Hi everyone and welcome! Today I am excited to be conversing yet again with the amazing Nicholas Pearson, who has been immersed in all aspects of the mineral kingdom for more than 20 years.
Disclosure: Some of the links here are affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Yay!
You may not know this but Nicholas actually began teaching crystal workshops while he was in high school. He later began studying mineral science, and then went on to teach crystal and Reiki classes throughout the United States.
Nicholas is the author of The Seven Archetypal Stones, Crystals for Karmic Healing, Crystal Healing for the Heart and Foundations of Reiki Ryoho.
You might be familiar with some or even all of those titles. He is one of my very favorite authors who writes on crystals. Excitingly, he is also releasing Stones of the Goddess which will be coming out in February of 2019. It is already available for pre-order on Amazon and will be sold everywhere books are sold. So Nicholas, thank you so much for being here today!
Nicholas: Thank you so much for having me on. We always have the most fun when we chat, so I’m really looking forward to today.
Ashley: We do. I am really excited about this particular conversation because it seems like more and more this idea of connecting with goddess energy with the divine feminine has been coming up.
I am wondering, could you tell people a little bit more about yourself and why the topic of goddess energy is something that you are passionate about right now?
Nicholas: I started my spiritual path pretty young and I didn’t grow up in a particularly religious or spiritual household. My father was a recovering Catholic, so, that meant I wasn’t really raised with anything in particular, and that gave me a lot of freedom.
One week my dad and I might go to the library on the weekend and I would pick up a ton of books on science — whether it was the obvious geology or something maybe a little bit more left-field for me. Then other weeks it would be things like mythology and fairy tales and folklore. That was my first look at nonstandard religion. Although it might not have been what is being practiced today, it gave me a window into the idea that there was more to spirituality and religion than what I had vaguely seen on the horizon among my peers.
By the time I was in high school, I really started to explore spiritual paths like paganism and witchcraft and the whole metaphysical area.
Although crystals have been my primary way of getting into a lot of different topics of discussion, I really loved the idea that there were so many religious traditions and spiritual paths that honored the divine as both masculine and feminine, sometimes both at the same time, sometimes neither. I really found that strangely comforting.
I grew up in a single parent household so it was just me and my dad and I was raised by this tribe of women: my grandmother, my aunts — all of these strong female figures. Also my stepmother after my father got remarried. This idea of the goddess felt really reassuring to me in a way that God the Father didn’t resonate.
The idea for this book just started as a cursory glance at stones that were related to different goddesses around the world.
When we talk about our planet, we personify it as Mother Earth. This is maybe the most primal and universal experience of the divine feminine. You can go to virtually any ancient culture and you see Mother Earth and a Mother Earth figure and Earth Goddess somewhere in there. It’s like when we hold crystals, we are holding part and parcel of the body of the Goddess. It really started as a little aside and kept poking away at the back of my mind until finally, I had to sit down and write it.
Ashley: I really appreciate you sharing that personal story of being raised in a single parent household but then also having this community of women around you that really shaped and molded not only you as a person, but also in some ways it seems your ultimate connection with spirit.
I find it so interesting that many of us who lean towards this more earth-based approach to spirituality have that in common — very strong females in our lives.
In one way or another, we have these very strong female roles, female presences, in our life that really shaped our experience of how we connect to spirit how we internalize that and then how we reflect it back in an outward way.
I just want to say thank you for sharing that because it is something that I think many of our listeners will be able to relate to and it also just shines a light on how deeply personal your books are. I feel like every time we speak there is always something that has moved you in your own life to write this book. You haven’t just chosen a topic out of thin air. It is something that comes from this deeply personal experience that you have had.
Nicholas: Thank you. There was a lot of reservation to writing this book.
Let’s face it, at the end of the day, I’m a dude and I’m writing about the Goddess. What authority do I have to do this? But we all come from woman.
I have an X chromosome and a Y chromosome and one was a gift from my biological mother and the other from my father. I have this feminine current of energy within me as do us all. We all have that inner spark of divine masculine and divine feminine. I reconciled it pretty early on. My publisher was excited about the project and I couldn’t stop once I got started. It had to be written. I am really grateful that I haven’t run into any friction yet because of that. I think it is just a symbol of how timely the return of the divine feminine is.
