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The Healing Power of Crystals
By Dr. Olga Rodriguez Rasmussen, D. Min.
Introduction and Overview
Crystals, gems and stones, have a long documented history of use in healing work in practically every culture and religious tradition since the dawn of time. In our contemporary era, crystals are regularly employed because of their inherent ability to deeply enhance the table work experience for both the practitioner and client. For those wishing to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the properties, characteristics, functions, and application of crystals, there are thankfully, many wonderful books that are readily available and which explain the many kinds of crystals one can obtain for use. Jonathan Goldman, a noted Sound Healer, nevertheless acknowledges the importance of crystals in his book, Shifting Frequencies, documenting the use of crystals in healing work throughout various historical periods:
Quartz crystals are considered sacred powerful tools in many different traditions and have been recognized as such for a very long time. They have been utilized for their extraordinary abilities by magicians, shamans, and lightworkers since recorded history and before as tools for healing higher consciousness and frequency-shifting. Quartz crystals have been found as artifacts among the most ancient of archaeological digs, and their use in Atlantis has been described by many writers.
Quartz crystals have many amazing qualities—perhaps most extraordinary is their ability to transduce energy. Quartz crystals can take one form of energy and cause it to change form, moving up the energy spiral. Sound, for example, can become electricity… (96-97).
As Goldman asserts, crystals are powerful, transformational tools, capable of even turning sound into light. While we may consider crystals to be both inert and lifeless, the reality is they constitute and comprise the very essence of our physical and even energetic composition. Our bodies, like crystals, are composed of silicone and water, and that is why we can so intensely feel the vibration of a crystal bowl resonating within us. If we believe that crystals are as much a part of the web of connection as we are, then we can readily recognize that crystals have the ability to act as intermediaries, enabling us to communicate and connect with higher levels of consciousness and existence. Crystals have unique paths—and it is believed by energy workers and healers that they too, have their own karmic lessons to fulfill and experience, not unlike humans. If one truly espouses the belief that everything in the Universe is interconnected, then one must recognize that crystals are really just another manifestation or reflection of who we are.
A Survey of Major Works
One of the best books to first consult on the general properties and use of crystals and their healing applications is The Crystal Bible; A Definitive Guide to Crystals, by Judy Hall. The author observes that there is hardly a person who is not attracted to crystals and gemstones in one form or another. The information in this book is readily accessible to anyone – both novice and experienced user – and it contains a wealth of information in a very succinct and cogent manner. In addition, its high quality color photographs enable one to quickly and accurately identify one’s favorite stones.
Another book to consider is The Newcastle Guide to Healing with Gemstones, by Pamela Louise Chase and Jonathan Pawlik. This book also contains valuable information on the use of crystals in energy work. Perhaps the book that is often considered definitive by many in the field is Love is in the Earth: A Kaleidoscope of Crystals, by Melody. However, the more recently published book, The Book of Stones: Who They are and What They Teach by Robber Simmons and Naisha Ahsian, seems to be attempting to try to usurp that role. Many feel that both of these books are the most complete in their listing of rare crystals and stones, with the latter containing excellent photographs. The Book of Stones also contains information not seen in many of the other available texts. More books are continually being published as greater interest in the field of crystals and their application to healing continues to evolve. Gemstone Energy Medicine; Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit, by Michael Katz is a reflection of such a trend.
