Ancestors Day – the First/Last/Next Wave

the-last-wave-movie-poster-crop-1977Last night (on the eve of Fathers’ Day, which coincidentally – has been a washout – with pouring rain), I finished watching a movie (with my son) called “the Last Wave” – directed by Peter Weir – featuring Richard Chamberlain, David Gulpilil, and Nandjiwarra Amagula (an actual Tribal leader who was brought in to act, but he also had a say in certain scenes and dialog in the film).

It’s reviewed with actual interview quotes from the director himself, here (on FlickeringMyth.com, author Trevor Hogg). There’s also a more recent “The Last Wave Rewatched – Mysticism, Prophesy, and the End of Times” blog entry by The Guardian’s Luke Buckmaster (2014). And I’m sure some good things were written “back in the day,” when the film came out – in 1977 overseas, and 1979 in the U.S. – I saw it myself, in the ’80’s (more than 30 years ago).

Most of what you’ll find on the web about this film – understandably – will include a synopsis of the film’s plot. So I won’t dwell on that. Plus, I hope you’ll see it yourself – no spoiler alert – but I will touch on some details of the narrative.

Last Wave dinnerWhat I’m “doing” here, is a different exploration (it’s not a movie review). The particulars of the deluvian story are less significant to me than the underlying reality of “the dreamtime” – a conception of the Australian aborigines – which is common to all “original” cultures: that the “realities” of our waking, conscious experience are impacted by, and occur in the context of a vast, shadowy, watery, surreal, indeed metaphysical reality (that is – if you can believe it – “more real” than “reality”).

During an angry outburst at his pastor stepfather, David Burton (Chamberlain’s character) accuses the pastor of explaining away the unexplainable, dismissing this enormously significant phenomenon or context (as the popular versions, or most visible proponents of many mainstream religions tend to)…sweeping The Great Mysteries under the carpet…dumbing down The Great Truths into more easily consumed tidbits (for the masses).

Playing to the most (or least) common denominator is the way of even the most ancient of civilizations – because we have a society to maintain (after all) – but the outlyers, the visionaries, often the artists, mystics of a community, tend to carry the burden of esoteric knowledge…as does Burton (increasingly)…over the course of this movie.

There is talk of how “Westerners” (ie. white Europeans on whichever continent) have lost touch with their dreams, and are limited to a more rigid, tangible perception of reality – as evidenced by the opening arguments of the Prosecution – and represented as well by the lawyer who’s spent more time working with aboriginal peoples (than Burton).

Apparently, the area of study “Metaphysics” once included efforts to understand patterns and meaning – not only in the Spiritual world, but also in the physical world – till it was increasingly banished to the fringe…once “proper” Science (with it’s exclusive focus on the results of reproducible experimentation) came of age, a mere few hundred years ago.

hominid_graph

 

Our history spans far longer – with our own human lineage dating back 3-5 million years – and the first apes (leading to “us”) leaving the forest about 10 million years before that.

 

 

modern_human_family_treeModern humans (Homo Sapiens Sapiens) only took current form – originally alongside the larger brain-capacity Neanderthals (with whom I have an intrinsic affinity) – 100,000 years ago.

human routes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking a 25 year (low-end) average life expectancy, or generational period, that’s 4,000 generations we’ve been through – just as we are now – leading up to the present…with a handful of generations going back to Slavery…and even less since the advent of electricity, lighting, universal plumbing, cars (never mind computers)!

This modern world (and mentality) – which we consider the benchmark of “what is” – is really a thin veneer on a much deeper reality of the entire human (and pre-human) experience. Imagine all the dreams of every being, over the course of all time! Older civilizations (including small bands of isolated peoples) were/are in awe of this history, and appreciated the miracle of their having been brought forth – through the ages – by “the ancestors.”

A continuity of Natural Law – synthesized into Tribal Law – ruled long before there were secular courts…and it was meant to be respected and not broken…which in the case of the guy who dies early on in the movie, results in the meting out the maximum penalty of punishment. Interestingly, this is forgivable – even in Australian Law – if it can be demonstrated that the defendants are Tribal (and not merely “city” people). There is (oddly) a respect for at least one lingering aspect of the “first people’s” custom.

At one point, the more seasoned lawyer – in aboriginal matters – chides Burton for his patronizing, high brow (he was actually a tax and corporate lawyer up until then) idealization of the situation, scoffing at the idea that any Tribal people had indeed survived in the heart of Sydney (which of course, it had). Even the most profound understanding can exist in the least likely milieu.

This unlikely candidate to defend the accused murderers (Burton), is also enmeshed in their Dreamtime mythology – an actual “Mulkurul” incarnate – who in the end, finds a death/life mask of himself among the relics of an ancient, lighter complected race that came from the East (the Maya?) and were somehow involved in the foretelling, or even the bringing on of cyclical, cataclysmic tsunamis (great floods).

It’s a bit of a clunky jumble of cultures – but hey – isn’t that what our “melting pot” is all about? And it’s certainly a romp through the ages – where past, future, and present meld seamlessly – but what better blend could a New Age hipster hope for?

