Still drained, but feeling more like myself.

A LGBTQ-Fest seems to be a good way of kicking off National Pride Month, huh?

Y’know, earlier today, I had this whole mini-speech planned out about how LGBTQ has affected not only my writing, but also my life as a whole. I was even gonna confess this blurb about the time I came out as bisexual to my mother. I wasn’t planning on closing today, but like with most weekends for the past several weeks, I ended up staying anyways.

Anyways, I was talking to some friends about the weird dreams I’ve been having ( and about how the the one about London NOT being safe seems to be coming true…), and Niax brought up a solution–one I can’t believe I’ve overlooked all this time. I needed a good chunk of malachite. If I remember correctly, malachite can be used for remembering dreams, and can help you stay grounded during those weird/trippy/vivid/lucid dreams. They can also help chase away nightmares. I’ll admit, I love going to my local Pride Fest because of the cool vendors and stands they have there. While out, I stopped at one of my favorite shops to get holistic stones, and asked if they had a large chunk of malachite available. I had already bought a bracelet of it from one of the vendors, but I needed a chunk to keep near me while I slept. A helpful clerk brought me over to a display case. They had malachite stones carved and cut into the shape of owls. There was this lovely one I saw that I really wanted…but it was priced at about $90 (USD). I saw one I liked almost as much for only $30, so I went for that one instead. Our bed has a window above it. Owls are one of my spirit animals. Currently, she’s sitting in the window above my bed. Since placing her there, I’ve felt better in general, and my quality of sleep has improved slightly.

Speaking of London…I’m actually quite devastated over the attacks in London. Like I’ve probably said before, I’ve considered it a second home, and if I were ever to give up my US citizenship, it would be one of the first places I would consider moving to (aside from New Zealand and Amsterdam). If I have any readers in London (or in the UK overseas in general), then I beg of you all: please stay safe. Things have been escalating more and more, and I fear the worst. I know the US is full of idiots (hell, there’s one in office right now. Still think it was a good idea to vote?), but I want at least some of you to know that I’m not the only one standing by your side. It’s a shame that only in times of tragedy we all come together like this…but I believe that this will only make, us as the world, stronger, and maybe someday, we can unite…without tragedy acting as the catalyst.

~With London I Stand~

Crystal-Clear Friday (100th Post)

Good evening, everyone.

Today has been a rather…off day, for me. I had yet another dream about a lunatic breaking into my house aiming to kill me for stupid reasons,  and therefore woke up in a rather off mood. I think I might be hitting another minor swing of depression that might be making me feel odd, but then again, I think after a dream like that, anyone would be a little off anyhow.

It didn’t help that I’m worried about things financially, and that my husband came home from work really stressed, and I guess some of that just rubbed off onto me.

There are a lot more stones on my list than I thought, and as I go through the crystal bibles, I always find more I plop onto the list. However, I do have a good number that I’ll put onto here (mainly the most common stones such as Quartz/Obsidian/Jet/etc).

Here are links to where you can buy all three volumes of Judy Hall’s Crystal Bible:

Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3

Before I get to the crystals, here’s an explanation I typed to help myself (and to an extent you guys) remember how the affinities and colors worked:

Precious and semi-precious metals play an important role in all time periods of Keepers of Balance. They may come from the earth or sea themselves, but they all have a role to play, metaphysically speaking. These stones and metals play a big role in detecting and clearing Corruption. They can also aid the forces of the Balance (Light, Darkness), Corruption, Natural Energy, the Core Elements (Fire, Water, Earth, Air), and the Sub Elements (Ice, Metal, Wood, Lightning). Below will be a list of stones and metals that are important to the Keepersverse, as well as an explanation of the metaphysical properties, the significance to the character(s)/story, and their roles in the series.

IMPORTANT: The colors are important in several ways, when it comes to stones and crystals. Colors and how they relate must be listed as well. Also, it is important to note that any stone can be used to foster Corruption, as well as to detect/cleanse it. As with Corruption, all stones also can be used to channel pure Natural Energy.

