• Tristan Thibodeau, MSN

An Introduction to Crystals for the Curious Skeptic

Updated: Dec 19, 2017

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“We might not all be politically on the same page, or we might not all make the same kind of money, or go to the same schools, or have different sexual preferences, but we all share the energy of the earth.”

— Heather Askinosie, Energy Muse

Real talk, I pulled this quote from an incredible episode of the podcast “That’s So Retrograde” that featured Heather Askinosie and Timmi Jandro of Energy Muse, which is an Inspirational Crystal Jewelry company. I want to make sure that I give credit when credit is due and this quote is a great representation of what motivated me to write an article about crystals. Inclusivity + Universal Connection + Transformation.

To be completely transparent, I grew up thinking that crystals were complete and utter woowoo bullshit. Even after moving to Arizona and visiting the infamous energy vortex of Sedona, I still was skeptical. I tend to be someone who is driven by both scientific evidence and personal experience, so the inconsistencies with how crystals are meant to impact you was something that really drove me up a wall.

After being involved with scientific research in both my undergrad and master’s programs, I learned that if you can’t prove something through data and statistics then the results or subjective experience of the individual is relatively meaningless in the grand scheme of Public Health relevance.

It wasn’t until I started listening to interviews with crystal experts such as the lovely ladies of Energy Muse that I began to not only be interested in crystals, but also gain a new appreciation for the value of the subjective experience. Ultimately, we do want to find broad ranging solutions to health issues that largely impact our society. Yet, I think it is important to also validate healing modalities that benefit smaller populations of people. Clearly, there are plenty of people who benefit from the daily use of crystals and who believe in their healing ability, so there must be something there right?

In realizing this, I became fascinated with trying to understand the experience of using crystals for their energetic properties. So I reached out to a few individuals who either were passionate about using crystals in their daily life or who have made a career of energetic healing through the use of crystals. The following interviews are not only a huge step in developing my own understanding of crystals, but I also hope these interviews expose my fellow skeptics to the alternative viewpoint.

Part of fostering a society of tolerance, love, and acceptance is exposing yourself to ways of living and thinking that are different from your own. So this article is for the non-believer. It’s for those who struggle to appreciate that which cannot be proven with science, but instead must be felt and experienced. This is for those who are curious but not naïve, and for those who want a way to access beliefs that are different from their own.

I hope you enjoy the following interviews that feature artist, vegan recipe developer, and avid crystal user Lexi O'Sullivan - creator of VeganFlourGarden.com and with Reiki Master and Energy Healer Arthur Baird from Peace Place Healing Studies Center in Sedona, Arizona.

Interview #1: Musings with Lexi O'Sullivan, aka @veganflourgirl

Tristan: Alright girl, let’s get the ball rolling…tell me a bit about how you got started with using crystals in your life!

Lexi: Crystals came into my life around 3 years ago. I didn't think much of it, besides them being pretty objects to wear or keep around you. I saw one girl I actually knew that had them and then I would see a few other Instagrammers post about them so that sparked my interest. I began doing research and was a little overwhelmed by all of the information out there! I thought the "energetic benefits" were cool but they were confusing to me at first so I was a bit skeptical until I got to the point of actually buying my own.

Tristan: I agree with you in that I think they are beautiful natural creations that we get to enjoy, but I am still very much learning about them and trying not to be skeptical of their abilities. So what was the first crystal you ever bought, what is it good for, and why did you pick it?

Lexi: So the first crystals I ever bought were Rose Quartz and Clear Quartz. I was so attracted to the light, dainty colors. As far as my research goes I thought those were the best to start my learning with as the Clear Quartz is known as a "Universal Healer" and Rose Quartz for bringing love into your life. I figured, what the heck, if it works cool- if not, they're still beautiful and fun to learn about.

Tristan: I think when people, myself included, hear someone talk about the healing abilities and properties of crystals it makes them skeptical. How can something so stationary as a mineral create so much movement and change in your life? I think it would help readers if you could explain a bit about how crystal energy works and how we can benefit from it?

Lexi: So crystals are mineral deposits compacted and formed over billions of years. Their molecular structures are geometrical, letting them radiate a set frequency of energy. They emit energy like any other living object, just the way we as humans do. Think of how you can feel the energy shift when you walk into a calm room, or begin a conversation with a stressed-out person. Humans are able to react to the energy of crystals just like we react to the energy of other humans or animals. We can use the set frequencies of certain crystals to connect with the energy points in our bodies, also known as chakras. Emotional and physical ailments we experience can be linked to the energetic flow throughout these points.

