I’m sick, and I’m well (the Lessons and Gifts of Illness).

Let me confess, I got a cold. Worse than that…a strep/flu…all wrapped up into one. It’s still making its way through my system. But it’s not as bad as all that. I mean – so what(?!) – I’ve had Cancer before (twice). How bad can this be…

Fenster, or Skeletal Quartz, is emblematic of "sickness in health" - where the interior has been compromised - but the shell and structure remain quite solid.

Fenster, or Skeletal Quartz, is emblematic of “sickness in health” – where the interior has been compromised – but the shell and structure remain quite solid.

And yet, people belly ache about their seasonal illnesses all year long. The common cold – in spite of what people claim about vaccines being effective [I’m not convinced] – this complex of viruses (if that’s fair to call them) impacts just about everyone in the northern hemispher. And I think it’s emblematic of all diseases, though fortunately, it’s not a commonly fatal (or chronic) malady. 

I thought I’d transcended all that. With the parting of ways I’ve had with Sugar, and anything (chips or nuts) that come in a bag [the rancid oils are harmful]…it’s been literally years since I’ve really been hit by anything like this. What usually happens, is that the symptoms try to get a grip on me, but their effects are weak, and the real deal never fully takes hold. Just a few month ago, everyone in my family got some bad bugs, but I wasn’t touched at all (even though everyone was coughing all over me). Funny how immune we can be sometimes.

I’ve become smug in my healthiness. I might be in the best shape I’ve ever been in, not just physically, per se – in terms of musculature – but thoroughly, from the inside out. I listen much better than I used to, to my Body and Spirit. I mind what I’m eating, set aside time to exercise, and stay on top of my self care quite steadily. Basicly, I’m in a lifelong training to be “a Soul Wisperer.”

So it’s humbling to be “brought down” like this. It’s always a learning experience, though. Illness has much to teach us. The first questions for me become: “what have I done wrong? How could I have avoided this?” 

Chrysocolla - combines self forgiveness and emotional expressiveness

Chrysocolla – combines self forgiveness and emotional expressiveness

Self-blame is cruel, and worsens the cycle of the illness. Self reproach definitely makes it worse. At some point, some serious self-forgiveness is necessary to interrupt the cycle. You have to break that downward spiral…the chicken and egg of negatively overthinking your situation. 

When a stone breaks - it loses its original value - but energy is released, and we find ourselves adapting to the change as having been meant to be.

When a stone breaks – it loses its original value – but energy is released, and we find ourselves adapting to the change as having been meant to be.

But let me sit with the badness, for a moment. When you get sick, your body – the rock on which you stand daily – falters. Of course it’s worse with a more serious (or chronic) illness…you lose faith and trust in you. That basic tableau – within which everything happens to and through: you – it’s no longer what you’ve come to expect, it’s not reliable, dependable. The rules of engagement have somehow changed, and it doesn’t seem very fair.

No, indeed – the Russian Roulette of illness and Death are not fair – our goal is to hedge our bets with prevention and treatment.

Taking this statement further – many of believe we live in a universe governed by a benevolent G*d, but whether jealous our merciful – G8D cannot give us our way 100% of the time. We are each the center of our own reality, but in fact, we are all peripheral to the greater REALITY (and thus, not particularly entitled to any special treatment). This is a bitter pill to swallow, but the sooner we make peace with it, the sooner we can have a more balanced and ultimately respectful view of The Creator.

So back to our compromised self. Being sick is a very damning state to be in – because as a body – if you can’t count on your own being, what can you count on? Your weakened state throws everything into question. You become alienated from a generally beautiful, provident world, and a mostly functional (and otherwise healthy) body. 

The co-mingling of opposites: is the dark in the light, or the light in the dark?

The co-mingling of opposites: is the dark in the light, or the light in the dark? Yin and Yang swirl around one another.

Don’t think for a minute that I look at the world with rose tinted glasses. I’ve seen some of the worst, and I do believe we live in Heaven and Hell simultaneously. But like the glass half full or half empty, I believe you can view the same situation in a more positive or pejorative light. 

For some – and I spent a decade like this (at least) – everything can seem worse, like you’re living in purgatory (at best). And being sick definitely throws you back, deeper into that dungeon. I do believe – especially when I listen to the news (about atrocities committed here and abroad) – that for many, life on this planet, is hell on earth.

Back to me, and my immediate answers about what might have contributed to my current situation. One theory, is that I left the fan blaring on me while I slept sweatily last week, and it destabilized my aura (wreaking havoc on my overall metabolism). More than half the people I spoke to agreed that this could well have been the culprit.

The symptoms also began the night after I had Chinese food from a restaurant I like, but don’t totally trust the cleanliness of. I do believe that germs from an unusual source can tip the scales. A variety of causes can conspire to make you sick.

A third theory is connected to the fact that I tend to overeat. Too much (of even healthy food) can backlog – with nutrients going bad, getting “caught in the filter” – which then require cleansing (or evacuation), through the illness

Amber & Jet are light density power stones - and because their weight is less than their size would suggest - they tend to wick away blockage and tightness.

Amber & Jet are light density power stones – and because their weight is less than their size would suggest – they tend to wick away blockage and tightness.

Worst case scenario – if the raw material (of what you’re eating) is not that healthy – “the backlog” can result in the inexorable growth of pathological tissue – chronically (or fatally) complicating cellular function, a prime example being inflammation, and of course: Cancer.

Whatever the “real” cause of your situation – and, as stated, there can be several – and while disease can often be a fluke of chance (certainly it’s always an unwanted guest with destructive intent) – disease is also, and very often (to its credit) – a healthy response to an unhealthy situation.

Let me pause, and draw attention to “the fluke factor” – bad luck (remember?) – s**t happens. In as complicated a world as we live in, lightning bolts (and tornadoes) do strike. Yes, there can be “favorable” conditions and standing out in a field may be riskier than being in your car. But when that wind starts to blow, can’t nothing stop it.

Every natural disaster reminds us how little control we ultimately have. And disease, ultimately, is a natural disaster. So you have to “give unto Ceasar what is Caesar’s” – let go and hold on simultaneously – try that on a hang glider!

All and still, just as there are (seemingly incontrovertible) Laws of Physics, a great deal of what happens around, and to us…is logical.

What else is your body supposed to do, when you treat it so? We’re too busy to cook or make proper food. We’re too busy to take any time to stretch, or work out (as much as our body may want, or need to). It’s no wonder your physical person develops a grudge and wants to “get you back” for your neglect. All it’s looking for is some R-E-S-P-E-C-T (like the song).

Nirvana Quartz - like Elestials - represents the higher, deeper, more ancient self.

Nirvana Quartz – like Elestials – represents the higher, deeper, more ancient self.

Every time you don’t listen to your Soul, you’re stacking the deck against you.

And we’re all willing to take the hit – whatever treatment or sick time (later) we need – that’s somehow “worth it” to get those things we need from our paycheck. Well guess what, your paycheck won’t always be there, but your body always will be – and once it’s gone – none of that other stuff will matter anyway. People need to start paying attention, doing everything they can before they get sick (not just after, when it’s often too late).

Work, our job, our “have to’s” excuse every mistreatment of our own primary (and personal) system. And yet, if we pause, and take care of ourselves – others, and we ourselves – tend to think we’re being selfish, self-indulgent…the worst…we can’t justify the down time! 

And also – by behaving like this (taking time out to take care of ourselves) – we’re likely/surely bound to become indigent…because there’s no money in self care. There’s only money in “other-care” – taking care of everyone else – that’s what pays (and has any moral currency). That “other” you’re servicing can be your boss or a client – heck, even (or especially?) “the man” – as you pay your taxes and comply with the prevailing laws of the land.

Would you still be doing what you do if there was no money coming in from it? If the answer is no, you have some serious answering to do to your inner self. We pay the price for our compromises.

And then there’s “the children” – the primary conservative force in our world (if you think about it) – why would we take risks or not tow the line…when we have to look out for, and provide for them…children first (remember?!). 

People even avoid Divorce on account of children. Not to say that they’re not (in addition to saving a primary relationship) worth it, but to demonstrate the fact that self denial (for many reasons) is woven into our own very individualistic and narcissistic (in other ways) culture

Nephrite Jade - particularly water worn by nature - is the ultimate emotional soother.

Nephrite Jade – particularly water worn by nature – is the ultimate emotional soother.

It’s like: we’re being goaded to take care of ourselves – in ways that make other people money (like through cosmetics, sports clubs, the clothing industry) – but not necessarily in ways that may cost nothing, but still achieve the desired effect of personal, lasting gratification, or satisfaction. 

They say the personal is political – it’s true – the world feels more holistic (to me) if you can see how you connect beyond your self, right out into the Universe (another benefit & practice of my Crystal Concentrics Meditation). 

Maybe there’s nothing you can do about it – your problem, or the world’s problems (or so you think) – but be honest about what you could really be doing (but maybe aren’t), the ways in which your hands feel tied, how you’re stuck, and how that may be impacting your health and well being (never mind that of the planet).

Why can’t it be simpler – you just “got a bug, got a disease” – it’s not your fault at all, and there’s nothing you can do but fight it. This is the medical, strictly physical perspective. And it has its place. Car’s shocks are gone…fix ‘em…don’t ask about the bumps you keep driving over (which caused the damage in the first place), or “why me,” or “what’s the bigger lesson here.” 

Foggy, or Girasol Quartz is a unique variety - it represents the unknown - and the unknowable...an important factor to consider...and be in the presence of.

Foggy, or Girasol Quartz is a unique variety – it represents the unknown – and the unknowable…an important factor to consider…and be in the presence of.

Suit yourself – however shallow or deep you want to look – if everything happens for a reason (“the Fluke Factor” aside, though even that is an omnipresent reality to contend with) – I think it behooves us dig a little: explore the metaphysical context of your situation. I’m saying (on top of all the types of factors already explored): it could be evil spirits at work; it could be your own past lives catching up with you; the possibilities are limitless.

There’s also “the Fog Factor,” which is that it may not be for us to ever figure out what’s happening, exactly, and why.  

In any case – I’ve gone off on a few (relevant) tangents – I want to bring the conversation back to my own process…regarding the illness that’s come front and center…into my life. I’m banking on it’s being metaphorical for you and your own experience of illness, which could be more than informative…I’m hoping educational…in helping you think about (and hopefully improve) your own situation.

The purpose of this Blog is to be relevant, to apply, and to be of more general utility beyond my solo journey and meanderings.

What I realized – especially early on – is that the illness is not the only game in town. When it first was settling in, I saw it coexist, and in context, relative to the rest of me (which was not in duress). 

Herkimer Diamonds are the picture of health - impenetrable - allowing light, but nothing else, to pass through.

Herkimer Diamonds are the picture of health – impenetrable – allowing light, but nothing else, to pass through.

Holding a larger sense of healthiness and positive continuity, makes being sick more tolerable…gives one hope…and gives you a sense that even if not in the moment, you will overcome. Yes – your throat may be burning, or you may have a tumor – but there are another x-billion cells doing just fine…let their voice be heard. 

I’m remembering my Crystal Meditations, in which we take time to center into the body – that really helped me to acknowledge and get in touch with those other, healthy cells – and call them into play, see and acknowledge them for the good job they’re doing maintaining my overall health. 

My spiritual practice of being with Spirit-apart-from-Body also helped, because I could know that the Spirit was unscathed by what I was going through – damaged, hurt, concerned, for sure – but somehow (also) immune to it all. 

I had to have Faith that “this, too, shall pass.” Even now, a week in [which is how long it’s been taking me to finish this blog], while the unproductive cough has sunken deep into my lungs – my capacity to write an account of my experience is an act that will survive the pathology – and I like the way that demonstrates our eternal capacity to recover and/or transcend. Again, the Power of the Word.

Look at how much more Anne Frank has impacted people in death than she was able to in life. Not everyone can look forward to such a posthumous “reward,” but by being in the moment, doing the best she could with what she had (and grappling with the demons that presented themselves at the time)…she created something more valuable than she could know in the moment.

Basalt - one of the more ancient of stones - here shattered and was polished by the wind & sand over eons, to make a ventifact that is powerful in clearing and protecting.

Basalt – one of the more ancient of stones – here shattered and was polished by the wind & sand over eons, to make a ventifact that is powerful in clearing and protecting.

I’ve never been one to painstakingly plan and strategize – I, too, put one foot in front of the other – try to make for the steadiest footing that makes sense (and feels right, in the moment). My vibration is very steady – though I see what a flash in the pan I am, on the grander scale – which is why I like the Stones…they go on forever

Indeed, while we are so very fragile – and can sometimes be challenged to find any part of us that is steady and sound – Power Stones are there, if we allow them to be…an extension of ourselves (and Creation)…that is solid and eternal

Some people use Religion for solace – and I do too – it surely has its place. And I’ve argued elsewhere that the two are not incompatible. But what I like about the mineral world, is that it both precedes our human experience, and it will outlast us…making it somehow more elemental than anything we could dream up (through our various cultures). By associating with the mineral world, we borrow some eternity, draw from its strength, and share in its capture of Life & Creation energy. 

So have I used crystals to get well? I mean, isn’t that the point, to use them for our service? Yes, and no. Crystals are not tools, like guns and scalpels, created exclusively to do our bidding. That is a beef I have with “the literature,” which seems to suggest as much. It’s the whole Biblical thing about us having been given dominion over all things earthly. Yes, that may seem so – and is a power that we have – but it’s also a responsibility, which people don’t tend to grasp, or hold onto as well. 

Large, beautifully terminated Topaz - the intrabody neural communicator - facilitating your body talk and internal functioning.

Large, beautifully terminated Topaz – the intrabody neural communicator – facilitating your body talk and internal functioning.

Everybody wants the easy part, the quick fix, which is why I don’t give “crystal prescriptions” – “you have this problem, take/use that.” It’s more complicated than that. And also, I’ve had a major breakthrough, in terms of understanding how Crystal energy work is not, nor should it be compared with Medical work.

