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Exploring healing crystals

I often get asked a lot about crystals so I feel that this article will be very important in helping you gain a deeper understanding around what crystals are, why they are important, how they work and how to look after them. 

First and foremost to understand crystals from a geometrical perspective you need to know that they are crystalline meaning that the minerals molecules form a repeated, geometrical pattern. Secondly they are natural and can take up to thousands or even millions of years to form. They are often found in caves, hillsides, rivers, near volcanoes or scattered along rural roads. Next they are inorganic meaning that they do not come from living organisms (excluding amber, coral and petrified wood which are often referred to as crystals). Lastly they can be described as chemical formulas that never change, this was firstly confirmed in 1784 by Rene-Just Hauy after he dropped a calcite crystal and realised that all of the shattered pieces were very similar in appearance. With further study it was concluded that crystals maintain the same geometric shapes in their atoms and molecules. 

So in terms of definitions lets get facts straight, a crystal, a gemstone and a rock are all very different despite the fact that they often get grouped up together and all stereotyped as the same thing. A crystal is solid and as stated above it has consistent geometrical patterns down to the smallest molecules. Some examples of crystals are Amethyst and Jasper. 

A gemstone on the other hand is usually more rare and used in jewellery and comes in precious or semi-precious quality. The tricky part about gemstones is that a gemstone can be a crystal but a crystal is not always a gemstone. Some examples of gemstones that are also crystals are Ruby and Emerald.  

Next is a rock, this is also solid too however it is non-homogeneous meaning it can include a combination of natural substances. An example could be crystalline such as granite, which contains quartz. Some examples of rocks could be Obsidian and Calcite. Another tricky aspect of this too is that crystals like Amethyst are also rocks but do not lose sleep over it because its not that important. 

Crystals have been around since the beginning of time and are referred to in many religious scripts, documentaries, ancient art and folk’s tale. For example in ancient Egypt Lapis Lazuli was considered as the ‘stone of the rulers’ because it was used for cult and ritual purposes by being crushed and spread into the scalp to rid any lower vibrating energies or entities to promote enlightenment. Another example is when various crystals such as ruby, emerald, sapphire and others were used in ancient India in a protective amulet called ‘navaratna’ to ward off evil. There is also evidence of agate crystals being worn as pendants among ancient Greek warriors. The list could go on but the overall point is to note that crystals have been used for their metaphysical properties and benefits for a long time, so long in fact that the first known crystal-healing manual written by Orpheus called ‘Lithica’ is from the 1800’s. 

Its important to note that crystals come in all different shapes and sizes. You will find some that have a pointy tip and these are also referred to as terminations – these are usually sold as pendants. If both ends of the crystal have pointy tips then these are double-terminated points and these are used in grids, among healers for Reiki or for communicating with the divine through pendulums. Larger crystals with a pointy tip can be used as generators throughout a home or work space to cleanse the energy of the space and other surrounding crystals.

Another type are raw clusters, which contain multiple points and they are all connected at the base. Then there are geodes, which have a hole in the middle exposing small clusters of crystals within. Both of these are usually used within homes or workspaces as they make great decorative vibrational increasers however you can use them as you wish. 

Next there are carved crystal shapes such as pyramids, spheres, skulls, animals and many others. These are man-made and each shape has a different purpose. For example a pyramid is shaped that way because it draws energy, a sphere is great for meditation and a lot of palm stones are great if you want to hold them in your hand with ease. 

Additionally you can find metal coated crystals, which are real crystals just with metals such as platinum, titanium or something else coated on top. An example of this is Aqua aura which is clear quartz coated with 24k gold and that is where the rainbow colour comes from. 

Lastly there are wands, which are long and smooth with one end being wider than the other (yes, exactly like a harry potter wand). These are often used in healing massage, reiki and any other kind of energy work that involves cleansing and recharging the aura. 

All Quartz crystals aka the rock crystal group are safe to place directly on the body and to be used in water. What are the main categories of this group you ask? Well firstly all of the Macrocrystallines such as clear quartz, amethyst, citrine, rose quartz, smoky quartz and smoky quartz. Then the microcrystallines such as aventurine, chalcedony, chrysoprase, bloodstone, carnelian and tigers eye. Lastly the Agates such as blue lace agate, fire agate and moss agate. Please always research a crystal before buying it so that you know how you will be using it because not all crystals are safe to put directly onto your skin or to place in water due to their components making them extremely dangerous. Toxic crystals can however be used externally with no repercussions when in their dry, non-blended form. 

