Is there anything more seductive than a brilliantly shaped crystal gemstone? The ability to take an ordinary-looking rock and turn it into a highly polished, precisely cut jewel is nothing short of magical. Even in their natural state, many crystals, like the amethyst cluster shown below, are incredible:
So it should come as no surprise that crystals have been prized for millennia by civilizations around the globe. Highly sought after, collected, traded, hoarded, put on display – and stolen – these special stones are used not only as currency, but for their mystical healing properties.
In Egypt, ancient mummies have been found with quartz crystals, thought to guide those dearly departed into the afterlife. There are many depictions of Egyptians bedecked with the bright blue Lapis Lazuli semi-precious gemstone. They used rubies and other crystals not only as ornaments, but to enhance their sex appeal and spiritual abilities.
Likewise, many Chinese people regard green jade to be a lucky charm which attracts prosperity, as their ancestors did. Chinese medicine often uses healing gemstones.
Believing it would make them invincible, ancient Greek soldiers crushed Hematite (a shiny black stone) and rubbed it all over their bodies before doing battle.
In India, the historic Hindu Vedas catalogs healing crystals and their uses. Indian Ayurvedic medicine values healing gemstones and their meanings when balancing emotional and metaphysical forces.
Quartz just happens to be one of the most common minerals on Earth. It comes in many colors and forms sharp “points” with one or two ends, called terminations. A double-terminated crystal has points on both ends, which is very popular amongst collectors:
The Coleman Mine near Hot Springs, Arkansas produces optical-quality – meaning, suitable for large telescope lenses – clear quartz crystals, and invites guests to camp and prospect for raw mine tailings (left-overs).
Some researchers believe that the quartz standing stones at Stonehenge in England have the power to heal. Groups of druids and other sun-worshippers gather in stone circles around the world to observe astronomical events (like solstices and equinoxes) which they link to spiritual phenomena like “the thinning of the veil between the worlds of material and the unseen.”
The scientific field of electronics has known that clear quartz crystals have the power to amplify vibrations. According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE):
“One of the first quartz crystal oscillators used for frequency control was built by W.G. Cady in 1921. It consisted of an amplifier with the output coupled to the input through a crystal.”
The Oxford Dictionary gives several meanings for the term crystal, depending on usage. The basic definition is:
A piece of a homogeneous solid substance having a natural geometrically regular form with symmetrically arranged plane faces.
(Example: “Ice crystals formed where his breath froze.”)
But a crystal can also be, depending on the context:
1. Chemistry: Any solid consisting of symmetrical, ordered, three-dimensional aggregation of atoms or molecules.
2. Electronics: A crystalline piece of semiconductor used as an oscillator or transducer.
3. (mass noun) A clear transparent mineral, especially quartz.
(Example: “cups cut from crystal”)
4. A piece of crystalline substance believed to have healing powers.
Even the Oxford Dictionary mentions the curative powers attributed to crystals!
The basic idea behind crystal healing practice is that our thoughts influence our bodies: mind over matter. We become what we focus on, and we can heal ourselves and others by using our natural and/or developed mental powers.
Different mineral structures determine how they affect humans, other animals – even plants, some researchers claim. This explains why certain gemstones are used to relieve a headache rather than a heartache.
The study of gemstone healing properties could fill an entire lifetime. Although many agree about the qualities certain specific crystals are thought to impart, there are also conflicting interpretations.
The best way to find out if a crystal gemstone can help you is to try it out. Shop online or visit a local rock shop to get started. Do your own research to find out which minerals might cure what ails you.
Energy Muse has kindly provided an alphabetized list of popular gemstones and their metaphysical properties. You can also search for a term like “depression” to find articles like “Healing Crystals to Cope with Depression.”
Even if you don’t find that crystals are a cure-all, they certainly are pretty. And they make great gifts. (Christmas is coming. I’m just sayin’.)