Anyone with an interest in stones has probably encountered the lovely Moonstone. It has undeniable appeal, especially for its lunar associations. Moonstone has many wonderful metaphysical properties and its appearance alone inspires tenderness and a soft, loving quality. It brings soothing security and comfort and can be used to promote inner peace. But its mundane aspects deserve consideration as well, and can enhance appreciation of the stone.
When working with a stone, it is useful to know something about its scientific nature: what it's made of, where it's found, how it's formed. Our Mother Earth has many facets to explore and we begin by understanding—this involves studying an object's properties on many different levels.
Moonstone is a variety of orthoclase feldspar called Adularia, named for a locality in the Adula Mountains in Switzerland. The word Orthoclase is of Greek origin: orthos meaning "upright" and klasis meaning "fracture" describing the nature of the stone. Moonstone's soft-looking, pearly sheen, referred to as Adularescence, is caused by light reflecting internally due to thin layer inclusions. The stones can be colorless, white or ivory, slivery-gray or bluish in color. Some specimens have a "layered" appearance while others are translucent, but all will have the distinguishing luster that gives the stone its common name. Some will even have rainbow effects.
The feldspar group is very important. Not a single mineral, but a group of common, rock-forming minerals that all contain aluminum, silicon, and oxygen with varying proportions of potassium, sodium, and calcium. They are the most abundant constituents of rocks, making up about 60 percent of the total weight of the Earth's crust. Orthoclase is part of the potassium group. Pure feldspar is used in the making of porcelain and as a mild abrasive.
Consider this: Oxygen and silicon are the most abundant elements in the Earth's crust. Silicon plays the same central role as carbon does in the organic world—its compounds make up about 87 percent of the rock and soil. This makes Moonstone a very "earthy" gem.
One of the alternative birthstones for the month of June and associated with the astrological signs of Cancer, Libra, and Scorpio, Moonstone is also linked with all the water-signs as it is a stone of comfort and representative of the Goddess. It is associated with lunar energy and is a great stone for women, especially useful for feminine cycles, and is useful for all rhythms of the body. It enhances flexibility and flow in life, easing stress and anxiety for both men and women and it has a balancing effect, especially on emotions and female hormones. Women may find moonstone helpful during the menstrual cycle, especially to ease discomfort and promote regulation. It can be carried, worn, or placed in the pillowcase while sleeping. Men find it useful in connecting with the emotional side of their personality. It is a stone of feeling, especially love.
Moonstone is reputed to be the "traveler's stone" and may be carried to bring good fortune. I always carry one in my pocket while traveling or wear one as a pendant. It's also good for stimulating "new beginnings" and for hoping, wishing—to determine one's needs instead of wants. It may also be used for the heart and sacral charkas, and to strengthen confidence and composure. In addition, Moonstone is lovely in jewelry, particularly when paired with silver. It's also a perfect compliment to Full Moon rituals. Surround a candle with a ring of moonstones. Put them in your bath or set them on the edge of the tub. Charge them with moonlight on the night of the full moon.
Moonstone should be relatively easy to find, I have ordered specimens by mail and have found them in a variety of metaphysical and craft stores—particularly nature shops. I found a large bag of them marketed as an educational tool for children for just a few dollars at a local campground. Often state and national park gift shops will have bins of tumbled stones where you can choose your own and pay a price per bag; many times there are moonstones in these collections. Use care when handling and storing Moonstone; it is slightly harder than glass but not as hard as quartz and can be easily scratched.
Whether you follow a path of nature spirituality or simply have a passion for lovely stones, bringing Moonstone into your life is sure to add a beautiful, magical quality to every aspect on levels both mystical and mundane.
Ember Grant (Missouri) is the author of Magical Candle Crafting, The Book of Crystal Spells, and The Second Book of Crystal Spells. She has been contributing to Llewellyn's annuals series since 2003 and has written articles ...