Anatomy of a Meditation, what is Real? The Power of Metaphor (from Microcosm to Macrocosm)

This blog came out of a desire to capture a recent group Meditation – for reference – and as an enticement for folks considering coming out to one. I wanted to flesh out the event topic “New Beginnings: Clearing, and Opening” – and I do that – but not without delving into a plethora of other relevant topics: the Concrete vs. the Ephemeral; the Medical vs. Metaphysical Model; having a mission vs. playing it by ear (Improvisation); and so much more…

[a note about quotes: single quotes denote a concept, double quotes identify something actually said]

the mysterious ilvaite - with curvy, bowing terminations - representing a more proactive energy than black Tourmaline

the mysterious ilvaite – with curvy, bowing terminations – representing a more proactive energy than black Tourmaline

Anatomy of a Meditation, what is Real? The Power of Metaphor (from Microcosm to Macrocosm)

I usually don’t preplan (‘to the T’) my in-person Meditation events. I generate the concept for it about a month out, looking ahead at the calendar – inspired by the seasons – foraging for whatever ideas feel relevant to explore in the moment.

I recall whatever else might have been taught recently – what prospective attendees may be interested in – and in any case, try to push our studies to the next level. My own learning is included, as important, because I don’t know everything (surprise, surprise).

As it gets closer, I start to pick out the appropriate stones, and begin formulating the progression of the usually 3 Meditations-within-the-Meditation that I do. By taking different ‘side roads’ during the course of our main journey, a broader level of awareness is reached. More ground is covered (and that’s a good thing!). A single Meditation, with long silences, is not my style (though it certainly has its place).

As the main concept for each segment comes into focus, I make sure to leave the event open for intuitive ‘light bulbs,’ or last minute, in-the-moment inspirations about whatever else I might dream up, on the fly.

Rocks in a Box - personal pieces - selected for a specific event.

Rocks in a Box – personal pieces – selected for a specific event.

By taking this approach, I’m not being flighty or flaky – winging it – I’m just being aware of the need not to be rigid. I think it’s important to go into a situation with a clear mission, and to welcome opportunities for expansion and evolution as they present themselves along the way.

For example, I have to be open to new stones I can bring in (even as the event is unfolding). That’s why I keep my For Sale & Personal Session pieces close by. I won’t think twice about leaving out stones I’d had originally picked for the occasion, even if it means they’re sitting it out sadly ‘in the box.’

Occasionally, I’m lucky enough to have an attendee take a bird’s eye view of what’s going on, and report in real time what’s happening – as it’s happening – from their own ‘objective’ viewpoint. Most recently, I was praised as a “master of metaphor,” which felt great (and seemed appropriate, given my whole approach – which is becoming clearer – even as I write this). Indeed her statement can fairly be said to have been a prime impetus for this whole Blog post.

Symbols stir up our subconscious, delivering experiences we would otherwise ignore, not notice, and be unaware of. It’s my job to ‘go there,’ for the sake of the community. As in any field – the full time practitioner should be relied upon to pioneer at the cutting edge – identifying new and different stones (in my case), and ascertaining how best to use them. When you buy a stone from me, or pay in to attend an event, you’re contributing in your own way to that much larger responsibility I’m bearing.

I most definitely use stones as both metaphor and actual representatives for all kinds of key (and essential) energetic nuances. We stimulate the imagination with Crystals & Metaphor – make use of what’s there, inside of us – and create new associations. It’s kind of exciting…like a song being written as it’s performed!

A small Meditation gathering (I'm the one guy).

some of those in attendance at a Meditational gathering (I’m the one guy)

I hope you can see that in describing how I go about ‘building’ an event, that my most recent Meditation topic “New Beginnings: Clearing & Opening” is being addressed (albeit circuitously). As some say: “how you do anything is how you do everything.” And yet – how it feels live – during an in-person event of mine – is totally different from how I present a webinar, or write my Blogs. That’s the beauty of working with me in a few different capacities. Each medium has its unique offerings, appeal, and gift.

