The human connection to crystals and stones spans time, cultures, continents and religions. Ancient Sumerians included crystals in their magic formulas; Egyptian pharaohs had their headdresses lined with malachite in the belief that it helped to rule wisely; while native American shamans used them for divination and healing. Their curative properties are mentioned repeatedly in ancient Vedic Hindu texts and referred to in the Old Testament of the Bible; while the mysterious black stone at Mecca (possibly a meteorite) forms an intrinsic part of the Islamic pilgrimage.
The Black Stone of Mecca
In 1880 Jacques and Pierre Curie discovered the piezoelectric property of quartz – when squeezed or stretched, a voltage is produced across the crystal’s face. These days crystals are utilized in almost every form of technology. Liquid Crystal brings us the clarity in our computer screens, quartz keeps watches ticking, and electronic grade crystals are used in cell phones, clocks, games, television receivers, radios, computers and navigational instruments. But although science readily accepts the vibrational qualities of crystals, when it comes to the less tangible realms of crystal therapy, the suggested positive vibrations of gemstones is often relegated to the fringe of ‘new age;’ even though it is a tradition that is about as ‘old age’ as you can get. We have been communing with stones in one way or another for as long as we have roamed the earth.
Like many before me, I have a fondness for adorning myself with gemstones and jewels and this story starts with my discovery of Atlantis, a shop in Seminyak filled with glittering gemstones, gleaming jewel encrusted silver bracelets, shimmering druzy pendants and crystals in all shapes and forms. I left wearing a striking pendant of amethyst wrapped in a silver serpent. I loved the way it felt on my skin, the way it shimmered in the sunlight and I started to wonder why we are so drawn to stones and crystals. Is it because we are naturally attracted to that which is beautiful? Is it a primal connection with something that is formed deep within the earth’s crust, or is it something more; could it be possible that stones hold some sort of therapeutic power? So I decided to try and find some answers. I had no expectations, just an open mind, a touch of skepticism and an abundance of natural curiosity.
The story became quite a journey that led to interesting people, places and experiences, I learned a lot about crystals, physics and geology, and I learned a lot about myself and my own belief system. My encounters with crystal therapy in various guises were thought provoking, sometimes profound, and always left with me a smile. I can’t claim to have found all the answers I went looking for, or to have been miraculously ‘healed’ (thankfully I have no major ailments,) but I can share my experiences and the findings of those far more knowledgeable than myself.
As this story started with my newly acquired crystal pendant, I figured its creator might help shed some light on the power of crystals. I was right, Momo of Mercurious Designs, turns out to be a veritable mine of knowledge on the subject. Atlantis is temporarily closed while he looks for new premises, so I visit his home, filled with crystal treasures; giant clusters of quartz and amethyst, translucent crystal balls, gleaming pyrite and ancient fossils. He discovered early on that, “There is much more to the world than what’s on the surface,” and as a kid would spend his time squeezing through tunnels emerging into caves full of sparkling crystals. These explorations sparked a lifelong passion and Momo became a kind of modern day adventurer travelling to remote regions of the world collecting minerals, stones and knowledge. He introduces me to the concepts of piezoelectricity and jeweled movements; and points out strong animist traditions, including stone worship in Indonesia. He describes how he is drawn to “The dance of life, the energy and movement that is revealed in gemstones.” Much of his unique jewelry range is inspired and created by sculpting these “Natural art forms into something out of this world.” We chat about crystal healing which he describes as “An intuitive art – not a science,” and adds, “everything that has energy vibrates, if you can tap into that it’s fine, if not that’s ok too.”
The more I delve into the crystal realms, the more I come across this term. Is this the key – can the vibrations of crystals affect our bodies or our minds in some way? Quantum physics recognizes that everything vibrates, even the tiniest atom, but certain things, due to their composition will vibrate at a higher frequency. For example, quartz which is 100% crystal, resonates clearly and harmoniously due to a highly organized molecular structure. We have all experienced ‘good vibes’ and the sense of harmony experienced by listening to music, visiting certain places or meeting someone that we feel in tune with; as opposed to situations or people that create discord and throw us off balance. Similarly when we are attacked by viruses or subjected to stress we feel out of sync. A holistic approach to therapy is all about restoring balance, so maybe the vibrations of certain crystals can help. This makes sense, but the link is still tenuous. Then I stumble across a book called “Hidden messages in water,” by Doctor Masar Emoto. The book contains a series of astonishing photographs, in which single drops of water were frozen and the crystals they formed captured. Fresh spring water produced beautifully formed crystals, whereas city water barely produced crystals at all. But here’s where it gets really interesting, when Bach was played to water, the resulting crystals were magnificent, but when heavy metal music was played to the same water, it produced badly formed crystals or none at all. Town water that had initially created ill formed crystals – suddenly made perfect formations after 500 people simultaneously prayed for it to be clean. The most beautiful of all crystals had been exposed to the words love and gratitude. In all these cases the structure of the water was fundamentally altered due to the vibrations it was subjected to. As Humans bodies are comprised of over 70% water, is it possible that our physical process can be altered by positive vibrations?
Vogel and crystals
According to Marcel Vogel who spent much of his life conducting extensive research into quartz crystals, it means precisely this! Vogel was a highly respected research scientist who received over 100 patents during his 27 years working for IBM. He discovered that he could fundamentally alter the structure of water by spinning it around a tuned crystal. Using such a process, the ph levels of water could be sufficiently altered, the freezing point significantly lowered and the molecular patterns rearranged and restructured.
In the same way that the healthy water in Emoto’s experiments created beautiful well formed crystals; the water found in healthy tissue cells in our bodies is formed into organized, geometrically shaped molecule patterns. While unhealthy and cancerous cells feature ungeometric and disorganized water molecules. Vogel’s findings showed that the clear vibration resonating from crystals helps to organize the water in our tissues and cells, creating healthier cells. Further to this, he pioneered the use of a precisely cut quartz crystal, the ‘Vogel-cut® which transmitted a high level of energy and produced a constant vibration of the same frequency as water in its purest state. He also developed a protocol in which a crystal could act as an “energetic scalpel” to remove unwanted vibrations from a person in distress.
History of stones
Our history is inextricably entwined with stones. Stone age man carved primitive tools and amulets, stone walls have traditionally provided us with shelter and protection, and gem stones have always been potent symbols of power and beauty. Through the ages various megalithic cultures erected impressive standing stones, monuments and stone circles that became places of, worship, ritual and meditation. The early Indonesians were animists and worshipped natural features in a belief that all objects have a life, a soul force. Vestiges of this practice can still be found, particularly on islands such as Flores and Sumba where ethnic traditions hold strong. In Lombok the ‘Stone of Worship’ at Batu Pujaan was erected over 3000 years ago, and is associated with rituals of magic, meditation and the concoction of herbal medicines. Here in Bali, megalithic structures are still used for worship in a scattering of villages inhabited by the original Bali Aga people; while Lingga (monuments) carved from gold, jewels and stones can also be found in Hindu temples across the island.
Stone megaliths in Bena, Flores
These days our lives are increasingly removed from nature, so perhaps certain stones help us reconnect with the earth and our more essential selves. There are few things more grounding than minerals, so maybe wearing a crystal, collecting stones or indulging in gem therapy can help restore a sense of calm and balance. It all boils down to intent. If you believe that wearing a crystal will empower you, it probably will; if you attend a crystal healing session with a strong intent to heal, then for sure you will feel some benefits. It’s all up to the individual. Wear them, meditate with them, place them on the window sill, attempt to see the future, douse for water, summon spirits, admire them as objects of immense beauty. Or ignore them completely…… If crystals work for you on some level – that’s great, if not, that’s ok too – because crystals are totally optional.
If you do decide to explore the world of crystal therapy then Bali has plenty of choices.
Jelila provides my first healing session, and arrives at the door, blonde and fairylike bearing a guitar and a big bag of crystals. She talks about the resonant vibration of crystals due to their highly organized molecular structure. “Having a positive person around you raises your vibrations – it’s the same with the right combination of crystals.”
