Can I pick the expert's brain? What's the difference between larvikite and labradorite?
Which got me into this whole tailspin on minerals versus rocks. What's the big diff? And is one better for spiritual and metaphysical purposes than another?
Keep in mind, I am no geologist. I like to read up on these things, and then boil it down into language that makes sense to me and that I think my clients will be able to understand. So don't expect a college course, expect more of a crash course, from me.
In other words, rocks are made up of combinations of minerals. But minerals are made up of combinations of elements, which are pure substances, or are the pure elements themselves. Both are naturally occuring, but only minerals show consistency. They do this in their chemical composition, their specialized growth structure (the one under the microscope—not the one you can see!), and their physical properties.
I like to say, minerals, especially crystals, are what happens when Momma Earth wants to show off. They express perfection, consistency, and symmetry. Rocks are more like what happens when minerals get all crunched up together.
For example, granite is a rock which contains the mineral quartz. Quartz contains the elements oxygen and silicon.
So the order of purity goes like this:
If earth is the pot and rocks are the stew, minerals are the meat and potatoes inside the stew (and elements are whatever the meat and potatoes contain). Kind of.
Before I knew what minerals were, when I was just a kid, I loved collecting rocks. Every one I picked up was a being to me, was a friend. It had a story to tell, if only I knew the language. Today, I realize that much of what geologists and other scientists (petrologists, mineralologists, etc.) do is read the stories written in the rocks in order to better understand our Mother Earth.
While the purity expressed in minerals, and particularly in crystals, makes them unique, special, and ideal to work with, rocks can have a place in our healing practice as well.
I often talk to my clients about the powerhouse effect, or what happens when you combine certain stones to work with them together, such as in a mojo. Well a rock is a bit like a natural mojo, where minerals come together to form something else with its own identity.
And rocks are making their way into the metaphysical world, maybe even at your own new age market. A perfect example are the two mentioned in my friend's text message. Labradorite is a mineral, where as larvakite is rock (which may contain labradorite or other feldspar minerals). But larvakite is being polished and sold in jewelry and tumbles.
Right now, at the store where I work, we're selling luxullianite (a granite—a rock) as well a Preseli Bluestone, the rock used in Stonehenge.
And you may have already come across something called "mystical merlinite" or indigo gabbro, which are also technically rocks.