Rock Crystals: An Historical Gateway to the Therapeutic Religious World

rock crystal

Fashionable curiosity within the therapeutic properties of rock crystals emerged as a part of the counterculture of the Nineteen Sixties and remained a gentle market till greater than 50 years later when a pandemic catapulted the business to multibillion-dollar standing.
Few folks understand that the human fascination with crystals started not less than 12,000 years in the past within the Hula Valley of northern Israel the place folks utilized plaster and calcite crystals to human skulls after which polished and polished them till they sparkled. Comparable skulls have been present in what’s now the West Financial institution, with fragments of cowrie and bivalve shells embedded in plaster, in response to Contained in the Neolithic Thoughts David Lewis-Williams and David Pearce (Thames & Hudson, 2005).

The usage of crystals on the skulls of the lifeless was virtually actually supposed to help the soul of the deceased in navigating the spirit world. In dozens of cultures and eons of time, shamanic figures have used crystals to see the spirit world that’s invisible to everybody else.
In Irish legend, Prince Connell was taken to the Otherworld by a crystal boat piloted by a fairy maiden. He was by no means seen once more.

Quartz crystal from Tibet. (JJ Harrison/Wikipedia)

Crystals used to offer second sight

An aboriginal shaman from Australia symbolically inserted quartz crystals into the physique of his scholar to bestow the ability of omnisight, a type of second sight that permits the notion of the religious world. The Wiradjuri of southwestern Australia believed that the supreme being Baiame sat on a crystal throne within the sky, turning water into crystals and dissolving crystals into water.

Earlier than ascending the sky rope to achieve Baiame, the Wiradjuri shaman and his scholar would put together by ingesting water through which the crystals had been immersed. Once they reached the heavens, Baiame sprinkled the apprentice with liquid quartz, inflicting him to develop wings. Contained in the crystal cave, the disciple discovered find out how to discover souls and heal the sick.
As a part of the initiation, Baiame sings a bit of quartz crystal into the (apprentice’s) brow as a way to have X-ray imaginative and prescient, Mircea Eliade wrote in Shamanism: Archaic Strategies of Ecstasy (1964, Princeton College Press).
A Sea Dayan shaman in Borneo carried a field of quartz crystals referred to as stones of sunshine used to seek out souls that had wandered away from their dwelling host and triggered bodily sickness, in response to Henry Ling Roths Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo (1896, Truslove and Hanson). The Semang of Malaysia believed that the crystals have been a type of solidified water and had mystical properties that would see illnesses.
Irish abbot from the sixth century, who later grew to become St. Columbus, used a white stone from the River Ness for therapeutic and immersed it within the water he administered to the affected person. An Irishman referred to as McCarthy from the Glen in County Cork lent an oval quartz stone to farmers who soaked it in water for his or her cattle.

Gems for fulfilling needs

The affiliation of gems with the power to grant needs was not restricted to the jinns of pre-Islamic Arabia, however was additionally a characteristic of Hindu, Tibetan and Shinto gods.
When the Hindu gods churned an ocean of milk to revive their feeble powers, many therapeutic presents have been bestowed, together with a doctor, a cosmic cow, and a glittering jewel for Vishnu.
The Tibetan prayer flag is called a wind horse, using amongst billowing clouds, carrying the wish-fulfilling chakravartin jewel, radiating peace, prosperity and concord. Japanese muse and goddess of the ocean Benzaiten wears a wish-granting gem as she flies on the again of a pleasant dragon.
Guarding a treasure trove of jewels beneath the rivers, lakes and oceans from India to Southeast Asia, the Naga was half-serpent and half-man, and able to shape-shifting into full human type and marrying into royal households. The Nagas guarded jewels containing knowledge past human comprehension.
Some historic deities have been depicted with mirrors on their garments or connected to their wrists, together with the Hindu lord Indra, the Aztec Tezcatlipoca, and the Tsui Goab of the Khoi tribe of the Kalahari Desert. These heavenly gods may see all conduct and detect all crimes. Crystals, mirrors and nonetheless water have been related to the attention as a result of they’re all reflective.

rose quartz
Pink crystal. (Robert M. Levinsky/Wikimedia)

Cosmic crystals

In lots of cultures, stars have been equated with crystals, maybe as a result of each mirror murky shades of colour. All through historic cultures, water was believed to circulation from the celestial pole alongside the Milky Means after which to Earth. Cosmic waters can fall like snow on a sacred mountain and/or create sacred rivers.
Descriptions of Tur na Nog, the Irish sky, present songbirds perched on bushes with branches of coloured crystal. One legend describes 9 hazel bushes dropping knowledge nuts into the glowing effectively of Segais, from which the creator god Nechtan dipped three cups and poured out the contents to create the Milky Means and the tidal River Boyne in Eire.
Sergais’s effectively was a illustration of the northern celestial pole, and the wisdom-bearing nuts represented the crystals. Nechtan’s daughter was Boann, goddess of the Milky Means and the River Boyne, referred to as the illuminated cow.

In Hinduism Vishnu’s seat is within the heavenly areas, from which the waters circulation like braided locks within the waves till the moon’s orb turns into vibrant from the misty crystal stream and thence falls on the summit of Mount Meru. The river goddess Saraswati who wears treasured stones, performs a stringed instrument and flies on a swan, was related to the Milky Means.
Historical Persian artwork depicts the Zoroastrian creator god Ahura Mazda as a white-bearded man in a gown coated in stars. Crystals, water, and mist flowed from the pole star to Lake Urvis on Mount Hugar, the place they churned up the water and triggered clouds to rise and rain all around the land.

Snowflake crystal. (Wikimedia Commons)

Remaking the heavens

The Ellora cave advanced within the state of Maharashtra, India was carved into the sheer rock over a interval of 1,200 years. Accomplished about 1,000 years in the past, it was carved by Buddhists, Hindus after which Jains. The principle characteristic is the Kailasa Temple, an outline of the snow-capped Mount Kailasa within the Himalayas, Shiva’s dwelling.

The Kailasa Temple has the most important cantilevered ceiling on the planet and was initially coated with white plaster meant to characterize crystalline snow. Kailasa means crystal in Sanskrit. The Tibetan identify for Kailasa is Gang Rin-po-che or the dear gem of snow.
Among the many Menominee of the Nice Lakes area there’s the next poetic legend:
When a star falls from the sky
It leaves a path of fireside.
It would not die.
His shadow returns to its place to shine once more.
Indians typically discover little stars
the place they fell into the grass.

Once we take a look at our reflection in nonetheless water, we see ourselves. Because the ancients thought-about water a divine and sentient entity able to altering its type, they may understand nonetheless water as seeing them.

(Ben H. Gagnon is an award-winning journalist and creator The Church of Birds: An Eco-Historical past of Fable and Faith, printed on April 1, 2023 by Moon Books and John Hunt Publishing. Order right here or at different bookstores. Extra info could be discovered on this web site, which hyperlinks to 2 YouTube movies written by the creator and produced by JHP.)

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