Cradle of Humankind
Celebrate the beautiful humanity in those around you.
Recognize and return to your original state of perfection.
Heal pain, guilt, or shame from the past or past lives.
Remember your roots and honor your Ancestors.
Let Cradle of Humankind reveal who you truly are!
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Healing Properties of Cradle of Humankind
Spiritual: Cradle of Humankind reveals to our conscious mind what our spiritual heart has always known – that we are all family and that there is no need for division and strife among the people of this earth. This stone helps us to see the commonalities between ourselves and others, no matter how different we may appear on the surface. Cradle of Humankind is also a remarkable tool for past-life work, connecting with loved ones who have gone beyond the veil, and for embracing our own original perfection. Cradle of Humankind is attuned to the Root and Crown Chakras and linked to the astrological sign of Gemini. It is connected to the element of Earth and vibrates to the numbers 1 and 7.
Emotional: Cradle of Humankind has an exceptionally sweet and grounding energy that can help us find emotional resolution to the events in our past. It leads us towards forgiveness, acceptance, and even gratitude for lessons learned and opportunities for personal growth. Cradle of Humankind helps to soothe away emotional pain, guilt, and shame about the past, and to move forward into a brighter future. Cradle of Humankind also reminds us that sometimes emotional healing takes time and that time cannot be hurried. This stone asks us to be more patient with ourselves, our process, our emotions, and our experiences. From this place of self-patience, we can then be truly patient with others, recognizing we are all humans just doing our best to make our way through the world.
Mental: Cradle of Humankind sharpens the memory and intellect so we can explore and understand our own past, our role in the present, and our possible futures. It gently helps us to set aside our emotions and beliefs so that we can think critically and without any attachment to outcomes. Cradle of Humankind reveals the truth as we currently know it, and reminds us to adjust our thinking whenever new information becomes available. This stone makes a particularly lovely crystal talisman for archaeologists, historians, biologists, as well as anyone who is interesting in the origins of life and our species.
Physical: Cradle of Humankind is used by metaphysical healers to combat genetic diseases and illnesses. It is also said to be particularly useful for healing a wide range of physical ailments in infants as well as the elderly. When carried by a pregnant woman, Cradle of Humankind is believed to help ensure an easy and safe delivery. It may also be of particular use to alternative healers, particularly herbalists and shamans, who are interested in ancient medicines.
Always use wisdom when considering crystal therapies for healing.
Mineraology of Cradle of Humankind
Mineral Family: Tectosilicate
Chemical Composition: SiO2
Color: Dark grey to soft white
Crystal System: Hexagonal/trigonal
Luminescence: Green (long wave) / Yellowish-white (short wave)
Transparency: Translucent, opaque
Location: Cradle of Humankind is a type of Grey Agate. Agates are found all over the world, however this particular variety is found exclusively at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in South Africa.
Mineral Family: Cradle of Humankind is a type of Agate and a Silicate mineral. Agate is a tiny twig on a far off branch of the crystal family tree. Silicate minerals form the largest family of minerals, including more than 25% of all known minerals and 40% of all common minerals. In addition to being a major part of the Earth’s crust, Silicate minerals have also been found on the moon and in meteorites. Silicates are minerals which contain the elements Silicon (a light gray shiny metal) and Oxygen (a colorless gas). Together, these two elements form a tetrahedron – a shape similar to a pyramid – with a Silicon atom in the center and Oxygen atoms at each of the four corners. These tetrahedra connect with other chemical structures, in six different ways, to form various minerals and rocks. There are six main groups of Silicate minerals, and these main groups are further subdivided into secondary subdivisions, such as Quartz and Feldspar. Quartz is a large mineral family in its own right, and has two main subdivisions, macrocrystalline (crystals that are large enough to be seen by the naked eye, for example, Amethyst) and microcrystalline (crystals so small they can only be seen through a microscope, for example, Agate). All microcrystalline Quartzes fall under the subcategory of Chalcedony, which is then further subdivided. One of these categories is Agate. Cradle of Humankind is a very rare type of Grey Agate.
Formation: Cradle of Humankind is created when liquid magma from a volcanic explosion cools down and transforms into igneous rock. During this cooling down period, silica acid bubbles shift from being a gas/liquid into a solid compound. The bubble becomes a hollow space in the igneous rock and the silica acid becomes Quartz crystals. Agates are formed when thin sheets of Quartz are layered with other minerals, creating a wide variety of colors and patterns.
