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Crystal Series: Part 1

March 29, 2012

My post on crystals will be divided into sections. Part one will deal with the history of ritualistic crystal use. Part two will discuss the electrical properties and abilities of crystals. Part three will explore the relationship of crystal with water. Part four will delve into the seemingly magical realm of rain-making with ‘Thunder Stones’. Part five will give an overview of modern ‘Crystal Healing’ techniques.

Crystals Part 1: History of Ritual Crystal Use (California emphasis)

Stones are the ‘elders’ of nature on Earth; they bear the markings of time, the lines and patterns etched by wind, water, earth and fire.

Only a dozen minerals (crystalline compounds) are known to have existed among the ingredients that formed the solar system 4.6 billion years ago, but today Earth has more than 4,400 mineral species. Earth’s diverse mineralogy developed over the eons, as new mineral-generating processes came into play. Remarkably, more than half of the mineral species on Earth owe their existence to life, which began transforming the planet’s geology more than two billion years ago. (Hazen, Robert M. “Evolution of Minerals” Scientific American 303 #3. March 1, 2010: 58 – 65)

Humans have interacted with crystals since our beginnings. In the 1920s scientists uncovered the remains of Peking Man, a distant ancestor of modern humanity also known as “homo erectus”, near Beijing, China. Peking Man appeared some 250,000-400,000 years ago, and Peking Man collected quartz crystals.

According to Chinese anthropologist W.C. Pei, “Almost all varieties of quartz occur in this [time] horizon. Of quartz crystals about twenty pieces of different size were found together with one perfect crystal (Cat. No. Q2:25) 6 cm. length. This crystal is smoky in color and all the crystalline faces are complete.”(W.C. Pei, “Notice of the Discovery of Quartz and Other Stone artifacts in the Lower Pleistocene Hominid-Bearing Sediments of the Choukoutien Cave Deposit,” Bulletin of the Geological Society of China, 11:2:1931:109-146, p)

The Acheulians (as well as the Zhokoudian I hominids) collected quartz crystals and probably fossils, neither of them for utilitarian purposes (the crystals were often much too small for tool use),” explains anthropologist Robert G. Bednarik. “Among their manuports are also various colourful or oddly shaped pebbles, in some cases modified. Many hundreds of haematite or ochre manuports occur in the Acheulian sites of Africa, Europe, and Asia, and those from South Africa are thought to be up to 800,000-900,000 years old. These hominids distinguished between ordinary and unusual or exotic object types: they had begun to classify the object world, and they were undeniably using red pigment. We have no reason to assume that their level of encephalization was significantly less than that of more recent archaic H. sapiens; in fact it had begun to approach that of anatomically modern humans.(Robert G. Bednarik, “Concept-mediated Marking in the Lower Palaeolithic,” Current Anthropology, 36:4(1995), pp. 605-634, p. 6110

About 80,000 years ago, just as modern people were emerging in the Middle East, our ancestors buried rock-quartz crystals with their dead. At the same time, shamans also used crystal amulets in primitive religious rituals.” (; Review of Crystal Power by Lawrence E. Jerome, 24 June, 1989.)

For at least 50,000 years there has been “widespread ritual use of quartz crystals in Australia.” (Hesp, Patrick A ; Murray-Wallace, Colin V; Dortch, CE “Aboriginal Occupation on Rottnest Island, Western Australia, Provisionally Dated by Aspartic Acid Racemisation Assay of Land Snails to Greater than 50 Ka” Australian Archeology Issue 49 December 1999)

Neanderthals used crystals as well:

As for an aesthetic sense, whether Neanderthals were capable of art has become a hotly debated issue (Davidson 1992; d’Errico et al. 2003). Bednarik (1992) compiled a list of published evidence for pre-Upper Paleolithic symbolic behavior, including the use of ochre or hematite, crystal prisms and fossils, perforated portable objects, engraved or notched bone fragments, and rock art. (Chippindale, Christopher R. Alexander Bentley, Alexander. Maschner, Herbert D. G. Handbook of Archaeological Theories 2008 Altamira Press p. 286)

Paleolithic Burial sites:

Le Moustier, Les Merveilles and Spy; rock crystals in implements.

