by: Marci (Golden Hawk) Dowdy and Jack (Grey Eagle) Dowdy

      The staurolite crystal is a natural phenomenon found in the earth at only a few places in the world.  It is a rare, mysterious and mystical mineral; shaped by Nature into unique forms, each an individual work of art.
     Many studies on the staurolite have been conducted in years past, by both professional and non-professional groups.  Since a widely circulated paper was published in the early 1950s by University of Georgia professor Vernon J. Hurst, there has been an avid interest by geologists and rock hounds in these fascinating crystals.
     Estimated to be 60-500 million years old, there is much controversy on the origin of the staurolite.  Some say they formed from a meteorite that broke apart while entering the Earth’s atmosphere.  The pieces, by gravitational force were then deposited in small pockets in different areas of the world.  Another theory is that the crystals came from several miles within the Earth; and through thousands of years shifted their way closer to the Earth’s surface.  A popular Christian religious theory is that at the time of the crucifixion of Christ the angels shed many tears that crystallized and fell to the Earth as staurolites.  Another legend states that staurolites are the tears of the Fairies shed when Jesus died, thus the name “Fairy Cross”.
     Regardless of the origin, people of many nationalities and races have used staurolite crystals, or “faith crosses” as good luck charms for thousands of years.  Religions and legends have prompted strong belief in the magical little rocks.
     A Cherokee Indian legend of the staurolite is an ancient story, and has been passed down through many generations.  It was told to us by an old man of Cherokee decent, who said that he believed the crosses are better than gold.
     The legend speaks of a ceremony that would be held once a year, at the time of the Spring Solstice Full Moon.  The festival, centered on the staurolite “cross” brought many different Indigenous tribes together for food and trade during the special event.  People brought their personal “crosses” to the ceremony; and special “crosses” that were kept in a vault made of steatite would be unearthed.  All were put into a fire that was built at sunset.  There the “crosses” would be heated until glowing hot, and they would be carried with green sticks to a special mound or rock.  The staurolite would glow for hours; and would be kept continuously hot by reheating until the rising of the sun.  This legendary ceremony was to assure the people safe passage, rain during the growing season and an abundance of food in the fall.  Thus, the staurolite has been a symbol of good luck and faith for centuries with many Cherokee people.
     Even today we, the believe in the staurolite crystal.  They are carried with us always; and many are passed to others who are seeking hope and change to better their lives.  For many years we have given the crystals to people from all parts of the world, to carry as their personal talisman or to place in an area for protection, peace and good fortune.  When the staurolites were abundant we would send 107 of these crystals with special people to be “planted” in troubled areas, or other places that these people would be visiting.  With the help of these special friends, our staurolite crystals from GA are now in every country and every ocean in the world.
     For those who believe in the mystical power of stones, this can be viewed as an extraordinary number of staurolites, which have become communication points.  Add this to the vast number of people who own and carry the staurolite with them, and you have a magical network created by a modest mineral that should be exalted.
     Be it luck, superstition, depiction of the crucifixion, or legendary belief, the staurolite crystal can change the way you think, feel and believe.  They are a natural gift from the Creator, and this is the reason we call them “FAITH CROSSES”.
     In recent years the staurolite has become a highly prized and collectible mineral of the Appalachian region.  In 1972 it was designated as the State of Georgia’s official mineral.  With growth and development of the few areas where staurolites can be found, they are now becoming a very rare commodity.  Precious few staurolites exist in perfect twinned dimensional form.  The most highly prized of these are in the shape of a 90-degree cross.  These are found in an approximate ratio of 1 in 10,000.  The staurolite “twins” in an infinite number of other crossed shapes and is also found in single 6-sided crystal form.  All forms are important to those who honor the staurolite.
     There are many carved or molded “fake” staurolites on the market.  If you clean your own crystal, you will be assured that you have an authentic piece of the rock.  If you purchase a cleaned crystal, ask the seller to verify the authenticity and origin of your staurolite.
     To clean a staurolite crystal, soak overnight in hot soapy water, or heat in water and baking soda for a few minutes.  Remove the light colored schist with a pocketknife or small file.  When clean, soak the crystal in mineral oil overnight to restore its luster.  NEVER SOAK STAUROLITE CRYSTALS IN ACID!  The staurolite contains iron and will dissolve in an acid bath.

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