Indeed, this is also why I don’t believe in gem elixirs – because I don’t think they should be ingested – that is the role of other substances (herbs, medicines, food). An important distinction must be made between physical treatment and metaphysical treatment. They are not, nor should they be, compared or used in the same way (or for the same purposes). 

Crystal Energy is meant to be seen with the Eye – interpreted and working through the Mind, or Imagination – and looped through the Body via Touch (the cycle).

Science is the wonderful art of identifying and working with the recurrent, visible laws of Nature. But not all such laws (of the Natural World) are consistent, measurable, or tangible. The metaphysical world may never be quantifiable in the same way, which is why I have no agenda for bringing Crystal energy into the mainstream, through scientific justification…can’t be done…and shouldn’t be. 

In the metaphysical world, the law is often that there is no law – that we can see and perceive tendencies and subtleties – but that Reality is relative, subjective, untamed. We can coax it, shepherd it, but it goes its own way, in its own time. The myth of control has been debunked.

Wet Sugilite - 'the other purple stone' - symbolizes the materialization (or concretization) of Spiritual vision.

wet Sugilite – ‘the other purple stone’ – symbolizes the materialization (or concretization) of Spiritual vision

I take my remedies (and there are many): steams, elderberry, lomatium root, food grade vitamin C, echinacea, cranberry juice…the list goes on…and they all did their thing (heck, even aspirin helped!). But in the absence of a trusted Crystal Healer, I had to rely on all the previous work I’ve done with Spirit, to tide me over, and give me strength in my weakness

I feel too many (most?) people reject, or pass over the potential of working with a true energy healer – because they want the tried and true – and don’t want to take chances (or make changes). I notice they mostly don’t want to look at “their stuff,” or do the hard work of going through the valley to get to the other side.

My work ultimately has to be demonstrating why and how it’s worth it (to work with Crystals). Alas, I have not trained someone else to take my reins, or do what I do (yet). But I’ll keep on keeping on. Bit by bit, these blogs (and my eventual books and other publishing projects) – as well as the events I host (live and online) – as well as my showcasing at Expos, will together put my footprint on this important area of human endeavor. 

giant DT elestial closeup - these stones are Keepers of the Wisdom - you can always rely on them to know what is to be known

giant DT elestial closeup – these stones are Keepers of the Wisdom – you can always rely on them to know what is to be known

Were it a bigger, life threatening illness (this pesky cold/flu), I would have wanted to have some energy work, for sure. Being very independent, and untrusting of authority per se, there are very few folks I’d trust or want to work with (or “on” me). I’m leery of generalizers and “false prophets.” So my memory and source work with Crystals has had to carry me through, until such time as I can work the gears and have the Soul energy flow again, unfettered (and uncomplicated). 

It’s helpful to know – it flows here, right beside me, through me – even when I don’t see it, or feel it (cause I’m so busy feeling crummy). I’m reminded again of the response a spiritual leader gave my son, when he (my boy) confessed that he’s not sure he believes in G8D: “that’s okay” he was reassured: “G8D doesn’t mind” (the assumption being that G8D is always there, whether you see him/her, or not). 

Our role is not to question or even to seek the Universal Life Force (per se), but rather – to simply let it be (it’s all around, and within us)…to let it flow through us. Stop trying so hard. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t “have it” already. 

Independently from applying meaning or causality to your illness – to have it “make sense” – we often hear folks saying their illness (regardless of the cause or outcome) has taught them something, and for that they are grateful.

Malachite - "the emotive" - demonstrates the wending ways of Feeling - and helps allow you to access and express your inner knowing.

Malachite – “the emotive” – demonstrates the wending ways of Feeling – and helps allow you to access and express your inner knowing.

Had I not gotten those 2 bouts with Cancer, I would have never changed my diet or thought patterns, which I think would have done me in the third time around. Hitting a dead end forces you to make a turn, take a new path. Being sick now – and stuck somewhere without Internet – has enabled me to capture these words in a way that feels more relevant because I’m actually going through some real discomfort (and an extraction from my element) in the moment. My hope is that you’ll be able to make some sense from this collection of thoughts.

Our journey is laden with lessons and gifts. We just have to see them for what they are, or can become. Gloom and doom will never spawn life, for you or others. That is why I have to assert: “I am sick. And I am well.”

To review – I have explored some of the things that happened, which “put me at risk” – as well as the lessons to be learned, including a discouragement of self-blaming. It’s good to correct your course, and know where you’ve gone wrong, but beating yourself up about things will not fix them.

I’ve discussed the Fluke Factor (of chance) and the Fog Factor (of uncertainty), as well as the need to connect the microcosm with the macrocosm. Avoidance does not really serve you, nor do excuses, however good they may be at distracting you from your path. Try to see the good within and around you, and draw strength from both.

The world does not revolve around you, but you should certainly hold your place in the merry-go-round. Reach out and seek healing, from allopathic and alternative sources, they’re all here to serve you. Know that there are limits to control, and that ultimately, our fate is in the hands of forces much larger than we can imagine. 

Enjoy Life while you’ve got it!

**********************

About the Author: Kyle Russell has been working with Crystals for over 25 years – inducted into working with them through a supernatural experience – but building on the knowledge and evolving it through sharing…via in-person and virtual offerings, including an extensive social media presence…and a growing, written record of his thoughts and observations. Feel free to reach out to him, and learn more about his Awareness, and how it can help you. Email Kyle@CrystalConcentrics.com.

Expo/Festival madness – the view from across the table

AnGee Lewis and Kyle Russell, on opposite sides of 'the table'

AnGee Lewis and Kyle Russell, on opposite sides of ‘the table’

What’s it like for a vendor at the shows you go to? I thought you might like to know, since the minority of us are standing on “this side of the table.”

Most of you (readers) are on the other side of the table… browsing like bees – going from flower to flower – exhibitor to exhibitor.

Yours is the choice. It’s a buyers’ market. If a vendor’s display (and selection) doesn’t suit you, you’re movin’ on!

I thought it would be enriching if you had a glimpse into what “we” go through. Hence, me writing this particular Blog. But a story is never just a story. It’s all about what we learn from it – or wish to convey (or “teach”) – through our experience.

NYC at night

rolling in to NYC at night

A few weekends ago was a textbook example (for me), of what it’s like to showcase at an Expo. Part of what made the experience particularly special – for me – was the fact that it was the first such show I’ve done in New York City.

I’d been there before, to wholesale to shops – 20 years ago – and also to perform, as a musician (more recently)…but this was different.

You can be sure it crowded my mind for weeks, leading up to the event. I bought new product – specifically to fill out my inventory for the occasion – I wanted to impress!

That entails selecting, buying, transporting, unpacking, pricing, photographing, and the uploading (to the web) dozens of specimens (cause that’s what I try to do with everything I get…put it through my inventory system). I also decided to overhaul my display M.O. as well – so I purchased velvet trays and pads – as well as a carrying case.

my entire display (including tables) on 2 dollies, in my hotel room

my entire display (including tables) on 2 dollies, packed into my hotel room

I laid out all my flats and boxes in advance, choosing only what would fit onto the two dollies I was bringing.

I had a 6-foot-wide by a 9-foot-deep space to fill. That’s an odd dimension, and took some advance planning.

The organizers had promised to provide a 4-foot table, which turned out to be a 6-foot table. That would have been good news for some folks, but not for me, ’cause I’d mapped out every square inch in advance.

I figured it out, though. It helped that I had gone to Costco, and purchased an actual 4-foot table, as well as a 6-footer – of which I’d already had two – but this newfangled one folds in half (which is nifty).

The goal is to streamline and to simplify, going forward – to make your life easier – because you can be sure challenges will come up, unforeseen. Like how was I gonna unload into the hotel from a busy downtown side street?

If registration as a vendor was required before I could even load in, who was going to watch all my stuff (or my car!)? And where, exactly, was I gonna fit an oversize vehicle (my full sized passenger/cargo van is about 7 feet tall) in a city than can barely accommodate “normal” driving machines?

the view from the 18th floor - where the Expo happened - looks the same as it did 70 years ago

the view from the 18th floor – where the Expo happened – looks the same as it did 70 years ago

Enter the brilliance – and generous response – which came from my asking my friend Nigel to come along. I’d reserved a 2-bedroom suite, on account of my family coming, but it turned out they couldn’t leave town. So I offered my bro from the music world the opportunity to have a weekend in the city – to do whatever he wanted – which he did(!)…so long as he could help me load in and out. He even drove us part of the way back (what a blessing)! We’d been meaning to catch up for months, so that was just fine by us, and it turns out he made some great connections of his own (at the Expo) that weekend.

I’ll only mention in passing that the hotel didn’t have my reservations (I’m finding this out at 11:15pm, after we’d just rolled in) – or that when Expedia lopped off my 4th night there, I ended up paying more (for the 3 nights that I did stay there) than I’d been on the hook for originally (for 4 nights!).

Snafus – things you can’t anticipate, and couldn’t begin to include in the price of your product – but they’re costs nonetheless…the cost of “bringing Crystals to market.” I hope buyers recognize that we vendors absorb these myriad tangible – and emotional costs – wishing (sometimes fruitlessly) to make them up on the “back end,” with some big sales. One of my fellow vendors reported more in sales to one big customer than all his others that weekend, combined!

8 main elevators, 1700 rooms(!)

8 main elevators, 1700 rooms(!)

As we were pushing my 10 large bins out of the freight elevators – on the 18th floor (a bellman had gruffly sent us ’round the back when we tried to load in to the main elevators) – a different group of exhibitors was loading in too. They asked us what we were selling.

“Crystals” we replied.

They were not pleased – since after having been told there were “only 2 Crystal vendors,” there turned out to be about 4 major vendors – and another handful of exhibitors with meaningful crystal displays.

It creates an atmosphere of competition for everyone (when there’s already lots of folks selling “the same thing”) – which can be healthy – and good for you buyers. But everyone selling sees their earning potential drop. It also hurts our (needed) margin when buyers get to pit us against each other for the lowest prices.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the end buyer’s benefit (hello: I’m a retailer) – but part of my mission in telling this story (can you tell?) – is to demonstrate the types of liabilities & costs we encounter at every turn (as vendors).

Fortunately, everyone was selling something a little different. And everybody had their unique strengths. But without an unlimited audience passing through, there’s only so many dollars to go around. If they don’t spend it with you, they’re spending somewhere else!

tasty (standing) Cobalto-Calcite & cubic Pyrite cluster I sold

tasty (standing) Cobalto-Calcite & cubic Pyrite cluster I sold

I got one “insult” (that’s how I heard it) – “you’re the most expensive crystal seller in the place” – from someone who’d just walked away, after making a purchase (from me!).

He and his wife had come by and hammered me on pricing earlier, but then walked away – even after I dropped the total (on just 2 pieces) lopping off 20 bucks – which turned out to be a whopping 22% discount!

Most vendors are stretching it, to give you 5-10% off. I’ve seen it, cause I’m a buyer too (and they know I’m a dealer).

I enjoy giving breaks in general, but in particular when someone’s really enthusiastic, and buying multiple pieces.

I was actually rattled by that experience, though (and that doesn’t usually happen for me). A buyer from the previous day came by (very happy, with his new necklace, which he’d gotten from me ), and I confessed (after saying something nonsensical): “I’m a mess.” I drove 4 hours Thursday night, and then we loaded all my stuff up to the room, going to sleep way after midnight.

Friday, I set up from 10am till 3:30pm, just taking things out and organizing them. That’s over 5  hours on setup! You couldn’t tell me to set up any faster. Some things take the time to “do right.” I didn’t just lay bins out, or put out jewelry boxes…I took everything out…and put all into play with that new velvet-pad display-system I mentioned earlier.

Crystal Energy Zones poster

Crystal Energy Zones poster

I was also excited to put out my new Crystal Energy Zones poster – which I’d created specifically in time for this particular Expo. It condenses the various Chakras down to 4 key areas, all all of which are pertinent to the human body. These are “populated” by the 29 varieties of power stones I find essential to working with our own energy system [email me at CrystalConcentrics@gmail.com to get your copy].

The place was open to the public from then (3:30pm) till 10pm on Friday. That was another 6.5 hours on the floor – and I had just one meal throughout (and one bathroom break) – from start to finish! I’m a big eater, but you can be sure my stomach shrank to accommodate the long intervals between meals.

I wish I had photos of them all – there was the African sorghum meal – the Chinese Indian dish – and even raw coconut (which tided me over each afternoon).

me trying out the Coco-Jack coconut opener (with the inventor there)

me trying out the Coco-Jack coconut opener (with the inventor right there)

On Saturday, the hours were 10am till 9pm (count ’em: 11 hours); and Sunday was 11am till 7pm. With the long drive home to Boston looming ahead – after a 2 hour load out (that turned Sunday into a 16 hour day) – I had earned the right to reach the end of my tether.

Fortunately, this guy’s friend – whose sweater I’d complimented – offered (and delivered) a 5 minute Chi Gung massage session right there, with us standing in the aisle. It was heavenly, actually, and revitalized me…mostly to receive positive energy from someone who wasn’t trying to undercut the value of my hard work and display efforts.

I take this thing quite seriously – I’m gonna share with you a blog soon about the life cycle of a crystal: how it gets into my possession, as well as what it goes through before it gets into your possession. You’d be surprised by the number of hours (and dollars) that goes into developing a selection the likes of which I’ve been showcasing at events lately.

I was vindicated that after having frequented all of those other vendors, those prickly buyers returned to me because guess what – they didn’t find what I had elsewhere – and they ultimately came to appreciate the value of my pieces (though they wouldn’t admit that).

Quasi - with his new pieces - for embedding in a pendant

Quasi – with his new pieces – for embedding in a pendant

At other shows, my average sale is $30-50, but this time it was $50-100. That’s not because people are buying a dozen $5 stones – or three dozen dollar pieces – I don’t carry those. My pieces start at about twenty bucks because too much less isn’t really worth the time I put into them. My niche is to shoot for a cut up – just over the average – including both the stones I acquire & the collectors I’m aiming to attract.