Arcy-sur-Cure, Chatelperronian, 35-34,000 BP; pyrite clusters, fossil crinoid (Leroi-Gourhan 1967,39)

Moldavites are the rarest of gems, perhaps more rare than diamonds, rubies or emeralds. Moldavites have been prized for over 25,000 years, since archaeologists have discovered moldavite shards and pieces in cave dwellings of that era.

In his book Moldavites: The Czech Tektites, Professor Vladimir Bouska states that “The first human being that was interested in Moldavites was a Cro-Magnon man from the aurignacian age, i.e., the Upper Paleolithic. Several potsherds [fragments] of green Moldavite glass were found together with the famous statue of Venus of Willendorf, which is about 29,000 years old, at Willendorf in Lower Austria.”(Mineralogical Research Company, “Basic Information about Moldavites”

Newgrange was built around 3000 BC, and predates Stonehenge by about 1000 years. Newgrange “consists of a vast man-made stone and turf mound retained within a circle of 97 large kerbstones topped by a high inward-leaning wall of white quartz and granite,” according to the Wikipedia. “Most of the stones were sourced locally (within a radius of 20km or so) but the quartz and granite stones of the facade must have been sourced further afield, most probably in Wicklow and Dundalk bay respectively.”

A millenia later, in California, quartz crystals were buried with the dead:

About 3500 years ago, a remarkable ceremony took place at a village cemetery at Rincon, a prominent point located between the modern cities of Santa Barbara and Ventura. Here, two young men, probably warriors killed in battle judging by their wounds, were buried with a wealth of goods. According to William Harrison(1964), who excavated portions of this cemetery at CA-SBA-119, the flexed bodies of the men were liberally dusted with red ochre, and surrounded with baskets, stone bowls, atlatls, flaked tools, abalone pendants, deer legs, and utilized beach stones… The second man also had four bone awls, A dart point, a palette, a quartz crystal, two cakes of ed ochre, four eagle claws…(Erlandson, Jon M. The Evolution of the “Barbareno” Chumash, Proceeding of the Society for California Archeology 12 1999:106 )(Italics added)

Crystals were again found at the 3,000 to 4,000 year old Canada Verde (CA SRI-41A) cemetery excavated by Orr (1968):149-171) on Santa Rosa Island:

Of the 117 formal stone artifacts found among the burials, Orr listed 16 types, including contracting stem points and other chipped stobne tools; steatite pipes, beads, and pendants; bowls, pestles, charmstones, “donut” stones, and anvils; as well as a number of quartz crystals… It is also interesting that the occurrence of certain objects (aheadband decorated with shell beads, eagle or bear claws, charmstones, pipes, bone tubes, whistles, quartz crystals, etc.) with some burials at CA-SBA-119 and CA-SRI-41 match ethnographic desriptions of burial accompaniments the Chumash often interred with their chiefs, members of the religious ‘Antap cult, or high status individuals (Hollimon 1990:128-130).(Erlandson 1999:107)(Italics added)

Santa Rosa Island is where in 1959, Orr excavated 13,000 years old human remains found in Arlington Canyon, some of the oldest in North America.

Crystals were also used in Australian Aboriginal funerary ceremonies:

Following a death, the malignant aspect of the warangun became a djir. The djirguti rite took place on a cleared ground, and women beat drum pads. Dancing men would posture with two cut-bark figures of djir: quartz crystals were said to be magically projected from the djir effigies into the dancing men, and later removed by clever men.(Berndt 1974:29)(Italics added)

The anthropologist Mircea Eliade observes that in some shamanic initiation rituals “. . .[The initiator] throws the candidate into the sky, “killing him”. Once they are in the sky, the master inserts small rainbow serpents. . .and quartz crystals (which have the same name as the mythical Rainbow Serpent) (“Shamanism”, by Mircea Eliade, p. 132). . . The candidate must silently submit to an operation performed by two old medicine men. They rub his body with rock crystal to the point of abrading the skin, press rock crystals into his scalp, pierce a hole under a fingernail of his right hand, and make an incision into his tongue. (Ibid, p. 47)

Joseph Campbell, describes the shamanic initiation rites of various cultures in his book Primitive Mythology. Campbell describes how in Australia would-be shamans enter a sacred cave, and go to sleep. While they sleep, a spirit comes, and pierces the candidate with an invisible lance, which passes through the back of the neck, piercing the tongue, and leaving a hole big enough to pass the little finger through. A second spirit lance pierces the candidate”s head from ear to ear. The candidate falls dead and is carried into the depths of the cave, where spirits live. The spirits remove his intestines and replace them with a new set of intestines, composed of quartz crystals.