For example if pyrite oxidates in your water it releases toxic metals that are poisonous because it contains sulphur. The same goes for Serpentine, Labradorite, Malachite, Zircon and many others. PLEASE TAKE NOTE AND DO YOUR RESEARCH because some of these crystals may contain radioactive, aluminium, asbestos, copper and other harmful minerals that may be ok in normal form but are NOT OK in water no matter how amazing it may look in elixr water bottles. 

Below is a list to check before putting them in water:

  • Auricalcite (contains zinc and copper)
  • Black Tourmaline (contains aluminum)
  • Boji-stones/Moqui Balls/Shaman Stone (contains some sulphur, pyrite and/or marcasite)
  • Bronchantite (contains copper)
  • Cavansite (contains copper)
  • Celestite (contains strontium)
  • Chalcantite (contains copper)
  • Chalcopyrite (contains copper and sulphur)
  • Chrysocolla (contains copper)
  • Cinnabar (contains mercury)
  • Conicalcite (contains copper)
  • Covellite (contains copper and sulphur)
  • Cuprite (contains copper)
  • Dioptase (contains copper)
  • Dumortierite (contains aluminum)
  • Emerald (contains aluminum)
  • Fluorite (contains fluorine)
  • Garnet (contains aluminum)
  • Galena (contains lead)
  • Garnierite (contains nickel)
  • Iolite (contains aluminum)
  • Kunzite (contains aluminum)
  • Labradorite (contains aluminum)
  • Lapis Lazuli (contains pyrite)
  • Lepidolite (contains aluminum)
  • Malachite (contains copper)
  • Markasite (contains sulphur)
  • Mohawkite (contains copper and arsenic)
  • Moldavite (contains aluminum oxide) 
  • Moonstone (contains aluminum)
  • Morganite (contains aluminum)
  • Pietersite(fibrous form contains asbestos)
  • Prehnite (contains aluminum)
  • Psilomelane(contains barium)
  • Pyrite (contains sulphur)
  • Realgar (contains sulphur and arsenic)
  • Ruby (contains aluminum)
  • Sapphire (contains aluminum)
  • Serpentine (fibrous form contains asbestos)
  • Smithsonite (may contain copper)
  • Sodalite (contains aluminum)
  • Spinel (contains aluminum)
  • Staurolite (contains aluminum)
  • Stibnite (contains lead and antimony) 
  • Stilbite (contains aluminum)
  • Sugilite (contains aluminum)
  • Sulfur (poisonous)
  • Sunstone (contains aluminum)
  • Tanzanite (contains aluminum)
  • Tiger’s Eye (fibrous form contains asbestos)
  • Topaz (contains aluminum)
  • Torbenite (radioactive)
  • Tourmaline (contains aluminum)
  • Turquoise (contains copper and aluminum)
  • Vanadinite (contains vanadium)
  • Variscite (contains aluminum)
  • Vesuvianite (contains aluminum)
  • Wavellite (contains aluminum)
  • Wulfenite (contains lead and molybdenum)
  • Zircon (contains zirconium, radioactive)
  • Zoisite (contains aluminum)

How do crystals work from an energetic perspective?

There is energy in all forms of life on the planet. In Hinduism its referred to as ‘prana’, in Taoism it is called qi (chi) and Polynesians call it ‘mana’. The list could go on however the common denominator is that this energy is believed to be the invisible force that binds your life together. They all believe that when the energy is flowing well then everything in your life is in harmony however when the energy is blocked a spiral of negative impacts can occur. Crystals are able to absorb and reflect light making them natural conductors of electromagnetic energy, receivers of ultra-sonic transmitters, amplifiers of pure white light, energy harmonisers, aura cleansers and balancers, sonic protectors against negativity and energy block eliminators. How you ask? 

Well because energy is transferrable so if you come into contact with someone or something that has a very low vibrational frequency then the crystal absorbs that person’s energy. In turn, the person then absorbs the vibrational frequency that the crystal emits and an energetic exchange has officially taken place. If you can understand this concept then you can also understand why sometimes you can walk into a room filled with people initially feeling amazing, but walk out feeling drained and awful. It simply just means that an energetic exchange has taken place so you have swapped energy with someone. 