I’m catering to folks who’ve been around, who’ve seen most of what’s out there, and are searching for more – for special – for unique. And that doesn’t have to be big and pricey. Take for example, my new friend Quasi’s purchases: a small Polar Jade piece (with its own type of texture) & a family of DT’s floating together like Herkimer Diamonds (which came from Morocco). He makes pendant breast plates, and these were just right for him.

"galactic mountain range"

“galactic mountain range” prase Quartz

Alternatively, I also sold some very special, more expensive pieces. Take for example this rare, crystallized, green Prase Quartz I called “Galactic Mountain Range.” Coincidentally (and happily), I sold another, single “point” of this material online that weekend.

But that was about as expensive as I expected to go. Most people – except those in the know, who were really curious – didn’t even notice my Ethiopian Opals (which run even higher in price range).

I barely have any Crystals that can fetch over a G. And that’s on purpose. Yet I saw some items pushing over $1000 mark – even stretching into the several thousands – at other booths.

One visitor even complained (regarding another vendor) – about an item that seemed way out of proportion in price – relative to smaller pieces of that same material. To the vendor’s defense, I’d have to say that larger pieces are sometimes more rare, and cost more than their aggregate weight in smaller stones, because it’s hard to find that variety in larger dimensions. All and still, it was oddly reassuring to notice that “fault” can be found with every vendor. Nobody’s perfect.

I do have a pet peeve – though – about strange, incongruous pricing. I try to have an internal logic behind the price of every single piece I carry. If you care to know, I can explain it to you (for any and every item I carry).

Smoky Quartz and other, darker items

Smoky Quartz and other, darker items

I don’t price based on a blanket markup – as I imagine most people do – particularly wholesalers, who can’t be bothered with sorting through their lot (that’s our job, as retailers).

I price each piece based on a variety of factors. There’s size, color, texture, rarity (even within its type). Purchase price, replaceability, and personal “wow” factor all matter.

All these variables come into play…but this internalized list (the “axes of analysis,” as I call it) goes on and on! It would be hard to capture in words. There’s ultimately no substitute for the years of experience I bring to my pricing (and selection!).

The competitive vibe among sellers is actually something a lot of us have been overcoming (especially at the bigger shows). It’s so petty when venues block healers from reaching their audience, or sharing what it is they have to offer.

For all intents and purposes – if they did “open the gates” – the new arrangement would have every promise of creating a win win situation (for all of us). But no, we all want to be gatekeepers. “If you want to buy or be well, you have to come through my portal.” Sounds like Religion (but I won’t go there).

Papaya Quartz

Papaya Quartz

I find that it breaks the ice – with all but the most negatively minded people – when I buy from them, even at retail (though I certainly prefer – and merit – wholesale pricing). I’m an omnivorous buyer, I go for the good stones, wherever they may be (and whatever they cost).

I love the light hearted comradery that happens “on the floor.” There’s a sense that we’re all in this together – and that when we’re travelling from afar – we’re at the mercy of the organizers (who are ultimately “responsible” for bringing people through the door).

Indeed, there’s a little bit of an “us vs. them” feeling amongst the vendors, relative to organizers. It shows up in how we react towards the space we’re given; or even down to how the electricity is served up.

Our electricity kept getting unplugged…and had to be taped to the wall. It was a little annoying to have paid nearly $200 for access to a socket that was already there in my own booth space. And it wasn’t even that professionally set up (the wall plate wiggled). Three different sellers were being fed off of one outlet. Shimmying it tighter to the wall was the only method by which we could “stay juiced.”

Hospitality matters too – and shows up in areas such as making a special food line for us vendors – vs. relegating us to fending for ourselves (as if we were in the wild), amidst the throngs of festival goers.

Jewelry show display bins

Jewelry show display bins

Back (a bit) to my pricing philosophy and perspective. Some people think that because one person’s selling a bunch of tumblers in grab-bag-baskets for a couple of bucks each, that they’re not making a good margin of profit. Think again – they’re making as good a margin as anybody – and those nic nac accessories and non-rock, “shiny objects” that fly off the shelves…they’re there because they’re easy markup items. I was offered a few, to carry, but I declined…saying “I’m just a rock guy.”

Please don’t think that because some rocks sell for $1 to $3, that all rocks cost – or should cost – that amount. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on purchases I have no guarantee will ever sell. That’s what you do when you’re really into it.

Be driven by the product, not the cost. There are more important things to life (and Crystals) than the numbers. It annoys me to no end when people just look for the price tag, and then drop the piece, as if it has no other intrinsic worth than the dollar sign sticker which is stuck to it.

blues and greens - from Turquoise and Amazonite - to Crysoprase, Jade, and Chrysocolla

blues and greens – from Turquoise and Amazonite – to Chrysoprase, Jade, and Chrysocolla

Another pet peeve I have is when people come up out of nowhere – as they did specifically at this show, searching for Shungite – and ask “do you have such-and-such?” Just ’cause somebody’s written a book about it recently – extolling its virtues – doesn’t make it the best thing since sliced bread!

When it’s revealed that I don’t have it (whatever it may be…”Natural-ite” was another favorite…that made me laugh), they disappear again. Never mind that I have some of the best specimens of the key, classic varieties (and some hard to find rarities too) right there for the viewing, which they’ve completely overlooked. That just shows me they’re into the trends, and have no real depth to their interest in Crystals.

As I was packing up, after the close of the show, a woman walked up and asked casually “can you explain about Crystals, and what they do for you?” lackadaisically. I’m like (in my head): “really, you can’t seriously care about the truth of the matter, never mind what I have to say about it.”

pendulums galore

pendulums galore

Back to pricing – I have a pricing paradigm that I’ll share with you sometime too – it’s a way for you to understand better what you should expect to get for under $10 (as a retail buyer) – between $20 and $40; $50 and 90; over $100 – and over $200.

Another insider tip on my M.O. – if I don’t believe in it, or even get it – I don’t carry it (which I suggested above).

Take pendulums, for example. I don’t use them, but I know many who do. And I appreciate their aesthetic, as well as how helpful they can be (if you are into it). So I buy the best I can find – but not an overabundance of them – and I do display them.

Aqua Aura point(s)

Aqua Aura point(s)

Another variety I don’t use personally – but recognize the power of – is the treated Aura Quartzes. Precious metals are powdered, and fused to the surface of Quartz in a vacuum, at high temperatures. I’ve noticed they can become quite brittle – but they’re oh so pretty – and have a special, different, and larger than life aura.

My mainstay are real specimens  – including polished pieces – which I don’t necessarily consider “worse” than rough minerals.

I had a couple of people call me “hard” because I couldn’t go down indefinitely on the price of a standing Amethyst mini-cathedral. I’d rather hold onto something – wait for someone who appreciates it – than give it away beneath cost (or at a price that really doesn’t respect the piece).

Having been in the business 25 years, I know what will and won’t come around again.

Enough of my bellyaching! I don’t want to lose your ear – you’ve indulged me this far – but to get what we go through, you really have to understand this psychological tug of war that’s going on between us and folks who really don’t get it.

I had this same experience in the music business, where folks think you’re just “playing.” They don’t see your doing years of rehearsal, schlepping, late nights, driving tired behind the wheel, banging on doors for gigs. It ain’t easy work, but (somehow) we keep at it – we actually love it no matter what!

milky white Aragonite cluster lit from beneath by a light box

milky white Aragonite cluster lit from beneath by a light box

To tell you the truth – it’s self sourcing – energetically. I could be around Crystals (and all of what that entails) every single day, all day. Some of my best stretches have been spent exactly that way!

But you know the other reason we do it (and put up with all the BS)? It’s the folks who do get it, who recognize what you’re doing (and what it takes to deliver what you’re delivering). They make it worthwhile.

When I thought all was lost (that Saturday), and that I had no hope of recouping my expenses (never mind my product cost, or the worth of my time), I had a handful of good people come through. I’d just met them – for the first time(!) – and that carried me through.

Take also, for example, these encouraging words from a colleague afterwards: “You had a terrific display (and at least three attendees remarked to me that your crystals were of much higher quality than anything else at the show)! I think you really brought something special to the floor.” Feels good!

Or, from an elder, old time friend and fellow Crystal energy worker, based in NYC: “So good to see you again, I’m so proud of you. You have a great collection. And I like that you honor Earth Mother’s gifts.”

What else can I say?

What’s Love got to do with it? Crystals and the Heart.

broken heart

jasper heart – broken – and repaired (in appearance)

Crystal & Healing are two words that tend to go together all the time. And surely most of us carry around a broken heart, or at least a wounded heart – from failed & troubled relationships – including messed up childhoods. This creates all kind of mixed emotions, and the Heart Chakra (energy center located right there in your rib cage), can be a complicated place.

One color – Green – is often associated with that place we call our Heart (according to the preponderance of chakra charts). I’ve added Pink as its logical companion. Isn’t that the color we most often associate with things lovey-dovey (in the West).

SQR - gemmy rose egg

gemmy Rose Quartz egg, unparallelled in color

The distinction I make between Green & Pink is represented by two stones: Rose Quartz & Green Fluorite (which, in its rough, chunk form, looks just like a green version of pink Quartz). Rose Quartz represents Unconditional Love, the opening of the heart – that vulnerable “first love” vibration – also experienced by the lucky few who’ve had a first hand experience of The Divine…and feel that way towards G8D. It is innocent – not judging – and infinite.

best cluster

large cluster of perfectly colored green Fluorite

Unfortunately, most of us lose touch with that Being Love feeling, and are caught up more in its unavoidable companion (at least for humans): Relational Love – how we connect with those around us, with our Self, and with our Spiritual guides and cohorts. Money, at least in the U.S. – is green – and represents our commercial relationship to the world. So as you can imagine, Green Fluorite is a complex stone, given the variety of connections it ‘watches over.’ I think of it mostly in terms of its spiritual role, which is enhanced by its clarity, translucency, or “gemminess.”

IMG_5823

trio of matching, high grade octahedral blue Fluorite

Some people are just not green people, they relate far more to blue, and for them – although this aspect of the heart chakra remains green in color – they’d connect more easily with Blue Fluorite, a rarer, and wonderful form. So you can choose your Blue Spirit world or your Green Spirit World, but blue generally belongs higher, in the throat chakra and beyond.

heart shape a

naturally heart shaped, river worn Nephrite Jade

There are a number of other Aspects to what I call “the Heart Complex” – which are fortunately reflected in other, related stones – which ‘reside’ around “the big two.” Jade is directly beneath – and interestingly, appears not only in shades of green, but also in blue and gray. Jade is the great Emotional Soother – it’s surface is most like human skin (especially when naturally worn) – and it somehow “makes everything okay.”

twin pair of giant Candle Quartz, Madagascar

attached, twin pair of giant Candle Quartz

Above “the big two” one could place Milky stones, particularly Milky Quartz (though there are other varieties – specifically some Calcites and Verengita – which is like a white Onyx or Alabaster). These represent most bluntly: a mother’s milk…compassionate…nurturing (which is a bit different from soothing).

IMG_4924

pair of matching Malachite spheres

Next, beneath the Jade, come Smoky Quartz and Malachite.

Malachite can be a mixed blessing, because it’s an Emotive. The black represents opening, and the green represents the heart, so it’s an opening of the heart…helps feelings come up…not always an easy prospect.

But then, there is the Ultimate Forgiveness stone: Smoky Quartz, here to make everything okay – not by soothing – but by whisking away the negativity, transmuting it into some other place and time. It’s hard to get angry with Smoky Quartz around – I have a large beaded necklace of it – simply can’t get upset while I’m wearing it!

broken, dark Smoky

broken tip, but perfectly colored Smoky

So there you have it – the overarching duo of Unconditional & Relational Love – surrounded by other Heart Aspects: the expression of Feelings; Soothing; Compassion & Nurturance; and the power of Forgiveness…all important nuances coexisting in the Heart Chakra…and given voice and language through Crystals.

How they are configured, and ‘used’ to treat and enhance people’s experience, is the field of the ‘Crystal Healer,’ of which I am one. This arrangement is of my own ‘making’ – the choice of stones that participate in this important energy sector (of the human body) – have been selected and inter-related by me.

CC logo pink n blue text

If you would like to learn more about how to dwell and explore the Heart Complex – through Meditation, Personal Sessions, or Live & Virtual Learning Opportunities – please contact Kyle Russell via email, at CrystalConcentrics@gmail.com.

 

twin, or 'couple stone'

twin, or ‘couple stone’

PS. what about Romantic Love? It exists within the personal experience of these various energetic “pulls,’ but can be represented by “couple stones,” or twins…which do not pertain (or reside) directly in the Heart Chakra…but may be meditated on, or worked on, with Crystals that fit this description (as pictured here). Similarly, multi-point conglomerations (not necessarily clusters) can represent families, children, etc.

different heart-shaped stones will evoke different experiences of Love...this one is Tiger Iron...and is all about grounding your love, having a strong center of gravity, to not stray or be swayed wrongly

different heart-shaped stones will evoke different experiences of Love…this one is Tiger Iron…and is all about grounding your love, having a strong center of gravity, to not stray or be swayed wrongly

What stone can be used to attract love? That’s an interesting question, and not an easy one to answer. I believe that working with the other stones, and all that they “conjure” in the human breast, as well as approaching your life holistically, with an eye to balancing your energies, and more importantly…letting Universal Energy flow maximally through your being, and without snags…THAT is the way to open yourself up most easrily to receive Love into your life.

A good variety of these mentioned stones are also accessible at the For Sale items page at www.Facebook.com/PowerStoneCrystals, or by request, with interest, to the email above.

What is a “Crystal Reading”?

mystic light, emanating from a crystal point

mystic light, emanating from a crystal point

I offered a venue-owner my services as a “Crystal Reader,” which brought up – even for me, the next logical question – “what is a Crystal Reading?”

Mention Psychic Readings – and people generally know what you’re talking about – even if they haven’t necessarily had one.

