I love finding fun ways to connect with my creativity. Things like junk journaling, painting with watercolors, working with pressed flowers, or doing some other kind of creative project feels like a beautiful way to express myself and to create something from the heart.
The act of creating things has become part of my spiritual practice. Making Art feels like an offering to spirit. The process of crafting something helps me feel connected to spirit; it helps me feel involved in my practice, rather than a passive part of it. It’s this action, this participation, this creation, after all, that puts the “craft” in any magical practice.
Crafting itself is a way to make magic… to heal, to transform, and to connect with spirit.
Some of the oldest art in the world took shape as humans painting on stone. From the cave paintings at Altamira in northern Spain to the figural paintings of Sulawesi, Indonesia, humans have been painting on stone for nearly 36,000 years!
Making art is also often a very tactile experience. One of the reasons that I enjoy working with crystals so much is because of the physical experience of holding them, of connecting with them through my hands. So when I was recently looking for a weekend art project, I thought I’d try stone painting.
Getting started is easy, you just need some smooth river stones (I think the dark-colored ones really show off the paint colors nicely!) and some paint.
You can often find some smooth stones outside that would work well (just be sure you have permission to take them!), but if you’re unable to find them, you can usually find them at most craft stores, home improvement centers, landscape suppliers, or even at the dollar store.
You can use acrylic paint pens or you can apply the paint with a cotton swab, toothpick, or paintbrush. If you don’t have any paints on hand, you can also use gel pens (or even sharpie markers) to design your sacred stones. I personally love the Acrylograph Paint Pens from Archer & Olive (this is NOT an affiliate link – I just REALLY like these and use them for all sorts of crafting).
To create your own painted rocks, you can choose any design that suits you. Even if you don’t think you are very artistic, this can be such a good way to have some fun with your art and not get too hung up on every little detail. This is definitely one of those “it’s about the journey, not the destination” sort of things. ?So think about what would be fun and meaningful for you to paint and go for it!
Here are a few ideas to help get you started:
- Try painting a dot mandala for relaxation and a form of active meditation
- Design a stone with an image that’s meaningful to your spiritual practice
- Create a set of small, symbol stones for stone-casting divination (like symbols for the runes, tarot, elements, ogham, etc.)
- Paint an image or representation of a God or Goddess you connect with
- Create a set of stones featuring one of each of the moon phases to use as a lunar tracker for your altar and ritual workings
After you’ve chosen a design, you may want to take a few minutes to turn this project into a mini-ritual. Start by gathering all of your supplies and make yourself comfortable in your sacred space. Then, cleanse your space and the stones you’ll be painting. You may choose to speak or write a little dedication to spirit about what you’re creating and why you’ve chosen the specific images, symbols, colors, etc. You may even wish to light some candles or incense, put on some inspiring music, and have some of your favorite crystals nearby for inspiration!
Then, take a few deep, centering breaths, and while holding the intention to bring your creation to life, begin painting your special stone.
Don’t rush this process. Paint as much or as little as you’d like on your stone, but take your time. Let every drop of paint or stroke of the brush be an act of devotion, or prayer, or connection to the earth. Allow yourself to be present and enjoy the process from start to finish.
When you feel that you’re finished painting, you may want to journal a bit about the process, about how you feel, about any special meaning the stone has for you or how you plan to work with it, etc. Leave your stone in place for 24 hours to dry fully.
If you’d like, you may even go back after the stone has dried and add in additional layers of paint and color to create more depth to your design.
When your stone has dried completely, the most important thing to do once you’ve finished painting your sacred stones is to pause and admire your work! Try not to judge, or criticize, or focus on any imperfections (which can sometimes be difficult when it comes to viewing our own artwork). Instead, find at least one thing you LOVE about your stone and fill yourself up with excitement, and joy, and appreciation for what you’ve created. Hold the stone over your heart and envision it filling up with all of the love and joy you feel. Your sacred stone painting ritual is now complete!
So what can you DO with your rock once you’re all done?
- Place it on your altar or in your sacred space as an offering
- Use it as a personal talisman to help you feel more connected to spirit
- Give it as a gift to a friend or family member who could use a pick-me-up
- Hold it during meditation or journey work to help keep you grounded
- If you’ve created a set for stone-casting divination, try casting them on a special cloth or mat and interpreting the results
*There is a popular trend of leaving painted rocks in nature in public places, but some warn against this because the paint can be dangerous to wildlife and ecosystems, so we recommend keeping your stones indoors.
I hope you’ll enjoy this fun practice combining stones from nature and your own creativity! This would even be a fun, all-ages activity to do with friends or family. I’d love to see what you create, so if you give this a try, feel free to tag me @loveandlightschool on Instagram to show off your artwork!