Science + Spirituality AKA The Blind Men and the Elephant

The ancient parable of the blind men and the elephant illustrates the teaching of Anekantavada, or manifold truth. In the parable a group of blind men is asked to each lay hands on a different part of an elephant, and to describe what they perceive. Each of the men has hold of a different part of the elephant, so the one holding its leg says, “it is like a tree trunk.” Another, who has hold of its trunk, says “No! It is like a rope!” Another, who has hold of its tail says “You are both wrong! It is like a branch!” and still another, who is feeling the elephant’s side says, “What are you all saying? It is like a wall!”. And so, each is firm in their belief that their perception is truth, when they are all, in fact, touching limited parts of the same great thing.

Science and Spirituality are also both like the blind men touching the elephant.

I have to giggle when people accuse me of being too involved in science and discounting the “Truth” of spiritual teachings. I am by no means a scientist. I don’t think that anyone reading any of my books can accuse me of being a scientist. However, I do value some of what science can reveal to us about the mechanisms of the manifest world, because those insights help me to walk my spiritual path more effectively.

Science is limited by design. It is a process that was developed to attempt to provide an objective way to explore the workings of the physical, mechanical universe. The scientific process is only able to test the physical through experiments that can be replicated. That is all science will ever be able to describe, as that is all it was created to describe.

The scientific process does a fairly good job at taking the person out of the process. That is not to say that science is infallible– it certainly and emphatically isn’t. Sometimes long held scientific “fact” is revealed to be wrong through further explorations using the scientific process. And, some scientists who were held to be “crackpots” by their peers because they theorize beyond what can be physically tested, reveal stunning new perceptions of the manifest universe. Science is not meant to be a belief system. It is meant to be a way to circumvent belief, so that the individual scientist’s beliefs don’t affect the outcome of the process. But, we also know that the beliefs and intentions of the scientist do often affect the outcome of the experiment and, more often, the interpretation of the collected data. So, no, science is not infallible, nor is it the only “true” perception.

Spirituality is also a process of trying to understand our universe and our place within it. The spiritual process is one of using various methods to connect with a greater consciousness, which in many cases is believed to be the originating consciousness that is responsible for all of the manifest and unmanifest multiverse. In other words, God (substitute the Diety or concept of your choice here). Unlike the scientific process, which strives to be objective and to eradicate subjective influence, the spiritual process is highly subjective by design. It cannot be otherwise because of the nature of what is being explored. On this path, the replicate-able experiments are processes like meditation, prayer, contemplation and ritual. A basic form is developed (a spiritual practice), through which data is collected (subjective experience). This is what is called the spiritual path– the process of collecting experience while attempting to use various forms to better facilitate connection with Divine Consciousness.

One of the great pitfalls in this amazing journey of spirituality is that of learning what experience is truly coming from connection with Divine Consciousness, and which is coming from the ego’s perception. This can be very difficult because the ego is really good at using spiritual-seeming information and experience to distract one from true connection with Divine Consciousness. A large part of the spiritual journey is learning objective perception from within subjective experience.

So, why do I say that spirituality is one of the blind men feeling the elephant? Shouldn’t spirituality lead us to perceiving the whole elephant? In my experience, the more you cultivate your spiritual consciousness, the more you realize that you cannot perceive the whole elephant because you’re not just feeling it– you’re IN it. There is TRUTH, but we cannot perceive the totality of it. What we can do is become more and more aware of the fact that we are perceiving only a small part of the elephant of truth we are attempting to know, no matter which part we are feeling up.

So, it really is not a matter of science vs. spirituality. It is a matter of recognizing that each process explains things that the other cannot. There is a place in the middle where both perspectives can be honored and valued.

The 30 Day Crystal Diet

It may seem strange that someone known for teaching about the fabulous energy, healing and spiritual benefits of crystals would recommend going on a crystal diet. But, I do. There are a lot of reasons that curbing your over-consumption of crystal energy could be beneficial for both you and your crystal allies.

A 30 day crystal diet will help you to recalibrate your energy, reconnect to crystals in a more meaningful way, and stop using them in an addictive manner.

A crystal diet doesn’t mean that you stop using crystals altogether, but it does mean that you’ll use them only in mindful interaction.

What are some signs that you might need to go on a crystal diet? 

1. You feel “naked” if you don’t have your bra or pockets full of crystals, or if you are not wearing gemstone jewelry.

2. You have a hard time getting your energy level up unless you get a “crystal hit” or “get stoned” on your crystals.

3. You carry, wear or sleep with multiple crystals on a daily basis.

4. You rarely meditate with a single stone, but often pile up on stones for meditation, sleep or daily wear.

What are the benefits of going on a 30 day crystal diet? 

1. Healing addiction or dependence on stones for your energy. Yes, you can become addicted to crystals when you use them unconsciously for long periods of time to “support” your energy, but you don’t actually address the healing of your energy issues directly. This is like someone being addicted to coffee for an energy boost, without ever addressing their terrible diet, exercise, or energy hygiene directly. Any addiction is an imbalance, and just because you may be addicted to stones doesn’t make it O.k. In fact, it can be a form of energy vampirism. When you go on a crystal diet, you’ll be able to address your energy issues directly, without artificial energy supports. This will ensure that when you do engage them, you’re doing it in an aligned way.

2. Build real relationship with your stones. When you are constantly using multiple stones in an unconscious manner (carrying or sleeping with them, but not meditating or working with them consciously), you are not building real realtionship with your crystalline teachers, but are instead simply using them as energy slaves. This isn’t right relationship with the mineral kingdom. By honoring your crystal teachers by working with them singly and intentionally, you can learn much more about yourself and them.

