A crystal is a beautiful, perfect form. It contains within it harmony, balance, clarity and perfection. A quartz crystal takes over 10,000 years to form. They come from deep within the Earth’s core, and were formed when the Earth was evolving. Natural quartz crystals, often referred to by ancient traditions as the “veils of the earth,” frozen water or frozen light, combine the elements silicon and water through a lengthy process involving heat and pressure. They are buried in the Earth, or sometimes in stream beds where they have washed down from higher ground after being dislodged. They are often found near gold. Varieties of quartz crystal, sometimes call rock crystal, are found all over the world. The largest numbers of crystals are mined in Arkansas and Brazil.
The name crystal comes from the Greek word crystallos meaning “clear ice,” for the ancient Greeks thought that these transparent rock crystals were in fact frozen water turned into stone. Another legend has it that Holy Water was poured out of the Heavens by God and frozen to ice in outer space on its voyage to Earth. Angels petrified the “Holy Ice” to preserve it as a protective blessing for humanity.
Most crystals are formed by the repetitive addition of new matter to a growing crystalline mass. Some crystals have their origin in the magma or fiery gases of the Earth’s interior or in the volcanic lava streams which reach the Earth’s surface. These minerals, which include quartz, are called igneous. They are formed by the solidification of this molten mineral as it cools and hardens. As the molten rock mass cools, the atoms group together to form the essential regularity which determines the shape and composition of the crystal.
Some crystals grow from vapors in vents in volcanic regions. This type of crystal includes sulfur, and is condensed from hot mineralized gases into a solid state as the vapors are escaping from the inner Earth.
Some crystals form from water solutions or grow with the help of organisms on or near the Earth’s surface. These crystals are know as sedimentary minerals, and are formed through the process of mechanical or chemical weathering. Air, water, wind and ice are the main erosion factors involved in dissolving the Earth’s materials that will eventually be cemented together and occasionally crystallize.
Also, new minerals are formed by the recrystallization of existing minerals under great pressure and high temperatures in the lower regions of the Earth’s crust. These metamorphic minerals undergo structural and chemical changes after the original formation, reorganizing the atoms and creating different textures, compositions and crystals.
Crystals, especially quartz crystals, express the unity of the four elements in their very being, with nothing added to them. They are of the earth: they grow in the earth and suggest the mineral evolution of our planet. Because they can transmit a piezo-electric charge, they are also expressions of fire. They are related to water both in their molecular structure and in their ice-like appearance. And just as air lets light pass through its clarity, so do crystals. In relating to crystals, then, we are relating to the concrete embodiment of the four elements-the elements of ourselves and everything around us.
When you carry a crystal around with you, you carry all the elements of creation itself, in your pocket or hung around your neck. The beauty speaks to the child within each of us and invites us into the mystery or spirit realm that resonates in and through the physical and etheric of our world and ourselves.
Primal and rural peoples all over the world have used crystals from before recorded time to heal themselves and their animals. Native American Indians, tribal peoples from Africa and South America and ancient European shamanic peoples have used crystals to strengthen their spiritual abilities and to enter psychic realms closed to everyday perception. Fortunately, some of this wisdom gathered by shamans and healers and seers has come down to us through countless generations and is being renewed among us today.
Being deeply attuned to Mother Nature is yet another way to create powerful magic. Crystals and stones can help to attune to the harmonies and energies of the Earth, and their powers can be beneficial to any who choose this method of communing with Mother Earth.
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