Quartz:

  • Color: They can come in a variety of colors, with each color and type having their own attributes and benefits:

Clear Quartz:

  • Color: Clear.
  • Affinity: Natural Energy.
  • Clear Quartz is the most powerful healing and energy amplifier on the planet because of its unique helical spiral crystalline form. It’s easily found and obtained worldwide. It absorbs, stores, releases, and regulates energy. When acupuncture needles are coated in quartz, the effects increase by 10%.
  • This crystal works at a vibrational level attuned to the specific energy requirements of the person needing healing or undertaking spiritual work (in simpler terms: one size fits all).
  • Containing every color possible, Clear Quartz works on all levels of being.
  • Clear Quartz is like a “natural computer”. They are considered “spiritual libraries” just waiting to be accessed.
  • Because of Clear Quartz’s ability to store metaphysical info, it was highly valued by the Seeker branch of the Keeper Order. They would use it to dowse and gather metaphysical information (i.e. Leyline placement/Leyline health/energy condition/types of energy/etc).

Blue Quartz:

  • Color: Different shades of solid and translucent blue.
  • Affinity: Wind/Water/Ice
  • This stone assists in reaching out to others and assuages fear.
  • Calms the mind. Instills mental clarity and self-discipline.
  • Assists in understanding your spiritual nature.
  • Inspires hope. Fires creativity. Helps with change.

Golden Healer Quartz:

  • Color: Transparent yellow (naturally coated); Translucent gold ( double terminated).
  • Affinity: Fire/Lightning
  • Aids in spiritual communication over a long distance—including between worlds…or realms.

Rose Quartz:

  • Color: Pink.
  • Affinity: Natural Energy (mostly healing)
  • The stone of unconditional love and infinite peace. Teaches the true essence of love. Brings deep inner healing and self-love.
  • Due to its calming, reassuring nature, it is excellent for use in trauma or crisis recovery. It was a well-known “calling card” for the Keepers to leave pieces of Rose Quartz with the people they helped in order to help them recover after the crisis that occurred, and to inspire hope for the future.
  • In the Keeper Order, giving someone a piece of Rose Quartz was a sign of affection, adoration, and even a declaration of love (the bigger the piece that was gifted, the stronger the emotion felt). Wearing matching pieces of Rose Quartz—or waring pieces that were cut from the same stone—indicates a strong relationship that was likely to transcend lifetimes.

Smoky Quartz:

  • Color: Brownish to blackish hue—sometimes yellowish.
  • Affinity: Natural Energy
  • Smoky Quartz is one of the most efficient grounding and anchoring stones, and at the same time, it raises vibrations during meditation.
  • Has a strong link with the earth and base chakras (Root, Sacral, and Solar Plexus).
  • Very protective. Relieves fear, stress, depression, and brings emotional calmness. Fortifies resolve. Alleviates suicidal tendencies.
  • Teaches how to move on.
  • Aids in accepting the physical body and the sexual nature, enhancing virility and cleanses the base chakras, allowing for more passion to flow freely.
  • Alleviates nightmares and manifests your dreams.
  • When it comes into contact with negative emotions/energy, it gently dissolves them.
  • Promotes positive, pragmatic thought. Can be used in scrying to give clear insight and to neutralize fear of failure.
  • Dissolves contradictions, promotes concentration, and alleviates communication difficulties.
  • Facilitates moving between alpha and beta states of the mind and aids in clearing the mind for meditation.

Obsidian:

  • Color: Brown, black, blue, green, rainbow, red-black, silver, gold-sheen
  • Affinity: Darkness
  • Obsidian is a stone with no boundaries or limitations. As a result, it works extremely fast and with great power.
  • Its truth-enhancing, reflecting qualities are merciless in exposing flaws, weaknesses, and blockages.
  • Impels us to grow and lends solid support while we do so.
  • Best used underneath the guidance of a qualified therapist/experienced stone-user, as it can bring negative emotions and unpleasant truths rushing to the surface. Needs careful handling.
  • Can facilitate in going back to past lives to identify and heal festering emotions or trauma that has carried forward to the present.
  • A very protective stone. Can form a shield against negativity. Absorbs negative energies from the environment.
  • It can block physic attacks.
  • Efficient in getting to the root of problems and mops up energies as a result.
  • Vitalizes soul purpose. It eliminates energy blockages and relieves tension. Anchors the spirit into the body.
  • Brings clarity of the mind and clears confusion and constricting beliefs. Reveals the source of the stress and confusion. Once revealed, Obsidian expands consciousness, helps relieve unease, and increases confidence when delving into the realm of the unknow (physically and metaphysically speaking).
  • Helps you know who/what you truly are; a “stone of self-discovery”. It brings you to face with you “shadows”, and teaches you how to accept and integrate it.