Living Crystals: Wii’ipay

In his paper “Wii’ipay: The Living Rocks – Ethnographic Notes on Crystal Magic among Some California Yumans” published in The Journal of California Anthropology, Jerome Meyer Levi discusses the shamanic use of crystals:

The use of rock crystals as charmstones is an integral feature of shamanistic practices and beliefs throughout western North America, especially in the general culture area of the Southwest. The practice is widespread and ancient. Unfortunately, detailed descriptions of crystal magic are scant in the ethnographic literature. The archeological evidence indicates the antiquity of crystal usage. In California, they are commonly found in sites dating back eight thousand years (Clement Meighan, personal communication). (Levi, Jerome Meyer “Wii’ipay: The Living Rocks – Ethnographic Notes on Crystal Magic among Some California Yumans” 1978 The Journal of California Anthropology 5(1) UC Merced Library, UC Merced p. 42)

The set of terms for crystal charmstones in various languages is quite homogeneous. The crystal is called wii’ipay in Papai, wii’iipatt in Kumeyaay and Ko’al, and xwa’kwipay in Kiliwa. Without exception, the name given to the crystals by each group translates as ‘alive’. When speaking in Spanish the Indians call such a stone piedra viva ‘live rock’. Meigs (1939:64) list the Kiliwa word for a crystal charmstone as j-wa’kumesap ‘small white stone’. Mr. Ochurte, my Kiliwa consultant, felt that xwa’kumesap (or j-wa’kumesap in Meigs’ orthography) could be any ‘small white stone’ and not specifically a crystal charmstone. He specified that the correct designation of the crystal is xwa’kwipay (xwa’ ‘rock’, kwipay ‘live’).(Levi 1978:43)

Levi introduces us to Wii’ipay, magnificent living crystals:

A wii’ipay is one of the most powerful objects in the supernatural universe. Its unique vitality, its efficacy for individual gain, and its potency in malevolent magic all make it a paranormal force that is regarded with the utmost fear. Clearly, it is one of the most potent and distinctive objects in the witches’ paraphernalia. Only in the hands of the properly trained can the otherwise unpredictable power of wii’ipay be manipulated for specific goals and then only if the necessary precautions have been taken. To the average and untrained individual the wii’ipay remains an object of danger and malice. Its mere appearance, whether in physical actuality of referred to in speech, is a symbol for evil, or at least powerful, conjuring. I was constantly reminded that wii’ipay are not “children’s toys”; they are the powerful things of the hechiceros. (Levi 1978:44)

The power from a wii’ipay is neither intrinsically “good” nor “evil.” Rather, it remains the prerogative of the shaman to channel this power towards either beneficial or malevolent ends. Power is always dangerous – to both its possesor and others – but it can be manipulated. It seems that the power from a wii’ipay… is more accurately expressed in terms of “controlled” and “uncontrolled” states. For example, a shaman can posses a wii’ipay with reasonable safety because he is able to “control” its power. In the hands of a lay person, however, the power of a wii’ipay is “unconntrolled” and therefore a mortal danger to the stone’s possessor and his family. Only after a wii’iipay has been thrown into a body of water – thus nullifying its power- is the lay person rendered safe.(Levi 1978:44-45)

Wii’ipay are also alive. More precisely, they are like people. Although wii’ipay are like people, it should be understood that they are unlike ordinary people because the stones can tap, if not generate, cosmic power. Thus a wii’ipay is more like a powerful Yuman shaman than it is like an average lay person. A wii’ipay can be male or female, indifferent or jealous; it can move freely and is characterized by individual emotional disposition and independent wills; it can speak; it must be “fed” and given constant attention. (Levi 1978:46)

Not all crystals, however, are live crystals. Live crystals are designated as only those which have people inside them. Otherwise the crystal is ordinary. (Levi 1978:46)

Nor are all crystals that are present in a geological matrix wii’ipay. As mentioned above, only those crystals that occur in the center of the geological formation are classed as wii’ipay. The crystal that is the longest and occurs in the very center of the matrix is termed the “chief” and is considered more potent than the smaller wii’ipay that surround it. True wii’ipay may be identified in other ways. When live crystals are held in the hand, one can “feel” that they are alive. Moreover, the sensation makes the holder sweat. (Levi 1978:46)

