Our Fascination with Crystals, Rocks and Stones
By Sonia Acone
From the tiny grains of sand beneath your feet on a stretch of beach, to the giant Selenites that grow in Cueva de los Cristales (Cave of Crystals) near Chihuahua, Mexico; from the pebble you pick up in a creek bed while taking a walk, to the giant Preseli Bluestones that are part of Stonehenge in England, we as humans have always been fascinated by crystals, stones, rocks and minerals. It’s no wonder, since the majority of crystals, rocks and stones come from the very bedrock that makes up this planet we call home. So, in essence, we’ve been walking all over them for eons.
Mankind has been mesmerized by crystals for millennia. Their myriad colors, shapes, sizes and physical (as well as metaphysical) properties have caught our eye since the first peoples created petroglyphs on the walls of their caves. Who wouldn’t be drawn to the red sandstone canyons of Utah?
The earliest recorded data concerning crystals and their uses dates back to over 4000 BC, in which the ancient Sumerians used crystals and stones because of their belief that the stones contained magical powers. The ancient Egyptians used crystals such as Lapis Lazuli, Obsidian, Carnelian, Malachite and Turquoise. Even then, these ancient peoples believed that Lapis had a connection to opening up spiritual “sight” so that they would be able to see the way to the afterlife. Today, many use it in much the same way - to open the Third Eye chakra to enhance psychic communication and a “second sight”.
Crystals have been a part of human civilization for millennia. The use of Jade has been found from ancient China and India over 5,000 years ago, to the Aztecs and Mayans. Crystals are mentioned over 200 times in the Bible and 12 were used to make up the breastplate of the High Priest. Ancient Greeks named Quartz “crystal” from the Greek words for “ice” and “drop” because it looked like ice and was extremely hard. Theophrastus (c. 371 – c. 287 BC) wrote a treatise called “On Stones” which classified crystals and rocks based on their behavior when heated, grouping them by common properties. It was followed by Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) penning his “Natural History” in which he wrote a vast amount regarding the properties of minerals and stones.
Along with the physical attributes that crystals and minerals possess came the legends, myths and magical lore regarding these treasures of the earth. They were (and are still) used in healing rituals; in burial services; in agriculture; in communicating with angels and higher spirits; for calling animal totems; for finding love and keeping it; for grounding and protection from negativity; for patience and study, and so much more. We use crystals in our technology and our homes. We wear crystals as symbols of love and friendship, passed down through generations. We are the caretakers of these remarkable treasures that our planet has given us. May they help us on our journey for millennia to come.