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whatnot's avatar

What are your opinions / beliefs about the mystical powers of gem stones and crystals?

Asked by whatnot (589points) August 1st, 2010

Lots of questions… just pick one if you like.

If you’re a spiritualist and/or religious person who is philosophically and/or theologically opposed to the belief in the mystical powers of stones and crystals, why? What’s your opinion of people who believe in such things?

If you use stones and crystals as part of your spiritual practice, please describe how and the benefits of such use. What are your favorites?

If you’re an atheist and/or scientifically-inclined person, do you think the so-called healing powers of gem stones and crystals are legitimate? Why or why not?

About me:
I am a spiritual person who does practice a religion. I was taught to believe that mysticism in the hands of non-God-fearing individuals can be a very dangerous thing. Consequently, I had been fearful at times of those who use such things as part of their spiritual practice. Over the years, my opinion has changed. In my opinion, I believe the earth belongs to God; therefore, God can use whatever He/She/It wants to stir, heal, settle, etc. anyone. I do not believe in the objectification of such elements, but I do believe in their use as tools for achieving desired results. Personally, I do not have any crystals in my collection of stuff. However, I do have a tiny collection of stones – this collection helps me to feel grounded. I like the feel, the sensation of holding such stones when I’m meditating (which unfortunately hasn’t happened in a long time). The idea of gem stones having healing powers is intriguing to me, but I’ve never experienced it.

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24 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’m going to throw myself open and admit that I believe crystals and gems have healing effects. I once was going through a period of high stress, and a friend of mine made me a bracelet of 2 different kinds of crystals. I don’t remember what the crystals were, because I lost the little paper she gave me. The only thing I can say is that it worked. Whenever I felt stressed, I would wear the bracelet, and I would feel calmer within minutes. It worked.

But I’m also a spiritualist who believes in the power of meditation. I talk to psychics. I read tarot cards. I’ve had experiences with all these things that defy logic. I can only speak from my own experience. For me, these things work. I make no claims for their efficacy with other people.

Live and let live.

perspicacious's avatar

I don’t buy it.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I don’t believe crystals or gems have any “powers”. I believe people have an interconnected energy they can focus and emit and if worshiping a god, observing rituals, handling gems or bones or what not helps them tap their own energy then I’m okay with it as long as they’re not harming others.

zophu's avatar

Focusing on an object, feeling that it has power; I can see how it can be useful. I also see where logic and reason are useful. I’ll just flip a coin. . .

I’ve had a spiritual experience opening a pack of Pokemon cards as a kid. I know the power the mind can feel when giving in to symbols. It’s important to keep things in check so your beliefs don’t lose their meaning.

Austinlad's avatar

Like @perspicacious, I don’t buy it, so I don’t buy them for anything other than their intrinsic beauty and to make the recipient happy.

Aster's avatar

I haven’t made up my mind. I do have a nice collection of crystal clusters I keep on the patio and a Big one that’s inside along with a big chunk of amethyst from a friend.
I feel a little surer about magnetics . I have not had any wrist cramps since I bought 2, $4 each magnetic bracelets and wore them to bed for 3 weeks. Before that, my wrists would KILL me and wake me up. Pain and tingling up to the elbows.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m with @zophu. I think crystals and other objects that attract the human gaze do have power—the power to engage humans. The objects can be natural or human-made, but we use them to create an altar of some kind—indoors, outdoors, whatever. We populate these spaces with objects that are meaningful to us and that engage us and help us meditate or pray.

They do this because they keep our eyes focused. Having a focus for the eyes helps in focusing on the breath without falling asleep. Thus we have a static focus for our eyes, and a mental focus on our breath, and these things are healing.

I think that in this day and age, a lot of people have a feeling of ADD, if they don’t have the disorder itself. We are scattered—multitasking, too much to do and too little time to do it in. Our attention is fragmented, and if we are to focus, we need a way to bring all those fragments together.

Complicated shapes with lines leading to a focal point help. When you build one of those framework pyramids—the ones with just edges, not solid—you are creating a shape that has lines that draw your eye to a point. If you hang crystals on it, they help attract your attention from one point to the next. And always it comes to some final focus, where you can rest, letting go of that fragmented attention that has been your life.

I don’t think the power is in the crystals. It is in the humans. We just like to attribute it to something outside of us because it makes it easier, somehow. We don’t like thinking the power is inside us, because that is too shaky. Where does it come from? How can we be sure it’s there when we need it? So we place it outside us—in a convenient object or concept.

These objects or concepts then remain permanent. We can give them permanent power, and instead of carrying our power inside us, we put it in the crystals, and carry that around, and use it when we need or want to.

We do the same thing with idea of God. God’s power is our power, but we invest it in a God, and then we don’t have to worry about it. It’s always there, ready for us to draw on when we need it or want it.

It’s an ingenious conceit. A lot of people don’t even realize what they are doing when they take their power and put it in an object or an idea and externalize it. I think that doing this protects the power for them, but it also confuses people, because they come to believe that the power really is in the crystal, not in them.

I think the power of the crystal is really in the relationship between the person and the object. The power of a God is in the relationship between the person and the idea. That’s how it works.

