lifting rocks

blackbearmagic’s Crystal Hunting Guide

Introduction

Scientific Fact: Witches love crystals almost as much as they love jars. 
Consumerism Fact: In many metaphysical shops, nice-looking crystals can be had for relatively cheap.
Ethical Fact: Many of those crystals are as cheap as they are because they are mined with no consideration for the damage done to the environment or the welfare of the humans collecting them.

So what’s a good, honest, ethically-minded witch to do, especially if he/she/they don’t have the money to afford crystals that were mined sustainably and responsibly, or the time to research which sellers obtain their wares from ethical mines?

Find their own.

I’ve been crystal hunting all my life, but only within the last year have I started doing it seriously. I’ve walked away from a creeking expedition with slabs of smoky quartz the size of my palm or calcite hunks bigger than my fist, and I personally think creek-crystal energy is much more vibrant and easy to work with; by comparison, the crystal points I’ve bought from metaphysical shops feel… inert, lifeless.

So let’s get straight into it!

What You’ll Need

  • a good-sized creek or stream with lots of gravel spits along its length
  • offerings to the spirit of the creek, if appropriate to your personal practice
  • bug spray, sunscreen, snacks, water, and anything else you’d normally bring on a hike
  • your trusty adventurer’s Bag of Holding
  • your sweet self

Now let’s talk details.

When I say “gravel spits”, this is what I’m referring to:

These tumbles of stone are going to be where you’ll find your treasures, and the size of the stones themselves actually tells you what size of crystal you might find: When the conditions are right (ie, during a flood), the water flowing through that portion of the creek is capable of lifting and moving rocks of the size you see there now. 

In my experience, the crystal specimens you’ll find are typically half or one-third the size of the average rock on the spit. They’re usually larger than the smallest rocks, but much smaller than the largest rocks. Not always, though–I have found specimens larger. (See the introduction.)

Regarding offerings, if that’s part of your path, you’ll want to make sure it’s nothing that will harm the local wildlife or damage the ecosystem in any way. My personal go-to is water, ideally water from a bottle I haven’t drunk from yet.

In the same vein as offerings, I’ve had great success in making a sort of bargain with the spirit of the place: That in return for treasures, I will pick up and remove any litter I find in the area. It is, of course, always a good idea to remove any litter you see when you’re out in nature, but it doesn’t hurt to point out to the spirit of the place that it’s something you’re doing for it. Bring along a trash bag to help collect it.

Lastly, with regards to your bag, I would advise something with two shoulder straps. Rocks are heavy.

What You’ll Do

Once you’ve hiked to your creek and found a gravel spit with lots of good-sized rocks, it’s time to start looking. There’s two main approaches I’ve found that work well, and I tend to use both. 

The first is a broad sweep. This one works best if you’ve got good lighting on the rocks. All you do is stand in one spot and sway side to side slightly while looking over the gravel, looking for anything that glints, shines, or otherwise catches the light shining on it. If you see something, investigate it. Repeat.

The second is the more detailed search. Get down on the ground–whether that means kneeling, crouching, laying on your belly, I don’t care–and go over each rock one by one. Use your eyes and use your hands. I imagine this method is probably going to be unpleasant for a lot of you, but honestly, it’s like crack to me.

Once you’ve combed over the current gravel spit as thoroughly as you please, pack up and move on to the next. Continue for as long as you like, or until you feel it’s time to go. Just remember that as far out as you go is how far you’ll have to walk back!

Advice and Warnings

Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back. If you godsforbid go missing, they’ll be able to give the police an idea of where to start searching for your poor, lost ass.

Keep a charged cell phone with you at all times. 

If you see something or someone iffy, do your best avoid it. Sometimes there are creepy people in the woods, and sometimes they do creepy things. Don’t get involved.

Make sure you’re not trespassing on private property. All of the creeks I hike on are on public land. If you’re in a state park or other protected environmental area, don’t go off the trail–you could cause damage to a fragile ecosystem.

Following the creek is a good way to get out and back without losing your way.  Don’t stray too far from it if you’re in unfamiliar territory.

The best times of year to go hunting–assuming Northern Hemisphere, a temperate climate and deciduous forests around the creek–are the spring and summer. In the autumn, you’ll have to clear fallen leaves off of the gravel before you can look, and winter is too cold. 

The best time of day is the morning, when the sun angle is lower and is more likely to glint off of shiny rocks.

You’ll have your best luck the day after heavy rain. Rain will swell the stream and shift the stones around, and could uncover new treasures! 