3. Recognize which stones are creating which effects.  When you are constantly “loaded for bear” and carrying many different stones together, it makes it very difficult to know which stones are having which effects. Sure, you have someone elses’ opinion that they’ve written in a book or online about the stones’ properties, but you aren’t going to be able to understand how they are working with you personally if you mix them all together. This is like taking a hand full of pills. You don’t know which one made you see the pink elephant. You might want to see that pink elephant again. By going on a crystal diet, you’ll be able to gain clarity on what each stone specifically is teaching you.

Preparing for the 30 day Crystal Diet

1. Clear all of the stones out from within 4′ (or a little over a meter) around your bed. Also ensure you don’t have any strays in your pillow cases, under pillows, under your bed, or in your sheets. You’ll be sleeping alone for the next 30 days. Well, without stones, at least. Why? The 4′ radius is the “hot zone” of your aura, including both your heart and brain electromagnetic fields. Keeping this zone clear of stones will ensure your energy has a chance to reset during your most restful time.

2. Clear a meditation area where you won’t have stones within 4′ of you during meditation. If you have a regular meditation area that is loaded with stones in the room, you may choose to relocate for meditation during this 30 day period, and use that room as your “stone room” where you can store everything until you are ready to re-engage them. Why? You’ll be engaging only one stone a day during the diet, so that means needing to ensure that you don’t have any other stones influences within the hot zone of your energy field while you are meditating. This ensures that the experiences you are having are related to the single stone you are engaging, without too much back ground “noise”.

3. Remove and clear all crystal or gemstone jewelry. You can wear metals such as gold and silver, but no stones as jewelry during your diet period. Why? Again, this is to ensure that the energy you are engaging is that of the single stone you are working with, without other stone energies confusing the issue.

4. Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of pure water each day, containing a colloidal trace mineral source. Yes, that is a lot of water. If you weigh 140 lbs, you will be drinking 70 ounces of water (a little over a gallon) each day. In that water, you’ll want to use a colloidal trace mineral supplement from natural sources, such as Concentrace Trace Mineral Drops from Trace Minerals Research. Why? Your ability to effectively resonate with crystals and minerals depends upon having healthy levels of bio-available minerals and trace minerals in your body. If you have proper mineral balance, your body will be able to easily resonate with external crystals and minerals, and information exchange will be enhanced. Drinking this large amount of water will flush toxins from your body and rehydrate you. Adding proper amounts of colloidal minerals will ensure you don’t become demineralized, and that you have a good variety of trace elements in your human crystal. No crystals in your water, please!

5. Establish a daily meditation practice in the morning. This should be the same meditation or meditation technique each day. For instance, if you’re going to practice mindful meditation, practice it each day in the morning before doing anything else– even before eating or getting dressed. Why? By practicing the same exact meditation every single day, you establish a baseline for your energy and practice. This means you’ll be doing the same thing, at the same time and vibrating with the same basic energy each time. When you then add a crystal to the mix, it will be readily apparent the effects of the crystal versus the general effects of the meditation.

6. Practice Crystal Immersion. This means working with only one stone each day (or the same stone for multiple days), and only working with it during meditation or during mindful attention periods throughout the day (no carrying or sleeping with the stone). Why? By working with only one stone at a time, you will be able to attune to its energy mindfully and therefor be more aware of its unique effects on your human crystal. By only engaging it during meditation and/or mindful awareness periods, you will give yourself time to integrate the energy shifts without the stone present. This is key for helping your energy to reset and heal, as well as allowing you to understand the more physical effects the stone may be having on your body. These effects tend to show up after meditation, in the periods of time when the energy is integrating. Crystal immersion is a key practice on the path of the crystal initiate that I teach.

The 30 Day protocol

Day 1-3: Going cold turkey. No stones. none. Do your daily meditation in the morning, drink your water, and deal with any conscious addiction thoughts or stone cravings that arise by journaling about them. Connect with the Earth’s energy (which, by the way, contains all of the crystals on the planet) through grounding practice. This initial period of being stoneless will help you to recognize if you have, in fact, developed a dependency instead of a conscious relationship with your stones. The grounding and detox of the meditation and water regimens will help your energy to reset to your base resonant frequency.

Day 4-9: Grounding Stones. On days 4-9, choose one stone each day (it can be the same one for the full 5 days, but not more than one stone per day) that is — for you– a grounding stone. Hold that stone in your left hand (it doesn’t matter if you are right or left handed) during your morning meditation. Journal your experience after coming out of meditation. At least once more during the day, engage the stone for 5-10 minutes in mindful attention. It doesn’t have to be a full-on meditation (though that is best), but can just be holding the stone while noticing its energy. no television or computers involved, please. Mindful means you are present with the stone.

On these days, you can use any stone that allows you to feel more grounded in your energy. Grounding is the process of completing an electrical circuit with the Earth. Without proper grounding, we don’t have access to the full spectrum of energy emitted by the Earth, and so we become imbalanced in energy and body. This healing period ensures you are getting the proper spectrum and amount of energy from the Earth’s EMF.

Suggestions: Hematite, lodestone, Pyrite, iron/nickel meteor

Day 10-15: Cleansing and clearing stones.

This purification period supports the physical detox and clearing you are doing with the water protocol, by helping any stuck energy or old patterns to be released. Again, choose one stone per day that is cleansing or clearing for you. You can use the same stone for multiple days or change every day, but don’t use more than one stone each day. Meditate with the stone in the morning and carry the stone throughout the day. Again, journal about your experiences after meditation, or if anything significant comes up during the day about things you need to release or clear from your human crystal.

Suggestions: Shungite, Black Tourmaline, Jet, Black Tektite

Day 15-20: Emotional soothing & balancing stones. 

This five day period is for hitting the reset button on your emotional body. During this time, we’ll want to focus on those stones that are soothing to the emotional body– not those that bring up your biggest emotional issues. The key here is to get yourself out of stress/fight or flight mode and into relaxation/healing and repair mode. So, if you know certain stones calm and soothe you on an emotional level, feel free to engage them– again, by meditating with one per day, carrying the stone with you throughout the day (if you are drawn to do so) and sleeping with that stone at night (if desired). If you become emotional during this time, put the stone aside until you are feeling more balanced. More is not necessarily better.