The bibliography contained at the end of this paper provides a sampling of what is currently available. Books and articles on the use and characteristics of crystals vary – some bordering on the more esoteric, while some focus on the more scientific and conventional aspects related to their use. Gemstone Energy Medicine, for example, aims to reconcile the use of crystals with more conventional medical practices. In fact, it persuasively makes the case that in the future doctors and therapists will more frequently employ them in their practice. On the other hand, there are the approaches taken by people such as Diane Stein, an energy worker and Reiki Master who does not apologize for approaches that are less than mainstream or conventional in the field of energy healing. In her book, Healing with Gemstones and Crystals, Stein makes the following observation:
A network of crystal and gemstone energy intersects the Earth. At ground level this network is formed of the ley lines, the planet’s acupuncture map. Beyond the Earth’s body and mirrored in the human mental body aura is the universal grid. This is formed by crystal and gemstone energy radiating from the planet and the galaxy and also is incorporated into human energy….The grid contains our individual minds and the Collective Mind of society, as well as access to the Universal Mind of…the all-creative Void. The grid is the interface between our auras and that of the Earth and the universe… (7)
The little crystals and colored gemstones in our pockets and jewelry do more for us than we know, and their energy is increasing in usefulness as time goes on….We are becoming much more than people can ever remember being before; we are becoming the Be-ings of Light, energy, and information, what was our original heritage. Human twelve-strand DNA contains the genetic keys of all life in the universe…[which is a] Living Library. That library is being repaired, healed, and reactivated, and returned to us primarily by way of gemstones and crystals. (9)
Stein’s book also presents detailed explanations on the healing and spiritual properties of the gems and crystals most commonly used in healing work.
Richard Gerber on Crystals and Vibrational Medicine
Richard Gerber’s book, Vibrational Medicine: The #1 Handbook of Subtle-Energy Therapies, was perhaps one of the earlier works attempting to harmonize medicine and the direction some doctors were taking in the implementation of less conventional therapies. In many ways, this book was on the cutting edge when it was first released. It has gone through various incarnations and it contains an extensive chapter on the varied uses of crystals, in addition to useful scientific documentation. Gerber lists the many instances where crystalline technologies are routinely employed in our daily life – such as in electronics, laser development, and information storage, most notably in computers. (367)
Gerber boldly asserts that we are multidimensional beings:
Each human being is an organized interweaving of many bodies of differing vibrational frequencies. Through our interconnection to the chakras and our higher frequency bodies of light, we are able to assimilate energy and information from the highest levels of being. Energy and information originating at the soul level undergoes progressive transformation and translation until it becomes manifest as a conscious personality which must exist in the molecular/cellular vehicle of the physical plane. Due to the limited nature of the physical brain at its present level of linear expression, we become locked into the perspective of a seemingly fixed space/time frame. Thus the multidimensional universe is beyond our underdeveloped insight.
To most individuals, the higher dimensional energies are in the realm of invisibility… As technology makes visible what was previously seen only by clairvoyants, the invisible becomes visible… (325)
From utilizing crystals for communication, information storage, solar power, and laser applications in industry and medicine, we are slowly discovering that the gems and minerals of the Earth hold undreamt-of potentials for serving humankind. (327)
While scientists have chosen to explore the electronic properties of silicon crystals, it is quartz crystals which bear the greatest potential in the manipulation of subtle energies. All crystalline structures are formed of mathematically precise and orderly lattice arrays of atoms. In addition to the variety of grid-like lattice structures, some researchers feel that there are also spiral arrangements interwoven into the crystal structure. Crystals represent the lowest stare of entropy possible because they have the most orderly structure in nature.
The crystalline structure will respond in unique and precise ways to a wide spectrum of energies including heat, light, pressure, sound electricity, gamma rays, microwaves, bioelectricity, and even the energies of consciousness… In response to these varying energetic inputs, the molecular structure of the crystal will undergo particular modes of oscillation, thereby creating specific vibratory frequencies of energy emission.
Quartz crystals can be used in many different ways to process various types of energy. These functions are numerous and include reception, reflection, refraction, magnification, transduction, amplification, focusing, transmutation, transference, transformation, storage…stabilization, modulation, balancing, and transmittance.
Of particular interest…is the application of these functions of quartz crystals towards subtle energetic healing of human illness. According to crystal researcher Marcel Vogel, a senior scientist with IBM for 27 years: The crystal is a neutral object whose inner structure exhibits a state of perfection and balance. When it’s cut to the proper form and when the human mind enters into relationship with its structural perfection, the crystals emit a vibration which extends and amplifies the powers of the user’s mind. Like a laser, it radiates energy in a coherent, highly concentrated form, and this energy may be transmitted into objects or people at will.