Jelila has a background in yoga, meditation and energy healing and you can join her classes at Yoga barn. She also practices crystal healing which she describes as “A complex art form, based on an intuitive sense of your present energy, aura and life. ” She adds that, “It is non invasive and harmless, the worse thing that can happen is nothing.” We start with an aura reading, and each of my chakras is assigned colours, shapes and sounds. My rational mind does not understand, but her observations are unerringly accurate, and deep from my subconscious, where the demons lurk, she unearths an extremely irrational fear. Right she says we are going to fix this. She guides me through a visualization, or re programming as she calls it, and then explains that she will use a combination of crystal energy and sound healing to integrate this transformation. I close my eyes as she drapes strings of crystals over me, and become aware of a powerful tingly sensation around my head, it feels like my hair is standing on end. I assume Jelila is doing some kind of energy healing but when I sneak a peek I see she is busy placing crystals around my feet. The feeling is so intense I can’t help laughing – “What’s happening to my head,” I ask, “That would be the detoxifying crystals I put on your pillow,” she answers. By now Jelila is softly playing the guitar and singing, her beautiful voice flutters around me. It’s extraordinarily soothing to be sung too and lulls me into a warm and cosy state. Afterwards I feel happy, calm and kind of floaty, more than anything I feel liberated from an irrational fear. No doubt I could have sat in an office with a psychiatrist and progressed to this point after weeks on the sofa talking about my childhood – but therapy is much more enjoyable when you are covered in crystals and sung to! Jelila also designs healing necklaces and has recorded a range of CDs. http://jelila.wordpress.com/
The Crystal Light Bed
I find myself at a house on the outskirts of Ubud and am greeted by Tamara, an intuitive healer who also performs healing sessions utilizing a Crystal Light Bed. This contraption was created by John of God, the famous Brazilian spiritual healer who is estimated to have healed hundreds of thousands of people. Science has no answer for this kind of healing in which John of God acts as a spirit medium, allowing “entities” to take over his body and perform surgery while he is in a trance. However, his work has been documented by medical teams from around the world, who confirm miraculous recoveries from AIDS, cancer and other illnesses that were deemed incurable. He developed The Crystal Light Bed as an adjunct to healing and it consists of 7 Vogel-cut Brazilian quartz crystals which are suspended over each of the seven major chakras. Tamara explains that it is essentially a chromo graphic machine that combines energy, colour and light; the colored lights that beam through the crystals act as a magnifier of energy and intent for healing. She explains that this is “Different from other forms of crystal healing in that it enables a specific current of John of God and his various healing spirit entities.” It sounds kind of wacky and my rational mind is screaming, ‘How,’ but I apply my motto ‘Never try never know,” and as I lie down she tells me to say a prayer of intent. From the moment I shut my eyes I enter a state of deep blissful relaxation – at times it’s almost as if I am levitating and I sense the presence of others in the room. Perhaps it’s my imagination, perhaps not – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that this is a lovely experience that leaves me calm and peaceful. I ask Tamara if she can see an immediate change in people following the treatment, and she comments that I am sparkling…. ..When I look in the mirror I do seem to have a bit of a glow and my eyes are shining clear and bright. email firstname.lastname@example.org
I first had the pleasure of Healing Sound Therapy at Bali Spirit Festival during a workshop led by Awa Hoshi, a statuesque, gently spoken woman of Cheyenne – Slovakian descent who plays silicon quartz crucibles (pure quartz carved into receptacles of various sizes.) A talented musician, Awa Hoshi pioneered the use of crystal sound therapy over two decades ago and her work has been well recognized across the world. More than 100 of us were gathered that afternoon and as we stretched out on the floor we were instructed to visualize what we desired most at that point in time. Awa Hoshi started to play, and the room was filled with lingering, beautiful waves of sound. Everything ceased to exist beyond the sound of crystal, and my vision of fully sustaining myself as a freelance writer. The sensation was not so much of hearing, but of feeling. Afterwards everything seemed incredibly clear and when I checked my emails I had two commissions from magazines to write about the festival, and have had a constant stream of work ever since. It’s not magic, I didn’t just blink my eyes and find I was suddenly consumed with work, but during that crystal sound filled afternoon I had given myself the space to realize what it was that I really wanted and from that time on focused my energy into achieving it. When I meet Awa Hoshi again, she explained that sound therapy helps us to “ Crystallize an intention, then magnetize that reality.” She adds that it, “Provides a foundation, it’s then up to us as to how we deal with it.”
Hearing is the first sense to develop in the womb, the most developed of all our senses, yet most of us only have a small amount of pure, clear sound in our lives, bird song, running streams, leaves rustling in the breeze are often drowned out by the hum of air conditioners, the roar of motor bikes, the incessant chatter of television. Awa Hoshi tells me that “The sound of pure tone crystal returns us to our natural state as beings of harmony – it is a sound that takes you beyond sound.” http://www.bali3000.com/crystalsound/
Picture 5 Awa Hoshi