Soapstone is a stone with a variety of uses. Ancient Egyptians used it to make amulets, Vikings shaped it into cooking pots, while today it is used for making sinks, kitchen countertops, floor tiles, and many other products. It can be found all over the world, but the most significant deposits exist in India, China, Brazil, as well as Canada, Australia, England, Switzerland, and the United States. Soapstone is in many colours, including different hues of gray, black, green, and brown.
The Physical Properties of Soapstone
Also known as soaprock and steatite, Soapstone is a type of metamorphic rock composed mainly of talc (mineral rich in magnesium). The stone is created by dynamothermal metasomatism and metamorphism in areas where tectonic plates get subducted due to the pressure, heat, and influx of fluids (without melting). Soapstone has been used for carving for thousands of years. It’s composed mostly of talc, with some amounts of amphiboles, chlorite, and iron-chromium oxides. On the Mohs hardness scale, Soapstone has a value of 1 and is relatively soft due to its high talc content. Also, it is heat resistant, nonabsorbent, and nonporous.
The History of Soapstone
Native Americans had used soapstone for centuries – in eastern North America; they used it to make ornaments, smoking pipes, cooking slabs and bowls. In Scandinavia, soapstone was used in the Stone Age, and when people found out that they can carve it into moulds for casting metal objects (spearheads and knife blades), it helped them enter the Bronze Age. They were also the first to discover the stone’s ability to absorb and radiate heat.
Soapstone got its name because of its “soapy” feel and softness. Today, people use it for insulating electrical components, construction of fireplace surrounds, as well as kitchen sinks and countertops.
The Lore of Soapstone
Soapstone has a calming and balancing effect, while it creates positive, stimulating energy. It creates an openness for new possibilities in life and supports the release of old routines. The stone is also a reminder of how physical objects and creations can be carved out of human intentions and imaginations (with the popular *soapstone figurines_.)
The Metaphysical Properties of Soapstone
Soapstone prepares one for changes in life because its energies are supportive for new opportunities and adventures, and they resonate with flexible and creative freedom. It promotes artistic and rational thinking, logic, and truth. The stone is believed to help with breaking off from old and outdated habits and patterns, assisting its owner in finding a better, more constructive path.
During a process of physical or emotional change, it is good to have the stone around you because it will help retain a sense of calm and positivity and open the connection to other realms of existence. That way, Soapstone encourages a more inspired and broadminded approach to life. It’s energies aid in transmitting messages across all energy fields and realms by amplifying the signal received. As for the physical benefits, it is said that Soapstone balances the digestive system and reduces skin rashes, irritation, allergies, and sunburns.
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