Blogs, The Novice’s Grimoire

The Novice’s Grimoire: Feb. 11-18

By Z. Smith

4798525308_cefe44aa96Today’s post is not about love potions or philtres—check back next week and I’ll see what we can come up with. Nor is this post about any number of crystals that can bring about immediate gratification. This post is, instead, about self-appreciation and the creation of love through the use of Opal.

Introductions are pesky, pesky little things. Can’t we just imagine, pretend, and otherwise believe that we—you, dear reader, and myself—have known each other for years and years, and this—this blog, this space, this time—is just another instance of us meeting for tea in one of our many well-known haunts? Here, I have already told you about my day, my drive, my breakfast, and other sundries; and you have revealed a little too much about your mother, your job, and your significant other; but you aren’t embarrassed, and I have no aim for you to be. This is as natural as a spring shower, as soothing as the first rays of sun, and as peaceful as the quiet of midnight. We lean back in our chairs and feel the welcoming warmth of each other’s company.

Every week, here in The Novice’s Grimoire, you and I will be talking about beautiful things, wondrous things; some mystic, some not. The first week of every month we will be picking an herb—yes, a single herb—and talking about it in some length: variously its history, uses, lore, powers, and perhaps a pleasingly relevant anecdote. In much the same way, the second week will be dedicated to a single crystal, the third to an oil/tincture/mixture, and the fourth to a mystery topic of my particular choosing; which isn’t to say that you don’t have a say in our topics here; by all means, if you have a topic you’d like to go over, please either comment below or message CATALYST Magazine on Facebook with your suggestions; this is our conversation, after all.

Yet, here—in our comfortable let’s-meet-again-next-week space—we must make one thing exceedingly clear: I, as you no doubt know by now, am not a doctor, certified mystic, or highly popular Nazarene; therefore take all our conversations with a grain of salt and understand—in absolute clarity—that what we are having is an informative exchange, and not a medical discussion. But, I will say, that if one chooses to engage with the energy of any given herb, crystal, or oil, and is willing to have a meaningful energy-exchange—through meditation, ritual, even a moment of quiet awareness—and allows the give and take essential in any relationship, you will discover results; maybe not the exact results you are looking for, but results filled with valuable information nonetheless. Results—as I have found many times in the past—are only as useful as our perspective on them. In short, everything is about energy and growing from what we discover and learn. Let that be a freeing notion.

I personally—and if you have other suggestions, please do tell—have had the best luck finding herbs locally from The Good Earth health food store; crystals from The Dancing Crane, Turiya’s, Golden Braid, and Crone’s Hollow; and quality oils from The Good Earth, Whole Foods, and Sprouts. Though I am entirely open to exploring other sources, the internet—that shifty mischievous child—has not always delivered “quality” items; and when dealing with the energies of herbs, crystals, and oils, I always find it best to hold the thing and sense it physically—it’s better to spend your money on something you can connect to.

Regarding this space’s title, The Novice’s Grimoire, the word “novice”—as you most certainly know—pertains to the level of knowledge held by a new-comer about a topic. You and I, novices or not, must approach this space with a wide-eyed wonder, a wonder of fireflies first discovering their lights; this will keep us eager and kind. The word “grimoire,” relates to mythical textbooks of magic, and all the related items therein. Thus, through the use and discussion of the aforementioned items, this space exists as a new-comer’s place of education and empowerment. We must traverse the mystic here-and-now, the veiled beyond, as bold explorers seeking an inner and outer resonance with all that is.

If you don’t have to leave yet—I do believe I heard your phone ringing not but a moment ago—let’s mutually welcome each other to the first Novice’s Grimoire post! This being the second week of the month, it is high time we talked about a crystal, and with Valentine’s Day coming up this Sunday, it is only fitting that this particular crystal’s energies relate to love. But love from a unique perspective.

Crystal – OpalScreen Shot 2016 02 10 at 5.53.39 PM
Mineral Class: Oxide
Energies: Projective and Receptive
Planet: All Planets
Elements: All Elements
Deity: Cupid
Powers: Beauty, Desire, Joy, Poetic Appreciation, Sensuality, Spontaneity

Today’s post is not about love potions or philtres—check back next week and I’ll see what we can come up with. Nor is this post about any number of crystals that can bring about immediate gratification. This post is, instead, about self-appreciation and the creation of love through the use of Opal.

Opals come in many different colors (pink, fire, blue, and green opal), each with their own inherent power and abilities. We will be speaking about Opal in its original form, which should be understood as a collection of all the opals into one stone; it is gloriously luminescent in appearance and rainbow in color. Opal is the single stone in which the powers (and colors) all the various kinds reside: it encourages generosity (pink), strengthens the will to live (fire), stimulates curiosity (blue), and aids in physical and mental regeneration (green). Opal also has powers to create heightened sensuality, increase outer beauty, project desires, and bring about a greater sexual awareness. I find it is interesting that this stone seems most obviously used for gaining love from others—as outlined in the previous sentence—but, I believe this stone is more accurately about gaining love for oneself, and by consequence naturally attracting love from others.


If one were to take an Opal in hand, sit down in front of a mirror and meditate (with eyes opened or closed), while connecting to the energy of the stone, they would begin to see an honest image of the inner self; strengths, weaknesses, and all. If one can find a way, even if but for a moment, to connect to that inner self, one will undoubtedly be confronted with the inner beauty that exists and/or with the things that need changing. Opal’s power is that it allows one to more clearly see their inherent inner beauty, desire inner betterment, and become more sensually aware of the world—here, sensuality is the idea of feeling, sensing the world. If one can meet the inner being in such an honest and open way, there is no doubt that a deep and meaningful self-love will also be found. This self-love will begin to shine out and show even through the most conspicuous visage; when we love within, our love can’t help but exist without. It is through discovering a self-love that one will begin to, in the most natural way, attract the right sort of like-minded individuals; thus creating love from self-love.

By applying the needed amount of time, energy, and purposeful reflection (which is different for each person) to properly utilize Opal, one may just find themselves surrounded by who and what they’ve often desired most. We must understand that an immediate love is not always the most fulfilling kind, and that a love found through self-appreciation, openness, and creation is worth working for.

See you next week for our discussion—yes, we are getting to the quick-and-dirty side of love and mysticism—on Aphrodisiacs and Love Potions.


Z. Smith is a cookie connoisseur, moonlight meanderer, and aesthete at large. His work has previously appeared in 13 Experiments, Folio, Stone Soup Review, SLUG Magazine, and CATALYST Magazine. He earned his BA in English from The University of Utah and currently writes from a room with many plants.


Crystal Power, Crystal Healing: The Complete Handbook by Michael Gienger

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic by Scott Cunningham

This article was originally published on February 11, 2016.