Do you collect healing crystals or do you collect for scientific purposes? If you are reading this article, then like me, rocks and gems are a significant part of your life. We all come from different approaches and perspectives, but what we all have in common is our passion. This passion brings us together. Our stories and relationships with rocks and gems are as unique and diverse as the types and classifications of gems and minerals that we have in our possession.
We’re All The Same
Most people have a fondness for rocks and gems, but you and I have a passion for them. This passion manifests itself and influences us in our daily lives. Some of us are rock and gem collectors, some study them, some work with them and others of us wear them.
Personally, these treasures have always been a part of my life. I have collected them in a stream as a child, thrown them at old rusty cans sitting on a log, taught my girlfriend how to skip rocks at the lake, and I offered one in a ring to the love of my life. I have removed them from my field so I can plant a garden, rebuilt a failing stone wall foundation, tumbled gemstones with my daughters, decorated my house with them, become a lapidary and written articles about them. Rocks and gems have played a major part in my life as they have with so many others too.
A Personal Story
I understand both the sacred healing crystals and the profane. I was a computer/network researcher and developer in the early days of the Internet. I became interested in lapidary as a project with my triplet daughters. The lapidary interest grew into a business. Living in Ithaca/Trumansburg New York, I was besieged by folks wanting healing crystals for metaphysical purposes. I found these folks to be fun and decided to learn more about the metaphysical aspect of crystals and healing. This resulted in two years of study and certification in crystal therapy, Native American smudging and Reiki. This was done to better understand and serve my commerce with metaphysical clients.
In 2016, I was asked by a local spa to help develop a crystal therapy program. The program was ready to launch when their therapy practitioner suffered a severe concussion that resulted in him being unable to continue with the project. Because of my recent education, I was asked to step in and provide crystal therapy, Native American smudging and Reiki to their clients. I was reluctant, but I reworked the practice to be more in line with my understanding of the concepts. The result was that I practiced for two years with my clients achieving the results and relief that they sought.
I have since trained and turned over the practice to several other spa practitioners. I no longer provide therapy sessions.
An Outside Inside Approach
What is my take? I approached metaphysical sessions with an open mind and heart, I let my education and intuition guide me through the sessions and the results of the sessions were testified by the recipients. I do not make any claims. Do I use healing crystals for my healing? No. That is all I can say regarding the subject when asked about my metaphysical beliefs.
It is a shame that a public declaration like this could cost me, friends, clients and income on both sides of the equation. My friends and clients of science may be offended that I learned and practiced in areas of crystal metaphysics. My metaphysical friends and clients may be offended that I do not adopt crystal therapy for myself. On one hand, I could generate income by actively pursuing the metaphysical therapy and crystal market. However, I will stay with the math and science involved in gemstone faceting and continue to play with gemstones and light for everybody’s delight. I will let my lapidary work be open to interpretation by those who seek, purchase and enjoy it in their own way.
Wide Open Spaces
I have heard many unique and personal stories about the influence of rocks and gems on people’s lives. This individualized interest is not surprising given that there are so many disciplines and facets to the world of rocks and gems. Examples of these diverse specialties include gemology, geometry, mineralogy, geography, chemistry, architecture, collecting, lapidary, jewelry, sculpture, landscaping, medicine, adornment, investment and pigments. The list goes on.
Each of us has reasons why we are passionate about stones and some of the reasons are so encompassing that we have made it our careers, developed serious hobbies, dedicated years of study to the subject, and made substantial investments in our dedication to these beautiful and fascinating objects. As a lapidary, I get to meet a wide variety of stone lovers from many countries and all walks of life with diversified special interests. These people bring their unique stone fascinations to me and want me to be involved and appreciate their stones by identifying, shaping, polishing, selling, photographing or just talking about their stones.
Enthusiasm & Emotion
When someone shows me their prized stone, they radiate enthusiasm whether they are four or 94 years old, a scientist or a rockhound, a miner or a collector, an investor or a healer. Their excitement is broadcasted from their entire being and soon the energy engulfs me. For all of us, our emotional investment and enthusiasm are on the same level, however, it comes from a variety of places. These interests can be singular or plural, and they drive us to be passionate in our observing, collecting, using, and possessing of rocks and gems.
Uniting Through Different Lenses
Our interests in stones are diverse and personal and they mirror our points of view, beliefs and interpretations of the world. We have the same level of conviction and enthusiasm no matter what our lens is. It saddens me that different perspectives and approaches to the appreciation of a mineral specimen can cause friction, distrust and animosity. We need to be cognizant that rocks and gems influence different people in different ways, while also acknowledging that we have more in common than we have differences. Our major similarity is that stones fill us all with delight. This is what unites us.
Our common appreciation for rocks and gems brings us together in attending gem and mineral shows, belonging to mineral and lapidary clubs and associations, reading Rock & Gem, mining, studying and so many other ways. I am always amazed at the uniquely passionate perspectives we bring to our collections, work and use of our rocks and gems.
An Evolving Field
The field of rocks and gems evolves with us. As our understanding of the world and science broadens, our perspectives and interpretations as individuals shifts, and because of this, the way we see rocks and gems is altered. Take a look at the back issues of your Rock & Gem magazines and notice that as our knowledge has increased over the years, our approach, understanding and appreciation have also increased.
As the landscape and culture of rocks and gems changes in the coming years, I ask that we focus on what we have in common and freely and enthusiastically share our love for our collections, studies, work and adornments. Our rocks and gems are our passion and their value and interpretation is personal. Every rock is as different from another rock in the same way that every person is different. No two are exactly alike and although not all of them are to our tastes, each one of them is a gem to someone.
This story about healing crystals vs. rock science previously appeared in Rock & Gem magazine. Click here to subscribe. Story by Mark Oros.