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Among the variety of stones most collected for metaphysical use, apatite does not rate highly on the list. Most people seek out the classic stones (like clear quartz, tiger eye, amethyst, and other semiprecious gems), and others may never have heard of apatite at all. And yet, apatite is a very common mineral. Its lesser popularity is probably because it does not have a long history of lore; its metaphysical uses are somewhat modern. Apatite is growing in popularity, however, and this is a stone that I believe anyone working with crystal magic should possess.
Apatite is more accurately described as a mineral group: calcium fluorine-chlorine hydroxyl phosphate, often with manganese and cerium. Basically, just think of it as a group of phosphate minerals. In fact, apatite is the main source of phosphorus, which is necessary for fertilizers. In addition, components of apatite also make up the enamel in teeth.
Although the name sounds like the word "appetite" (which is oddly appropriate given its connection with teeth), the name actually comes from the Greek apate, meaning "deceit" (because apatite was often confused with other stones like olivine, aquamarine, or beryl, all of which have a similar appearance). Apatite has a hardness of 5 on the Mohs scale, similar to that of glass, so its use in jewelry is somewhat limited. But, even though it's not considered by most to be a semiprecious stone, gem-like specimens of apatite do exist and are quite striking. You can find apatite jewelry in the form of beads and faceted stones as well.
Apatite has a hexagonal structure and often occurs in shades of blue to bluish-gray or violet, yellow to pale green, and sometimes pink and orange. The variety in appearance of this stone is due to the many different mineral mixtures that can be present in the group. Some collectors have dubbed certain specimens of green apatite "asparagus stone."
I found my first piece of apatite at a gem and mineral show; it's a yellowish crystal that caught my eye immediately. At that time, I was one of those who had never heard of this mineral, but once I saw it, I knew it had to become part of my collection. My second and most recent piece was acquired on a trip to California. At the beach in Santa Cruz a young woman was selling hand-made jewelry and I bought a piece of pale green apatite wrapped in copper wire. Now I have one that's ready to wear!
Apatite's metaphysical uses include many nurturing qualities; this makes sense—simply think of the use of phosphorus as fertilizer. Use apatite to enhance intuition, meditation, creativity, teaching, service to others, insight, clarity, and the higher self. Also, apatite can be used to enhance the qualities of other stones. Astrologically, apatite is associated with Gemini and Aquarius.
For spells, you can carry a loose stone, wrap it in a bundle, or wear it if you're fortunate to have a piece of jewelry. To cleanse your stone, allow it to sit in sunlight for a full day or rest the stone on a bed of sea salt for twenty-four hours during a waning moon phase. Choose whichever method is most convenient for you or the one that best fits the needs of your particular spell.
Three Apatite Spells
I hope apatite can become a regular part of your crystal magic practice and I wish you many hours of joy collecting and working with stones.
Ember Grant is a full time English professor and teaches writing, poetry, and literature. She has been writing for Llewellyn for more than twenty years and is the author of numerous articles. She is also the author of ...