From time immemorial, crystals have been used for healing, and legend has it that long ago, people knew how to store information inside these precious stones. How does their incredible magic work? Through this clear, practical guide, discover the many ways crystals can cure physical, emotional, and spiritual problems, divine the future, and enhance psychic powers. See which ones work best to aid meditation and visualization, clear a room of negative energy, promote creativity, or foresee the future. There's advice on buying, purifying, and charging the stones, crystal folklore, and a breathtaking gallery rich in information.
Other topics covered include:
- Crystal legends and folklore
- Healing with crystals
- Crystals, colors, and chakras
- Growing your own crystals
- Crystals through the zodiac
- Crystals for anniversaries
A splendid book for the curious and for beginners on the crystal path, Crystals, Plain and Simple is a book that entertains, enlightens, and informs.
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Plain & Simple
By Cass Jackson, Janie Jackson
Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.Copyright © 2016 Cass and Janie Jackson
All rights reserved.
What Are Crystals?
Crystals, in the sense that we use the word here, includes gems, rocks, precious stones, semi-precious stones, or even simply stones. Most crystals are of mineral origin — though modern usage of the term "crystal" includes amber, pearl, coral, and a few items that are not mineral in origin. Some colored stones, such as malachite and rose quartz, are unformed and "rough" when taken from the ground and are usually described as semi-precious. Others, such as the diamond, are equally rough when mined, but are exquisitely cut and polished. Still others, like the amethyst, come out of the ground naturally faceted and already perfect in every way.
Whatever their original forms, crystals have always fascinated mankind because of their beautiful colors or the way they sparkle. Primitive man, recognizing that these stones were different from the soil and rock amongst which they were found, instinctively collected them as something special.
It was then an easy step to endow these beautiful objects with special attributes and magical properties. The Ancient Egyptians believed that crystals could ensure good health, worldly fortune, and protection from evil spirits in this world and the next.
It was the ancient Greeks who gave us the word crystal, derived from krystallos, the Greek word that meant both "ice" and "quartz." The ancient Greeks believed that clear quartz was simply ice that had been transmuted into a more permanent state.
The less common a crystal is, the more precious it becomes; thus the diamond is more valuable than the quartz crystal. The larger these crystals are, the less common and even more precious they become. Even today, the largest and most rare stones are found only in royal regalia or in jewelry owned by the extremely wealthy.
As mentioned earlier, this book will list as crystals some materials that are not crystalline in structure. These are nevertheless considered to be gems because of their beauty and rarity. One example is the pearl, which is an organic substance formed by an oyster. Coral, too, is an organic substance, being the external skeleton of tiny marine organisms. Amber is formed by the fossilization of tree resin, and jet is a hard variety of lignite — a close relation to coal.
Most crystals are hard minerals, ranging in color from completely transparent and clear as water — as with the true white diamond and the less expensive crystal Herkimer diamond — through to completely black — as with jet and the crystal known as Apache Tears. Many crystals are homogenous, meaning the whole stone is of uniform color, such as jet. Others are striped, such as sardonyx, or mottled, such as opal. Some crystals, such as tiger's eye, sparkle as they reflect the light from within. Others, such as jasper, are opaque and have only surface color. The variety and intricacy of crystals is endless.
Crystals are all formed in the earth at varying depths, and under varying pressures as well as various temperatures. These factors have a large influence on the type of crystal formed. Some of the types of crystal formation are listed below.
Clusters or beds of crystals are those where a number of crystals grow from the same base. These are capable of healing whole rooms and clearing them of all negative charges.
Single terminator crystals have usually started by being part of a bed and have then been broken off at the base. These crystals are the most easily obtainable and are used for all types of healing. They can vary in size from a few millimeters to over two meters in height.
Double terminated crystals have points on both ends. They can be used in the same way as single terminated crystals but are considered superior to them.
Laser wands are crystals that have grown long and narrow like a wand or knife, usually tapering toward the tip. They are generally clear quartz, though smoky quartz and citrine wands are highly valued. These crystals are particularly effective for healing as their energies flow easily and at great speed, thus having immediate effect.
Twin crystals are exactly what they sound to be: two crystals that have grown together, usually bonded at the base. They are good for balancing the male and female sides of our personalities.
Crystal balls are not found naturally but are cut and polished from a large piece of crystal. They are used for crystal gazing or scrying, and have been used since Ancient Egyptian times for fortune telling. The larger sizes of crystal ball are usually made of glass rather than crystal, so if you want a real crystal one, it will probably have to be fairly small.
Geodes are not crystals but rounded hollow rocks, commonly the size of a small football. When split open, they display a cluster of crystals lining the inside. These are quite often polished to show the crystals, and some people use them as bookends. Larger geodes, often elongated, are called druses. These are split down the center to show the inside (usually lined with amethyst crystals) and are used for ornamental purposes. These are extremely expensive.
