Few topics are as gut wrenching as a person recalling, reciting, and remembering past traumatic sexual experiences. Especially when the timeline begins from childhood. But Leslie F. King is real enough to share her story and does it from an incredibly empowered place. Today at the Ladies Library Association in Kalamazoo an intimate group of people gathered to listen to Leslie read the first chapter of her new book 'When Angels Fight'. Her voice is strong, with a bull shit shattering confidence. There is nothing quite like listening to a person who has lived through such extenuating circumstances then evolving past that kind of pain. My mother gifted me a copy of her book and I'll be reading through it. It was a beautiful day full of healing energy. The weather was very gray, fluctuating between snow and rain giving the stained and painted glass windows an even glow. The lighting was perfect for my 50mm lens. I got some fantastic photographs from the signing. Met many great people too!
Citrine is one of my favorite gemstones for obvious reasons but there's more to it than a name. The energy is purely uplifting, all stones are, but natural Citrine has something incredible about it. It's said that gloom and negativity do not exist around it. Citrine will assist you with concentration and manifestation of your intentions. Citrine attracts luck, prosperity, success, wealth, abundance and encourages you to share this with others. The stone inspires creativity, promotes self-expression, and helps resolve conflicts within a group. Citrine protects your aura and cleanses your chakras. It's no wonder this stone is so widely available and sought after by many.
Citrine is golden yellow or orange-brown in color. The color range of Citrine is often imitated by heating amethyst. This variant is less potent than naturally occurring citrine. Smokey citrine is a naturally occurring combination of citrine and smokey quartz uniting the properties of both stones. Ametrine is a another naturally occurring mixture of amethyst and citrine also uniting the properties of both stones. How can you tell if your Citrine is heated? It's pretty easy to tell if you ask me! The color is just too dark of an orange or too bright of a yellow with crackles within the crystal. More than likely the 'Citrine' in your collection is an imitation. While it's not completely worthless, it's not the same energy! It bothers me that people aren't informed about this heating process of amethyst because you're not getting the full truth. When it comes to energy, that's not good energy!
Sure we can chuck it up to the seller not knowing but they should know this about their products! When you dive into gemstones you can easily buy one stone under the guise of another. It happened to me a few times when first getting into crystals and gemstone beads. For example I was once sold a strand of Yellow Calcite marked as Citrine but quickly realized the hardness of the beads were not at quartz levels. SMH WHY? Natural Citrine is not hard to find when you're really looking for it.
So how can you tell if your stone is actually Citrine, not heated, or some other yellow stone?
Experience! First off - Know that any rock shop selling Citrine is often selling Heated Citrine not Natural Citrine, especially if their labels don't clearly indicate 'heated' or 'natural'. Don't be afraid to ask staff. If they don't know, take that as a good indication they've got no idea about this phenomenon and are likely selling Heated Citrine.
Coloration is the most obvious indication of heated or natural Citrine. Coloration is the first identification of its authenticity. Heated Citrine is a deeply saturated vibrant yellow often next to clear and/or white quartz. Heated Citrine is also Bright Orange to Deep Orange in hue. If the base of the crystal is white, it's likely heated Amethyst. There is some times a crackled texture within the crystal as well. Certain types of crackles within the crystal are indications of heat treatment. *Please note that color is not always fool proof. I've been collecting Citrine for several years and some of my African Citrine are almost as Orange as heated Citrine but not modified in any way. The color differentiation is subtle but you can still tell between the two!*
Crystal Formation is another indication of natural verses heated Citrine. I've yet to see a Citrine Geode. Sure you'll see a cascade formation or even a small cluster but a geode? Never. If you see a crystal labeled as Citrine but it's part of a geode, I can almost guarantee that's a heat treated Amethyst! Most Citrine in my collection are single points or chunks.
Locality is a huge topic the gem world is tackling right now. Does the shop you're purchasing from know what country, region, or continent your Citrine is from? My personal collection of Citrine is sourced from different localities in Africa. Not all places produce Citrine from their regional mines. If they don't know where their Citrine is from I'd bet it's heated more often than not.
Elements within Citrine and Amethyst are slightly different. Both Citrine and Amethyst are Quartz varieties. What gives them their color are slightly different mineral compositions. Citrine features Iron within the mix. Amethyst features Iron and Aluminum. Amethyst is also purple from natural or applied irradiation. Heating amethyst, turning it orange or yellow doesn't ruin the stone but it is obviously different and still is amethyst deep down. Crystals are used to incredible geothermal temperatures. The heating process added to the stone definitely creates a different vibration and energy within the stone. I mean, you're turning a purple stone into its opposite color! Amethyst and Natural Citrine also have different healing properties. Heated Citrine is not the same as Natural Citrine when you get into the chemistry of it all.
Can you spot the heated Citrine?
The heated Citrine is farthest left with white on the bottom. This piece of Citrine I was given as a little girl the first time I panned for gems in North Carolina. I am fairly certain its country of origin is Brazil. This crystal the reason I call myself Citrine. BUT As you can see the color of the three other Citrine sourced from Tanzania are similar in color and one is even more orange than the heated Citrine. This is why I say experience is most important when identifying Heated Citrine. It's also important to source Citrine, or any crystal really, from a trusted source.
Imitation Citrine is widely available and probably most common. Heated Citrine doesn't have the same energy of Natural Citrine, but it has its own properties. While I don't prefer heated Citrine, it's pretty incredible that a purple stone can be heated into its complementary (opposite) color on the color wheel. It's impossible when mixing paint pigments to turn purple into yellow and vice versa. This is a mysterious process of its own. Pretty interesting don't you think?