Tristan: Coming from the perspective of Physics and by understanding that crystalline structures have energetic principles, the concept that they can impact our own energy makes total sense. I think where people lose any interest in crystals is when they hear the term “energy”. I don’t know why that term has been made into a “hippy” term because all it is referencing is the ability for different energy frequencies to shift something emotionally, psychologically, or physically within you. So you clearly have noticed a benefit from having crystals in your repertoire. What are some of the ways you use crystals in your life, routine, and day-to-day?

Lexi: I began by simple things- wearing a necklace, keeping a few on my nightstand. Once I began educating myself on chakras and the uses for different stones I began using them for meditation. I use them in my garden, to cleanse my tarot cards, I keep at least one in all my bags and one in my pocket at work. Some days I switch them out depending on my energy or mood that day. I like to buy small ones in bulk to carry around and give to friends or people I meet- a little piece of me and good energy to pass on when I feel someone may need it. There are so many ways to use them and I know there are probably things I haven't tried. That's the beauty of it though; you meet others who utilize them and learn their little habits to incorporate into your own routine.

Tristan: That is such a beautiful practice. It’s so heartfelt and I can tell how meaningful it is to you. So being that you clearly have a passion for crystals, what is the most misunderstood concept/aspect of crystals you wish people understood?

Lexi: I think the biggest misconception is that the people who use them believe they are some magic, fix-all rock. Yes, they have energetic properties and they are really cool, but it is more about the individual's intention and belief. I mean, having the stone around you can influence your environment’s energy no matter what, but if you open yourself up to receiving that energy- that's when the real "magic" begins, which is really just manifestation.

Manifestation can be done with or without crystals, yet through my own experience, being able to put my intention and energy into a physical form is just one step on the way to making those intentions a physical reality. Even putting intention into the stone and keeping it around to serve as a reminder of sort- every time you see or find it you can remember, this is the path I'm on, this is the energy I want to be aligned with.

Tristan: I’m so happy to hear you say that because I whole-heartedly believe in the power of manifestation. Until now, I’ve never heard someone talk about using crystals as a totem of your intention, but I think I am going to start incorporating them into my monthly manifestation exercises in the way that you just described. I like to talk about intention setting and manifestation because it has brought so much positivity into my life and I like to encourage others to try it as well! Being that crystals are a tool that you love to use in your life, do you feel like crystals are for everyone? Is there a certain type of person that benefits more than others from using crystals?

Lexi: I think everyone can benefit from using crystals. Like I said before, some people will always benefit more due to open/close-mindedness. If you are always skeptical in the back of your heart and mind, you are closing your reality off to whatever you want to manifest. It's the difference between faith and religion. I won't get too deep, but in my opinion, crystals are a tool to strengthen your faith and I believe that is another misconception people tend to have about crystals.

Tristan: Very well put. So if you are using crystals during other spiritual-based practices, then you must have had some pretty powerful experiences. What is the most memorable/craziest experience you have had with using crystals in your life?

Lexi: I'm constantly experiencing small, random synchronicities pretty much all the time- I don't think it is solely because of the crystals but the energy was definitely influenced and I believe using these stones have given me a higher level of self-awareness to notice these occurrences.

Although, one instance will always stay in my mind. I had a small weenie dog who HATED rain. I was off work and it was storming one day, she was freaking out. I was in bed and trying to get her to calm down with no avail. I got a Selenite wand off my nightstand. Selenite is good for calming and removing negative energy. I didn't think it would do anything, but I swear I held her on my lap and put the Selenite on her back and she instantly calmed down. It was weird. I also always give random stones to my friends and when they ask me what it's good for they'll tell me it's relative to something going on in their lives.

Tristan: WHAT?! That is insane! I think I would have thrown the stone (and possibly dog) across the room in shock if that had happened to me. So Selenite must be a pretty important stone to you after that experience! What is your top 3-5 crystal staples that you cannot live without and why?

Lexi: Clear Quartz and Rose Quartz, always. Also Selenite because it has the strongest energy of any other stone I've been around. It's difficult because I try to have at least one stone for every chakra to keep my environment balanced, which is definitely more than 5.

Clear Quartz, Amethyst, Blue Calcite, Rose Quartz, Green Calcite, Orange Calcite, Citrine, Carnelian, and Smoky Quartz are crystals that I have at home at all times.