According to Wikipedia: “A Psychic Reading is a specific attempt to discern information through the use of heightened perceptive abilities; or natural extensions of the basic human senses of sight, sound, touch, and instinct. These natural extensions are claimed to be Clairvoyance (vision), Clairsentience (feeling), Claircognisance (factual knowing) and Clairaudience (hearing)…and the resulting statements made during such an attempt.”

There is no such entry for “Crystal Reading” – which speaks to that fact that no one (“out there”) really knows what a Crystal Reading would consist of – though I’m sure some of you can imagine (and I’ve met several folks who do their own versions of this). I actually do them (being an innovator of the form) – and will tell you what my own Crystal Concentrics Reading consists of – so read on please.

revelations of a Crystal Ball

revelations of a Crystal Ball

One might ask: “do Crystals tell the reader something about the person?”

Could this be facilitated by an archetypal (or real) Crystal Ball? I know a few that could probably do the job, in the right hands. Specifically, I’m finding that Selenite spheres are quite powerful tools for scrying. 

Let me pull back, though, and ask: “Are Crystals used, like Tarot Cards – or an Astrological chart – as a kind of map of a person’s makeup (revealing their past)…or does it open a window onto their destiny (leading forward)?”

All good questions. Here’s how it works…from my perspective. Again, I can only speak for myself – ’cause I don’t come from an existing “school of thought,” or an institution – nobody’s trained or certified me…but I have my sources.

You see, I’m 25 years into this. I had a revelatory experience during the Harmonic Convergence of 1987. Since then – the knowledge simply appeared – almost fully formed, in my mind. Certainly, I’ve worked on it, honed it…developing through experience, my own higher understanding of this subject.

Clearly, as well, there’s an existing field out there. With so many modalities available to choose from (even within the Crystal Healig medium), it’s important for each practitioner to represent their own services’ qualities & the benefits thereof. This is mine, and here I go.

For starters – while I use cues (how you present yourself, what you say) – I don’t pretend to read minds or know the name of your first dog, the street you’ve lived on, or what illnesses you’ve had. There’s no “hide” – but there’s certainly some “seek” – my questions are key, they set the stage for my understanding of your issues.

golden rainbow Calcite sphere

golden rainbow Calcite sphere

To facilitate my openness to information, a Crystal Ball is certainly conducive, but not required. Any type of power stone could help, but truly, attentiveness and caring are prerequisite.

I will say this, though. What’s great about any sphere – is its omnidirectionality – suggesting its capacity to pick up on everything, from all directions…including the past…or the hereafter.

non-clear stone spheres

non-clear stone spheres

Not all such pieces have that ability, ’cause when you get into the different (non-clear) varieties, you invoke other energies – intrinsic to those stones – and not really pertinent to that “receiver” aspect most available through clear orbs.

So if a Crystal Ball is not a prerequisite, what is? The inquiry. It’s everything. So is the interpretation. Together, they are ultimately “the reading!”

stock image of a Psychic reading scenario

stock image of a Psychic reading scenario

As mentioned earlier, the questions which come up may include – “what is challenging your Spiritual Journey” – or even “what’s present for you these days…emotionally…or in your body?”

Some people are less attuned to their internal world, and respond better to an open ended question like “what’s happening in your life right now?” That lets them choose what direction they want to go in – what they think is important to reveal – what’s really concerning for them, in the moment.

The more avoidant a person is, the less likely they are to truly benefit from this (or any) therapy. You have to want to get down and dirty with your own “stuff.” If you are unwilling to walk in the dark, you are less likely to get to the other side of the tunnel, where the light’s coming through.

The magic – on my part – is both in the follow up questions (to find out more), and in the interpretation: what does this all say, or mean about you? Where is it pointing? What kind of help, energetically, do you need right now?

Based on my assessment – which can take more, or less time – it’s possible to determine what Crystals may be helpful in representing, or facilitating your process.

Obsidian wands - one backing the other - in clearing the way forward

Obsidian wands – one backing the other – in clearing the way forward

We’re looking for a way to either to cope with what’s currently going on, or to move you further along, towards your own desired destination.

Sometimes (often!) we all need some support in thinking through what it is that we really want, never mind navigating the often complex Rubik’s cube of how to “get it.”

I call myself a Personal Growth Facilitator & Spiritual Advisor, because we’re not just talking about logistics. There are many professional coaches out there to help you with that. We’re not doing talk therapy, either (though conversation is certainly therapeutic).

I will address your Soul purpose, or the particulars which may be coming up. Talking is the easiest way to communicate so much, in not a lot of time. So it’s not to be avoided.

The added layer, which makes this work so unique, is the additional use and involvement of Power Stones.

Broadly, it’s helpful to consider the personal benefits of this work, in general…which you can learn about through my List of Benefits link.

small assortment of power stones

small assortment of power stones

Returning to the particulars of a Crystal Reading session: a tabletop layout can be selected (by me) from a “doctor’s bag” of goodies – Crystals that run the gamut, energetically – but which are selected  (and arranged) for their relevance to your situation.

It’s not a prescription – “go buy this, or do that” – I’m actually opposed to that type of simplistic problem solving. I don’t believe possessing a certain variety of stone can necessarily make your world better – though that certainly happens all the time, for me and for others – so I wouldn’t discount that. I’m just saying that the Crystals are only part of the puzzle, and your issues go deeper, and lie separate from the earthen world. Most people’s situations took a lot of combined factors to create – there’s no reason to believe that all that can be undone by one single action – or crystal.

What I encourage instead, is the consideration of an inventory of vibrations that are helpful to witness, or take in, given the circumstances you’re facing. By contemplating certain Stones and ideas, you’re able to gain some needed perspective on your life. From there, options and opportunities will present themselves.

The grouping is a lot smaller than what might be chosen for a full layout in a private, individualized session (which I do, as well). The Crystal Reading is really meant to be an introduction – to how Crystals can be seen to connect with your reality – and how they can be used to bring out and conceptualize (maybe even galvanize) some of the dynamics at work in your life.

When I’m working long distance, it might be necessary to draw for stones afterwards, on reflection, and to send the person getting the reading a picture of them.

Fenster or Skeletal Quartz

Fenster or Skeletal Quartz

What’s an example, specifically, of how this might actually happen? Sure.

A person facing illness needs to begin seeing that fact (or that interpretation) in a non-self-deprecatory way. It’s so easy to turn judgement onto oneself…as if the disease hasn’t already done a “good” enough job of that…you have to be strong (even as you’re feeling weak)!

You need to be able to externalize your sense of weakness – as can be done with a Fenster Quartz – which is strong, but yet fractured.

Diamantina Quartz, tapered laser

Diamantina Quartz, tapered laser

You may need to draw in (or mimic) strong life energies – for strength – which could come from a Herkimer Diamond Quartz, or a reverse facing wand, using one like this pictured ‘Singing’ or Diamantina Quartz laser (which is “facing” forward).

There are so many tools – not only in shape – but in content, which represent the many energies we need to call upon.

high quality Rhodochrosite chunk, polished to show its color gradations

high quality Rhodochrosite chunk, polished to show its color gradations

Perhaps the seminal cell-division “fertility” stone Rhodochrosite, may become necessary (though I don’t really bring it out lightly, as its use makes more sense in a larger – and individualized – treatment plan). Rose Quartz or coral Stilbite might do, but it all depends on the circumstances.

Suffice it to say, the possibilities are limitless. Our imagination, desire for progress, and the number (and quality) of Crystals within our grasp will all set the very broad stage for what’s possible through these Readings.

A Crystal Reading can lead to future work together – you and me – or to recommendations for other practitioners or self care options. You’ll come away with a new way of looking at yourself and your potential. Ultimately, I can talk about it till the cows come home, but the best way to find out what a Crystal Concentrics Reading can do for you, is to book one (or invite me to an event you know about, where I can offer them).

Email CrystalConcentrics@gmail.com…I’m looking forward to The Inquiry!

Protection (and Crystals)

Protection. You want it. I want it!

Who doesn’t? But what is it…what does it really mean? That word – and the actions required to achieve that thing called “protection” – what’s it all about?

I hear a steady hum of requests and claims from people who are seeking, using, even needing Crystals for this purpose. “Do this” or “carry that” – I’ve heard – and (essentially…people claim): “you’re all set.”

Egyptian Amulets

Egyptian Amulets

As with most complex, Spiritually co-creative processes – the actual mechanics of how “protection” works – is only loosely understood (by most people). There is a pervasive (and very old school) “amulet mentality” – stemming from the notion that possessing (or holding, even in your pocket) a certain stone (or trinket) – will necessarily ward off evil.

Could it really be that easy? I wish it were so. And there are times, no doubt, when it is (or can be).

I just don’t think it’s (always) so easy – which is why I don’t like to give people quick – pat answers. The circumstances, nuances, particulars, and specifics all matter.

There is a LOT of grey area in the Spiritual realm – as there is in our own “grey matter” – the human brain and psyche…both are infinitely complex.

Also, you can have all the “protection” in the world – but if you stand out on a railroad track , and the train is coming towards you late at night – there’s nothing you can do to keep from being mowed down.

Tempting fate is a losing prospect. Ultimately, what you’re trying to do, is to get on the safe side of reality. Reduce your risk to a minimum. That means “don’t trouble Trouble.”

Stay the hell out of the way, unless you’re trying to be a hero, a martyr, or a fool. In any of those cases – you’re courting disaster, saying “bring it on” because your cause is just (or you think it is) – and feel the risks are worth taking. In other words – for you – “the ends justify the means.”

If you’re seeking Protection, it’s because you want to be safe along the way. You may not actually want to endanger yourself in the first place. You’re first line of defense should always be: don’t to put yourself into harm’s way.

Many people (sometimes instead) are looking for “quick fixes,” an age old panacea…something easy!

Aztec human sacrifice

Aztec human sacrifice

Let me be clear: I don’t idolize past traditions – there were (and are) many closed-minded and hurtful superstitions in place – not just issuing from Europe, but from many of the latest and “greatest” belief systems, all around the world. Nobody has – or should claim – to have all the answers.

I don’t want to say that protective objects don’t exist (like the Kuba nail fetishes of West Africa, and so many more) – but in the case of Crystals – we have the opportunity of gaining a much broader understanding of how this tricky dynamic can work, and be empowered (more than just in awe) of our own capacity to defend ourselves against “the dark arts.”

Not that evil is the only thing we need defense from. Often, our woes are not from malicious malefactors (or supernatural demons), per se. Who we’re in need of real protection from – in the day-to-day – are (in the grand scheme of things): ill-willed politicians, imperial and genocidal cultures, climate change, disease and old age. More mundanely (but no less threateningly): vindictive ex’es, negative co-workers, or a car accident can all creep up on you.

“The enemy” can be great or small. Or faceless. “Bad luck” – having been dealt a poor set of cards – that’s a very common thing we all need protection from.

You have to work a bit, to determine exactly what you’re trying to be spared, so that you can mount your counter attack, or build your defenses intelligently.

particularly sweet Black Tourmaline

particularly sweet Black Tourmaline

In the “Crystal World,” Black Tourmaline is often reached for -reflexively – but why?  What is the mechanism by which its protection is effected? What is the crystal DOING to keep you safe? And why should you choose that one over any other?

These are prickly questions – ones we don’t get answers to often – because the purveyors of crystal lore often repeat by rote what’s been “handed down” to them, without attempting any substantive explanation for why one set of assertions should be considered more truthful than any others.

Now I don’t expect you to do a science experiment to identify what methods will work best against invisible forces. I don’t know if such a thing is even possible (or desirable). You’re using etheric energy to fight etheric energy…there’s no place for that in the scientific method arena (or vice versa). True to the playing field of “grey area,” there are no easy answers, or solutions to the quandary.

There is, however, a way of understanding what’s happening – or what needs to happen – which might make sense, and feel like it’s involved in the physical cause-and-effect progression 0f that which you’re seeking.

Basically, self-defense consists of four parts: avoidance of dangerous situations (stay out of the way); bolstering of internal strength (to gird against attack); the clearing of negative energies (to ensure that that your vibes go unfettered); and going on the offensive (beating back your enemy).

Avoidance can be active, and literal – or “passive” – as in stealth, “cloaking,” being unseen…shapeshifting. It combines common sense, practical “street savvy,” and advanced knowledge of esoteric arts. So I won’t be getting into that one right now, from a metaphysical perspective. It’s a bit premature, and not really necessary, with all this other advice I’m dishing out. Just mind your P’s and Q’s, and you should be alright with what I’m presenting here. This is a solid foundation for understanding how Crystals can be used for Protection.

Herkimer Diamond with lots of internal fracturing

Herkimer Diamond with lots of internal fracturing

Next. How about bolstering your internal strength? Take a page from our friend, the Herkimer Diamond (a variety of Quartz that forms solo, or in groups, and is generally double terminated). I can’t “use” this material for much, like Quartz points, wands, and tabulars. Those all permit the use or projection of energy flow through them. Herkimers hold their own, however: they’re pretty much energetically impermeable.

Am I repeating this because I’ve read it somewhere? No! What I’m saying here comes from my own personal experience. You can take it with a grain of salt – “find out” for yourself – and/or trust me, based on my 25 years’ experience with Crystals.

Herkimers can be rather expensive, for their size, but they’re kind of  unique (though I’ve seen similar formations coming from Mexico and elsewhere). Dynamically, though, nothing from anywhere else does what a Herkimer Diamond can do. Bigger is indeed better here, and by merely having, or reflecting on it, you can cultivate your own inner resources, “thicken your skin,” strengthen your immunity. This is a useful tip, even beyond the topic of Protection…it feeds right into Health and Wellness in general. That’s one thing (among many!) that I like about Crystals…they’re useful in so many ways, and for so many purposes.

