Pronounced “Mo-Key” and sometimes spelled “Moki” they are also referred to as Moqui Balls, Thunderballs, Navajo Cherries or Shaman Stones. In the U.S., they are found mostly in the Navajo Sandstone Formation in Utah and are named after the Moqui Indians who inhabited that area.
Ranging from a quarter of an inch in circumference to eight inches, they were formed millions of years ago inside rock that was porous and water soaked for millions of years. Today, as the sandstone blows away, the marbles simply “fall” out of the rock. Shapes range from spheres to discs, buttons, spiked balls, cylindrical forms and any other odd shape you can think of. Composed of compacted sandstone, the outer casing consists of a “shell” of iron compounds – hematite. They may be smooth or rough on the outside with colors of deep metallic brown to light brown. The sandstone center is often stained red and or yellow from the iron oxides. Occasional rings of hematite may also be seen in the center.
Moqui Marbles have been used for centuries by shamans and other mystics. They were considered sacred among the shamanic members of ancient tribes and were used for contact with extra terrestrials, and for visioning, dreaming, journeying and shapeshifting. They were also used for contacting totems, animal spirits and spirit guides. Moqui marbles are, therefore, suggested for use during meditation. One marble should be grasped in each hand to enhance the meditation journey. Possession of a moqui marble is said to bring knowledge and a deepening of ancient ways. In the Hopi language the word “moqui” means “dearly departed one”. Legend says the departed ancestors of the Hopi Indians played marble games in the evening when Spirits are allowed to visit the earth. As the sun rises, they return to the heavens and leave the marbles behind to let relatives know they are well and happy. Keeping moqui marbles in the home is considered a sign of welcome to one’s ancestors.
Many people believe that these marbles have magical/metaphysical uses. Moqui marbles can be used as a protection against outside sickness or evil; to renew certain energy centers, such as the chi; to cure sickness, and to center and understand the self. Moqui marbles are believed to be protection stones. They are also thought to balance male and female energies.