Selenite is the crystallized form of the mineral gypsum. Gypsum is calcium sulfate dehydrate, and widely used the fertilizer industry and interior construction. However, gypsum in its crystalline form is found in four varieties, all of which are loosely called selenite. The four varieties are: selenite, desert rose, satin spar, and gypsum flower. All are colored transparent, translucent, or pale opaque white, occasionally with different grayish, yellowish, or brownish hues depending on the druse coating and/or other impurities. The massive form of selenite is frequently called alabaster.
Satin spar differs from normal selenite in that it its surface often looks silky or fibrous. This enables certain specimens to be cut as cabochons, which exhibit striking light patterns at certain angles. The desert rose crystallizes in a rosette formation resembling a rose, and often has a sandy hue, while the gypsum flower not only crystallizes in a rosette appearance, but it can also appear in other ornate shapes and forms.
Since gypsum is found the world over, selenite is considered as very common. The main producers of selenite are Australia, Brazil, , many locations in North America, and Europe (particularly Greece). Many fine crystals come from North Africa.
The Mohs hardness for selenite is only 2, making it one of the softest minerals you will encounter. Therefore, selenite is considered as fragile, and if you keep and use it, you may want to house it in a clear enclosure, and handle it with a piece of cloth. Otherwise, be prepared for it to be scratched rather easily (fingernails alone can scratch it).
The regular form of selenite crystallizes as tabular or needle-like crystals, while the “flowery” varieties of selenite take on a flower-like appearance (hence their names). Selenite is pretty common and caves full of gigantic selenite crystals over 10 meters long have been discovered in the Naica region, Mexico. The famous Cave of the Crystals at Naica has possibly the largest grouping of enormous crystals so far known, in the world.
Metaphysical properties of selenite
According to metaphysical workers, selenite is a great mineral for increasing one’s awareness of self and providing a connection between the conscious and unconscious state. In this regard, it has been used to remember past lives, and to attempt to ascertain future states.
Selenite also helps in the decision making process by helping one to achieve greater mental clarity. It assists one in reading the meaning or inner workings behind events or situations, while assisting in providing the strength to arrive at a decision, if so needed. It has been used to reduce shyness, and overall, helps you to keep calm and collected at all times.
The satin spar variety of selenite has been used as a “cleaning” crystal, pretty much like kyanite. Both exhibit the same fibrous surface texture, it must be noted. To clean other crystals with satin spar, simply place them on a “bed” of satin spar for at least 24-48 hours.
Due to its slightly flexible physical characteristic (selenite can be slightly bent if pressure is applied; too much pressure will break it, though), it has been used to help straighten spinal curvature, and provide smooth energy flow from the base chakra all the way to the crown, via the spinal column. Stiff muscles can also benefit from selenite. In fact, selenite has been used to correct skeletal and tissue deformities.
Many crystal healers are of the opinion that selenite is a great healing crystal. It has been used to assist in regeneration of cellular disorders, and strengthening connective tissue, while speeding up recovery of muscle injury. It helps to protect cells against free radicals, and has been used in the treatment of cancer.
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