In writing, I’m much more self-conscious, I’m not channeling – or ‘streaming’ – as I do in other situations. I revisit my words many times – blogs can take weeks to complete – I’m ever fine-tuning and developing them. I’m up to 15 revisions here, and counting…

So my blogs are more for the readers amongst you, perhaps even ‘the intellectual.’ And yet I’m not much of a reader myself. I do lots of editing beyond this, but the real challenge is getting it all out. For whatever reason, I have a lot to say – to share – and feel like in doing so, some pretty substantial light is being shed on this field of Crystal Healing.

Once I press Publish, though, I’m confident that my writing covers the ground needed (and I imagine it being a chapter in some future book). So I apologize if these tomes seem long – some have suggested I write shorter pieces more often – but it takes awhile for these statements to percolate. If folks want pithier expressions, they can check out my Twitter and Facebook pages (that’s what they’re for).

I’m certainly not as left brained as I sometimes think I am. I’m not, after all, a statistician or accountant. I infuse my efforts with an artistic sensibility. Intention and focus are are definitely hosting my events – but inspiration, flexibility, and adaptability crash the party every time – that’s what makes it fun & interesting!

Amber - by its lighter density - automatically creates a magnetism, or pull, from the more dense, to the less dense.

Amber – by its lighter density – automatically creates a magnetism, or pull, from the more dense, to the less dense.

So we’ve ‘established’ that working with Crystals is all about Metaphor. And Language as well, by extension [don’t get me started, that’s a whole other blog topic in itself]. They each represent something about our Consciousness (The Ethers) and Physicality (being themselves, quite tangible). This enables us to use and experience Crystals in ways that illustrate, bring out, and underscore our own important ‘inner workings’ – which ultimately manifest in in ‘the real world’ – and vice versa! This takes on a very personal and uniquely individual dynamic for each of us.

In different words, what I’m saying is that Crystals “are the thing” (meaning, they embody or contain within them certain energies, intrinsically) – but they are also “about the thing” (ie. representing of a concept, or vibration).

Rose Quartz - represents and emanates -Unconditional Love.

Rose Quartz – represents and emanates – Unconditional Love.

 

 

 

Take for example Rose Quartz. It’s said (by me) to bear the essence of Unconditional Love. I just noticed someone else saying that on Pinterest (“Love” I’ve heard before, but not my wording: “Unconditional Love,” until now). I’m glad to say that it feels like my framework for understanding Crystals is getting out there (little by little).

But can that possibly true? Can a rock be all that? I argue (elsewhere) that the Crystal Lore has gone overboard with making impossible (or excessive) associations. And yet, I’m all in favor of making leaps of faith. I believe that once you make an association (between object and and outcome, or meaning) – and it resonates for you, then YES – a rock can be all that. The keys are resonance – complementarity – a sort of call and response between you and the Crystals.

The sign of the swastika has come to carry and mean a whole lot more than a few lines scrawled on a wall (every picnic table at a campground I went to this Summer, had them carved in centrally). In its case, hatefulness overshadows its original import, as a mystical symbol from India.

Oppositely, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” When you love someone, you can easily disregard their foibles…the warm glow of your rose tinted glasses gives the object of your desire an elevated standing…in almost everything they do.

My point? That ‘objective reality’ is often neither. And people who claim it’s all there is are deluding themselves.

Entire societies function on a vast web of presuppositions and assumptions that shape our every move. What makes some consider Terrorism a perfectly logical course of action tells you something about their surrounding ethos, and circumstance. Likewise, the confluence of beliefs and prejudices prevailing in 2003 led the U.S. to invade Iraq under completely false pretenses.

Going further back – slavery was once considered an indispensable part of the economy – just as energy waste and global warming are considered acceptable side effects of modern life. It didn’t have to be that way, it doesn’t have to be this way. Our spiritual practice should enable us to increasingly think outside the box…how it could and should be, are items seriously worth considering…on the regular!