Suggestions: Rose Quartz, Sugilite, Rhodochrosite

Day 20-25: Creativity and passion stones. 

Now that we’ve got the energy systems grounded and cleared, and the emotional body soothed and refreshed, it’s time to start gently increasing the levels of physical and creative energy. Doing this before soothing the emotions and grounding your energy can create stress, increased irritation and anger, and nervousness. This is why we wait until week 3 to do this work. If you’ve done the other work prior to this, this phase should result in increased physical energy and stamina, creative energy and an ability to take action on co-creating your reality.

Choose your creativity and passion stones to work with this week, and continue to meditate with one a day, carry it with you, and sleep with it (if desired). If you find yourself getting too “fiery”, then put the stone aside for awhile and don’t sleep with it. Journal your experiences, so that you can keep track of what inspired, creative new directions you’re being asked to take, as well as those things that are perhaps creating more stress and annoyance in your life than you would like. In addition to your daily water intake, it is important to exercise during this phase to ensure that any excess energy is expended in a constructive way. Otherwise, you may find yourself reacting to things excessively, or taking out irritation on those around you. Any exercise that makes you sweat is O.k.

Suggestions: Vanadinite, natural citrine, calcite, sunstone

Day 26-28: Brain stimulators. 

Many people think of these as the more “spiritual” or “high frequency” stones because they stimulate the 3rd eye, psychic awareness, meditation, communion with guides, etc. In reality, they are brain stimulators– and it is certainly possible to have too much of a good thing in this case. We’ll be working with these for three days only, to prevent space-out and going back into energy imbalance or “bubble head” mode.

Work with your favorite stimulators during meditation only– then set them aside. We want to gently stimulate the upper chakras– not trip. If you like, you can sleep with the stone, but do not carry it throughout the day. There needs to be time for integration of these busier energies without hyper-stimulation of the mental level.

Suggestions: Amethyst, Selenite, Moldavite

Day 29 & 30: Amplification- Clear Quartz Only


On these final two days of the diet, you’re going to amplify your energy field to increase the “loudness” of your energy. You’ll do this by using clear quartz crystals exclusively. You’ll want six of them to create a primary grid. They don’t need to be large, but should all be about the same size. Plus, you’ll want a seventh quartz crystal to hold in your hand. Again, it doesn’t have to be large, but it doesn’t matter if it is the same size as the others. Natural, unpolished quartz crystals are best. There is no benefit to using double terminated quartz over single terminated quartz for this exercise.

For your morning meditation, set the six quartz crystals around you with the terminations pointing in toward you. You will be in the center of a rough crystal circle. Hold the seventh crystal in your hand with the termination of the crystal pointing up your left arm toward your heart. Do your meditation and focus upon expanding your energy field, drawing energy into the grid on the inhalation, and expanding your energy outward on the exhalation. Don’t try to make your energy bigger, just allow it to become bigger as you draw energy in from the grid and breathe it out.

You can carry the clear quartz you held in your hand throughout the day. Sleep in the grid at night, with the single crystal in your left hand. You can slip the stones for the grid under your bed, or between your box spring and mattress, if your bed partner protests having rocks in the bed.

That’s it! After your 30 day diet, you’re going to be clearer, refreshed and reset on an energetic level. You can now begin working with any other stones you like, but I do encourage you to continue doing it mindfully and one or two at a time, unless you are creating a special meditation with many at once. You’ll find an enhanced connection with the mineral kingdom and with your own inherent energy. Enjoy!

Stop charging your crystals. Clear them instead.

So, here’s a shocker. I don’t believe in charging crystals. In fact, I believe that if you have to charge your crystals it is an indicator that you are not clearing them effectively. I know, I know, we’re all taught to put our crystals out in sunlight and moonlight in order to “charge” them if they’ve become “depleted”. I used to do it. In fact, I used to teach it. Here’s why I don’t do it, or teach it, any longer.

Crystals are electromagnetic oscillators. To put it simply, an oscillator is something that releases regular pulses of energy, or something that moves back and forth in response to energy. So, crystals regularly vibrate or pulse with energy they receive from an external source. That source is most frequently the Earth. A crystal will naturally vibrate with its particular frequency set that is contained within the rainbow of energy that is the Earth’s light body (its electromagnetic field).

We are taught that crystals are like sponges– absorbing energy until they are filled, then releasing energy until they run out; hence, the concept of needing to “charge” them. But, crystals are not sponges. Sponges are not oscillators. Crystals have a continuous, uninterrupted flow of energy to draw upon, as long as they are vibrating at their natural frequency.

However, crystals can be shifted from vibrating at their natural frequency through exposure to energies that are of a higher amplitude (stronger) than the energy field of the Earth. This could be anything from the energy coming from a client’s emotional release during a healing session, to the EMF of a computer or other electronic device that has been sitting too near the stone. When the crystal vibrates with energies that are not quite the same as its natural energy, it moves “out of tune” with the Earth. Think of a radio that gets knocked slightly off station, so that other stations start interfering with its reception. This can create a murky, confusing, icky listening experience. In the case of crystals, it can cause it to not receive energy from the Earth as well as it does when it is on its natural “radio station” or base resonant frequency.

Crystals that are not tuned to their natural receiving frequency are not going to be able to oscillate as well. In order to return them to their natural resonant frequency, they need to be cleared, not charged. Charging a crystal that is depleted because it is not picking up the right channel is like turning up a badly tuned radio. It doesn’t fix the problem.

Clearing is not a process of removing negativity from a crystal. It is a process of returning the crystal to its natural base resonant frequency, to ensure it is able to take in as much energy through the Earth’s EMF as it is used to doing . If a stone is properly cleared, there is absolutely no reason to have to charge it.

