The History of Crystals and Healing
The History of Crystals and Healing
The use of crystals as a healing aid is not a new or modern concept. From the beginnings of humankind, these beautiful and energetic stones have been used to heal and protect people throughout history, across cultures, religions and continents. Evidence of their use can be dated as far back as 60,000 years ago, to a time when humans were perhaps more in touch with the energy of the world around them and their own bodies. Amber beads were discovered in Britain 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age, while jet beads have been discovered amongst gravesites of a similar era in parts of Western Europe. However, the earliest concrete evidence of crystals being used to heal can be found over 4000 years ago in Ancient Sumerian cultures.
Ancient Use of Crystals
The earliest civilisations used crystals to heal, protect and for good luck. Examples include:
- The Ancient Sumerians included crystals (Lapis Lazuli and Serpentine were used heavily) within rituals and magical formulas to protect themselves against evil or negative energy.
- The Ancient Egyptians placed huge importance on the potency of certain crystals, using stones such as lapis lazuli, turquoise, carnelian, emerald and clear quartz in their jewellery to help heal, protect and again, ward off evil. They also used these crystals extensively throughout their funerary rites as a crucial and helpful step into the idyllic Afterlife.
- The Ancient Greeks harnessed the power of crystals from preventing hangovers (amethyst) to encouraging bravery in battle (hematite)! The word 'crystal' comes from the Greek word for ice: it was believed that clear quartz was water that had frozen so deeply that it would always remain solid and thus provide magical qualities.
- In Ancient China, crystals were used predominantly for healing, in particular jade was highly valued. Jade was recognised as a kidney healing stone, but has been found in everything from ancient musical instruments, to the armour of soldiers and burial masks.
- Native Americans have also had a deep respect for crystals and their use in healing, and were seen as powerful tools given by the Earth. Turquoise was used by many different tribes to enhance the power of rituals and ceremonies, as well as for protection or ‘speaking’ to the Earth.
- In the 6th Century, crystal use by Indian cultures is also evident. For example, diamonds were highly prized, whilst the ruby was considered beneficial to the wearer’s physical and mental health.
- During the European Renaissance from the 11th Century, the use of precious and semi-precious stones in the treatment of certain ailments remained popular. Crystals were used alongside herbal remedies for strength and protection, healing and contentment,
Crystals and the Renaissance
There are many examples of crystals being offered up by the Earth and humans using them to heal and protect- and all before psychologists came on the scene! However, whilst the tradition of using precious stones in healing was still accepted during the Renaissance, more scientific investigations and explanations as to how crystals helped in the healing process began to take precedence. This followed a short period in our history where crystals were doubted as healing agents. People began to rely on religious, chemical or synthetic methods to feel better. In some ways, this has meant better physical health for our bodies. But psychologically, emotionally and energetically, we have only just begun to reconnect with the power, vitality and harmony our ancestors knew crystals possessed.
Crystals and Healing Today
In the past 50 years, the use of crystals and gemstones has begun to re-emerge as an acceptable and mainstream healing modality. As a psychologist with a tertiary education, I have never been clearer on how beneficial crystals can be in helping us to clear our pathways to happiness and love. In many ways, I believe we have simply lost touch with our own abilities to look deep within ourselves and trust our intuition on what is right for our own healing journeys. Trust yourself! As we become more aligned with the idea of ourselves as part of universal energy once more, the Earth simply continues to offer its powerful stones to help us open the channels of positivity. Over 4000 years of ancient practice in the use of crystals is speaking to us!!