Crystals, History, and Faith

If you want to find the secrets of the universe,
think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration – Nikola Tesla.


I’ve spent a lot of time researching and studying crystals and stones, but I didn’t begin collecting crystals and using them, beyond finding a piece of jewellery, until I began writing The Seren Stone Chronicles. Crystals became an intrinsic part of my world-building and peridot became the backbone of the series. Now, I’m quite addicted to rocks and stones, and to me they are much more than geological building blocks and pretty things.

Amber and Jet © Lisa Shambrook

The use of crystals go back thousands of years to Palaeolithic times, with beads of ivory and bone being found amid burial sites. Amulets and talismans have also been historically recorded throughout time; some of the earliest amulets found are Baltic amber, and jet.

Sapphire, Carnelian, Silver Topaz, Garnet, Emerald, Jasper, Amethyst, Onyx, Lapis Lazuli, Herkimer Diamond, Fire Agate, Beryl © Lisa Shambrook

Crystals and gemstones used in religion date back to the biblical era where sardius (carnelian), topaz, carbuncle (garnet), emerald, sapphire, diamond, ligure (sapphire or lapis lazuli), agate, amethyst, beryl, onyx, and jasper were recorded in Exodus as gems used to symbolically decorate Aaron’s Priesthood robes for the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Precious gems have continued to be used within religion, such as sapphire for ecclesiastical rings, and are found in almost all religious texts with references in the Koran, and Buddhist, and Hindu text.

Ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia, Egyptians, and Native Americans were known to use crystals for magic, decoration, protection, and to protect from ill health, negativity and to help diagnose illnesses. It’s reported that Pliny the Elder, a Roman naturalist, and Galen, a Roman physician, surgeon, and philosopher, were sure that some crystals had medicinal properties. In Asia, jade became very popular, and Greeks coined the name for amethyst – meaning not drunken, wearing it to protect themselves from hangovers!

Malachite, Lapis Lazuli, Turquoise, Jade, Carnelian, Quartz, Emerald © Lisa Shambrook

Malachite, was one of the oldest stones to be mined, and crystals like lapis lazuli, turquoise, carnelian, emerald, and quartz were popular. Crystal healing or the use of precious stones to aid health grew in the Middle Ages, but many early philosophers weren’t convinced, and it died out in the 17th century. Crystals and gemstones are still used in many rituals and symbolic ceremonies all over the world, but since the surge in the 1980’s New Age therapies crystal healing has remained a complementary therapy with no scientific basis for evidence.    

In crystal therapy gemstones are given qualities and properties, and meditations and intentions are made with those properties in mind. They are also assigned energy and healing properties according to which Chakra they belong to. Chakra is a Hindu term for the seven spinning points of energy or life force within our bodies. Chakra means wheel and the energy points stay open and moving to balance and correspond to seven main areas of our body: Root Chakra (red) base of the spine – your physical identity, grounding. Sacral Chakra (orange) abdomen – sexual, pleasure, creativity. Solar Plexus Chakra (yellow) stomach – self-esteem, confidence. Heart Chakra (green) heart – love, compassion. Throat Chakra (blue) throat – communication. Third Eye Chakra (indigo) forehead – intuition, imagination. Crown Chakra (violet) scalp – awareness, intelligence. Working with Chakras include yoga and meditation.

Chakra crystals © Lisa Shambrook

Crystal therapy is based on the idea that vibrations from crystals absorb, redirect, or balance energies that we produce. You can wear a stone in jewellery, or keep it with you, or place it on a certain part of your body to aid your intention.

