|Crystals have fascinated us for thousands of years and magic users of every culture have always considered them a vital part of their ritual equipment. Long before we mined or quarried, we were drawn to the stones that shone among the dull rocks or were washed smooth by river water and we marvelled at their brilliance. These glimmering crystals have always held a strange fascination over us that calls to the magpie in our soul. They make us want to collect them, hoard them and treasure them ~ sometimes at any cost. To our ancestors, it seemed logical that these glorious treasures with their rich and sparkling colours must be magical. The strange crystalline forms were a source of order and perfection in a world all too often filled with chaos.
Since the earliest times, we have chipped and knapped hand axes, spear tips, arrowheads, tools and figures that represent the powers of magic and the Divine from the rocks around us, and our ancient partnership with the rocks has enabled us to thrive, using them to help provide food, fire, protection and security. Many of Britain's ancient trackways end at sources of stone and this has led to speculation that they were formed in Prehistoric times by people travelling to areas where they could gather the raw materials for their tools. The 'Old St Ives Road' on the Land's End peninsula in Cornwall begins at Kenidjack Cliff Castle where there was a Neolithic axe factory and this ancient track, estimated to be at least 6,000 years old, can still be walked today ~ sections of it survive as walled lanes, footpaths and the 'modern' road (B.C.E. 3306).
Crystals are important for healing and are a powerful complementary force to herbs. Just as herbs provide medicine and energy for the physical body, gems provide the same for our spiritual and astral bodies, the energetic 'layers' of our aura that we cannot detect with our normal senses. They aid our spiritual development and help to balance, align, teach and cure us.
Most people consider crystals to be 'dead,' seeing them as inanimate and without vital energy. Relatively few people recognise them as a another of the many varied forms of life on Earth. Stones do have life, but they are very different from us. They are slow and unimaginably ancient and this makes them difficult for us to understand with our warm, active animal brains. Crystals are alive, and each one has its own unique energy and spirit. Once we begin to understand this, we can work with them, making use of their energy and individual characteristics to improve our lives and our community.
We have reached a stage in our evolution where we are experiencing separation from the planet which we inhabit. We are the only creature on Earth that considers itself distinct and separate from the whole and this makes us one of the most advanced ~ and most stupid ~ of all animals. Because 'primitive' spiritual paths are based on a healthy relationship with Nature, we find that stones, the bones of the Earth, have always played an important part in worship. The Old Religions considered the Earth to be sacred, and celebrated her as a Goddess in her own right, Gaia, the Mother and provider to her many children. Stones can help us strengthen our connection to the Earth and explore our relationship with her, giving us a better understanding of our place in the grand scheme of things. They can help us to rediscover our lost affinity with the Earth and teach (or perhaps remind) us how to draw the energy we need from the body of the Earth Mother. Gemstones are one of our most important allies on this journey of discovery.
Every creature on earth depends on the mineral kingdom for its life. Rocks and mountains wear down over millions of years to become soil and this fertile earth, rich in mineral nutrients, feeds the plants and animals that feed us humans. At the point of physical death, the bodies of plants, animals and humans break down into their mineral components, meaning that no energy is ever lost from the system. Crystals also have other subtle functions that are important to our well being on a spiritual level. They provide us with energy that is just as vital to our soul as calories and vitamins are to our bodies.
The following pages are a collection of ways that you can use the magic of gemstones to enhance your life. Like all spells these are most effective if prepared and worked within a special ritual area or magic circle. I would encourage everyone to adapt these techniques to suit their own ways of magical working and to be creative with their crystal magic ~ nothing I tell you will ever be as powerful as that which you learn for yourself through experimentation and experience. If you have any suggestions of topics or ways of working that you would like to see here, please e-mail us and let us know.