It is white, is it beige - is the pattern natural or real - what is the play of light here (on this Zebra Jasper)...

It is white, is it beige – is the pattern natural or real – what is the play of light here (on this Zebra Jasper)…

Who’s right and who’s wrong – that’s not for me to say in this context – but I bring up these points to illustrate how powerful and significant ideation (ideology), accepted world views, and yes: Imagination can be.

Ultimately, you believe in what you believe in – and that carries all the weight it needs to – to ‘get the job done.’ It’s what can lead us to start wars, stay in a marriage, keep going in to work every day – even hate – or love ourselves. It can hold such sway in superstitious societies -that a hex can kill you – if you let it (or believe it will).

We live in a world defined in large part by mental constructs. Let me say this again: there is no ‘objective’ reality to be had. Perhaps ‘things’ – material objects – all that we can point to as being real, are truly real? But how much more important is what they mean to us! A flag, a rock, a bus stop – each is not merely an object to us – each immediately initiates a cascade of associations. Meaning is everything.

The relationship between things and concepts is much much more fluid (both loose and close) in our world than we give it credit for. There’s so much more gray than black and white. I say this over and over again – especially to people who look to me for a quick health fix – as they say on Facebook, about relationships – “it’s complicated!”

Disease doesn’t just pop up out of a box. You can’t just stuff it all back in – or get rid of it like that. One thing Modern Medicine has done, is to give people that illusion…that they can be “fixed” – like cars. And one of the greatest pieces of misinformation about Crystals, is that they can “do this” and “do that,” performing similar, instant cures.

the unusual red (and power) of a flare / Diamantina laser

the unusual red (and power) of a flare / Diamantina laser

Crystals are not our minions, doing our bidding, like slaves. That gives them no credit or dignity, and gives the challenges facing us zero standing, in their own right. Fixing a human being is a lot more sophisticated, and ought to be handled on multiple levels, that no quick fix can ever hope to deliver. You can’t simply change out a light bulb and make everything okay.

How is it that Religions can so easily buy people’s loyalty by relaying miracles? Are we such simpletons? Would it not be better to preach the old adage: “pray, but move your feet.” Yes to the magic of inspiration, and Yes ALSO to the power of action!

Returning to my color metaphor, look even at the shades of Red. You can say “that’s red” – and on the surface of it – we’ll know what you mean. But the Artist in you knows how many variations (or shades) there really are on the theme. There’s a pale, almost pink tone; dark burgundy, like a wine; fire engine red…the list goes on. Likewise, there are gradations – quantitative (not just qualitative) delineations – between The Real and The Imagined.

A Fantasy can turn into a motion picture, from which are created memories. Images and Messages (‘the moral of the story’) can change lives, both during – and beyond – the experience of watching a film. Everything partakes of (and contributes to) Reality – from the dryest of rational views – to the wildest drug-induced hallucinations.

Indeed the most brilliant scientists will tell you that the more they learn, the more they realize they don’t know. Each perspective has meaning and value, regardless of how ‘tangible’ it is. And when we die, everything disappears (even though many of us think of the Soul as living on).

This is why I laugh when I hear the notion that Energy Medicine is irrelevant, and that ‘Traditional’ Medicine is all that matters. Never mind the fact that (by true definition) ‘Traditional Medicine’ – which would be ‘that which precedes Modern Medicine’ – was often about the energetics of a person’s condition. Herbalism, Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine – all these are truly traditional medicines – that take this approach (thinking about our functioning holistically), and they’re all still in use today (as they were a thousand years ago).

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

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

What I’m saying is that the opposition between Allopathic and Metaphysical medicine is something I think of as made up – it’s artificial, imposed – and not helpful. Though I suppose, for folks those whose imagination is limited, it works out just fine – to see just one way to legitimately help folks.

“Only a doctor can cure you!” they say. “Yeah, yeah” I say. How many ailments leave doctors befuddled!?

At the same time, it cuts both ways – Alternative Health nuts can fail to see the very real benefits of going to the doctor – and that doing so certainly has merit.

