Jane Ann Dow

Jane Ann & Crystal

I was introduced to 'andara' shortly after meeting Crystal on Kauai a few years ago. I was there to teach a small crystal class, armed with twenty or so heart shaped stones as my travel pack! We were instant friends much to my delight. Crystal made it possible for me to share more of my life experiences and interests than my 'crystal healing' information.

For many years obsidian has been fascinating to me. In the beginning of my crystal explorations with Katrina Raphaell and working together on her first book: Crystal Enlightenment, obsidian held a special place in my heart and in my crystal journey. Along with crystal healing, my real passion emerged, counseling critically ill children and adults. It was here that obsidian began it's role in my own energy field, going deep within to allow sub-conscious thoughts and beliefs to emerge that play such an important part of who I am now. It was not just about me, it had to do with all of us who wish to understand the reasons we are who we are and the willingness to explore what we hold so deep within us. I suppose it is human nature to push away what is uncomfortable or inconsistent in our lives, to bury it so deep that we don't have to think about it! But energy does not just go away because we don't think about it! Early experiences, even some of what we bring to each life expression, stays with us, hidden or not.

So my introduction to obsidian, it's volcanic nature, how it comes to us from deep within the earth, is yet another reminder that all of creation is here for us to examine.

Many years later, other kinds of obsidian began to appear in crystal healing stones. Volcanic glass from Mexico, the Philippines, even Vermont was seen as something valuable in its' meaning and origin. Thought to be 'just glass' was quickly refuted by scientific laboratories such as Los Alamos in New Mexico who are presently looking at the energy vibrations emitting from ordinary 'glass'. Interesting because New Mexico is a volcanic remnant of a huge volcano that erupted eons ago leaving behind great amounts of 'apache tears' - a black obsidian with white markings and crushed into small fragments over time.

While writing my own crystal book "Crystal Journey" I wrote of a vibrant green stone that was made from ashes from the eruption of Mt. St. Helen's just a few years earlier. Someone heated the ash and it turned into a color green that was not represented in the mineral kingdom. (The closest color to it was later found in indicolite tourmaline) I called it volcanic glass. In my crystal work, seemingly far different than others, the client selects to stones according to what they desire to work on during a session. Each stone they choose acts as an extension of their own energy and can often answer their own questions. The premise of this being that the stones speak for our spirit, for our inner being so often elusive to our conscious mind. For me, this 'glass' represented what obsidian came to be, release of hidden issues. The green 'glass' served as a warning that a personal eruption would be taking place, emotionally, mentally or spiritually and the client was put on notice to prepare for a major shift and welcome the opportunity for change and growth. Facing up to the challenges we so adeptly create in our lives!

Then along came Crystal with andara, soft, subtle, powerful and thought provoking. The early ones she gave me were from California, near where I was raised! California as a whole is a rocking place largely because of the large amounts of fault lines and the constant shifting of energy and earth. But what emerged from this pocket of volcanic 'glass' served as a reminder that we must go within before we can take on new exteriors of belief and behavior. It also spoke to the understanding that one can do this without it becoming a cathartic experience, that we can be kind and gentle to ourselves in any process of growth. Yes, change would be coming, it is the only constant thing in our lives, change. But is is rather like trying to fix a broken clock and not all the pieces are there! We need all our pieces of information, experience, memory to better understand our purpose.

I think most of us have arrived at the conclusion that true healing is not just a band-aid to cover up a wound. The reasons for the wound are far more important than the wound itself. And even if the wound does heal without this understanding, the scar, the memory and energy of it remains.

Then along came the andara from Indonesia. Breathtaking. Deep. Meditative. Beautiful. Powerful. For me, it is as if this andara came from even a deeper place in our earth, rising from the depths to bring us a better understanding of the power of our planet. Everything is here for us. Nature is here for us, to heal us, to bring us what we need to heal ourselves. Stones do not heal alone. Any stone or mineral or crystal requires an intention to activate it's meaning and embrace it into our own energy field. This andara speaks volumes about our need to bring the beauty of our own experiences into clearer understanding. The meditative aspects of andara are many, the vibration it brings when held or worn acts as a reminder: in my imperfection I am perfect. When I feel off balance, which is a great deal of the time (!), andara brings me back into focus and assists on my ever-present journey into greater understanding of self and hopefully others.

I use andara to clear any energy center or issue stopping the flow of energy in a light body to allow a passageway to greater understanding. If someone has issues that are blocking a specific chakra point, then andara would greatly enhance an ability to gain access to what that issue could be and more importantly, why. For me, healing is all about two things: locating the origin of a disharmony and once discovered, looking at it from other points of view, finding out its purpose. It is information that heals and andara helps bring that data to light whether it is placed directly on the body, in the energy field, or in a crystal grid. When I am stuck on a thought or wrestling with a problem, working with andara seems to sort through all the emotional dreck and points the way to solution. It is a multi-purpose stone for healing or change. Whether it is in rough form or faceted in gem form, the light of it is present, always.

The world needs andara now more than ever before. Why do you think it has surfaced at this time? My crystal studies years ago led me to understand that when we are in need of a new kind of energy or support, it appears - in mineral form even though it is ancient in its origin. Look at the popularity of peridot during the world wars, not just because it was a less expensive stone for jewelry, but because it represents physical healing, as this planet was greatly wounded. Sugilite was discovered just as cancer became so prevalent and was once thought to be the healer of that disease; however, it really has a greater depth than that, it helps us locate the fear in our energy field that is the seeds of most disease and disharmony in our physical body. So here comes andara, just as we are experiencing a great upheaval and chaos affecting our entire planet. Andara is saying:

'Find your inner core, go deep, find your balance in an imbalanced world, find your peace within your own heart and soul. Be willing to find your true selves and let that be your mantra. Find your own beauty in a world of confusion and darkness and let that be your guide and the energy and love you send to others. True healing comes from your own essence. Trust yourselves to be yourselves. Deep within we are all andaras waiting to emerge from our own depths and shine.'

Aloha, Jane Ann Dow