I’m a bit of a sucker for crystals and such. They don’t appear in my every conversation or anything, but I quietly carry one or two along in my pockets with me on most days, and I have probably more than a few scattered around the house. Metaphysical types will credit different types of stones with different characteristics, and while it can be fun to study up on these, it will also become quickly apparent that as with a lot of metaphysical subjects, the so-called (and self-designated…) “experts” often can’t find very much at all in the way of common ground. You’ll often find the same stone credited with such a wide array of sorcerous powers, that it will seem possibly easier to start listing out what it can’t do. So the best approach, then, when trying to suss out exactly what a given variety of crystal can or can’t accomplish for you…is gathering first-hand, empirical evidence.
So, something else I’ve written about in this space before that I also find myself charmed by in an ongoing sort of way, would be the animal kingdom. I have great admiration for the animals around me in the physical world, and in the more metaphysical context, I also like concepts such as Animal Guides, and I always pay very close attention to patterns of animal appearances around me, whether these be in my waking or my dreaming states.
With all of the above in mind…last week, I stumbled across a passage on the internet stating that a certain stone called Leopardskin Jasper is excellent for use in either discovering one’s Animal Guides, or, if they’re already known, firming up ties with them. This interested me: I have a small bowl full of Jasper, all of which I got quite a long while ago when I found heaps of it for sale at a local Occult shop at some irresistibly low, low prices. I filled my pockets at the time, trundled home all this Jasper-y goodness…and haven’t done much with it since. This online reference, though, decided for me that it was time to revisit my Jasper holdings…
Now, like such stones as Agate or Calcite, Jasper comes in a whole slew of specific varieties. You can’t just start holding forth about “Jasper,” and expect people to know exactly what you mean with any real specificity. There’s Red Jasper and Yellow Jasper…there’s Polychrome Jasper and Brecciated Jasper…there’s Picture Jasper and Picasso Jasper, and there’s Ocean Jasper and Rainforest Jasper…there’s Cobra Jasper (sometimes King Cobra Jasper), Zebra Jasper, Dalmatian Jasper…there are the intriguingly named Mookaite Jasper and Kambaba Jasper.
And then there’s Leopardskin Jasper:
So as it turned out, I had no less than three separate pieces of this rather shamanic-sounding stone in my little Jasper collection. I decided to give them a mild test-drive by sleeping with them under my pillow, which is often a thoroughly interesting way for me to see if I have any real connection with a given stone. In brief, here’s what happened:
Night #1: I dreamed at one point that I was outside in a green/wooded area, but still within what we like to think of as “civilization”…so I was under some kind of structure of sorts. Just ahead of me and a few feet up, at about the height of a standard basketball hoop, was a thick wooden cross-beam connecting one part of the structure to another. Two birds landed on it, but this was at the upper limits of my vision at that moment, so I couldn’t see them at first. Tilting my head up, I just barely caught one of the birds stepping along the beam so as to more or less vanish from my sight, the beam itself separating us. The other bird, though, was eminently, vividly visible: it was a large Raven, glowing with detail. I could see the slightly down-curving beak, the small tuft of minute feathers where that beak met the Raven’s face, the main body of feathers as glossy and black as ink fresh from the inkwell… As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the Raven is a special creature for me, and I wear its likeness in tattoo form on the underside of my wrist… Score one for the Leopardskin Jasper (and I should note here that I’ve never been the type to be able to successfully “program” myself to dream about anything in particular, so if you want to credit my subconscious or my dream-warrior self with me having this dream on this particular night, you’re free to do so, but I lean toward chalking it up to the Leopardskin Jasper, especially if you factor in…well, read on…)…
Night #2: I was traveling somewhere by ship, and in this dream, I chanced to gaze out through a convenient porthole. It was very misty outside, very wet, although not actively raining. As I looked out at the dark air, guess what happened to be flying by outside…? It was another Raven! This one was just cruising along, unbothered by the prodigious dampness of the air, aside from having to flap its wings a bit more than Ravens seem to like to do whenever I see them out in the physical world (like the large Hawks and Owls I’ve seen, Ravens prefer to glide whenever possible, models of efficiency who are much too cool to need to actually exert themselves to get where they need to go — the wind seems to want to do the work for them, for the most part). So I could probably write up an entire post on the symbolism inherent in the ship, the wet weather conditions, the mist, the active wing-beating of the Raven versus its usual glide…but I feel that the main point to be taken from the dream here is simply the fact that for the second night in a row with the Leopardskin Jasper under my pillow, I dreamed of what some might refer to as one of my “Power Animals.”
Night #3: On the final night of this bit of experimentation (I decided to give the Leopardskin Jasper a rest after three nights, regardless of results), I was again privileged to receive a visit from an animal I view as having great personal importance for me: this time, it was a very large Black Panther that came padding up to me from out of the dreamscape. I’ve lodged several posts in months past about how I first encountered a real Black Panther while scouting a site for a personal artistic video project I was working on, and how I then began receiving visits from the sleek and beautiful beasts — one even with great black wings! — in my dreams after that encounter. This one was no less impressive and gratifying! In it, I was standing about kind of idly, not doing much of anything, and in otherwise unremarkable surroundings, when an enormous Black Panther strolled up to me from out of the hazy middle-distance, clearly coming right toward me. It showed no apparent malice in the moment, but it seemed to be heading my way with pretty obvious purpose, like it felt we had some definite business to attend to together. As it reached me, I felt the barest twinge of apprehension, but then it turned and leaned its great shoulder into my thighs, causing me to replant my feet for balance, while it basically let me know that it simply wanted me to pet it. Happy to oblige, I laughed, and then bent forward to work at the task with both hands, doing my best to grant the stunning creature the greatest petting that any feline had ever received. It twitched its tail with pleasure and kept leaning into me, hundreds of pounds of streamlined muscle and potential ferocity bent toward the joyous objective of receiving some basic affection (and okay, no small amount of awe). And then I woke up from the dream…
And on Night #4, when I didn’t have the Leopardskin Jasper under my pillow…I didn’t dream of animals at all.
So what does this all mean? Does it mean that if you, too, sleep with Leopardskin Jasper under your pillow, you, too, will dream dreams of your own Spirit Animals? Well…not necessarily. We’re all different, and what seems to work for me may not work for you, and vice versa — like I said, gathering first-hand, empirical evidence is the only way to determine these things for sure. But on the other hand, my own experiences here do nothing in my own mind to dispel the idea that Leopardskin Jasper may indeed have some shamanic/animal-related metaphysical properties beyond what simple chance might account for. If nothing else, you should be able to find a piece of this particular variety of stone pretty easily and for a pretty affordable price, and you can then experiment a bit yourself…and if animals do pop out of the dreamscape for you, too, I’d love to hear about it!