Where did the use of crystals come from?
Natural remedies are no stranger to those who want to live a healthy lifestyle. From herbal teas to salt therapy, wellness trends continue to vary and involve all kinds of organic resources. But what happens when you are told that a couple of colorful rocks can transform and uplift your energy in holistic ways that ultimately shift the way you think and the way you receive/respond to situations emotionally?
What the Heck Is a Healing Stone?
You would’ve thought these eccentric stones came out of nowhere with the way celebrities and social media influencers are prophesying about their power. Or maybe they are just a fad, a trend, the way clothes, shoes and hairdos go in and out of style. But just as the old saying “history repeats itself” speaks to the reoccurring revolutions that originated in the past, the purpose of these healing stones goes way beyond the present-day.
TThe first historical references to the use of crystals come from the Ancient Sumerians, who included crystals in magic formulas. The Sumerians were the inhabitants of Mesopotamia, a region of western Asia and what is now Iraq. The area was well-known for its wide array of ailment remedies, including incantations and rituals, but magical-medical practices were feared as witchcraft amongst Mesopotamians.
And they weren’t the only region using metaphysical methods to purge evil spirits and create a shield of protection over themselves, either: Ancient Egyptians mined for crystals and used them to make jewelry … amulets were used to ensure the well-being of the individual. The Egyptians used emerald, carnelian, turquoise, lapis lazuli and clear quartz healing stones to both engrave sacred amulets and use as piercings, rings and necklaces.
According to Isabel Stunkel, a writer for the Department of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Egyptians determined the magical power associated with a certain stone “… from a combination of several aspects, such as the amulet’s shape, decoration, inscription, color, material, and words spoken over the piece or acts performed with it.”
The ancient Greeks originated the different meanings for these crystals, the word itself deriving from the Greek term “krystallos,” meaning “ice.” In her article titled “A Brief History of Crystals and Healing,” Scialla continued by stating, “… it was believed that clear quartz was water that had frozen so deeply that it would always remain solid.”
Amethyst derives from the Greek term meaning “not intoxicate,” so I bet you can guess what this healing stone was used for. “Amethyst was worn as an amulet that they believed would aid hangovers or prevent intoxication.”
Even in Chinese cultures, jade was a highly valued stone that was represented in the form of musical instruments, “… and around 1000 years ago Chinese emperors were sometimes buried in jade armor,” Scialla maintained.
As you can see, different healing stones were symbols for specific methods of healing across numerous ancient cultures. Today, we continue to see these same healing stones — plus new ones — used in modern times, reintegrating old traditions with contemporary ones.
Just in case you were wondering, also!