When Jenny Raisinghani first heard of the healing powers of crystals, she decided to try them out.
She found the crystals worked for her, but the next question was how to wear them. So she began a new hobby - collecting the stones and creating necklaces out of them.
Her line of thinking was obvious enough: why not wear crystals as attractive accessories and get double the benefit - looking and feeling good?
During the five years since then, Jenny's hobby has turned into a cottage industry, where she processes, cuts and tumbles the crystals before creating necklaces from them.
"I want to remove people's misconceptions about crystals," she says. "I want everyone to know that even though these natural crystals do not have the monetary worth of diamonds they are of a greater value because they possess healing properties."
But what exactly does she mean when she talks about crystals? And what are these purported healing properties?
While the word "crystal" may conjure up images of fine drinking goblets and chandeliers, real crystals - that is, "natural crystals" - are formed under in the earth through a geological process called "nucleation".
The wondrous process spits out crystals in a range of gorgeous colors; the way they grow, as molecules bind together, also imbues them with a sense of life. Consider, for example, the crystal kept in a French museum that is a meter tall and wide. In India, a single crystal nearly two meters tall and one meter wide has been found.
The crystals that have gained the most fame are quartz crystals, which have proved useful in human culture and endeavors since ancient times. One of the first types of crystals used by humans, quartz crystal is now one of the most important, as it is a key component in radios, radars, sonar, televisions and computers. Why? It's all about energy: quartz crystals can relay and receive, build up, project and store energies.
And energy is at the heart of the crystal story.
Each crystal, whether a cluster or a single point, has its own story and mission. A crystal that moves from one person to another can bring each owner a different experience. It may bring joy to one person, laughter or calmness to another, perhaps comfort, for example, to someone grieving a loved one, and then healing or a meditation focus to another.
Beliefs in the healing powers of crystals date back to the ancient Egyptians, who also used them as jewels. They were used on the mummies of the pharaohs, as they were believed to possess mystical powers that could protect the rulers even in the after life.
Those who take crystals seriously look after them carefully; they cleanse the crystals by washing them in rain or pure water and reenergize them by exposing them to moonlight or sunlight for a couple of hours.
Crystals are believed to work on every level for spiritual, emotional, physical and mental healing. The basic concept of crystals as healers is that they absorb negative vibrations and release positive vibrations.
In crystal therapy, crystals are used to correct the imbalances of the chakras by releasing vibrations. This works on the theory that the human body has seven centers of energy or chakras (wheels of light). For optimum mental and physical health, these wheels need to be perfectly balanced. But sometimes this perfect flow of energy can be blocked or restricted. For each of the seven chakras is a specific energizing or unblocking crystal.
The Crown chakra, on the top of the head, uses the colors white, violet or pure gold. The appropriate crystals are clear quartz, fluorite and sugalite.
The Brow chakra -between the eyebrows - works with purple or indigo crystals, such as amethyst, sodalite lapis lazuli and azurite. The amethyst is used to treat insomnia; just place it under your pillow. It is also noted for its effect on spiritual enlightenment: when placed around the neck, it influences a seeker's spiritual development.
It is also believed to soothe the soul and help the wearer to deal with traumas in life. The lapis lazuli is believed to be a mystical stone that can protect the wearer from psychic attacks. It is also said to be effective against sudden mental disturbances such as seizures and fits.
The Throat chakra, around the neck, has blue as its related color. Blue lace agate, sapphire, celestite, turquoise and aquamarine are used for this chakra. For those who are dealing with addictions to drugs, alcohol or cigarettes, aquamarine is offered as a tranquilizer crystal because it is said to calm the nerves and strengthens the ability to make changes.
The Heart chakra, which is found in the center of the chest area, works with green or pink crystals such as emerald, jade, aventurine, malachite and rose quartz. As the color pink is usually associated with emotion, rose quartz is known as the "Love stone". It is supposed to lift the wearer's spirits in many ways, easing depression and dispelling negative thoughts, especially fear, anger, resentment and jealousy. It is believed to be able to ease headaches when placed on the forehead.
The Solar Plexus chakra, on top of the navel, relates to the color yellow; its crystals are topaz, amber, tiger's eye, citrine or yellow zircon. The citrine crystal looks like a topaz but has a different healing property - it is supposed to increase self-esteem.
The Sacral chakra, on top of the pelvis, matches the color orange, as in crystals such as carnelian, sunstone or calcite. A person who is shy and or has difficulty socializing might be advised to use the carnelian, which often serves as an amulet to gain popularity.
The seventh chakra is the Root chakra, which sits level with the reproductive organs. Its colors are black and red, as found in crystals such as obsidian, smoky, quartz, red jasper, ruby garnet, bloodstone or red agate.
For those who feel "liverish" from time to time, the ruby is helpful as it is supposed to purify and refine the blood. The bloodstone is believed to be helpful for people with poor blood circulation, as it warms up the body.
- Photos by Aruna Harjani
For more information or for consultations on what crystal might work for you, contact Jenny Raisinghani at firstname.lastname@example.org