There is no doubt about it: healing crystals are a beautiful and powerful way to connect with the Earth.
I was at one time a self-professed “Quartz Addict”. To this day I have a number of crystals in my home that I have accumulated through the years. I really do cherish the subtle energy crystals bring into my home. Despite all their energy however, healing crystals are simply not strong enough to transform the heart without a willingness to look deeply at ourselves. We can’t crystal-hug our way into a new dimension of reality. We are simply not going crystal our way out of white supremacy, gendered violence, or generational poverty. If we are to step into true presence and reality we must acknowledge that a lot of crystals are mined in ways that are rooted in violence and oppression, and keep us bonded to low vibration ways of being in the world.
What are some of the ways New-Age spiritual practices involving crystals harmful?
New-Age practices can fail to acknowledge that crystals are often mined from mountainous areas that are sacred to Indigenous peoples around the world. Indigenous rights to the land are often ignored, or more often ‘legally bypassed’ by those in positions of power, with vested interest in the land’s resources.
Crystals are habitually mined by miners living in developing countries. These miners work for minimal wages under horrendous conditions which take a serious toll on the long term health of the workers. There are few unions in these places to protect workers’ rights. Miners work a job with high risk of injury. Those who are injured on the job are rarely provided with the support necessary to sustain themselves or their families. In this way crystal mining causes poverty.
Perhaps most importantly, the Earth is damaged in a myriad of ways from mining. From loss of biodiversity and soil erosion, to air pollution and toxic tailings, mining takes a toll on our planet. At best, the Earth can take centuries to recover from mining. At worst, species and biodiversity are lost permanently.
We should be very mindful about how crystals come to land in our altars and on our shelves. None of this is to say that healing crystals are not beautiful, or even useful. It’s not to say that crystals do not provide their users an opportunity to connect with the subtle energy of the Earth. I’m not even saying don’t go out and buy crystals. What I’m saying is crystal use without deep mindfulness is potentially as dangerous and violent as religious fundamentalism, in that it prioritizes the beliefs and experiences of one person or group to the detriment of many. It is often those with class and economic privilege who can afford crystals and those without it who are working in mines and are deeply affected by mining. If we really want to align with our spiritual self on the highest level we must accept that there are consequences to all of our actions, and simply declaring something as “high vibration” does not absolve it from its harmful impact.
How can I “raise my vibration” without harming the Earth or marginalized communities?
Here are some simple ways you can raise your vibration, improve your wellness, and then wellness of communities around you in a harm-free way.
You can meditate on the breath. As long as you are alive, you will be breathing. Noticing the breath provides you with an opportunity to deepen the breath, thus supporting and optimizing brain and body function.
Be mindful of what types of media you consume. Minimize your exposure to sensationalized and unnecessary violence to keep from becoming desensitized to it.
Use any of your sense organs to bring yourself back to the present moment. Noticing your sense of taste, sight, touch, smell and sound can help bring you back to the present as you become aware of what you perceive.
Practice meditation and self-inquiry. When we are aware of the contents of our mind and how certain ideology gets embedded in our thinking we reclaim autonomy over ourselves.
Drink plenty of water. If you want to optimize the function of your body you need to minimize the buildup of toxins in the body. Do this with regular elimination. Water helps flush the liver, kidneys and digestive organs as well as support regular bowel movement. Plenty of water also gives your body lots to sweat out.
Share consensual and mutual loving touch with others. From a hand to hold, a shoulder to lean on, or a welcoming hug from a friend; consensual touch can help us to feel connected and a sense of belonging and meaning in our lives.
Volunteer. Giving selfless service in places it’s needed is a wonderful way to give back. Working in marginalized communities can be a consciousness expanding experience – especially if you have not been previously exposed to the wide variety of ways that people outside of your own community experience life on Earth. Just make sure you show up with an earnest heart and willingness to learn and help in the way the community says they need, and drop any egoic expectations of what that should or shouldn’t look like at the door.