Although the crystal may be used for “mind to mind” communication, its higher purpose…is in the service of humanity for the removal of pain and suffering. With proper training, a healer can release negative thought forms which have taken shape as disease patterns in a patient’s physical body.
The key concept which Dr. Vogel has presented is that the quartz crystal is capable of amplifying and directing the natural energies of the healer. The subtle energies of the healer’s field become focused and coherent in a manner similar to a laser. (338-339)
It is important to note, that quartz crystals can conduct the energy of the healer’s thought-forms and patterns. Hence, one must consider the importance of the practitioner’s intent while working with them. Crystals have the ability not only to conduct energy, but also amplify our feelings, thoughts, and vibrations.
Gerber notes the importance of using crystals not only for healing work, but for meditation as well, and he offers the following suggestions for their use:
When utilizing a single quartz crystal in meditation, it should be held in the left hand. The reason behind this practice is that the left hand is neurologically connected to the right cerebral hemisphere. The right hemisphere, in turn, seems to be attuned to the higher dimensional fields of consciousness, of the Higher Self because the right brain has unique crystalline connections to the pineal gland. (345-346)
Double-terminated crystals…are especially useful for meditative purposes. Double-terminated stones are not only more powerful, but they are better at linking crystals together in subtle energy circuits. Various geometric arrangements utilizing multiple crystals may be explored. Each arrangement can have a particular value and application…
Multiple crystals placed in specific geometric patterns produce unified energy fields known as “gridwork systems.” These systems blend the energies of multiple crystals together to manifest a powerful synergistic effect. The use of such arrangements of crystals is based upon principles of sacred geometry in conjunction with crystal and human energy dynamics. The basic principle in creating gridwork systems is to place programmed crystals in harmonic patterns, in which each crystal resonates strongly with every other…
Energy grids of different shapes can be created with varying effects upon the consciousness of the individual… (346-347)
Using Crystals in Chakra Work
The chakras are seven energetic systems in the body recognized and extensively documented in Eastern literature and philosophical treatises. While their existence and location has not been verified in Western medicine yet, many medical professionals are aware of their purported existence and even take them into consideration when employing diagnostic tests and other forms of medical assessments. There are currently some studies underway at reputable institutions that are trying to scientifically verify the actual existence of the chakras.
Here are brief suggestions for the use of crystals with the seven chakras taken from several different sources. There are more detailed works available for reference.
While doing a table session on a client, a practitioner might choose to lay one or more stones at each chakra, depending on the issues or the condition of the client. These crystals or stones would be carefully chosen, based on the condition of the person and the healing properties of the crystals in question. Such properties are carefully documented in some of the books we have already mentioned, such as The Crystal Bible, and Love is in the Earth. As one begins to know more about individual crystals and their properties, one will be lead to work more intuitively with crystals. There is a lot of information to assimilate, and it generally requires a lot of practice in using crystals in this way to become more proficient.
A simple exercise to help one ascertain and start to intuit the healing properties of crystals consists of the following steps:
Lay out several stones or crystals in a table before you. First note if you are drawn to any particular one. If so, pick it up. Note how the crystal feels in your hand. Does it feel warm—tingly, or cold? Do you experience any other sensations as you hold it? Make note of these. See if another crystal draws you or calls to you. Repeat the same process until you have picked all of the crystals up. It is very common for you to pick up a crystal that is visually appealing, and reflective of the healing properties you may have need of. As you explore using crystals and noting their properties you will begin to intuit which ones you are drawn to using or carrying. When you finish the exercise, look up the properties of the crystals you were drawn to, and see if they speak to you.
An experienced healer or energy worker routinely uses different sets or combinations of crystals in multiple sessions with a client. A practitioner might even choose to use the same crystal at each one of the chakras to enhance the healing properties of that crystal in a particular session. For example, once I chose to place carnelian at each of the seven chakras with a particular client throughout the course of several sessions. This client had endometriosis. Using carnelian in this way might have contributed to averting the surgery that seemed inevitable.
