I'm interested in slate myself from the viewpoint of its use as a
medium for writing and painting on in historical times, and I've done
some research on the matter.
Slate is seen as a balancing stone, created as it is by heat, pressure
and water (Fire, Earth and Water), all together in harmony. As such it
has been used by some practitioners to treat people who are out of
balance or to help achieve calmness.
As slate also contains a wide variety of minerals it has sometimes
been used as a "catch-all", to yield a general overall improvement in
a patient, where no one specific problem exists.
And as slate changes texture and colour in water, it is often used in
conjunction with water (and in fountains), particularly in visual
meditation techniques and in the procurement of visions. It is also
used in fountains and sculptures, again as a base, but also as a
balancing element to keep sculpures "grounded"
Its use as a medium of communication from prehistoric times to today
has also led it to being used as a healing stone to mend broken
communication links, especially within families. (Another case of an
imbalance being healed.)
There is also a record from Ancient Wales of ground slate being used
as a cure for internal bruising as related in the following story
encountered in the Wynn Papers (1656) of Conwy Gwyneld,
"Hearing at Lady Anger's funeral, that he has an inward bruise caused
by a fall from his horse, Robert Mostyn sends to Richard Wynn at Plas
Tirion, a piece of Irish slate to be scraped and drunk in a posset
before bed time."
In some American Indian sacred paths, slate is associated with the
Blue Heron Totem, and its use is associated again with finding
balance, particularly among individuals who feel separated from any
feeling of community ( see
Lyall Watson, in his book Supernature, gives a good rundown of some
scientific theories that slate may have played a large part in
providing a substrate on which life originally started on Earth. If
this theory ever gains currency, we may find humble slate taking a
more exalted position in the healing stone hierarchy.
I've included some quotes from other users of slate below:
"....this characteristic stone has no two pieces the same. They are
formed by the action of heat and pressure acting over hundreds of
millions of years on consolidated clays, which had been deposited
under water. Their colours and undulating shapes are quite
magnificent. You could not ask for a better combination of Fire, Water
and Earth, neither one of the elements forming a destructive cycle and
giving a perfect balance and harmony" (
From www.mooncavecrystals.com - a site that sells slate beads
"Useful in the stimulation of visions and has been used in the
Shamanic healing ceremonies to influence the spirits. Balances the
male/female aspects of ones character, bringing harmony to within
oneself and eliminating dissonance and disruption in relationships.
Enables one to enjoy each moment and to awaken to the inner knowledge
which is so patiently awaiting access"
( http://www.mooncavecrystals.com/beads/beads.htm )
The Welsh story came from THE MYRIAD "FACES" OF SLATE
An Exploration of Slate Uses and Applications - Historic and Modern
The moon Cave Crystals site sells Slate Blue Iolite ovals 15" in
length per strand. Large $19.00 Small $16.00
Moon Cave Crystals
Lyall Watson, Supernature, Hardcover, Doubleday; ASIN: 0385007442;
Some google searches to try: