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Monday, June 5, 2023

From holistic healing practices to jewelry

What crystals mean for people, from healing properties to beauty

 

By KACEY CHAN — features@theaggie.org 

 

Crystals are seen in jewelry from online brands like Enroute Jewelry, sold at events like Whole Earth Festival and even infused into skincare services like facials. However, despite their ubiquity, people are often unclear as to what they actually accomplish. Some enjoy crystals because they are beautiful to look at or have as decoration, but there is also a community of people who utilize them as a part of a greater practice of holistic healing. 

“Crystals are usually semi-precious gems or gemstones that are believed to possess metaphysical properties,” Samantha Tang, a crystals small business owner, wrote in an Instagram direct message. 

According to Tang, each type of crystal has its own distinct set of healing abilities. 

Tang first became interested in crystals as a child after seeing them sold in gift shops. 

“My first ‘crystal’ was a pink-dyed agate slice from a road trip to Arizona,” Tang wrote.

She became particularly interested in healing during the pandemic through social media, which reignited her childhood enjoyment of crystals. 

“Beyond any metaphysical properties and spiritual background, I just think they’re such pretty and unique items to collect,” she wrote. 

Tang runs a small business on Instagram called @crystalclarity, which sells crystal-related products, such as carvings and crystal jewelry.

“At my in-person set-ups, beaded bracelets, rings and necklaces are the items I sell the most,” Tang wrote. “Crystals can simply be worn or placed around someone’s home or workspace to provide healing energy.”

Crystals can also provide comfort and solace to some. This was the case for Stephanie Wellman, another small business owner who sells crystals on her Instagram @stephsearthcandy, and sold in person at the recent Whole Earth Festival in Davis. 

“During the pandemic, my hobby of collecting crystals was a way to bring the beauty of the outdoors inside,” Wellman said in an Instagram direct message.

For her, collecting crystals is a way of connecting with the outside world through a stunning piece of nature.

“I have always loved the science and the chemistry that takes place over millions of years to result in a unique crystal,” Wellman wrote. “It’s amazing that the Earth naturally makes many beautiful things.”

Different crystals are said to each have their own purposes, according to an article from crystal jewelry brand Energy Muse. Agate, for example, is the “stabilizer to call on for support when you need grounding in your life,” according to their website. Rose quartz is for “anyone seeking to bring [in] more love,” and Selenite is described as a “liquid light” which can be used to refresh the energy of crystals that used to be more vibrant.

Crystals and their metaphysical capabilities are also used as tools of a practice called holistic healing. 

“Holistic healing just seeks balance,” said Vita Quintanilla, a holistic healer and tarot reader who runs the Instagram account @revitalizedlotus. “It is the practice of healing by looking at the whole person — looking at the mind, the body, the spirit — and bringing these elements into harmony, [allowing] the person to become more comfortable with themselves and their surroundings. It refers to any kind of healing or medicine that looks at the whole person and looks to address the cause rather than to suppress symptoms.”

Crystals are not part of a specific faith, and Quintanilla believes that a key draw of holistic healing and its practices, such as using crystals, is its lack of framework and organization. Unlike organized religion, there is no dogma to follow, which allows the individual to customize it to whatever way they find achieves balance in their life. 

“There is this desire amongst people to connect with something higher than oneself and spirituality,” Quintanilla said. “But people are also turning away from organized religion because they see it as constraining and limiting.”
The healer emphasizes that holistic healing is an inclusive practice without any strict rules or instructions, which, therefore, allows individuals to navigate themselves and their perceptions of reality to self-actualize. 

“Crystals are, in their very nature, stones from the Earth that contain a crystal lattice in their physical structure,” Quintanilla said. “I personally believe that this particular crystal lattice allows them to transmute and channel energy in a specific direction for a specific purpose.”

Quintanilla emphasizes that holistic healing is something everyone can employ in their daily lives, and is also something that anyone can benefit from. She gave an example of how she uses crystals in her own life. After having a really challenging day, she brought her crystals, wore a cute outfit and had a picnic in the park near her house. 

“I set everything up and then I just sat there for a moment,” Quintanilla said. “And then, I pulled out my notebook and started brain-vomiting and came up with these affirmations of things I wanted to see in my life.” 

Quintanilla then started reading them out loud to herself, moving her body where she felt stiff and had energy blockages and an hour later felt completely recharged. According to Quintanilla, there are so many ways to incorporate holistic healing in your life because it is ultimately about achieving harmony and balance.

“Whether it be through reducing pharmaceuticals in favor of herbal remedies if that is safe for you, cultivating mental awareness, manifestation techniques, divination like tarot reading and even physical exercise, all of these can be considered holistic healing because they are about bringing mind, body and spirit together,” Quintanilla said. 

Quintanilla says that while holistic healing often refers to alternative medicine colloquially, it is not limited to that, and can still include pharmaceutical medicine if that is a necessary tool in improving an individual’s quality of life.

“Personally, I became interested in crystals and holistic healing when my personal disability started to flare up and become really strong,” Quintanilla said. “And even after I got medical help, for a long time, I was not treated appropriately because of a series of mixed diagnoses, and I had to learn how to make myself feel better. I sometimes don’t have any real choice other than to take my pharmaceuticals when I really rather would not. But when I have a cold, I don’t reach for Nyquil, and I instead opt for my elderberry syrup.”

Quintanilla notes that, for holistic healing and crystals to work, it takes an active drive in the individual’s life. A lot of individuals falter because they believe that, by simply putting the crystal in their room, there will be some immediate healing effect in their life. Quintanilla maintains that, with this effort, holistic healing has absolutely worked. 

“There are a lot of things where metrics and measurements are really helpful, but for a lot of other things they aren’t, and all we’re left to go off of is our perception of our reality,” Quintanilla said.

Quintanilla said that the practice can help invigorate and uplift a person’s outlook on life. It greatly helped improve her quality of life and allowed her to continue moving forward. It is with this capacity that healing crystals, as a part of a wider practice, can be hugely impactful for the individual, according to Quintanilla. 

“This isn’t a cult, so there are no rules,” Quintanilla said. “Holistic healing can help you on the journey, which is basically self-discovery.”

At the end of the day, crystals can be used by everyone for a variety of reasons. 

“For me, collecting crystals will never get old,” Wellman wrote. “Crystals are a spiritual experience. I believe that they bring people hope, positivity and inspire their imaginations and creativity.”

Written by: Kacey Chan — features@theaggie.org