Practitioners might also choose to set up a grid of crystals under the table of a client during a healing session to amplify the energy of the session instead of placing crystals directly on their clients. (Or you might choose to combine both strategies in one session!)
Grids can be set up in several different geometric configurations as well, depending on what crystals are used, or what the intent for the healing session is. There are many options available to the practitioner who feels drawn to use crystals in healing work. A practitioner will gradually come to realize, learning about crystals and their varied uses, can literally become a life-long endeavor!
Suggested Crystals for Work With the Individual Chakras
If you read ten books on which crystals or stones you should use in healing and balancing the chakras, you will get ten different opinions. The following table offers some suggestions which have been compiled from many different sources. A simple way to decide which crystals to use in a session is to pick crystals of the same color as is normally associated with each individual chakra. For example, the root chakra is most commonly associated with the color red. However, dark stones, particularly black ones, such as black tourmaline, obsidian, or hematite, are often commonly used for this chakra because of their ability to ground a client. The following suggestions are offered as guidance and are not meant to be definitive. In the final analysis, the intuitive practitioner may be guided to use other crystals, particularly when taking in consideration the issues the individual client is facing.
First Chakra—Root—Base of Spine
Colors: Black, Brown, Deep Red
|Red Tiger Eye||Tourmaline|
|Red Jasper||Smokey Quartz|
|Red Garnet||Brown Agate|
Second Chakra—Sacral—Sexual Organs—Pelvic Area
|Ruby||Gold Tiger Eye|
|Red Coral||Orange Calcite|
|Madeira (Orange) Citrine||Rutilated Quartz|
|Fire Opal||Golden Topaz|
Third Chakra—Solar Plexus—Navel
Colors: Gold, Yellow
|Yellow Calcite||Rose Quartz|
|Golden Tiger Eye||Aventurine Quartz|
Colors: Green, Pink
|Green Jade||Pink Jade|
|Green Calcite||Clear Crystal|
Colors: Blue/Green, Light Blue
|Blue Topaz||Blue Lace Agate|
|Blue Tiger Eye||Iolite|
Sixth Chakra—Third Eye
Colors: Indigo, Deep Purple
|Blue Tiger Eye||Sugilite|
|Dark Blue Tourmaline||Flourite|
|Clear Crystal||Purple Apatite|
Colors: Light Purple, Deep Purple, White, Clear
Remember that ultimately these stones represent a broad range of suggestions—perhaps much broader than those you have consulted. Ultimately you must learn to cultivate and develop your intuition and see what you are drawn to using. A healer will be guided to using a different combination of stones for the chakras from client to client, based on his or her intuition, what the client shares, and what has been treated or resolved in previous sessions. As a practitioner starts to work with clients more regularly, records should be kept of the sessions. They may yield wonderful insights for work on other clients.
Energy Medicine and Crystal Therapy: The Future
As stated in an earlier section, Richard Gerber was one of the first medical doctors to observe and chart the future directions of energy medicine with the series of books he authored on vibrational medicine. In the forward to Michael Katz’s book, Gemstone Energy Medicine, Rashid Buttar, D.O., states his firm belief that the “Energy medicine will certainly be a major constituent of the medicine of the future,” (x) though he also reminds us that the recognition and application of energy in healing work can be documented as going back at least 5,000 years, if not more. Energy medicine is therefore, not something new. Eastern cultures have written of the various energetic pathways of the body and this is particularly documented in very ancient yogic texts.
Buttar also observes:
Research indicates that specific fields of energy enhance the immune system, evidenced by increased DNA synthesis in lymphocytes….