Live crystals are further categorized by sex and color. Both male and female crystals are recognized based upon the color of the wii’ipay. It was mentioned that one need not be a shaman in order to discriminate between male and female wii’ipay; all one has to do is peer inside the rock and make the confirmation. If the crystal is black and a small man appears, then the wii’ipay is classed as male. Correspondingly, if there are reddish veins throughout the rock, it is female because a miniature woman appears inside the crystal… Male and female wii’ipay are each characterized by a different set of attributes based on their gender. For example, black (male) wii’ipay are considered extremely powerful and are certainly the most dangerous of all varieties. Usually, such crystals are employed exclusively in malevolent magic. (Levi1978:47)

All live crystals can move by themselves. Mrs. Robertson explained that their movement was not unlike that of a slithering snake. She extended her index finger and moved it back and forth to better illustrate the manner in which these crystals move. Often one can notice the snake-like tracks of a wii’ipay left in the soft sand of the desert. If a crystal is ill treated or otherwise improperly cared for, it will leave its owner and return to its “home”. (Levi 1978:47)

The first step in acquiring a wii’ipay is to have a series of dreams in which the spirit of a wii’ipay reveals itself to a selected individual. In this dream, the person is told that he is to become a shaman, is shown the exact location of his future wii’ipay… Such dreams are believed to be windows into another world. They require attention and commitment. (Levi 1978:47)

Once he finds the wii’ipay, the novice then experiences a second series of dreams – all this occurs during one four-day long retreat in the mountains. He fasts (abstaining especially from salt and meat), ritually purifies himself by fumigating with the smoke from white sage (Salvia apiana), bathes, and prostates himself “spread-eagle”on the ground at each sunrise. All this is done in an effort to encourage and augment the dreaming of wii’ipay. (Levi 1978: 48)

Because the master shaman is already familiar with the powers at hand, having himself once passed through this perilous maze, he is able to guide others. Yet he can only guide… But ultimately it is the wii’ipay that actually conveys “power” to the novice and teaches him how to control it through the medium of his spirit-induced dreams… Upon acquiring a wii’ipay, a man enters into a personal relationship with his crystal. Obviously, no one can ever really “own” or “possess” a wii’ipay in the sense the tone can own an ordinary object because crystals always have a will of their own. All one can ever do is enter into a partnership with them. It is a pact, a reciprocal partnership whereby each party operates to insure the social and spiritual survival of the other. (Levi 1978:48-49)(Italics added)

Levi tells of Mrs. Robertson, who found her uncle’s lost wii’ipay and “hid the stone in a hole in a tree near the house.” When her uncle returned, he said that his crystal had been calling him in his dreams to come to it’s rescue. Mrs. Robertson’s uncle new exactly where to find the wii’ipay, because it had already directed him to its location.

As illustrated in this account, each works with, and takes care of, the other. It is a kind of supernatural symbiosis where the mutual obligations are explicit and lasting. A wii’ipay requires food” in order to survive. It is “fed” so that it may thrive and maintain its potency. Also, like a person, it demands affection and attention. In return for this, it gives its owner “power”. The shaman and his wii’ipay are associates who are bound to each other through a personalized alliance. (Levi 1978:50)

This is straight up “new animism”: respectful interaction with non-human persons.

Once adopting a new mental attitude and adapting their lifestyle to the wii’ipay, the shaman is ready to begin working crystal magic, carrying the wii’ipay in a small deerskin pouch or carries the stone loose in their pocket.

Mr. Cecenez stated: “In your dreams you do everything. When you carry that in your pocket, in your dreams it tells you everything, that wii’ipay. It tells you what you are going to do, what you ask it. And it gives you everything. You need to carry it in your pocket. Yes, if you want to be a kusiyee [Paipai for shaman] then you must do this.”(Levi 1978:50)

Wii’ipay can bestow the power to both heal and harm, to divine the future, to read minds, to transform others into animals, travel great distances instantaneously, and consistently be fortunate in love. An exceptionally powerful wii’ipay can enable its carrier to become invisible and will warn him of upcoming dangers. (Levi 1978:50)

Ritual Quartz Artifacts:

