Crystals for Beginners
As long as crystals have been around, people have been around to admire them. Our affinity to crystals dates back to ancient times- Whether it's the Egyptians with their lapis, Greeks with their hematite, and the Chinese with their jade... it's no wonder they've lasted the test of time. Many indigenous tribes incorporate different gems into their clothing and traditions, and even healing ceremonies and sacred rituals. Later on into the 18th century, we also saw a rise in the growing practice of clairvoyance, and the theory that a crystal can have influence on psychic abilities. Crystal symbolism has made it's way into jewelry throughout time, not only for their beauty, but for their meaning- linking certain stones with fertility, marriage, mourning, etc... Whether you meditate with them, wear them, or just like looking at them- I think it's fair to say, they're kind of a big deal!
Crystals in the *new age* sense really goes back to the 70's- a time that had focus on new ways of thinking, beliefs, and spirituality- calling back to old traditions and creating new ones for us today. A sort of freedom opened up, where people could talk more openly about their religious or spiritual beliefs in this new age. Astrology became a little more mainstream, tarot cards had their revival through mass publishing, and naturally, crystals were cool again! Over time, communities developed, as did resources to find these sorts of things. If you know your Salem history, we have Laurie Cabot to thank for all of our magical shops- opening our first one in 1971. While greeted with fear, skepticism, or anger by some, overall, you can see how our city has evolved today. Essex street is lined with metaphysical shops, be it New Age, Wiccan, Celtic, Voodoo, Hermetic, or otherwise. Crystals do not belong to any one practice or culture- rocks, stones, fossils, and crystals are all over our planet, in countless cultures, which certainly helps in the growing interest in them.
While crystals are a natural wonder, we advise you to always do your own research, form your own opinions, and consider what works for *you*. When it comes to crystal healing on the physical body, some swear by it, some make fun of it- but we always advise talking to a medical professional when it comes to health concerns. We wanted to get this out of the way real quick before continuing- if carrying a few crystals around makes you feel better about a diagnosis, or reminds you to look on the bright side, or to balance your lifestyle a little more, we think it can work great in addition to professional medical treatment. Please ALWAYS inform yourself as well about the composition of crystals. If you are using them in a bath, or drinking crystal-infused water, you MUST look into gem toxicity. While beautiful and safe on contact, some crystals release different minerals when saturated in water that could be harmful if ingested. Similarly, some very beautiful crystals contain elements that could harm you with prolonged exposure- for example, bumblebee jasper is a beautiful little stone that gets it's brilliant yellow color from sulphur. Many people are sensitive to sulphur, and some are dangerously allergic. You can still have this pretty little stone, you just might not want to make a necklace out of it where it's in contact with your skin- you would be better off keeping it in on a shelf. Always practice caution and proper hand-cleaning when handling crystals you're unsure about!
With so much conflicting information floating around, and so many different crystals, it can be a little intimidating to get into them. Many people ask us if it's *okay* to have crystals next to eachother, or which ones are "bad"- many of the things you hear in metaphysics or witchcraft are either based on someone's personal traditions, or somebody's personal opinion. There is some common sense to be had- for example, you may not want to mix crazy lace agate and amethyst in the same bag- the agate is for high energy, and amethyst is for peace. In theory, the two might just cancel eachother out at that point... however, nothing "bad" is going to happen! You hear horror stories about people buying moldavite and changing their entire life, or a stone that came with a series of unlucky episodes... but these are all anecdotal experiences. We urge you to do what you are comfortable with, what interests you, and to act without fear- because remember, you attract what you put out! We've decided to compile a little list of some crystals you can pick up to start your collection- all are 100% completely safe, normal, gentle, beginner stones, so you have nothing to overthink about ;-)
Clear quartz is great for purifying, and amplifying whatever your intentions are. It also amplifies the power of your other crystals. This is pretty much *the* crystal to start with- it's so good we have a blog post dedicated to just clear quartz! Keep a piece in your room to absorb any negativity and purify the space.
Amethyst is a beautiful, peaceful little stone. It's great for inducing tranquility and calm. It's also associated with intuition, psychic abilities, and inner-knowing, due to it's color being that of the crown chakra. This is a great one to have around if trying to do a tarot reading or learn something new!
Rose quartz is always associated with love, but not everybody understands how many different kinds of love their are. It could be romantic, platonic, or even self-love. I always recommend keeping some rose quartz near your mirror or with your makeup to inspire self-love and confidence.
Black obsidian is one of the best protection stones out there, and it's super accessible. This is a great stone to have on hand, especially on those days where you feel like nothing is really going as planned. It's a great little stone, as it deflects the negative energy off of you and bounces it back to where it came from!
Hematite is the first "wellness" stone we recommend to customers. You may have seen the rings before, and heard about how they break when they've absorbed too much negativity. You can find it in jewelry or tumbled stone form. "Hema" literally meaning "blood"- it is believed to aid in purifying the blood, maintaining balance and grounding in the body, and encouraging circulation. I like to wear hematite when I feel especially "out of it" that day- it brings your body right back to earth.
These are some great little starters, but you can also just go with your gut. My favorite thing about crystals is the research- when you go into a store, notice which crystals call to you. Find a crystal that you just *like*- you don't have to know anything about it. Once you find the name, you can read more online or in a book about it. Pretty much everytime, it hit's the nail on the head. Your subconscious knows you need this stone; This is the beginning of listening to your intuition. If you want to jump into crystals, you can literally just pick out a few that you think look cool... I promise there's a reason you're so interested in them!