Tristan: What are a few staples that you recommend others start out with if they are new to crystals?

Lexi: I would start with the chakra set I listed above, but if you can only get a few at a time- start with Clear Quartz for all over healing and positive energy, Rose Quartz for love, and Smoky Quartz for grounding.

Tristan: Well Lexi this has been an incredibly eye-opening conversation and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to share your passion for crystals with me. Is there anything else you would like to add? Go for it!

Lexi: Don't be overwhelmed by all the info online or afraid to research on your own. Even people like me who have been learning for years still have way more to learn, so start off with stones that attract you or catch your eye and learn about those first- chances are there is always a reason you are attracted to a certain stone. Remember they are just tools and not magic, but if you're open to receiving and amplifying your own energy they surely can make your life feel like magic!

Interview #2: Musings with Arthur Baird – Reiki Healer and Crystal Expert from The Peace Place Healing Studies Center in Sedona AZ

Tristan: Let’s start out with some background questions about you! What was your first experience with crystals like? What did you think/feel/experience?

Arthur: To be honest I don’t really remember my first crystal experience because I’ve essentially grown up around crystals. The family crystal practice really grew out of the fact that it blended so well with our family’s Reiki practice, and they feel good [energetically] and are pretty.

Tristan: So growing up with crystals and Reiki in your home must have given you a deep understanding of how they can help improve your life. So then what are some of your favorite crystal rituals OR how do you use crystals on a day-to-day basis.

Arthur: Well [my use of crystals] started mostly with clear quartz, which still is one of my preferred crystals. Its properties are amplification and it has a high potential for programmability making it a great universal use stone. I am also a big fan of Lapis Lazuli, which is the stone of royalty from antiquity and represents the ideals of a perfect ruler. I’m also a fan of Labradorite, which is a stone that energetically clears everything it touches.

To this day my primary use of the crystals is carrying them in my pocket so I can get the good vibes all day long. There is also a fun ritual using a heart shaped crystal to break all past relationship ties; you program [set intention/purpose to] the heart-shaped rock to represent all the past relationship connections that no longer serve you and then smash it into pieces (especially fun with sunstone).

Tristan: My destructive adolescent self would love to try that stone-smashing ritual! I definitely need to try that one. So being that you are coming from a place of such extensive experience, how would you recommend someone incorporate crystals into their life?

Arthur: The key to working with crystals is finding what works for you; there are no wrong answers.

Now, that said, it is common for people to carry crystals on their person (as jewelry or in a pocket) since the more direct the contact (to skin in most cases) and the more prolonged the contact, the sooner you get the benefits. Each crystal represents specific healing frequencies, and by interacting with the crystals you are exposing yourself to those healing frequencies.

Tristan: I think that is one of the main aspects that draws me to crystals so much. They are so unique in not only their appearance, but also how they can help people to heal and improve their life. I’m curious though, is there a crystal that you feel everyone could use?

Arthur: I think there are two crystals that everyone could use and these are Hematite and Lepidolite.

Hematite is a great stone for staying grounded, present in your body and present in the moment; the more grounded you are the less you are affected by outside influences.
Lepidolite is lithium mica, so it is all about maintaining a calm, centered balance; lots of stones either uplift or ground, but Lepidolite does both depending on what you need.

Tristan: So from what I gather, the way you use crystals is just as unique as the ones that you bring into your life. Are there any rituals involving crystals that you feel anyone could incorporate into their lifestyle?

Arthur: It is important to cleanse and energize most crystals (some are self cleansing like Selenite, Blue Kyanite, and Labradorite), but the trick is not to become obsessive about it.

My favorite way to do it is using dry salt in the moonlight (particularly the light of the full moon); dry salt has all the benefits of salt water without any of the mess, and moonlight has all the benefits of sunlight without any of the danger of UV radiation in the sunlight (bleaches the color out of a lot of colored stones).

Tristan: When Arthur, this has been an incredibly informative and fascinating conversation and I really appreciate you taking the time to answer these questions for my readers and me! Before you go, could you recommend some of your favorite resources for using crystals as healing modalities and/or learning more about crystals energies?

Two great resources for learning about crystals are:

The Book of Stones” by Robert Simmons and

The Crystal Bible” by Judy Hall

The first is great as a quick reference guide and the second is great for more detailed study.

A note from Tristan -

"I hope that you have enjoyed a peak into my process of learning more about crystals and their healing properties. Stay curious my friends!"