To simplify the idea of a ‘vibration’ think of it as matter that bounces back and forth non-stop. Crystals vibrate at different frequencies and that frequency will depend on its molecular structure, size, thickness and colour and as a result electricity is produced referred to as piezoelectricity (yes it can be measured too). This means that you can have two of the same crystals for example amethyst, and although they are the same type of crystal they could still have different frequencies due to a difference in size and colour. Colour plays a role because colours produce light and when light passes through crystals only a few rays are reflected back out and this is how crystals get their colour. A simple example of the concept of colour would be to think of the sun, it contains all colours of the spectrum however only some are reflected back out. A rose quartz for example absorbed all of the colours of the spectrum however it rejected pink and that is why all rose quartz emits a pink colour, because that is the colour it could not absorb. Transparent crystals allow all light to pass through uninterrupted, translucent allow only certain colours to travel through and opaque ones absorb all colours except for one colour wavelength. 

As amazing as crystals are it is very important to understand that they are just there to aid however they cannot entirely heal a physical, mental or emotional problem. They are great to use in combination with a handful of other things to help in overall healing, relaxation and to reduce all forms of negativity. 

I have just bought my first crystal, now what? Well first of all you should send the crystal for healing and then recharge it so it can dispel any lower vibrating frequencies it has already absorbed through the shipping and handling process. It’s important to note that darker crystals may need more cleansing and recharging than lighter ones. The easiest way to do this would be to leave it in your backyard on the grass or soil (as long as it is touching earths natural surface it doesn’t matter what you choose) and then leave it there overnight to recharge under the moonlight (during a full moon is a bonus because this is the best time to leave under moonlight). You can also leave it under the sunlight after you have done this to further recharge. This is one of many ways however you can also run the crystals under water although I don’t recommend this way because of the minerals in water, rinsing them in sea water (however always research first because some crystals decay in salt), soak them in water, use a generator crystal, sage them, use a singing bowl, certain essential oils and there are many other ways. 

Next you should try and bond with your crystal. You can do this by holding it in your hand while relaxed, meditating with it, using visualisation techniques, sleeping with it in your pillow or by carrying it with you wherever you go. This will help you understand whether this frequency is right for you or not and this is important because sometimes the frequency of certain crystals may be too high too fast so it can make you feel light headed and unbalanced. A great example is moldavite, this crystal could make you feel lightheaded if you have never used it before and have a low vibrational frequency because it is such a sudden shift in frequencies. 

Then you should try and set your intention about what you want to achieve by working with that crystal. You start by holding the crystal in your left hand and having your right hand hover over the top of the left hand. Next you can visualise a big bright white light coming down from as high up into the universe as you can imagine (for example outer space or the clouds) and then having that light shine down through the top of your head, into your hands and into that crystal. After this you can then set your goals for working with that crystal and then visualise what you will look and feel like after achieving goals x, y and z. So this could mean you have set the goal to release and chakra blocks and you are envisioning your energy centres flowing in synchronicity and in turn you see yourself happy and manifesting everything in your life being in harmony. 

It is important to remember to cleanse yourself often too and not just your crystals. You can do this by saging yourself, going for a swim in the ocean, having a salt bath, using singing bowls, visualisation meditations, sweeping cleansing crystals over your aura and there are many other methods. 

How to look after your crystals? It is mandatory to store crystals correctly because just like batteries some melt when exposed to too much heat and others disintegrate in water. It is a good idea to keep them in a bowl or stone plate in an area that gets enough air and natural light (synthetic light cannot ever be used as a replacement of natural light). If you want to keep them in an enclosed non-synthetic container to avoid dust then you can do this as well however keep in mind that you will need to let them out often for fresh air and light. Do not let other people touch your crystals because then you will have to recharge and cleanse them all over again. It is also important to keep your conflicting crystals away from each other. For example keeping the cyrstals that emit calming and relaxing energies such as amethyst, rose quartz and blue lace agate away from those that are stimulating crystals such as carnelian, red jasper and citrine. Also do not store the uncleansed ones with the cleansed ones. Lastly do not place the delicate ones against the hard and rough ones that have a Mohs hardness of 7 and above as they may chip. 

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