Ashley: I have to say it is so enlightening for me to hear that coming from you as well. Possibly having that concern like, “What right do I have to speak about this?” but every right. I love that you are a dude coming to this playing field and writing about your personal experience because that’s what is so amazing about these energies of divine masculine and divine feminine. We all have both of these within us and we all have the capability to tap into both of these. Thank you for acknowledging that.
Nicholas: Thank you.
Ashley: One of the things that I was really excited to see is that this book is similar to some of your others in that it focuses on some certain crystals. It really is a deep dive in to a set of particular stones and obviously in this case stones that relate to the Goddess in one way or another.
Stones of the Goddess: Crystals for the Divine Feminine focuses on 100 specific Goddess-centered stones.
Some of these are listed on the little excerpt of the book that your publisher has put out. One of them that of course really caught my attention was carnelian, which is also known as the blood of Isis. I’m wondering, because I’ve always had a fascination with mythology and that sort of thing as well, particularly ancient Greece, ancient Rome, ancient Egypt…
Can you tell us a little bit about carnelian in particular? Just to give us a taste of some of the amazing research that has gone into this book. That is one thing I love that you always bring to the table.
Nicholas: Yes. Carnelian is probably one of those stones that in my beginning days of immersing myself in mythology, popped up in several cultures. I have to say my first allure towards a non-traditional spiritual path was studying Ancient Egypt in middle school. I just absolutely fell in love with the architecture, the language, the mythology. Everything about it was just so mystical. I really just couldn’t get enough of it. It was a pleasure to revisit carnelian as an adult.
Carnelian is a member of the chalcedony group. If it has got strong bands it is called agate, if it doesn’t we can just call it chalcedony.
The name of it has gone through a lot of iterations. It was named after a type of fruit called the cornel cherry, later altered to resemble the Latin cornum — meaning flesh, because it has got this sort of flesh tone. We are all that pink color on the inside. Orangey red. It has this very visceral feel to it. In ancient Eygpt, they noted the resemblance between that real fleshy color, that blood red color, and the connection to the great mother. It was often carved into a type of amulet called a tyet. It represented the girdle of Isis.
There are a few theories that this abstract symbol looks like it could be a distant cousin of the Ankh. It is a looped cross at the top with droopy arms and then it has got a band around the middle of it. There are some people that believe it might actually resemble parts of the female reproductive system as well. So they called this stone the blood of Isis and they often carved the tyet into or out of the stone carnelian.
Carnelian embodies this idea of the life-giving energy that comes from the Great Mother.
In human biology, once menses starts, their ability to pro-create is evident as young women approach adulthood. That was a sign in ancient times of the power. The pro-creator of the generative power that was embodied in all of womankind. Carnelian was a stone that represented that to them. In very ancient cultures we see a really interesting correlation between that symbol of blood, of the life-giving power and of magic. This is just like how the Great Goddess gives birth to all of creation in the microcosm.
Women can give birth to new life. That made them the very first magicians, the very first healers, the very first alchemists, we could say.
It really wasn’t until later on in human history that men began to take on that same role when they could actually take iron out of the earth and start the process of metallurgy. That was about the time we started to see the role shift from a more female-dominated scene of myth and magic to one that is transferring to male powers. Interestingly enough it is iron that gives carnelian its blood red color. It is iron that gives our own blood the same color.
There is this great power, great strength, that comes from working with carnelian.
If we compare it to the energies of the divine feminine it can be really fierce. We sometimes see it associated with some real strong deities, warlike goddesses, the fierce goddesses, the dark goddesses, as well as that great cosmic mother like we see in Isis.
Ashley: Wow. I am just so blown away right now. I have never really heard anyone articulate that shift in our viewpoint of magic and what magic is, from the divine feminine through menses and birth to the divine masculine through the ability to shape and alter metals. Wow, this is just totally shifting my viewpoint about this. This transformation really happened. I am so glad that we chose to talk about this stone. There is another crystal mentioned here in this set of 100 crystals that I have never heard of before, and for me that is something that doesn’t happen often! You have it as Sakura stone.
Can you tell me a little bit about Sakura stone? Because if I haven’t heard of it, I’m guessing there are some of our listeners that this will also be a new one for!
Nicholas: Yes! They are relatively obscure. I hadn’t heard of them until maybe 2009. Shortly before I made a trip to Japan I discovered these stones and their existence. A friend of mine was over there teaching English and I made a trip to do some sightseeing. I wanted to visit some sacred sites to get real close to the heart and soul of my Reiki practice and its origins.