The suggestions I make here are by no means the only methods for getting at any given ends. I (and you) might have other stones or techniques (including many that don’t even involve Crystals), which may be perfectly useful. But I’m touching on these particular pieces to give you guidelines about how to use these specifically appropriate stones, and how different stones can affect different ends (or sub-priorities) – even if you have one overarching “goal” (in this case, it’s Protection). A multi-tiered approach is always better than a one dimensional fix-it.

sheen Obsidian wand

sheen Obsidian wand

Clearing of negative energies – I use light percussion or sage too (to achieve this) – but in the mineral world, Obsidian (specifically in wand form) is a really good way of shoo’ing away unwanted vibrations. It’s like clearing cobwebs. The idea is to scare off “bad spirits” – to make an open, fresh space – for new (and “better”) energies to come through. Imagine it’s like erasing a blackboard, zeroing out a calculator, or wiping a slate clean. As a result, you can work with “what’s left,” and build something new in “the vacuum.”

A corollary to clearing, is the subsequent (or co-incidental) creation and maintenance of Sacred Space. That can be effected through layouts, with energetically neutral objects (or stones), and is an important prerequisite for doing serious energy work.  You don’t want negative vibes slapping back once a person’s aura has been opened. It’s not fair to them, as they’ve put their trust in you. Another form of Obsidian – specifically “Apache tears” – is great for this…it’s like those circular bubble-generators that keep sharks away.

Lastly, there is the notion of actively fighting back opposition (or malevolent intentions). For this, you do need a heavy hitter. It’s a bit like fighting fire with fire – the reason people like to have guns – for self defense (or offense towards others). People like to think that their weapon would never “fall into the wrong hands,” or be misused by an innocent (like a child). For “2nd amendment’ers,” there’s also the expectation that their weapon would never be used against them, and that only “good” people’s rights are defended by allowing unbridled access to firearms. It’s a tricky game that can backfire, and should not to be trifled with.

large irradiated Arkansas Quartz

large irradiated Arkansas Quartz

I digress though – but only sort of – because it surprises me to see some folks in the crystal business (usually the non metaphysically-oriented ones) glorifying gun ownership. And yet, here I am, advocating something similar.

Evil exists in the world – mostly because of people – it’s a force we’ve generated by our own human hand since “the fall” (or the expulsion from Eden). Even in the natural world – where the construct of malevolence does not apply – predators and other natural forces beset the individual as soon as they’re born.

We all need tools for defense – and tools are a uniquely human problem solver. Specifically, I present to you this giant, irradiated “generator” point. Notice: it points away from you, and off the page.

Usually, I reserve the term “generator” for wide points that stand straight up. In this case, the piece does push out energy spontaneously. And you don’t want it pointed at you – or anyone, really – it’s more generally for protection, to ward off any evil intentions (which may be out there). I can’t tell you the perils I’ve avoided…which at least, in part…I owe to having this power piece.

I realize not everyone has access to something of this magnitude – I haven’t seen another since the late 80’s – and not all irradiated Quarz will manifest the same qualities (as this one does). However, you may wish to seek out something similar to it. The look may not be the identical. You may find a completely different stone – or some other power object to use – but the function should be comparable. Like an attack dog, it safeguards  your scene…and that’s a very important role (for it) to play.

Thus, and in conclusion, it is possible to effect Protection through Crystals. It’s not as simple as putting a bandaid on – or one rock in your pocket – my prescriptions are multi-layered. In this, as with any other ambitions you may have, it behooves you to look at the problem from several angles. Then, understanding the intrinsic energies of Crystals, it becomes possible to put together a creative, and 3-dimensional approach to whatever challenges face you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Crystal Concentrics’ founder Kyle Russell has been working with Crystals for over 25 years. He is available for individual session work (in person, and long-distance), as well as group instruction: Classes & Meditations. His For-Sale pieces may be seen at http://www.Facebook.com/PowerStoneCrystals, and you can contact him directly at CrystalConcentrics@gmail.com with any questions you may have.

are Crystals un-Godly?

milky Calcite 'candle wax' cluster

milky Calcite ‘candle wax’ cluster

I was gonna name this Blog: “Are Crystals Godly?” and I know plenty of people I’m connected with (like on Facebook) who’d say “of course!” As mineral wonders of great beauty and energy (especially for those who go in for that sort of thing), how could you NOT think so?!

In fact, many of us would say crystals are hyper-Godly, being particularly representative of the divine.  They were formed without human intervention. They represent the creative and magnificently structured capabilities of nature (ie. the order of the universe). And they will endure – forever – so long as there is an earth (unless they’re ferried off the planet during its final stages).

It’s interesting to note that without interference (unlike with biological forms), crystals remain unchanged, without any particular need for maintenance or special care (unlike paintings). They do represent the Eternal, constancy, and equilibrium through change…what’s “on the other side” of our mutable experience…a bit like Nirvana.

not-for-sale personal power pieces

not-for-sale personal power pieces

But I was inspired to write this blog more based on a comment that I got to my Facebook post of personal pieces I’ve displayed at the Expos recently (see picture here, to the right).

One person says “Drool,” another says “Beautiful,” and still another says “Very nice collection.” My eyes stopped on reading the following: “Sad.healing is not in rocks.But only through the blood of Jesus” (verbatim).

My first reaction was to delete – or delete and ban – but something made me keep it, to contemplate. That first, defensive reaction was to say “we don’t need people raining on our parade here: it’s hard enough living in a skeptical, horrible world…without party poopers trying to invalidate what comforts we stumble upon.”

I let a few days pass, and then actually Replied: “I guess that means healing doesn’t come through human compassion, medical intervention, healthy living, or any other, of the other wonderful tools the Creator has made available to us…” which felt like a decent Reply – not based on feeling threatened – and fully acknowledging that all good things can fairly be said to originate from, and be gifts from G*d our use and appreciation.

composite logo for the concept of coexistance

composite logo for the concept of coexistance

How can you deny someone whatever methods they’ve found to experience and share Love (or Life force)? I respect the right of every Religion to use whatever means they believe in, to get to Heaven…but tromping on others (or their beliefs) does not seem like a reasonable (or fair) part of that road map.

In an ideal world, we should live and let live. Metaphysically oriented New Agers do sometimes use methods of escape to inform their experience of day to day living. But to the last, I would argue, their first hope is to better off their own reality and by some process, to also improve others’. Paganism attracts people who feel we got it wrong – as a civilization – once we latched on to the monotheistic religions…and that earlier cultures had something worth preserving, not denying.

Wicca, the Feminine, and the Elements

Wicca, the Feminine, and the Elements

Wicca has kept certain traditions alive, and there are innumerable other sects and devotions (not to mention the other major world religions: non-deistic Buddhism and polytheistic Hinduism) that explore Spirit without denigrating other beliefs – that acknowledge the natural as sacred (native religions, and animism) – and aren’t afraid to have the human coexist with the holy…or the profane frolic with the priestly.

My point – in closing – is twofold. First, that crystals – and we who enjoy them – in no way put down the religious. There’s no reason the other way ’round should be happening. And I fully recognize that reason often has no part to play for “the righteous.” But in a world where there is inescapable (and glorious) diversity, peace and civility demand a certain measure of it.

If applying the Golden Rule has any merit, then please do not do unto others as you would not have them to unto you. I, myself, am G*d-fearing (and loving!). I don’t see a conflict. Crystals in no way threaten the greatness or majesty of The Father, Mother, or whatever named or nameless entity you want to ascribe dominion of our reality to. To the contrary, I think they demonstrate the ingenuity and wonder of the universe’s tremendously innovative, and creative power.

spectacular clear Quartz

spectacular clear Quartz (un-enhanced image)

Secondly, in my post, I said nothing about healing. Though I could have, and perhaps will be doing so more often. On average, a tiny minority of my posts make any claims regarding the curative qualities of crystals. Not to say that they don’t have them – but I object to the ubiquitous literature making broad and sweeping prescriptions about what this and that stone will “do” or “is good for.”

My beef with much of the prevailing crystal lore is a topic for other writings, but my take home (or share-with-you) message from all of the above, is put the power back into yourself, let there be accessible forces in our midst. Don’t give up your own capacity for mastery – and perception of how things work – entirely to one set of religious dogmas.

Spirit presence among "the ancestors" cluster of African Smoky Quartz

Spirit presence among “the ancestors” – an impressive cluster of African Smoky Quartz

Empowerment is the key to personal and planetary healing. Indeed there is scriptural basis to believe that since the expulsion from Eden, the human journey G*d has set for us is one of Choice, and not slavish obedience to some destiny – more often set up by selfish earthlings – than by angels.

We all need to lend a hand in getting G*d’s work done. Whether we are atheistic or not, we should be open to, and embracing, of all the tools given to us to manifest Spirit. I, for one, am “sold” on the utility of crystals in this mission.

Crystal Pricing – it’s in all the eye of the beholder

Boston Mineral ClubPART ONE – the principal of it

I joined the Boston Mineral Club recently, and overheard one of the elder gemologists say “unlike in most industries, there’s no standardized system for pricing minerals.” A lightbulb went off for me. Of course, I thought – that’s so true!

Diamonds may have a ‘universal’ price code – but even there – you can find a lot of variation in cost-for-product…and if you’re not an expert yourself, who can you trust?

Folks you know – folks you’ve seen demonstrate their knowledge, experience, and selection – you can (and should) trust them. And trust yourself, over all. If you think it’s worth it (to you) – and you have the money – they go ahead and buy it…without any regrets!

question mark diamond

question mark diamond

But who really knows what a Crystal is worth? If there was some ONE person who knew it all, it wouldn’t be much of a game anymore. It’s ultimately “all in the eye of the beholder.”

The Seller is the gate keeper – the ultimate “decider” – but every one has their bottom price. Unlike mainstream shop attendants, most dealers have the flexibility to give you a break. So play with them…bargain. Worst thing they can say is “no!”

I’ve done that plenty myself – making preposterously low offers – it can’t hurt. But I never question people’s prices – especially in front of others, or on Facebook – I think that’s a big no-no.

I asked one such naysayer “why would you want to ‘yuk someone else’s yum’ – I mean – if that’s what they’re charging, it’s their business (after all), and if someone’s gonna pay what they’re asking, then more power to the both of them!”

a decent sphere - like this golden rainbow Calcite sphere - should cost over $100

a decent sphere – like this golden rainbow Calcite sphere – should cost over $100

I’m not into the high end, jewelry or gem stone business, preferring minerals. I do specialize in finer specimens, but within the (I think) more modest range of $30-$200.

I think of that as “affordable” – and that if you can’t spend that type of change on something that really matters to you – then perhaps you should find a cheaper hobby.

Amazingly, a lot of people think that is a lot to spend. I don’t know what that says about our economy, people’s living conditions, or our priorities. People are spending $50 a week on coffee and donuts…so it’s hard for me understand why they can’t seem to find the same amount for something that’ll last forever…and give them satisfaction many times over.

I feel like I’m holding the torch solo – sometimes – for people respecting the value of good Crystals, and the effort that goes into finding, and presenting them in a way that truly honors their special value.

Aragonite 'sea horse' floating cluster

Aragonite ‘sea horse’ floating cluster

The reason my prices aren’t what you’ll see at a local rock shop (or gem show), is that I am neither. This is a boutique operation. Every piece is hand picked because of some unique quality, and my prices reflect that TLC.

A wholesaler I met with recently said “I can’t go there – I can’t look at individual pieces – everything has to get marked up by weight only.” How could I compete with – and why should I be compared to – folks buying directly from the source?! That’s not my place in the pecking order – my ‘ecological niche’ is post miner, post international shipper – serving up that special sauce for retail buyers with great taste.

All and still – and excuse me for tooting my own horn here (if I don’t, who will, aye…though you may want to look at my Buyer Testimonials) – but I’m pretty confident that I have a broader variety of true power stones than most operations I’ve seen out there – be they online or in person – mom and pop or major importer.

Every time I leave a gem show or wholesaler – I thank my lucky stars: I get to walk away with the good stuff – while they’re stuck with literally tons of 2nds and 3rds…stuff I wouldn’t even want to give away…but their margin (hello, everybody’s got ’em) takes that into consideration. Plus, they have volume on their side.

Have you seen some of the truly high grade stuff displayed at Museums, and even Gem Shows? It’s on sale for really big numbers? People are asking $800 for a pebble here, and $4000 for a cluster there. Try complaining to those guys about pricing.

I’m the little  guy, here. How is it fair that I should occasionally get grief for charging the cost of a good meal on arguably outstanding product?

worthless lot I returned

worthless lot I returned

Let me tell you a little story about unreasonable pricing. There was a guy I bought a whole parcel from recently, for $140 online. I failed to get dimensions, trusting the source – but when I got it – the little ‘puddle’ was worth $30, maybe. There were tiny points that looked huge in the photos (which is why every piece I sell online is photographed ‘in-hand’ – to show relative size). Others were broken. The Citrine was all irradiated (undisclosed by the Seller), and the ‘Lemurians’ turned out not to be. He didn’t even have an “All Sales Final” clause, but he wouldn’t take them back! I put them in the mail and said “don’t even refund me – keep the money as a cushion for yourself, or give it to a charity – I could never accept this overpriced garbage.” The black Tourmaline was all I wanted to hold onto, but to do so would only suggest the legitimacy of any part of the transaction.

I don’t know if it’s yard sales, volume sellers, or rock hounds who can offer great selections for under $30 – but if they’re out there – have at ’em.

As I say to some folks: “you can find another stone like this out there – but you won’t find this one anywhere but here, today.”

One of the favorite claims made (and I hear this one a lot) is: “I have one just like that” – or better yet, with additional glee: “and I paid $4 for it!” Awesome, I’ll say: “show me a photo of it.” And they disappear into the ethers.

You know what they say about opinions…

it's just a $3 tumbler - right(?) - wrong: it's a hand polished Celestite, worth a lot more

“This is just a $3 tumbler – right?” Wrong: it’s a hand polished Celestite, worth a great deal more.

Sometimes what I buy costs me more than someone else may have found it for. I’ve heard braggadocio like “I can get that for this amount.” I’m like “cool, let’s talk, maybe I should be buying it from you!” Again, the magic vaporization trick.