So, how do you clear a crystal to reset it back to its base resonant frequency?

Sound is the most effective tool to use in clearing crystals and stones.

Sound is a mechanical energy caused by the movement of energy through the air. The highest sound frequency is about 60 octaves below the lowest light frequency. Sound is not light and light is not sound. This is of benefit in clearing crystals, because we want to be sure to apply an energy to the stone that will vibrate it just enough to cause it to stop resonating with whatever had moved it “off channel”, but not of a frequency set that is going to cause more interference with the stone’s ability to return to its natural vibratory range.

Because sound is a physical energy, it is very good at shaking things up. Think of that car that drives by with the stereo blasting until your windows rattle, or the power in the sound of thunder, or a great concert. Sound vibration can physically vibrate matter, but once that sound is gone, the matter will return to its natural vibrational level.

It doesn’t even matter much what sound is used to clear your crystals, as long as it is LOUD. The reason the frequency doesn’t really matter is that the stone isn’t going to move into resonance with the sound vibration anyway. It can’t, because light is not sound and sound is not light. Crystals vibrate with light. You are just using the sound energy to “shake up” the stone so that it will return to its natural frequency set. High amplitude (loudness or strength) sound will cause stronger vibrations with more immediate effects. I personally use the practice of vocal toning to clear my stones. The benefit of vocal toning is that I can feel when the stones have cleared, as I’ll be moved to respond by changing the pitch of my voice. You can also use drums, singing bowls, gongs, or any other loud source of sound.

Using sound vibration to clear your crystals means that you can clear an entire table of stones in the same period of time that you can clear a single stone. Sound is also almost foolproof. If you produce a loud sound for a couple of  minutes, it will clear your stones. Period.

Once your crystals have been cleared, they will begin recharging themselves using their natural channel of attunement with the Earth. It’s clean, it’s easy, it’s cheap and it’s effective. And, it’s reproduce-able and doesn’t require a belief system to power it. I love easy, elegant techniques that work!

So, next time your stones are feeling “depleted”, try clearing them for a few minutes with a strong sound vibration. They’ll thank you for it!

~Addendum!~

So, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about playing a stereo loudly at your stones to clear them, so I thought I ought to address that here, rather than answering them all individually.

While it is theoretically possibe that you can play your stereo loudly to clear your stones, it is not best practice. Here’s why:

1) It’s a dishwasher method. Have you ever taken your dishes out of the dishwasher and had nasty, baked on crap left on them? Well, using your stereo to clear your stones is a “dishwasher” method. Different stones will require different amounts of clearing. The baked on cheese from your lasagna pan is going to require a little more cleansing than the spoon you used to stir your tea. It’s the same with your stones. What clears some, may not clear others. The detergent you use in your dishwasher is similar to the music you’re using to clear your stones. Some music is better than others. So, what music do I play on my stereo to clear my stones? I don’t. I use vocal toning or another, more responsive and less diswasher-like method.

2) It’s a non-responsive method. How do you know how long to play the stereo, or what at which amplitude to play it in order to clear your stones? You don’t. Playing your stereo at your stones is a non-responsive method. That means that the music and amplitude do not change to signal to you when the clearing is done. This is because you are not involved in the process. You’ve just turned on the dishwasher and walked away– expecting it to do the work for you.

When you use a responsive method (such as vocal toning, playing a drum or bowl gong or crystal bowl, etcl) you will be guided to stop when you feel they are clear, because you are participating in the process. This is really important, because of #3…

3) It perpetuates the crystal slave/ master paradigm. This paradigm is wildly popular and has primarily arisen out of the old age way we’ve been using stones. This paradigm says you are the master, the crystal is the slave. It’s purpose is to do what you tell it to do, and you do not need to engage it, learn from it, or build relationship with it. I know that no one likes to believe that they are acting in this way, but this “benevolent master” attitude pervades most prescriptive stone work and any unconscious engagement with stones. Playing your stereo at them to clear them is an unconscious engagement.

So, while theoretically it could be done, it is not the way to go.

Much love!

Here’s a video on youtube that shows you how to use vocal toning to clear your crystals: https://youtu.be/zXMjMqqlKEI

The Crystal-Color-Chakra-Correllation Quandary

The main premise of many branches of modern crystal healing is the widely accepted model of crystal-color-chakra correlation. In this model, the color of a stone reveals its primary healing properties, because of the correlation of that color to a specific chakra in the body. A red stone must be related to the root chakra, because the color red is related to that chakra. Therefor, it’s properties must have to do with the properties of the root chakra itself; survival issues, money, etc. If a stone is light blue, it must be related to the throat chakra, and so is therefor involved in communication issues. If it is dark blue, it must have properties affecting the third eye chakra and so must stimulate psychic awareness. This model is widely accepted as a self-evident truth in the crystal healing community, and questioning it results in many raised eyebrows, huffy breathes, and raised tempers. Trust me on that. If you’re huffing and raising your eyebrows even at the thought of questioning this holy cow of a BS (belief system), I apologize in advance. But, I’m still going to do it.

Let me say that I had this holy cow in my own personal belief system manger for a long time before I could even allow myself to consider the possibility that it… well… just didn’t work that way. This uncomfortable and, honestly, unpleasant realization came  on gradually through several channels. The first was study. The second was application in actual healing sessions. The third was study of data that arose from the healing sessions I had done over time. The last was my own deepening relationship with the stones themselves. All of these avenues of inquiry have also led to my eventual rejection of prescriptive stone work in general. But, for now, let’s focus on turning this one holy cow out to pasture. This explanation will be a bit long, so best get your cup of tea and settle in.