Tourmaline, Quartz, Ruby © Lisa Shambrook

Crystals are used in technology, for instance quartz in a watch will help focus the energy from the battery keeping a constant charge. Quartz crystal is esteemed for its piezoelectric and pyroelectric properties. It can transform mechanical pressure or heat into electromagnetic energy, and vice versa. It can focus, amplify, store, and transform energy and is used in ultrasound devices, watches, microphones, radio transmitters and receivers, memory chips in computers and other electronic circuitry. Rubies, both natural and laboratory made, are highly prized for technological use in watchmaking, medical instruments, and lasers for microscopic surgery. Tourmaline becomes electrically charged simply through heating or rubbing. When charged, one end becomes positive and the other negative, allowing it to attract or repel particles of dust or bits of paper. Tourmalines are highly valued in industry as electrical tuning circuits for conducting television and radio frequencies. They are used for their durability since high frequencies can be passed through them without shattering, as many crystals do. Magnetic particles have been used in tapes to record music; you can just imagine how vibration and energy in crystals could be used. The value of crystals may be much greater than we currently understand.

As Einstein said: Everything is energy. If we believe in molecular power then why not in the vibration and essence of rock and crystal? You can find out a little more in my Colour, Crystals, and Writing post.

Without scientific proof, people wonder if crystals have any real properties that can physically or emotionally help us.

Crystals © Lisa Shambrook

So, after a short history of crystals, is there any evidence that crystals can be used for healing or spiritual work? There are no studies or evidence that can say for certain that crystals help, but word of mouth and self-belief have a positive effect. There have been studies where people were given both real stones and placebo stones to hold during test conditions, and those who were told how the crystals would work and help them reported that they felt better, more positive and the stones helped, but they were a pretty equal measure of actual stones and placebos. What that would show is that if you believe in crystals, they can have a positive effect.

Crystals and faith © Lisa Shambrook

This could easily be likened to religious faith. Prayer cannot be proven to work, the existence of a heavenly God cannot be proven, but for those that believe in either or both, a positive effect is often found in their lives. Those who believe in and use prayer can heal faster and obtain positive effects from prayer. This can also apply to those who employ positivity in their lives too. Being positive has a greater and more beneficial health effect in your life than negativity, which can literally be negative or damaging to your health. Using crystals as a complementary help in your life can be nothing but positive, as long as it is what you want and is your choice. *Caveat – if you have a major health issue always consult a doctor and conventional medicine before anything else. Do not put your life at risk. 

Lion’s Gate Portal Crystal Grid © Lisa Shambrook

I make crystal grids, and I do it for several reasons. I make them for art, they are beautiful and connect to my love of aesthetics and creative art, but I also make them with intentions and use crystals that honour my intentions for each grid. I make grids to help me meditate, to help ground me, and to enhance my spirituality with the universe. I see it a method of relaxation, an outlet for asking and making intentions – a bit like prayer, and creating something wholly natural and beautiful.

Black Moon Crystal Grid © Lisa Shambrook

There is so much of this world that we have not yet caught up with, technologically and naturally, let’s not negate the power of the elements that may have properties we’re not even tapping into yet. So, crystals, gems, stones, and rocks are a natural part of our lives, why not use them and make them an intrinsic part of your life?

Do you use crystals, how do you use them?

2 thoughts on “Crystals, History, and Faith

  1. Miranda Kate

    Great post & you answer some of my questions about how properties are assigned to crystals. The Seren Stone novel made me really think about a world where they were used properly. I think the witch hunts also put an end to their use, much like herbal remedies.

    I am reading about Ayurvedic medicines & it all lines up with energy & chakras – which I read about a couple of years ago.

    You didn’t link up your other post which I don’t think I’ve read.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Shambrook Post author

      Ooh, I’ve linked the post now… WordPress has updated it’s editor and I’m having a little trouble navigating it and writing posts without it timing out on me, so I’m missing things.

      You know how fascinating I find crystals and stones. If everything in our universe is made up of energy, it makes sense that energies can be used and harvested. I think we’re just way behind in our study of nature. And, even if people only believe in a placebo way, our own bodies can benefit from the energies that our ‘belief’ gives us.

      I love crystals for so many reasons!

      Reply

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