Crystals 101

Crystals 101

Curious about crystals? Not really sure what its all about? Here are the answers to some common questions we get while out vending. Don't see your question here, ask in the comments and we'll get back to you.

Aren't crystals just rocks?

Crystals are not rocks, they are crystals. Let me explain. Crystals are minerals while rocks are solid material composed of one or more minerals. More specifically, what distinguishes a rock from a crystal is it's internal structure. Crystals have an internal framework of crystal lattices. A crystal lattice refers to the way atoms form in a symmetrical three dimensional pattern within a crystal to give it its unique shape and hardness.

Rocks and minerals

How are crystals made?

There are four main conditions in which a crystal can form:

1. Cooling of molten materials (e.g., Hornblende crystals)
2. Evaporation of liquids (e.g., Selenite & Gysum)
3. Cooling of liquids
4. High temperatures and pressure (e.g., Quartz)

Many crystals form in the Earth's crust in different ways, under extreme pressure (like the diamond), in gaseous chambers, in layers, dripped into crystalline structures, and cooled from molten magma. Crystals can also be deposited onto the Earth's surface from cooled lava. A variety of crystals form based on how fast or slow they cool. Slow cooling allows for larger crystal growth while fast cooling results in smaller crystal formations, grainy, glassy and a mixture of fine and course stones . Not all crystals rely on volcanic heat to form, Selenite and Gypsum are crystals that forms when water evaporates. 

Why do crystals come in different shapes, sizes and textures?
The shape of a crystal is largely impacted by its crystal lattice structure and the environment (temperature and chemical composition) its growing in. Crystals need room to grow and in most cases are growing near other crystals so they overlap, causing one huge chunk of crystal instead of individual crystals. However, mined crystals are extracted in pieces and that also contributes the different shapes and sizes. The texture of crystals are also different depending on how they were formed. 

How do I select the right crystal for me?
If you are looking for a personal crystal to attune to yourself, it will seek you out. You will feel it when you see/hold it. For general ailments and coping assistance, go with the crystal/stone that is best known to help. Click here for a reference list.

How do I cleanse my crystal?
At one point or another someone else has touched or handled your crystal. Each person has their own energy and that energy can be transferred to your crystal and since we don't know whether it's positive or negative energy you'll want to be on the safe side and cleanse your crystal. You can cleanse your crystal in a few different ways: 

  1. Hold it under running water
  2. Dip it in sea water
  3. Place in a bowl of brown rice or salt fully covered overnight
  4. Dry clean by passing it through the smoke of Sage or Palo Santo

Do not use the water method for porous crystals like selenite, desert rose, agate, chalcedony, howlite, onyx, dolomite, turquoise, gypsum, and smithsonite.

You can read more about how to cleanse your crystals here

How do I program a crystal?
First you'll need to determine what you want to use the crystal for. Find a quiet place to sit. While holding your crystal in your hands, close your eyes and bring your focus to the crystal. Set your intention for the crystal and keep your mind focused on that intention. Do this for at least 10 minutes. 

How do I meditate with my crystal? 
If you are looking to start a meditation practice and you've never done it before then using a crystal as a guide is a good idea. Meditating with a crystal is the same as without except that you will focus your attention on the crystal and its energy. Crystals can also aid in chakra alignments and meditations.

 

Sources

http://www.quartzpage.de/gen_form.html
http://teachersinstitute.yale.edu/curriculum/units/1989/6/89.06.04.x.html#d 
http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/educators/lesson_plans/minerals/minerals_crystals.html

 

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