TexasDude's avatar

I have a hard time believing that a hunk of pressurized and compressed elemental material and crystalline compounds could possibly have any tangible effect on my daily life, aside from looking nice in my display cabinet.

HoneyBee's avatar

Personally, things like that, i.e. symbols, crystals, gems, etc., only have as much ‘power’ or ‘spiritual’ energy that a person places in them. So if you believe inanimate objects will help you then they probably will. If you don’t really believe in them then they probably won’t.

zophu's avatar

It is possible that there are tangible powers to crystals and such and publicly accessible scientific knowledge concerning the issue is flawed. But it is much more likely that any perceived power is imagined due to psychological tendencies. If both of those factors are weighed thoroughly, people generally lean towards thinking that crystals and such are just pretty trinkets.

josie's avatar

I thought The Enlightenment put that sort of mysticism/paganism into the history books once and for all. Oh well. Maybe the next Enlightenment?

YARNLADY's avatar

All of the accouterments used in spiritual workings, including the special clothing, music, crystals, candles, buildings and such are useful to help focus the inner psyche that is found in every human being. Once the focus is achieved, the inner power to change can be directed.

gorillapaws's avatar

The great thing about many of the claims people are making is that they’re scientifically testable. You can’t really test if God healed you, but you certainly can test whether a crystal can cure your arthritis in a well controlled study. This means accounting for the placebo effect and other factors. There really aren’t any large-scale studies that demonstrate efficacy of any of these types of treatments. I would want to see evidence before wasting my time/money or ignoring other treatments that have been proven effective—call me crazy.

People tend to forget that the human body heals on it’s own, with or without some non-effectual treatment, and yet they always attribute the healing to the artifact. It’s a flaw in the psychology of humans.

Cruiser's avatar

Crystals absorb and give off electrical energy…a scientific fact so since we are essentially chemical electrical generators ourselves, it would stand to reason that we could benefit or interact with this energy in crystals. I find salt specifically sea salt very soothing and therapeutic. I am also dabbling in energy healing and I can feel other peoples energy good and bad. Specifically I can interact with others energy and find I can manipulate blockages and in doing so I can “pick-up” others blocked energy and it can then transfer to me. Salt water will absorb that energy out of me and allow me to cleanse the bad energy out of me so it doesn’t build up and even affect me in unhealthy ways.

You asked I replied. I didn’t think this stuff existed until it happened to me….it just did and it is real. Think what you may….all it takes is an open mind and a whole amazing world of life energy awaits.

Berserker's avatar

I’m sure some of these things have scientific properties which may be discovered and perhaps even harnessed, but I ain’t falling for any stark raving mad baglady or those late night TV fortune tellers who want to make sure I get evicted next month by telling me I’ll become rich.

To be serious though, no I don’t believe stones or crystal balls are anything special, at least, nothing spiritual anyways.

jazmina88's avatar

I have stones…..and some have stronger healing properties than others. If I hurt really bad, I usually sleep with a stone in my hand. i didnt have pain pills for a year, I just had rocks.

They are strong, intimate, energies.

DominicX's avatar

I believe in the power of placebo. I have much faith in it. I think placebo is responsible for most healing powers, whether they be from gods, jewels, spells, etc. Placebo is very real and it can be very powerful and effective, but it is not a power of the object itself.

Sorry to be so “cold”, but I can’t help but look at all this kind of stuff and just think that there’s no real power involved; it’s all a matter of the power of coincidence, suggestion, and placebo. That doesn’t mean that people don’t feel effects, I’m just saying that these effects don’t come from anything supernatural.

That being said, I’m in the middle of writing a short fantasy story where the balance of the world is harnessed within gemstones. I’ve always been fascinated by gemstones, but healing powers? Sorry, not buying it.

Nullo's avatar

I believe that a rock, even a pretty one, is just a rock. Any supernatural activity that might arise from messing with crystals has precious little to do with them.

Besides that, @DominicX makes a good point about the placebo effect.

jazmina88's avatar

a placebo for a rock is one of those plastic ones you hide your keys in.

Aster's avatar

@Cruiser How exciting!! I wish you could discuss it in more detail and outline what happened to you.

dynamicduo's avatar

I’m an atheist and scientific minded person. I do not believe in crystals because they have never been proven to be effective in a scientifically supervised trial beyond activating the placebo effect. It’s pretty much as simple as that. That said, I do like them for their prettiness.

Cruiser's avatar

@Aster It actually was a progression of events that led me to my awareness. It started in a martial arts class where the instructor showed us our “Chi” or internal energy that can be felt just out front of your belly button like a floating ball of energy for lack of better description. From there I just began to notice energy in others and in myself that led me on a path to a greater awareness and ability to interact with it. This article is a good place to read up on what started it all for me!

mattbrowne's avatar

Gem stones and crystals can be used as symbols. Any power related to them is caused by your mind. If these symbols remind you of your strength use them as a reminder.

Coloma's avatar

I have some beautiful stones, crystals I have found locally in my mountains and an awesome collection of jade and marble I picked up on the beaches in asia last year. I enjoy them for their aesthetic beauty and keep bowls of them around the house filled with water for the effect and enhancement of their colors.

I am not sure I believe in any true healing powers but I am a ‘spiritual’ person and DO believe in the unseen mystical realm of life.

Anything is possible.

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