Ethnographic literature as early as 1822 refers to the toshaawt, a spiritually powerful stone used in sorcery, rain-making, curing, and other rituals by several of southern California’s indigenous peoples. The field notes of linguist-ethnographer John P. Harrington show that toshaawt stones were also found among Kitanemuk people living in the Tejon region south of bakersfield. His 1916-1917 interviews with Magdalena and Jose Juan Olivas describe the use of these stones:

tishait, a stone from the coast. You keep it in your house to guard the house from weather – from winds or rains. And when your children are sick at stomach you put the stone in a jar of water and give it to them to drink. MO [Magdalina] has cured [her children] Angela and Marcelino thus many time. Each New Years you take the stone and unwrap it and burn the food wrapped with it from last year in the fire – keep adding it little by little to the fire. They lay the stone out and say to it: Here is your food. Guard the house because you are powerful; car for the house when the wind makes it shake. You give the stone feather down, chia, money, tobacco – wrap it up in these things and keep it till next year. The stone understands. It is takat – person. A man who knew how would talk to his tishait and thus prearrange with it. (Timbrook, Jan “Search for the Source of the Sorcerer’s Stones” Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History 1999:634-635)

The use of toshaawt stones was recorded among the Chumash, the native people of the Santa Barbara Channel. Early anthropologist Henry Henshaw interviewed Chumash individuals for information about the native use of particular stone artifacts:

twelve stones was the number required by the medicine-men, exclusive of a centre stone of a different character. The centre stone shown to me, called Tu-caut, is a flattish, round, beach worn pebble of quartzite, unworked and stained black with iron. The use of medicine stones among the San Buenaventura Indians was as follows: the twelve sorcery stones (ma-nuc-nu) were arranged in a circle close together. In the centre was placed the Tu-caut; chia (the generic name of seed meal) [sic], together with down from the breast of the white goose, was then sprinkled over the stones. Red ochre (ma-no-smo) was then sprinkled over the whole. A dance was held around the pile, while three old men sang, keeping time with rattles. This or similar ceremonies was observed for curing the sick, bringing rain, putting out firs in the mountains, calling fish up the streams, when war was to be made, etc, etc. (Timbrook: 634)

Sandstone is metamorphosed to quartzite, the individual quartz grains re-crystallize along with the former cementing material to form an interlocking mosaic of quartz crystals.

The types of stones that were designated Toshaawt varied. (Timbrook 1999:635-635)

Crystals are “vomited up” by Kwakiutl shamans. (Benedict, Ruth. Patterns of Culture. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. 1934:214)

“Large quartz crystals” were among the items placed in a huge basket set before Luiseno girls undergoing a puberty initiation (DuBois 1908:93-94; see also Oxendine 1980:44). (Koerper, et al. p.63)

Crystals were sacred objects of the Chumash people of California:

We have grouped stone effigies, smooth pebbles, charmstones, quartz crystals, pipes, turtle shell rattles, flutes, whistles, and painted rocks together as religious paraphernalia. This classification is based on ethnographic evidence that the use of these objects was confined to religious activities whose goal was to mobilize and control supernatural powers or natural forces. The defining characteristic if these religious objects is that they were not multipurpose artifacts with secular uses. In this respect, they contrast with items such as shell beads, which, although they were used as offerings in religious ceremonies, also had important secular functions. (Gamble, Lynn H. Walker, Phillip L. Russell, Glenn S. “An Integrative Approach to Mortuary Analysis: Social Symbolic Dimensions of Chumash Burial Practices” American Antiquity, 66(2),2001, pp. 185-212](192)

The ‘antap were the Chumash spiritual leaders, astronomers:

The Chumash thought quartz crystals had supernatural power and believed that lightning bolts produced them….The Chumash used quartz crystals in a number of ways, including as talismans to bring rain and good luck (Applegate 1978:54; Hudson and Blackburn 1986:154). It has been stated that quartz crystals were used as power objects by the ‘antap (Hudson and Underhay 1978:49) and as parts of medical kits of medical practitioners (Walker and Hudson 1993:53). (Gamble, et al. 2001, pp.193-4)

The Chumash ‘antap valued the power in quartz crystal to disperse light and associated the spectra produced by it with the celestial rainbow that bridges the sky.(Krupp, Edwin C. Echoes of the Ancient Skies: The Astronomy of Lost Civilizations 1994 Oxford University Press, USA)