For example, I know someone (who knows someone) who’s dying from Cancer. The patient refused to work with today’s conventional medical establishment, or to accept the many interventions it has to offer…and now she is paying the price (by dying prematurely).

A lot of suffering can be avoided by taking advantage of what’s been scientifically proven to help people.

Science, Medicine, and Energy Healing are all good!

Whatever the source of Healing, I say “Let it begin – it’s all G8D’s gift – receive it and LIVE!” Heck, I had Cancer twice – and was saved by surgery – which helped me live to tell the tale. To be fair – and to take some credit as well – I also changed my attitude and my diet (which were no mean feats), resulting in a life extension of decades.

The choices I made – the shifts in worldview that happened (about myself and everything around me) – all prepared the way for my pursuit of Crystal Consciousness. And then I had a major revelatory experience, but that wasn’t everything. People cheat themselves when they think of the universe as either mundane or sublime. It’s both, to be sure!

Remember, if you can, the story about the guy who drowned – reaches Heaven – and berates G8D for not saving him (with a miracle). Miracles are overrated! G8D respondes (and I paraphrase): “You’re wrong to think I wasn’t trying to save you – I sent you a life preserver, I sent you a boat, I sent you a helicopter – how many more tools, or ‘signs’ could I have offered?!” G8D does not only work in mysterious ways. Sometimes, Salvation can be quite simple, straightforward and practical.

In tying together many Quartz crystals in this double terminated formation, this amalgamated cluster represents a multiplicity of forces, or possibilities.

In tying together many Quartz crystals in this double terminated formation, this amalgamated cluster represents a multiplicity of forces, or possibilities.

But I digress, not to put you off – Pagans and Atheists – with my mention of Deity. I actually think our world views are more similar than we might admit. I’m no holy roller, and I certainly don’t believe that there’s only one way of understanding Reality. That’s a revolutionary statement, in a rigid, doctrinaire world.

One has only to look at Politics – especially during an election year – to see how violently people hold to their beliefs and convictions. Can they all be right? Or does nobody have it all figured out?

Indeed, there’s no monolithic Reality to be had [I’m giving it a new name, beyond the concept of ‘objective reality,’]…except, perhaps…for the Totality of Multiplicity (which is some people’s view – including my own – of G8D).

“Universal Energies” is another way to refer to an All-Inclusive Reality, within which everything is subjective – except, perhaps, the collective summation of all realities – which we cannot grasp or comprehend – as mere mortals.

The ‘exception’ perhaps, in identifying ‘what is real,’ might be those certain things we cannot all of us deny – like a Tsunami, Death, and taxes…oh well…I guess even those we try to bargain with & negotiate around, wherever possible.

Let’s get back to my Meditation – OUR meditation, really – because the shape and contour of each event, while set in broad strokes by me (and shepherded through, by my own Guidance), takes on new directional subtleties when each individual present Shares what’s happening for them – what the given “journey” has brought up inside of them – and how they’ve been impacted by the whole process. What everybody has to say is an important contribution to the overall experience.

The trait or gift of Compassion is manifest in milky stones, and very well by this pair of candle Quartzes.

The trait or gift of Compassion is manifest in milky stones, and very well by this pair of candle Quartzes.

We’re always (pleasantly) surprised by how unexpected (and welcome) others’ feelings become. That is one of the key benefits of being in a safe and healing environment. People expose their vulnerabilities – places where they feel hurt or alone – and without suffocating, others ‘come running.’

It’s heartwarming how willing – and quick – people can be to offer succor (in the right circumstances).

Indeed, I think it’s harder to embark on new beginnings without reaching, or starting from this place of relative Soul comfort. It’s not impossible – just harder – and it happens all the time, regardless. But in the context of a ‘controlled’ environment – a small group of like minded people gathered, with good intention – that definitely ‘provides the space’ for people to get in touch with their (and THE) Spirit.

