A Chat About Crystals by Alex

A Chat About Crystals by Alex

Croeso, dear friends! 

This is Alex, newly initiated Priestess of Cerridwen from Italy. It is a great honour for me to introduce a space dedicated to Crystals in this new marvellous online resource, at this magical time of Samhain!

Crystals are wondrous beings that truly can change our perception of the world and of the energies that operate in it, if we open our hearts and minds to their subtle but powerful frequencies. When crystals enter our life, they quickly become beloved friends, capable of bringing healing to every dimension of the being – physical, emotional, mental, spiritual – and also proving to be invaluable companions on every spiritual path.

As such, crystals are very dear to our beloved Dark Mother Cerridwen, Mistress of healing and Magic, She who holds the Dark Mirror in which we can see our true self, but also our deepest fears, in order to know, grow, heal, become who we are truly meant to be.

And speaking of this very important Priestess tool, the Dark Mirror, Obsidian comes to my mind immediately, as it is often a first choice material for it.

Raw black Obsidian by Alex
Raw black Obsidian

Obsidian is a wonderful igneous rock, technically defined as a silicic volcanic glass, which is formed when magma is very rapidly cooled when coming towards the surface because of volcanic activity: in this way, the silica minerals in the magma aren’t granted the conditions of time, temperature, pressure and space necessary to grow in the highly organised forms that are crystals, and the result is what is defined a glass, that is a material with an amorphous structure.

Obsidian has been used since the Stone Age to create a variety of sharp tools, and was a chosen material, in many parts of the world, to create mirrors.

Obsidian comes in many types: plain Black (that forms from a very viscous lava with a high silica content, with some residual water and a small percentage of other chemical compounds and impurities that give it the pure black colour); Mahogany (in which the brown colour is due to the presence of hematite or limonite); Snowflake Obsidian (black with “snowflakes” of Cristobalite); Rainbow Obsidian (whose inclusions of Hedenbergite give the stone a multicoloured iridescence); Fire Obsidian (in which tiny crystals of Magnetite reflect bright colours) and Sheen Obsidian (whose iridescence, silver or golden, comes from gas bubbles present in the lava), to mention some.

Silver Sheen Obsidian Sphere
Silver Sheen Obsidian Sphere

As its origin suggests, Obsidian is a stone that holds a remarkable energy: its power is incredible; it takes us deep inside, exactly where we have to go in order to face our deepest fears, to heal our wounds, to encounter our own darkness, as well as Darkness itself. 

I love Obsidian, and despite not being present in our Wheel, I find it to be a very “Cerridwen like” stone: its power to take us into our deepest recesses (often in a “not so soft” way!) reminds me a lot of our beloved Goddess, and, exactly like She does, it takes us to explore the true meaning of darkness.

Meditating and connecting with Obsidian’s energy is firstly coming in contact with silence, with solitude; it takes us to a place in which we’re alone with ourselves, in which we cannot lie anymore, or fake anything. 

It is a mirror, a Dark Mirror in which we see reflected the Truth: the relationship we have with ourselves and the world, our innermost shadows, but also the very roots of our being… you can go very, very far, meditating with a piece of Obsidian!

It is a highly protective stone, but its energies are so strong that it’s advisable to approach them gradually, getting to know and how to manage them. 

For all the reasons mentioned above, Obsidian is for me one of the first choice crystals for Shadow work; but not only for that.

To me, Obsidian is the Dark Cloak of Cerridwen, whose hood, lowered on the eyes, marks the moment to step between the worlds; but it is also a symbol of the black void of the Cauldron, and its potential to create and destroy…

In my practice, I found that Black Obsidian’s action is increased at the time of the Dark Moon, and it’s always present on my Dark Moon altars, although I find Silver/Gold Sheen Obsidian perfect for a full moon altar and workings too (I have a sphere with huge silver “moons” at the poles!)… it works beautifully to protect, and to dispel unwanted, negative energies.


Another magnificent crystal that “came forward” to be mentioned here, although not part of Cerridwen’s wheel, is Pietersite.


Pietersite is a variety of Chalcedony (microcrystalline quartz), in which fibres of Crocidolite can produce an effect called “chatoyancy”, the optical effect that can be seen in crystals like Tiger’s eye: in fact, Pietersite is used as a term to describe brecciated Tiger’s eye varieties, in which Crocidolite fibres aren’t regularly organised like in the latter, but are arranged in a chaotic way, giving it a variegated appearance.

Pietersite was discovered recently, in 1962, in Namibia, and the South African specimens show a dark grey/black/dark blue microcrystalline quartz matrix, in which can be seen golden or brownish swirls of Crocidolite (the other known source for Pietersite is China, and chinese specimens tend to be brownish red).

Pietersite’s irregular patterns earned it the name of “tempest stone”, and it has indeed a stormy appearance and a strong energy: it goes directly for the truth, and working with it, or wearing it, surely will bring you, in a very direct and sometimes abrupt manner, exactly where you need to go, inside yourself, in order to evolve.

