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Environmental efforts

As our business develops we are continually striving to make it as “green” as possible. We are striving towards being as near to zero waste as possible.

Packaging

We continually review our packaging to make sure it is compliant with all the necessary requirements. We make all our product boxes ourselves from card which uses FSC wood pulp sourced from manufacturers whom have made environmental contributions.

The packaging is recyclable and could probably be compostable at home.

To meet the hygiene regulations and ensure some products remain stable (e.g. bath products) we do have to use products that we would like to eliminate e.g. cellophane wrap. Whilst there are “greener” alternatives we have yet to find one which remains stable with soaps and does not degrade slowly.

When we ship items we endeavour to reduce as much packaging as possible but still have to ensure that products arrive with you in as good a condition as possible.

Materials

We endeavour to use as many natural materials as possible and ensure that no animals were used to test the products. However, we are reliant on the information provided by our suppliers and the accreditations they have.

Our wood offcuts get used to make smaller products until they reach a point where they can not safely be used. Then they go into a wood burner to generate heat.

Printed paper gets used to make patterns, templates and guides and the off cuts and waste paper gets shredded to be used as packing or composted to grow our botanicals which go into our products.

We even recycle our sawdust into products and when combined with our waste wax from candlem aking make environmentally sound fire starters.

By choice we do not use materials such a Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) as we aren’t convinced that it is safe in the home and certainly not that safe for us to work with.

Whilst we use a lot of recycled materials in our workshop glass jars, bottles and other containers. Hygiene and food preparations restrict us from using these for products. Therefore, all our products are manufactured and placed in new containers and receptacles.

Where we use our own botanicals (herbs, flowers etc.) we ensure that they are grown as organic as possible without man made pesticides.

Travel

One of our biggest challenges to change is our travel footprint. We attend many events during the year and ravel several hundred miles to an event in a country showground. Sadly the availability of electricity is limited and the ability to charge electric vehicles even more so. At the time of writing there isn’t a commercial vehicle of the size, range and cost to make the transition to electric a viable option. However, we do limit the use of the larger vehicles and use smaller lower carbon footprint vehicles where possible.

Power

One new development for 2021 is that our event power source is now all low voltage battery based. For many years event organisers have prohibited the use of personal power generators (petrol and diesel). The only source of electricity was to use mains power provided by the event organisers at a significant premium. We now have low voltage lights powered by rechargeable batteries. These also let us run our till system, mobile phones etc. We can even charge these from our solar panel!

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Astrophyllite

Astrophyllite rock sample

Astrophyllite Meaning
The meaning of this stones name comes in two parts with the first part astro coming from the Greek word “astron” that means star.
The second part of its name “phyllite”, comes from the Greek word “phyllom” meaning leaf and brilliant.
So together we see the meaning as “star leaf”, as the first people who found it noticed the way it exhibited this type of display within the stone.
astrophyllite typically forms as bladed, radiating stellate aggregates. It is this crystal habit that gives astrophyllite its name, from the Greek words astron meaning “star” and phyllon meaning “leaf”. Its great submetallic gleam and darkness contrast sharply with the light (felsic) matrix the mineral is regularly found within. Astrophyllite is usually opaque to translucent but may be transparent in thin specimens.
Metaphysical properties
This stone is a stone of moving forward quickly on your life journey, and it may assist you to find your true path.
Its vibration may illuminate your true self, the inner you, and make you aware of those things within yourself that you need to take action on.
These are storm element stones, which means they have a strong element of transformation within them.
This stone works within all chakras, as it will connect the eighth chakra, commonly called the soul star chakra with the earth star chakra.

This connection between these two chakras, will activate, stimulate and align the entire chakra system, as white light flows from one end to the other.

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Aquamarine

Aquamarine example stone

This beautiful pale blue-green stone is said by ancient lore to be the treasure of the mermaids! The name Aquamarine is derived from the Latin words: aqua (water) and marina (of the sea).

The Sumerians, Egyptians, Hebrews, and Greeks all admired aquamarine gemstones. Beads were discovered with Egyptian mummies. It was believed that the Hebrew High Priest of the Second Temple wore aquamarine stones engraved with the six tribes of Israel. Two thousand years ago, people in Greece engraved designs into aquamarine stones, turning them into intaglios.

