What Are Crystals?
Crystals are a solid material where the molecules fit together in a repeating pattern. This pattern causes the material to form all sorts of unique shapes.
Crystals are formed by a process called crystallisation. Crystals often form in nature when liquids cool and start to harden. Certain molecules in the liquid gather together as they attempt to become stable. They do this in a uniform and repeating pattern that forms the crystal.
The most common crystal is the quartz, a clear, pointed crystal that became popular in the mid to late eighties, when crystal and metaphysics shops sprang up all over the world.
However, crystals were popular long before this.
Crystals In History
Archeologists discovered crystals in graves during excavations in Europe, Middle East, Russia, and Africa. Amber jewellery, lapis, turquoise, and garnet carvings of goddesses were placed in the graves so that they were thought to have been used in the funeral rites as protection and totems, for some were carved in the shapes of animals and birds, intended to escort the departed into the next life.
In the Boyne Valley of Ireland is the solar temple, Newgrange. It is older than the Egyptian pyramids, and constructed so that the sun would align with the seventy foot long entrance way during the Winter solstice. The roof was made entirely of white quartz crystals and was probably a spectacular sight on the morning of December 21st.
In Egypt, Lapis Lazuli was considered to be a stone reserved for royalty; it was ground and rubbed into the brow of the pharaohs, to drive out spiritual impurity.
Malachite was used to decorate the crowns of the pharaohs to help them rule wisely because it helped with eyesight!
Their scared scarabs were carved from every precious and semi-precious gemstone and crystal available.
The Mayans made mirrors from Pyrite, and Obsidian was used to make the sacrificial knives used to cut out the still beating heart from captive enemies. They also believed that if you followed a rainbow to its end, you would not find a pot of gold, but Turquoise, which provided a bridge between heaven and earth.
The Healing Properties Of Crystals
As far as the use for alternative medicine goes, Mayan Indians used crystals for diagnosis and treatment of diseases, and believed that a good person's soul would go into crystals upon death, and become the energy used to heal others. A comforting thought, actually, for you to live on as healing energy.
A crystal's energy is made up of vibrations, and since a human is basically also made from vibration, energy and water, the use of a crystal to heal or reset energy is as old as mankind and found in every culture.
The very sight of them awakens our senses, and to gaze and meditate upon them is thought to help restore balance and liven the ill.
The belief is that energy is held blocked in our bodies - the energy needed for prosperity, love, and basic health, when the crystals are placed on these points of our body which represent the different levels of consciousness and areas of the body (charkas) the quartz or other crystal will realign and improve the energy in this area of the body.
For instance, say you have a tummy ache, or stomach problems. The proper quartz placed on the lower abdomen will help restore the energy to this area.
It is important to remember however, that Crystal healing and other types of energy work are not to be considered as a substitute for traditional medical treatment.