Crystal Healing

Shamans believe that all of nature is alive, ensouled. All beings have spirit, and nothing is inert. Throughout the ages, shamans have used crystals for healing. Michael Harner says: "Wherever shamans had access to quartz crystals, they used those crystals in their work." Crystals are conscious partners in the healings I perform. From a human perspective, crystal beings are practically immortal. They are happy to assist in healing in several ways.

Caroline Kenner Profile

In extraction healing, I sometimes use a crystal to ensnare and hold spiritual intrusions. Sometimes, instead of having a single discrete spiritual parasite, a client will have intrusions that are small and separate, like little raisins dispersed in raisin bread. It is very time consuming to extract each tiny parasite separately. Tibetan shamans use a phurba and suck on one end of it, in order to vacuum up the parasites all at once. The spirit of the crystal will hold fast to the spiritual parasites until I wash it in purifying Water.

Crystals can also be used to magnify and disperse healing energy. I have a very large Herkimer crystal, a particular crystalline form of quartz. It is like an amplifier, and I often ask clients to hold the crystal on their lap while I sing into them. The crystal hugely magnifies the healing effect of my shamanic songs.

At my home office, I sometimes surround clients with crystals to amplify my songs. I also have a collection of small, rough gemstones, uncut, unpolished and displaying their characteristic crystal formations. These are placed on the client's body, or around the client in a circle, during shamanic healing.

During group rituals, I sometimes use an arrangement of crystals as a focus for the circle's energy. Again, this will magnify and disperse the magical effect of any group working. I also arrange crystals on healing altars to harmonize and honor the deities and spirits I work with.

I prefer to buy unpolished crystals and gemstones. The natural shapes of crystals are incredibly beautiful, and I want to see the true forms of the stones. Many minerals exist in more than one crystal formation. The energy of the mineral is correspondingly different in different crystal shapes. The gemstones I work with are not of the quality used in jewelry: they have many inclusions ("flaws") and are at best translucent rather than transparent. When stones are used in healing, it is important to know the polarity of the stone, which way the energy flows inside the stone. With cut and polished crystals, the polarity is lost, unknown. A pyramid or wand cut from a block of stone may have a polarity running horizontally instead of towards the point of the piece. In other words, the polished piece would have been lying on its side inside the original stone from which it was cut. This makes it almost useless as a working crystal, though still beautiful.

A few minerals need to be cut and polished for the true beauty of the stones to emerge. Minerals in this category are labradorite, some types of opal, tiger's eye, sugelite, sunstone, moonstone, malachite, tiger iron, petrified wood and other stones with inner fire, or striations, which are not obvious without a polished surface. These stones are lovely when they are in their natural form, but are much more dramatic when polished.

I disagree with the common practice of "clearing" crystals in salt water. Salt water is corrosive and can damage crystals if used too often. Other people recommend "clearing" crystals with smoke from a smudge stick made of sage or other types of holy smoke, or "clearing" crystals by placing them in sunlight or moonlight, or by burying them in the Earth. In my opinion, this isn’t necessary under normal circumstances. Crystal beings are virtually immortal, and a few short months (or even years) in a dusty shop is unlikely to have any effect at all on a crystal, in terms of its life expectancy. I ask the crystal if it wants to work with me when I am thinking of buying it, and if it answers "No, I am not for you," I move on.

I am also very careful to buy my crystals from ethical dealers. Most crystals are dug up by hand in painstaking and ancient ways. But with the modern interest in crystals has come crass commercialization. I have heard that some miners are using dynamite in areas rich with crystals, to get at them more easily. Such treatment of the Earth, so lacking in respect, can't be good for the Earth or its children, the crystals.

Folkloric beliefs about gemstone and crystals have filled many, many volumes. One of the best sources for working with crystals is Love is in the Earth by Melody, published by Earth Love Publishing House, ISBN: 0962819034. Melody is trained in science, but her main gifts are intuitive, and she works with all types of crystals. Her book is quite comprehensive, with listings for practically every mineral and gemstone imaginable. Although I find her writing sometimes too New Age-y, her insights are accurate and helpful.

Locally, there is an excellent mineral dealer in Takoma Park, Maryland, Gary Wallace of Mahalo Minerals. I buy most of my crystals from him. Gary is extremely knowledgeable, completely ethical and charges reasonable prices. He carries a lot of unusual and rare items. Gary is also a Cranio-Sacral Therapist, and sponsors workshops and rituals in his office. Call him at 301-585-9534 to make an appointment.

© Caroline Kenner, 2002