The astronomers of the ‘antap cult… had within their province the duty to seek out the necessary knowledge from the celestial beings, to foresee the future, and to take the proper steps to alter the upcoming course of events for the well-being of their fellow Chumash. (Fisher, Gordon “Marriage and Divorce of Astronomy and Astrology History of Astral Prediction from Antiquity to Newton and Beyond”)

Dreams, ingestion of datura and the shaman’s kit including quartz crystals, amulets and charms all play parts in Chumash ritual. (Werness Hope B. Encyclopedia of Native Art: The Continuum Encyclopedia of Native Art: Worldview, Symbolism, and Culture 2000 The Continuum Publishing Group Inc. P. 60)

Among the Luiseno, tourmaline crystals were sacred objects used to cure a sick man… It was rubbed on his body (DuBois 1908a:98). Among the Luiseno and Diegueno, quartz crystals were believed to have been born of the Earth, not man-made but an original creation, more powerful than the hardest material. They were sometimes mounted on a stick but also carried unmounted (Alliot 1915). (Hardy, Ellen T. “Religious Aspects of the Material Remains from San Clements Island” PCAS Quarterly, 36(1), Winter 2000:83)

The Chumash made quartz crystal tipped “wands”(Huson, Travis. Underhay, Ernest Crystals in the Sky: An Intellectual Odyssey Involving Chumash Astronomy, Cosmology, and Rock Art. Malki-Ballena Press 1978)

Another artifact class known for its powerful properties has been termed “sun sticks” (Hoover 1975) or “shaman’s wands”(DuBois 1908a). The objects were used by the Luiseno and Diegueno (Hoover 1975:107; Thomas 1976) and they were described by DuBois (1908a:98) as the sacred stick, Sivut paviut of the Luiseno, or Kotat by the Diegueno. The stick were painted red, Black, and white, and often had a quartz crystal attached to the tip.(Hardy 2000:84)

Harrington’s notes provide evidence that the sun sticks were used in Chumash solstice ceremonies. The crystal tips of the wands symbolized the “crystal house” in which the Sun lives. (Hardy 2000:85)

On Santa Cruz Island three unusual bone wands were found; the ends were covered with asphaltum into which a quartz crystal was set. “It is clear that such wands were widely distributed throughout the Chumash area, at least in the mainland and Island centers” (Hoover 1975:105-106). (Hardy 200:85)

A typical shaman’s equipment or fetish bundle is described by Olson (1930, p.19) from one found near Santa Barbara. “Of the contents of such bundles one example will suffice: painted fabric or basketry containing 2 perforated stones, 5 awl or spatula-like batons with quartz crystals set into the open ends, three loose quartz crystals, 2 steatite pipes, a small incised steatite dish, and a number of beads, pendants, curios shells, etc.” (The Rock Paintings of the Chumash University of California Press. Berkeley and Los Angeles, California 1965:66)

Colonial Spaniards quickly recognized Native valuation of quartz crystals (e.g., Simpson 1938:52-53, 1961:60; Vizcaino 1959:14), owing in part, one must imagine, to the multitude of sacred venues in which they appeared. For instance, in Alta and Baja California, clear quartz talismans were causally linked to weather control and might be associated with thunder, lightning, or rainbows (e.g., Driver 1937:104; Voegelin 1938:64; Gayton 1948; Hudson and Underhay 1978:49; Levi 1978; Hudon and Blackburn 1985:262, 1986:154, 1987:33; see also Fenenga and Riddell 1978). Others carried the imprimatur of good fortune for such pursuits as love and game play (e.g., Sapir 1908; Gifford and Klimek 1936:85; Sapir and Spier 1943:282; Carth 1953:193; Levi 1978:50; Hudson and Blackburn 1985:261-262). (Koerper, Henry C. Desautels, Nancy A. Couch, Jeffrey S. “Quartz Crystals and other Sparkling Minerals from the Bolsa Chica Archeological Project” PCAS Quarterly, 38(4): 61-62)

There were varied applications of quartz crystals to healing and harming (e.g., DuBois 1908:97; Hohenthal 1950:10; Walker and Hudson 1993:53) as well as to divination, clairvoyance, miraculous feats of travel, protection, and change from human into animal form (e.g., Alliot 1916:129-130; Levi 1978: 44-45, 50). (Ibid: 62)

Archeological literature attests to a regional practice of contributing crystals to graves – in coastal Shoshonean territory, in Chumash territory, and in coastal Yuman territory. (Koerper, et al. p.63)