Roman fishermen called the gemstone “water of the sea” and used it as protection whilst at sea and for luck in catching fish. Aquamarine was linked to the apostle St. Thomas, because it “imitated the sea and the air” and the Saint “made long journeys by sea, even to India, to preach salvation.” Identifying a certain jewel with one of the twelve apostles was a common practice at that time who frequently travelled by boat.

The Romans believed that if the figure of a frog were carved on an aquamarine, it served to reconcile enemies and make them friends. Another Roman legend stated that the stone absorbs the atmosphere of young love: “When blessed and worn, it joins in love, and does great things.” Aquamarine was also considered the most appropriate morning gift to give to a bride by her groom following the consummation of their marriage. Roman physicians also used it to treat overeating and bloating.

In Medieval times, the stone was thought to reawaken the love of married couples. It was also believed to render soldiers invincible.

William Langland’s “The Vision Concerning Piers and the Plowman,” from 1377, mentions the aquamarine as an antidote for poison. This antidote was widely known throughout Europe because poisonings amongst royalty was quite frequent. It was not necessary to pulverise the stone, as it was with other gemstones. Simply wearing the stone as a pendant or in a ring was just as effective.

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Apatite

apatite stone image

Apatite is a calcium phosphate and quite a rare tourmaline variety. It is named for the Greek word ‘apatao’, which means to deceive. This is because it is chemical composition almost imitates the chemical composition of many other stones. It comes in many colours and forms, and it is often confused with many other minerals, such as Aquamarine and Fluorite.

The most beautiful Apatite stones are usually teal, yellow, or green in colour. Apatite in teal colour resembles the colour of the sea, which is the most popular among buyers and collectors. It is usually found in Russia, Mexico, Canada, the United States and Brazil.

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Angelite

angelite stone image

Angelite, also known as anhydrite or angel stone, is a glacier blue- or lilac blue-colored soft stone that has a white center and snow-white flecks with occasional brown or rusty inclusions.

A relatively recent discovery in the mineral and gem world, angelite was discovered in 1987 in Peru. The name ahnydrite comes from the Greek anhydras–meaning “without water”–a reference to angelite being a gypsum that has completely lost all hydration, becoming a stone that is “without water.”

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Ametrine

Ametrine stone

Ametrine, also known as trystine or by its trade name as bolivianite, is a naturally occurring variety of quartz. It is a mixture of amethyst and citrine with zones of purple and yellow or orange.

This gem only exists in south eastern Bolivia where it comes from the Ricón del Tigre area. The world’s only commercial source of ametrine is the Anahi mine.

Legend has it that a Spanish conquistador discovered the mine’s location in the 1600s and introduced the gem to Europeans when he presented several specimens to his queen. The mine had been given to him as a dowry when he married a native princess named Anahi. After that, the mine was lost for more than three centuries. Rediscovered in the 1960s, the mine’s ametrine began appearing on the market again during the 1970s. Today the mine, named Anahi for the legendary princess, also produces natural amethyst and citrine.

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Amethyst history and properties

amethyst stone image

Amethyst in history

Amethyst is one of the most famous and prominent quartz crystals because of its beautiful coloration as well as its spiritual and literal meaning.

The name comes from the Greek amethystos a-, “not” methysko “intoxicate”, a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness. The ancient Greeks wore amethyst and carved drinking vessels from it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication.

In Ancient Egypt, Amethyst was known as “Hemag.” It was carved into hearts and worn as amulets by travellers to keep them safe from being taken advantage of or attack and during burial ceremonies with pieces dating as far back as 3000 BCE. An Amethyst Scarab beetle shaped was found in Tutankhamun’s tomb.

The Hebrews called Amethyst “Ahlamah,” which was derived from the Hebrew word, “halam,” which means “to dream.” Still knowns as the “Dream Stone” it is believed that it can help deter nightmares while giving more positive, vivid dreams.

Beads of amethyst were found in Anglo-Saxon graves in England. Medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets as protection in battle in the belief that amethysts heal people and keep them cool-headed.

