vor 4 years

Crystals have played a role in my life for many years, before Goop began infusing water bottles with rose quartz and Instagram #witchgram tags started tapping on the shoulders of the general population.

As far as I recall, my first dabbling in Wicca and Witchcraft was with my childhood best friend in Texas. I think her mother was a witch. While she was a surgeon by trade, much of her free time centered around botany. For her, this meant catching butterflies and other critters that she found on her sprawling wild property, meticulously pinning them onto boards as a hobby, studying them and treasuring them. She named each, engraving this by hand onto plaques, with the date of its capture and the geo-coordinates of its final home. Perhaps this was simply a way of sharpening her fine moneymaking surgeon motor skills, but I also remember the importance she placed upon moon cycles. She seemed to worship this mysterious sphere. If her garden and oil collection may serve as any indicator, she was a green witch. 

My friend, the daughter of a witch, and I dabbled in pagan productions together at a young coming-of-age, not really knowing what we were doing nor having much of an idea of why. The both of us tended to shy away from outdoor mobility in the normal scope of our lives, but we sated our curiosity and energy as children by chasing grasshoppers, gathering stones, making candles, and creating runes in the dirt. Later in life, we would become more conscious of these inclinations. We began dabbling in spells and dressing ceremoniously to conduct our chants. A birthday comes to mind in which she was gifted a Ouija board. In her basement, we summoned the spirit of the woman who had lived there half a century prior, who had hanged herself. She and I both don’t speak much of this experience, but we both know what we encountered and we carry that energy with us still. We experienced the funnelling of power. 

I no longer channel any attention to calling onto spirits of the past or the future (except for the times in which I do…), but Wicca has been a solitary practice of mine for years, in varying forms and degrees. It is my honouring of nature and life. It is my gratitude for the goodness that I have been granted. It is my way of centring and grounding my senses, to coming back to my roots as a human that is able to create, work, love, and exist in harmony with my surroundings, whatever or wherever they may be: from the chaos and pollution of urban dwelling to the calm of wide open Texan landscapes.

Crystals have played a role in my life for many years, before Goop water bottles infused with rose quartz and Instagram #witchgram tags started tapping on the shoulders of the general population. The use I personally find in crystals is my own relation to the intentions I store within them. Their physical form serves as a representation of the thoughts, desires, hopes, and changes I wish to see in my life. If I am hoping for a romantic encounter, I carry around a rose quartz ‘round my neck. When I feel it, I am reminded of this desire. I pull my shoulders back and may feel more drive to approach the stylish man (or woman) I see crossing the street. If I wish for protection, I carry the strong onyx in my pocket on a bike ride to the office. The remembrance of it may have me rethinking running a red light. These reminders work. I find that having crystals around me also spurs on conversations with those that see them. It further reiterates my intentions into the universe, which brings the thought into my actual reality and the surroundings of others. This little intention of mine now exists openly in the universe as a tangible object. I am respecting my wishes. Others are holding them accountable. 

Below I will be sharing a number of crystals I have used, with which I have found success. And honestly, if crystals and stones just do not work for you, you may use other objects in their place. You make the rules! It is a personal relationship. At the end of the day, a crystal can still be a beautiful asset, regardless of the wishes you find coming true or not, so you are never at a loss. 

For those with a little love on the mind…

Be it romantically-inclined, or the desire to practice some self-love, or the drive to re-establish a friendship that has been dwindling, Rose Quartz attaches to the heart chakra. In order to experience these emotional depths, we must allow ourselves first to be open to them. This is a great acknowledgement and reminder to be open. I enjoy wearing rose quartz around my neck, close to my heart. I receive endless comments and compliments, which further reiterates the allure of this crystal, and places me in a lovelier mood. 

Gift a Rose Quartz to your mom, your best friend, a romantic interest, but most importantly, gift one to yourself

For those wishing to create a calm environment….

I place a cluster of amethyst at the entryway of my home to evoke a sense of calm and goodness (and immediate wonder!) to all those who may enter. Stress is abundant this year, and it deserves no place in our sanctuaries of respite. Take off your boots, leave your negativity at the door. Seeing this stone upon entering is an immediate reminder to do this and to realign your mindset accordingly. Amethyst is also nice to place around your bed. The little clusters are magical worlds all their own and can evoke sweet dreams. It’s the equivalent of spritzing lavender on your pillowcase.

Gift Amethyst to your friend who just moved into a new flat, or to new parents who are dealing with a baby’s sleeping schedule

For those seeking a boost of happiness in the Berlin winter…

Citrine even looks happy, like a ray of sunlight we can carry in our oversized coats while we traverse a grey environment. It attracts positivity. It is cheerful. May it remind you to find the humour around you, the absurdity of it all. When you touch it, think about the last time you laughed. Look at it and remind yourself of your moments spent basking in the sunlight. Those times will return. In the meantime, your soul is bound to crack a smile. Perhaps try placing this in your morning glass of water with a bit of lemon, and imagine that you are absorbing this energy. 

Gift to your friend who this time of year is suffering with Seasonal Affective Disorder, or to those prone with bouts of depression

For getting out of your mind and getting back to the ground… 

Grounding is a foundational necessity. It is the transfer of energy from the ground to our bodies. It is not just for humans; grounding is the foundation for safety in electric circuits. Without grounding, we stand great potential for being electrocuted! When too much high-powered energy is around us, things tend to get frantic. This is not simply the case for powerlines, but for our own energy as well. Our energy is not absorbed unless we stand our ground. The earth protects us, but only if we allow it. I tend toward using powerful stones such as black tourmaline or onyx. Nothing penetrates them. Their strength is unparalleled. I stand barefooted and I hold the stone. I state my intention for harmony. I acknowledge that what I am holding has been around for eons, and my own problems tend to fall into perspective. I am not lost. I am present. I am a part of the world. My nervousness melts away. 

Gift to your friend who is going through a stressful time at work, or who is suffering from some existential dread

For those who don’t know exactly where to start, but are intrigued…

Quartz is flexible. It provides clarity. It reminds you to center yourself, to see through your murky thoughts, and to get to the point of what your body may be trying to tell you. Quartz reminds you to talk to yourself every once in a while; to walk lighter, with a bit more clarity and curiosity of your surroundings. It is a great tool to help you practice self-awareness, become more aware to what your subconscious may be whispering to you, and is a great determiner of what your personal desires are and where your personal growth lies.

Gift to those who are ready to grow in their spirituality, or even to those who are not. This makes a nice offering of wonder, and is a way to implement a bit of your own witchy lifestyle into the lives of friends who may not know where to begin their own journey. 

Crystals should be ‘charged’ every once in a while. I choose to recharge on full moons. It allows me to further connect with the natural world’s timeline and my place in it. I let the cycles rule me, rather than trying to pressure my own timeline onto it. To go outside and state my intentions to myself (and to those I trust enough with this ritual) clears my head and opens my heart, reinstates my awe of the universe, and reminds me of my placement within this vast world. There is so much more to this life than I will ever know. So much has come before me, so much will come after. How can I leave with honour? How can I feel content with myself? What qualities will I attribute to my time spent here? I listen to myself and I praise the moon. My crystals carry this energy for the entirety of the cycle, and so will I.

I wish you well, dear reader, and if you have made it this far, I acknowledge and applaud your strive for betterment.

Text by Janna Shaw
Courtesy of Amber the Alchemist 

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