Spiritual Safety Part 1: The Mundane

By Gweneth O'Brien















There's a notion that spirituality is dangerous, scary, and impossible to explore without causing yourself or others harm. That is absolutely incorrect. There are some risks, both physically and energetically, but they're almost always preventable if you follow some basic rules and precautions. Over the next two weeks, I'll be talking about a few, both on the physical and spiritual side, so you feel safe and ready to work with energy in a way you resonate with.


First, let's talk about physical safety.

The number one thing is fire safety, when working with candles, incense, smoke cleansing, etc.


A fire hazard that isn't always obvious about is a crystal ball. When you're not using it, be sure to cover it up with a cloth of some sorts. You may think that it's because it might invite unwanted energies if it's left uncovered (maybe), but in reality, it might start a fire if the light hits it at a certain angle.


Next, herbs are a huge one. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of discussion around this, at least to my knowledge, but always ensure that your herbs are safe to burn, drink/ingest, or use when pregnant. For example, both mandrake and hemlock are highly poisonous. Mandrake is a dangerous hallucinogenic, and hemlock was actually used in ancient times for executions. (This is the same poison Socrates drank when he was sent to his death).  

When I first started with herbal work, I found it incredibly difficult to find a resource that not only states the properties of the herb, but whether or not it is safe to burn for incense/cleansing. If you are looking for a great resource, I recommend Scott Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, which does state what herbs are and aren't toxic. Here are a few short lists I've compiled, which give a few examples of safe and unsafe herbs. Poisonous Herbs and Plants. Holly  Iris Lily-of-the-valley Mistletoe Monkshood Nightshade/Deadly Nightshade Oleander  Yew Herbs to avoid when pregnant: Saw Palmetto Goldenseal Blue/black cohosh Passion flower Pennyroyal Bloodroot For example, both mandrake and hemlock are highly poisonous. Mandrake is a dangerous hallucinogenic, and hemlock was actually used in ancient times for executions. (This is the same poison Socrates drank when he was sent to his death).  Additionally, most herbs are not pet safe. Even the common ones, like lavender and chamomile, can be toxic to animals. Always be sure to keep your herbs out of your pets' reach! Fret not, there is still a plethora of herbs that are safe for burning and ingesting (though I do recommend organic herbs, especially for consumption). Some of them include: Rosemary Thyme Basil Cinnamon Clove Ginger Rose petals/hips Peppermint Lavender Chamomile Mugwort Orange Peel Sage Bay Leaf And more! In addition to herbs, some crystals can also be toxic, like sulphur and malachite, especially when placed in water.  List of toxic stones, specifically when ingesting or placing in water. Amazonite. Contains copper, not safe to ingest. Angelite: Soft, dissolves in water. Atacamite:  Contains copper, not safe to ingest. Axinite: Contains aluminum and iron, which are unsafe in large quantities. Not safe to ingest. Azurite:  Contains copper, not safe to ingest. Boji Stones: Contain some sulfur, not safe to ingest. Chrysocolla:  Contains copper, not safe to ingest. Cinnabar: Contains mercury, not safe to ingest. Copper: "Just as some copper is essential for good health, too much can be harmful...high doses, long-term exposure, and certain routes of exposure can overwhelm the biological processes that excrete excess copper from the body." (Dartmouth). Desert Rose: Dissolves in water, not safe to ingest. Diopside:  Contains copper, not safe to ingest. Dumortierite: Contains aluminum, not safe to ingest. Emerald: Contains aluminum, not safe to ingest. Galena: Highly toxic, contains lead. Do not ingest, use of it as a whole is cautioned. Garnet: Contains aluminum, not safe to ingest. Halite: Dissolves in water, not safe to ingest. Hematite: Not toxic, but will rust in water. Not safe to ingest. Hiddenite: Contains aluminum, not safe to ingest. Iolite: Contains aluminum, not safe to ingest. Jet: Not safe to cleanse in water or sunlight. Kyanite:  Contains aluminum, not safe to ingest. Will crumble/dissolve in water. Labradorite: Contains aluminum, not safe to ingest. Lapis Lazuli: Do not place in water, contains copper, and possibly pyrite and sulfur. Not safe to ingest. Lepidolite:  Contains aluminum, not safe to ingest. Lodestone: Will rust in water. Malachite: Do not breathe dust from malachite, polished stones are best. Contains copper, not safe to ingest. Moonstone/Rainbow moonstone: Contains aluminum, not safe to ingest. Opal: Dust is unsafe to breathe or ingest. Fire Opal: Will crack in water. Peacock Ore: Contains copper and sulfur, not safe to ingest. Purpurite: Will possibly dissolve in water. Pyrite: Contains sulfur, do not get wet or ingest. Sapphire: Contains aluminum, not safe to ingest. Selenite: Dissolves in water like salt, not safe to ingest. Sodalite: Contains aluminum, not safe to ingest. Sulfur: Poisonous, do not get wet. Sunstone:  Contains aluminum, not safe to ingest. Tanzanite:  Contains aluminum, not safe to ingest. Topaz:  Contains aluminum, not safe to ingest. Turquoise: Dissolves in water/properties are affected by water, not safe to ingest. Tourmaline:  Contains aluminum, not safe to ingest. Ulexite: Do not get wet, not safe to ingest.   By no means are any of these lists comprehensive, however, they provide a good basis on some common herbs and crystals! Keep in mind that pretty much all of these crystals are safe to handle and touch (except for maybe galena), however ingesting them or elixirs made with them is unsafe. The properties of these stones still can be used to infuse elixirs, water or beverages by placing them around the vessel, and allowing it to soak in the energy for some time. Another tip to ensure safety when working with herbs is using cooking herbs and spices in your pantry! You already know that these are safe to consume, so making teas, elixirs, and infusions are always available. Additionally, most, (but not all) cooking herbs are safe to burn, so incense is on the table as well (quite literally). All in all, ensuring your safety, in both the physical and metaphysical realms is imperative. In spirituality, you have to consider all aspects of protection. The best way to go, of course, is researching and cross-referencing anything, to ensure that you are always working in the safest way possible. I hope this blog assists you in discovering some things to be mindful of when diving into your spiritual journey, and gives a decent list of safe and unsafe items to work with under certain circumstances.  I suppose consensus is that the #1 rule of spirituality is don't burn your house down. As always, be safe, and blessed be. 

Sources: Poisonous and Non-poisonous Plants: An Illustrated List. NCPC. Date Accessed: 11/10/20 Retrieved from: https://www.poison.org/articles/plant


Herbs and Pregnancy: Risks, Caution, and Recommendations. American Pregnancy Association. Date Accessed: 11/9/20 Retrieved from: https://americanpregnancy.org/is-it-safe/herbs-and-pregnancy-1003 Crystal Caution List. Crystallography. Date Accessed: 11/9/20 Retrieved from: https://crystallographygems.com/crystal-caution-list/ The Facts on Copper. Dartmouth Toxic Metals. Date Accessed: 11/9/20 Retrieved from: https://sites.dartmouth.edu/toxmetal/more-metals/copper-an-ancient-metal/the-facts-on-copper/#:~:text=Large%20doses%20of%20copper%2Dcontaining,greater%20risk%20of%20copper%20toxicity Health Library: Aluminum Toxicity. Winchester Hospital. Date Accessed: 11/9/20 Retrieved from: https://www.winchesterhospital.org/health-library/article?id=164929#:~:text=It%20is%20present%20in%20the,of%20aluminum%2C%20contact%20your%20doctor Iron Poisoning. WebMD. Date Accessed: 11/9/20 Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/first-aid/iron-poisoning#1

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