Now I don’t want to fall into romanticizing original cultures – as wonderful as they are – there are downsides all around (and I don’t pretend to believe that living 20,000 years ago was a walk in the park).

Likewise – though I see the paramount importance of recognizing a Natural Law whose violation is resulting in our own progressively harsh Judgement today, through climate change – I take issue with people projecting their own idiosyncratic, subjective comprehension of The Law with their own fabricated law (and imagining that it’s the ONLY law).

Herein lies the Trojan Horse of inter-religious animosity, and the subjugation of the individual to unquestioning adherence to some (often selective perspective on) whatever they’ve embraced as “The Law.”

We are all entitled to our own experience of The Golden Rule – both fortunately and unfortunately (because people often choose a self-serving interpretation of it) – and as serious as we take it (thinking of it as universally applicable), we still must recognize that our fellow co-habitants of the planet may have equal or opposite views (which they feel as self-righteous about).

Time and Nature will wash us all away, but that doesn’t make our existence – or the beliefs we hold – insignificant. As the Aboriginal (Native American…whichever longer standing culture you want to substitute into this sentence) – their ways and knowledge continue to have worth – so too does the mighty thread of Western “Civilization.”

It’s important to remember that before the Romans, and later, the Roman Catholic Church (note the continuity there) took over Europe, there were myriad languages and Pagan cultures thriving independently (hello: Stonehenge!).

Last Wave Chris n Rock

being a Crystal guy – I of course appreciate this passing of the sacred stone – emblematic on so many levels

As the movie shows, it’s false to consider even a straight laced English lawyer to be immune from having a tribal clan in his past (or present!). The Aboriginals know and accept this. Reality – particularly the Dreamtime – supersedes the superficial, and weaves together disparate elements into an impossibly rich and magnificent fabric of “true and complete” Reality…too complex for most people to grasp…and too wild for even the few to harness, completely.

I’d like to think Shamans, Healers, even Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, and Garbage Men (indeed Mothers, Fathers, and Children of all stripes) – we all have the capacity to comprehend (or at least access) – the Great Mysteries…and each of us – in our own ways – have adapted to and “tamed” them to some degree, to serve our own purposes (and ideally, the betterment of others).

In closing – I’d like to thank the community that made “The Last Wave” possible – and gratefully pass it along, like Life itself, to the next generation…to love and to fear…to struggle with, and to try to make sense of (in whichever, small way).

Kyle w light beam

 

About the Author: Kyle Russell has been working with Crystals for 30 years, and considering Matters of Spirit for far longer (including other lifetimes). He mostly write about Crystals from the perspective of his modality Crystal Concentrics, which he teaches and uses through Meditations, Classes, Writing, Social Media, and via Individual Sessions. Russell also buys and sells Gems & Minerals through his http://www.PowerStoneCrystals.com site and at metaphysical Expos. You can reach him easily at Kyle@CrystalConcentrics.com.

How to Work with Crystals?

soothing Nephrite Jade sphere

soothing Nephrite Jade sphere

INTRODUCTION

Such an important question – “How to Work with Crystals?” – with a hundred (and certainly more) answers out there…and only a limited amount of time (and space) to respond to the question…I have to choose my words carefully, which is why I’ve turned this into a blog, as a followup to (and companion to) the live webinar recently recorded (of the same name).

Given the infinite options for Reply, be aware that this answer is of my own, subjective opinion. You have to trust the source of where you get your information – even if it’s your inner self – I know I do. And hopefully, the more material I put out there (that people check out), the more my perspective will become a steady feature in the “Crystal scene.”

I have numerous webinars and classes – they exist for you to get slightly different (but overlapping) views on what I perceive to be the truth. Hopefully, this (and they) will resonate with you. As I get myself increasingly out there, I have been pleasantly surprised by the responsiveness of folks in cyberspace. I got over 400 Joins to my Facebook event page (for the webinar), and you’ll see the number of Likes my Facebook page has gotten (below).

But Facebook isn’t everything – I know that – and there’s not just one view of a great big Cathedral. You have to get a panoramic view of the inside and the outside – and even then – you couldn’t capture the essence of what goes on for the people who go there.

The same is true for the metaphysical world – it’s especially true, actually – where subjectivity reigns over the objective, and individuality is rather appreciated. So read on, with an open mind. Take what you like, leave what you don’t…there’s enough to go around.

THE CIRCUIT

large, beautifully terminated Topaz – the intrabody neural communicator

To answer the question “how do you work with crystals” is most basically:  you create a circuit between what you’re holding in your hand; let it come right through your heart; and up to your mind’s eye. It’s a feedback loop…cycles right back down from you’re seeing…and touches your Soul.”

The goal is to capture and tap into that vibrancy, participating in the presence and movement of essential Life energies.

Each stone you pick up will give you a slightly different experience, or window into that universal flow.

And then it becomes like a dance, as you move from limb to limb, like a nimble monkey on a tree…you know what to reach for…you’ll learn what does the trick.

Working with Crystals is a bit like absorbing a new language. You can school yourself in it and you can be taught – by those with greater experience – who you relate to. But you are ultimately you’re own, best teacher. Just like with food and dietary awareness, you have to listen to your sensation, what resonates (and what does not).

FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT INTO IT

For people who don’t get it at all, this all can be a hard pill to swallow. They just don’t get it – and more than even indifference – they harbor a negative view (for whatever reason) of working with Crystals. An important part of my mission could be turning disbelievers into believers. It would be hard to walk them through the path I’ve taken, because some of what I’ve seen was for my eyes only. Some folks turn to science (or pseudo-science), to prove their point – but that’s not my focus. 

I don’t need to prove myself to anyone. Plus, I have way more fun with those who’ve already got an interest. Wouldn’t you prefer to teach Spanish to someone who’s actually came to your Spanish class – rather than to have to randomly accost folks the students from out of History – to “convert” them into caring about your coursework.

As you become more fluent, it’s hard to go back, or want to try to teach people who are resistant – who’ve got no interest in learning the language. It’s possible as well, that they lack interest in pursuing any other self-development strategy.

Funny how it happens, that closed is closed. And once the flood gates are open, people who are open to Crystals also find themselves open to Herbalism, Aromatherapy, and vice versa.

Then is it true that “doubting Thomases” cannot gain any value from crystals? That’s a sad thought. But I don’t know that it’s even true. I believe that merely having them (Crystals) around – or having others work on you long distance (in spite of any resistance you might have) – could still result in some positive outcomes.

Chrysocolla - combines self forgiveness and emotional expressiveness

Chrysocolla – combines emotional expressiveness with self forgiveness

THE HEALER IS HEALING – EVEN IF THE PATIENT IS UNWILLING

Even if a healer’s efforts bounce back on them (because the patient is not willing) – some good is still coming from the transaction – and serves as cautionary lesson to those working with “the dark arts” (be careful what you project…let it only be positive). Hence the mirror in certain mythologies: to reflect negativity back on itself. Likewise, if you can stay “in the light,” you will always be blessed, even in your worst & dying moments (if that’s even possible to imagine!).

My son was speaking once, to a religious leader – he said “I don’t know if I believe in G8D” – the mentor replied: “that’s okay, G8D doesn’t mind.” The sun still shines, whether people open their eyes to it, or whether it’s covered with clouds. Once you’ve seen it, it’s hard to pretend it’s not there (or to not want to work with it).

ULTIMATELY, IT’S ALL ABOUT WHAT YOU PRACTICE, NOT WHAT YOU PREACH

There are dozens (certainly more) books out there about Crystals, with plenty of knowledge and instruction to offer. I have a lot beliefs in common with many of their authors, and a lot of beliefs that differ from them. Instead of outlining either – making claims or accusations – I think the next, best way I can answer the question: “How to Work with Crystals” here, would be to explain how I work with Crystals…what it is that I do…so you can see the breadth of possibility from the perspective of somebody who’s been  thinking about, and working with Crystals on the daily (for a looong time).

SO WHAT DO YOU DO, ANYWAY?

A prospective client called me: “I’ve been looking over your sites, and I’m a little confused – can you tell me – what is it that you do with the Crystals? Of course, I was happy to answer her, and we spent some time on the phone, with me explaining what I could, in the moment. But then I was like – “wow, all that effort I’ve put into my online presence and offerings, and it’s still not clear – I’ve got to do better, try harder, and come up with some new ways of explaining this art (which is so very important to me).”

MY HEALING MODALITY (the trade)

Basically, I have two approaches to working with Crystals. One, is through my healing modality: teaching, sharing, and applying my knowledge. That is what I call Crystal Concentrics.

You can find out more at CrystalConcentrics.com (my main site) and over at one of my Facebook pages: http://www.Facebook.com/CrystalConcentric (that’s singular, there’s no ’s’ at the end). I’ve accrued more than 10,000 “Likes” there. I feature my personal pieces, not-necessarily-sales-oriented posts, and house all my Facebook Event pages over there.

Crystal Energy Zones poster

Crystal Energy Zones poster

I also have created a large laminate poster of the Human “Crystal Energy Zones” – which identifies the 29 key stones with immediate relevance to our Chakra system.

In follow up to this, I am working on a deck of Crystal Cards, which will cover even more varieties, and be an excellent teaching tool. Ultimately, I have a few books on the back burner, which will tie together a lot of the concepts outlined in my Blogs (including this one!).

MY SALES ‘ARM’ (the tool)

I acquire and sell Crystals through my Power Stone Crystals persona, which you can check out in one of 3 places. Online, there’s my main sales site: www.PowerStoneCrystals.com. And there’s the semi-matching sister page (thought not all the same items will appear on both): http://www.Facebook.com/PowerStoneCrystals.

I have 31,000+ Fans on the latter. The relatively higher following (compared with the Crystal Concentrics page, on Facebook), has to do with how I promoted each, way back when, and people’s penchant for appreciating or buying crystals over really understanding how to work with them.

'the author' Kyle Russell, at the Healing Hands event

‘the author’ Kyle Russell, at the Healing Hands event

Ultimately – the best way to see everything I’ve got available – is in person…either at my Boston area showroom…or at one of the metaphysical Expos I have scheduled throughout the year, in New York, and also in New England. I do plan on making it to other regions – and have some pending opportunities – I’d certainly appreciate your invitation!