The first reason this model doesn’t work as effectively as advertised, or as we are taught to expect it to work, is that the color a stone exhibits on the outside is not the frequency it is vibrating with, but is, in fact, the frequency it is rejecting. The stone is not emitting the color from its own energy, it is simply rejecting that color frequency and bouncing it back from its body. This is basic physics. The color of an object is generated by the object absorbing every color frequency except the one that we see. That color is reflected back at the eye, thus making it appear that the object is that color. So, a crystal is actually absorbing every color except the one that we see. That color frequency is not absorbed by the stone, but is rejected and reflected and therefor bounces back at us and hits us in the eye. It is for this reason that crystals (or any object) are not particularly useful in color healing. Color healing is best done with colored light sources, not colored objects. But, that is another blog post.

So, the color of a stone is actually the one visible frequency it does not resonate with, and so rejects. That doesn’t mean that the color of a stone isn’t important. It is. But, not for the reasons you might think. The color of a stone is created by the chemical elements it contains. For instance, copper (Cu) tends to turn stones blue to green (think, Chrysocolla and Malachite). Manganese tends to exhibit as pink to purple (as in Rose Quartz and Sugilite). These chemical elements have very specific correlations to the body in healing, and so are critical in the clinical Crystal Resonance Therapy™ that I practice and teach. Understanding the chemical elements and their effects in the body on physical, energetic and emotional levels is a vital part of understanding the healing properties of a stone. However, these are not related to specific chakras, which brings us to the study of why the colors of the chakras are not actually the colors of the chakras.

The idea that each chakra is directly related to a specific color permeates modern vibrational healing. Most people believe this be an ancient truth, originating from the original Hindu understanding of the chakras. However, it is actually a very modern creation that originated primarily with two well known spiritual and psychology figures of the late 19th and early 20th centuries; Sir John George Woodroffe and Carl Gustav Jung.

Sir John George Woodroffe was a British colonial judge in India in the late 1800’s. He was highly educated and very interested in Hindu philosophy and religion– specifically, tantric practices. Under the pen name of Arthur Avalon, he wrote The Serpent Power — The Secrets of Tantric and Shaktic Yoga in 1918, which is a very thick and slow reading book on the chakras, tantric practice, and Hindu spirituality. He wrote further books and treatise on the subject, as well as translating many of the Hindu texts into english.

His writing on the subject was foundational to western understanding of the Hindu chakra model, and it fell upon the rich soil of colonial culture in England and the popular practices of spiritualism and theosophy of the day. Later, his teachings and other theosophical teachings on the subject were revived in the spiritual rebirth movement of the 60’s and 70’s. Like Native American beliefs being co-opted and changed in American colonial culture, these Hindu teachings were also changed to suit the western (white) mind and to make tantric teachings more palatable in an era of lingering Victorian and Edwardian prudism. The later sexual revolution in the middle of the last century brought even more interest in tantra and Hindu philosophy in general and revived Woodroffe’s work.

Many authors took Woodroffe’s information and ran with it, including his famous contemporary, Carl Gustav Jung, who was the founder of analytic psychology and depth psychology and also an early student and cohort of Sigmund Freud.

Many of Carl Jung’s ideas were fundamental to current New Age thought, including; dream analysis and symbolism, archetypes and, yes, the color associations with the chakras. This last was created as a teaching tool to help students to symbolize the progressive energies of the chakras through the colors of the rainbow. Let me be clear that these color associations were not original to the Hindu philosophy of chakras. They were a modern model created solely for the purpose of helping people to understand the progressive nature of the chakra system as Jung taught it. In fact, many of the modern associations we have with the chakras stem from Jung’s work with the model for personal exploration through depth psychology. Please feel free to explore Jung’s work for a complete understanding of this remarkable man’s contribution to modern psychology and spiritual thought, especially Modern Man in Search of a Soul and The Undiscovered Self.

The color associations of the chakras were only meant as a teaching tool, not as a literal statement. The chakras do not actually emit the colors of the rainbow. The root chakra does not emit red, the sacral chakra does not emit the color orange, etc. If they did, those colors would be easily detectable using even basic equipment today. That is not to say that the chakras are not real, or that they do not emit energy. They do. But, not in the visible light spectrum. Before you go there, aura cameras do not actually detect the emitted light of the chakras. They are designed to assign certain colors to certain electrical frequencies, and to then project those colors onto film. The resulting image has colors on it that can give us information and, for an intuitive, can be helpful in understanding what is going on with a person’s energy, but they are not the actual capture of colors emitted by the chakras.

So, the color of a crystal that we see is not the color it actually vibrates with, the color associations with the chakras were created as a modern teaching tool and are not part of the ancient understanding of the chakras, and the chakras themselves do not emit colored light. You may be seeing how the crystal-color-chakra-correlation model is melting a bit under this very basic scrutiny.

Some of you may be thinking at this point, “Then, does crystal healing even work?!”, and I’ll answer with a resounding “YES!” Just not, perhaps, the way that you thought it did. This model can be a good way to begin to get your head around crystal use and healing, but it is ultimately a belief-based template, not an evidence based one. Using this model you absolutely can create change, energy shifts, and even healing; you just may not be doing what you think you’re doing. That can cause issues when you are trying to discuss with your client what is going on under the surface, or in understanding underlying patterns and progress in any ongoing therapy.

I’m not writing about all of this to judge or denigrate those who use this model. I am writing about it as a way to help practitioners of crystal healing to become more effective and more knowledgeable about this very important and powerful work. It is not easy to voice a viewpoint that I know will challenge some people’s cherished belief systems. But, it is necessary if we are to break out of the Belief Systems and take this modality to a place where it can fulfill its potential.

So, when you next approach a crystal, don’t get too wrapped up in its color and what that “means”. Instead, close your eyes, hold the stone to your heart, and feel what it is conveying to you. Like any stereotype, the crystal-color-chakra-correlation model can actually prevent us from getting to know the real energy of the stone. One way to circumvent the interference of this model if you have been using it for awhile is simply to do a healing session or twelve blindfolded. Yes, actually blindfolded. Choose the stones purely on vibrational feel, not on color and all of the associations you may have with that. Place the stones where you’re drawn to place them, not where you’ve been told they are “supposed” to go. “See” what happens! You may even experience some real breakthroughs in your healing practice!