Some folks just like to hear the sound of their own voices…

In addition to my markups reflecting the considerable time spent choosing ‘greats’ from lesser pieces, they reflect miles driven to faraway places (you know the price of gas!); hours spent sorting through what’s been gotten; the cost of storage bins; display boxes…this isn’t an overhead-free business.

I see plenty of shop owners buying keystone, and charging a standard markup, but that doesn’t do justice to specifically selected stand-outs. And that’s not even taking into consideration a piece’s metaphysical attributes!

awesome Smoky Elestial I saw in a 'local rock shop' with a price tag of $150 more than I'd sold a similar piece for

awesome Smoky Elestial I saw in a ‘local rock shop’ with a price tag of $150 more than I’d sold a similar piece for

I also find myself in stores scratching my head – “why the heck are they charging so much for this?” Tell me that hasn’t happened to you! And yet…they must have their reasons.

Sometimes a rock is just plain worth more, or the seller has put a premium on it, they just don’t want to part with it for less. That’s their prerogative.

Again, you do have choice. You can buy anywhere. Let me repeat, this time for all vendors: “if you want this stone, from this source, this is what it’s going to cost you.”

PART TWO [optional] – the nitty gritty (behind the scenes)…fine print details

awesome, giant Scheelite I have my eye on

awesome, giant Scheelite I have my eye on…it’s here for no other reason than that I like it

I’ve covered some important ground, so far, but I want to address (in this Blog) some more topics that have come up through feedback from customers and the curious. They’ve inquired about pricing on my For Sale page: www.Facebook.com/PowerStone.

As you can see, I have more to say than will comfortably fit on a Post or Comment, so here goes. I so love the flexibility of being able to ‘stretch out’ in my Blogs.

Facebook iconTo begin with, the question: “to price or not to price?” Why I never used to, and why some people still refuse to do it publicly (like on Facebook)…is for a bunch of reasons.

Unlike on one’s own site – mine is www.CrystalConcentrics.com, but I haven’t yet launched my new shopping cart system…it mostly just hosts my blog) – Facebook is (pretty much) an open book. That means that any and everybody can comment (and they often do).

Heckling on price or steering customers elsewhere happens, and it’s not cool. That’s why, even though I used to publish a range (“under $50” or “under $400”) – I have always urged people to “DM” me – that is, direct message me for details.

“DM” is my own challenge to the generally accepted “PM” or private message abbreviation most commonly used. Although I have this request on virtually every item description, I’m astonished that people still prefer to Comment with questions, instead of writing me directly, as I’ve requested. The result – regrettably – is that I don’t notice their outreach till months later, if at all.

Moving on: wholesalers (even from other countries) have been known to come in and try to undercut you to the interested party, or separately message them, trying to steal the sale. Also not cool…and it doesn’t serve anyone, in the long run.

I learned this lesson the hard way – a LONG time ago – when I had 2 retail stores selling international clothing and jewelry. My suppliers started opening up direct-to-retail shops in the neighborhood. What happened? The bottom fell out of the market (for me and for them).

Jewelry show display

Jewelry show display

Sure, I want to get buyers the best possible prices, but after awhile, know that if the margin becomes too slim, it becomes pointless even to carry the product (never mind photograph it, post it, talk about it, etc.).

Remember, all vendors also have to have a huge amount of money tied up in inventory – to stay stocked – so they’ve got to believe in their product (and the pricing they’ve chosen).

In my case – you’ll also have to take into consideration that when I walk into a private healing session with a client (or a class) – sporting thousands of dollars in stellar material – that stuff will never be sold. It’s being held strictly for therapeutic purposes. It’s like water being tied up in the glaciers, never being turned over, even for the price that was paid. Think of all that capital out of circulation.

I can’t sell any one piece for less that I think it merits. That being said – you should know that my regular customers sometimes enjoy major discounts – as much as 30-40% off! It’s, ultimately, about making the sale – having product move, in the larger flow of Life energy – and creating the space for new and different items.

One more factor the Buyer should account for: privately held collection pieces not earning for the Seller. One wholesaler I met doesn’t have that problem – he saves nothing – but I can’t think of many who can resist holding onto some precious Crystals for themselves.

How do you even begin to price a giant elestial double terminated quartz(?!)

How do you even begin to price a giant Elestial double terminated Quartz(?!)

In all fairness, you (or I) really have no idea what the Seller actually bought the merchandise for, or what their overhead may be.

Just today, I bought some pieces Retail, because they’re that special. I was willing to ‘overspend’ because I know those pieces have their ‘rightful owners’ out there, and I’m their steward (until such time).

I can’t speak for others – but I spend a lot of time dealing with product – I take photos of everything; have paid for a sophisticated in-the-cloud inventory system; and have many other time and material costs which are incurred (behind the scenes) to bring you the best selection I can.

I am prepared to sit on an item if it doesn’t sell (cause it’s that good) – and if it does go (especially if it’s unique) – I may have a real struggle trying to replace it. So sometimes, it’s better to hold something until the right buyer comes along. Thankfully) they are out there. I am so grateful for the discerning customer!

Volume, which is the lifeblood of wholesalers, is not the prime motivator of this metaphysical retailer (though it is for some). If you have a storefront, and lots of folks coming through, you want to move as much product as possible. My goal here is to focus on quality over quantity, and to match the buyer with the right stone for them, regardless of price.

I take extra time talking or emailing with people – to make sure we ‘get it right’ – and that’s part of why I have a 100% satisfaction rate. When a total stranger (online) makes an inquiry – I do ask for their email, to followup – and build the relationship. If they refuse to share that with me [I’ve never abused someone’s contact information], chances are: they won’t be that great to do business with. Another way of thinking about this is – what if someone walked into your store with an invisibility cloak – and balked at you asking them to remove it before talking to them?

As stated, valuation is not a rigid science – costs can change over time. I wouldn’t want to be held accountable for outdated pricing (“but in November, you said this cost such-and-such”)…especially if later, I find that the piece has become that much harder to find (or sudden abundance lowers the price it can command). Not posting exact numbers used to give me the flexibility to bargain, too – if it made sense – or I’d just hold out for my highest asking price.

purple Flourite bowl

unique purple Flourite bowl

Having been in the business 25 years, I’ve seen a LOT of rocks, from what’s in the shops, to gem shows…a great gamut of retail and wholesale offerings. I’ve even sampled what the museums are sporting (though I’m sad that it’s always behind glass)! I’ve got a pretty good sense of what is out there, what’s not likely to come around again, and what’s a fad.

Yes, even in the crystal world (or especially?), there are phases and fashions. New finds get milked (become all the rage, like Fluorite bowls – a purple example pictured here – were “happening” just a few years ago…and then they’ve disappeared since. Am I gonna charge more for something like that? You betcha.

New Age names & qualities (like the “Auralite 23” phenomenon) get slapped onto pieces that had otherwise gone unnoticed. These in particular – end up fetching a ridiculous premium – but oddly, I find myself liking (and buying) them regardless. If it’s worth it, it’s worth it.

I have priced pieces for the long run, not just based on what I paid for them. I have to take into consideration what I estimate their long term value will be…mindful of the current market, but also of its future.

pair of Saphires

blue and yellow Sapphire

I do get some surprises, at times. Because much of my stock has been accumulated over 10 and 20 years, even my pricing can get out of date.

Take for example these Sapphires (pictured left and available here, on Facebook). I don’t even know what I paid for them – an I was willing to basically give them away – but now, they apparently fetch upwards of $50 a gram(!), currently.

Some vendors are in a hurry for turnover – others like attracting the lowest bidders – not me. That’s part of why I don’t do auctions. I’ve held some stones a quarter century, and don’t mind holding them some more. I’m really not comfortable ‘giving them away’ to someone who doesn’t truly appreciate their value.

That can happen after I’m gone. But if I have anything to do with it, I’ll have all my inventory properly codified and transferable, so anyone can know from looking at my archives what these pieces should sell for.

I passed up the 18 carat Gold bracelet I once wanted, and any big rings, for this diversified investment in a different kind of earth bounty. I give thanks to Mother Earth, Gaia and “the G*ds” – however you want to call him, her, or them – for giving me the eye (and occasionally, the full wallet) to have come this far in my collecting. I’d like to think what’s happened up till now is the tip of the iceberg of what’s possible.

As you can see, I value my time and inventory highly. The reason I’ve taken so long in writing this Blog post – days, probably, over it’s various incarnations – is that it really matters to me what you, the reader, think. I have to present every angle I can think of, to make sure you can see my nuanced perspective (and become as informed as possible).

twin pair of giant Candle Quartz

twin pair of giant Candle Quartz

My mission now, is to share and to educate, so that more people will appreciate the worth of Crystals – not just for their rarity (or beauty) – but for their unique energetic qualities (even if that lends a financial boost to their price tag).

I boast a piece’s metaphysical merits only when I have personal experience indicating this would be appropriate, as opposed to some others’ making claims, attributing to them a laundry list of supposedly scientific and magical attributes.

Ours is a fine line – the metaphysician sellers’ – between what is, and what is imagined to be. Sometimes how we feel matters most. I just want to be wary of the “Emperor’s Clothes” syndrome – where everybody believes something just because everybody else believes in it – or some “master” went and put it down on paper. That feels spurious, and not sufficient basis for a shared belief.

There are treasured varieties out there that I just ‘don’t feel’ – but again – I won’t ‘poo-poo’ another’s gig. If it’s working for them and their customers, then as I’ve heard said: “who G*d bless, let no man curse!”

———————————-

blogger Kyle Russell, also founder of Crystal Concentrics and Power Stone Crystals

blogger Kyle Russell, also founder of Crystal Concentrics and Power Stone Crystals

Hope to connect with you, email: CrystalConcentrics@gmail.com

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Facebook for Crystals

Facebook for Crystals

Facebook iconYou know how people say: “I’ll Facebook you” – it’s a turn of phrase, a language unto itself. My title is apt, then…it’s like “French for hello!” In this case, I’m talking about how Crystals are “done” on Facebook. About this I’m no expert, but I used my holiday “time off” (at the end of last year) to apply my interest & expertise to getting some first hand experience…some education about it. I more than dipped my foot into the water. I learned a lot. And I made some new Friends.

KRucial Reggae logoI do have history with Facebook – a lot of history – because of my ongoing involvement in the Reggae music promotions business (check out KRucial Reggae on Facebook). But the audience is different…and so is the content.

Crystal Concentrics page imageUnless I’m mistaken, I only opened my Crystal Powers profile in March of 2012; and my Crystal Concentrics page in September (this past Fall…also in 2012). I’ve ballooned to over 1000 Likes in 4 months!

I must be doing something right. I do have to give credit to my re-commitment to pursuing and sharing this part of myself – awakened by supernatural happenstance in 1987 (the year of the last Mayan calendrical blip: the “Harmonic Convergence”) – and now I urgently need to share what I know with some new audiences. That’s part of why I’m putting effort into these Blogs at my main site (www.CrystalConcentrics.com), as well as doing Classes, Slide Shows, and writing a Book. The urgency has to do with the fact that I can contribute a lot to people’s understanding – differently from “what else is out there” – and I’m hoping to accelerate our own Spiritual process. I want to fully engage what I have to offer, in terms of knowledge and power stones.

Twitter FollowUsOn A little history. “In the beginning” (and this was through my @CrystalsPower Twitter feed to Facebook – which I coincidentally, also set up in 2012 also) – I posted just quotes – and mostly my own. Now, I’m posting images of mine (including of others’ pieces), and re-posting insightful quotes from my Facebook Friends. Change is in the air, and I can feel the opportunity coming for me to sell my stones too (and perhaps others’ as well) online.

Yard SaleIt wasn’t long ago, I thought that after I died, my children would have to “give away” my collection at a yard sale. The mineral, never mind the energetic values, would never be properly recognized, and what represents a lifetime of collecting would change hands for cents on the dollar (if that). I no longer feel that way. I am suddenly confident that I’ll be able to “move” a number of stones sooner, rather than later, including pieces I’ve been “sitting on”/hoarding unnecessarily.

For metaphysically oriented folks – there’s blend of Spiritualism and Materialism in their interest in stones – and I’m no different. For those who don’t “feel the vibes” – I’m not sure what it is – maybe just a job. Surely, the beauty and mystery of these naturally formed artworks is alluring to all.

Whatever the reasons may be that people are drawn to gems & minerals – I see there’s a market out there – and some of my new Friends are reporting some great success servicing it. They do lament “wolves in sheep’s clothing” – posers peddling miracle cures – like the snake oil salesmen of yore. The “real deal” folks assert that authenticity in your approach is what the buyer really seeks (along with good stones & appropriate pricing). So I started looking around, to separate the wheat from the chaff, and maybe get a few new pieces for myself (in the process).

ebay-logo-redesign-2There’s a lot of auctions – like EBay – which I have checked out…and still want to learn more about. There’s so much to learn, for sure, and an astonishing variety of product available (although for some varieties, it can be maddeningly slim). The interface is pretty straightforward on EBay, often multiple images are visible (for any given piece), and the zoom-in capability is a great feature. I still think the size of Facebook images – though simpler (and that’s a good thing) – is still making it easier to really see pieces closer up, and at higher resolution. But some of the vendors – even ones who use or prefer EBay – complained about the service’s surcharges. They also felt that EBay favored the Buyer over the Seller in disputes. They, and others, not even on EBay, have realized they can reach their buying public directly – minus the fees – and do alright for themselves.

One friend was astonished I’d never participated in an auction (of any kind). Sure, I’d seen tons of dealers on Facebook – and I saw their posts – but many are cryptic: no price or (often) no explanation of what we’re looking at (or why we should care about it). Often, I’ve had to beg for info. I’m sure a lot of people give up, move on, don’t bother. The quality of images is sometimes low, but at least you can buy them (if they’re not “Sold” – which another Friend posted: a ton of – unavailable merchandise which had “walked” last year). The auction business model clearly works for a lot of people – Buyers think they can get stuff for less, or set their own prices – and depending on demand, Sellers can be pleasantly surprised at getting more than they’d originally hoped for.