Patients have reported many benefits during and after their experiences of using various forms of energy healing, including having an increased sense of well-being, more energy, better sleep, and improved pain control. Acupuncture, in fact, is nothing more than enhancing and opening up energy channels that have been blocked or, in other cases, blocking certain energy channels along specific meridians to achieve a desired effect. Plants exposed to specific types of energy fields have also been noted to grow faster than they do in other parts of the building that lack the field exposure. (x-xi)
Crystals have been known to enhance energy work, since they can actually conduct and amplify energy. But as noted previously, they also have their own distinct characteristics and healing properties as well which contributes to the enhancement of any given healing session. Crystals placed strategically in areas such as bedrooms or workspaces can have a noticeable impact on those environments. Something as simple as carrying crystals in one’s pocket can be of tremendous benefit. For example, bringing a crystal to work that is calming, soothing, or grounding can help shift the energy of the person carrying the crystal, the workspace, and the environment in a more positive direction. Physical laws indicate that like attracts like—so the change in one’s disposition will subsequently influence one’s co-workers as well!
Katz also points out the changes that are subtly occurring in the medical establishment:
Doctors and patients are experiencing that energy medicine works—often where conventional medicine does not. Chronic debilitating illnesses, common ailments, aches, pains, and everything in between have responded to energy medicine practices. Energy medicine is shedding light on the true nature of health and disease and offering solutions to seemingly intractable health problems—often leaving those who practice it healthier and more vital than they thought possible.
One of the most powerful forms of energy medicine is gem therapy. Here, too, a change has taken place. Once relegated to the fringes of the healing arts, the therapeutic uses of gems were not widely adopted by either doctors or the public…Today, all that has changed. Pioneering information and effective new practices are allowing gem therapy to take its rightful place as a cornerstone of energy medicine….
Thousands of people around the world—physicians, homemakers, Olympic athletes, business people, celebrities, and many others—have come to experience remarkable healing by applying therapeutic gems…
Over a decade of clinical experience…have yielded gem therapies that work—both as primary treatments and as complements to other healing modalities. Emotional maladies, mental complaints, and acute and chronic illnesses have responded to these gem therapies in unprecedented and exciting ways. (1-2)
It is encouraging to see that there is already a broad range of implementation of crystals and gems. To consider that an Olympic athlete recognizes the value of their use is nothing short of astonishing and encouraging.
Katz reminds us that the use of gems and crystals in healing and therapeutic work already has a long documented history, and as we have observed throughout this article. While we may not be able to know with absolute certainty when crystals were first used, it is obvious that over time, the specific healing properties of the most widely used and obtainable crystals were discovered and documented. Some of these were more highly prized, even in ancient cultures like that of Egypt, where pieces of moldavite, one of the most highly vibrational and rare stones have been found.
While gems and stones have the ability to conduct energy, they also contain and reflect their own innate and unique energy which can contribute to a healing process. One might wonder how this is possible, and Katz offers an explanation:
Physicists tell us that all matter is energy in physical form. Gemstones are certainly no exception. Formed over eons…the Earth’s gemstones embody intense concentrations of energy. The energetic and physical properties of gemstones are already employed in many aspects of technology. The ability of crystals to conduct and transform energy is no longer a new idea to us. For example, every television, quartz clock, portable phone, and personal computer runs smoothly thanks to Quartz crystals. Today the energetic properties of gems are also being used to improve peoples health at a fundamental level. (3)
The evolution in our thinking, understanding, and acceptance of crystals in healing work has a lot to do with shifts in our fundamental thinking and understanding of human nature. For example, many now accept as a given that humans are by their nature, multidimensional. We now realize that we are comprised of various energy fields and bodies and some experts conducting research at top tier universities are attempting to map and study these fields. We have come to accept that crystals have the ability and the capacity to interact with our various fields and dimensions—and the various levels of our existence:
…It may seem paradoxical to use a stone—the embodiment of earthly material—to affect subtle, nonphysical energies. Yet a closer look reveals wheat may not be immediately apparent—that the crystalline nature of certain gemstones and their ability to process energy has much in common with the liquid crystalline forms in our own cells. Once the mechanisms of human energy systems are more thoroughly understood and compared with those of gemstone energy medicine, the elegance and power of gems as therapeutic tools can be more readily understood. (5)
Katz offers a lot of valuable information in his books which is beyond the scope and intent of this paper. For example, he discusses the various patterns of energy and how it flows through a crystal. These patterns or currents are largely determined by the shape and patterns of the crystal. Some shapes are better than others in conducting and amplifying energy—points and facets all influence the flow of energy through a crystal in different ways.