What is Intuition?

What is “intuition”? Where does it come from, and how do we develop it to its highest potential? And, what does it have to do with jelly beans? These are deep questions.

To begin to understand the intuition from a biological standpoint, it’s important to recognize that humans are light beings. By that, I mean that we have biologically evolved to experience reality solely through the information carried by light (electromagnetic energy). Everything you see, hear, touch, smell, taste, think and imagine is a hallucination that is generated in your brain in response to electrical and magnetic energies you are either perceiving externally, or generating internally. You are not really seeing the color blue. Your brain is creating it in response to light. You are not actually feeling warm; your brain is creating the sensation in response to light. You are not really smelling that smell; your brain is creating the illusion of it in response to light, et cetera. Every single thing in your reality is a hallucination generated in your brain in response to the information carried by light particles. Everything.

That doesn’t mean that your experiences are not “real.”  What it does mean is that we are biologically tuned to light. Light brings us information. Light literally creates our reality from the inside out.  We are so finely attuned to light that the human eye, when light sensitized, is capable of perceiving the energy of a single photon (light particle); which is astounding given that photons are subatomic particles. Meaning they are smaller than an atom. Meaning they are tinier than the tiniest thing you can imagine. However, under the right conditions, we can see it. That is how tuned in we are to the information carried by light. Understanding this one fact opens up a whole new level of understanding where intuition may come from, as well as how humans can sense energy levels that are believed by many skeptics to be too subtle for anyone to feel. However, it is even more amazing to consider just how much light information we process.

Your brain processes between 27 and 29 billion bits of information per second, on average. That information comes from all the usual sensory channels, as well as what is happening within your own body and from electromagnetic fields outside of your body such as sunlight, the energy field of the Earth, and the electromagnetic fields (auras) of other people, and other sources such as spirits and guides. To understand how much information you are processing in any given moment, think of each byte of information as a jelly bean. It takes about 5 billion jelly beans to fill one Olympic-size swimming pool. 29 billion jelly beans, then, would just about fill six Olympic sized swimming pools. That’s a lot of jelly beans! And, it’s a lot of information. Just ponder that for a moment. Imagine six Olympic-size swimming pools full of jelly bean information being processed, every single second.

How much of this information do you think you process consciously? Go on, take a guess!

Imagine that you’re reaching into one of those swimming pools and scooping up as many jelly beans as you can hold in your arms. Got ’em? Great! Now, put them all back.

Take out five jelly beans and put them in the palm of your hand. O.k., maybe take nine if you’re feeling particularly aware. Yes, really.

Out of those six pools filled with jelly beans, your conscious mind processes only five to nine bits per second. That’s five to nine single bits. In other words, you process only about .0000000003 % on a conscious level. That is such a tiny fraction it is mind boggling. So, the next time you’re thinking about how aware you are on a conscious level, just consider the vast amount of information of which that part of the mind is completely unaware, and be humbled.

So, what happens to all of that other information? It is still processed. Your brain receives and interprets and categorizes and reacts to all of it; however, you’re not conscious of it. This is the pool of information (or pools, according to our jelly bean metaphor) from which your intuition arises. This is the subtle information that makes up your psychic awareness and your spiritual experience.

We all receive and process about the same amount of information, so what makes some people psychic and others not-so-psychic? The answer doesn’t lie in the amount of jelly beans you’re holding in your hand, but in which jelly beans you are holding.

People with more obvious intuitive abilities tend to process different parts of the subtle information than is perceived by those who do not necessarily exhibit psychic ability. Instead of grabbing just any 5-9 jelly beans out of the pools each second, or the 5-9 jelly beans they are in the mental habit of grabbing, someone with refined psychic or intuitive abilities can choose to select only the green ones or the red ones. They can tune their conscious processing of information to pick out that information that they need. For some people, this is a natural processing ability. For others, it is learned.

So, now you’ve got the jelly beans, but what do they mean? How do you interpret this intuitive information? For many of my students, this is the most difficult part of the process. Receiving information is easy— we do it all the time. Tuning into the information is also easy, you just need to train your brain to pick out different jelly beans than it is used to choosing. But, understanding the information contained in the jelly bean can be trickier.

This is because people process this information in different ways. Some people are visual and will receive visions in their mind’s eye to represent the information (clairvoyant). Others will receive the information in the form of words or sounds (clairaudient). Still others (the vast majority) will receive the information through their feeling sense— both physical and emotional (clairsentient). These psychic channels are the same as the three learning styles children use to process new information in school. Everyone naturally has all three channels available to them, but one channel will tend to be more natural and dominant than others.

If you don’t know which channel you tend to use to perceive subtle information, you may very well miss it while waiting for it to come through another channel. For instance, many people associate being psychic with seeing auras or light beings. If you are not processing on the visual channel, you won’t see auras. You won’t see anything. Alternatively, you may think that you’ll receive direct verbal messages that make literal sense. If you aren’t receiving on the auditory channel, that won’t happen. That doesn’t mean you’re not receiving the same information in another way—for instance, through your kinesthetic senses. However, if you’re expecting to see auras or hear voices, you may give up if you don’t– instead of tuning to another channel to receive the information. The primary reason that people don’t use their intuitive ability is simply that they are looking in the wrong place for the information.

In addition to determining the channel you are receiving on, you also need to be aware of the meaning behind the information you are receiving. It may not be as obvious as you think, because the brain processes and stores information as symbols, not necessarily as a literal representation of what it is perceiving. In other words, it is unusual to receive information in the way that our conscious mind thinks of it—direct, linear, verbal explanations of what you are perceiving. That is because the brain tends to use symbolic language to represent what it is perceiving, and to convey to the conscious mind how it should feel about it and react to it. For most people, subtle information is more like a holographic imprint of the total meaning and feeling of the thing— rather than a linear description of it. Learning what your internal symbolic language represents is a process that requires some study and self-awareness. Keeping a dream journal or a meditation journal can be very helpful in this respect, as it allows you to identify what your inner symbols represent. As experiences unfold after the dream or meditation, you can often come to understand what your deep intuition was attempting to convey to you.