THE TOOL VS. THE TRADE

Why is it that folks spend many, many times more on buying Crystals than they do on learning about them, or receiving the services of practitioners? That would be due to the fact that it’s much easier to acquire the tools than to master (or even engage) the trade.

When you see something beautiful – and it has a price tag on it – you tend to go for it. That client’s question – earlier mentioned – demonstrates that we as practitioners, have a ways to go in terms of making our art as easily understood and “consumable” as the Crystals themselves have been.

Imagine, if you will – someone buying all kinds of expensive plumbing equipment – but never learning how to use it. Fortunately – or maybe because they’re that much more beautiful than plumbing equipment – people are way more inclined to buy Crystals than they are to truly study them, or be taught by any experts in the field.

Granted, Crystal experts are not to be found on every corner. Books, fortunately, are (to be found more readily) – but unfortunately (to my mind) – many of them are spreading much misinformation. Luckily, because we’re all so unique, each effort to shed light on the “magic” of Crystals – succeeds in quite different ways – and there’s something out there for every level of interest and capacity to absorb information.

IMG_1774

closeup of a (rare) bi-color Amethyst cluster – the yin and the yang

And – failing to look into them more deeply – there’s always the beauty…the awe…of a wonderfully majestic creation, dating back millions of years, which will outlast us, and taps into our archetypal perceptions of color and form.

THE SCALE OF TEACHING

For me – working with, and sharing my knowledge about Crystals – flows from the more visual and collective, to the most in depth and personal:

1) The Slide Show, Talk, or Presentation is more like a lecture, but a fascinating one (to be sure). Two examples of my offerings are “A Pinterest Tour” of my 60-odd boards, by which I’ve classified thousands of museum quality images; and “Where the Earth Meets Sky: from the rocky landscape of the Galapagos to the mountain spiritual center of Machu Picchu.” These can be delivered live, or virtually, and make for ideal webinars (hint, hint: keep an eye out for them).

2) The Crystal Meditation is a gathering of individuals, ready to step out of the ordinary, and join a guided journey, as well to join in to group sharing. It is split into 3 segments. The first is a rooting into ones own biological, emotional presence (without stones). The followup introduction of Crystals to the hands will show how different this practice is from “normal” contemplation. Crystals act as a sort of touchstone, or lightning rod…aligning the astral, the physical/ephemeral, and the earth-foundation/constant together. Lastly evoked are layouts, connecting the group with the larger continuity and cosmology of time and space. Between each of the 3 Meditations, we go around and speak our truth in the moment.

Natick Jan 23

group photo, after a Crystal Meditation

3) The Class, or Workshop involves Meditation, as above, but includes an instructional piece – be it an exploration of “the Heart Chakra (and the 6 stones that pertain to it),” – or “the Wonders of Quartz (a whole Chakra layout, comprised exclusively of Quartz varieties).” 

I offer this content (and many more topics), both live and online. My growing library of webinars makes it so that wherever you are, we can explore, and work together in building our knowledge of Crystals.

4) The Crystal Reading, is a gateway into your own personal situation. It’s not a Psychic Reading, whereby your hidden present, past, or future are spontaneously (or laboriously) revealed by a clairvoyant. Instead, it’s a straightforward inquiry, by which you answer questions regarding where your Spirit finds itself right now, and we discuss what hopes it (your Soul) and you have, regarding your next steps – or what directions (or needs) you might be looking to explore – to “get to the next level” in your personal development. This can be a one time thing – conducted live or long distance – or part of a larger “treatment plan” of ongoing sessions.

Nirvana Quartz - cohort of the higher self

Nirvana Quartz – cohort of the Higher Self

5) The One-on-One, Individual Sessions are a series (generally starting with 4 meetings), that focus exclusively on you. There’s no group, it’s not a sample or glimpse, it’s an in depth exploration – using Crystals and sacred space (where we set up safety and security) – to be in (and allow) the presence of your Spirit to come out (not physically, but metaphorically), to be seen and contemplated. Whether your mission is to embody: to be more present, grounded, and connected positively in your life; or whether transcendence, journeying, and other dimensional travel is your yen…that will be our mission.

I’ve used this work to exorcise and put unwelcome entities to rest – identify and remove major blockages – and simply for rebalancing and invigorating folks who want to feel better in themselves.

6) Self-Care and Development. Here’s where we come full circle, back to my self, and your self, solo. How can we use Crystals on our own? Let me count the ways – because there is so much is to be learned and implemented – from all the approaches above.

having that special Crystal around, on your desk or in your pocket…to invoke the positive messages and feelings you associate with it (during your daily life);

3 matching Blue Fluorites

3 matching Blue Fluorites

taking time to really sit with a special Crystal (or group of them), taken in hand, laid out in what I call a “constellation,” or carefully arranged on an altar…here’s where your meditation can bring you down (in a good way) – settle you – or help you ascend…to that place you know you need to get to. I do this also at night, before bed: taking hold of a Crystal that captures a lesson of the day, or a hope for the night, and/or tomorrow;

Which brings up…

– Projection and Prayer (this can also be done in groups). It is seeking to materialize health or better luck & circumstance for oneself, or others. This can be an advanced practice…but can also be done by children. Anyone can learn, try, or experiment…engaging in this vitally needed activity.

