What Are Crystals?
There is a lot of buzz going around about crystals, but what is a crystal, actually?
Crystals are minerals that through natural geological chemical processes, solidify into what we call a crystal. Crystals have specific chemical compositions that are unique to only crystals.
They also have highly-ordered atomic structures, as well as specific physical properties, that are distinct to the particular type of crystal. Although people may call them “pretty” or distinct-looking rocks, they are actually very specific by composition, as opposed to a rock which is an agate of minerals and or mineraloids, but do not have specific compositions like crystals. A mineral can range in composition from what are called pure elements to simple salts to complex with thousands of known forms. By the way, the study of minerals is called mineralogy. A crystal, in simple terms, is a mineral.
It is a crystal’s structure physically that has a lot to do with its properties. For instance, a diamond and graphite have the same composition in that both are pure carbon, but graphite is soft while diamonds are the hardest of all minerals in the world. This is because the arrangement of the atomic structure are completely different between the two.
Crystals have been used since ancient civilization for their healing and metaphysical properties. There is archeological evidence that early man used crystals as part of their metaphysical belief systems. In using them for metaphysical or for spiritual / healing purposes, it is the crystalline atomic structures combined with the chemical composition of the crystal that is believed to emit electro magnetic energy. It is this energy that gives the crystal its “healing” power. The healing can be spiritual and/or physical through the healing of the spiritual. As “healing stones”, crystals come from “Mother Earth”, which is a source of spirituality for many belief systems. Crystals are mainly created from the “magma or earth’s inner-core”. The crystals that one buys to use for their own healing or spiritual purposes have undergone naturally a geological process of heating, cooling and displacement to become what we know as a “crystal”.
The actual energy field of a crystal is influenced by its geometric form, color and subtle vibration. Each crystal is made up of a tiny, minute crystal structure that emits energy, frequency or vibration, due to its constant atomic movement. The density of the crystal, as is the radiating of light through the crystal, also plays a part in its spiritual and healing characteristics, as well as its color.
Since early times, man and crystals have had a symbiotic connection. There is evidence of this connection documented since the fourth millennium before Christ. Ancient civilizations, such as the Chinese, Egyptians, Sumerians, Greeks, Romans, or Shamans and Medicine Men, have used gemstones for healing in multiple ways – made into powders or elixirs, worn, carried or placed on the body and in ceremonies or rituals. This ancient knowledge has been passed down to our day and with the emerging popularity of holistic health and healing. The use of crystal healing is again making its way into modern life!