A rare, powerful combination of minerals found in only one location in the world, the Elmwood Mine and its treasures has become the stuff of Everyday Magic legend.
Located in Tennessee’s Smith County, Elmwood is steeped squarely in Appalachia. A unique blend of cultures with a myth and lore all their own. From Bigfoot to the Brown Mountain Lights, The Moon-Eyed People to The Moth-man and, most famously The Bell Witch, the magic of this region is prolifically purveyed.
As above, so below. So too are the crystals that grow under the surface of this place singular in their characteristics and undeniable in their mystique.
The Elmwood mine was discovered by New Jersey Zinc Company in 1967 and made operational in 1975 for its Zinc minerals. Soon, exquisite specimens of what is now regarded as Stellar Beam Calcite, Elmwood Fluorite, and Sphalerite were found and deals struck with mineral collectors for their safe passage into the hands of the crystal community.
After a prolonged closure, the mine was acquired by Nyrstar Company in 2010 exclusively for Zinc Mining and the extraction crystals became expressly prohibited. It is not open to the public and workers caught with specimens risk losing their wages and their jobs. When new pockets are found, the vug holes are filled with slurry, the gems defaced with spray-paint and demolished with dynamite or heavy machinery. We have been in possession of pieces hastily grabbed and hidden in lunch pails in the final moments before the bulldozer arrived. If there is sentience in the crystal kingdom, the few that make it to us out of the many that are destroyed have undergone something of a horror.
Needless to say, the Elmwood Mine has not stopped unearthing treasure despite being strictly closed to specimen collecting for well over a decade. But the process comes with more risk, and its products in turn grow increasingly rare.
The mine is volatile, prone to fires and floods, closing and re-opening with the fluctuating prices of Zinc. In my short tenure selling crystals it has shut down more than once, with one of the closures lasting over a year. Most agree it is a matter of when, not if, it will shut down permanently, making this already ultra-rare material from the largest underground mine in the United States entirely deadstock.
It has taken me years of working with Elmwood, dozens of dedicated sales and thousands of pieces passing through my hands to sit down and attempt to write about a crystal that resists language at every turn, that is a shapeshifter in every sense, that evolves every time you believe you approach understanding. That, even as I write this, becomes something new alongside me.
Few things have called me with such a force. Just recently, I learned my late mother spent the happiest years of her short life in a place called Elmwood Village and came to understand that these crystals choose you in ways that may not be clear at first. They possess a depth I’ve barely scratched the surface of and perhaps never will, but to endeavor to know Elmwood is to endeavor to know thyself. I find within them the origin story of my own magic, born of chaos and into pain, rare and specific, an undeniable product of its environment but greater than the sum of its parts.
I came upon Elmwood in 2017 while shopping for Amethyst. It was not my first time seeing it, having clocked tables full of purple and orange at gem shows, but registering it only as something niche and expensive. Ever the master of time magic, it is adept at hiding in plain sight and making itself known at the right moment.
When it caught my attention, the magic was immediate and I ended up spending more on this material I never heard of than the Amethyst I planned my trip around. On the drive home I witnessed a devastating car crash and a massive double rainbow concurrently. The sense of awe and unease it inspired in me is, to this day, the same feeling Elmwood evokes.
I quietly hoarded the first lot for months, actively refusing to display or sell it. This is poor practice for a small business who depends on cash flow, but I was a woman possessed.
I arrived at the inaugural Everyday Magic Elmwood live sale on no sleep, tormented as I was the night before by stories of The Bell Witch (located just 90 minutes down the road from Elmwood), Appalachian Folklore, International Multi-Metal Companies. Descending into madness as the lights flickered, wifi waivered and temperature fluctuated. By the time the sale ended the next morning, I recognized that Everyday Magic was no longer the same business nor I the same person we were before.
The elevation was immediate, jarring, dimensionally shifting, life-altering, destructive, profound and irrevocable. If I knew then what I know now, I might have waited a little longer. But, as is my philosophy with all things in life – if you wait until you’re totally ready, you’ve waited too long.
This current lot was secured over the course of August and September, from a lovely family near the mines who shares our passion for the strange magic that is Elmwood. A few older pieces come from a private collection amassed over decades and spent some time with me in NYC before arriving at our new headquarters.
I compile this information with the belief that what grows below the earth and what occurs above it are divinely connected, with the hope that knowing and honoring the process that brought them to us may teach you something along the way and connect you more deeply to one of earth’s finest treasures.
It is a privilege to work with this material. It is with deep reverence that I share these with you. I recommend bringing Elmwood into your life at a time when you know can surrender, listen, and adjust as needed.
Love you, use responsibly + enjoy Bakara
Lightning in a Bottle
Named for its sharp, repetitive terminations that evoke spaceship imagery, it is just not the physical appearance of Stellar Beam Calcite that inspires something otherworldly. Its rarity, beauty, and power have placed it squarely among the most sought after calcites in the world.