Two other key factors contributing to our experience in these Meditations, are of course the world-class Power Stones brought into play (which, unlike museum pieces, are meant to be held and used) – as well as my own knowledge base regarding the many varieties and uses for Crystals. My understanding regarding the dynamics of human learning & experience, also comes in quite handy.

Foggy (or Girasol) Quartz represents the unknown, or unknowable, and is (as such) oddly reassuring, in the shape of a Heart.

Foggy (or Girasol) Quartz represents the unknown, or unknowable, and is (as such) oddly reassuring, in the shape of a Heart.

In order to begin again, or start over – even take any step into the future – I think it helps to make some kind of peace with uncertainty…the unknown…and the unknowable. Some shamanic practitioners speak with certainty about outcomes, or diagnoses, as if they know without a doubt. And that’s lovely, for them (and their clients?) – confidence and clairvoyance are wonderful attributes – but I question their infallibility, and take a more humble approach.

Here, my deistic perspective comes in again. Give G8D his or her [I’m uninvested in ascribing gender to the Over Soul] due. Honor G8D’s role and authority in being ‘the ultimate decider.’

I do not imbue any one stone or type of stone with G8D-Essence, Knowing, or the capacity for Arbitration (that is to say, intercession on our behalf). That, to me, would be idolatry.

We do not pray to the stones, we pray with them. They are not our “little friends” – nor are they generally (although they sometimes can be, in the case of Entity Stones) – possessed with little anthropomorphic “fairy spirits.” That’s one of the several bones I have to pick with the existing Crystal Lore, but it’s not in itself worthy of further discussion at this point.

What is important – at first – is that we acknowledge, and coexist with Uncertainty, which can be attempted by interacting with Girasol, or what I call “Foggy” Quartz. It is neither clear, nor Rose Quartz…it is its own variety [and comes mostly from Madagascar]. It is ideally not completely see through – though it is often gemmy (or glassy inside) – and milky/opaque. By sitting with it, and following a progression of guided Meditation, we were able to lighten the load of pressure we feel to ‘have it all figured out.’ The hidden benefit here, is that by loosening the grip of expectation – we can be open to G8D’s intercession – and our own inspiration.

this is a closeup of the giant Amethyst cluster - showing its Yin & Yang color variation - one side being more matt, and the other glassier

this is a closeup of the giant Amethyst cluster – showing its Yin & Yang color variation – one side being more matt, and the other glassier

Next, and this was our second Meditation – we explored clearing – with a great big Amethyst cluster. As discussed in my “Amethyst & the Purple Sages of the Higher Spirit” webinar, Amethyst clusters (as opposed to points) have the special capacity to cleanse us, spiritually. So we imagined the whole piece (about 2′ long) bubbling with a lavender mist – filling and permeating our being (like Sage smoke) – and flushing out unwanted energies from its furthest recesses.

To further effect the outcome of clearing (and cleansing) – we each used (and shared) a few naturally smoothed basalt shards – passing them over our entire aura (while seated) to protect and restore our periphery and core [one is pictured earlier in this blog].

Ruby Crystal - the super earth grounder - displaying its red & purple color combination.

Ruby Crystal – the super earth grounder – displaying its red & purple color combination

It had been discussed that it was hard to Open without Clearing – because of the fear of letting in unwanted energies – or destabilizing one’s system. That is part of why grounding stones were placed between each person, alternating Tiger Iron and Ruby. By clearing, centering, and grounding first, it becomes possible to open up more successfully.

Finally, in our 3rd Meditation, a ‘constellation’ was brought into play. My goal is to have people experience themselves first; then add stones to the mix, to further their own Spiritual pursuit; and to finally create a collective, galactically connected layout that aligns our individual experience with that the Universe. That’s what I mean by Microcosm to Macrocosm.

I make my layouts simple – I don’t call them ‘grids’ because that seems limiting – almost like using a stencil to make a drawing, or connecting oneself to ‘the grid’ – when this whole energetic exercise is designed to take us out of, or give us relief from the societal grid – and to connect us to something bigger.

