These Himalayan crystals are found at very high altitudes, usually relatively close to the surface, which is why it's possible to use only hand tools for extraction.
The lifespan and formative history of a quartz crystal can be difficult to gauge. The Himalayas are considered a “young” mountain range but these crystals form in pockets deep beneath the surface and remain contained while slowly rising upward with the formation of the mountains.
The crystal "pockets" were previously far below sea level and now arrive at nearly 5000 meters altitude. This process takes millions of years! Consider that the Himalayas formed over approximately 50 million years and the Himalayan tectonic land plate is currently shifting at an average of 1-2 cm per year.
The miracle is that on their journey to the surface they remained relatively untouched and intact in nature. The matrix where they form is enclosed in an pocket/fissure of extremely hot liquid matrix, but by the time they are unearthed, this liquid matrix is no longer an active part of the cavern and only clay and other iron-relative minerals are left surrounding the crystals. Many quartz crystals are still attached to a larger “cluster” or family of stones, the environment looks much like a giant muddy “geode”. Often the points are facing downward or to the side and they must be wiggled free from the clay.
Many Himalayan quartz crystals are still attached the matrix or are independent "floater crystals" with complete body and no point of attachment to the matrix. Other crystals have already broken free from the matrix when found. This is due to the earth's tectonic movement: earthquakes!
Because of the constant shifting and movement of the Earth and the long slow process of mountain building/moving, it is a fact of nature that were these crystals not found by the hand of man, they would be pushed out. Like the petals of a flower gone to seed, they would one day tumble down that mountain and make the long journey by foothills, and river to return to the sands of the sea and start the whole process over again. It is a magical moment to rescue them, so close to the surface and complete in their perfected form.
The Himalayas of India are lively and birthplace of many gifts of wisdom and treasure. In fact, the entirety of the Himalayas, spanning many countries has proven to be very active and therefore abundant in her offerings.
These are items from our “Altar Reality”, tools for sacred and ceremonial use. These are implements present as a part of the living shrine where we look inwardly each day for guidance, to give praise, and remind us of the center so that we might have a clearer vision upon the limitless horizon.
How are we to understand the positive action of this tool, this weapon of the Goddess, especially in light of its common association with repulsion or jabbing? Historically the goad is used literally to prod the working animal.
Symbolically, this tool urges forward the lazy ox (or mind) that we may be spurred onward to continue our pursuit of wisdom, understanding and attainment.
If there is a deeper root to this archaic symbol, it is rarely referenced. The emblem has been acknowledged perhaps even before domestication of oxen and cattle; so surely there is a deeper significance in its symbolism. Early use of this implement may have been quite different from common usage of the ox-goad or elephant-goad. Pre-dating modern history, varied versions of this tool were used to lash the branches of certain trees and shrubs during the seasonal gathering of incense. As the sharp goad scores the flesh of the tree, the sap will run from the point of striking, and a heavenly perfume appears.
We are ever prodded onward and upward and may we be reminded that even if the goad does leave scars, they are surely the divine markings where this nectar is allowed to flow. For we can nurture that flesh-wound, gather from it the sweet ambrosia then offer it back as we give thanks for the constant process of insight and understanding that may arise with the sharp and insistent prompting of the goad.
It is but one of the tools, the weapons; gifts from the Goddess for individual realization and mastery of the three realms.
To clear the clouds of illusion : Body, Mind and Spirit. Jai Maa
The tools of the Goddess are plentiful and as she embodies the many forms incarnate, she gifts her tools according to our needs.
As the goad is representative of the masculine, fiery driving force of the Sun, the noose, held in her opposite hand is emblem of the feminine energy of our Moon. Power of attraction, the magnetism in her fullness, the absolute strength in her blackness; we feel her most in her extremes though she be always loosely coiled about the arm.
Drawing in with the potential of the feminine and form, we fill the cup. The beckoning on our cyclic path from night to day, ebb and flow, the eternal play of darkness and light. We may long for the darkness as she tempts us in the heat of day.
She is the dusk, the pre-hours of dawn, the sorrow at first notice of the sky’s transition from blackness to deep and lightening blue. That same sorrow is in the joy of budding flower, only to whither in time. Darkness calls us in, she coaxes the seed into her moist chamber where the fertile, shadowy grounds lie in wait for the moment when a spark excites and inspires growth and the seedling reaches again for the light of the Sun.
Union of Sun and Moon, here is the birth of potential, the Fire is kindled.
Left and Right-hand activation crystals can be recognized by the presence of an additional face, similar to a time-link or window crystal. In the case of the right/left hand activation crystal, these faces are referred to as x-faces and are a less common crystal facet that appears in the upper left or right corner of the long, m-faces or “sides “of some quartz crystals.
Dauphine twins and Brazil Law twins can also be recognized by presence and positioning of this rare quartz face.
For the esoterically minded, the x-face denotes either right or left-handed activation in a crystal. Some also maintain that the crystal is either masculine or feminine in polarity, according to the placement of the x-faces.
When attempting to understand how or why a crystal should be right or left-handed in nature, it may help to envision the quartz formation from a molecular perspective. The term right or left-handed refers to the directional growth of the quartz crystal, and would be more correctly stated not as "left or right-handed" per se, but rather as the growth of the crystal tending in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise spiral. During the formative process of macromosaic quartz, as elements swirl in the hot liquid matrix and silica dioxide (quartz) is created, it forms simple units known as “crystallites”.
In the bonding of these units the molecules will begin to move in one of two directions as they form. Envision, if you will, the molecular structuring of the quartz proceeding in a spiral, as particle upon particle is transferred and crystallization takes place. In this way we can begin to fathom the directional tendency of its formation and hence, its energetic signature as either left or right, clockwise or counterclockwise, masculine or feminine. This aspect of polarity exists in all quartz crystals as the original string of crystallites will form along the crystals c-axis and will always tend to spiral in either one direction or the other. Indication of polarity can be very useful in determining the application of the crystal in healing practice.
Through contemplation of these spiraling polar opposites one may obtain a clear picture of the function of the right or left-handed activation crystal. To say that left is feminine and right masculine is a simplistic way to begin this contemplation though the concept of actual gender or sex can also tend to be misleading.
It is rare to find clear signs of left or right handedness on the surface of the crystals and these signatures are often sought after by collectors of unusual quartz or rare formations.
We may also make use of right or left-handed quartz crystals in healing practice, invoking archetypal powers of one of countless specific aspects of either masculinity or femininity and applying this vibrational frequency to balance any discordant vibrations in ourselves or our surroundings.