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Crystal Science

Theory behind vibrational properties, energy interaction, and spiritual uses

The word "crystal" comes from the Ancient Greek word krustallos, which means both "rock crystal" and "ice." The scientific study of crystals is called crystallography.9 The science behind crystal uses for energy and healing is simple–there isn't any yet! It's a virtually untapped field of potentiality for the scientific community. But crystals and holy stones have been used by indigenous cultures for thousands of years, and that wisdom is beginning to make its way to the attention of science. Here's what we know so far, and the conclusions that can be made.

The ordered internal structure of large crystals, like the fluorite and quartz shown here, is reflected in their geometric shapes.

Matteo Chinellato/Getty Images

What's In A Name?

A crystal is defined as a "particular repeating arrangement of atoms (molecules or ions) throughout a crystal. Structure refers to the internal arrangement of particles and not the external appearance of the crystal."1 Crystals can be grown from any element on the periodic table, which means that every major element can exist in a crystal form.2 What makes crystals different from regular solid objects is in their structure: their atoms are arranged in a pattern. This pattern repeats over and over throughout the entire structure of the crystal.3 Considering that the universe is continuously trying to increase entropy, or chaos, the fact that crystals exist in perfect order is an immediate point of interest. No pun intended with crystal points.

So right here, we need to be paying attention. Crystals are different from the random assortments of atoms that the rest of the Earth's stones, which are formed with more or less random structure. Not only this, but alien bodies such as asteroids can form special crystals called zircons on impact.4 Because types of crystals have unique "fingerprints" based on their atomic structure and patterns, they each have a specific vibrational frequency.6

It's All Energy

"If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration" - Nikolai Tesla

The greatest scientific minds of our species have known, sometimes centuries ahead of modern science, that everything in the universe is made up of energy. We are all wavelengths vibrating at different frequencies depending on our state of being. We experience vibrations through music, through movement, through electronics, through what we're around. We can even change our vibrational frequencies, though we aren't aware of it, through different moods and states of mind.5

Alright, so let's recap: Most of the universe is chaos, but crystals are order. Everything is energy, and has a vibrational frequency. Different types of crystals have different frequencies. We interact with frequencies all day long, and our frequencies change based on what we're around and what our thoughts are. Following the trail of breadcrumbs yet?

Calcite crystal matrix pattern under a high powered microscope

Theory of Crystal Use in Healing

The Messy Nature of Truth

Traditional Uses

Ready to start your own collection and practice?


Theory of Crystal Use in Healing

All energy expands outward from the source electromagnetic fields, or "auras," as they're called in the East. The average human's aura extends about 8 feet from the body, just as a fun fact. When these fields interact, the wavelength frequencies run in to one another. This is called interference, and results in frequencies cancelling each other out, matching, or amplifying one another.7

If objects like crystals have a specific frequency, that frequency will match certain effects on us, on their surroundings, even on plants (yes, there are even easy experiments that you can do with crystal-infused water or crystals in plant pots to demonstrate how these frequencies effect living beings).8 If you head to any reputable crystal supplier (I have my favorites, and I'll list them at the end of this article), reiki healer, crystal expert, or researched book on crystals, you'll easily be able to find what crystals have which effects, along with which are compatible and which are not (remember, frequencies can change each other when they overlap). There are some crystals, such as zircons and asteroids, that don't have any widespread research and only esoteric understandings, so if you're new to the crystal world, you should stick with what is known.

So let's think this through... I am sad. Sadness is a relatively low vibrational frequency. I pick up a piece of citrine, which has a vibrational frequency associated with happiness. Happiness is a higher frequency than sadness. Logic would dictate that if I stay within the electromagnetic field of the citrine, that crystal's frequencies will increase my own to match it, so my mood becomes elevated to match the frequency of happiness. End result - I am now happy. Seems simple enough. So then why isn't everyone affected by crystals? Or even just our routers, or phones, or flowers?