I find that it works beautifully in the oniric world, and sleeping with it will surely bring interesting and revealing dreams (after all, its chatoyancy points strongly in this way!).

However its action, to me, is very different from Obsidian’s one for example: while Obsidian makes you actually face your own darkness, here and now, Pietersite is like a carrier. 

Its dark, stormy bluish clouds, crackling with electric power, can swiftly take you exactly where you need often unexpectedly!

It is an intense stone, and, maybe for this reason, it reminds me a lot of Cerridwen: She may be very intense as well, and sometimes Her passage can actually revolutionise our world.

Like Her, Pietersite “storms” us in a way that we are “forced” to access our inner strength and power, to restore order in us.

Maybe because of this way of turning everything “upside down”, and offering different viewpoints, I love to use Pietersite while sleeping to receive indications in dreams – the places where the ordinary world is altered and twisted!


The last crystal I would like to talk to you about is one of my favourite Cerridwen’s crystals: Smoky Quartz.

Smoky Quartz is a variety of crystalline quartz that is distinguished for its dark colour, varying from a light, smoky yellow, to darker grey shades, to black. 

The typical colour of Smoky Quartz is due to natural irradiation of the quartz crystals from the surrounding rock material, which causes Aluminium to replace Silicon atoms in the crystalline structure: this free Silicon activates the process of colour change. 

Morion (black smoky quartz) point with phantom
Morion (black smoky quartz) point with phantom

Darker tones are associated with the presence of radioactive minerals in the surroundings; a very dark/black quartz is called Morion.

It is quite abundant, and thus tends to be inexpensive (lucky for us!). 

Smoky quartz can come in very different types and habits, depending on where and how it grows: it can form beautiful groups of points, or it can show a skeletal growth (my favourites!), a sceptre, etc.

It can be very transparent, and can be cut in beautiful gems. 

Smoky quartz is one of my favourite crystals! A beloved companion; the purifying master of the quartz group, it is invaluable when it comes to grounding and releasing negative/unwanted energies and tensions from our body and soul! I love to put it on the lower energy centres to facilitate this important process.


It helps us to bring the light of the Quartz into our connection with the earth; it is truly, to me, the physical example of the “dark-bright” energy of our Goddess Cerridwen.

Smoky quartz point
Smoky quartz point

You can use Smoky Quartz also according to which form you have: a point, for example, can be very useful for directing outwards unwanted energies and in all cleansing works; while for inner, shadow work, and to enhance the endless process of knowing ourselves, I absolutely love Skeletal quartz, which we have in some location here in Italy!

Smoky Quartz with Sketletal Growth
Smoky Quartz with Sketletal Growth

Its peculiar growth, which happens rapidly, with the edges of the crystal growing more rapidly than the faces, results in a crystal that shows open “windows” into its internal structure (sometimes they seem literally broken, when in fact it’s just the way they grow), and often shows inclusions of soil, water or gas bubbles.

Thus, this kind of crystal is for me an invaluable companion when it comes to walking across the many thresholds of our inner work, of the various initiations and moments of passage we have in our lives.





Cathedral Smoky Quartz
Cathedral Smoky Quartz

Another form of Smoky quartz I particularly love and work with is the Cathedral: this is a trade name for a large crystal covered with little ones, that grow parallel directly from the main one giving it the aspect of a “cathedral”, or tower, or vertical wall full of little houses.

These crystals are very ancient, and are beings of extraordinary knowledge, radiating a potent energy that is also fantastic to work with in groups.

Many say that in them is stored wisdom from eons past, like libraries full of information: Cathedrals are often Smoky quartz, and I find them especially precious in restoring our knowledge of the energies of Earth, and maintaining a healthy connection with it.

In our Cerridwen wheel, Smoky Quartz is positioned in the season of Earth, and its ability to ground us, while maintaining an open connection with the higher energy centres, is unique.

So, for now, this is all for this month’s journey with crystals: thank you all so much for reading so far!

I hope you have enjoyed this little chat (and seeing some of my crystal companions in the photos!), and I’m looking forward to hearing your comments and experiences!


Many blessings, 

Alex, Priestess of Cerridwen

Alex La Malfa - Priestess of Cerridwen

Alex La Malfa

Emilia Romagna, Italy 

Instagram: @song_of_the_waves

Alex is a Priestess of Cerridwen from Italy. She has been on the path of paganism and Goddess spirituality for 20 years, and has a huge passion for herbs, crystals, painting, folk traditions and all works of reconnection with the land.


All photos by Alex.

2 thoughts on “A Chat About Crystals by Alex

  1. thank you Alex, that was very informative. I look forward to working with these crystal and to your next writing.

    1. Thank you with all my heart, Donna! I’m sure that you’ll find working with these crystals amazing!

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