Anglican bishops wear an episcopal ring often set with an amethyst. In the Catholic religion, Amethyst was used in prayer beads and rosaries. It was known as the Bishop’s Stone because it symbolized ecclesiastical dignity. Today, Bishops still wear it on the second finger of their right hand as it gives clergymen the power of restraint so that they could uphold their vows.

For the Chinese practitioners of Feng Shui, Amethyst can be used to transform lower vibrations into positive ones.

Buddhists believe amethysts to be a sacred stone to Buddha and use prayer beads of amethysts. In ancient times, Amethyst was known as a “Gem of Fire,” because it was thought to hold the energy of fire, which is passionate, creative, and spiritual in nature. In the Eastern world, Amethyst was used in the tree of life, in the gem cities, and in temples of worship. It was also used in offerings and for spiritual practices and meditation.

The colour purple has historically been associated with royalty due to the costly process and expensive nature of making purple dye. As a stone of royalty, it was used in crowns, sceptres, and jewellery by the royal house because it helped leaders with decision-making. One of the oldest surviving crowns with amethyst jewels is the “Iron Crown of Lombardy” from Italy and dates to the early Middle Ages. It is alleged that the crown contains a band of iron from the crucifixion nails of Christ. The golden crown is decorated with 22 gemstones, 7 red garnets, 7 blue sapphires, 4 violet amethysts and 4 gems made of glass.

In 1660, upon the restoration of the monarchy by Charles II of England, Amethyst was used as the centrepiece for the recreated crown jewels.

The Cursed Amethyst also known as the “Blasted Amethyst” is legend of a jewel looted from the Temple of Indra in Kanpur during the Rebellion of 1857. Brought to England by cavalryman Colonel W. Ferris. Soon after returning to England Ferris lost his life’s savings and passed away.  His son inherited the jewel and began having misfortune.   The Colonel’s son gave the jewel to a friend who had admired the gem. Shortly after receiving the jewel this friend committed suicide, willing it back to the previous owner.

In 1890 the Blasted Amethyst fell into the possession of Edward Heron-Allen, a 19th-century author and musician. Yet he soon found himself rattled by a series of disasters. Smitten by the voice of a Lady friend, unaware of its past Edward gave her the jewel. The Lady soon fell ill and lost her voice never to sing again. After learning the gems history, Edward reclaimed the Jewel, vowing to get rid of the Blasted Amethyst for good and tossed the jewel into the Regent’s Canal. However, three months later the stone was returned to him after dredgers found the stone in the canal.

Edward finally decided to lock the jewel away in a bank vault. Encased within seven locked boxes. Instructing the bank to donate the Jewel to the Natural History Museum of London three years after his death and to never let his daughter touch the Blasted Amethyst.

Spiritual

Amethyst is a powerful and protective stone. 

It guards the wearer from all types of harm, transforming negative energy and ill wishes from others.  into love. Amethyst is naturally calming and relieves stress and strain and stabilises the mood, removing irritability, anger, rage etc  but also fear and anxiety.  It can lift the mood by reducing sadness and grief. 

Amethyst activates spiritual awareness, opens intuition and enhances psychic abilities.  It has strong healing and cleansing powers. 

It calms and stimulates the mind, helping you become more focused, enhancing memory and improving motivation.  Hence it encourages sobriety reducing the need for alcohol, drugs.

Amethyst can assist with sleep to relieve insomnia and to remember and understand dreams leading to spiritual wisdom.

Health

It is believed that Amethyst aids hormone production and the metabolism.  It can boost the immune system, reduces pain and strengthens the body to fight major illness. 

Positive thought relieves physical, emotional and psychological pain or stress.  Amethyst eases headaches and releases tension.  It reduces bruising, swellings, injuries, and treats hearing disorders.  Amethyst is related to healing of the lungs and respiratory tract, skin conditions, cellular disorders

Amethyst property
Amethyst property

Amethyst Associations

Chakras – Third Eye Chakra, Crown Chakra

Birthstone – February

Zodiac – Virgo, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces

Planet – Jupiter

Element – Air, Water

Vibration – Number 3

Typical colours – light pink violet through to deep purple

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Amber

Amber stone image

Amber is fossilised tree resin that has been appreciated for its colour and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Much valued from antiquity to the present as a gemstone, amber is made into a variety of decorative objects. Amber is used in jewellery. It has also been used as a healing agent in folk medicine.

