Crystals can be profoundly moving. And it’s not just because these ancient gems are so beautiful – they also possess the power to heal us and offer clarity.
The word “crystal” comes from the Greek word for ice. That’s because people once believed that bright quartz crystals were made of water frozen so thoroughly it could never thaw again. Fortune-tellers used to have crystal balls that reflected reality; these people had a gift for interpreting that reflection and predicting the future. And the ancient alchemists never looked for the Philosopher’s Fluid or the Philosopher’s Plant, but for the Philosopher’s Stone – the crystal that cures all ailments and transforms any metal into gold.
From time immemorial, people have carried charms and amulets on their person as a tangible affirmation to multiply luck and happiness. Some were made of metal, amber or ivory, but many were crystals. The use of emerald, turquoise, lapis lazuli and quartz in “magic formulas” was first described by the Sumerians. Egypt was another place where gemstones were used for protection and health, and other ancient cultures such as the Mayas, Incas, Maoris and Chinese wore crystals as a symbol of their ancestors.
Where does this deep sense of connectedness with gemstones actually come from? Is it silly to think that crystals have their own energy and that some people can feel or perceive that energy? It isn’t when you realize that Einstein’s quantum theory taught us that everything is energy: gravity, light, magnetism… and matter too. We’re still not sure that these are the only types of energy; energy as a concept is still very much under construction. Although we have known for a long time that gravity exists – because objects fall down – it was only recently that scientists in Pisa were able to actually measure gravity waves.
When you observe the wonders of our world through the magnifying glass of science, you cannot but admit that there must be other forms of energy. For example: Fritjof Capra, the physicist, connected physics to the Tao in the 1970s. Deep inside, he felt that our rational view of the world was not complete and he looked for a way to connect the rational and the spiritual world. Biologist Rupert Sheldrake found a convincing link between biology and parapsychology. And biologist Bruce Lipton recently connected the processes at cell level to a spiritual energy that the cells are said to receive from the universe (“the biology of belief”). These scientists describe forms of energy that we can’t measure (yet). According to parapsychologists, the key is Psi: an energy that could explain telepathy, clairvoyance and more as yet inexplicable phenomena. Psi might be the energy that connects everything, that shows how science and spirituality are not opposing forces but two necessary ingredients that build our world. What will happen if the tangible world of crystals and the intangible world of our minds manage to hook up?
Through the eyes of an alchemist, crystals are much more than just rock-hard, dazzling matter. The atoms in a crystal have a fixed structure at micro level that repeats itself throughout the crystal in a rhythmical pattern. It’s like a tiny army marching quickly. It’s this rhythm and this pureness that make a crystal so clear and give it its shape. The structure at micro level is visible in even the biggest crystals. Salt crystals, for example, always come in the shape of a cube. If you grind coarse sea salt, that structure stays intact: fine salt also consists of tiny cubes. The big difference between the “precious” crystals, to which we attribute wholesome effects, and the rest is that they are many times stronger. You can’t grind them up in a peppermill and they won’t buckle under in a little water.
Many crystals are really ancient – some are even older than mankind. All this time, they were lying around glittering, apparently passive and lifeless; they were constantly exchanging energy with their environment. Warmth and light touched them, passed through them and underwent a change. Rose quartz turns white light into pink, emeralds make it green. Some crystals turn a different colour if the temperature or the atmospheric humidity changes, thanks to a microscopic shift in the ordering of their atoms. Human history will pass, but crystals remain unmoved.
And yet, no matter how invulnerable and motionless a crystal seems, under the surface, everything is moving. The atoms and electrons in those dazzling formations circle around continuously and vibrate at lightning speed. Much like any other object, every crystal has its own unique frequency, making it incredibly sensitive. If it receives its “own frequency,” its particles get so fired up that they vibrate along. This can turn into such a powerful tsunami that the crystal – no matter how strong it seemed – cracks up spontaneously. That beautiful structure is suddenly gone. It happens on those rare occasions when an opera singer hits such a high note that she makes a crystal glass explode.
We humans can be moved, but so can a crystal if the right vibration and the right energy come along. It’s a lovely metaphor: we only show our invulnerable and impenetrable side until a gentle voice suddenly shatters our defense into a million fragments. If you open your heart while looking at this ” lifeless” matter, you can imagine how your spirit makes real contact with a crystal. You’ll understand how crystals can give us clarity, provide answers to our questions, touch our hearts and change our lives.
This article is part of our issue 7, 2017 ‘Moments of Clarity’
Text: Hanny Roskamp
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