Another pitfall in interpreting intuitive input is the conscious mind itself. The conscious mind can override the true meaning of subtle information being communicated to you through your intuitive faculties. I see this often in my training programs for energy healers. They may have read somewhere that a particular stone has certain properties and is meant to be used in a specific way. When they practice meditation with the stone to experience its subtle energies, they may have a vision, hear or feel something that does not have an obvious conscious interpretation. So, they will consciously associate what they have experienced in the meditation with the information their conscious mind had previously gathered about the stone. In other words, they may completely misinterpret their intuitive information by overwriting its subtle meaning with formerly gathered conscious information. This makes it difficult to access their “true intuition” and to understand the stone’s potential on a personal level. This leads to disappointment when the stone doesn’t do what they think it should do.

There are many training programs available to help you to develop the breadth and accuracy of your intuition. Understanding where intuition comes from is a first step, and makes it much easier to develop your true intuition and bypass the limitations of your conscious mind.

Crystals-by-the-numbers: How Prescriptive Stone Use Fails.

Put the red stone on the root chakra, the green stone on the heart chakra and the purple stone on the crown chakra. Use this stone array to heal your inner child. Use this one to super-charge your ascension. Use this stone and you’ll see angels. Use this stone and all of your dreams of wealth will come true. Crystal-healing-by-numbers and prescriptive stone use are an epidemic, and one that is making the entire modality of crystal healing ill.

There are many reasons why this approach is popular. The first and primary reason is the easy availability of books that tell you what each stone is for. I admit, I’m a perpetrator here. The Book of Stones is nothing if not another encyclopedia of stone properties. That had not been my intention, but there you are. I won’t go into the gory details, but it should suffice to say that when I contracted to contribute to the book I was under the impression that several different authors would be contributing. That was an exciting idea, because it’s no secret that different teachers ascribe vastly different properties to the same stones. How great that people would be able to get those varied viewpoints all in one place! It didn’t happen that way, but I guess the Universe had its reasons for that particular outcome. While some people find the varied perspectives and often conflicting information frustrating, I feel that it is a blessing. If nothing else, it illustrates rule number one of effective crystal healing; different people will have different reactions to the same stone. Of course they do! We are all individuals, with very unique experiences, memories and triggers associated with different frequencies. While there are some very basic indicators that help you to determine what a stone will do (of which, by the way, color is not an effective one), any given stone will affect two different people in two different ways.

Reason number two that the prescriptive stone approach is so popular is because it is easy. All you have to do is memorize your favorite author’s take on stone properties and you can confidently choose your stone for your particular issue. How simple to go to a book, pick a stone according to your symptoms, and tuck it in your pocket to solve your problems. *fail buzzer*. I can’t tell you what a trap this is to fall into. A few issues develop from this approach. The first is that when the stone doesn’t do what you think it’s “supposed” to do, it creates a sense of failure. I am often told that “crystals just don’t work for me” or “the stones didn’t do what they were supposed to do, so I gave up on crystals.” How sad that a powerful vibrational modality has been turned into a color-by-numbers approach that leaves many feeling like failures; or worse, feeling that the whole stone rap is bunk. It’s not their fault. We are encouraged by almost every aspect of crystal healing culture to use the “magic pill” approach and to expect a predictable result. I used to believe it as well. But, after a couple of decades I’ve come to realize that this approach is both ineffective and yes, even toxic.

Even worse than the personal sense of failure or of being a spiritual under-achiever that can result from the prescriptive approach, are the problems that can occur when a crystal healer uses it and it fails. When a healer uses this approach with a client and the outcome isn’t what was expected, it can create conflict or worse– judgement of the client’s spiritual development. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the excuse that a stone “failed” because “the client just wasn’t ready to heal that issue yet.” Another way to look at it is that perhaps the stone didn’t work for that client’s issue because it was the wrong stone, chosen by rote instead of through a true understanding of the stone’s energy pattern, gained through deep inner work with the stone, and the developed skill to match that with a client’s energy.

Another issue with the prescriptive approach is that it encourages the use of stones as “energy slaves” instead of as teachers. You wouldn’t walk up to someone on the street and say, “Hey you, come over here and do this for me.” Or, if you did, you probably wouldn’t do it more than once. We know that relationships are a vital part of our humanity. Do you want to be around someone who talks incessantly, but refuses to listen to you? Or, who constantly demands your time and attention and energy, yet doesn’t give in return? The prescriptive approach encourages a “master and slave” mentality, where we demand the stones be our performing monkeys, without any reciprocity beyond clearing them and putting them out under the full moon. Building a true relationship with stones means listening to them. This requires dedicated time to sit in stillness and open yourself to what the stone’s vibration feels like, and what it brings up within you. Relationships take work, and your relationship with your stones is no different than a relationship with a friend. Sometimes you have to make the time even when you’re busy, or you just don’t feel like it. Because it’s important.

Having said all of this, I do believe that books on stone properties and a basic prescriptive approach has its benefits. The biggest one being that everyone needs to start somewhere. Let’s face it, a lot of people who are engaging crystals and stones for personal growth and healing right now would not be doing so if they hadn’t picked up a gemstone encyclopedia and discovered the tantalizing potential of the mineral kingdom to help them. And, they certainly wouldn’t be doing it if they had to invest their time and energy in mindfully engaging a single stone’s energy over a period of time in order to get to know it. But, just as learning your ABC’s doesn’t make you a writer, learning what an author (or several) have to say about a stone’s energetic properties can’t replace actual personal experience with that stone’s vibration. And, that experience needs to come from setting aside what everyone else says about the stone and committing yourself to taking the time and using the energy necessary to develop a relationship with each stone as a teacher and as a friend.

