By Tara Mideaker
It is finally here - 2012! Whether you believe in the Age of Aquarius, the Mayan Calendar or that this is just another year, 2012 will speak for itself and it is sure to be as extraordinary and pivotal as all of the others before it. Because even though you may think you know what will happen, the truth is a new year, like anything new, is always an opportunity for the unexpected when anything and everything can happen. Maybe like the first time you held an Amethyst in your hand and someone told you it would ease your headache. It would seem normal to question how a crystal can cure an ailment and yet you went down that road anyway. It most likely led you to places you never expected, like using more crystals and other natural resources to heal and enhance your physical, mental and spiritual bodies. As the awareness and interest in crystals and their healing properties continues to grow, that is a road many of us will go down and every trip will yield surprising results. That Amethyst crystal you have might also help you to quit smoking or encourage you to start a new career. So before we embark on another journey into the unknown, it seems natural to take a look back at the history of crystals.
Crystal lore really begins with Atlantis. Many believe there is enough physical evidence to support the actual existence of this mythical society famous for their extensive and advanced use of crystal energy. It is the misuse of that energy that is said to have caused their destruction. Their legacy supposedly carried through to their descendants of other lost civilizations, the Incans and the Mayans.
The Druid culture is also credited with the use of crystal energy for magical and practical purposes. The Druids are infamous for having no written history but it is believed they are responsible for sharing their widespread knowledge of crystals throughout Europe.
The word "crystal" is derived from the Greek work "krustallos" (ice). Amethyst comes from a Greek word that means "to avoid drunkenness". They believed if you drank wine from an Amethyst cup you would not get drunk. They associated crystals with the planets. For instance, Hematite was associated with Mars and was used for armor since it would make you invincible. Science has proven that both Mars and Hematite contain high iron content. Similarly, Malachite was associated with Venus and Copper ore.
The Egyptians used crystals for everything from makeup (Lapis Lazuli, Malachite and Galena) to art (Emerald, Carnelian & Quartz) to healing and magic. Some believe it was crystal energy that helped them to build the pyramids. Cleopatra's favorite piece of jewelry was supposedly an Amethyst ring. It is believed if a wife wears an Amethyst it will promote faithfulness in her husband.
The histories of other cultures including Native Americans, Aborigines, Chinese, Hindu and Buddhists reference the utilization of crystals for a variety of purposes including offerings, currency, scrying (gazing to see the future), luck, wealth and, of course, healing. These cultures continue to use the healing qualities of crystals for diagnostic and preventive medicine today.
As for written documents, the earliest mention is in Ebers Papyrus from Egypt dated around 1500 B.C. Crystals are included in many religious documents including The Vedas (Hindu), The Tao and the Bible. Notable crystals in the Bible include Exodus where God speaks to Aaron, a High Priest, and tells him to make a breastplate from crystals for protection and wisdom. It is challenging to know which crystals are included since their names differ from today but translators believe they include Carnelian, Ruby, Amber, Topaz, Emerald, Malachite, Heliodor, Chrysolite (Olivine or Peridot), Sapphire, Turquoise, Onyx, Serpentine, Agate, Amethyst and Lapis Lazuli. In the New Testament, God's heavenly city "New Jerusalem" is built on a foundation of 12 crystals: Jasper, Sapphire, Chalcedony, Emerald, Sardonyx (White Chalcedony), Sardius (Ruby), Chrsyolite (Olivine or Peridot), Beryl, Topaz, Chrysopaprus (Chrysoprase), Jacinth (Zircon) and Amethyst.
Most of the "history" of crystals is more lore than fact. "Love is in the Earth" by Melody and The Encyclopedia of Crystals by Judy Hall are great resources if you would like to learn more. And if you know of any history or stories regarding the use of crystals in other cultures and/or times we would love to hear them. Post them on our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/crystaltalk) for all to enjoy. While the past may still be a mystery, we can be certain that crystals and their magical energy are sure to play a pivotal role during 2012 and throughout the future of our world.