Inspect anything that looks even remotely worthwhile. You’ll find a lot of duds, sure, but that will help train your brain to tune out what you don’t care about finding.

“What Can I Find?”

Exactly what sort of minerals and crystals you’ll find is highly variable. All minerals are not equally distributed across the planet, because many of them require very different conditions to form and the crust composition varies slightly from place to place. However, there are some stones that are pretty common all over the Earth, so no matter where you go hunting, you’re likely to find them.

Of course, for more specific identifications, please consult the internet, a book on mineralogy, or your local rockhounding club. 

Quartz

The chemical formula of quartz is SiO2, or silicon dioxide. Silicon and oxygen are, by mass, the two most abundant elements in Earth’s crust; around 90% of it is composed of silicate minerals like quartz. Ever find a pretty, sparkly, mostly-clear rock on the ground? It was probably quartz. 

Quartz comes in a mind-boggling array of colors, from smoky quartz so dark it’s practically opaque to purple-and-orange ametrine to the brilliant clear of a Herkimer diamond (yup, not actually diamonds) but all of these varieties are still quartz. In my region of North America, clear and smoky quartz seem to be the most plentiful. 

Calcite

Calcite is calcium carbonate, CaCO3. Like quartz, it is made of some of the Earth’s most abundant crustal elements (in this case, calcium and oxygen) and comes in a stunning array of colors. In my creeks, I’ve found calcite in yellow, orange, white, and even blue and red.

The biggest giveaway for rough calcite is its texture. If you pick up a rock and it feels like someone rubbed wax all over it, you’ve probably got yourself a calcite specimen.

Feldspar

Feldspar is one of the most abundant minerals in the crust, alongside quartz. It’s also a silicate, and it frequently finds its way into other minerals, such as granite. 

What sets feldspar apart from the other two minerals I’ve mentioned here is its fracture habit: It naturally fractures along cleavage planes which intersect at 90-degree angles. It doesn’t shatter–it shears. If you find a rock with a smooth face that looks like a polished stone countertop, it’s probably feldspar.

“But Bear, I Want Crystal Points!”

Oh. Yeah.

You can find those too. 

Every one of those pictures is of quartz points that I have found in my area. (In fact, they’re actually all from the same crystal-hunting hike, and represent only about a third of the specimens I found that day!) As you can see, they aren’t all perfect–and I have plenty of others that are, like, three facets and no point–but they’re all beautiful, and some of them really sing, if you know what I mean. 

Conclusion

Finding your own crystals can be pretty simple, when you get down to it. It can be a lot of fun to get down and dirty, and is a great way to get yourself out in nature for a while. And, of course, you can rest assured that your crystals were gathered in a sustainable, respectful, ethical manner–assuming you took care of yourself and the environment while finding them!

Best of luck! –Bear

Stormlight characters as things people in my school have said and done

Kaladin: on the first day back said “I’ve only been here for five minutes and I already want to die” and continued to state their want for death the rest of the school year
Shallan: was accused of being a kleptomaniac and said “I’m not a klepto! I just…steal stuff. I always give it back!”
Young Dalinar: threw up during science because they were drunk af
Current Dalinar: hosted a multi-cultural show. Let two (basically) weebs preform a (probably) anime dance dressed in animeish grab. Still extremely naive
Szeth: constantly punches lockers and walls. Hands are always bloody
Rock: my friend who I’ve known since grade 1 who I found out in my second year of high school can actually bake and carried my group through a French project to bake a cake. Never brought it up again
Wit: the guy who tried to give a kid five dollars for a ride on his scooter and then almost commissioned me to draw Mona Lisa baked af
Jasnah: has an extensive knowledge of criminals , makes constant jokes and references about them. It’s starting to get a bit scary.
Lift: stands at 5'0 but can down three meals at once
Elhokar: extraordinarily gullible despite having an amazing memory for certain things
Renarin: the one kid with the really soft voice who we’re pretty sure runs the mafia or something
Adolin: unsure of how he’s passing or how he’s actually dating a female

Centaur Boyfriends

I had gotten a ton of requests for both centaur and deertaur, so as I started to write I got in a request for a poly relationship and a was struck by the divine inspiration. I really hope you guys enjoy and keep sending requests!


   You and your mother lived alone in the woods, your home was always warm and cozy and your mother always had something delicious smelling cooking in the cauldron. But for some reason, people hated you. They called your mother a witch and a whore, and more than once when you two had to go to town they threw things at you.