The energy of these “beams” zap you, activating the solar plexus all the way up to the soul star chakras above the crown through which personal will and Divine will begin to circulate. The concept of aligning your will with the will of a higher power was introduced to me years before in a recovery program, so I recognized the directive – surrender. Vices that dull, behaviors that distract, relationships that drain. Surrender.
In that way, it is a direct line to spirit, clearing the path of anything standing between you and your gut knowing. It is a pure golden white light, but so too is the lightning that strikes The Tower.
Stellar Beam Calcite can speed up timelines, cause dimensional shifts, open and close portals, as well as tamper with technology, temperature, and tolerance to substances. It’s funny to me that for all its tech, environmental and life-altering effects, it does not touch the lower chakras and rarely interacts with the physical body. Perhaps that’s why its effects can be so taxing on the body, because the energy of Steller Beam is purely in service to the expansion of the soul with no direct line to the vessel containing it.
Any form of calcite is an amplifier. So, I guess that makes Stellar Beam the amplifier. Like Phenacite, Moldavite, and other ultra-high vibrational crystals, individuals otherwise non-sensitive to crystalline energy may still be profoundly impacted by Elmwood.
It is the most profound tool in expedited manifestation I have ever worked with, the closest thing to lightning in a bottle I have yet found.
I believe these are meant to go into the hands of people who are invested in reclaiming their personal power in service of bettering the world around us.
Fun fact: EM gifted a massive piece of Stellar Beam calcite to Alexandria Ocasio Cortez that first Elmwood sale, right after her historic congressional victory in 2018 🙂
God the Mother
Ranging from the palest lilac to electric violet cubes, Elmwood Fluorite co-stars in the underground, world-class hot girl club that is the Elmwood Mine. They are unique in their “Carthage Corners” raised, clear, and smooth, which offer striking visual openings into even the most etched or saturated specimens.
Fluorite is coined the genius stone for its ability to organize the mental body and soothe the emotional body, allowing them to efficiently work together. Its properties lend itself to creative problem solving, efficient solutions and loving action.
If Stellar Beam is the doctor, diagnosing and treating you with laser-like precision, Elmwood Fluorite is the nurse, healing and caring for you. The softness of Elmwood Fluorite is a match to one of the sharpest, highly charged crystals ever found. It works in perfect interdependence with the calcite, soft where it is spiky, cool where it is hot. If Stellar Beam Calcite is shining on stage, Elmwood Fluorite is the supportive audience who will applaud wholeheartedly and without envy.
It would be incorrect to sleep on Elmwood Fluorite because she is the gentler of these two minerals. Imagine what is powerful enough to hold space for lightning without being destroyed itself? Compassion is powerful, life-giving, regenerative. Interdependence is a sign of a healthy ecosystem. Elmwood Fluorite aids in breaking down egoic boundaries that keep one asleep to the interconnectedness of everything around them. It is uncompromising about this. It’s not about you right now, and isn’t that wonderful? Take a load off. Relax. You belong here. It has acted as an invisibility cloak on my behalf, allowing me to move safely through situations where attention would have been harmful.
The older I get, the more I come to see her beauty. The less I crave the lightning strike of the Stellar Beam and the toll it takes and takes. The more I’m able to see the bravery of heart-based devotion, of love without ego, of being an underwater spring.
The Alan Watts talk “The Nature of God” deeply informs my understanding of Elmwood fluorite.
“How would you know that you were outstanding unless, by contrast, there were something in-standing? You cannot appreciate the convex without the concave, you cannot appreciate the firm without the yielding…
Now that’s difficult for our common sense, because we think that space is simply inert nothingness. But we don’t realize that space is completely basic to everything. It’s like your consciousness. Nobody can imagine what consciousness is… Therefore, we don’t really pay much attention to it…. We can’t even think about it. It’s like trying to look at your head. You know? You try to look at your head and what do you find? You don’t even find a black blob in the middle of things. You just don’t find anything. And yet, that is that out of which you see, just as space is that out of which the stars shine. So, there’s something very queer about all this—that that which you can’t put your finger on, that which always escapes you, that which is completely elusive, the blank, seems to be absolutely necessary for there to be anything whatsoever.”
It is the in-standing, the concave, the yielding, the substance of everything, perhaps the very nature of god herself.
Holding it down in a big way in this band of freaks is Sphalerite. With its heavy grounding properties and powerful balancing energy, it harmonizes the polarities of the Calcite and Fluorite as well as strong polarities within us. A stone of physical strength, vitality, and stamina it’s probably the only thing keeping the whole situation tethered to this dimension.
