Selenite or Satin Spar?
Today I want to tell you about Selenite – not only because it has a lot of awesome properties but because it is one of the most confused crystal minerals in the metaphysical world! Much of the time, what is commonly called Selenite has been confused with another similar crystal called Satin Spar. Even though they are both a form of gypsum, they crystalize quite differently and that is how they become Selenite or Satin Spar. (By the way, these are not the only two gypsum based crystals – Desert Rose and Gypsum Flower are also part of this family of stones.) Selenite is the more famous of the two names, but these crystals are more difficult to find than Satin Spar. The difference is that Selenite forms in large flat, transparent crystals - often called “plates” or “windows”. They can flake apart rather easily because they have very thin sheets – which is also what makes them much clearer than Satin Spar. Here is what true Selenite looks like:
Satin Spar is the crystal that most people are familiar with, and this is what most of the metaphysical world calls Selenite. While
Selenite is very clear, Satin Spar crystals are more fibrous and much more opaque which makes them great “lamps”, or allows the light to illuminate them if sitting on a light stand. They have a fiber optic property that allows light to pass through them easily, creating a warming glow. Here are some examples of Satin Spar crystals to help you full recognize the difference between Satin Spar and Selenite (above):
Delicate Desert Rose formations, have grains of sand in the gypsum. They can grow in single "roses", or larger clusters. Gypsum Flowers and Desert Roses are similar in shape, but while the Desert Roses look very much like a rose with petals, the Gypsum Flowers are slightly less structured and have a wider variety of shapes and sizes.
Selenite is named after the Greek goddess of the moon, Selene. The Greeks appreciated the beauty of selenite, even making windows with the stone. Gypsum is located throughout the world, but much of it is found in Mexico, Poland, Russia, Greece, Japan, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and the United States.
In Mexico, a well-known mine, called the Naica in Chihuahua, studies Selenite and Satin Spar. This mine is home to a magnificent cavern filled with these white crystals. About 300 meters below the surface, Selenite forms in enormous crystals the size of telephone poles or redwood trees. As well, in the Unites States, Utah is known for its high quality Selenite plates.
Gypsum has been valued since as far back as the Egyptians where it was used for decorative purposes. In Rome, for example, the Santa Sabina church’s large arched windows are made of sheets of selenite. After large amounts of gypsum were found near Paris, France, a material you will know as “Plaster of Paris” was developed. Plaster of Paris is gypsum that has been chemically altered and has the water removed.
(For the remainder of this article I will refer to Gypsum –referring to Selenite and Satin Spar) Gypsum is a must have if you do any energy work or work with crystals at all. These are several reasons for this:
1. These stones have a very high vibration. That means they give us tons of energy, uplifting us and helping us to attain an elevated state. This does not only affect people and animals, but inanimate objects in the vicinity as well, which is a good thing for your nearby crystals!
2. Gypsum can be used to clear away negative/heavy energies from people during healing sessions by running a wand up and down near the body (in the auric layers). It can also be used to clear away any debris other crystals have absorbed. A Selenite or Satin Spar plate can be used to clear and recharge our stones simply by placing them on or nearby the plate.
3. Since this stone is such high vibration, it is helpful when doing meditation, breath work, reiki, yoga and even cord-cutting. Holding a gypsum based crystal on your chest (heart) to breathe deeper and raise your energetic vibration. For Reiki, use a wand initially to clear away negativity from your client’s body, then at the end of the session, place a small stone on each chakra to balance and align as well as give a sense of calmness and happiness to your client before closing your session.
4. Being a stone of protection (especially mental), gypsum helps remove limiting beliefs, and helps the person holding it be honest with themselves.
5. Associated with the crown and third eye chakras, gypsum can be used to assist in finding mental clarity and creating a powerful environment to work with these chakras. Using Gypsum with the Crown, you can wash away impurities of the mind such as heavy thoughts, negative memories and mental blockages. Gypsum has a Divine Feminine energy, encouraging moon-ology. Selene, the moon goddess, loves to wear a crown of the crescent moon itself on her head, and its pure white light lifts us up when we are facing any of life’s darkness. This stone is also connected to the angelic realm, and can assist when working with Angels.
6. In the physical body, it can help relieve insomnia, as well as be especially useful for people who are suffering from chronic illness or erratic emotions. Examples where this stone may be helpful include chronic pain syndrome, chronic fatigue, skin disorders, back or other chronic pain. It assists in restoring balance and helps gain insight as to the root cause of a specific condition. It is thought to guard against epileptic seizures and is an excellent crystal for breastfeeding/nurturing a child.
In terms of care of Gypsum – it energetically cleans and charges itself so there is no need for you to do anything about that. However, since it is a soft stone, you want to take care when handing it. Do your best to keep jewelry pieces in soft bags and away from stones that might cause damage. Since Gypsum is water soluble, if possible avoid having it come in contact with water and other water based liquids. As well, you will want to keep Selenite away from direct sunlight as this may decrease its luster.
As always I hope you find this information useful, and remember, never take this as medical advice – always seek professional assistance when needed. Thanks for reading!