   “Don’t be afraid of them, baby,” your mother said. “They are weak. Do not hate them, for it will make you weak.”

   You grew up wondering why people didn’t like your mother, she was the most wonderful person in the world. She was kind and beautiful, she could sing and do all sorts of amazing things. But no matter how amazing she was, people still hated her.

   At least the centaurs liked you. They came to your home all the time. Your mother fed them and tended to their wounds. She gave them homemade balms and salves. She even tended to their hair. Sometimes she went away with a centaur for a while, but they always came back happier than when they left.

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Happily Ever After // Remus Lupin

 A/N: Don’t ask me what this trash is because I don’t know. I’ve been doing Driver’s Ed shit all week and my brain isn’t functioning properly sorry if this is terrible lmao. I don’t have the energy to edit this either pls don’t hate me 

Originally posted by mrsgarfieldxo

Remus woke with a start. Sharp, loud cries echoed through the dark bedroom. He let out a tired groan as he rubbed at his eyes, moving your arm off of his bare chest. He did his best to gracefully scoot out of the bed without waking you. Your chin slipped off his shoulder and rested softly on the corner of his pillow. A sleepy smile grew on his face as you stirred a little, mumbling his name and smiling in your sleep.

The baby in the crib at the window let out a piercing cry, and Remus winced, glancing at you. You’d woken up, but he didn’t need to know that. You watched him pad the rest of the way over to the white wooden crib after mentally deciding you were still sleeping. He peered down at the baby, smiling gently at her for a couple seconds as he fumbled with a beautiful lavender throw Lily had made for your daughter draped across a rocking chair Remus’ grandfather had built. You watched him through squinted eyes and blurry vision as he lifted your daughter carefully from her crib. He swaddled her in the blanket, hushing her quietly and rocking her in his arms. He smiled softly at her, “Hello, my love. What’s the matter? Oh, sweetheart, stop crying. Nothing to fret over, angel. Daddy’s going to fix you right up.” 

You felt a smile grace your face as you watched Remus. You didn’t think you’d ever seen a more beautiful sight; your whole world standing together, painted in soft, pallid moonlight pouring through the open blinds. You watched Remus leave the room, coming back shortly with a bottle and your now quiet daughter. He took a seat in the rocking chair, lifting the bottle to the baby’s mouth. If she hadn’t been quiet before, she definitely was now. Remus gazed down at her, an expression full of love and adoration for the girl evident on his face. You wanted to giggle at the smile on his face; the ‘stupidly in love’ grin he always gave you. Your daughter finished the bottle up quickly, but still she remained restless. You frowned. A bottle normally put her right back to sleep. You contemplated getting up to give Remus a break, but then he began talking to the child, and as you listened, you decided you wouldn’t dare interrupt this.

“My beautiful little angel,” he whispered, staring down at her. He began to rock slowly. His fingers danced on the baby’s belly for a couple seconds. She laughed and Remus smiled wider. What a beautiful sound it was, her laugh. Your husband spoke again, “I was always a night owl, too. Your mummy though,” he paused to laugh, “well, that woman passes out at seven and doesn’t wake up until noon the next day. But, sometimes, she can’t sleep. It’s normal, darling, don’t worry. When Mummy can’t sleep, I always tell her stories. You want to hear a story, love? I believe you’re a tad too young to count sheep.”

Remus wiggled his fingers on your baby’s belly once more, causing her to let out a little shriek. “I’ll take that as a yes, then, Hope.”

Hope. You’d insisted on naming your daughter that. Not only was it Remus’ mother’s name, but it was exactly what Remus needed when she came around, and it was exactly what she delivered. After James, Lily, and Peter were killed and Sirius was taken to Azkaban, Remus had fallen into a deep hole of depression, and you couldn’t help him out of it. Most of your pregnancy was spent alone, and the stress of it all nearly killed you and Hope both, but you made it through. And when she was born, the twinkle in Remus’ eye return and with each passing day of having his child, he began to smile again and your hope for him to get better, his hope for a future, the hopes you shared for your baby and each other had been restored. That’s what your child was, pure hope.