3rd Meditation layout, New Beginnings: Clearing & Opening event

3rd Meditation layout, New Beginnings: Clearing & Opening event

I generally don’t allow attendees to take photos at our gatherings, because I have some proprietary interest in keeping what we do private. At the same time, pictures do make things a lot clearer, and I’ve been describing this Meditation thus far by only showing examples of the stones I’m discussing.

The bamboo sticks are neutral place holders, but they do create space, and in this case both an emanation from the center, and an evocation of a galactic swirl (because of the angles at which they come in, or burst forth from the center).

I also use just the minimum to achieve the desired effect. A lot of layouts I’ve seen are over the top – too much going on – a cacophony of energies. I think they’re more attractive as artworks than as functioning ‘constellations.’

In the center is the amalgamated Quartz DT cluster, representing the new possibilities we face at the Gateway of the Future…things we want to see come into being, or that will become manifest regardless, going forward. It behooves us to ‘get next to’ these potentialities, even advance of their appearance, so that our Soul may attune to them and thrive in their company.

4 Jets - the Openness Stone - combines cleansing with spacious opportunity.

4 Jets – the Openness Stone – combines cleansing with spacious opportunity

Then come a ring of geometrically cut Obsidian pieces [in the layout, but not pictured independently] – which invoke the power and expanse of open space – the ‘Black Before Creation‘ (also of night, Outer Space, and potentiality).

And lastly – what people held in their hands (one in each) – were Blue Lace Agate (self forgiveness and self expression), and Jet…a personal openness and safety stone, different from Obsidian…because it’s more “right here” than “out there.”

Thus completed our exploration of “New Beginnings: Clearing & Opening.” I realize that this verbal explanation – even enhanced by photos – cannot do it justice. And everybody’s input is not transcribed here.

However, I did get a memorable testimonial – which will show you, in someone else’s voice – what it was like:

Blue Lace Agates - soothing but weighty - and gently colored, as should be our self talk and assertions to the world.

Blue Lace Agates – soothing but weighty – and gently colored, as should be our self talk and assertions to the world.

“Last week I attended my first Crystal Meditation group meeting, New Beginnings: Opening & Clearing. Going to the event I was certain of two things: there would be crystals and guided meditations. I was not aware of the intensity I would experience as the evening progressed. I was first taken aback by a room full of crystals. Some of the most beautiful, colorful, expensive stones I have ever experienced in my life. Just standing in the room I began vibrating. There was a chatty meet and greet time provided so the attendees could connect and re-connect. Then the Circle was gathered. Kyle led us through three meditations during the 2 hour meeting; each accompanied by crystals and stones appropriate for the intended visualization. I found myself easily falling into a distant meditative state. By the last meditation I felt a definite shift in my being: I had received messages and felt very different in my body compared to when I walked in off the street. Kyle provides a wonderful calm space free from distraction, enlivened with the vibration (songs) of a diverse rich collection of gem stones and crystals. Kyle is a Crystalline Being in flesh.”

You can see more accounts of others’ experiences on my Testimonials page (also on this site). I can’t say any more on this subject (these subjects!) at this time. What I hope I’ve achieved here are several things: educating you about specific stones, and their ‘functions;’ how they come together for a specific Meditation; and how all-important it is to not see Reality as something fixed. It is our role to pursue our goals, but to flow also like a river, not just taking the path of least resistance. 
I have identified the respect needed for G8D (or what is beyond our control) – and the process by which we can energetically embrace New Beginnings – through Clearing and Opening. It is only by blurring the lines between The Real and The Imagined – that we are able to bring into being great changes – on a grand or personal scale.
Kyle Russell in front of pyramidal Granite