Sally’s Rock Shelter lies in a boulder field within the U.S. Army’s Fort Irwin National Training Center in the Mojave Desert of California. David Whitley’s research at Sally’s Rock Shelter may reveal shamanic practices. A small depression at the top of the boulder yielded a small scatter of shattered quartz fragments,

Whitley recovered a series of undisturbed quartz cobbles, which had been wedged into cracks in the boulder pile in such a way that only a human being could have put them there. Both the depression and the rock shelter contained quartz cobbles, hammer stones used to create rock engravings, all of them carried to the site from afar… Vision questers often left offerings at their chosen site to the spirit the supplicant wished to receive. The same sites were also places to which the shamans retired to pray for cures and for other activities when they often left offerings…Often such offerings were placed in cracks in the rock. Modern observers have seen many instances of such offerings still adhering to rocks and protruding from cracks in them. Thus the quartz wedged into Sally’s Rock shelter’s boulders may have been shamanistic offerings. (Fagan, Brian M. Before California: An Archeologist Looks at Our Earliest Inhabitants AltaMira Press 2003:205-207)

From the abstract of Whitley’s paper “Sally’s Rockshelter and the Archeology of the Vision Quest”, we read:

Quartz, the most common mineral on earth, is almost universally associated with shamans… This association is archeologically evident at Sally’s Rockshelter, a small rock engraving-vision quest site in the Mojave Desert, where quartz rocks were placed as offerings in cracks around the rock art panel. (Whitley, David S. et al. “Sally’s Rockshelter and the Archeology of the Vision Quest” Cambridge Archeological Journal 9:2 (1999), 221-47)

Large boulders were places where the supernatural world lay close to the surface, so cracks within them were portals into the otherworld. Spirits resided inside the rocks, moving in and out of the supernatural realm through the same cracks that were said to open up for shamans when they entered trance and entered the spiritual universe. Since spirits resided inside the boulders at Sally’s Rock shelter, placing quartz cobbles in the cracks was a way of placing a gift at the door to the spirit’s home. (Fagan 2003:207)

Quartz was also thought to have great supernatural potency. Spirits inhabited quartz crystals, so they possessed supernatural powers that could be used for many purposes. (Fagan 2003:207)

Quartz crystals were important talismans believed to create pathways in wood and stone and were also associated with rain, thunder, and lightning (Hudson and Blackburn 1986:154-156). Toshaawt stones, often found in shaman kits, were believed to have powerful healing, sorcery, and rain making properties. These dense, lenticular-shaped stones were used in the Gabrielino Girl’s Puberty Ceremony and other rituals conducted by the Chumash, Kitanemuk, and Luiseno (Merriam 1955:86; Timbrook 2000). (Cannon, Amanda C. “Giving voice to Juana Maria’s people: The Organization of Shell and Exotic Stone Artifact Production and Trade at a late Holocene Village on San Nicolas Island, California” Master’s thesis Environment and Community Interdisciplinary Program, Humbolt State University. August, 2006:68)

The Rainbow Serpent is both a creative and destructive force of nature whose presence appears in many forms and creation stories of the Australian Aboriginal people.

In the physical world the Rainbow Serpent represents the element of water and may appear as a rainbow, lightning or the luster of quartz crystal:

The Rainbow Serpent as it appears in Australian belief may with some justification be described as occupying the position of a deity, and perhaps the most important nature-deity, In some tribes it is the object of a definite cult either as part of the totemic cult or as part of the cult of the initiation ceremonies. In a considerable number of tribes it is the chief source or one of the chief sources of the magical powers possessed by the medicine-men. There is a very widespread association of quartz-crystals with the rainbow-serpent, and throughout Australia quartz-crystals are amongst the most important of the magical substances used by the medicine-men. (Radcliffe-Brown, A.R. “The Rainbow-Serpent Myth in South-East Australia” Oceania Vol. 1, No. 3 Oct.-Dec., 1930:342)

In the Forest River District the rainbow water-serpent is the ultimate source of the medicine man’s powers… [The rainbow serpent] inserts into the young man some little rainbow-snakes (brimurer) and some quartz crystals (ungud, the other term applied to the rainbow serpent). (Roheim, Geza “The Eternal Ones of the Dream: A Psycho Analytic Interpretation of Australian Myth and Ritual”)

