Thursday, April 19, 2007


Fossils are a vibrant record of past lives. I remember the first time I held a Trilobite (prehistoric bug that inhabited the primal oceans) I could feel and almost see dozens of crawling critters. It was my first experience in "reading" a stone and it was quite powerful. Fossils have intrigued me ever since.

Depending on the reference you read, there are up to a half a dozen ways that an organic entity becomes a fossilized one. The simplest way to become a fossil is a method called unaltered preservation. These tend to be insects and other tiny creature that became imbedded in seeping globs of primal tree sap. Today these globs are known as Amber and specimens with intact critters bring the highest prices.

Amber itself is technically a fossil as well, though it did not undergo any of the processes described. Since a fossil is: "any evidence of past plant or animal life that is preserved in the materials of the Earth's crust". Amber and Copal are both evidence of primal trees and are retrieved from Mother's surface.

The next most common process is called permineralization or petrification. Trees and bones from ancient animals are usually preserved or fossilized through this manner. For an entity to become petrified it must be immediately buried and protected from the elements. As time works it's magic, the organic material decays in such a slow manner that mineral rich waters seep in and replace it, tediously turning it into a permanent stone record. Fossils formed in this way can take on some fantastic colors, depending on which minerals are in the location where petrification is taking place. It is not unusual to find Petrified Wood in reds, purples, yellows and greens because Iron, Magnanese or some other combination of minerals were present.

In some texts this is referred to as replacement. In one text it was cited as a separate process, but I really wasn't able to understand a difference.

Authigenic or cast preservation is an interesting process. In this scenario the organic individual is caught in sediment and immediately buried. However, instead of minerals replacing the organic material, when the trapped individual decays, it is simply washed away by percolating ground waters or rain. Leaving a perfect "cast" of the original creature. In some instances, minerals will fill in the gaps and eventually form a crystal replica of the entity. In Australia many authigenic preservations are filled with Opals, creating some brilliant imitations.

Trace fossils are sort of half casts, though they form in the same way. In many cases trace fossils are not completely covered and only portions of the entity are preserved.

Carbonization or coalification is the preservation process that gives us our fossil fuels. As an organism decays, it leaves only its carbon elements. Other elements like hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen are evaporated or removed into the atmosphere.

In a process call recystalization as the organism becomes petrified it reverts to a more stable crystal formation. Sometimes growing into larger crystals. An excellent example of this is the Crystallized Wood that comes from Alabama. This was wood that was in the process of becoming petrified, but a sudden changed caused this material to grow tiny Smoky Quartz crystals along their surface.

Paleontologists believe that only a small fraction of dinosaurs, plant life and other critters from our prehistoric dates were preserved as fossils. The vast majority of primal life simply decayed and disappeared.

The oldest known fossils are bacteria that geologists believe are 3.5 billion years old. Mother Earth has been documented at approximately 4.5 billion years old and the oldest rocks are around 3.8 billion. These bacteria, known as cyanobacteria are believed to be responsible for the formation of our present day atmosphere. The fossils are found in Western Australia in Precambrian rock.

Primal cyanobacteria formed stromatolites, the very first reefs in the ancient oceans. The bacteria would take in the carbon dioxide from the surrounding waters, which would then "rain" over the mat of bacteria and calcify. As this happened over and over again, the growths called stromatolites would grow in towers. Once the cyanobacteria was above the water's surface it would photosynthesize and create oxygen.

Some Proterozoic oil deposits are attributed to the work of cyanobacteria as well.

The oldest multi-cell fossils are a mere 540 to 600 million years old, also found in Australia. In the Ediacara Hills of Southern Australia fossils of jellyfish, soft corals, worms and proto-arthropods are fairly abundant. The oldest vertebrate (a fish-like creature) fossil dates to around 530 million years ago and was found in China.

Fossils have long fascinated us. Some ancient traditions believed that these stone replicas of unknown plants and animals were gifts from the stars. Others believed that the life force or spirit of the dead creature was contained within a fossil.

They certainly are excellent tools for beginners to learn reading stones. I have always found the voices and impressions from Petrified Wood, Amber, Trilobites and other fossil specimens to be very strong. It is as if the primal voice of the first soul is still singing within the stone. Landscapes, smells and images are always vivid and real when I hold one.

If you are wanting to learn to recognize the stories and words that the crystal world is willing to share, a fossil is a great place to start. Pick something you are drawn to, set yourself up in a quiet space so that you can relax and achieve a meditative calm. Then just open yourself and feel/see what comes. You may want to bring a notepad with you and write down your impressions (so you'll remember later).

As a beginner, be patient with yourself. All muscles need excersising before they achieve their best. Practice a little each day and keep track of your progress.

Fossils are also good tools for looking into your own past lives. If you are wanting to use a fossil to do past life regressions, be sure you do an initial meditation with your fossil of choice and explain your intent. Ask your fossil if it is able to assist you in re-learning old lessons.

You may also wish to use a fossil to help you connect with important animal or plant totems. As these fossils often carry the Spirit or Soul of the deceased entity.

Using a fossil for your health can promote longer life. They may also be beneficial for healthy bone growth and the absorption of calcium for strength. Petrified or permineralized fossils will take on many of the energies of the replacement materials. Petrified Wood for instance will carry many of the qualities of Quartz, Jasper and Chalcedonies in general.

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