You were torn from your thoughts as Remus’ silky voice filled the room again and the story began. “Once upon a time, there lived a princess; a beautiful, kind girl with the prettiest, fairest smile and a knack for loving things others thought unlovable. I know what you’re thinking, darling. This already sounds a lot like ‘Beauty and The Beast.’ Perhaps it is, in a way. The princess lived in a glorious castle called Hogwarts where she ruled over her people in the Ravenclaw Tower, a place for the witty ones. The castle was a big place full of magic and wonder. Her loyal knights, Sir James and Sir Remus,” he paused and giggled quietly at himself, “lived in the Gryffindor tower, a place for the bravest of them all. And down deep in the dungeons of Hogwarts lived a slimy little man named Snivellus, a mad sorcerer who wanted to see the downfall of the Princess Y/N and take her throne.”

You forced back a laugh. Serverus Snape was many things, but he was not a mad sorcerer and only got the chance to see your downfall once, before it was quickly taken care of. Remus continued, “One day, Princess Y/N was with her best friend, Hademar the Owl, in Hogwarts’ Owlery writing a note to her parents, who lived far, far away. Sir Remus was off with his mate Sir James, chasing after the fair maiden Lily Evans. Sir James was hooked on her, and always had a new plan to steal Lily’s heart, which almost always involved Sir Remus doing something crazy. And so, the princess was left unprotected by her brave knights giving Slimy Snivellus the perfect chance to use his latest terrible sorcery on her. While the brave knights tried to coax Lily Evans into going on a date to Hogsmeade with the poor, lovestruck, hopeless Sir James, Snivellus sat in a dark corner with his pathetic chemistry set, brewing up a terrible poison. He had the perfect plan to steal Princess Y/N’s crown. He would dip a fresh apple into his nasty concoction and trick the princess into taking a bite, putting her in a deep sleep for the rest of your life.” He laughed a little, “And knowing Princess Y/N, it was a pretty good plan. Her subjects wouldn’t have a hard time believing she’d retired from her princess duties to sleep for the rest of eternity.”  

You could tell Hope was dozing, but Remus didn’t seem to care. He continued his story. “Greasy Ol’ Sniv slithered up the steps to the owlery, a shiny red apple in his hand. Sir Remus was still distracted with Sir James’ shenanigans and was nowhere to stop the villainous creature. Snivellus approached Princess Y/N with a sly, disgustingly menacing smile on his face and offered her the apple. She reached out to take the gift. You see, Princess Y/N was very kind and always believed in second chances. But, as soon as she touched the apple, Sir Remus felt a sick feeling in his stomach. He knew something was wrong. So, he pulled out is magical map and searched for Princess Y/N frantically. Once he found her, he raced to the owlery, wand in hand. What’s going to happen, my love? Hm, Hope? Think Dad- Sir Remus can save the day?”

You shifted slightly, becoming uncomfortable. Remus glanced at you, but you shut your eyes quickly. When you opened them up again, he was finishing up the story. “Just in time, Sir Remus burst through the door and shouted a spell, knocking the poisoned apple out of the princess’ hand. She started to shout at Sir Remus, not letting him explain his side of the story before resorting to screaming, as usual.” You tried not to snort at that little comment. Remus just put on a stupid smirk and kept story-telling, “Sir James was right behind Sir Remus, sweet Lily hot on his trail. He put magical, unreakable handcuffs on greasy, slimy, disgusting Snivellus. Lily gave him a victorious kiss and Sir James nearly went into cardiac arrest. As for the princess, she’d stopped yelling and allowed Sir Remus some speaking time. He finished his explanation of why he’d saved her ungrateful, shouting life with a brave smile and the princess’ heart thumped out of her chest – her very nice chest. She jumped for joy and thanked Sir Remus a million hundred times. She gave him lots of thank you kisses, and thank you other things, and eventually told Sir Remus that she was in love with him. Yeah, she was so whipped, Hope. After begging a million times, the princess finally convinced Sir Remus to marry her. As for Sir James and the fair maiden Lily Evans, they had a big beautiful wedding and loved each other until the very end…and still do. The Hogwarts castle was a peace with its new Prince and Princess and Daddy and Mummy lived happily ever after.”

Remus kissed the top of Hope’s head. He stood up and placed the sleeping baby back in her crib carefully with a whisper, “The End. Goodnight, my love. Daddy loves you so much, Hope.”

With a yawn, he sleepily walked back to the bed, laying down carefully beside you. You pursed your lips and shuffled around, coming to lay on his chest after he’d burrowed back into the blankets. You smiled, “Princess Y/N, huh?”

Remus let out a loud groan before pushing your giggling figure off his chest, rolling over on his side and hiding his crimson cheeks. You laughed, placing a soft kiss on his cheek and wrapping your arms and legs around him, “Goodnight, my brave prince.”

