Labradorite is a very popular stone for jewelry and carving. When polished, it shows its mysterious shimmering colors (called schiller or labradorescence) to its best advantage.
While an unassuming grey or black stone from one angle, labradorite can exhibit brilliant flashes of orange, red, purple, green, and blue from another. It’s probably unsurprising, then, that it’s captured the imaginations of everyone from artisans to magi, and from collectors to crystal healers.
Labradorite is a type of plagioclase feldspar. It’s made up of silicates, but can be 50-70% anorthite — a calcium-based mineral that is relatively rare on Earth, but surprisingly common on the Moon.
This stone’s striking schiller and color-shifting come from the way it forms. A very specific set of criteria needs to be met in order for it to happen.
First, it has to have a high enough percentage of anorthite. Second, during its formation, it has to cool slowly enough for ions of calcium, sodium, silicon, and aluminum to diffuse through the material, resulting in microscopically thin planes within the stone.
Most labradorites exhibit labradorescence, but not all — some specimens might not have the right composition or may have cooled too quickly to form the thin planes required for color-shifting to occur.
Labradorite is named for Labrador, Canada. This is one of the primary areas where it’s found. Other deposits exist in Scandinavia, eastern Europe, China, Madagascar, Australia, and the US.
One particularly stunning type of labradorite is spectrolite, which exhibits a higher degree of labradorescence than conventional specimens. This variety is found only in Finland.
See also: Check out Labradorite crystals here.
Labradorite Healing Properties & Benefits
Emotionally, labradorite is said to stimulate creativity while calming overactive imaginations. It helps produce new ideas, and is good for bringing joy and spontaneity into a routine, humdrum existence.
This stone is also purported to be good for working with memories. It fosters introspection, helping to bring buried memories to the surface so they can be processed and healed. It stimulates intuition, putting people back in contact with their subconscious mind, sense of playfulness, and willingness to experiment and adventure.
Physically, this stone is said to help heal lung conditions. Because of its connection to the subconscious mind, it’s also sometimes used for eye problems, brain diseases, and neurological disorders. Some practitioners use it to relieve menstrual symptoms, boost metabolism, and lower blood pressure.
See also: Check out Labradorite jewelry here.
Labradorite Magical Properties
Labradorite is sometimes called “the stone of magic.” This crystal is ideal to wear or carry during initiatory rites, since wearing it can help one’s natural magical abilities to surface.
It’s also used for protection, creating a shield over the aura that simultaneously protects from external negativity while encouraging the growth of one’s personal energy. This also makes it a useful “power stone” that can help strengthen any spell or ritual in which it is used.
To diviners, it’s an ideal partner for all forms of divination. Along with magical abilities, it also strengthens intuition, psychic abilities, past-life recall, and prophetic dreams. For those who work with spirits, astral travel, or shamanic journeys, labradorite helps facilitate moving between worlds and communicating with spirit entities.
Labradorite is unique among gemstones when it comes to color magic. Its base color can be black, white, or gold, but its rainbow flash make it more versatile than most other crystals.
Since some practitioners use it as a power stone, and it’s strongly associated with magic in a general sense, there’s really no limit to the workings that this crystal can assist with.
Keeping a large specimen on one’s altar can provide protection and extra power for all types of workings. This versatility is reflected in its affinity for chakra work. To some, labradorite is a stone for Visuddha, the throat chakra. To others, it resonates most strongly with Sahasrarah, the crown chakra.
Wearing labradorite jewelry near either of these areas can help to open and align them, alleviating physical, emotional, and spiritual ailments tied to these energy centers.
Labradorite History & Folklore
According to one legend, labradorite got its colors when the northern lights fell from the sky and were imprisoned within the stone.
A warrior happened upon these glowing stones, and tried to free the lights with his spear. He was only partially successful — most of the northern lights returned to the sky, but some remained imprisoned in labradorite.
According to some, labradorite comes from the lost city of Atlantis. Those who are particularly drawn to it are said to have spiritual or physical ancestors or past lives in this realm.
How to Cleanse Labradorite
Cleansing your crystals is important, especially when you first get them. Some are more sensitive to the energies of people than others are, but you have no real way of knowing who handled your stone before you did.
That means that any new crystal can harbor energetic traces from everyone it came in contact with. Before you can really start working with it, it’s best to re-calibrate it and return it to its energetic baseline.
This is also important if you’ve used a stone for physical or emotional healing, baneful magic, or meditation when you’ve felt angry, sad, or anxious. Think of cleansing as getting your gemstones refreshed and ready for work again.
Labradorite is pretty easy to cleanse. It’s a durable stone with a Mohs scale hardness of 6-6.5 or so, and isn’t water-soluble. You can pretty much use your intuition when it comes to re-calibrating this gem’s energy.
Some preferred methods for cleansing labradorite include:
- Keeping it with selenite stones.
- Holding it in fresh running water.
- Bathing it in an infusion of cleansing herbs.
- Setting it in sunlight.
- Setting it in the light of a full moon.
- Using singing bowls, music, bells, or chimes.
Sunlight may cause some of the dark colors in labradorite to lighten, but is unlikely to affect its labradorescence. This is because that’s caused by light refracting due to the structure of the crystal.
You still may wish to limit this stone’s time in the sun, however — intense solar light can make it very hot, and is known to cause some crystals to become brittle.
Getting Started With Labradorite
Labradorite isn’t difficult to find or very expensive, but some particularly spectacular specimens can be pricey. Chances are, you’ll be able to find good-quality stones at your local metaphysical shop.
Be sure to ask about their origins — some areas rely on child labor or environmentally unsustainable methods to harvest crystals, so it’s important to do your homework before purchasing a stone.
At the shop, don’t rush. Don’t buy the first stone you see. Take your time to handle the ones that catch your fancy, and see what kind of energy they give off. This will be somewhat affected by the people who’ve handled them before you, but you can still get a sense of how well the stone “meshes” with your energy.
It’s generally a good sign if the labradorite you pick up feels warm, cold, buzzy, or tingly. It might even give a subtle pulsing feeling, as if it were alive. Avoid stones that feel energetically “spiky,” seem to give you the brush off, make you feel suddenly sad or anxious, or just give you the urge to put it down right away.
Don’t worry if you don’t seem to feel anything, either. Picking up on crystal energy is a skill that comes with time. Let yourself be drawn to a stone, and go from there. When you get your labradorite home, cleanse it using one of the methods above. Afterward, you’re ready to begin working with it.
Try meditating with your stone before divination or spellwork. Ask it for its help with whatever you’re trying to accomplish. Carry it with you, in a pocket or pouch. Sleep with it under your pillow. The more you handle and work with your labradorite, the more it can do for you.
A plain gray-black stone from one angle, and a dazzling array of rainbows from another, labradorite is a reminder of the hidden depths of our psyches. Within all of us lie the energy of our spiritual and physical ancestors, memories, and intuition.
Working with these beautiful gemstones can help us release the untapped power within ourselves.
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