It was while there that I saw these stones for the first time. I had heard about them but I had never actually witnessed them. If you look at them closely they resemble cherry blossoms. They are usually six-fold symmetry, like a trapiche emerald would have. The origin of them is under debate. I think the best theory is that they are a pseudomorph, something where the structure is replacing what used to be cordierite or hilite with that same trapiche kind of format.
Sakura stones are only found in one place in the entire world, in Kyoto, Japan, which is famous for its cherry blossoms.
The local people actually believe that the kami — the indwelling consciousness or divinity of the cherry blossom — dwells within the earth inside these stones, the sakura ishi or the sakura akita. The cherry blossom stones exist while the trees are not in bloom. The flowers have such a short lifespan (the cherry blossoms themselves on any given tree only bloom for a couple of weeks). Once the essence of the flower is gone, the spirit retreats into these beautiful little cherry blossoms within the heart of these stones.
They are just the sweetest energy. Because they are a type of pseudomorph where one mineral is replacing another but keeping its same outward appearance or structure. Pseudomorph literally means ‘false form’ because it falsely looks like what it used to be chemically speaking, even though it’s a brand new mineral. These are stones of incredible transition. All of these are tiny little stones, they don’t get very big. The photo of the ones in the book, you could probably fit all of the ones that in that photograph on my thumbnail.
Nicholas: They have this grace to them. As a form of mica, they allow us to have greater flexibility and hope.
They give us grace under pressure and because they themselves have undergone an extraordinary transition. They allow us to make those same transitions with a little bit more wisdom.
Ashley: Do they actually take on the color of the cherry blossoms or is it more about that six-pointed structure?
Nicholas: Some of them are pink. This is where I have to admit I’m a little bit color blind. I don’t even know if any of the ones in my collection are pink, its a color I don’t see well. But the pink ones are the most prized and the most expensive in Japan. They are not often seen on the market outside of Japan because there is a great big population density over there, so any native minerals that are mined there often get nabbed by the local market before they can be exported. By the time they make it Stateside they are few and far between and often much more expensive in price. If you look you can find them. I have a friend who just picked some up in Tucson for a really good price, so they are out there.
Ashley: Amazing. Of course in Japan, just like in most places in the world right now, crystal healing is becoming more and more prevalent in the culture there. It is not surprising to me that — especially with the local mythology that is connected to these stones representing something so important that is celebrated in Japan each year — these would be highly prized pieces.
Nicholas: Absolutely. They are just absolutely darling.
Japan’s form of crystal healing is very unique.
It has been influenced from some of the same people who have influenced our own movement, like JaneAnn Dow. But then it has taken on its own flavor, its own uniquely Japanese flavor. It is just a treat to see something like this out there. They really do look like little cherry blossoms.
Ashley: I love that. Thank you so much for telling us about those, I’m very excited.
Nicholas: My pleasure.
Ashley: Nicholas, there’s something else that you discuss in this book that I wanted to talk about. For each crystal, you provide the stone’s astrological correspondences, our mental correspondences, the goddess archetype, and some of the healing properties. How do these things help collectively?
Can you paint a picture of how we can work with each stone to connect with these particular goddess archetypes?
Nicholas: That is a great question. I think for starters, if we understand that these are not concrete forms. If we hold a piece of the sakura stone, for example, and its goddess archetypes are Earth Mother and the Maiden out of the triple goddess, it doesn’t mean that it only relates to those things. But those are lenses that we can use to understand how the energy of the stone relates. Also, how the stone becomes an inroad to those archetypal frequencies. No goddess, no God, no spirit, no angel. It is just an archetype. They are so much more than that, but they still have that archetypal level at which they exist.
We can use a crystal that has an affinity for a particular archetype to start a devotional practice to connect to some specific aspect of the divine feminine.
If you are working with an ocean goddess, maybe like Yemaya out of the Afro-Carribean tradition, you might pick a stone with a very oceanic quality, something like larimar or aquamarine. If you are working with earth goddesses, that great Earth Mother that we all walk upon every day, we might pick an earthier kind of stone.
