The trend of crystals could be more damaging than helpful to the unknowing
January 23, 2022
From the dangling rose quartz necklace that one student wears to the shiny tiger’s eye ring that wraps around another’s finger, the trend of crystals seems to be a wave that has hit some students simply for the pretty colors and aesthetic purposes only; however, social media apps such as TikTok and Instagram have #Crystal and #Witchtok at over 7.5 billion views. These hashtags include videos and images about the energy properties these rocks have, how to tap into them and more information on crystal healing which begs the question; what the heck are these crystals?
The scientific term of a crystal is a mineral that has a well organized grid pattern on the molecular level making the formation of crystals seem geometric (Britannica). On the other side of the coin, a crystal could be defined as an item that is used because it is thought to promote physical, emotional and spiritual healing through the energy that is formed from it.
Sarah, a woman who doesn’t consider herself a Wiccan has practiced crystal healing for four years now talked about what kinds of crystals she uses in her daily life.
“I wear crystals that repel negative energy and protect such as black tourmaline. I also wear crystals that attract love and abundance such as lapis lazuli and carnelian. I also have crystals placed in my home for protection and the promotion of love and abundance,” Sarah said.
The causes for the rise in popularity
While crystal healing has been a type of practice that has evolved over years, the new wave of spiritual exploration has arisen due to the pandemic. With people stuck at home, many started to venture into religious practices to cope with the negativity surrounding them.
Junior Megan Fox, someone who has been practicing crystal healing as well as other types of metaphysical practices for a year now talked about how they started to get into crystal healing.
“So I first heard about them my freshman year from a couple of my friends, they had been into it for a while and I was like ‘oh that’s pretty cool’ so I decided I [wanted] to learn about it and then quarantine happened and obviously I had all this time on my hands so I decided why not look into it and I kind of learned about spirituality and crystals and tarot and stuff like that,” Fox said.
Fox then talked about the wave of crystal healing that has hit many and if she was a part of that wave of following the trend.
“As they have been getting more popular I have definitely been buying more… and not spending my money very wisely but I also think too with that popularity I think that I also am trying to actually educate myself on it rather than [some others] who will just say ‘I’m gonna get a piece of carnelian because it’s going to fix my life’ like no, I’m realistic with it but I do think that as they have gotten more popular I have bought a ton more,” Fox said.
While the practice of crystal healing has been something that was practiced in ancient Sumerian times the craze has made significant strides online. On Google Trends the search percentile started to rise in 2017, this rise has slowly been rising from 30% of popularity where now it is reaching 100% of popularity of the term ‘Crystal healing.’
The importance of being knowledgeable
While the practice of crystal healing has been passed down by many iterations of either religious or cultural practices the founder is unknown. Throughout extensive research it is unclear who or what originated the practice, however, cultures such as Native American practices (Legends of America) religious practices such as Paganism, Buddhism and Wicca all either use or used these practices in their culture.
Kristine D. Carlos, an undergraduate at the University of Central Florida wrote about the crystal healing practices throughout the world. She stated the importance of the practice for Native Americans.
“Respect for crystals is important because, there is a great respect for the Earth and all beings on it in most Native American religions. Stones are considered an entity that must be
shown honor. The Earth provides life, nature, food, and important crystals used for healing,” Carlos said.
Of course the harm of not being educated could be an issue for making sure you are not culturally appropriating a practice. The issues also can come from the lack of knowing your crystals. Every stone has a different meaning and purpose, Amber Patrick, a woman who uses crystal healing in her life explained what the dangers of not being educated could lead to.
“Some crystals can bring unwanted change through energy. Take moldavite for example, it started trending on Tik Tok. The energy from moldavite is to end connections with things that are not serving your soul. Not every connection is meant to serve you. Often people find themselves in a depressive state or anxious after wearing this stone for extended periods of time. It’s meant for specific occasions and to be worn for less than 4 hours total,” Patrick said.
The trend on Tiktok for moldavite in general was a woman who posted a video about how she has started to wear this gem and the negative impact it has had on her.
Respect for crystals is important because, there is a great respect for the Earth and all beings on it in most Native American religions.”
— Kristine D. Carlos
While the death of her parents, the destruction of her car and end of her relationship aren’t solely from the crystal, the destructive energy that this crystal could have makes it seem that everything is wrong. Sarah also touched on why using a crystal without the wrong intention could be wrong.
“Crystals can carry the energy of chaos such as moldavite. You could be using a crystal such as a tiger’s eye to attract money and wonder why you’re not receiving abundance. Because a tiger’s eye promotes strength and courage so by carrying it, it may put you through more trials and tribulations to make you stronger,” Sarah said.
Other harms could be scams that happen to the crystal community. With the trend of crystal healing many people try to make a profit on websites such as Amazon, Etsy and others to sell their “gems” to people who aren’t knowledgeable about the subject. Sarah also explained why she chooses to not use websites and rather goes to metaphysical stores instead.
“I do not buy online as I like to feel and bond with the crystal before purchasing [and because] a lot of sellers out there do not have real crystals; they are just glass made to look like a crystal and are sold at an ungodly price,” Sarah said.
Ways to get educated
Crystal healing is something that whether you believe it or not; it is an interesting subject to look at and understand the history behind it. Some ways to make sure you are using crystals right is to read books about the subject. A book that talks about crystal healing is, “A Complete Idiot’s Guide to Crystal Healing” by Karen Ryan, a Crystal Energy Therapist. This book focuses on how to use crystals, which ones to start with and looking at the energies of each crystal, this is helpful for any beginners looking to find a bit of everything.
An article that looked at the cultural aspects of crystal healing are “How to be a witch without stealing” by Jess Joho and Morgan Sung. This article finds ways for anyone interested in using crystal healing without culturally appropriating any cultures that use these methods in their practices.
The New Yorker also uploaded a video about crystal healing and how it was being used for different practices. While this video was published in 2019 the craze looks at a different aspect of crystal healing.
Another resource could be Zanemvula’s video about “The African History of Crystal Healing.” She explores how cultures all over the world use crystals in their life now due to the colonization of Africa as well as some crystals to buy.
Crystals come in many sizes and shapes as well as how they can be used. Making sure you are educated in the history as well as many uses they have allows anyone to use crystals, whether it be for aesthetic purposes or crystal healing.