Many translucent gems, developed underground without exposure to ultraviolet rays, fade or change color when exposed to sunlight. While sodalite should not be left out for too long or heated excessively, it does not fade quite as dramatically as the likes of amethyst, opal, sapphire, turquoise, aquamarine or rose quartz. This is true of all sodalites, with one exception (see below). Some types of sodalite actually darken with exposure to sunlight, which condition can be reversed with irradiation.
The Exception: Hackmanite Changes Color Dramatically When Exposed to Sunlight
Hackmanite is a sulfur-rich variety of sodalite named after the Finnish geologist Victor Hackman. Unlike other sodalites, hackmanite changes color significantly when exposed to sunlight. Pink or purple in its natural state, the mineral will fade to grayish or greenish white when exposed to sunlight. However, unlike crystals that lose color permanently, this mineral possesses an extremely rare quality called tenebrescence or “reversible photochromatism”. The stone bleached by sunlight will revert back to its original pale or dark purple color when bought back indoors. This is similar to how photochromatic eyeglass lenses behave.
Some hackmanites may need to be kept in dark for a long time. This can be up to a week, before regaining their natural color. This tenebrescence effect can be repeated indefinitely, unless the mineral is subjected to heat. Heating makes hackmanite lose its reversible photochromatic capability.
While the mineral is found in many locations (including Russia, Canada, Afghanistan and Myanmar), Greenland produces the best gem quality, multi-color, fluorescent hackmanite. Afghani hackmanite behaves oppositely to other varieties – it’s colorless or creamy white when mined but becomes pink or deep purple when exposed to sunlight.
Due to its nature, hackmanite should be stored away from sunlight. Preferably, it should be swathed in soft cloth and/or kept inside fabric lined jewelry boxes. It should not be subjected to heat or harsh chemical treatments, lest it lose its tenebrescence quality.
Sodalite: The Stone of Truth
Some believe that the name “sodalite” comes from the Latin word sodalitas, which means “association” or “fraternity”. True to this interpretation, the stone can act as a friend and comrade to its users.
Sodalite has been called many names – the stone of peace, the stone of truth, or the poet’s stone. It promotes inner peace, harmony and balance, boosting self-esteem and enabling logical thought and creative modes of expression.
The Western World first discovered sodalite during explorations in Greenland during the early 19th century. It gained popularity after veins of the rock were discovered in Canada late that same century. However, high quality sodalite has been around for a long time. We know this because of evidence in many ancient sculptures, arches, obelisks and pyramids.
Ancient societies venerated sodalite as a source of alternative energy, going back to Hindus during the Vedic period and practitioners of feng shui in ancient China.
Uses of Sodalite and Hackmanite
Sodalites, including hackmanites, alleviate feelings of panic, guilt, anxiety and/or uncertainty. If walls seem to be closing in, when you feel that you cannot trust your friends and loved ones, these stones can be your faithful companion. They help get rid of stress and anxiety, promote inner peace and understanding, and boost your mood. Using sodalite can help make life better for you, as well as those you hang out with. Similarly, hackmanite is believed to make one confident, happy and content.
These gemstones can be used by businesspeople, artists, teachers, writers and public speakers. They help generate positive feelings, develop intuition, enhance creativity and improve self-expression. Lovers tormented by low self-esteem, guilt and jealousy can also benefit by approaching their relationships with a positive outlook after cleaning up past emotional baggage. Even the sick can benefit from sodalite’s ability to balance the energy fields and help internal organs run at peak efficiency, thus boosting their immune system and warding off malaises.
Hackmanite’s healing powers are thought to change with the actual color state of the stone, following subtle changes in its metaphysical abilities. It’s sometimes called the “chameleon stone” for this reason.
How does sodalite and hackmanite help, you ask? Read on.
How Do Sodalite & Hackmanite Help? Ask the Ancients …
Believers in alternative energy sources often follow ancient Hindu traditions of using sodalite to enhance the fifth primary chakra – the Visuddha chakra, located in the back of the throat towards the neck. The throat chakra, when opened properly, helps one be creative and expressive.
All negative energy is transformed into wisdom and learning. When the throat chakra is clogged up or polluted, the person falls prey to feelings of guilt and anxiety, which leads to failure. Sodalite can help keep the Visuddha Chakra open and functioning at a high level, promoting success in all endeavors through a positive attitude. Hackmanite is similarly believed to be an excellent stone for the third eye, throat and heart chakra.
How Should Sodalite and Hackmanite Be Used?
Sodalite or Hackmanite can be worn as part of necklaces or earrings, placing the stones close to the throat or brows. The gemstones can also be held up to the brow or throat, placed next to the body while lying down, or at strategic angles when doing yoga exercises. For example, you could build an altar with the crystals arranged on it – gaze upon the stones while holding your yoga poses.
In conclusion, think of sodalite as a friend – one who restores the emotional balances in your conscious being as well as your subconscious. Use it judiciously but lean upon it during times of trial. You will find sodalite to be a true friend in your hours of need.