Sometimes the elemental associations correspond with that. Sometimes we see it in the astrological associations. Some of those are a little bit modern. Sakura stone, for example, has never been a part of the classical gem lore, so therefore there is no ancient astrological signature for it. I had to sit in meditation and ask myself, what does this feel like? does this feel like the energy of Mars or of the moon or of Jupiter? We have to fill in the gaps.
I do want to say that these are subjective. When you sit down with it you are going to find some stones like emerald that are associated with a whole lot of signs, a whole lot of planets and a whole lot of archetypes. You have got to sit and see how those themes relate to your own life and find out what that stone means for you.
Ashley: This is one thing that I have always appreciated about your work.
As much as you put so much effort in to your research and finding historical significance in the way that we connect with crystals, you don’t discount the present.
You don’t discount the unique user’s experience when it comes to working with these crystals. In fact, you encourage that as being almost the greater piece of importance. As much as we can gather a lot of information and insight and wisdom into working with our crystals through what ancient peoples have done before us, our own personal experience becomes just as important in that equation. I love how you honor both of those parts in our connection with these minerals.
Nicholas: Thank you.
I got to where I am by learning to listen to the stones and I really hope that is something I can inspire other people to do.
Because books are great, I write books. I want you to buy them, but at the same time, I want you to go out and have your experience and see what your piece of emerald or your piece of aquamarine or your piece of something I’ve never heard of says to you.
Ashley: One of the things that you do to encourage all of us to do that with this book is you have included some different magical rituals for these crystals. I’m just wondering, are these things that have come from your own experience with crystals, things that you do in your own life, things that you have learned about from talking to other people, or things you have learned about through your historical research?
How did you finalize what has gone into the book relating to ritual and bringing these crystals and associated practices into our daily lives?
Nicholas: The first test was it had to be relevant and then the second was it had to be practical. Because this is a book specifically about the divine feminine, we had to look at things in the context of the divine feminine. You will see things like making magical pouches and charm bags or making crystal elixirs or oils as well as grids and other ceremonies that you can perform. They all had to somehow relate to that goddess archetype and goddess energy going on.
Then it had to be easy. If I gave someone a list of 10 of the hardest to find minerals on the face of the planet they would never perform the ritual or find the value of it. If it had really long ritual scripts, beautiful pieces of poetry that you had to commit to memory, people also wouldn’t bother. I tried to make it as simple as possible. It is also kind of like a recipe book.
When you find a recipe you really love and you are out of an ingredient, you improvise. It is the same way with a lot of these.
Some of them come from historical purposes. If I’m looking at things related to goddesses of love, there are a couple of elements in there that represent Aphrodite. You can see a lot of the ingredients that go into those rituals from the historical record. Some of them come from personal experience. My experience with moonstone gave me an idea of the triple goddess grid that is in there. Then others come from me asking, what does the mineral kingdom want me to put in this book?
Ultimately I tried every day that I sat in front of the computer to make it a devotional practice. I would light a candle, light some incense, open my heart, and connect to the divine feminine and say, “Okay I have an agenda but yours is more important, so you guide me on what needs to go in this book”.
Ashley: I love that. Thank you so much. Nicholas, I am, as I said, very excited about this book. I was lucky enough to actually see a preview copy because I’ll be writing a little blurb for you in admiration and appreciation of what you have created and shared for all of us.
The release date is currently set for February 19th and it is available for pre-order on Amazon. It will be available everywhere books are sold.
If people would like to learn a little bit more about you and stay connected with you as an author and workshop facilitator, how can they do that?
Nicholas: The easiest place for all of my stuff is generally located on my Facebook page. It is facebook.com/theluminouspearl. I try to stay pretty active on social media with the same handle, the luminous pearl, on Instagram. You can check out my Amazon author page. I keep all of my events listed there as well as on my publisher’s website which is innertraditions.com. You can just Google me on that and it will pop up and hopefully links to lovely interviews like this and links to upcoming events will be on there as well.
Ashley: So we will have links to everywhere you can find Nicholas on social, as well as his website, his Amazon author page and his page on Inner Traditions. Definitely give that a look, it is innertraditions.com/author/nicholas-pearson and you can find links to some amazing interviews that Nicholas has done over the years on that page and learn more about his phenomenal books, of which this is the fifth I believe.
Well Nicholas, thank you again so much for being here and sharing your knowledge and wisdom. Thank you for holding space for this divine feminine energy to reconnect with all of us.
Nicholas: Thank you so much, Ashley, it is my pleasure.