplifting.
I first worked with Judy on a past life astrology reading 18 years ago and 15 years ago I did some one to one healing work with her at the time of a big life change.
I experienced Judy once more as someone who inspires trust and confidence and is thoroughly knowledgeable about her subject matter, I feel that she can connect with all types of people and her work, although on the face of it appears unorthodox, when explained makes a great sense of all levels of experience. On the workshop she was at all times herself, down to earth approachable funny, intelligent and at all times supportive, She validated everyone’s experiences which varied greatly in the group.
I went on line to see what was available at the College – was relieved that Judy was offering some work and I had the time to attend,
Judy and the workshop has greatly changed my perception of crystals and I ( a former doubting Thomas) experienced first hand their healing powers and gifts,
I was happy to listen and work and above all use the crystals and I will continue using this form of healing in future.
I was blown away using the Celtic white quartz and left the workshop feeling at peace and uplifted and ready to embrace the next chapter of my journey. I am inspired to help others in their healing an curious an grateful, I am inspired to learn more
We all learned from group and it was definitely money and time well spent. Thank you
Links to next year’s workshops will be posted as soon as available on my website.
The amazing Celtic Chevron Quartz is available from www.angeladditions.co.uk email Jeni if you can’t see what you want on the website.
I would be delighted to welcome you to the new members' community section of my website and to have the opportunity of sharing my many passions with you.