Labradorite is a Plagioclase Feldspar found in
magmatic igneous and metamorphic rock. Feldspars are extremely
abundant in the Earth's crust, the most common varieties falling into two
groups - the Alkali Feldspars and the Plagioclase Feldspars.
Plagioclase Feldspars (also called Soda-Lime Feldspars) form
in a series from "pure sodium to pure calcium end members as follows:
Albite - Oligoclase - Andesine - Labradorite - Bytownite - Anorthite."
The first to crystalize from high temperature molten rock are the calcium
rich Plagioclase Feldspars. As a molten mass cools, the sodium becomes
concentrated, and the final Plagioclase Feldspar (Albite) then forms.
Labradorite lies somewhat in the middle of this series.
Discovered in 1770 on St. Paul Island, Labrador, Canada,
Labradorite was named for this site - a locale famous for producing
the variety of stone containing the iridescent schiller effect - in
this instance called "labradorescence".
Typically gray to black in color, Labradorite often reveals its
iridescent display in either violet, blue, green, gold, orange, yellow
or red color, or a combination of these. Like its sister the Moonstone,
the iridescence, or labradoresence, of Labradorite is caused by thin
parallel layers (called lamellae) within the stone. These lamellae result
from the separation and layering that takes place when chemistries change as
high temperatures cool. The layers formed then reflect the light that
enters the stone but before doing so will refract it back and forth
through the various layers, scattering it, until it emerges from
the stone at a different wavelength than what it originally entered at; this is called
diffraction. The new wavelength will be the wavelength of a different
color. If layers are too thick or too thin, or if not viewed from the precise
angle that will diffract the light, then no labradorescence will be
High-grade specimens of Labradorite containing various
colors of the spectrum, originally discovered in Finland in the 1940s, share
the name Spectrolite.
O8 - Calcium Sodium Aluminum Silicate.
Feldspars - Plagioclase series.
gray to gray-black, but also gray-white, white, colorless, light
green or yellow, and all often exhibiting a labradorescence (schiller)
in shades of blue, violet, green, yellow, orange to gold, or brown, singly
or in a combination of colors. Opaque to translucent; in rare cases transparent.
to Vitreous (glassy).
Cleavable masses. Rarer crystals occur as rough, well-formed, blocky crystals,
often found embedded in igneous rocks with low silica content. Granular,
typically occurring as irregular to euhedral crystals in matrix. Often
striated on cleavage or crystal face. Twinning is common, anywhere from fractions
of millimeters to several millimeters thick.
in one direction and good in another direction, forming near right
angled prisms. Poor in a third direction.
Conchoidal to uneven.
2.5 - 2.9
Characteristics: Labradorescence common in flashes of
blue, violet, green, orange, gold or yellow. Index of refraction is 1.55 -
Occurrences: Labrador, Canada; Scandinavian
Peninsula; Russia; Greenland; New South Wales, Australia; United States; Madagascar.
Indicators: Specific gravity, color and labradorescence,
Mineral specimens, ornamental stone, jewelry.
In the myths of the northern people, Labradorite is thought
to have fallen from the Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights) and has been
connected to ancient magickal practices by many from that region.
Eskimos believed that the Northern Lights were once trapped in the rocks off the
coast of Labrador, but were set free into the air by one of their ancestors
who broke one of the rocks with his spear - some of the lights, however,
remained trapped in the stone which we now call Labradorite. The
Finnish often buried pieces of Labradorite in their fields as an offering to the
spirits of the land. Artifacts found in Maine, and dating to around
the year 1000, show the use of Labradorite by the Algonquin tribe of that time.
One black iridescent variety of the stone, called Spectrolite and which
hails from Finland, has been nicknamed "The Shaman's Stone".
Labradorite has also been called "Black Moonstone".
Another common myth surrounding Labradorite says
that those who are attracted to this stone have ancestral roots in
Atlantis, whereas those who are attracted to the stone Angelite have
ancestral roots in Lemuria.
It is said that to help one "hear the message of
spirit guides," one should wear earrings made of Labradorite. To
bring clearer and greater visions, the stone should be placed on one's
Third Eye during meditation. Worn as a ring, it is said to better
facilitate the "sending and receiving of magick". This stone is
also said to assist in invoking the elementals. Perhaps its most
important aid is that it is said to help one realize and achieve one's destiny.
Astrological Sign(s): Scorpio, Sagittarius, Leo
Chakra(s): Brow (Third Eye)
Clarity of perception.
*Gives physical aid in treating: Immune
deficiencies; metabolism; disorders of the brain; gout and rheumatism;
improves night vision; relinquishes psychological co-dependency; stress.
Stone therapy should NOT take the place of medical
evaluation and procedures, and should be used merely as an aid to enhance one's
health and well-being.
Where airy Seraphinite is a new love of mine,
Labradorite is an old watery love and has remained one of my
very favorite stones. The beauty of its labradorescence is
captivating, and, like a siren, will tantalize and call to you to come delve into
its watery depths. Its true beauty lies within, just as it does
in all of us. And just as one cannot (and should not) judge a book by its
cover, so it is with this fantastic stone, where one moment you may be
looking at a fairly nondescript blackish-gray rock, but in another a dazzling
display of color and inner light.
This unique visual quality of the stone can be
related to how we may at times view a problem or cope with boredom. At
times things may look dark and dreary. But if we just step aside for a
moment, shift our perspective and look deeply into the inner realm,
there beneath the surface glows the true colors - the inner light.
From here, we will invariably begin to see things in a new and exciting way
as we awaken to the possibilities. And this is exactly what Labradorite
does. It awakens you to all the possibilities, along with awakening you
and coaxing you toward your fullest potential.
Said to bring both good luck and courage to the bearer,
Labradorite enhances a person's insight, perception and ability to
capture psychic wisdom, and then has the uncanny ability to help
connect all that to the intellect. This can bring
about the courage, as the wisdom is bolstered by the knowledge of what to
do with it. The good luck comes as a result of being more aware,
and thus making better decisions and having a finer focus on things.
Labradorite can, and does, give you a clearer vision on which paths to take
in order to blossom into the fullness you were meant to blossom into.
I can also see why this stone has been labeled
"The Shaman's Stone". Trance work is very easy with Labradorite
and it tends to take you on a journey. Peering into this
stone is like diving deep into the ocean, where underwater you
find a new world rich with form and color, alive with vivid corals and labyrinth kelp —
a place teeming with odd and unfamiliar creatures, weirdly shimmering
landscapes and shifting sands. It is a most enchanting place, although
it can be both exciting and frightening at times, as now you
realize it's become a journey of discovering the magick in you. But
like the stingray lying in wait, hidden and camouflaged beneath a layer of
sand that reflects the illusion of the water's wavering surface,
the sudden and radiant gift of awakening prods the resting creature to
swiftly uncover itself and swim into the light.
This is the gift of Labradorite. A beautiful stone,
and one well worth looking into.
“Love Is In the Earth” ~ Melody
“The Illustrated Directory of Healing Crystals” ~
“The Book of Stones” ~ Robert Simmons & Naisha
Photos by: Patricia J. Martin
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