The English word amber derives from Arabic and Middle Persian ambar. The word was adopted in Middle English in the 14th century as referring to what is now known as ambergris (ambre gris or “grey amber”), a solid waxy substance derived from the sperm whale.  The two substances (“yellow amber” and “grey amber”) conceivably became associated or confused because they both were found washed up on beaches. Ambergris is less dense than water and floats, whereas amber is too dense to float, though less dense than stone.

The classical names for amber, Latin electrum and Ancient Greek elektron, are connected to a term elektor) meaning “beaming Sun”. The word elektron gave rise to the words electric, electricity, and because of amber’s ability to bear a charge of static electricity.

Amber has long been used in folk medicine for its alleged healing properties. Amber and its extracts have been used for a wide variety of treatments from the time of Hippocrates in ancient Greece through to the Middle Ages and to the early twentieth century. Traditional Chinese medicine still uses amber to “tranquilise the mind”.

The Roman historian, Pliny notes in his Natural History that some people believed amber could help with problems specifically connected to the tonsils, mouth, and throat, as well as mental disorders and bladder problems. Amber was even ground and mixed with rose oil and honey to treat eye and ear infections. Amber contains succinic acid a mild antibiotic which was used in medicines prior to the use of antibiotics.

In ancient China, it was customary to burn amber during large festivities. If amber is heated under the right conditions, oil of amber is produced. Previously this was combined carefully with nitric acid to create “artificial musk”.  When burned, amber does give off a characteristic “pinewood” fragrance.

Stone Age (8,000 BCE) gravesites have contained amulets with spiral patterns, beads, and pendants carved from amber. Amber ornaments have been found in Mycenaean tombs and elsewhere across the Mediterranean.

Amber’s bright, sunshine colours also enhanced this connection. The Ancient Greek historian Nicias believed amber to be congealed droplets of sweat formed on the Earth as The Sun set beneath the waves. Other ancient writers depicted these “droplets” of fossilized sap as the tears of gods or heroes on various quests.

The Vikings carved amber pieces into animal shapes. They believed the amber inherited the strengths of the animals. In Ancient Greek and Roman times, women wore amber fish, frog, and rabbit figurines to ensure fertility. The early Chinese believed the souls of tigers became amber upon their release from this plane.

Ovid, the Roman writer describes the old belief that amber was nothing less than the crystallised tears of Clymene and her daughters whom following the tragic death of her young son had been transformed in their grief to poplar trees. had foolishly lost control of his father’s Helios (the sun god) the sun chariot. To prevent the earth from being scorched by the falling sun, Zeus had felt compelled to strike Phaethon down with one of his thunderbolts. Hence the Greeks called amber ‘electrum’ after their name for the sun (elector)

There is Lithuanian tale about Perkunas (God of Thunder) whom had a beautiful daughter named Jurate.  Jurate lived in an underwater palace completely built of amber in the Baltic Sea. Kastytis a fisherman, used to cast his fishing nets within the forbidden underwater kingdom. Jurate sent her many handmaids to ban Kastytis and stop him from fishing in her kingdom. The fisherman ignored the maids’ warnings and kept on poaching. Jurate was forced to warn him in person. But as soon as she saw him, she fell in love and took the fisherman back to the amber palace with her.

However, Jurate’s father (Perkunas) had already betrothed his daughter to Patrimpas, the God of Water. He was incensed that his daughter had chosen a mortal and destroyed the amber palace with a lightning bolt. Kastytis was killed and Jurate was imprisoned within its ruins for eternity.

Legends say that the amber found on the Baltic Sea coast are fragments of the underwater palace. Many of these small pieces and fragments are tear-shaped and are said to be the tears of grieving Jurate who still cries for her lost lover.

