What’s up With Crystals?


Mr. Tarrant holding a crystal unlocking his inner crystal bitch!

Violet Cole, Health and Wellness Writer

Crystals have hit modern mainstream (mainly Gen Z) culture in a very obvious way – the Internet and social media. They have even created a new classification of people: crystal bitches. 

The immense popularity of crystals, however, is nothing new. For millennia, many cultures around the world have relied on crystals for various different reasons. The Greeks and Romans used them as tokens of spirituality, a part of their religion. (Plato even cited them in his tales of Atlantis). The Ancient Egyptians believed crystals had the power to protect their health. In Ancient China, they were used for bottles, jewelry, statues, and much more. Essentially, many ancient cultures either believed crystals possessed metaphysical powers, or simply found them aesthetically pleasing. Now, in modern times, it appears that we have rediscovered this belief and practice. 

Discussion on the topic of crystals is seemingly endless. From what I’ve gathered on the subject, people are divided into different categories: crystal bitches – the die hard believers and users, the skeptics – those who don’t necessarily believe they have spiritual properties but do find them interesting, and finally the nonbelievers – people who are avidly against the belief in the other-wordly properties and will not take no for an answer. 

Personally, I’m a skeptic- I don’t believe that they possess any metaphysical properties, but I do think that they’re pretty. So I know what I believe, but what do other people think? To answer this question, I asked a few members of the Museum School community for their opinions on crystals. Freshman Kailey Caton and Sophomore Amela Cucovic said no, while Junior Lyla Mooney and Sophomore Zara Leung both said yes. 

“I think that they work for people if you believe in them… if you believe that it’ll work then it’ll work,” Mooney explained. Cucovic said “Believing that they have otherworldly powers is really stupid.” Go off I guess? It seems to me that they fall onto the opposite ends of the crystal spectrum – crystal bitch and an avid nonbeliever. When asked if they believe crystals hold any spiritual energy, Caton said, “I believe they do.” Mooney said, “I think some of them do. I don’t think they all do.” Cucovic added, “I do not. I think that’s pseudoscience like astrology.”

Since social media has so much power on the people who use it and their opinions and perception of information, I was under the assumption that there would be many more crystal believers and users.  I was proven wrong. This is a common theme in my life. 

After interviewing my peers, I decided that I wanted to dig deeper into the claim that crystals have other-worldly powers. This prompted the fabulous idea to interview someone who works closely with crystals. So one day after school I dragged one of my friends to Namaste BookShop, and interviewed one of the cashiers. My therapist would call this an exposure; I would call this me needing a quote for this article. 

While I didn’t catch the name of the person I interviewed, they did give me some pretty interesting responses. Now I went into this interview knowing virtually nothing about crystals, so I asked what spiritual properties crystals supposedly possess, they stated, “They cover more than just spirituality. So [while] they can do spiritual things, they can help you emotionally and physically as well.” Well, that was unexpected. I mean I genuinely believed that using crystals had the same effect that they did in Ice Age: Collision Course, where the llama and the sloth that Sid fell in love with were kept all young and youthful by the crystal that would inevitably kill them all. So, I was wrong… again. What else is new? 

So I decided to change the topic before they judged me for not knowing that before. I then asked what their personal experience with crystals were. “When I use selenite I feel really really creative… with petalite is another one I can see is like, you can feel it immediately and pairing it with selenite I feel really calm.” Cute! From what the cashier was saying, I could infer that people don’t necessarily use it for the spiritual properties, they use it for the emotional power that they can give off. Look at how much I’m learning now, this is fabulous! 

I now needed to know if crystals were a mentality, and you needed to have faith in them or if they could work on their own. “I would like to believe that it could work for everyone, but I do generally tell people that it’s not gonna just work. It does go hand in hand with believing.” So kind of along the lines of what Mooney was saying, you need to believe in them for it to work. After my interview with the cashier, I bought a $6 crystal, so you’re welcome Namaste BookShop. 

In order for me to better understand crystals, I felt that it was best for me to understand how they formed. Who better to ask than the 10th grade science teacher Mr. Wassmuth? He said that they formed in a few different ways. “Sometimes they’re going to form when you have water and minerals and the water evaporates. As the water leaves the area, it evaporates, and you’re going to have crystals and minerals forming.” The different mineral composition in the water can determine the type of crystal you have. Then he went on to explain how they form metaphorically. “…You have a liquid and as that magma or lava is solidifying you have the atomic structure being created so that’s going to be giving you whatever shape it is…if you introduce water into the mix, then you can get all these different types of crystals…because it changes the boiling point of the magma or lava and it also allows more minerals to form.” how sciency! “…metamorphism which is gonna be taking things like fossils and changing their mineral structure so that they are now reflecting and refracting that light.” 

My main takeaway from that was that you could have a crystal that used to be a dinosaur. But for me, personally, understanding the science behind crystals does actually help with understanding the culture surrounding them. Because they can form in multiple different ways, they can be found really anywhere. This explains why so many ancient cultures had access to and used them, thus forming crystal culture around the world. It also somewhat explains how this spiritual belief surrounding crystals came to be. 

In the ancient world, people didn’t have the scientific knowledge that we have today, so they chalked everything up to the gods. They probably saw some very interesting looking “rocks” and thought  it was the work of the gods, and therefore treated it as such. Look at me coming up with theories! But I still had one last question: do they actually have any kind of energy whatsoever? Mr. Wassmuth answered, “All things emit energy in an electromagnetic way.” Okay, so if they don’t actually have any other-wordly/spiritual energy, then we know that they at least have something coming from them. 

The plan wasn’t for me to actually experiment with crystals since I don’t believe that they have any spiritual properties, but I was open minded in learning more about them. Throughout my research I did learn a lot about the culture and science surrounding crystals and I now have a newfound appreciation for those who use them because they are putting a lot of faith in some rocks. So if you use crystals, you go girl!