Mining: Agates are the primary product of mines located around the world. Typically Agates are found in their primary deposits and still have their original relationship with the host rock. Agates are usually ball or almond-shaped nodules ranging in size from a fraction of an inch to several yards in diameter. If the Agate fills the entire hollow space left by the gas bubble, it is called an Agate Almond. If a hollow remains in the center, it is called an Agate Geode. In the case of Cradle of Humankind, the Agates are mined as a side effect of an archaeological dig in the region.
Enhancements: Agates have been dyed to artificially enhance their colors and patterns since, at least, the Roman Era. As a general rule, the more vivid the coloring, the more likely it has been dyed. This is particularly true if the color is vivid while the price is cheap! Cradle of Humankind can be traced directly to its mine of origin, and is fully natural, enhanced only by tumbling, cutting, and polishing.
History of Cradle of Humankind
Cradle of Humankind was only recently introduced to the commercial market and so has only just begun to reveal its powers to the larger metaphysical community. It was not included in any early lapidaries, texts that describe gemstones and their powers. Despite this, it has a fascinating and well-documented history. The stone itself is a simple Grey Agate, but unlike other Grey Agates, this stone is dug up by archaeologists rather than miners.
The stones come from the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, in South Africa. The site spans a little over 100 square miles and is dominated by a vast labyrinth of limestone caves. Inside these caves, archaeologists have found a tremendous trove of hominid fossils, including some direct ancestors of our own Homo Sapiens species. In fact, almost 40% of all known hominid fossils in the world have been found at the Cradle of Humankind! Archaeologists study these fossils with the hope of better understanding the hominid family tree and how we modern humans developed over time. In addition to being the resting place of many different ancient hominid species, the Cradle of Humankind is also the site of the earliest known use of controlled fire – dating back over 1 million years!
The region surrounding the Cradle of Humankind initially came to the attention of paleontologists in 1935 when the first “ape man” fossil was discovered. This early hominid fossil was eventually identified as Australopithecus africanus, a direct ancestor of modern humans. Since then the area has been a favorite among paleontologists and archaeologists. So much so that it has hosted the longest-running continuous archaeological dig in history. The United Nations designated the Cradle of Humankind a World Heritage Site in 1999 so that its unique cultural significance will be protected for all time; and, as such, commercial mining in or near the caves is strictly prohibited.
The most recent big find at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site was announced in September, 2015. An entirely new species of hominid has been uncovered, including at least 15 distinct individuals. The fossils were found in the Rising Star Chamber cave system, and the species named Homo naledi, or “Star People” (naledi is “star” in the local Sotho language). What is particularly fascinating about this species is that there is evidence that they may have been the earliest species to bury their dead – something which previously only our own species and our close cousins Homo neanderthalensis were thought to have done.
All of the hominid fossils have been found deep within the caves and so archaeologists are often required to dig through the limestone rock in order to extract known fossils or search for new ones. As a result, archaeologists incidentally mine a lovely opaque Grey Agate. The rough Agate is then sold to various South African mineral companies, only one of which tumbles and polishes the stones, making them commercially available for crystal healing.
These particular Cradle of Humankind stones are reported to come from the cave where “Mrs Ples” was found. This is the most complete Australopithecus africanus skull ever found in South Africa and one of the finest examples of a pre-human skull found anywhere. The skull is over 2 million years old, but it is unknown whether the skull actually belonged to a male or female, nor have scientists conclusively determined Mrs. Ples’ age at the time of death. Australopithecus africanus was an early hominid species with a mixture of ape and human characteristics. It was one of the first hominid species to walk upright. It is currently unknown whether or not they were a direct ancestor of modern humans, or were instead ancient “cousins” in our family tree.
When we know better, we do better.
Ethical sourcing is a constantly evolving process.
If the original sourcing for the stone still passes Moonrise Crystals’ current standards, it will be restocked as soon as possible.
If the original sourcing is no longer acceptable, it will be restocked when/if a better supplier can be found.
The majority of Cradle of Humankind is wild-harvested by dredging, which has a horrific environmental impact.
Some Cradle of Humankind is farmed or grown in aquacultures, but many of these sources are problematic or not what they claim to be.
There are thousands of species of Cradle of Humankind, only some of which can be harvested in a sustainable manner.
Moonrise Crystals is seeking a truly ethical source for Cradle of Humankind.
Safe Handling of Cradle of Humankind
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