See, energy can be subtle, and its effects can be easy to miss - especially when we've grown up in a world where we've been led to believe that this is all "woo-woo" and invalid. Our minds play a crucial role in what we perceive as reality, and even in shaping that reality. No, that's not more "woo-woo." This principles has been validated for a long time in the placebo effect, in mindfulness, and even in positivity practices in the long-term treatment of cancer patients. Many, many things are possible. But, if we don't believe in the possibility, we are effectively blocking ourselves from ever experiencing them. Think of a child (or a grown yogini) who is afraid of thunderstorms. She closes here eyes tight in order to block out the lightning, and therefore doesn't see it. Does that mean that the lightning no longer exists? No, of course not. Only her ability to perceive the lightning has changed. However, in her loss of sight of what scares her, she perceives her reality as safe, and her fear disappears. Both realities of the lightning existing and the yogin-child, the child's safety are true. Which reality experienced relies solely in the mind of the one experiencing and choosing that reality.

The truth is - humans are insanely, incredibly powerful when it comes to experiencing the universe in a physical, energetic, and spiritual world. We have the absolute power and final say of what we experience and how our lives manifest.

Human electromagnetic field or "aura" as generated by the heart, mimicking the EM field of the Earth

Institute of HeartMath

The Messy Truth of Nature

Okay, for the record - you are affected by your phone, and routers, and wifi, and plants, and even the stones and crystals you unknowingly have around you, but you may not be aware of it. For one, you've been immersed in this cosmic energetic web of wavelengths since day one. You can't just walk up to something really and expect to all of a sudden feel energy for the first time, because it's not the first time. Just like you can't really feel the air around you because it's part of your sense of normal, you can't think that reading this article will suddenly change how you feel things around you. What you can do is practice exercises where you learn to feel subtle energies with increased awareness over time, and then just like a gentle breeze in the air, your perception of sense will be fine-tuned to experience those subtleties in energy.

Aside from energies being super subtle (even if they have profound effects), you have to understand that every single energy is colliding with other things all the time. Right now as I write this, I am having conflicting energetic signals both in and out of my body. I am happy that it is my day off and I am able to write things like this that will help people. I am wearing silver (which also has healing properties) bracelets on my left wrist, Eye of Shiva bracelet on my right write, Arcaman shocked zircon as a pendant over my solar plexus chakra, and a moonstone ring on my left hand (kudos to the hubs for that one <3). Eye of Shiva is immensely protective, silver is the Moon's metal and connects to her and the divine feminine, moonstone is calming and aids in dreaming and manifestation, and the Acraman shocked zircon we actually have no clue what it does. I also have a smart watch (right) and smart ring (left), I have my cell phone by my side, my laptop on my legs, and a fair number of plants and crystals in the immediately vicinity. Let's break this down: My aura has been measured at roughly 12 feet from my body, meaning if my plants are thriving or dehydrated or too warm or cold, those messages are being transmitting into my field. Any crystals close by that reach my electromagnetic field with their own are impacting me. I am strongly affected by the stones I'm wearing (partially for fashion or sentiment, partially for healing), which are potentially being negated or corrupted by the emissions of my electronics. Even more importantly, my mental state and beliefs or limiting beliefs will ultimately dictate how strongly each of these impact me. Currently it's summer and a tad bit hot so I may or may not be hogging the fan and feeling a little fatigued, I am relaxed, which will amplify the moonstone and vice versa, and I am a little anxious when I remember my workload for the week, which will reduce the degree of effectiveness of the moonstone and pull on the silver's ability to make me feel strong and powerful. All of these things (and many, many more) are happening in fluid, changing motion.

Simply having a crystal nearby won't always guarantee the effects your looking for, just like setting a hammer and nails together won't build a house. Crystals are tools to be used with knowledge and intention in order to successfully get the outcome you are looking for. However, certain shapes of crystals, such as towers and obelisks, act as little generators and can create a sphere of energy around them in a space or room in which they are placed, kind of like a space heater heating a room.