Pinterest LogoI’ve been more used to, and preferred (for several months – since I got into it – also last year) checking out images on my Pinterest account. The quality of images is excellent, but a lot of the pieces are inaccessible – from museums, it seems – and nary a one for sale. I actually found out about a few stones on Pinterest that had a long tail…I could have “had them.”

AmetrineFollowing the image back to its original source posting (which you can do in Pinterest by clicking on the image itself, so see where it originated, or was “taken” from), I learned that one WAS available: an exorbitant Ametrine to die for, located in Europe. Ametrine is the natural occurance of yellow or orange Citrine, within Amethyst. I’m still not sure if it’s always “as-is,” or whether heat treatment enhances it. In any case, I was talking to the company rep about it – and then the company owner, through Facebook – wanting to know their terms (it took awhile…time and distance intervening). Foreign vendors can be obtuse about their Policies: pricing, packing, postal methods, guarantees, returns…unless you ask and nail them down on the details). And I learned a few other things that have to be taken into consideration, but I’ll get into that later.

Suddenly: “poof” – someone else bought the crystal out from under me – I had no idea there was even any interest (apart from my own)! I was irate that they didn’t even ask me first…or not assume that I wanted to have first dibs (given my obvious interest). They said I hadn’t “put it on reserve,” which I didn’t even know I was expected to do. So you’d better say something & secure a commitment to hold anything, if you’re serious about it. To be fair, Sellers have to sift through a lot of tire kickers, and though they (both the staff member & owner) were apologetic, it was ultimately water under the bridge for them. They’re in the business of selling stuff, and if I ain’t buying, why do I matter?

Ametrine i gotFortunately, I was able to find another Ametrine – at a price I could live with – and just one state away from me (though they-top in color, but “a bird in the hand…” The yellow may be less bright – though the others were going to take more pix to give me a better sense of the first stone’s true color (their image was admittedly saturated)…but look at this purple! Plus, this piece has great, grounding energy – which you wouldn’t necessarily expect from an Amethyst variety – Amethyst being more about Spirit than Body, per se.

Before that, by a week or so, I got another Ametrine (when it rains it pours). I’d seen some really pretty cool colored points for sale – they’d had that light violet color of the often tiny Kenyan(?) variety – but these were also from Bolivia (and big!). Then I thought about it – they looked just like Amethyst points fallen out of a good sized cluster – and I remembered: I have a superb, deep purple (hand held) point from Brazil already. So I declined.

Ametrine generatorOne of the last to sell (cause they did go within days) was an actual Ametrine generator (ie. it stands with its point upwards – and as they often do – it had a flat, polished base, for stability). I went for it, because I’ve been trying to acquire an Ametrine for years, and the price / piece never seemed right before. I developed rapport with the Seller (as I have with everyone, above and below). This one was just right – it was a bit bigger than I expected (images can be deceiving) – but that could also be ’cause the seller’s hand might be bigger than mine.

Ametrine bottomOften, you can’t see the full color of an Ametrine unless you turn it in the light, or take it outside. Check this photo out, of the same piece above, but looking up from under it, in proper light. You can see how the yellow often shows up in alternating 6ths of the crystalline structure.

Back to dimensions. Relativity (or size, from different perspectives) – matters – as I learned with my next purchase. This one was another result of some long time hankering. Although I have a few rough “nothing” pieces, and a Pinterest board devoted to Opal (and irridescent stones, which are also “light active”), I’ve long admired it (Opal, that is) – and in particular, Ethiopian Opal – because of its rich, deep colors, and what they call “flash” (the way color is scattered so brilliantly).

Ethiopian Opal Beads, vendor imageSo when I saw the strands pictured here (to the right), I inquired. They were coming from India, which I thought was strange. It turns out they have the bead-making factories. They get the rough from Africa, and process it on their own facilities. The package arrived in perfect shape [in fact every vendor did an excellent job in padding their pieces safely for transit]. It was temporarily delayed in Delhi, because they needed a street address – not true for all senders (especially Stateside, where PO Boxes are okay) – but that makes perfect sense. If you want something signed for, make sure the address you give will work for the delivery service.

Opal strand receivedThe problem was – in person – these beads (the bottom most, darkest strand) were miniscule. Look at this pitiful handful to the left. Tell me they’re even the same beads that I thought I was getting(?), based on the picture above! Fact is – if you allow for radically different color reproduction, the bead variations line up (so it is the same piece). But you can see why I might be pissed off.

Opal within Lava necklacesMy own personal necklaces are 64cm long, and this was was only 45cm [get used to it – centimeters are here to stay – and they’re what most people, even Americans, use]. They barely fit around a my neck(!), never mind over my head [which I prefer…so that I don’t need a clasp]. Check out how my Lava necklace dwarfs those beads I’d just gotten in the mail…

Nowhere had the length of the strands been posted, nor had I been told the size of the beads, in millimeters. But I hadn’t asked either, which was my mistake. My own eyes had lied to me – I should have inquired and took out my ruler – done the conversion and been a better educated buyer.  I shared my disappointment, regardless, and lambasted the wildly inaccurate color reproduction of this vendor’s sales shot. I never did get an apology. I was humbly offered a break on future purchases [the return mail expense would have been prohibitively stupid], and he asked if I knew of a good, used camera he could buy, to take better images in the future.

Lesson learned. At least the “bigger” beads have fantastic flash. Someone’ll buy it from me, or my daughter will make some great earrings out of it. Later on, I’ll get something else from him. His efforts to save face (and his reputation) worked. We’re still Friends.

My Facebook profile: Crystal Powers now attracts a number of Vendors, as well as people outside “the business,” that I just know and like (and think might enjoy my content). Just watching my Wall, I see pieces come up, and again, most of them don’t have too many specifics. I learned that one reason people can be cryptic, is that they don’t want competitors coming in and undercutting them, or trying to steal their hard won audience. I recognize (and feel that impulse) from the music business, too.

To open up my further my “truth in advertising” rant, as far as images are concerned Online, let me tell you another recent story. The moral is both to share with you my “powers of selection” (which you’ll see were a no-brainer), as well as to reiterate the importance – for vendors – to represent their pieces correctly.

Sugilite rough, selectionTake this selection of available Sugilites, this time from another European Seller. Which would you choose? I posted the question on my Wall, and everyone agreed with me. The “Purple Heart” won out, so I ordered it.

Sugilite receivedBut guess what, when I got the piece in the mail, I went back to the online album, and was shocked to see that my stone looked nothing (in color) like “the original” (I thought I was getting). Here we go again!

I asked why, and it turns out that Sugilite is always wet when offered to Buyers – so they can see the “true” color – what it would look like Sugilite, wetpolished (or cut, for jewelry). So I wet my piece, and I brought out the color (albeit temporarily). But that color was still not the one originally represented to me on the web. It’s a beautiful chunk of Sugilite, and I have a request in for a bigger one – sharp edges, crisp texture – but it’s not what I thought I was getting, happy as I am to have it. So beware: the way a crystal looks on screen is not necessarily (though it ought to be) the same as what the eye sees.

My advice goes out to all Vendors – “hold your rocks up to the screen, after you’ve uploaded any given photo – and if it’s not matching…find better way to get your images representing your merchandise. You owe that to your buyers!”

Now I bought several other pieces – and I could go on, ad infinitum about what they were – and what the process was that I went in acquiring them. However, this Blog is getting a bit long in the tooth, and I want to leave you with one more caution, as well as on a positive note.

Tourmaline cluster “Objects are smaller than they appear.” This we’ve learned, above. But there’s more. The story above notwithstanding – there are a ton of truly amazing pieces, very well photographed, up close – that are really tiny…and you should prepare yourself for that. Take for example, this finely terminated Tourmaline. I didn’t buy it – yet – but I’m thinking seriously about doing so. Looks to be about 4-6 inches, right. That’s 15.24 centimeters (sounds even bigger in metric)!

Tourmaline cluster by handBut guess what, with the perspective (provided by the Seller, who I’d gotten one of the Ametrines above from) – using the hand and fingers – you get to see what you’re really dealing with: spectacular for sure, but veritably small. So I recommend, almost better than using a only a ruler (which is more scientific), or listing the measurements [be ready with your conversion formulas] – just get some proper perspective by seeing a piece handheld. That’s the best way to show people not only that your color reproduction is pretty much faithful, but how big the stone really is.

For my purposes – metaphysically – you have to ask yourself: would I want to put this thing on my forehead (would it even balance?)…cause that’s pretty much the only place it’ll be of any use (aside from in a museum case).

To conclude, it’s been a great less-than-a-month. I’ve met a bunch of great people, several of which I haven’t even mentioned here, and some relationships we’ve launched have got some promising plans hatching. I haven’t shown you everything I purchased – it’s not necessary – but what I’ve shown all illustrate a point. Try to make sure you know what you’re getting, before you throw down. Size and color can be in the eye of the beholder.

Mere measurements can also fail to convey the true vibe of a stone. Keep your eyes (and your “third eye”) open, maybe get some advice from an expert (hint, hint). I might not know everything, but I know what I know – which helped me navigate the experience of buying on Facebook. Twenty five years experience Offline helped me navigate my Online purchasing – if not always before my purchase – certainly afterwards. And politeness, or professionalism goes a long way towards maintaining relationships, even if things get complicated.

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Kyle Russell, Crystal Concentrics founderHope to see you regional folks at my events coming up (calendar/schedule for dates) – wish me luck in my book-writing (I have several planned) – and visit my other links here:

Facebook Page:

http://www.Facebook.com/CrystalConcentric

Facebook Profile: http://www.Facebook.com/CrystalConcentrics

Facebook Group (for New Englanders):                                       http://www.Facebook.com/Groups/CrystalsNewEngland

Pinterest: http://Pinterest.com/CrystalsPower

Twitter: @CrystalsPower/

Two events I had, in early 2013 (as of this writing): on Tuesday, January 29th, a Slide Show (showcasing the highlights of my travels to PeruGalapagos, Italy – and including a guided tour of my virtual Pinterest collection) – and on Saturday, February 16th: a Crystal Healing Basics Class.

Thought-Provoking Gem Show Conversation

quality (and lower quality) beads by the thousands

I found my favorite retailer at the Marlborough gem show this weekend – and of course went through all their cardboard ‘flats’ – the name of the industry standard 1.5 foot by 2 foot cardboard boxes replete with minerals. These folks are generally the only ones selling specimens in the whole show (of maybe 150 vendors). It’s really 98% jewelry, not even cut stones that much…and a lot of trinketry too.

I overheard Rick [even my son remembered him when I got home (and he didn’t even come with me this time), as having the build of a wrestler, and – my edit – the spirit of a Viking]…I’m changing his name because this isn’t an official interview. I’m editorializing, and I don’t know that he cares to share all these perspectives publicly. I do, however, because they’re edifying (and interesting).

At the moment I came up, Rick was disabusing a picky customer regarding her predilection for American mined stones, basically telling her to get over it. But I didn’t hear the whole conversation. So there’s not much more I can say about that…my conversation with him was grist enough for my own mill.

class flier for Crystals Demystified, register at http://www.bit.ly/KRCDHEC

First, I handed him the info sheet to my upcoming Crystals Demystified class (being held Sunday, 12/2/12, from 1-3pm). He had an opinion (of course). My sense was that he was invested in sharing some of his own ideas with these ready listeners – through me – and I guess that’s what’s happening.

We sparred over polished vs. natural stone. Specifically, I was saying that I’m seeking rough Sugilite, and polished pieces won’t do. The same is true – for me – with Lapis. He took umbrage at the notion that one (rough, he assumed was my favorite) is superior to the other.

tumbled (polished, but not glossy) chunk of Jet, with interesting creases

Rick argued that polishing is merely the rubbing of finer stones against others (what could be more natural?) – and that it’s not an adulteration or diminution of their value, energetically. I couldn’t agree more, actually – and as usual (‘in my book’) – it depends on the piece. Certain stones, you can ‘access’ their energy better if they’re polished…others less so. I know which is which, for me, but time didn’t allow – and it wasn’t called for – to have me enumerate which was which.

He said: “to all those people who want to be snobby about their ‘natural’ pieces” [and I paraphrase here, as I have been throughout], “I want to empty a wheelbarrow of muddy, silty mine-fodder in front of them and say ‘how’s that for natural’?” Many of us want our stones washed and tidy, which is a form of processing in itself.

I myself would rather wait and sift through gem show collections than go sling a hammer in the field. I’ve done it – a little – at the public Herkimer diamond mines. I admire (and of course respect) those who do…who get and convey all the stones I’ve ever seen ‘to the table. But that’s not my role or specialty in this ‘business.’ I put quotes around ‘business’ because it isn’t really a business, only…it’s a passion, and a mission (for some of us).

collection of pieces I purchased this last weekend

I’m a selector, collector, and conveyer of information, teaching, and process…that’s by ‘job.’ I quote ‘job’ because it’s not a J.O.B. – it’s a calling.

Now back to my account. Rick admitted that as someone who buys and sells rocks full time, he’s got a vested interest in getting his head around the metaphysical piece. But before he got into that, he had some more schooling for me.

We talked about the various techniques by which balls are polished out of chunks (and cubes)…including by hand (where electricity is less reliable than person power). The 3 Jet balls I purchased – nowhere have I seen any, but small examples of them before – these were clearly hand wrought (and from Poland, which is unusual, as I haven’t heard of Poland being a source for Jet, previously).

I learned that most of the Afghan Lapis comes from three mine shafts into the ‘blue mountain’ – apparently visible as such, from miles away – during Biblical times. These mines date back to before the Egyptians. Each delivers a different grade of Lapis. I bought a sliver of ‘midnight grade’ Lapis Lazuli – the only one he had on display (or maybe the only one left, as I arrived on the afternoon of day 3). I haven’t decided whether or not to sell it. For now it’ll accompany my own, similar piece…but check it out (in the picture here, to the right)!