Katz also cautions that crystals have inherent limitations in their abilities as well—they are capable of pulling energy into the crystal as well as being able to conduct it out. Thus, a gem such as malachite has the ability to remove negative energy, yet if it is not cleared regularly, it will retain that energy and amplify it. It would not be enough to carry a piece of malachite in your pocket to ward off negativity without clearing it, for you would only be exacerbating the very problem you were trying to remedy!
The quality of crystals needs to be also considered, in addition to their character, cut and clarity. Not all crystals are created equal. A very clear quartz crystal would probably enhance healing work more than a cloudy one. A crystal in its natural state might also be of more benefit than one that is tumbled. However, that is not always the case, because crystals can also exhibit their individual traits and personalities. Anyone familiar with crystals knows that no two are exactly the same. Sometimes a practitioner may resonate with one stone more than another, just as he or she would resonate with another individual, and it may not necessarily be the prettiest or the most expensive one available.
It has been established that crystals and gems have an amazing ability to enhance healing work. It has also been noted that in the future, crystals will be used more regularly, as their general acceptance in various kinds of therapy continues to grow. This article seeks to make the reader more aware of the healing properties of crystals and their many applications. The bibliographical references provided at the end of this paper indicate how extensively research is being conducted in this field, with books and articles being published at a rapidly increasing rate. For example, a number of articles in Reiki News Magazine have specifically addressed how to use crystals and gems in Reiki healing. (Subscriptions and past editions can be obtained at: http://www.reiki.org/)
The bibliographic material listed at the end of the article also provides guidance for those wanting to increase their knowledge of the emerging research in the areas of crystals and healing work. While the bibliographical sources are not by any means exhaustive, they do constitute an adequate representation of what is most accessible.
Since the implementation of crystals in healing work is currently evolving as we speak, it will be very interesting to see where we are a decade from now. I am reminded of the Superman movies staring the late actor Christopher Reeves, filmed and produced a generation ago, and how the implementation of crystals in so many mind boggling ways fascinated so many movie watchers at that time. I still find people remember the Superman movies, still impressed by the use of crystals in one of the films, as conductors of energy and storage of information. Perhaps the movies awakened a thirst for knowledge and curiosity about the use and application of crystals. Perhaps Superman already knew something we didn’t, and we were just waiting to re-discover: the healing power of crystals!
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About the Author
Dr. Olga Rodriguez Rasmussen, D.Min (E-RYT 200) is a Certified Anusara Yoga teacher. She received her doctorate in spirituality and education from United Theological Seminary in Minnesota . For over twenty-three years, Olga worked in campus ministry and taught religious studies in a number of institutions including St. Louis University, Washington University, and most recently as Chair of the Religion Department at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School , in Washington, DC .
Olga has been teaching yoga since 1998. She currently divides her time between teaching yoga classes and yoga philosophy workshops at The Health Advantage Yoga Center, in Herndon, Virginia, as well as at other studios. Olga also practices and teaches various healing modalities including Reiki.
Olga’s instruction as a yoga teacher is equally enriched by her extensive training in this practice and her deep love of spirituality – which has been a life long passion. She continues to advance her knowledge and understanding of Yoga’s rich heritage by studying with highly respected teachers. Through the simple elegance of Anusara Yoga, Olga encourages her students to embody greater alignment, and to connect more deeply with the spiritual essence of the practice – a path inviting transformation, joy, celebration, and compassionate living.
The author can be reached at: www.aligningwithgrace.com
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