Unformed crystals are seldom cut and facetted. They may be polished but are usually broken into smaller pieces that are then tumbled to produce shiny pebbles. These tumbled stones are the most common and the least expensive. When buying these stones you must insure, by asking, that they have not been artificially treated; the poorer quality stones are often varnished to give them a glossy appearance.
Today, the popularity of crystals and the shortage of good natural specimens means that many broken pieces are now cut, ground, and polished to look like natural terminated stones. They are difficult to identify unless you are quite experienced at looking at crystals, but usually their facets are too perfect, and polished smooth with softened edges, to have been naturally formed. There is nothing wrong with these crystals and they possess as much power as rougher stones, but purists prefer gems as nature made them. If in doubt, ask your retailer.
A natural quartz crystal may have some marks by which it can be identified. Look carefully at the different facets, in a bright light, turning the crystal so that you can see all the different reflections. A natural stone may have some tiny, almost imperceptible marks on its faces that are triangular in shape. These minute surface imperfections, which look as though they have been lightly etched into the crystal, are known as "record keepers," and are much valued. Legend has it that the Atlanteans and Lemurians stored information in quartz crystals and then buried them deep in the earth. It was believed that only those who were capable of decoding the information they contained would then be able to find them. These crystalline libraries of information were supposedly identified by a sacred triangle engraved on their surface. Examine the surfaces of your clear quartz crystals and you may find some of these triangles. They do occasionally appear, mysteriously and inexplicably, on the surface of crystals that previously showed no evidence of them. These precious stones make the very best meditation crystals.CHAPTER 2
Crystal Legends and Folklore
Bearing in mind that crystals were known, used and revered for many years before the birth of Christ, it is not surprising that a wide variety of legends and folklore have grown up around them.
Perhaps the most famous of these legends concerns the breastplate constructed for Aaron, the first High Priest of Jerusalem. According to the Bible (Exodus 28: 15-20) this breastplate incorporated the use of twelve precious stones (or crystals). These were sardius (carnelian), topaz, carbuncle, emerald, sapphire, diamond, ligure, agate, amethyst, beryl, onyx, and jasper. (Note that the names of some of the stones used have changed.) Each stone — thought to measure more than two inches — was to be engraved with the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. The very detailed instructions for the creation of this breastplate indicate that it must have been amazingly beautiful — and extremely heavy.
The Kalpa Tree
The legend of the Kalpa Tree comes from India. Described as an offering to the gods, this "tree" was composed entirely of precious stones, including a trunk made from topaz, diamond, and cat's eye, with sapphire roots, shoots made from emerald, leaves of coral and green zircon, and ruby fruits. This tree was probably the inspiration for the many "crystal trees" currently available in jewelry stores and rock shops.
The New Jerusalem
According to the Bible, the New Jerusalem was built entirely of precious stones. The book of Revelations (21:18-21) says that its walls were made of jasper, streets of gold, and it had twelve gates, each made of a huge pearl. Other stones incorporated in the foundations of the city include jasper, lapis lazuli, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, carnelian, peridot, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, zircon, and amethyst.
Some authorities claim that a giant garnet carbuncle, set high up in the center of the boat, illuminated Noah's Ark. Spanish astrologers at one time used the garnet to illustrate the Sun, and, according to the Koran, a carbuncle lights up the fourth heaven.
Crystal Color Folklore
Small quartz crystals were thought by the Japanese to be the congealed breath of the White Dragon. The Greeks believed that quartz was permanent solidified ice, while aborigines thought it was made of falling stars.
Early Britons gave quartz pebbles the name "star stones" and believed them to have healing powers, particularly if they were collected from a stream or running brook.
An ancient Indian legend suggests that pearls were dewdrops that fell from heaven and were caught by shellfish. The Arabs shared this belief, claiming that this event occurred in April, while the Hebrews thought that pearls were the tears shed by Eve when she was expelled from the Garden of Eden.
Greek legend has it that the god Bacchus was annoyed with mortals and vowed to have the next human he encountered torn apart by his tigers. En route to pray at the temple of Diana, the young girl Amethyst was the next mortal Bacchus met. When the girl screamed to Diana to protect her, the goddess turned her into a pillar of quartz. Overcome by remorse, Bacchus poured a libation of wine over the stone — thus producing the purple color by which amethyst is traditionally known.
Lepidolite is known as the peace stone and is said to provide the owner with a guardian angel. It is thought to have a particularly strengthening effect on women.
Red stones are sometimes considered to possess particularly strong powers. Star rubies — that is, crystals with inclusions forming the shape of a star — are particularly venerated in the Orient. The spirits attuned to the star have names that translate as Faith, Hope, and Destiny and are thought to bring good fortune to the owner of the stone.