– Charity (and Repair of the World): doing any or all of the above, for others (and Nature) who are in so much in need…is a must. The sick and the dying, the passed on, and the suffering. We live in a world that is comprised of both Heaven and Hell, mixed in varying proportions (depending on where you find yourself, and whose life you happen to be living). Aging, entropy, unfairness, and Evil are all factors – as well as Beauty and Grace, Benevolence and Compassion – which we are tasked to identify and work with and balance, as constructively as we are able.

unique Selenite cluster - representing our reach for the Eternal

unique Selenite cluster – representing our reach for the Eternal

IT’S ALL ABOUT G8D

Whether you’re devoutly practicing a religion or not; believe in a higher power – The Force or whatever – working with Crystals can certainly tap you into The Divine.

Polytheists, Pagans, Animists – we’re all aware of greater powers in our midst – and that we ourselves are formidable forces (for good or ill). Even negligence is a force to contend with. It’s all about tapping into the Energy that’s all around (and within!).

Working with it, running with it, taming and shaping it – or resisting and avoiding it – these are factors we need to grapple with.

I believe that for all the complexity and wonder of the physical world – there is an equal and “opposite” (or simultaneous) “dream time,” or metaphysical world – and that is the one that Crystals both tap into, and straddle, bringing into being what was not previously manifest (and projecting the manifest back over, beyond “the veil”).

Ultimately, these are rocks – objects – quite plain and permanent. It’s really a trip. “How to Work with Crystals” is really an exercise in playing with the constant and the mutable, the “objective” and the relative.

IN ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION

Now have I thoroughly confused matters? Has my argument become too long in the tooth? Astrophysicists have found that the more we know – the more we want to (and don’t) know. Learning will never die, there is always more to explore.

Why should this be any different. Every field has its limits, or its next frontier. And every modality has its merit, too. I would never propose to devalue complementary (or even opposing) practices. Every approach to healing is worthy of exploration.

I personally connect uniquely (and primarily) with the Crystals, which have led me on this ongoing journey of discovery and sharing.

Celestite egg

Celestite egg

I hope you now feel more informed on “How to Work with Crystals” – my having outlined both how we can engage them (through “the circuit”) – and how I have created a spread of curriculum…teaching through the written word and images, as well as the engagement of groups and individuals…each method taking on a different form and delivering a new dynamic to the process.

DIFFERENT VIEWS OF THE SAME EDIFICE

The webinar of this name “How to Work with Crystals” is more improvisational – it was recorded live – and I say things that don’t appear here. Likewise, points are made “on paper” that are not covered in person. So it really behooves you to experience both – as my written personality is different than my spoken self – and all my “incarnations:” the Presentation, the Meditation, the Workshop, the Webinar, Individual Sessions, Prayer & Charity, as well as Solo Time have unique contributions to make to our overall understanding and process.

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About the Author: Kyle Russell has been working with Crystals for 27 years. Although he’s been collecting and working with people throughout that time period, the past few years have seen a resurgence of primary attention being devoted to this cause. The reason is that he feels he has something unique to contribute – not only in terms of content, conceptually – but physically, in terms of delivering outstanding power stones to the community. It’s a holistic endeavor, and complements his personal choices around health and wellness, as well as maintaining his own well being (he survived Cancer, twice). Please don’t hesitate to be in touch at CrystalConcentrics@gmail.com, with any questions, or to followup, with feedback. 

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.

Crystal Healing Portal – “say a prayer for me!”

Crystal Concentrics business card

Crystal Concentrics business card

You’re either gonna like this idea – or you’re gonna hate it – but I’m opening up a new well in my practice…that of hearing people’s prayers, and magnifying them through Crystal layouts and supplication…to try to have them answered, one way or another. I will charge for this, but what you spend will be less than it will take (on my side) to cover the effort I put into it. You’re basically helping me to try to help you. That extra portion (of time and effort), which I volunteer for you, will be my contribution, or donation to your cause. Basically, I’ll be opening up a healing portal, for you and your wishes to be a part of…to partake of. You’re welcome to get on board – just contact me, read this blog – and visit my Services page for more information.

Facebook iconA lot of times I see people post (on Facebook) – asking people to pray for their loved one – who’s in crisis. I found myself doing this when my kids were in a car accident. There was an outpouring of concern (and prayer)…for which I was grateful. I felt buoyed, supported…even loved. Nothing wrong with that!

Independently, some other folks have contacted me, to pray for someone special in their life…themselves, a daughter, a parent. It’s strange, because I don’t know them. Why would they ask that of me? They know I’m in the ethers, dealing with metaphysical things on the regular. Naturally, they figure I’m capable of putting in a good word for them, as I’m in contact with Spirit kinda steady. Yet something was holding me back.