Sphalerite crystals can range in color from a gemmy yellow to the deepest blood red, appearing black unless held to a bright light. It is somehow a more secretive version of garnet, impenetrable and earth-bound.
Neither Calcite nor Fluorite interact with the lower chakras or physical body, so Sphalerite is essential for the integration and titration of this high vibrational energy. It facilitates a practical application of the stones’ teachings while soothing the nervous system, protecting against hyperactivity, curbing mania, and oxygenating the blood with its high sulfur content. Work with Sphalerite to come back down to earth after working with Stellar Beam or other ultra-high vibrational material.
Drawing energy up from earth and returning excessive energy back to it, its powerful regulation properties make it an ideal companion to those seeking balance following extremes. To work with all three together is to traverse dimensions, from the highest realms into the marrow of our bones.
"To me purchasing my first piece of elmwood felt like a kick in the butt-even the package arrived at my place a lot faster than anything else I've ever ordered from EM & since then I've felt like elmwood has (sometimes more gently than other times) continued to ever so slightly nudge me closer to me and my center, to my core, to how I want to express myself. In the past couple months since I got it I've graduated from college (after 7 years in academic hell), found a therapist, started to express my voice and my love for magic more publicly, and was also confronted face to face with my shame, insecurity, doubt, and countless other things I'd rather not look at. It helped me become more confident, reclaim my anger and my courage. Would definitely recommend (even though sometimes elmwood gives me a really hard time). I already feel like I need to welcome at least one or two more pieces to my home."
"My second experience with elmwood was when I acquired a piece of stellarbeam calcite at the Tucson gem show; when I picked it up, the wholesaler said had been mined just a couple of weeks prior, so it was super fresh. I decided to be brave and slept with it on the nightstand - naturally, I had chaotic fever dreams; a few days later, I mediated with it and it was even more soothing than the fluorite had been. I know we're nervous to embrace elmwood and some may need to take their time getting acquainted with it (especially the stellarbeam calcite), but it embodies the lesson in embracing the shadow instead of trying to erase it - it's the only way to empower ourselves. Or maybe it's because I'm a scorpio moon and live for a chaotic transformation. Now, it's my ride or die stone, and I used to be that way about selenite, which should say a lot; also, it REALLY does clear writers block!"
"I unintentionally ended up with a calcite stellar beam nursery (I really thought I was getting a bigger piece) & she was exactly what I needed. I was already going through major changes in my life when she arrived. I had entered into a coworkers-turned-sneaky link situation with full communication on our intentions. No relationship, just getting some needs met in a fun way. But it was strange, we would spend HOURS talking on the phone or texting, commiserating work, learning about each other ... typical start of relationship things. I tried to stay neutral but struggled. He came over one night, asked about my crystals, specifically the nursery (he held it). We had a wonderful time, but it was the last time it got physical. The chats & closeness stayed, but the rest went away. That nursery had gently taken the part that needed to go, & I now have an amazing friend that I enjoy working with daily. No awkwardness or hard feelings."
"My life was completely unrecognizable six months after my first piece of elmwood. Not externally-but the way I related to my day to day, the way I interacted with the people in my life. The way I thought about myself transformed in the most unexpected ways."
"I became a teen attracted to all things witchy & otherworldly, unfortunately also self-destructive. memories were repressed. covid hits in my midlife-| was taking care of my elderly father, my (online schooling) children & holding down a full time job from home. I buy my first piece of elmwood on a quiet weekend day EM live sale. I put it on my nightstand (idk why). Strange, often bad dreams increase. I restart therapy after years away. I buy more elmwood. flourite. I'm prescribed anti-anxiety meds. I finally get some stellar beam. the repressed memories resurface, therapy intensifies. elmwood was on my nightstand this entire time. when the healing started. elmwood still surrounds me as I commit all of this to creative endeavors. no coincidences."
"I purchased 7 stellarbeams over the span of two months (oops) and although I am still emotionally healing ❤️🩹 it showed me hurtful truths the closest people to me were hiding. I’m still putting the pieces back together but it made room in my life for folks who genuinely want to know me and love me, to care enough to be compassionately honest and loyal…people who won’t just watch me drown…those who will throw me a life raft and pull me to shore. Not gonna lie…I packed two up and they are in my closet because I needed things to s l o w down ⚡️"
"So almost two weeks ago I received my Elmwood. A piece of it broke off when I was holding it and I thought “ok bb wants to be pocket size too” lol. The next day I woke up to go to the doctors for my cold and I stubbed my pinky toe on a wooden stool. I fractured it. I won’t be able to return to work for five weeks. I’m not mad about it 🤷🏼♀️ I’ve outgrown the overnight factory life and also I deserve a place/job that treats me right. Long story short, for awhile now I’ve been needing to take a leap of faith and Elmwood gave me a love tap over the edge lol! Crystals are wild."