Black Obsidian:

  • Color: Reflective deep black
  • Affinity: Darkness
  • A very powerful and creative stone. Grounds the soul and spiritual forces into the physical plane, bringing them under the direction of the conscious will, making it possible to manifest spiritual energies on earth.
  • Encourages and enhances self-control.
  • Magnifies all negative energies so that they can be fully experienced and released.
  • Healing from the Black Obsidian can reach back to past lives and can work on familial/ancestral lives. Black Obsidian composts the past to make fertile energy growth of the soul.
  • Very protective. Repels negative energy (Corruption), and disperses unloving thoughts. Facilitates the release of old loves and provides support during change.
  • Balls of this stone are powerful meditation and scrying aids, but should be used only by those who can consciously process what they see, and use it for the highest good of all.
  • Use with Clear Quartz to ground and articulate what is revealed.

Blue Obsidian:

  • Color: Dark blue
  • Affinity: Water/Ice/Air/Darkness
  • Aids in astral travel, facilitates divination, and enhances telepathy.
  • Supports communication skills.

Gold-Sheen Obsidian:

  • Color: Shining gold against black
  • Affinity: Lightning/Fire/Darkness
  • Very useful for scrying.
  • Takes you into the future and past—deep into the core of the problem.
  • Eliminates any sense of futility or ego comfort. Releasing ego involvement, it imparts knowledge of spiritual direction.
  • Balances energy fields (and the Leylines)

Mahogany Obsidian:

  • Color: Dark brown with a black backing
  • Affinity: Wood/Earth/Darkness
  • Has a gentler energy than Black Obsidian.
  • Resonates energy with the earth and trees.
  • Grounds and protects, gives strength in times of need, vitalizes purpose, eliminates energy blockages, and stimulates weak auras.

Rainbow Obsidian:

  • Color: All colors of the rainbow against a stark black backing
  • Affinity: Natural Energy
  • One of the gentler Obsidians, but also is one of the most protective.
  • Cuts the chords of old love(s) and gently releases hooks that others have left in the heart,

Red-Black Obsidian:

  • Color: Dark red mixed/streaked/swirled in black
  • Affinity: Fire/Darkness
  • Raises the vital force lying dormant within one’s self until activated by the practice of yoga; which leads one towards spiritual power and eventual salvation (kundalini).
  • Promotes vitality and brotherhood.

Silver-Sheen Obsidian:

  • Color: Bright silver against black
  • Affinity: Light/Darkness
  • Enhances meditation and is the perfect crystal for crystal gazing.
  • Very helpful when journeying out of the body.

Apache Tear Obsidian:

  • Color: Black
  • Affinity: Darkness
  • Is often small, smooth, and water-worn; found mostly in the United States.
  • Much gentler than regular Obsidian.
  • Excellent for absorbing negative energy and for protecting the will and metaphysical energy.
  • Comforts grief, provides insight into the source of distress, and relieves long-held grievances.
  • Stimulates analytical capabilities and promotes forgiveness. Removes self-limitations and increases spontaneity.

Snowflake Obsidian:

  • Color: Black with white flecks
  • Affinity: Light/Darkness
  • Often placed on the second (Sacral) chakra.
  • Calms and soothes, putting you in the right frame of mind to be receptive before bringing to your attention ingrained patterns of behavior. Teaches you to value mistakes as well as successes.
  • Stone of purity and balance, provides balance to all aspects of the body (mind, body, will).
  • Helps to recognize and realize “wrong thinking” and stressful mental patterns.
  • With the aid of Snowflake Obsidian, isolation and loneliness become empowering.
  • Helps with meditation.
  • Can be used as/in an elixir.

Fire Obsidian:

  • Color: Black with scintillating fire-colored flashes
  • Affinity: Fire/Darkness
  • Helps you hone your soul to its brilliant best.
  • Absorbs and transforms darkness within itself.
  • Known for its grounding, protective, releasing, and penetrating metaphysical qualities.
  • Has high spiritual vibration. Draws metaphysical energies to you and fires up the transformation process for your spiritual being.

Spider Web Obsidian:

  • Color: Black with white “webbing”
  • Affinity: Light/Darkness
  • Recognize patterns that hold you in the past, the controls you put in place, and how you manipulate yourself and others to protect the “status quo”. Symbolizes the web that you wove in order to survive.
  • Helps to break all the patterns of the past, strips you bare, and helps you realize the true beauty of the heart and soul.
  • Brings your innermost designs to light; creates a web of light that supports what you desire.
  • Gives strength in times of need.
  • Alleviates dark moods.