First of all, getting into the supplication “business “- with or without money exchanged – is not something to be trifled with. If you are asking G8D to make a special dispensation – to bend the waters of fate, to favor one individual (or a group of us) – are you not taking good fortune from others? Is it selfish…a kind of “robbing from Peter to pay Paul”? Not necessarily…it oughtn’t be..

giant DT elestial closeup

giant DT elestial closeup

It’s only natural to want to better your situation, and it’s not like anyone wants to hurt someone else in the process. That would be what they call “black magic.” I do not go there, absolutely refuse to (and I’ve been asked for that, too). Most definitely not in my job description.

Most of us believe in a fair and benevolent G8D – but also feel that misfortune can be blind, and is not intrinsically kind or just. Remember “when bad things happen to good people?” We see that happen every day (just watch the news).

But suppose the Almighty – assuming you believe in there being one – was ultimately in charge. I know not all of you feel that way, and it’s unverifiable, particularly to the Atheist and Agnostic. But to the Believer, G8D is a force to contend with, to come to terms with, accept the actions of. Some feel, and surely the Bible demonstrates this – that G8D is jealous – He can be wrathful, even vengeful.

Etheric Goddess

Etheric Goddess

I chose the word He, because the Abrahamic monotheistic traditions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – have traditionally been sexist, patriarchal, and non-embracing of the Feminine. Fortunately, newer understandings and experiences of religion have become more inclusive, and just as the Virgin Mary has long been representative of the loving, maternal Divine, people are increasingly ascribing or choosing to see in G8D a more generous, nurturing light.

Is there enough to go around? Well, if Life is Love manifest, then yes – surely – life (and love) abounds! It’s all around us – booming population – and even wildlife (and insects) thrive in their bastions.

Life is almost cheap, with how frivolous we have (most of us) become with it. Mistreating the environment, wars, competition, heedlessness to the plight of others…it’s not a flattering picture of humanity.

woman praying

woman praying

Yet surely, acts of kindness do exist. Charity and good will are not dead.

But when you ask me personally, to get involved, I have to take that request most seriously. First, there is the “getting next to G8D” – if I can be so presumptuous to assert that as even being possible for me!

What does it take? Calming down my own inner storm; bringing Mind, Body, and Spirit together. I must raise my voice and open my ear to the Will of the Divine – whose intention may not be to grant clemency – we cannot know.

Those who claim to know the Will of G8D are either lying, or fooling themselves.

Ametrine Cathedral in sunlight

Ametrine Cathedral in sunlight

I recently joked, when describing the power of an enormous Amethyst cluster I have: “if that don’t cure you, you ain’t meant to be cured.” Reminds me of my “Can you Heal Me?” blog, which you may wish to check out, for reference. It’ll fill out some of these concepts – the most important one being that, basically – there are no guarantees that your prayers will be heard or answered.

This reminds me too, of the music promotion business, in which I worked tirelessly for many years. Artists would approach me: “make me famous” was their wish, indeed their expectation. Would that I could, that I should have that kind of power! “No,” I’d set them straight – “what you’re paying me for is my knowledge, expertise, and resources to do what I say I’ll do…you’re paying me for a service (for my time and my actions)…not for a guaranteed outcome. As long as you’re cool with that, we’re all good. Then everybody is doing their part.”

But truly: it is up to G8D to determine who gets helped. That is “giving unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.” We have to know our place – our own sacred role to play – and mine is expanding – I want to help!

Kyle Russell at the Natural Living Expo

Kyle Russell at the Natural Living Expo

It’s true, I deal with Crystals on the daily, and sit in the presence of the Spirit as consistently as I can. I have 25 years doing it, some years more than others, but now more than ever.

I’ve survived Cancer by personal (human, and yes, medical) effort. Good will, and of course, the grace of G8D helped too. I eat well, better than ever, and am more consistently thinking about how my life can be a vessel for the betterment of the world, given my specific talents and predilections.

I lead Meditations, Classes, and Workshops – all of them focused on working with Spirit and Crystals – at the same time.

Twister

Twister

I have a healthy respect for the earth-crushing and creative power of Nature (and the Supernatural). I recognize the challenges posed by the offensive forces of Evil, Chaos, Decay, and the effects of both Greed and its less recognized aspect: the Benign Competition among people for Resources (in which wildlife and ‘the poor’ fare badly).

Classism, Racism, religious intolerance…these all contribute to the uphill battle we face…even in trying to get well on a personal level. Any energy worker has to do battle with these essences, which will necessarily be taxing and dangerous. Working and weaving “in the light” sometimes seems to ignore this underside of reality.

Mandela

Mandela

There is also the Pandora’s Box that can be unleashed when you meddle with G8D’s plan. At the same time, if we passively accept predestination (“que sera sera”), we abdicate our own power, and our extraordinary capacity to influence the situation.

Choice is one of G8D’s greatest gifts to us. “Well behaved women never make history” Eleanor Roosevelt said.

What would it have been like had Martin Luther King, Ghandi, and Mandela “held their corner,” and kept their mouths shut?

