and cleare.. and thou must have a thonge of hart skin to wrappe thy
the above quote
comes from a 15th century English manuscript, heart shaped amulets made
from quartz were advocated in the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead,
to be laid in the chest cavity of the mummy to thwart heart snatchers.
And in 300 BC, Theophartus in his book, On Stones, mentions
quartz more than any other mineral in that ancient work indicating its
amethyst was in great demand to prevent bacchanal excess; and the
finest crystal, prized for its clarity and lack of surface blemish, was
shaped into balls for scrying or crystal gazing, a popular art form for
entertainment and divination well before its traditional association
with the gypsy fortune teller. Long before that however, quartz crystal
had been a shamanic tool for peering into other realms of consciousness
and promoting physical and spiritual wellbeing.
1980s saw a
resurgence of belief in the powers attributed to crystals. There has
been a proliferation of literature available on them and their
commercial exploitation has been enhanced by claims of scientific
offered evolves from the belief that a quartz crystal can power a
radio. This erroneous belief is based on the fact that quartz possesses
an unusual property known as the piezoelectricity effect. If squeezed,
it generates electricity or when an alternating electrical current is
passed through it, it alternately swells and shrinks, the phenomenon
called oscillation. When cut into precise thicknesses, the quartz
vibrates and transforms electricity into waves that can be broadcast as
in radio and television signals.
application is in
computer memory circuits, where tiny slices of quartz impregnated with
germanium, gallium or arsenic are used to store large amounts of data
and transmit information within the computer. This power, energy or
radiation, can be compared with the type of radiated power that can be
detected coming from Uranium with a Geiger counter. The effects of
radiation on the body of refined Uranium and the penetrating waves used
in X‑rays are well known and infrared ray lamps are commonly used for
treating ailments. It is claimed therefore, that crystals, being able
to generate and radiate power, can be harnessed for beneficial purposes
in a variety of ways. It is also claimed that crystals can be charged
with energy and stored for later use, and experiments are being carried
out to see whether they can be used to record and recover thought
forms. Their effect on mental energy is as dramatic as their effects on
physical energy, so it is alleged that not only do crystals amplify
body energy, but they amplify thoughts as well.
the major uses of
quartz crystals is in the field of alternative medicine, where once
again it is alleged that we can focus and amplify mental energy to
effect healing and curing processes. Crystal healing deals not only
with the physical and mental aspects of the body, but also the energy
systems which create and support that body. Take that energy away and
what happens? The body breaks down.
comes to us in many ways, food, water, air and during sleep from the
electromagnetic field of the earth, and while we can survive for
varying periods without the former, deprived of sleep we deteriorate
rapidly mentally, physically and emotionally. The human body, being
electronic in nature with a series of energy systems interconnecting
the mind, body and emotions, will interact and respond to the energy of
a crystal and in conjunction with the mind, create functional changes
that will then manifest themselves in the physical body.
All the foregoing
based on an erroneous understanding of simple physics. The New Agers'
belief that crystals can amplify, store, transfer, focus and generate
electricity is completely unfounded and once the reason is made obvious
there will be no need to refute individually the claims made on their
be used to observe the dramatic changes and effects that crystal energy
can have on the human body. If a a crystal is held say in the left
hand, the energy field will be doubled. Take a photograph of the right
hand holding nothing, then another while holding a crystal in the left
hand and the second photograph will show a dramatic increase in the
energy flowing from the finger tips. This ability to increase the
energy field can be used for healing. Pain can also be reduced this way
by holding a crystal in one hand and by placing the other hand over the
area where you feel pain. The crystal amplifies the energy and it flows
to the pain area. As pain is simply a signal from the brain telling you
that something is wrong and that energy is being sent to the cells to
correct the problem, the technique of using the amplifying ability of a
crystal to give us extra energy to be directed to a specific area,
speeds up the natural healing process."
one of the fervent
beliefs in the putative powers of crystals, in particular the quartz
variety, multi‑million dollar businesses have been built, sales have
boomed and literature extolling the magical and curative powers of this
simple mineral abounds. Quartz is simply oxidized silicon or silicon
dioxide. Its chemical name is silica and it is the most common mineral
on earth. It is softer than diamonds and zircons and has little ability
to reflect and scatter light. It is also available in quantity and,
compared with other gem stones, relatively cheap. The value of quartz
lies in two remarkable properties, it is highly resistant to
temperature change and it changes shape when an electrical potential is
is around the latter effect, known as the piezzo-electricity
effect, that the misconceptions of the New Age crystal fad have been
constructed. As well as the slight change in shape when a voltage is
applied to opposite faces of a quartz crystal, the converse takes place
if it is squeezed in a vice — a voltage appears across the electrical
contacts. Depending on the frequency specifications, crystals are
precision cut from high‑purity quartz and used in electrical circuits
to regulate and stabilize frequency vibrations such as those in radio
transmitters, clocks and watches.
source one need only remove the battery from a quartz clock and ask
oneself why it stopped working. Further, while it is true that a
voltage can be produced by squeezing a quartz crystal in a vice, it is
not possible manually to exert the same pressure, and certainly not
while it is hanging on a cord around your neck.
suggest that the
electromagnetism generated by crystals can be used for healing purposes
(when in fact they do not of their own accord generate anything), is
simply a reiteration of a long discredited belief in the healing powers
crystal is an
inanimate mineral which simply does not have the mystical, magic or
healing powers attributed to it. The dangers in promoting this false
concept as a healing therapy should be apparent to any prepared to give
it a few seconds thought, for it is on a par with the cure‑all elixirs
sold by the travelling snake oil merchants of old.
Chirgwin, R. 1988.
"Crystal Clear." the Skeptic. 8 (3):11‑13. Australian Skeptics
Gould, G. 1987. Crystal
Energy. Contemporary Books.
Guiley, Rosemary Ellen.
1991. Encyclopedia of Mystical & Paranormal Experience.
Diamond Books. London, W6 8JP.
Jerome, E.J. 1989. Crystal
Power, The Ultimate Placebo Effect. Prometheus Books. Buffalo, NY.
Markham, U. 1987. Fortune‑Telling
By Crystals. A Practical Guide to Their Use in Divination, Meditation
and Healing. The Aquarian Press, UK.
Sheaffer, Robert. 1982. Psychic
Vibrations. Skeptical Inquirer, 6(4):14.
Edwards, H. A Skeptic's Guide to the New Age