Jet:

  • Color: Black
  • Affinity: Darkness/Wood
  • Coal-like—usually polished and small. Very common. Found worldwide. Formed from fossilized wood, despite looking more like coal. Very lightweight, very soft.
  • Guards against violence and illness. Provides protection during spiritual journeys.
  • Has been used as a talisman since the Stone Age. Used in the olden times to protect from “entities of darkness”. It is said that those who are attracted to this stone are “old souls”, who have a long experience of being incarnated on the earth.
  • Can be used to open psychic experiences and to assist the quest for spiritual enlightenment.
  • Psychologically, Jet promotes taking control of life. It balances mood swings and alleviates depression, bringing stability and balance.
  • Jet should be set in silver.

Bloodstone:

  • Color: Red-green
  • Affinity: Natural Energy
  • Basically a green Quartz flecked with red or yellow jasper. Often a medium-sized, tumbled stone.
  • An excellent blood cleanser and powerful healer.
  • Believed to have mystical and magical properties, controlling the weather and conferring the ability to banish evil and negativity, and to direct spiritual energies.
  • Heightens intuition and increases creativity.
  • An excellent grounding and protecting stone. Keeps out undesirable influences. It stimulates dreaming and is a powerful revitalizer.
  • Gives courage and teaches how to avoid dangerous situations by strategic withdrawal and flexibility. Encourages selflessness and idealism and aids the recognition that chaos precedes transformation. Assists you in acting in the present moment.
  • Calms the mind, dispels confusion, and enhances the decision-making process. It can revitalize the mind if you are mentally exhausted. This stone assists in adjusting to unaccustomed circumstances.
  • Helps in grounding the heart energy. Reduces irritability, aggressiveness, and impatience.
  • Assists in bringing spirituality into everyday life.

Moonstone:

  • Color: White, cream, yellow, blue, green
  • Affinity: Light
  • A “stone of new beginnings”.
  • Strongly connected to the moon and to the intuition.
  • This stone is reflective, and reminds us that, like the moon herself, everything is part of a cycle of change.
  • Its most powerful effect is that of calming the emotions.
  • Moonstone makes conscious the unconscious and promotes intuition and empathy. Encourages lucid dreaming, especially at the time of the full moon.
  • Used to enhance psychic abilities and to develop clairvoyance. Wear as a pendant to encourage acceptance of your psychic gifts.
  • Calms overreactions to situations and to emotional triggers.
  • Has very feminine energies. It balances out the male-female energies, and aids men who want to get in touch with their feminine side. It is the perfect antidote for the excessively macho man or the overly aggressive female.
  • Has receptive and passive energies. Opens the mind to sudden and irrational impulses, serendipity, and synchronicity. Care has to be taken that it does not induce illusions in response to wishful thinking.
  • Soothes emotional instability and stress, and stabilizes the emotions. Improves emotional intelligence. When placed on the solar plexus, it draws out old emotional patterns, to that it can be understood and then dissolved. Provides deep emotional healing.
  • Very helpful in cases of shock and trauma. Can be used to calm and soothe hyperactive children.

Scolecite:

  • Color: Scolecite can come in a few different colors. It can be white, yellow, and even clear. Yellow Scolecites can aid in Lightning-based attacks and energy, often giving it a boost.
  • Affinity: Light
  • Translucent, ribbed crystal. Can be made into a translucent palm stone.
  • It can be found in India and Iceland.
  • It can be easily obtained.
  • Infuses peace into the core of your being, connecting you to the highest (or most powerful) energies in the universe.
  • Assists with lucid dreaming and dream recall.
  • Meditate with it to reach the deeper meaning of significant dreams

You may have noticed that, for most of them, their roles in the story and their significance to some of the characters is missing. That’s mainly because I wanted to get the bulk of the research out of the way for all of the stones before trying to find places to fit them in the story/characters. I will also, at some point, be listing and detailing their uses in the episodes as well.

I still have to cover the Tiger’s Eyes, the Topazes, and the metals as well (my only complaint with the Crystal Bibles is that I can’t find an entry for Rainbow Moonstone).