Going back to his diatribe about ‘rough’ vs. polished – Rick made a couple of references to his analogy that turning someone on to a raw fish & vegetable diet that they hadn’t ever tried before – would surely result in upsetting their stomach and turning them off to the whole idea, healthful as it may be. He said basically: you have to crawl before you can walk, and small, cheaper, easier to hold tumbled rocks do just fine as ‘gateway’ crystals.

Then we got into something really quite interesting. He said “if I put a chunk of Plutonium in your bed, you’d start losing hair and bleeding from your gums in a few days. Yet you can’t see it’s energy, or even feel it. I’d like to try that on someone who says they don’t believe rocks have any energies. If one element can do that much harm, there’s got to be other rocks that can have the opposite effect on your well being. Problem is, how can I prove the well being piece? It’s easy to show that something killed you – but you can’t easily show that something healed you” – or reproduce the results handily, from one person to the next.

Funny (sad, really) how much easier (or reliable) it is to destroy than to create. And yet, I’m astonished how some homeless people – who I know are living the hard life – survive year in and year out. We are a resilient race – some of us survive even the worst tribulations – while others succumb so easily to them.

Another example of how/why rock power is a force to contend with: Rick said “during the Great Depression, some women in Appalachia were called crazy for eating dirt…yet their diet was devoid of iron. They needed it for their metabolism, even though they didn’t know the real reason they were drawn to eat dirt.” Rick said: “we’re eating dirt ourselves, only in the form of the plants and animals that are able to transform its various elements into digestible, assimilable nutrients. Our bodies are filled with elements, metals, and minerals” – they’re called mineral supplements, aren’t they?

yellow Calcite votive candle burner

Yet people feel a disconnect. They’re like – yeah, but that’s food – these are just rocks. Some of them are – with no perceptible energetic ‘value.’ And Rick said as much. But to not recognize the unbroken continuum between us and the very material that makes up our planet (and our bodies) – which preceeds us by millions (and billions!) of years, is kind of like living with a huge blind spot in front of us – don’t you think?

I watched the Lincoln movie last night, and there was dispute on the floor of the Congress about whether full equality under the law, for African Americans, would lead to full voting rights, representation, and intermarriage…or even votes for women (still 50+ years away from that discussion in 1865). Those attitudes now seem embarrassingly outdated – but that’s what some people thought (and truly believed) – just like the folks 500 years ago, who scoffed at the notion of the world being round, or its revolving around the sun.

I used to – and still kind of do, physiologically – think the human being stopped evolving some time ago. Sure, there are modern pathogens, GMO’s, and electromagnetic bombardment. Those must be having their effect, changing us in ways we don’t know.

optical Calcite, cut to resemble a Quartz generator, with phenomenal and layered rainbow action

There doesn’t seem to be any ‘survival of the fittest’ dynamic at work any more – everyone lives long enough to reproduce – whether they choose to or not, is another story. Our bodies are essentially as they were 100,000 years ago. But after watching the movie “Happy” – which showed the radically different brainwaves and cortical activity of someone in a meditative state – I’m starting to think it’s possible that our brains can evolve, even in our lifetimes, as we pursue discipline,training our capacity to apply our mental abilities in new and different ways.

This is promising, and encouraging to us, as a race. We have the power to adopt new mindsets, make whole different outcomes unfold in the world (and our lives!). There’s a reason it’s said that G*d created the world out of sound, or ‘The Word.’ That is the power of our imagination, and intention.

Flight was impossible till someone thought about it seriously, and put mind to machine, making it happen.

We’ve realized that our body is made up of billions of organisms – not just one – because of the important role of co-habitating bacteria in our gut (and all the outcomes beyond genetics, that impact our health, as a result of that). We are not in this alone – not just inside of us – but outside, above, and all around us. What I’m saying is that we are inextricably bound up with the world around us – not just an island, cut off – and our willpower can move mountains.

But I digress – though the above is important – and certainly part of my own, ‘unfoldment’ recently. Our consciousness is like a flower, first a tight and impermeable bud, but then developing into a beautiful flower, before withering away, and leaving only the memory of its splendor, in the words, works, and impressions we’ve made around us.

Ours is a powerful instinct to seek out what we need. People often say “you teach what you need to learn.” I have a powerful desire to connect and be grounded to earthly things (and vitality). That is because I’ve had the tendency (and constitution) to be airy and slothful at once. You might not believe it – and I have to remind myself: I can go that way – but it was my original constitution, which I’ve taken years to transform (over the past 30 years).

I’m still working out my process, fighting certain battles, trying to improve my self.

Rick’s point, in addition to all the above, is that you really have to tune into yourself, find out what it is that you’re craving (or need), and pursue it open mindedly. Don’t be dogmatic or limited. Say you need vegetables in your diet – but you only eat broccoli – and there’s no broccoli around – what do you do…starve yourself of vegetables, holding out for that broccoli, which simply isn’t available?

As the 60’s tune goes: “if you can’t be, with the one you love – honey – love the one you’re with.” Not that I’m advocating for infidelity. You have to take the sentiment with a grain of salt. Seriously: take advantage of what is, don’t get hung up on what isn’t, because the here and now is all we really have.

Yes, there’s memory, longing, and wishful thinking – but hear me out – there’s a specific point we’re making here.

Smoky oval…beautiful color & energy

It’s a pet peeve to Rick (and to me too) when people say – “I’ve heard this is ‘good for’ such and such, and ‘that’s all I’m really looking for” – to the exclusion of all the other stones before them.

Rocks come in and out of ‘season’ (ie. vogue, or availability) or simply aren’t in stock at any given time. Different stones can ‘do’ the same things for you –  or close enough. It’s not wise to be limited by what’s written in the books. Experiment – get in touch with the energy (or ‘nutrient,’ to use the dietary model) that you’re seeking – and latch on to whatever matches that, feeds that, serves that desire. It may be a totally different variety, size, shape, or color than you expected. And connect. Take advantage of it. Use and savor what it has to offer!

To find out more – please email me at, Kyle Russell – at CrystalConcentrics@gmail.com.

If you’re Metro-Boston, please Register to take my class “Crystals Demystified:” Sunday, December 2nd, from 1-3pm (in West Concord, at the Healing Essence Center)…here’s the info link for the class.

Other ways to connect…
Like my page Crystal Concentric page on Facebook.                                                          Pinterest profile Crystals Power
Twitter: @CrystalsPower

A Time to Give Back

Kyle, with the Ponte Veccio in the background (Florence, Italy)

QUICK UPDATE:

I just got back from Italy and Canada – see more photos below – and I’m raring to go with a BUNCH of new plans and projects for the season. Stay tuned and/or be in touch at CrystalConcentrics@gmail.com.

INTRO:

My Blogs can be lengthy. I have things to say. My Tweets are brief – I like them too – you should check them out as well (@CrystalsPower). In Blogs, I stretch out, pursue my thoughts to their conclusions. In Twitter, my thoughts are conclusions themselves.

In any case, this Fall is a turning point (as it always is, for most of us). The new season – academic semester, and Hebrew new year (which always begins in September or October) – together provide the perfect opportunity to refocus and prioritize. I will at once be working more on Results and on Process – and I hope to engage you in both, because our connection could accelerate our individual and collective progress (if we let it!).

Specifically, I’m going to make my knowledge & services more available, and I’m going to market them in new ways – to groups and individuals – through social networking, presentations, and direct contact.

The “ad” or banner graphic I’ll be placing here – is meant to represent that process – check it out (I’ll share it with you in due time), and contact me if interested, at CrystalConcentrics@gmail.com. Also, this site’s Contact (and Services) section has useful information you may wish to read over.

Basically, I’m identifying the What (which is: in person or remote sessions); the Why (benefits to you: groundedness, connection with Spirit, etc.); and the How (by contacting me!) of my work.

Most of my other work involves my collaboration with teams – this is more directly expressive – for me and for you.

…now for my MAIN BLOG content

A Time to “Give Back”

When I see self-satisfied celebrities thank their fans as they received awards – or publicly donate to charity – I wince at the whole concept of ‘giving back.’ For what, I ask myself. All they have was freely given them. They’ve delivered some benefit, simply by their being. Maybe their beauty provides light, or their acting is of particular interest. If not on stage, maybe they offer some other gift or talent. Ultimately, they’ve touched people with their work. If the exchange is complete – and everybody’s happy with what they got out of the deal – then where comes the surplus or motivation to return anything? Is it just vanity reflecting vanity…a kind of kickback to the audience for their hard work in lifting a star?

I have recently ‘gotten’ it, why they do that (at least some of them). I myself feel like I’m at a crossroads, and similarly inclined. It doesn’t have to be a pointless, showy transaction. The calculus – I imagine – is that the ‘successful’ person has gotten what they feel is more than enough benefit from the world – their cup runneth over – and they have something extra to share with others.

It’s not about money or fame (though again, it certainly can be). It certainly isn’t for me – having lost as much as I’ve gained – and having fought for whatever recognition I’ve earned. I’ve been lucky in my life, though – in more ways than I can count, and with some consistency – though I continue to have my fair share of tribulations.

Extraordinary Papal resting place, above a door way, with Death plunging through marble fabric, holding an hourglass of time, and passing easily through the veil between worlds! (at St. Peter’s, Vatican City, Italy)

I stand – even as I perceive the extreme fragility of life and circumstance – at a mid-life OASIS (as opposed to a mid-life crisis). At least according to the averages – I have lived half my life – and am looking ‘over the hill,’ but I’d like to think: from its top! Rather than lamenting what I haven’t done (or achieved), I’m relishing the opportunity to use my remaining time to reflect myself even more fully into the world…sharing more aspects of myself – hoping to reach a place of expression I can feel great about later – when all is said and done.

I’ve been around – literally – to 3 continents and probably 100+ cities…and have walked amongst many different types of people. I constantly feel like my work is never done – like I could always do (or have) – more…most of us solopreneurs do suffer from this angst. Yet I do have the basic attributes of an American Dream fulfilled: home, spouse, children. I don’t have a lot of material possessions (maybe stones, I do have lots of them), but I’ve pretty much been able to get by and have what I need to get through. My immediate and extended family have been generous, and I’m not lacking for connections there.

For someone who had cancer, as a young man (and thought living past 30 was unlikely), I’ve had a full life. I’m grateful to be approaching my 25th year of self-employment, still pursuing my Muse, and daily unearthing new and fulfilling revelations about Life, Body, Mind, and Spirit.

To that end, I’ve always collected amazing stones, whenever I could: at gem shows, hikes, gift shops. My collection is substantial – and rivals, for my own practical purposes – what I’ve seen for sale at any given display ‘out there.’ It may not be worth – on the open market – what some minerologists have going, but energetically, it can do more for the world than I have it doing for me alone…and it ought to!

That’s why now – and stretching back into earlier 2012 (which makes it 25 years since I was turned on to crystal power) – I’m writing a book to capture the philosophy of my belief system. In it, I explore how this work is not about Science, or even Health, per se – but per my graphic above (to show a cycle of Earth, Body, and Spirit) – it’s about bringing in Spirit from the Earth, and allowing both to more fully participate in our daily life experience.

In addition to my main site: www.CrystalConcentrics.com, I have the Twitter account mentioned above (@CrystalsPower), and both a Profile (Crystal Concentrics on Facebook – using the name Crystal Powers – at http://www.facebook.com/CrystalConcentrics) and a Page on Facebook (Crystal Concentrics Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Crystal-Concentrics/149848836492). I flood these with semi-daily pithy insights, as well as with posts from my new Crystal Concentrics Pinterest profile there: http://pinterest.com/crystalspower/.

Outstanding Argentine Rhodocrosite, from my Pink Stones board on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/crystalspower/pink-stones/

I like Twitter for its simplicity – and how it forces us to convey only the basic – most important things about how we feel.

I like Facebook because I think I can reach more people that way, and more substantively (because it integrates Shared links really well).

And Pinterest is unrivaled for image sharing…I’ve even created a not-just-stone oriented KRucialArts profile on Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/krucialarts/.

Now quickly, I’d like to share with you the What‘s and Why‘s of Crystal Concentrics.

The What is Sessions – individual or with groups (live or long distance) – meditative, instructional, and/or intentional. The Why are the list of Benefits you can expect from this work: increased Awareness, groundedness, connection with Earth and Spirit; a way to think about the condition of your body and health, as well as methods for interfacing with illness; release of untapped energies and the elevation of your imagination, to experience a natural high without medication. The How is ME – this modality – just give me a call or email CrystalConcentrics@gmail.com, so we can set something up and explore these possibilities together.

North African marble, on felled column (Pallatine Hill, Rome, Italy)

Lastly, I’d like to share with you some pertinent Boards I set up on Pinterest, since my return. First there’s ‘Archi-Texture in Stone’ (http://pinterest.com/crystalspower/archi-texture-in-stone/) where I share the MANY different ways in which stone shows up fascinatingly, not just visually, but in shape and contour…providing you a sense of the energy of rock in daily life (through the ages). I found a particularly large number of examples of this in Italy, where the use of stone has (also) preserved ancient civilizations for millenia. From tall and ruined structures to steps and bridges, even hand railings were made of stone…and all had such an amazing look and feel, possible only in such a well traveled nation(?).

Worked Stone is another Board I’ve just begun to build up: http://pinterest.com/crystalspower/worked-stone/. It’s more about the interesting and functional things people have done with rock through construction and ornamentation.

Stone of organic source and appearance, Creemore center (Ontario, Canada).

In closing, I’d like to share with you this image taken in Canada – where (north of Toronto) – there is what is called ‘the escarpement:’ an area that was once covered by seas, and has a lot of organically sourced stone. I like it because it’s not only clear that it was made up of living material at one point (you can sometimes find fossils), but the stone itself takes on organic shape, like a sponge, or some other living thing, here contrasted with some living succulents.

It isn’t about the Stones alone, though. They’re pretty and interesting – whole industries have arisen out of their aesthetics (gems & jewelry) and functionality (Architecture, construction) – but it’s the energy of particular pieces…the Power Stones, that are of interest to me…and I will endeavor to have them become increasingly of interest to you!