Cleaning your crystals is more than just wiping the surfaces of your gems. Physically cleaning your crystals is a part of the cleansing process though. It's also important to energetically cleanse these miraculous formations too! Our crystals hold energy and need to be cared for especially when we are utilizing their inherent powers.
People ask us all the time: How do you cleanse your crystals? There is no one answer. You can cleanse your crystals many ways. We've heard of a few different methods and practice a few different cleansing activities ourselves. Your connection with your gems is a very personal one and there for you should approach your cleansing rituals with personal flair! Here are a few ideas of ways you can cleanse your crystals!
Cleanse with Water: Water is a great way to wash your crystals. You can simply run water over the surface of your gems and affirm they are cleansed or you can take it to another level. Gather a bowl, it can be any kind of bowl. Perhaps you prefer glass or ceramic. Maybe you want it to be hand made. The intentions behind your selections can make a huge difference. fill your bowl with water. Again you can level you water game up by using Moon Water or special water that you charge with different energy. Place your gems in this bowl one at a time or all together. The choice is yours. You can also infuse your water with salt or herbs.
Cleanse with Herbs: You can place your crystals in a bowl or plate and surround them with fresh or dried herbs, flowers, or foliage. Dive into the properties of each kind of plant your place your gems with. You might be surprised the healing properties of plants, herbs, and flowers!
Cleanse with Light: Some people like to give their gemstones a soak in the sun or moon light for cleansing and charging abilities. Place your gemstones in a window or on your porch / patio to cleanse them. The sun and the moon will assist you in cleansing the energies within them and give them a good boost of energy too! You can sit with your crystals basking in the same light, soaking in the same solar energies for an extra boost.
Cleanse with Smoke: Smoke baths are our favorite way to cleanse crystals! It's just a beautiful sight! Light some sage or any other herb that speaks to you and hold your gemstones one by one over the flowing smoke. Again affirm their cleansing.
A big part of cleansing your crystals is affirmations. You can meditatively affirm their cleansing or audibly affirm their cleansing. You can do both. The point is to cleanse your mind as well as the crystal energy so your auras are cleared of debris as well. This way you are in sync with your gemstones and can readily set new intentions with the assistance of your crystals. Like mentioned before there are no rules necessarily to this cleansing process and we like to recommend that you create you own cleansing process. You can mix any of these practices together. You can do them all together or switch between which cleansing process you like. Maybe one works well for you and maybe others not so much. We are all unique and evolving constantly so perhaps you want to change your practice over time.
How often do you cleanse crystals? That's also up to you! We'd recommend it during full and/or new moons, seasonal changes, life changes, or when you get the urge to do so. If you have a day that you clean your home, it's never bad to give your crystals a quick cleanse at those times as well. Cleaning is a great practice and should be put to use routinely. Find your cycles and flow with it.
What are your favorite ways to cleanse your crystals?
Advice for New artists
#augustforartists - Advice For New Artists - Number one piece of advice is always NEVER GIVE UP! Literally if it’s in your soul, burning passion to do something… DO IT! And never give up!! Literally keep going.
More advice for new artists don’t lock yourself into one skill unless you know for sure that you just want to do one thing.. experiment with other skills. Play with different ideas and mediums. You never know what else may spark your next break through. I’d also advise new artists is to distinguish if you have a hobby or if you want to run a business. This distinction will be tremendously helpful with your peace of mind and protecting your sacred creative space. There’s no wrong answer and you might change your mind over time.
Another piece of advice I have is to TAKE THE TIME to really invest in your ideas. It is not very realistic to expect to blow up over night.. and if you do, it might be too much to handle. The process of learning and growing through time and experience is super important for your authentic success. #citrinetangerine
Artists Tips? Tricks? Hacks?
So another #augustforartists prompt is asking for top tips or artists hacks. There are tips I have to offer but as far as cheat codes go.. don’t expect any short cuts! Perhaps that is tip number 1. Life is hard, no matter what route you choose. It’s the challenges that make us strong, give us priceless experience and teach us the most! Lean into the reality of hard work.
Another tip is to never give up! Persevere through all that is thrown your way. Impress yourself while doing it! If you keep going, success is inevitable, especially with a positive attitude and outlook on life.
Which is yet another tip, stay optimistic. That positive mindset will lead you to more opportunities because you kept looking for more, even if you got rejected from something or someone. Don’t affirm failure, even though it’s part of the process. Fail, feel your feelings and pick yourself back up, KNOWING something else will come your way. ESPECIALLY IF YOU DON’T GIVE UP, KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE, AND CONTINUE LOOKING FOR OPPORTUNITIES. - You can always create your own opportunities in life too.. we’ll save that for another post though!!
Flower Crown @bloomaway_seattle
About the Author & Artist
Megan LaCroix also known as Citrine is the daughter of a Navy Veteran. She’s lived all over the US but has roots in Michigan where her family is from. Spending summers in Northern Michigan exploring nature inspired her to create art work starting with jewelry and photography. She’d spend hours looking for rocks and creating assorted beaded jewelry with her sisters. In 2014 She graduated from University of Michigan School of Art & Design with a BFA then moved to Detroit where she is currently living and working. She is a multi-media artist with ever expanding skills but is best known for her jewelry, screen printing, photography, and paintings. Detroit Graffiti has a significant influence on her painting and drawing style. She’s participated in ArtPrize 2015 & 2021 and currently has a studio in the Village Arts Factory of Canton, MI.