Next, let’s move on to Haven for a moment. I have an idea as to where to start for the new name for the story. Both of our (lovely) leading ladies, as well as some of the side characters, all have one thing in common (besides for living in the same town): secrets. This is a story about secrets, as much as a story about two women falling in love with one another. It’s about secretes, and feeling safe enough to let others know about your secret. To help myself immerse in the story and characters I long to write, I’ve started coming up with just random scenes that may or may not make it into the book. I started a snippet on my phone the other day while I was out (worked on it some more while I was at the eye doctor’s yesterday). A scene that sets up the friendship between Sasha and her long-time friend, Keito (subject to name change), and a scene where our leading ladies, Sasha and Cheryl meet for the first time.

Because of the windstorm on Wednesday, a large portion of Metro Detroit is still without power. They may not have power again until Sunday…meaning we’re probably gonna be swamped this weekend. Not looking forward to it.

I kinda wish I could do more for my 100th post. It is a milestone I’ve been looking forward to since I’ve started this blog. I’m glad I still managed to do something, at least. Although now is a good time for me to thank everyone who has liked my posts, or followed me on here and on Twitter. You guys are awesome, and a good portion of the reason why I’m still writing these blogs. It makes me feel less pent-up, getting down some of my creative endeavors, and even how I feel/think. I may not come off as the best person, but I’m still super grateful for everything I have, and for anyone’s and everyone’s support.

~Arrivederci!~

More Progress (I really suck at naming these posts…)

Happy Moonday, everyone. Just finished with the flat colors for Ep#5’s Bonus Illustration. Might not start on the shading/lighting tonight, but at least I’m about 2/3’s of the way done:

screenshot-22

I need to brush up on my digital coloring skills, but I think I got the job done okay. The most annoying part was the “dream bubble”. Stupid fill bucket.

Also, as an artist, I must rant about one of my LEAST favorite things to color: I fucking hate coloring stones and metals. Especially stones. The base color usually takes me a long time to figure out, and if I’m coloring a stone such as white opal, which has all sorts of flecks of colors inside it, the it usually takes me a while longer to get the details down. Then there’s the shine and shadows, figuring out layer effects and layer opacities and–ugh! It’s just a really grating process. What sucks about this is that I kinda have to figure it out all over again. Yeaaahhh, I completed a reference illustration for the Keeper Necklaces last year, but the file got corrupted and I couldn’t recover it. Three days of work, trial and error, and research all down the shitter. Actually, that’s my next art project. Either that, or Episode #1’s cover art. I need to try to start working on episode covers soon, too.

screenshot-23
Above is a reference sheet I threw together for the white opal and blue quartz Rachael’s necklace has. The tumbled white opal was what I used for a base–the super-polished opal is for the flecks of colors and a reference for how to blend them. I managed to dig up a couple of good images of blue quartz as well. I know I said in the past that I wanted to photograph my own reference images, however, white opal and blue quartz are the stones I actually don’t have physical access to, so until then, I’m forced to pull up Bing (and online stores that sell these gems/stones) and pull the images from there. Plus, with everything to disorganized at home right now, I don’t really have the space/lighting to take my own images.

Anyways, I’ll probably splice some layers together and get ready to do the shading/lighting effects. The line work is far from perfect, but I’m still really fond of it. The thing I’m kinda dreading on working on right now are the Keeper Necklaces. I can’t even find the original concept art page I had for them…and all paper copies of KoB concept art I keep in a large binder in clear plastic sleeves. I even have some art from nearly five years ago. Hopefully it’s just holed up in one of my sketchbooks.

(Also, poking fun at myself here), I hope you guys like the color blue, because I’ve come to notice that a lot of my illustrations have a lot of blue in them. Different shades, usually, but still a lot. I’ll have to come up with a challenge in the next six months or so to help me practice with that.)

I think I’ll alternate between editing Episode #6 and artwork for now. Trying not to burn myself out too much…I try not to let it show, but the cluster-fuck of stress, moving, work, and holidays is starting to get to me on a physical level. Let’s just say that last night, I woke up (around 2-3am) in a cold sweat and wanting to throw up. I made myself stay in bed, and the feeling went away after a while…but it made me doubly exhausted. I tried to sleep in late, but (and I shit you all not), after I laid back down after my 5am alarm, my cat (Annabelle) came up to me and started pawing me. At first, I thought he was trying to get comfortable and lay next to me, but when he wouldn’t stop after a while, I figured he was trying to get me up. Mostly because he wanted food. By Goddess, cats are annoying in the mornings.

Anyways, I realize you all probably have other things to do, so I’m gonna end it here. Gute Nacht, everyone. And bundle up, because baby, it’s cold outside~

~Arrivederci!~