A sample of Labradorite (a type of feldspar), from UCL's Geology Collections.

L is for Labradorite

Photo Credit: UCL Geology Collections via UCLMaPS on Flickr.

Gemstone and other mineral associations with deities are hardly uncommon among pagans. I’m no exception—I strongly associate labradorite with the god I worship. Labradorite is well-known among those who do crystal work, with a reputation for strengthening intuition and dispelling illusions. Still, this is not why I have my association. The real reason is the property of labradorescence—the shining blue luster that appears at particular angles with a piece of labradorite.

Adularescence or labradorescense (Schiller effect) on a specimen of labradorite.
A demonstration of labradorescence in a sample modeled by Prokofiev on Wikimedia.

Iridescence and similar color shifts are the only universal association among worshippers of my god. The usual preference is for soap bubbles and other spherical forms. Spheres having a long-standing association with wholeness and the infinite. Given the close relationship between spheres and circles, it wouldn’t surprise me if a creative worshipper with a limited budget has made use of optical discs with the “wrong” side turned outward.

My preference for labradorite comes from my interpretation of this common association. I do not place emphasis on roundness and perfection of form. Rather, I find more importance in the hue changes as a result of shifting angles of observation or illumination. From one view, a piece of labradorite can appear to be plain and ordinary, yet the tiniest movement lights it up with a shining blue glow. Nothing has changed about the labradorite—what’s changed is our perspective.

This property of my god’s association helps remind me of the complex nature of reality. What we observe at a particular moment in time is not the entirety of what there is to see, and we cannot see everything there is to see all at once. Many angles and many perspectives are necessary if I am to come closer to knowing the truth. I may never know all there is to know, but the experience will be richer, and the sights more beautiful, than if I had stuck to one angle alone.


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