I recently saw a woman carrying a tote bag with the words “I´m a crystal lady”. Initially it made me smile cause it was obviously an ironic commentary about the growing interest in crystals and stones in our culture – an interest I believe goes hand in hand with the interest in astrology which seems to have taking over popular culture recently. But where does that interest come from and why has it grown so fast these last few years?
To me this interest makes a lot of sense. The way people use stones and crystals today is all about self care, healing and putting intentions into ones life. Having a stone or crystal with you can provide comfort and remind you of what you needed and thought about when you got it – a small and beautiful reminder or symbol of good intentions, whether it was a gift from someone else or from yourself. That doesn’t mean you believe that it is the stone it self that heals and helps you, but rather that it works as a fix point. I think it is pretty human to need something physical to hold on to.
Historically crystals and stones has had a lot of meaning too. Humankind has been drawn to their beauty and have therefore given them symbolic value. And it is easy to understand why: today we have access to beauty and colors all the time; we are surrounded by screens and pictures and visual stimuli. But long ago we didn’t have this access and so the stones and crystals represented glimpses of rare divine beauty and color. I guess that is why they have been used to make jewelry: to decorate oneself and to carry symbols close to your body, just as we do today, both by wearing jewelry and carrying around a precious little stone in our pocket. The return to believing in the power of stones and crystals might be a way of returning to the physical. Having something tactile and personal to help you along in your everyday life.
The reason I use stones and crystals is all about appreciation of the material; the way it looks, the way I can use it creatively, the different ways stones and crystals behave when I work with them. So I have a different, and maybe more practical/hands on connection to them. But working with crystals and stones – shaping them, making them into jewelry – is also a way of putting meaning into the materials; a way of being spiritual if you will!
Who knows – maybe I am a crystal lady too?