Lapis lazuli was regarded by the Ancient Egyptians and the Sumerians as the Stone of Heaven and sacred to the gods. The hair of the god Ra was said to be composed of the crystal. In Christianity the stone was used to symbolize the purity of the Virgin Mary. It was also believed that when God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses they were written on tablets of this blue, gold-flecked stone.
A cardinal's ring is always a sapphire, as decreed by Pope Innocent III, because "this stone possesses qualities essential to its dignified position as the badge of Pontifical Rank and a Seal of Secrets." Solomon was thought to use the stone as a means of communicating with God. It is probable that many references to sapphire in ancient texts are actually referring to lapis lazuli.
There are innumerable green crystals, but jade has always been regarded as one of the most precious. In fact, this crystal comes in a wide variety of colors but it usually identified with green. The stone has been used in China since Neolithic times and was believed to be the solidified semen of a dragon. In South America, jade was sacred to the goddess of storms, Chalchihuitlicue, while the Aztecs and Mayans used it for funeral masks.
In ancient cultures, peridot was often mistakenly regarded as an emerald. It has always been used for making amulets and talismans and was thought to be effective in turning around difficult situations. Early Christians regarded it as the stone of the Apostle Bartholomew, representing truth and miracles.
Rose quartz has always been regarded as a gentle stone, producing tranquility, love, and reconciliation. It is known to have been in use since at least 2500 BC. The Romans and Egyptians used powdered rose quartz in cosmetics in the belief that it could prevent wrinkles and produce a flawless complexion.
Rhodochrosite was treasured by the Incas because they believed that it contained the blood of their ancestral rulers. For this reason, it is sometimes known as the Inca rose. It is said to hold the power of Venus and to strengthen the ties of love.
Citrine was at one time the blanket description for all yellow stones. It has also been known as Brazilian topaz, false topaz, and a variety of similar names. Legend has it that this crystal was used on Atlantis as a powerful healing tool, particularly connected with the sun. In fact, the citrine is often known as the sunstone and is known to reject any form of negativity.
Norsemen and Vikings believed that amber was formed from the tears of the goddess Freya, when Odin left her to travel the world. The Greeks had similar beliefs, but their claim was that amber represented the tears of the Heliades when Zeus has turned their brother Phaeton into a poplar tree. Yet another tearful explanation for this crystal came from India where it is thought to be the fossilized tears of birds. The ancient Romans had other ideas, believing that amber was formed from lynx urine — though Sudine, writing in 240 BC, referred to amber coming from a lynx tree.
In Ancient Egypt, the carnelian — known as the "Blood of Isis" — was thought to provide protection during astral travel. This was achieved by staring into the crystal after placing it in front of a lighted candle. Placed on the throat of a mummy, a carnelian amulet engraved with the 156th chapter of the Book of the Dead was said to ensure rebirth into the after-life. The famous "Eye of Horus" carnelian amulet, said to offer protection against the evil eye, is still popular in many parts of the Middle East.
Tiger's eye was used in Ancient Egypt in at least 3000 BC and was sacred to Ra, the sun god. It was also used as eyes in the statues of various Egyptian and Assyrian gods. The Egyptians believed that this crystal enabled the owner to see anything and everything, even through walls and behind closed doors. Roman soldiers carried it into battle to ensure their courage. In Japan, it was thought to guarantee longevity, as the tiger was supposed to live for 1,000 years. The Indian belief was that tiger's eye created wealth and prevented the wearer from losing money.
Smoky quartz has long been believed to be a protection against bad luck, particularly in the Alpine regions. It can still be found carved into the shape of a cross and hung on bedroom walls to repel evil. This particular form of quartz is said to help the wearer cope with problems and negative situations.
In South America, both the Aztecs and the Maya regarded obsidian as sacred. The Aztec's sacrificial knife was made from this stone and it was regarded as the bringer of life and death. The Mayans often used this crystal to make magic mirrors consecrated to the god Tezcatlipoca. John Dee, the English Elizabethan seer, is reputed to have had a similar mirror. In North-Central California, boys and girls endured an initiation ceremony, which included being stabbed with obsidian knives. The crystals known as Apache Tears are actually obsidian; the name originated with the belief that the earth wept whenever an Apache warrior was killed.
Excerpted from Crystals by Cass Jackson, Janie Jackson. Copyright © 2016 Cass and Janie Jackson. Excerpted by permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
1 What are Crystals?,
2 Crystal Legends and Folklore,
3 How to Bring Crystals into Your Life,
4 Crystals for Psychic Development and Divination,
5 Crystals for Visualization and Positive Thought,
6 Crystals for Meditation,
7 Healing with Crystals,
8 A Gallery of Crystals,
9 Crystals in Everyday Life,
10 Crystal Correspondences,
11 Growing Your Own Crystals,