The Language Divide in Crystal Healing

Most people who are interested in the use of crystals and minerals for spiritual growth and healing come to the practice due to purely subjective experiences. Perhaps you’ve had an unexplainable, powerful experience while holding or meditating with a crystal or stone. Or, maybe you received a vibrational healing that had profound effects on some level of your body, mind or spirit. It may be that you are just inexplicably drawn to stones and you have no idea why.

My own very personal and subjective experiences with stones as a child and, later, a life changing experience during the first crystal healing I ever received,  sparked a deep love and fascination that has only deepened over the intervening years. It is the purely subjective experiences of my students and clients that daily confirm for me that crystals and stones, and the natural forces of the Earth, do indeed have a powerful impact on the whole human being– physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

By its very nature, subjective experience is personal. Often it cannot be effectively shared with others because the English language– as rich as it is– falls short when attempting to convey what we experience on the very deepest inner levels. Having worked with people around the world has shown me that other languages have this shortcoming as well.

As a writer, I have a particular sensitivity to language and the definitions of the words that we use to convey our thoughts and feelings. Most of the struggle inherent in the process of writing is a struggle to find the specific words that will allow the reader to understand what the writer is thinking and feeling within their subjective universe. Conveying meaning can be a dicey proposition because words can carry multiple definitions that can vary by region and the cultural origins of both the writer and the reader.

Language itself developed so that humans could communicate with in a way that allowed subjective information to be transferred to, and understood by, another person. The only language on Earth that has developed without variations in definition is the language of mathematics, which is used as the basis for much of science.

Language is representative of the culture in which it developed. It is not only shaped by the people that use it, but it shapes the minds of those that use it. The very way we think is influenced by the primary language we use, and the definitions we hold for words. And so we begin to see the split between those humans who use science as the basis for their communications and those who use more subjective language.

So what? How does this have anything to do with crystals? Well, it has everything to do with how we communicate our understanding of crystals with one another. It also is a primary reason why many mystics and scientists have such a difficult time wrapping their heads around one an others’ world views.

I’ll mention here that I am not a bona fide scientist. I studied science in school and at college at a very rudimentary level. Most of what I have learned about science (and about crystals, for that matter) has come from self-directed study. I have always had a fascination for the sciences, especially theoretical physics and human anatomy and physiology. I am not, however, a degreed authority on either.

With that said, as I began my journey of learning about crystal healing, spiritual growth and other mystical avenues of thought, I noticed something disturbing. The definitions for many of the basic “scientific” concepts that are bandied about in these circles are completely wrong. I’m not talking about “your truth- my truth”. I’m talking about just plain incorrect. Such concepts as “vibration”, “frequency”, and “resonance” are often used in ways that are just plain not-right. The definitions of these words as they are used in the subjective realm of spirituality have become corrupted from their objective definitions.

It’s no wonder that these objectively defined words have crept into our mostly subjective modality. We seek to find common language so that we can express our experiences with one another. What better language to use than the objective language of science? Unfortunately, the misuse of many scientific terms has us looking like “airy-fairy-healy-feely-woo-woo-crystal-lickers” to scientists, while to us they can often appear to be “inflexible-right-brain-attrophied-narrow-minded-materialistic-spirit-bigots”. I don’t mean to imply sweeping stereotypes of scientists and mystics. There are many scientists with developed spiritual awareness, and plenty of mystics who really do have a good understanding of various branches of the sciences. However, when we misuse a scientific term in an attempt to explain mystical experience, we actually deepen the divide between these worldviews, rather than bridging it.

Imagine going to a foreign country and thinking you were asking for food when, in fact, you were asking for sex. How might that color your interactions with people there? Some might find it funny and entertaining. Others would be deeply offended. Everyone is going to be confused about what you are actually trying to convey.

There are some very basic scientific principles that could– in theory– help to explain why we have such powerful subjective experiences when we engage crystals and stones. But, if we incorrectly use the language, we are no further in explaining these experiences in an objective way than we would be if we were simply making up word definitions (which in some cases we are).

The desire to explain subjective experience using objective language is natural. In fact, it is the basis for the increasingly disturbing trend toward prescriptive crystal healing (which I’ll rant about at a later date). I believe it is important to explore scientific theory to help understand our subjective experiences. It is also important for those who strive for an objective worldview to recognize the value of subjective experience. I don’t believe, however, that these two world views are ready for marriage. Perhaps they should try living together for a while first.

Crystal healing is, in its best sense, a holistic approach that includes physical, emotional, mental and spiritual experiences which are primarily subjective in nature. Science is a worldview the encourages specialization, compartmentalization and as objective an approach as is possible– given that outcomes and interpretation will always be affected by the subjective perspective of the scientist.

If we are going to use scientific terms to describe our work, it behooves us to use those terms correctly and to understand– at least a little– about the theory that underlies those terms. By using language correctly, we will be able to correctly convey our ideas and understanding in a way that is less open to misinterpretation and may further the understanding of everyone.

It’s not necessary for crystal healers to explain themselves to scientists. We don’t need to justify ourselves using their language. But, the very fact that we attempt to do so means that we have the responsibility to at least learn the language before we create more confusion than we resolve.

In future posts, I’ll explore how we misuse some of the terms we’ve borrowed from science, and how a more correct understanding of those terms can actually help us to be more effective in our work. We’ll also explore purely subjective experiences and information that cannot and probably never will be explained by the scientific world view. Both are valid. Hopefully this will enable us to communicate more effectively with the world at large, and to build a bridge between these two seemingly opposed world views that are actually just two sides to the same coin. dreamstime_xs_30585031

The Spirit and Science of Crystals with Naisha Ahsian

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