Quartz seems, in fact, to have sun and sky associations among shamans from Australia to the Amazon, and rock crystal sometimes is called “solidified light”. (Krupp, Edwin C. Echoes of the Ancient Skies: The Astronomy of Lost Civilizations Oxford University Press 1994:134)

The Navajo incorporate crystals into the main body of their mythology. (Reichard, Gladys A. Navajo Religion: A Study of Symbolism. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1950:212)

For the Navajo, the First Man and First Woman emerged from the underworld into a dark and cold new world. They created the Sun from a slab of quartz crystal, decorated it with feathers, and attached the disk to the sky with darts of lightning. (Penrose, Bryan E. The Power of Stars: How Celestial Observations Have Shaped Civilization Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011:6)

In belief systems of the Southwest, rock crystals frequently symbolize fire, light, and as a consequence, truth. (Barnett, Franklin Dictionary of Prehistoric Artifacts of the American Southwest. Flagstaff: Northland Press. 1973:46)

Sacred caves:

The Maya ritually used crystals from sacred caves:

Modified and unmodified fragments of rock crystal have been recovered from a number of caves in the southern Maya Lowlands, suggesting that theses tones were used in ancient ritual’ … ‘Ethnographic literature reports the utilisation of crystals to be restricted to ritual specialists for use in caring and divining’ … ‘The power of crystals was apparently believed to be derived from the power of the earth so that crystals found in caves, which are also connected to the earth, might be considered especially powerful … Evidence suggests that caves may have been an important source of these “power” objects’. (Brady, James E. “Caves and Crystalmancy”. Journal of Anthropological Research, Vol.55 No. 1, Spring 1999.)

‘The power of crystals was apparently believed to be derived from the power of the earth so that crystals found in caves, which are also connected to the earth, might be considered especially powerful.

The aspiring shaman or Taoist priest is commonly initiated in a cave of quartz. One thinks immediately of Merlin’s Crystal Cave. The Chinese associate crystal caves with sacred mountains. The mountains funnel stellar energy into the caves, where the energy is stored in the quartz. Taoist cosmology speaks of “heavenly caverns” lit by precious gems and quartz crystal. The entrances to these caverns can be seen only by the Taoist master. Once inside the master leads the disciple to a “dragon bed,” that is, a natural bed formed of stone. When the disciple sleeps there, he is given a dream by the guardian spirit of the cave. (Cohen, Kenneth “Bones of Our Ancestors” Yoga Journal Jan 1985 p. 56)

The mountains funnel stellar energy into the caves, where the energy is stored in the quartz.

The Earth, as well as the Stars, supply energy to the crystals.

We have seen associations with dreams, caves, crystals and spiritual beings in the lore of the California Indians, Australian Aborigines, etc. Of interest is the idea of powerful energy funneled into quartz, this view is compatible with Plasma Cosmology in physics.

The energies transmitted by crystals have always been attributed to “subtle” or “etheric” energies; but now with the birth of Plasma Cosmology and the Electric Universe, those mysterious energies are no longer needed to explain crystal power. It’s all electricity. Plasma Cosmology and the Electric Universe model are the subject of Part 2: Electrical Properties of Crystals.

Quartz Crystals act as transducers, transforming and transmuting energy from one form to another. Quartz crystals in particular behave as capacitors, storing electric cosmic energies (Solar rays, Gamma rays, etc.) in a form which can later be discharged.

NASA has discovered that the Sun and the Earth connect every 8 minutes with monstrous space tornados, twisting Birkeland currents of plasma acting as a wire with the current moving at over 1 million mph. These space tornados are one part of the connection between the Sun and the Earth.

Space quakes and plasma bombs cause and trigger the Earths auroras. Space quakes themselves are mainly caused by a fast plasma jet on the night side of the earth. The plasma in our magneto-tail is accelerated against the flow of the solar plasma wind. A process causes our magnetic field lines to vibrate and energy is also exchanged at the polar regions and combined these create the auroras where the Space Tornadoes touch down on Earth.

The Irish name for quartz is grian cloch, which means ‘stone of the sun’.

The word crystal comes from the Greek word krystallos, meaning ‘frozen light’.

Large Natural quartz crystals in Limestone collect gamma waves(cosmic energy)(which goes through everything but lead), 24-7.. 365 days a year.

Part 2 will explore the electrical properties of the universe and it’s crystals.

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