Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Bismuth, My New Stone Ally

Bismuth. I've seen it every year at the rock show I attend and I always marvel at the geometrical shapes it forms as it grows. It's a heavy metal with a rainbow iridescence to it, number 83 on the periodic table of elements. It's been known to man since the fifteenth century and was often confused with lead. The French chemist Claude Geoffrey the Younger noted it as an element all it's own in 1753.

  • Bismuth is non-toxic. Kind of. It has a radioactive half-life of 19,000,000,000,000,000 years. So it's not toxic to us.
  • It is one of five elements that expand as they freeze (including antimony, gallium, germanium, and silicon).
  • It has a high electrical resistance, with a thermal conductivity lower than any metal, with the exception of mercury.
  • It is the most naturally diamagnetic metal, which means it's repelled by magnetic fields. It also resists being magnetized.
  • Bismuth subsalicylate is the active ingredient in Pepto-Bismol, 
  • Bismuth tribromophenate is an ingredient in Xeroform, a medicated gauze used to treat serious wounds.

I spent months covered in xeroform from the waist down. It saved my life. I picked up a specimen of Bismuth at the show this year, as a totem for my new stone ally.

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