While skepticism of crystals has been around as long as the use of the rocks themselves, there is an aspect to the belief that many overlook. While the claim that crystals have healing properties lacks empirical evidence, recent studies around the new-age obsession suggest that crystals do in fact have an effect on its users, if only they give it the power. As crystals have been adopted by mainstream Western consumers, their traditional meanings and religious connections have been severed and new, more digestible meanings have been projected on. Rose Quartz meaning love, Clear Quartz meaning clarity, etc. Their new use is comparable to Zodiac Signs: historically inaccurate, widely interpretable, and vague. While these new meanings don’t hold significant truth, they have been found to impact people in a placebo effect, more so impacting those that believe in the supernatural.
The placebo effect is a powerful tool, first discovered in the 18th century, and then used during wars and times of great strife to appease the sick and wounded while operating with a lack of medicine and resources. In the sense of crystals, some find that the meaning placed upon them acts as a reminder to pay attention to certain aspects of one’s life. In a qualitative study on alternative therapies, the author explores the use of crystals in a healing context, using them to remind ourselves where to focus our attention and energy. The meanings assigned to the crystals are sometimes influenced by their traditional meanings, but as they become more of a commodity and less of a spiritual tool, both the quality and legitimacy of the crystal is compromised.
Many civilizations have placed immense meaning in the Earth and objects that come from it, with nearly every religion having origin stories connected to the planet, stars, and living beings. The philosophy we use is borrowed from traditional Asian cultures, like Buddhism and Hinduism, and is usually intertwined with life-energy and chakra meditation. If you plan on using crystals as a means for practicing meditation, be sure that you are purchasing them from a reputable establishment and do research on the stones you pick. While they will not produce magic, crystals do help as a trinket or reminder to channel the meanings they emote, and as a material object from which to channel positive thoughts, energy, and emotions.
Here are some recommendations and (mostly) accurate attributes:
Amethysts are one of the most well known crystals- and for good reason. Many sources concur that the name is derived from the Greek word ametusthos, meaning not intoxicated. Amethysts are claimed to overall promote positive energy and intuition, as well as clear thinking. There are abundant Amethyst reserves in Northern Ontario, so if possible, try to buy local.
While there are some conflicting reports on citrine, it is often cited to have warm, happy, and prosperous energy. These attributes are likely given because of its clear-honey like colour.
Serpentine is a green and gold toned stone that has been mythologically connected to healing snake bites. Today, its believed to have healing and protective energies, as well as being helpful to heal past trauma and mental blockages.