His little face looked up at me from his side of the counter. For the last 20 minutes or so he had been walking round the shop, picking up stones, holding them up to assess them for colour, shape, hardness and other deciding factors only known to him. When he had decided on his chosen ones, he put them on the counter and took out his money. His initial shyness belied the look of confidence in his eyes when he answered my question: ‘Do you have more crystals at home?’

With the authority of the real expert he started to tell me about the crystals he already owned, where he keeps them and what he does with them. He then looked at me as if to assess whether I was worthy of the next bit he had to offer. I passed the test. To my surprise, this 8-year old then entrusted me with the chemical composition of the stones he so carefully chose, how they were formed in the earth, in which country they could be found and why he was getting them: Because he did not have those yet. Obviously!

This young crystal lover is but one of many I encountered over the years in the shop and on the fairs I frequented. Their reactions to the crystals and gems are as varied and individual as the people themselves.

I shall never forget a sunny, warm august day when offering crystals for sale at a local  fair.  A father and his son, both dressed in the football attire of their favourite club, ambled towards my stall. They were licking an ice cream and were obviously having a lovely day together. I suspected they would not linger for long and I was right, although for the wrong reason. The father’s eye fell upon a lovely clear quartz pyramid, filled with rainbows. His mouth dropped and he was literally stunned, he could not move or speak. He simply stood there, transfixed, captured by the beauty of this crystal.  Without taking his eyes from the pyramid, he took out his money, paid and walked away with it.

The ones that inspire me time and again are the sceptics. Every workshop I offer attracts at least one of these gems. They come to prove that it is all ‘humbug’, arms crossed over the chest, stern face, trying to trip me up with their questions. However, by the sheer fact that they made the effort to be there and show willing to follow my suggestions, they tell me that in their heart of hearts they want to be proven wrong. I hear their plea to please help them to believe in magic again. And it is the most beautiful sight in the world when for the very first time they feel the life force of the stone, the tingling in the hands, the whole-body reaction, the tears in their eyes. It is real magic, which is infectious to all present.

So what is it about crystals and gems? Why are so many of us drawn to them? What do they evoke? What did that father see when looking at that pyramid on that sunny day? Why does that little boy spends his pocket money on stones? Why do the sceptics take a risk, trying to connect with the stones, facing the possibility of shattering their world view?

Could it be that the attraction is mutual? I believe it could well be. Let me give you an example from my own experience.

One day, not long after losing a beloved pet, I sat on the futon in my meditation room, my heart aching with grief. My head ached with the painful tears which were backing up at the only way out: the small exits of my tear ducts. But then, quite unexpected, just when it felt as if my head and heart could take no more, I felt myself enveloped in the most beautiful soft, clear pink light. It was breathtakingly beautiful and of a clarity and softness beyond words to describe. It was light and soft, ethereal, but with a clear strength to it and full of a calm, all-embracing love.

Not far from me, in her usual spot on the shelf behind me, sat a beautiful rose quartz skull. She came to me several years ago, after persistently urging me in my dreams to come and get her from the shop she was in. Although I was not working with her at that moment, I instantly recognised the feeling of her presence. She touched my heart and all the pain simply washed away in the tears that could now flow unobstructed. My heart opened and I could feel all the love I have for the natural world and how it was being returned to me in that one instant. My heart simply overflowed, but now with feelings of love and gratitude and I thanked this beautiful crystal being for reaching out to me.

Over the years, I have seen the countless ones who are in pain, either physical, emotional or spiritual or often a combination of all of those. As they let their eyes cast over the stones on the shelves, looking for comfort, they too are finding relieve of their sorrows as the crystals reach out and work their magic, captivating them, transporting them to a better place, if only for a while.

If this were true, if crystals seek us out as much as we seek them out, could this be why at times you suddenly feel the urge to buy a crystal, why you feel the pull to go into a crystal shop or look online? Could this be why one day you look around and you realise that the one stone you were given or bought all that time ago has now grown into a huge collection? Or is this why you just keep picking up stones when out walking or find yourself picking up a crystal of a shelf, nearly without thinking? Could it be that they are reaching out to you? And what would that mean, if they were?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you think there is more to crystals than meets the eye or are they just pretty rocks to you? Have you ever experienced crystals reaching out to you or have you sought out crystals in the hope of receiving healing and comfort? And did you get it? Why not share in the comments below.

The Stone Circle

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