'midnight grade' sliver of Lapis

‘midnight grade’ sliver of Lapis

So to speak up – to take action, make our requests from the Universe – is our right and our responsibility. This is “your mission, should you choose to accept it” (remember Mission Impossible?).

There is an African proverb: “when you pray, move your feet.”

Don’t be powerless – do what you can do – take any and all action within (and beyond) reach, to get your goals.

That being said (that you have more internal resources than you give yourself credit for) – and with all the support available through the conventional world – why bother working with me to try to advance your cause?

What can I, and Crystals do that the rest of our modern resources (and your own religious belief) not do?

Well – if you’ve ever felt powerless, like you just don’t get it: “why me” – and if you’ve ever felt like all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t seem to put Humpty back together again…you’ll know it’s worth a try.

I know what that’s like. I’ve been terminally ill. I’ve had dogged maladies that wouldn’t go away. The doctors had no idea what to do. And they didn’t (really) care. Other alternative modalities failed to satisfy, too.

Even if things seem to being going well – you have it all “pretty much under control” – I find that it’s that much better when you take a pause and partake of this wonderful resource.

large Citrine semi-sceptered Elestial

large Citrine semi-sceptered Elestial

I truly believe that bringing Crystals into the picture – given my experience, the breadth of my understanding about the complexities of Reality (as hopefully demonstrated above), and the amazing energies of the Power Stones I bring to bear – can only help you, deepen your own awareness, and introduce new and powerful elements into your appreciation (and grasp!) of Life.

Crystal Concentrics is all about full attention on YOU!

In my consultations, your perception of Spirit (in your life) matters – what you feel, what you want – and rallying the forces of Metaphysical Healing to your service…each is taken into account.

If you’re ready to explore this possibility and the opportunities is presents, please contact me at CrystalConcentrics@gmail.com.

Crystal Healing Layout

Crystal Healing Layout

Once we talk – and review your situation – a specific action plan will be put into place – whether it be individual, in-person – or long distance sessions. And if it’s right, your supplication will be brought right into the Crystal Vortex of Healing Portal soon! Please Follow me through my Contact Links, to see more about how this, and my other efforts progress!

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About the author: Kyle Russell has been working with Crystals for 25 years, and has founded Crystal Concentrics (the ‘modality arm’) and Power Stone Crystals (the ‘sales arm’) to bring Crystal knowledge, use, and appreciation to a broader audience. Working on several books, he also leads Workshops, Meditations, and does Individual Healing work. Please contact him at CrystalConcentrics@gmail.com for more information, and to follow up in finding out how Crystals can be a bigger part of your Life. 

Crystal Meditation vs. Crystal Workshop (why, and what’s the difference?)

What’s the point of a Crystal Meditation (or a Workshop)? You might say: “I can do this all on my own, and I have everything I need – I know how to read – I bought the books!” Sure – have at it – but two things make doing an actual Crystal Meditation (or Workshop) with me, well worth it.
mystic light, emanating from a crystal point

mystic light, emanating from a crystal point

First of all, I have my own approach – I’ve sourced all my information intrinsically, “from on high” (no, not channelled, per se) – and from experience. I have actually been working with Crystals for 25 years! I don’t read “the books,” so you’re not likely to hear what you’ve heard before.

In fact, I take issue with a lot of what’s been written. It’s too generalized, simplistic, and fantastic (in the literal sense of that word). If I can’t feel it myself, or understand it – because it’s seemingly arbitrary, contrived, and poorly explained – then I don’t want to go there.

I have something unique to share. Whichever way you connect with me – including online – which is a major priority for me…to deliver some virtual content & value…but more on that developing saga (of reaching out to a bigger audience through the Internet) another time.
the power of collective upliftmentWhether on the Web, or in person, the key is interaction. That’s the second thing that makes taking either a Class/Workshop, or doing a Meditation worthwhile…the people!
My knowledge doesn’t exist in a vacuum – it comes out more with others (than on my own) – and everyone attending has a lot to contribute, too. I’m always amazed by people’s observations – what they’re going through – and what they’re learning. We all have a lot to teach one another!
Those are two strong “why’s.” Now let me tell you more about the “how” of what’s involved…
In a Crystal Meditation, I begin without any stones: for us to remember we’re biological beings – with minerals “inside” us – but we’re impermanent, mostly liquid (water…blood…bodily fluids).
We’re floating, here only for a time. And filled with our own concerns – “busy mind” – which we want to calm and center, ground and “space out” (ie. make receptive to new and deeper experiences).
Perhaps we introduce an intention, or a question, for you to go in and research, or cultivate the answer to, and maybe bring forth into your consciousness. We invite your Soul into the common space of the group, for this out-of-the-ordinary opportunity. Sacred safe-space is key – no judgements – no criticism.
People may share what they’ve come up with, or what’s come up for them…
diamantina laser polarity

diamantina laser polarity

Then comes 1 (or more) guided meditations including Crystals, because they’re what makes this a Crystal Meditation, after all!

The fact that I’m leading, makes it a Crystal Concentrics (my brand of) Meditation, as well.

We explore themes, in the context of the chosen Power Stones, which serve to focalize our thoughts and energies. Some may be held – or you can hold your own Crystals – and we go through that (and share again).