I already talked about it in the tags of another post, but I think it deserves a post of its own.

I just really love this shot of the floating rocks in the Last Jedi teaser.

In all of Star Wars so far, the telekinetic Force abilities always seemed very limited. You could only move one object in one direction and in one position. More advanced Force users could lift bigger objects faster and without much strain, but that’s about it.

It seemed a lot less like a skill and more like a muscle. A muscle can be grown so it could lift bigger objects faster and easier. But a skill needs to be honed, to be made more precise, to give the user better control and more options.

The way Rey lifts the rocks in this shot it seems a lot more like a skill (or more accurately, a lack of skill). The rocks are flying all over the place, spinning around, and moving in different directions. She can’t control just one, let alone all of them. And she can’t take them very far.

This approach gives the force a much more interesting flavour than previous depictions. The Force is shown not just as something that can be grown stronger and better, but also something that can be controlled and untilized and be in tune with. Which I think is what the Force was supposed to be all along.

Also, it just looks cooler.

Ptygmatic folds

We are all familiar with the shape of squished and baked rocks, that occur at every scale from the centimetre up to the hundreds of kilometres, illustrating the fractal nature of geological processes. When a single layer of harder rocks (called more competent by geologists) is squished amongst softer ones, the latter often get melded into each other, and don’t reveal clearly what happened to them during their metamorphism, information vital for the understanding of the tectonics of a region and such processes as mountain building. Enough data points like these folds in a calcite vein eliminates local variations and allows an assessment of the pressures and forces that shaped a region.

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Another shot from the climbing gym, last session both my boyfriend and I had a lot of fun working on some new boulders!
Can’t wait to get back on some real rocks.
May 28, 2017

Going to the Movies

Summary:  Reader and Dean go out to the movies.

Characters: Dean x Reader

Word Count: 1553

Warnings: SMUT (oral male receiving, fingering, unprotected sex), fluff

A/Nt:  This is for @thing-you-do-with-that-thing Kari’s Favorite Things Challenge.  Congratulations Kari!  My prompt was “Going to the movies” and I chose Dean, obviously.  This is unbetaed so all errors are mine alone.

Originally posted by yofidfids

 

You walk into the bunker library to find Dean sitting in front of his laptop with a huge smile on his face.

“What’s up babe?”

“Look what I found,” he says, turning his laptop toward you.

You look at the screen; it’s a website for a drive-in movie theater a few towns over.  You grin back at him.  “I have a feeling were taking a drive tonight.”

“Y/N I’ve always wanted to go to a drive-in.  Sitting in Baby watching a movie with you sounds like a perfect night to me.”

He pulls you into his lap kissing your back.

“What do you say?  Can I take you to the movies?”

“Of course,” you say leaning sideways to look at him.

He dips you down, his lips trailing up your throat before he captures your mouth with his.  Your hand grips the back of his neck and his free arm pulls you closer as the kiss deepens.   You break away to catch your breath.  “What’s showing?”

“Who cares?”

You laugh.  “Ok, well when do we need to leave?”

“It’s a two hour drive, if we’re on the road in a half hour we could make the nine o’clock show.”

“I’ll get ready,” you jump off of his lap and dash to your room.

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The Last Jedi - A Hypothetical Breakdown

The below is a ridiculously elaborate breakdown of the hypothetical plot of The Last Jedi. I basically set myself the challenge of incorporating all of the known leaks, rumours and spoilers into a coherent plot that made sense for the characters we last saw in The Force Awakens. In other words, it is essentially informed fanfiction that should not in any way be treated as a full synopsis for the actual plot of the film. Nonetheless, I don’t think you should read on if you are nervous about spoilers, since while most of this comes from my imagination there are elements (particularly the locations and the basics of which characters are where) that are based on reliable spoilers for the film. In other words, proceed with caution!

I had lots of fun doing this, and found it very enjoyable to come up with my own version of what The Last Jedi might be. I hope you enjoy it too! I get lots of asks requesting my predictions for how I think the plot might go, so this is basically my ultimate response to that curiosity. Naturally, I’ll adjust and update this as new information comes out and my understanding of the story develops.

Do let me know your thoughts, and let me know if you’re inspired to have a stab at your own breakdown after reading this! I’d love to read other people’s takes.

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Lift descending into the throat of an inactive Icelandic volcano - magma drained back and left an open chamber with hydrothermally altered walls.