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How Do Crystals Work?

So many of us love having crystals in our homes and wearing them as jewellery, whether its simply because we love how they look, or because we know that in some way they are beneficial to us. But how do these beautiful stones actually physically and quantifiably assist our own energy to balance and heal?

The practice of crystal healing has been present in our sphere of awareness ever since mankind first started to walk on two legs and develop into what we would recognise as homo sapiens. There is evidence from archeology of how Ice Age humans revered crystals and used them as pathways to the spiritual - it is hard to say with any certainty exactly how crystals were utilised, but it seems likely that these early humans had a very clear awareness of the mystic realms, and that they used crystals somehow to facilitate or enhance this connection.

Moving forward in time through ancient Egyptian, Mayan and Aztec civilizations, we see crystals still holding a very important place in society, being used both as decoration for royalty, as essential parts of sacred rituals, and also for early forms of technology - they were termed "brain cells of the earth" and were used as power sources as well as being revered as the oldest teachers on the planet - these ancient societies recognised that crystals were storehouses of the earth's DNA, containing the deep wisdom and nurturing energy of the planet from when it first formed.

Coming into more recent history, it was in the Eighteenth century that we first discovered how to manipulate this powerful healing energy by the use of applied force. Applied force meaning applying pressure, heat, sound or any other physical stress onto the perfectly balanced atoms of the crystal thus manipulating it and causing a reaction on a molecular level. Pierre Curie named this phenomenon piezoelectricity, and it provides the basis for modern-day crystal healing, alongside a host of important technological advances (more on this later!).

In todays modern age, we have turned back as a collective whole to re-discovering the magic and healing benefits of crystals, as the stresses and pollutants of Twentieth and Twenty-first century living places ever more demands on our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. We look to crystals to help us tune into the energy of the earth as a way to restore balance to our own energies - and they do this in various different ways.

Firstly, the science! Human beings all vibrate at the same atomic level, we all contain the same type of atoms. All physcial matter (ie; everything) is formed of atoms and crystals are no exception. Crystals are formed deep in the earth, coming together as clusters of atoms to form lattices and layers, which can be seen microscopically as intricate patterns and formations within the stone. They come together due to movements and shifts within the earth and once together are bound by energy to harmonise the separate atoms to create a cohesive whole. In simple terms, a crystal's essential nature is to create harmony amongst atoms.

Once the crystal has harmonised it's own structure, it looks around for the next atoms to harmonise - hence why in certain parts of the world you can see incredible crystal caves that have been excavated, showing spaces once underground where crystals have harmonised entire rock formations into more crystals (known as pegmatities).

So, a crystal can be viewed as a structure of harmonised atoms. What it wants to do next, is harmonise the other molecular structures around it - which is why we love to carry crystal near us or wear them, because we can feel on an instinctual level that they contain re-balancing, restoring energy. Don't worry - your atoms are not the same as a crystal's atoms so it is not going to be able to turn you into a human-sized crystal rock formation! What it is going to do, is attempt to bring into harmony any energetic imbalances (this can be on physical, mental emotional or spiritual levels).

Secondly, we come back to piezoelectricity. In terms of using crystal actively for healing, if you place pressure against the harmonised crystal (this can be heat, light, sound or touch) it causes a shift, a small trauma, which in turn causes an electrical event, activating piezo-electricity. If you are sceptical about the actual physical presence of electricity inside a piece of rock, look no further than NASA, who has developed a spacecraft fully powered by quartz crystal (this is also what powers quartz watch batteries).

How does this electrical event help us to heal? It directs the healing specifically where we want it to go, when a crystal has a point, we can intentionally direct the harmonising energy to a specific place, this is why crystals with point are so frequently used.

Alongside the science, crystal also work on a soul level. This is a more esoteric quality, harder to quantify, but equally as potent. Each crystal is a being, each has a unique energy quality and soul and this is the healing that will take place on an emotional level, seeking out dis-harmony in your subtle energies, in your spiritual body, and working to re-balance and restore homeostasis. We all know that very often a physical symptom can have an emotional root, and vice versa, so for any healing to be truly effective it needs to work on both levels. Every crystal will contain individual energy patterns, created by it's unique lattice structure (like our utterly one-of-a-kind DNA), and each crystal will therefore work in a different way. This is way it is very important to take time with each crystal you encounter, feeling its energy vibration, asking it questions, meditating with it, in order to understand on a deeper level what it's healing qualities are.

Remember that all crystals are positive, and all crystals will be happy to help you, once you tune in to them and ask for support. Whether you choose to use crystals actively for healing, or just feel that they give you benefits by making you feel more positive, whether you simply like the look of a rose quartz set in a ring, or the feel of a smooth, polished tumble stone in your hand, crystals are bound to enhance your life and energy regardless of how you wish to interact with them!

* It is important to note that working with crystals for healing should be done as a compliment to modern medical science, rather than instead of - for serious illness or injury always consult your GP.