I'm making some changes in my shop. First, the sale announcement.
Everything in my shop (excluding medicine bundles and dream catchers) is 50% off. Yes, everything...every stone, every vignette, piece of jewelry, prosperity kit and palm stone. There are no restrictions other than needing to commit to $20.00 before applying the discount, which means you just have to spend at least $10.00, but their are no restrictions as to how much you spend! The coupon code is backtomyroots50 and can be entered in at the checkout.
I love gemstones and crystals with passion. When I first focused on my Etsy shop last year, I thought I'd offer a few stones in addition to Altar Vignettes and other handmade items. I was surprised by the immediate interest in the stones and excitedly began to increase my inventory. I am not much of a bulk buyer so it was fun to offer pieces from my own collection as well as many pieces I mined myself, old stock (pre-1970's) and many hand chosen pieces from various suppliers and friends I've been lucky to meet over the years.
The crystal and gemstone community is growing by the minute and while this is wonderful, there are many of us who are starting to feel uncomfortable about the amount of material being removed from the earth and of course, how it is removed. Some people are not as concerned with the methods, but more the idea that we are pulling out medicine that may be better saved for the earth herself. I agree, but am more in the "I don't like the methods" camp.
Before I go any further, please know, I am not condemning the use of stones. I love stones and want them in as many hands as possible. However, as a business woman, I'm having some problems. Mining gemstones is dirty work and in many cases it involves child labor. In recent years, Brazil has made changes and taken steps to eliminate child labor and pay miners a livable wage. This is very recent. Up until 5 years ago children were regularly hurt in mines, either through collapsing rock walls, inhalation of chemicals used to clean stones and in explosions.
I reconciled this with trying to source stones from hand dug pockets and making better choices about locations...for example, Jade mined in Canada is limited to certain months of the year and miners must take steps to preserve the surrounding Eco-system, whereas jade mined in Thailand has fewer regulations and rumored child labor.
I've paid more for my stones than many sellers and this has always been OK. It is part of doing business, however, as gemstones become more popular, I'm seeing trends that make me uncomfortable. I see many stones being marketed as rare when they are not, and I see disturbingly low prices as well as shamefully high ones.
I realized I was going to need to make some changes. I figured I'd gradually eliminate any purchases of stones that are not hand dug and from countries with sound practices. However, this is expensive and in the world of one dollar stones, It would be hard to sell stones at the prices I would need to if I wanted to make a full time living. I looked around and saw that there are plenty of sellers selling stones priced higher than average, but after asking some questions, it is clear the prices aren't high because they are ethically sourced.
I've also grown weary of the idea that "perfect" stones give better healing. This attitude floors me. Yes, specimens perfect in color and formation may be more beautiful aesthetically, but they are not more powerful than their cloudy or even chipped brothers and sisters. Buying for beauty is wonderful and I have no problem with it especially for jewelry, but selling "beauty" as more energetically potent? I have a problem with this. It seems we spend our days receiving messages that physically beautiful people are somehow more dynamic and now we are applying this to our medicine as well?
Don't even get me started on the trademarking of stones either. This makes me insane.
If you have spent any time at all in my shop, you know I almost always have some sort of earth offering listing or if you've ordered, it wouldn't be unusual to find some offering stones or a packet of scattering herbs in your order. I firmly believe in giving back to the earth because we take so much. If you've talked to me about stones, you know I usually encourage people not to hoard their stones and to keep them in circulation if they are not using them. Yes, we all love to collect, but if you have stones on your shelf or in a drawer literally collecting dust, consider giving them to a friend or even a stranger who may need the energy more than you do.
OK, so what does all of this have to do with the price of rhubarb?
Well, I want to get back to my roots; my original intentions when I moved on from paper wallets and into gemstone/altar/art love. I want to focus on my dream catchers, my small batches of bath and body, jewelry with mostly thrifted gemstones and components and to offer gemstones I know for certain are on loan from the earth without harm coming to a child, starving an adult or saturating the earth with more chemicals. I want to offer old stock, hand dug and polished U.S. stones as well as stones from other countries where I have a mine name and source. I may not offer many varieties, but what I will offer will be stones in good conscience.
In order to do this, I need to invest a bit, do some exploring (and of course sharing) and this is why I am offering such a generous discount of the stones I have on hand.
I may not be your go-to for every stone, but I hope to offer special peices and maybe even some of the newly discovered ones from Greenland that are being removed carefully and with reverence. Plus, I have all kinds of exciting mini projects planned for the next year, including rituals and gemstone books all in downloadable form.
Now, this brings me to my next "share". There is a movement starting that I want to invite you to be a part of. Evangeline Summerville of The Lunar Fae makes it easy with her invitation and explanation. The only thing I add is that in my opinion it can be any stone, not just quartz. And, please do two at a time. If someone yanked me out of Brazil and I sat in a warehouse for a few years and then in a bin in a new age store and then in someone's pocket and then in a bowl with a bunch of strangers, I know I'd want to go back to the earth or water with a buddy. Yes, this is what happens when you anthropomorphize stones...it is just me, but I can't help it! So, if you have any stones you can give back to the earth, please try to do it in groups! :)
I also want to thank each and every one of you for your support of my shop this past year. I love this journey and I am not stepping off the train....I am just going to travel on in a direction that feels better to me and hopefully to you as well.
Much love and light,
I wish I could show you...
when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.