A Brief Introduction in the Magical World of Crystals

My story with crystals, gemstones, and minerals started a few years ago. I think I can say that it was love at first sight. In the beginning I was fascinated by the beauty of these wonderful stones, and started to discover their magnificent nature and amazing properties.

My shop, the Village Rock Shop was born with the mission to share with others my passion for crystals.

In this blog, I would like to present you a short history about the role that crystals had during the evolution of humankind. The word crystal- originates from the Greek "krustallos", which means ice.

The Greeks found quartz crystals in the mountains and believed that they were a form of water frozen so hard that it would always remain solid. The use of crystal amulets and talismans dates back to the beginnings of humankind.

The popularity of crystals and gemstones is increasing these days as there are more and more people who are fascinated by the beauty, the energy and the amazing properties of these precious stones.

The Earliest Historical Discoveries and References

The first historical references to the use of crystals come from the Ancient Sumerians, who included crystals in their magic rites. The Ancient Greeks attributed different properties to crystals. Many crystal names we use have Greek origin. Jet stone beads, necklaces and bracelets have been discovered in gravesites in Belgium and Switzerland. It is also known that malachite mines existed in Sinai since 4000 BC.

Crystals and their Role in Spiritual Traditions

Even though amulets were banned by the Christian church in 355 AD, gemstones continued to play an important role in the Christian tradition. Sapphire was, for example, the favored gemstone for ecclesiastical rings in the 12th century. In the 11th century, one of the bishops of Rennes claimed that agate would make the wearer more persuasive, agreeable and also in favor of God.

Crystals were also highly valued in spiritual traditions of Asia, South America, and were used by the tribes in Australia and New Zealand. Crystals and gemstones have played an essential part in all religions. They are mentioned in the Bible, in the Koran and in other important religious texts of Hinduism and Buddhism.

Crystals and the European Renaissance

In Europe, from the 11th century through the Renaissance a number of medical treatises mention the virtues of precious and semi-precious stones in the treatment of certain diseases. Authors like Hildegard von Bingen mention that gemstones were used alongside herbal remedies. There are also references to gemstones, crystals with particular qualities of protection. During the Renaissance, the tradition of using precious stones in healing was accepted, and the enquiring minds of that period tried to give a scientific explanation to the process.

A number of interesting experiments were conducted on clairvoyant subjects in the early part of the 19th century to demonstrate the effects of gemstones.

Crystals in the Present

Many tribal cultures have continued to use gemstones in their spiritual ceremonies and in healing until the present day. Native American tribes, Australian Aborigines and Maoris from New Zealand still hold precious stones, as sacred and have traditions regarding stones for healing or spiritual practice.

In the 1980s, the use of crystals and gemstones began to re-emerge. These days there are a large number of books about crystals and the use of crystals crosses the boundaries of spiritual or religious beliefs.

It is also known that there are many examples of gemstones with similar meaning to different traditions, even if there has been no interaction at all between those cultures and traditions. Jade was considered to be a kidney healing stone by the ancient Chinese, Mayan and Aztec civilizations and Turquoise, for example, has been worn to give strength and health all over the world.