Photo Credits: Mariah Candelaria / Aggie. Crystals used by Candelaria in her own energy crystal practices.
Students practice crystal healing in efforts to stay positive, supplement other religions and expand cultural understanding
Healing crystals have made an impact on student culture, with their popularity steadily escalating as traditional religious practices undergo a change with college students.
Crystal stones are believed to have many different uses and are typically described as having holistic healing properties. Practicers believe that it is done through energy garnered by the energy one emits, the Earth and the greater universe.
There are many ways in which students have learned to harness the energy in this type of practice—often through meditation and prayer, or with just having the crystals’ energies in close proximity and turning to them for specific purposes when needed.
Because of the varied and often personalized uses of healing crystals, it provides both an alternative and an addition to traditional religious practices.
“My appreciation and practice with crystals, specifically jade, is rooted in how I practiced Buddhism growing up,” said Victoria Cao, a fourth-year wildlife fish conservation biology major. “Over time, I’ve learned to take what I can from traditional practices and incorporate it into my personal daily ritual.”
This is a sentiment shared by many students who have often strayed away from the practices they may have inherited from their parents or family members growing up. Cao also believes that the personalized way in which you can shape crystals’ use is important in allowing oneself to grow, and in turn, transforming the energy within oneself and the community around them.
There are also ways in which this practice can supplement more common religions like Catholicism. A large part in why students fall out of touch with this particular religion is their increased understanding of colonized history through education in ethnic studies. Fifth-year mathematical analytics and operations research major Kyrene Gutierrez found this practice recently and has incorporated it into how she already practices religion.
“It is how I decolonize the way I pray and talk to God,” Gutierrez said. “At the same time, I refocus a lot of the energy into myself and the space around me rather than an intangible figure.”
Prior to its emergence in popular culture, this practice has been viewed as an antithesis to more common religions, when in fact, there are many ways it can be used tangentially with other practices. Yet there are many ways in which this practice can overstep indigenous uses when treated casually, and can cause harm to those who hold it sacred. Because of this, Cao has also started a small business that is foundational in sharing this practice more accessibly and well-researched for her community through @crystals_by_sunrise on Instagram.
Crystals are important for remaining positive, especially for students living in a time when social interactions are limited and there are many details that may cause instability in their lives. Because it is often used to ward away negativity and invite cleansing energy, it is especially important in maintaining an intrinsic sense of positivity and understanding of one’s self and the natural world.
Throughout the isolation period the pandemic has ensued, students use crystals and their shared interest in this type of work to feel a sense of calm and contentedness within their communities. Its flexibility and personalized nature allows students of different cultures to adopt this practice in any way they would like to use it in their lives.
Aubrey Guevara, a recent Davis graduate in anthropology, talks about how differently the effects of crystal use manifest.
“I don’t feel any immediate physical effects like some do,” Guevara said, “But I do feel the energies coming from the crystal and after meditating with them, I feel improvements in my self-love, forgiveness and connection to my spirituality.”
She connects this to the origins of the crystal and how they come from underground. “They’re untouched and spend so much time in the Earth that I believe it provides energy we can tap into.”
Students should be able to find comfort in all the healthiest ways they can, and through the energy of healing crystals, many have found solace and positivity during a time in which numerous uncontrollable factors can heavily impact one’s mental health.Written by: Mariah Viktoria Candelaria –– firstname.lastname@example.org