Magical, mythical, or just a flashy piece of rock. Who cares?! Crystals are EVERYTHING.
If you’ve been checking out @writtenbylyds on Instagram this week, you may have noticed I have a new obsession. Crystals.
I say new obsession, it isn’t really. I’ve always been drawn to the magical glimmer of a crystal. Do you remember school trips to museums, when we’d finally make it to the gift shop and be allowed in, 4 children at a time with a teacher?
While everyone else dived into the boxes of map-shaped rubbers and ridiculously giant pencils, I’d stray towards the corner of fossils and rocks. Shiny, sparkly, rainbow reflecting rocks.
Of course, they were always way outside of a school girl’s spending money allowance. So I’d climb back onto the coach with the same old shit that every other kid bought. The same old shit we all bought at every single gift shop, on every single trip. The pencils were too heavy to write with and the rubbers did nothing but create a dirty great smudge across the page. But you don't argue with pre-teen law. You follow it blindly and with confidence.
I’ve also always been drawn to stories where a stone, rock or jewel is pivotal to the plot. The first I can remember was a book that was read aloud to us at school, I think maybe I was around 10 years old. The Weirdstone of Brisingham by Alan Garner. Then there’s the Orb in the book series The Belgariad by David Eddings. And of course, the philosophers stone in the first Harry Potter book. To my delighted surprise this also cropped up in the All Souls trilogy I’ve just finished reading.
These stories centre around the long held notion that certain stones exude some sort of magic. And if not magic, then at the very least, energy. We’re talking hundreds if not thousands of years of human intrigue into the properties of these gems. I too am intrigued, and I choose to believe that there’s truth to it. Even if it’s nonsense, which some of you will believe it is and I’m perfectly happy if you do. The world is a brighter place for all the differences we bring to it. But if holding a piece of rock in your hand can give you confidence that you didn’t have before, comfort that nothing else can bring, and belief in yourself that isn’t usually there, then that is magic isn’t it?
It’s a full year since I acquired my first crystal. My cousin and I attended an event at Honestly Ombre - you may have read my interview with Jess Wallbridge, the salon’s founder (If not, have a read, you’ll find it on the main blog page). It was a women’s event, a divine feminine and manifestation ritual. I was entering a period of extreme uncertainty and limited control over my life, and was seeking connection within and around myself to keep me grounded. Each of us received a crystal. Mine was a piece of green aventurine.
The evening was exactly what I needed. I left feeling uplifted and prepared to face my challenges head on. The crystals didn’t play a huge part in the evening’s events, and I slipped my aventurine into my coat pocket as we walked back to the car.
That was late February 2020. We all know what happened next in the world. I don’t mind admitting that in those first few weeks, going to the supermarket was terrifying. Hugely not helped by the gentleman at the greeting cards stand, who licked his fingers before picking a card up and putting it back. More than once. That’s pretty gross at any time, but whilst a potentially fatal virus is sweeping the globe, it’s another level of disgusting. An audible ‘what the f***’ left my lips as I backed away in horror, trying not to throw up in my mask.
Next, I had to stand in line to pay. Clearly the markers on the floor were invisible to everyone else. It was suffocating, I could feel panic rising and I just wanted to run. I put my hand in my coat pocket to give my car keys a reassuring squeeze. And found my crystal instead. I’d forgotten it was there. But I squeezed it, and ran my fingers over it, and squeezed it some more. My breathing started to return to normal, and as I focused on how the crystal felt in my hand, everything else dropped away.
Research into green aventurine says that it is indeed a soothing stone. A comforter that promotes peace and calm and helps protect the heart. And even if that’s bollocks, well it worked for me.
I kept it in my coat pocket for all those supermarket trips, and then for all the fertility clinic visits that I endured over lockdown. I clung to it during good news, scary news and bad news. It kept my mind calm, my breathing deep and my heart steady. When I couldn’t hold the hand of the people I needed, I could hold onto the stone instead.
And so my connection with crystals began. I often join Scene & Stone’s live crystal sales on Instagram. I don’t always buy something. Sometimes it’s just enough to be a part of the community and see all of the beauty of hundreds of crystals together. And to share as others claim the crystal of their dreams.
But sometimes you feel a pull towards an area of the table and a sneaky, cheeky, beauty of a stone will be winking at you. You don’t really know why, but it attracts you over and above all of the others. I choose to believe it’s because you have a need for its energy. And have found that I do typically use most of mine in my everyday life when needed. When I write these blogs, for instance, I always have my fluorite heart close by for its creative energy flow.
Energy or not, each stone is a little piece of history, a little piece of this planet we call home, and a little something beautiful to brighten the grey days. And do you know what, just that is enough for me.
Lyds, out x