How the Universe, our Solar System, and life evolved are questions that touch both the scientific and the magical. There are many theories on how life started, and most require minerals such as clays to be the template for the first self-replicating RNA. Minerals are usually considered to be the materials of Earth’s formation, but scientists are beginning to rethink this view. The chemistry of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans have been drastically altered by the presence of life, and as a consequence, so have the minerals. It is estimated that two-thirds of the minerals now on Earth did not exist before life began. Not only were minerals essential for the development of life, but life has been essential for the formation of many of the rocks, stones and crystals that we love and use in our everyday and magical practices.
Everything we are, use and see comes from our home planet and can be traced back to the minerals from which our Earth is made. Many minerals have been used for the necessities of life while others are for magical-spiritual practices. Many more fall on a continuum between the two depending upon the world view of the humans handling them.
This talk will begin with a discussion of some basic terminology to develop a common frame of reference. It will then explore the evolution of minerals; how rocks, stones, minerals and crystals are used including adornment, healing, religious-ceremonial practices, protection, divination, and more; and how thought forms and beliefs influence the success of such use. The talk will conclude with some reflections on anthropogenic minerals and our effects as humans on this world.
As a science educator and an active pagan, Vella lives in two worlds: the mundane everyday world and a magical/spiritual one. She grew up on Ohio farms developing a deep love of nature while spending hours seeking pretty stones and fossils in glacial drift gravel. When she sought career opportunities in geology, she was told women could teach or be a lab assistant, but could not become a geologist. In spite of this, Vella earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in geology from Ohio State and the University of Colorado. She worked in the oil and gas industry as both an exploration geologist and as a sedimentary petrographer. She later took classes at Denver University in science education and went on to be a middle school teacher of physical sciences (chemistry and physics), life sciences (human biology, genetics, ecology) and a bit of earth science. Her hobbies include nature photography, reading, gardening, genealogy and spending time with family, cats, fish and their dog.
Vella is also an eclectic witch studying and teaching traditions including Wicca, Reclaiming, Feri/Faery, Shamanism and Druidism. She has studied the nature-based religions of Asia, Africa, Australia and America that have been suppressed by organized religion. She teaches pagan-related workshops, conducts public rituals and celebrates moon and solar holidays. Vella has been an active member of Dances of Universal Peace, participates in drum and song circles, has completed a Permaculture Design Course at the GrowHaus, is a past board member of the Orpheus Pagan Chamber Choir and has studied Reiki (third degree), animal communication, sound healing, and Celtic herbalism. She is currently writing a book tentatively titled A Pagan Book of Stones. More information can be found at Vella Rose’s Musings (
Evolution of Minerals: Dr. Robert M. Hazen has written several articles, at least one pop culture book, and a NOVA documentary on this topic. More recently, he has been writing articles on Anthropogenic materials.
Hazen, RM, et all, 2008, Mineral Evolution, American Mineralogist Vol 93:1693-1720 ()
Hazen, RM, 2010, The Evolution of Minerals, Scientific American, March 2010, p. 58-65
Hazen, RM, 2012, The Story of Earth, Penguin Books, 306 pp
Hazen, RM, et al, 2017, On the Mineralogy of the “Anthropocene Epoch”, in Outlook in Earth and Planetary Materials, American Mineralogist, Vol 102, p. 595-611
Life’s Rocky Start, a NOVA documentary, first shown on PBS 13 January 2016
Origins of Life: Ward, P. & J. Kirschvink, 2016, A New History of Life, The Radical New Discovery about The Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth, Bloombury Press, 391pp
Thought Forms and Magical Beliefs:
Ashcroft-Nowicki, D. & JH Brennan, 2002, Magical Use of Thought Forms, Llewellyn Publications, 253 pp
Besant, A. & CW Leadbeater, 1971, Thought-Forms, The Theosophical Publishing House, 77 pp.
Carroll, PJ, 1992, Liber Kaos, Samuel Weiser Publishing, 218 pp
Metaphysical Uses of Stones: Several Authors:
Scott Cunningham (1956 – 1993) An American author who many Wiccans regard as an important resource for information on the uses of stones. His 1987 book, Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem, and Metal Magic, is still being published and is readily available.
Michael Gienger (1964-2014) Was a German metaphysical author who wrote over 20 books on stones which are now available in English in many local stores. His work is much respected in Europe. (Crystal Power, Crystal Healing; Gemstone Healing; Gemwater (Gienger and Goebel), 2014; Healing Crystals the A-Z guide to 555 gemstones, 2014; Purifying Crystals; The Healing Crystal First Aid Manual; Twelve Essential Healing Crystals)
Judy Hall Is from the UK; Judy bills herself as a Mind, Body, Spirit author and has produced over 40 books, many on stones; Some consider her the “Melody of the UK”. She is also a psychic, healer, broadcaster and workshop leader; her books have been translated into 15 languages. She is very popular in UK and her books are now widely available in the US. (The Crystal Bible (vol 1), 2003 – she now has at least 3 more volumes;Crystal Companion; Crystal Prescription)
Melody Lives in Colorado; her books are used as resources for finding the meaning and use of stones. Being a mathematician, her approach was somewhat scientific, only including results agreed on by 3 people in her books. She retired a few years ago, and as of now, her books are out of print. Her crystal healing and energy system are used in many parts of the US and Europe. (Love is in the Earth, 1995; Love is in the Earth – Laying on of Stones, 1990 ; Love is in the Earth – The Crystal and Mineral Encyclopedia, 2007; Love is in the Earth – Passport to Crystals – the Little Book, 2013)
Katrina Raphaell Is an American who wrote a trilogy of books on the use of crystals in the early 1980’s then started her Crystal Academy of Advanced Healing Arts; many of the stone practices and terms used in New Age circles originated with Katrina. (Crystal Enlightenment vol 1, 1985; Crystal Healing vol 2, 1987; The Crystalline Transmission vol 3, 1990)
Cost for buffet luncheon and lecture is now $24 (same price without lunch).
We can accept CASH or CHECK only – payable at the door.
Friday, August 24, 2018
Buffet begins at 11:00 AM and presentation starts at 11:30 AM
Nissi’s Entertainment Venue & Event Center
2675 Northpark Drive Lafayette, CO 80026
(On the SE corner of 95th St and Arapahoe Rd)