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[Ed. note: This is the third “Magic Fresno” post written by Jol Devitro. Click here to read part one, which introduces pranic healing practices. Part two, an introduction to tarot, can be found here.]
Crystals—also known by enthusiasts as gemstones, stones, or even just rocks—are not only beautiful to look at, they also have a long history of healing and magical applications. As we continue our exploration of Magic Fresno, we focus on crystals and their various uses. Whether they’re employed for healing (often in tandem with other energy-based methodologies such as pranic healing and reiki) or simply enjoyed for their aesthetic value, these geological formations are fun to collect, easy to carry around, and intriguing to discover and share.
While different folks are attracted to them for varying reasons, these colorful and enigmatic stones each have their own unique elemental composition and origin story. Some come from distant lands, while others might be found in our own backyard. For alternative healers who employ them, each stone has its own unique set of energetic properties that correspond to energy centers in our bodies, helping to clear blockages, stimulate immune system responses, provide metaphysical protection, and correct imbalances.
Scientist Nikola Tesla put it this way: “Crystals are living beings at the beginning of creation. All things have a frequency and a vibration.” We humans also emit an electromagnetic frequency, so the interaction of specific stones with our bodies is a no-brainer for some. Nevertheless, the debate over the validity of crystal healing rages on (the mainstream scientific community calls it “pseudoscience,” begrudgingly attributing positive effects of crystals to the placebo effect, while crystal healers tend to embrace traditions handed down through millennia, satisfied to be guided by esoteric wisdom, personal intuition, and their own experience). Regardless of where one stands on the issue, it’s hard to deny the natural beauty and fascinating attraction of these historical nuggets, most of which have been around for many millions of years.
Peace, love, and light in your pocket
Yvonne Vallejo is relatively new to the experience. She’s been working with crystals and stones for about a year, ever since her friend Kelli Glazebrook (our tarot guide in part two of our Magic Fresno series) took her to the Brass Unicorn to see the variety of crystals on hand there. On that occasion she bought four pieces: a sunstone, an angelite, a quartz, and a rose quartz. Ever since that fateful trip, she says, “My life has been filled with crystals, stones, and the beautiful energy they bring.” She explains that after purchasing those first four stones, “When I got home, I Googled their purpose/use and was moved to tears. They were exactly what I needed at that point in my life!”
Crystals are now an essential part of Yvonne’s daily life. “I carry between five to eight pieces in my pocket and a smoky quartz ring every day,” she says. “My favorite pieces never leave my side: a fluorite stone with gorgeous green and purple bands and my trusty sunstone. I have larger crystals on either side of my bed to promote peace (celestite), self-love (rose quartz), and light (selenite, my favorite!). Sometimes a piece of rose quartz will join me in the bathtub for a self-love bath ritual. I also carry a piece of citrine charged with incense in my wallet to keep money abundant in my life—who doesn’t need that?” Yvonne is convinced that working with her stone collection (now 70 pieces strong) has improved her quality of life in the year she’s been working with them.
Pick crystals based on what you’re drawn to
Mike Ruiz has been working with crystals since 2012, when he took a class at Enlightenment the Right Hand Path. Currently he’s working them into his reiki practice, which he’s been cultivating since 2013. He coordinates the stones’ colors to the colors of the chakras, or energy fields, that he’s focusing on during a session. In addition, “I use crystals when I meditate,” Mike explains. “I will ask god, or divine source, to allow the reiki energy to flow through me, for it to heal whatever needs to be healed, and to allow it to flow onto others who may need healing.”
Mike’s advice to the crystal curious is as follows: “I would say if you were looking for crystals to just go with your intuition and what you’re drawn to, not so much what everybody’s telling you that you should get. If you go to a crystal store, just go walk around and see what you’re kind of pulled to, what crystal you’re attracted to, and then go from there… See which ones you like. Hold it, feel if it’s vibrating or you feel pulses in your hand; that’s when you know it has a high vibration.”
Self-identified “rock hound” Nick Olson is another Fresnan who has incorporated stones and crystals into his “daily spiritual walk,” using them now for about four years since receiving a set from a friend. He says they make terrific gifts, and fellow rock hounds take great pleasure in sharing and rounding out one another’s collections. The process of giving and receiving stones has helped him make connections with people and form lasting associations with the stones in his collection. “I can tell you where I have found these stones, where they have come to me, the stories behind them,” he explains.