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Amazonite

Amazonite stone image

Amazonite is a bright green and white striped variety of microcline feldspar. Two sources exist for the name; the Amazon River from which green stones were obtained or the fabled female warriors from Greek mythology, the Amazons.

It is doubtful whether green feldspar occurs in the Amazon area. Amazonite is sometimes cut and polished for use in jewellery. Greeks would link this stone to the famous Amazon women warriors which stone was decorating their shields.

In Mesopotamia, amazonite was offered to Tiamat, goddess of the brine and of the oceans where you could find chaos. According to the Babylonian mythology, Tiamat is the origin of everything as well as the first gods.

Egyptians would use amazonite for its healing properties. Part of the book of the dead was as part was engraved in this stone as was Tutankhamen’s scarab ring.

For the Navajo Indians, the stone was associated to the goddess who made humans, Estsanatlehi.

Amazonite is a silicate that’s usually pale green in colour, but there are also Amazonite stones that are opaque green, blue-green colour, yellow-green or turquoise blue. Because of its resemblance to Jade, Amazonite is also sometimes called Pikes Peak or Colorado Jade.

Amazonite Associations

Chakras – Heart Chakra, Throat Chakra

Zodiac – Virgo

Planet – Uranus

Element – Earth, Water

Vibration – Number 5

Typical colours – Green with cream veins.

Amazonite is a soothing stone.  It calms the brain and nervous system and helps maintain optimum health.  Balances the masculine and feminine energies.  Amazonite helps you to see both sides of a problem or different points of view.  It soothes emotional trauma, alleviating worry and fear.  Dispels negative energy, aggravation and blockages within the nervous system and assists in manifesting universal love.  It protects against electromagnetic pollution and absorbs microwaves.

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Agate

Agate was given its name by Theophrastus, a Greek philosopher who is believed to have discovered the gem on the banks of the river Achates (today called Cirilo), in the province Ragusa in Sicily in the 4th century BC. The gemstone was later mentioned in the Bible as one of the “stones of fire”.

Made from silicon dioxide, it has a glassy (vitreous) lustre, and is often used to make brooches and pins. It can also resist acids and has been used to make mortars and pestles to press and combine chemicals.

Many Agates originate in cavities of molten rock, where gas bubbles trapped in solidifying lava are replaced with alkali and silica bearing solutions. Formed as a banded round nodule (like the rings of a tree trunk) and has bands of colours of bands – Riband Agate.

Myths and legends suggest that when a person wears Agate, they become more pleasant and agreeable. It is believed to quench thirst, protect against viruses (including fever) and to cure insomnia. Some tribes in Brazil also believe that Agate can even cure the stings of scorpions and bites from poisonous snakes!

Muslims often have the gem set into a ring and wear it on their right hand and have the name of Allah, Ali, or one of the names of the other eleven Imams inscribed on the ring.

Agate objects from the Neolithic era have been found. The Sumerians made seals, necklaces, signet rings and other jewellery items. The Sumerians used agate by wearing it with other stones around the neck and wrist to protect against the curses of Goddess Lamashtu whom threatened their new-born children. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, it has been said that in the garden of the Gods, the dewdrops were agates.

The Greek king of Pontus, Mithridates had a collection of four thousand agate bowls. In the Greek mythology, agate is associated with Mother Earth, the goddess Gaia and Nyx, the goddess of the night. Cups in agate were also popular during the Byzantine era with many examples in European museums.

In Wales, agate is linked to who was the goddess of death and fertility. She is the queen of the west, of water and of the autumn season. Ceridwen is the creator of magic and the queen of witches.

In ancient China, it was believed that agate came from the brain of a fossilised horse. During the era of the Yellow Emperor (2500-2600 BC), agate was believed to come from the recrystallisation of spilled blood. Agate was highly revered since the Han Dynasty of East China (25-220 BC) where its tints of red were extremely appreciated.

It was said that Persian magicians used to burn agates to take away storms.

Romans associated agate to Aurore (Aurora), the goddess of dawn and the mother of the winds and to Bona Dea, the goddess of virtue, protector of the women. The Romans believed the stone had healing properties and consuming it as a drink mixed with water healed a snake bite.