Selenite is a form of gypsum which grows in colourless crystals. It is brittle, easily breaking into shards and even powder, and thus must be handled carefully. The mineral is so soft that it can be scratched with a fingernail and can, technically, be bent, though it is also so brittle that attempting to bend it will usually result in breaking it. It cannot be returned to its former shape, however, so we discourage customers from attempting to bend their selenite.
Selenite itself can take on many forms, the most familiar of which is straight, fibrous, prisms. However, another form includes thin sheets. These have been occasionally used in place of glass panes and an example of such still exists in the Basilica Sanctae Sabinae, built in the 5th century. It can exhibit chatoyancy (cat's eye effect) and also has the ability to conduct light along its fibres (shine a coloured light up the base and the colour will appear at the tip). They also sometimes fluoresce or phosphoresce. It also feels somewhat silky and warm to the touch.
It's the way in which selenite toys with light - as well as its milky, translucent colour - which caused it to be named after Selene, the Greek moon goddess. Those same Greeks called it "moonstone," though it should not be mixed up with the feldspar gemstone currently called "moonstone," which diffracts light.
Gypsum is an extremely common mineral, occurring on all continents. Beautiful selenite, however, is somewhat less common. One such magical place is the Cave of Crystals in Chihuahua, Mexico where selenite as large as 12 metres has been found! Our selenite, however, comes from Morocco.
Due to its amazing optical properties and historical connection to Selene, selenite is connected with the moon, the heavens, astrology, calming energy, purity, the ethereal, past lives. It is thought to help with meditation, clarity of thought, and cleansing of energy. It has been used for scrying and some people use it to cleanse spaces either by simply placing it in a space or bypassing it over a space like one might do with an herbal incense bundle.
Selenite must be kept dry as it can easily dissolve. It should be kept out of reach of very young children, as shards and splinters can hurt.
Possible correspondences: the moon, the heavens, purity, calm, astrology, clarity, meditation, past lives, cleansing, light, Selene