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!
29 thoughts on “The Crystal-Color-Chakra-Correllation Quandary”
I like your post, never gave it much thought. I try to associate the color crystal, chakra but tend to go more on intuition. I for one have always known that we see the reflection of the objects color absorption. Another twist to this theory is what my eyes see for blue yours see green, but all our lives we where told that it is blue. Love and Light Dale
Hi Dale! Yes, personal perception is very subjective. This one is just mine. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it!
Hi Naisha, thank you so much for expressing so clearly the nuances on the use of chakras and color and the use of the crystals following that model. Giorgio
Well THIS sounds familiar! 😛
I’m experiencing both physical and spiritual shifts these days! Out with the old and in with the new! Feeling on “FIRE” with this stuff! THANK YOU!!! Bring it!
~Dana P. BHC
Yes, Dana, you’re getting all my good stuff in the BHC course! Can’t hurt to get it some more, though. It can take a little adjustment to overcome those darned Belief Systems! : )
thank you naisha! this is a great post. i look forward to learning more from you!
couldn’t agree more Naisha. We should all trust our instincts more in choosing and using crystals. Thank you for how much of yourself and your wonderful work you freely share with the world – you have a beautiful and generous heart.
Thanks Deb! I appreciate your kindness. 🙂
Thank you Naisha for this insight. I’ve always felt twisted about the whole vedic gem natal prescription thing and planetary colors of the day that they have in pagan calendar books. Is that a B.elief S.ystem too that I should be weary of? Any feedback or clarity would be much appreciated! Thank you again for being a beacon of light and helping others see through the multiple veils this world brings!
Jyotish is East Indian Vedic astrology, which prescribes gems as balancing agents for detrimental aspects in one’s chart. This is traditional, and I have found some very interesting information and insights in looking into the Jyotish system of astrology. There are other aspects of it I don’t particularly groove on.
Many of the correlations of stones with astrological signs is more modern, however, especially when it comes to western astrology. I consider most of it prescriptive, and so don’t bother going there at this point in my practice, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong, it just replaces personal somatic intuition with preconceived prescriptions, which may or may not address the actual underlying energy patterns a person is carrying. 🙂
Hello my crystal sister! I grabbed Healing With Crystals from my book shelf for an airplane read, since I had never read it(!)
Wow, what a contrast to,your CRT course! It had pretty pictures and layouts, but felt hollow for the most part.
One of the things I most appreciate about you, is your keen scientific mind….evidence based which is looked at through the lens of how it works in our practice, as well.
Thanks, but as you know, it’s more than the science. There is a lot of personal, internal spiritual development work that really makes a difference in connecting with and using stones. The science helps me to understand what will be most effective, for the most people, but I’m more a spiritualist than a scientist. 🙂
Love you, miss you, and hope to connect soon!
Since the color of the chakras are based in BS. What about the Chakras resonating with specific musical Keys? For instance, I bought a few singing bowls, and they are listed, not only by corresponding chakra color, but also the musical key. Crown in the key of “B”, Heart in the key of “F”, Root in the key of “C”, and so on Just like in a book I read somewhere, that stones also vibrate in a specific musical Key. BS Also? I like wise have always had a deep respect for you, and all the hard work you do , to help us all evolve.
As always I send you much Love & Light,
This is a great question that will take quite a complicated answer, so I won’t answer it fully here. You can certainly ask it in class, as I think it would benefit everyone to talk about the difference between sound, which is a mechanical energy, and electromagnetic energy (light), which is one of the four known forces. I do use sound in my healing work because it is a very physical energy that physically moves things, and so can be very effective. I personally have not experienced that the chakras are keyed to a specific musical note. That doesn’t mean that the bowls aren’t going to do anything, just that, again, it may not be doing what you expect. I would suggest you tune into your bowls while playing them just as I have you tune into your stones. That way you’ll notice what they are doing for you.
jsut had a situation where a yoga student asked me about how i approach the chakras in reiki therapy. it dumbfounded me for a moment because i never gave it much thought. while i am aware they are there and can feel when somehting is ‘off’, i do not approach dis-ease soley based on the chakras because there is SO much more going on energetically than these wheels …
as the article began, i immediatly found the thought that perhaps the colour of a stone is what we want to remove, not add, to the system. but as you say later … intuition is the greatest guide.
i know a brilliant stone matser in germany and his healing session with me and stones was quite unothadox to what most people expect. i drop expectations with healers … but know a wise one when i ‘see’ it. 🙂
Great article but I really don’t see how you can say your against “belief systems” when every single thing you’re talking about is part of a belief system. Belief systems are natural and part of human evolution. If there were no belief systems there would be no diversity.
Thanks for the comment. I’m not against belief systems, and I completely agree that everything is a belief system. What I do have a problem with, however, is how we turn belief into dogma and make the assumption that it is truth, instead of growing beyond past belief systems to evolve. 🙂
Thank you for article! So since I see red at a chakra that is supposed to be green for example, and after running energy, it becomes green, am I to use the crystal on the opposite site of the color wheel (if I am going to use color rather than crystal structure, as an example), Or a clear crystal like quartz. I understand the crystalline structure portion, just asking if one was to use color? Thanks ~
Color healing is different from crystal healing, Fay. I don’t use color, but instead work with the actual energy of the stone. I also don’t subscribe to the chakra-color correllation theory. Sorry I can’t be more helpful with this one!
Thank you !!
You’re welcome, Fay!
Very interesting but somehow confusing. For instance, in your Crystal Allies Card Book you writed Pyrite is an Earth Stone for 1st Chakra and Earth Star, and I agree, since the explanation makes sense (and I’m actually going against the sister of my Light Master, who tells Pyrite is a Fire Stone and goes on 3rd because it is Gold). But after I open The Book of Stones, and find Pyrite is an Earth Stone for 3rd Chakra… When 3rd Chakra is Fire Element… Where is the true answer? I took Pyrite by example because it is a famous stone, but I think there are other ones.. Blessings of Light
Tsukino, The Book of Stones had many editorial changes over which I had no control. Many of the associated chakras, and even some of the associated elements, were changed from what I would have designated. In the case of Pyrite, it could be both Earth and Fire, because of its Iron and Sulfur content. How you would use it depends on how your energy and human crystal react to that energy. You may need Earth energy more, and so would feel it as an Earth stone. Someone else may have more need of Fire and so will resonate with the Sulfur. This is why prescriptive stone work doesn’t work very well.
PS what do you think about 12 chakra system (and colors) in Aura Soma and Kathrina Raphaell books?
There are many different chakra systems evidenced in ancient texts. The original chakra system spoke of 5, with some systems going up into the 100’s. I think we get hung up on “more is better” and so think that somehow having 12 charkas is better than five or better than 7, etc. More isn’t necessarily better. Putting an infant into an 18 wheel truck doesn’t make the infant a better driver. Use any chakra system you like. Just be sure to deepen your understanding and practice as you go. Starting with the basics makes the most sense.
Thank you very much for your kind replies. I’ll try to connect to double element stones before using them to feel where they want to stay on the body. I’m very sorry editors changed your work, it’s so frustrating… Regarding practice with stones and crystals, actually I’m using them only for myself or as a support to card lectures (with both Angel Cards and LuceStasi cards, since I have lost yours on last July) and astrology. But I took the first level of Crystal Theraphy on 2004, so I think I have enough experience to use the 12 chakra system. Blessings of Light
Excellent post. So informative, and totally makes sense too. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.