Enhance your home and well-being through the beauty and healing powers of earth’s natural art.
By Rebecca L. Rhoades
Humans’ fascination with crystals dates back thousands of years. Ancient civilizations wore the stones for protection and health purposes. Egyptian pharaohs were known to place quartz crystals nearby to balance the energies in the body, while Incas revered the emerald, which they referred to as the “Holy Stone.” In more modern times, the artistic pursuits of many creative masters, such as legendary architect Mies van der Rohe, were inspired by the minerals’ faceted forms and reflective characteristics.
Crystals are also sought after for their physical allure. “People believe that certain stones can bring protection, are good for your heart or attract abundance,” says Corbin Chamberlin, owner of Phoenix-based Sage & Salt, which offers transcendental products. “But more than anything, they’re objects of desire. They’re beautiful to look at.”
The Power of Crystals
“I like to tell people that when we feel out of alignment with our surroundings, it’s time to connect back to nature,” remarks Kaitlin Rivera, an energy medicine practitioner at Rare Earth Gallery in Cave Creek.
Because crystals are formed in the earth, they, like every other natural element, emit vibration frequencies. “Mystics look at crystals and say they hold energy,” notes Los Angeles-based certified shamanic energy practitioner Colleen McCann. “Science says the same thing. Think of your cell phone, your watch, your TV—they all contain quartz crystals.” Quartz is piezoelectric. Applying pressure can make electricity flow through it, essentially turning it into nature’s battery. “It just comes down to the application, the way a healer and a scientist employ the stones,” McCann adds.
According to Rivera, crystals work by interacting with the body’s energy field, or chakra. Holding crystals or placing them on your skin allows you to connect with the stone. Some people say they can feel vibrations or heat radiating from crystals. For others, touching them or even stowing them under their pillows brings about a sense of calmness. Whether these responses are real or imagined, the result can be the same.
“If someone told me that a specific crystal had to do with personal power, and every time I look at it I get that thought in my head, I’m changing the way I think about myself and what kind of greatness I can bring into the world,” says McCann. “Even if you don’t believe in the metaphysical aspect, the item can still become a symbol for your own manifestations.”
Choosing the Right stone
“Whether you’re wearing them or decorating with them, every crystal has a function,” explains McCann. “Different crystals do different things, and placing them with purpose in the house is important.” For grounding and protection, she suggests putting black tourmaline or obsidian near the entrance of your home. “Amethyst, which keeps energy vampires away from you, is also good to keep by the front door,” she adds. Citrine is a stone for business abundance, so McCann advises displaying it on an office desk, while blue apatite, which is known to suppress hunger, makes for a great kitchen accent.
No two stones are alike. Each has its own qualities and grades—size, clarity, purity and rarity. These attributes ensure that there’s a crystal for every decor, from a large geode that will fill a narrow wall niche to a delicate cluster that adorns the sleekest modern table.
Crystals are also being incorporated into a variety of home goods, ranging from light fixtures and drawer pulls to tables and kitchenwares. “A lot of people don’t know what to do with a piece of quartz, but by bringing it into more mainstream products, it now becomes something functional,” says Katherine Wildt, founder of New York City-based design boutique Matthew Studios.
Whether you’re a true mystic or you just want something pretty in your home, natural crystals are sure to have a positive effect. Notes Chamberlin, “Just looking at something that brings you joy is in itself a kind of power.”
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6 Healing Crystals for the New Year
Coveted for its deep purple hue, amethyst is a favorite of healers. Known as the “Vampire Slayer,” it is purported to rid a room of negative energy. Health-wise, it is said to help treat addiction and promote serenity.
Comprising delicate striated layers, this inky crystal is delicate in nature yet powerful in meaning. It is known to block negative energies, including electromagnetic radiation from modern technology. It is the ultimate stone for protection in challenging times.
Ranging from pale, golden yellow to almost brown, citrine’s warm presence carries the energizing power of the sun. Often called “The Merchant’s Stone,” it attracts abundance and success.
This translucent crystal is known as the “Master Healer” and is an ideal choice for those seeking to test the metaphysical waters. Its properties are a reflection of its aesthetics—clarity, light and reflection. An amplifier, it is often paired with other crystals to enhance their abilities.
Best known as “Fool’s Gold,” this shimmering warrior stone is said to emit powerful vibrations that channel confidence and persistence and attract prosperity.
As its color may suggest, this pretty mineral is all about love—for one’s self and for others. It speaks to the heart chakra, promoting positive energy and emotional balance and providing a sense of calmness and contentment.