Topics have included Grounding, Sickness, Reconnecting with Spirit, and more. The list could go on and on. What we’re not doing here – is a prescribed program – going from a A to Z in a set curriculum. We don’t offer certifications or grant titles – making you a Master of this – or that.
This is another distinction of the Crystal Concentrics way. It’s not linear – so, in keeping with the name – it has to do with circles: moving outward, cross referencing, interconnecting. Most of all, it’s a process, a process which does not end. It evolves, like a ripple in a pond…spreading out, dissipating…and then starting again elsewhere – just like the movement of our Souls, through this – and other lives, planes, times, and places.
the Cosmology of Crystals

a sample presentation of the Cosmology of Crystals

 

Finally, and this does not happen every time, we might create a layout, or even a portal, to galvanize several energies at once, including the power of our collective presence and consciousness.

We have evoked “The River of Life,” “The Cosmology of Crystals,” and “The Pillar of Light” (an energy source for healing, and a passageway into the sublime).
All of this in an hour and half!
More or less time could be taken – depending on the circumstances.
Online, for example, may be more of a “get-down-to-business” scenario…since there’s less time for meet-and-greet. But it could end up similarly – as I’m new to it – and haven’t explored all the possibilities yet.
In person certainly has its advantages, but because of our efforts, and the Crystals themselves – which work so powerfully with the archetypes of our minds – it is actually possible to have every bit as powerful experiences virtually, as you can live. The imagination is a powerful landscape, and you can travel there easily, with or without your body.
grounding Hematite

grounding, superior specimen of Hematite

I do not advocate for an “out-of-body” lifestyle, though. To the contrary, most illnesses of mind and body are worsened (or even brought on) by dissociation with the physical. And I totally understand that trauma can leave you wanting to leave your body (or be anywhere else).

Ultimately, you have to take care of, and be in your body. Otherwise, what’s the point of being here(?), when there are other levels of existence (and non-existence) to get to.
Important, life-changing choices have to be made, and individual, one-on-one sessions, are where I explore that work (and any particular challenges you may be facing in that area). The beauty of private work is that you get all of the attention: the entire time is spent on your process. Nobody else shares. Nobody else’s needs matter (in that period).
Group meditation and the workshop environment may not be for you if you’re grappling with your own issues consumingly. They may be clouding your capacity to be in community. At the same time, it can be liberating to be in the company of others, and to levitate from your own well – see a fuller landscape – and appreciate anothers’ perspective.
Moving on, you might also ask: “Now the Crystal Concentrics Workshop – how is that different from – and why would I want to participate in one of those, instead of (or additionally to) the Crystal Meditation experience?”
The Workshop definitely incorporates Meditation, and all of the elements discussed above. It takes twice as long, though, because there’s a whole different aspect, that is unique to it. The educational, instructional piece, is what makes it stand out.
the Chakras as I-statements

the Chakras as I-statements

People want to know about the bigger picture, not just the specific energies employed during one Meditation (valuable as that may be). They want to understand how all (or most) of the major varieties (or one specific variety) of Power Stones “works,” and is interrelated with the others. For that reason, I introduce paradigms: frameworks that quantify, or organize our ways of thinking (and feeling) about the full spectrum of Crystals.

Which concept can (loosely) hold, or allow for the interpretation of the whole of the mineral “kingdom,” as it relates to the human bodily (and ethereal) energies?
Another question we might ask is “How, with thousands of varieties out there – can we (without getting all Scientific about it) – group into a smaller number of categories, the astonishing multiplicity of Crystals in existence?”
Even a single stone has so many attributes – by what means can we judge, or place it – on a variety of continuums for description, simultaneously?
All these are the types of queries we address in my Workshops.
To find out more, really, you should simply attend. Rest assured, that no two events – be they Meditations or Workshops (I call them Workshops, and not Classes, because they’re more participatory than “just a class”) – no two meetings will be identical.
There’s no “I heard that before,” or “there he goes again,” because I strive to approach every happening freshly. Even repeat guests cannot have been to every event – as I have – so if I can not be repetitious in myself, I’ll always move forward. That way, I can be sure to keep our experiences new and different.
As always – to get these updates & more (’cause my work is not only my Blog – I have newsletters, and numerous other Links for you to check out) – please email me at CrystalConcentrics@gmail.com.
To see my actual Calendar / Schedule of Events, click here. I hope to see or meet you soon! I’m happy to share with you the adventure of this work!
Regards,
Kyle Russell
Founder of Crystal Concentrics
and Power Stone Crystals

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.

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

Facebook Pages:

http://www.Facebook.com/PowerStoneCrystals (strictly For Sale items)

http://www.Facebook.com/CrystalConcentric (new modality, inspirations, and personal collection pieces)

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

Facebook Group 1 (for New Englanders):                                       http://www.Facebook.com/Groups/CrystalsNewEngland

Facebook Group 2 (for chronic rock spenders):                                       http://www.Facebook.com/Groups/Gemoholics Anonymous

Pinterest: http://Pinterest.com/CrystalsPower

Twitter: @CrystalsPower

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.