Charging a stone with a certain intention is a way of visualizing one’s will, he tells me. He compares carrying an intention-charged stone to keeping a Post-it on you, “a reminder that says, ‘Hey, love yourself today.’” Or whatever else you’ve asked the stone to help you with, be it the ability to communicate better, protection from energy vampires, or literally anything you’re trying to work on or improve in your life. He enjoys doing “grid work” with the stones, arranging them in a particular formation with a specific intention in mind.
While Nick doesn’t claim to be a crystal healer, “I do use crystals to heal myself,” he says. “A really great example is muscular-skeletal pain in shoulders. This big chunk of amethyst… this is a stone I will literally lay on and just feel that cool amethyst just drawing out all that heat and inflammation… or just tucking it up into my lymph node, and feeling that connection between my intent to heal and my adrenal system.” As he places the large amethyst in question against his neck, he exclaims, “Oh god, this rock feels good.”
Simply having fun with stones is also an option. To this end, Nick has devised a rock stacking game which you can do on just about any flat surface. “You try to stack rocks. You make little tiny cairns, and then there’s a point system and a penalty system, and it’s a very, very fun game. It can be played anywhere, as long as you have some kind of boundary.”
All of the crystal enthusiasts I spoke to agree that cleansing their crystals is an important ritual, necessary for expelling any negative energy they pick up during the course of their prescribed work. The cleansing methods include soaking them in water (although some crystals, like selenite, will dissolve in water, so that’s not an option there), laying them in the light of the full moon, “smudging” or dousing them with smoke from burning sage or palo santo, burying them in the earth, or burying them in sea salt. “Sometimes I’ll leave them outside with the sun, so that way they get the sun energy as well,” Mike says.
Where to buy crystals locally
If you’re curious about the healing powers of these stones, enraptured by their beauty, or interested in cultivating a deeper connection to the earth, the following local retailers are standing by to help grow your collection:
• Brass Unicorn
1007 N. Van Ness Ave., Fresno, CA 93728, (559) 441-7107
A staple of Fresno’s metaphysical arts community for more than 30 years. The friendly staff and helpful guides to the crystals’ various properties, as well as numerous books on the subject, make this a great jumping-off point. Website found here.
• Foxtail Gallery
614 Fifth St., Clovis, CA 93612, (559) 298-1715
A delightful treasure trove in the heart of Old Town Clovis, specializing in minerals, gemstones, and fossils, with an emphasis on the beauty of natural history. Website found here.
• Gaia House of Healing
2755 E. Shaw Ave. #102, Fresno, CA 93710, (559) 392-4442
Located directly across from the Save Mart Center. Certified crystal healer Kimi Lopez is one of the owners, and she’s super helpful and knowledgeable on the subject. Gaia House also offers classes on herbology, paranormal investigation, reiki, psychic/intuitive development, shamanic drumming, and many other fabulous subjects. Facebook page found here.
• Enlightenment the Right Hand Path
5633 N. Figarden Dr. #108, Fresno, CA 93722, (559) 824-8900
Located on the Figarden Loop. Facebook page found here.
Slightly out of town but totally worth the day trip are:
• The Crystal Barn
1331 E. Noble Ave, Visalia, CA 93292, (559) 732-8537
Visalia’s lovely metaphysical shop. Facebook page found here.
• Dial’s Rock and Fossil Shop
4006 State Highway 140, Catheys Valley, CA 95306, (209) 966-2127
A miner’s outpost on the road to Mariposa that feels like it’s straight out of the 1800s, featuring a wide array of specimens, including a large selection of mariposite, a mineral formation unique to the area. Facebook page found here.
If you’re crystal curious, don’t be afraid to dive right in. As Yvonne advises, “Buy crystals with your intuition. Books are great, but go in and feel which ones call to you, which pieces feel calm or even warm in your hands. If you don’t ‘feel’ the energy at first, don’t be disappointed; keep carrying or wearing your stones and learn their vibrations.” And may the good vibes be with you!
Thanks to Mike Ruiz, Yvonne Vallejo, Nick Olson, Kimi Lopez, and Kathryn Barile for sharing their insights into the subject.