Kyle Russell in front of pyramidal Granite

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rather than repeating the snapshot of myself you may have seen in other blogs, I’m writing a fresh account of where I stand today. This is a recent photo (from a few days ago), in front of a boulder of Granite that caught my attention. The Mica, Feldspar, and Quartz are more separated than uniform. It inspired me to want to tackle and separate some of the grand concepts I’ve addressed in this blog. Posts on Facebook have been paused, other priorities set aside. Since I write these only every few months, each has to bite off a pretty substantial chunk, and each has to reveal something new and different, evolving, about my understanding, overall. I have chosen to pursue both paths – of acquiring and selling Crystals – and of sharing and advancing the more esoteric knowledge about them. I’d hoped to publish a book this Fall, but instead am working on a set of Crystal cards, hopefully to be printed by November. In the meantime – and this is a first – I have full season mapped out: Expos for vending; Meditations; Webinars monthly; and even my annual “Wonders of Quartz” workshop. Check out my Events Page listing, and don’t hesitate to reach out with feedback or inquiry, to CrystalConcentrics@gmail.com. 

 

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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. 

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

broken heart

jasper heart – broken – and repaired (in appearance)

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

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

SQR - gemmy rose egg

gemmy Rose Quartz egg, unparallelled in color

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

best cluster

large cluster of perfectly colored green Fluorite

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

IMG_5823

trio of matching, high grade octahedral blue Fluorite

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

heart shape a

naturally heart shaped, river worn Nephrite Jade

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

twin pair of giant Candle Quartz, Madagascar

attached, twin pair of giant Candle Quartz

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

IMG_4924

pair of matching Malachite spheres

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

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

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

broken, dark Smoky

broken tip, but perfectly colored Smoky

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

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

CC logo pink n blue text

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

 

twin, or 'couple stone'

twin, or ‘couple stone’

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

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

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

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

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

What is a “Crystal Reading”?

mystic light, emanating from a crystal point

mystic light, emanating from a crystal point

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

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

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

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

revelations of a Crystal Ball

revelations of a Crystal Ball

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

golden rainbow Calcite sphere

golden rainbow Calcite sphere

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

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

non-clear stone spheres

non-clear stone spheres

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

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

stock image of a Psychic reading scenario

stock image of a Psychic reading scenario

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

small assortment of power stones

small assortment of power stones

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

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

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

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

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

Fenster or Skeletal Quartz

Fenster or Skeletal Quartz

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

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

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

Diamantina Quartz, tapered laser

Diamantina Quartz, tapered laser

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

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

high quality Rhodochrosite chunk, polished to show its color gradations

high quality Rhodochrosite chunk, polished to show its color gradations

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

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

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

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

Protection (and Crystals)

Protection. You want it. I want it!

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

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

Egyptian Amulets

Egyptian Amulets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aztec human sacrifice

Aztec human sacrifice

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

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

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

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

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

particularly sweet Black Tourmaline

particularly sweet Black Tourmaline

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

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

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

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

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

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

Herkimer Diamond with lots of internal fracturing

Herkimer Diamond with lots of internal fracturing

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

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

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

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

sheen Obsidian wand

sheen Obsidian wand

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

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

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

large irradiated Arkansas Quartz

large irradiated Arkansas Quartz

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

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

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

Boston Mineral ClubPART ONE – the principal of it

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

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

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

question mark diamond

question mark diamond

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aragonite 'sea horse' floating cluster

Aragonite ‘sea horse’ floating cluster

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

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

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

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

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

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

worthless lot I returned

worthless lot I returned

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

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

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

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

You know what they say about opinions…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

awesome, giant Scheelite I have my eye on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jewelry show display

Jewelry show display

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

purple Flourite bowl

unique purple Flourite bowl

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

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

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

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

pair of Saphires

blue and yellow Sapphire

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

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

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

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

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

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

twin pair of giant Candle Quartz

twin pair of giant Candle Quartz

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

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

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

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

———————————-

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

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

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

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

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

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Facebook for Crystals

Facebook for Crystals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook Page:

http://www.Facebook.com/CrystalConcentric

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

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

Pinterest: http://Pinterest.com/CrystalsPower

Twitter: @CrystalsPower/

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