No no no, don’t start rolling your eyes just yet!!! We’re talking about crystals and I know what you’re thinking, but no, we’re not trying to get all new-age on you.
When my stomach starting giving me problems a couple of years ago, I started looking into anything and everything that could help me. There were doctors, nutritionists, acupuncture…some of it helped, some of it didn’t, but talk about a moment to really open your mind to new things. It was around that time that Laura sent me a few crystals. She wrote me about why she sent the ones she did and since then I’ve kept them next to my bed. Have they cured me? Probably not. But do I like the energy they bring me when I look at them, or hold them, yeah…I kind of do!
So when G said, “let’s do a story about crystals!” I knew we had to call Laura. Not only does she use them, but she’s so passionate about them that she developed an app called Stone to educate people on the different crystals and what they do. Today, Laura tells us how she discovered crystals, how they work, and which ones you should use to kick off the new year, whether you’re a believer looking for a major life revolution, or someone who just wants something pretty to sit on your shelf.
Laura Nolte | Stone
Crystals aren’t a new thing now and we’ve reached a tipping point with seemingly no in-between: there are people who are into crystals and people who are not. But don’t get it wrong, tie-dye, patchouli and a yoga packed schedule doesn’t necessarily a crystal fan make. Look closely and you might even find a few older gentlemen, perhaps in suits and well into their 60s sheepishly carrying crystals in their pockets. Today crystal owners find kindred believers by asking strangers and acquaintances: “do you believe in crystals?” But the truth is, believe in them or not, there are many ways to appreciate crystals and their benefits.
So the believers light up, the skeptics immediately roll their eyes, the newbies mumble some learnings they aren’t sure of, and then there are those who fall somewhere in between the three: the I-really-wanna-believe-in-something-else group. They are suspicious but curious and slightly mesmerized by the positive symbolism, tempted to subscribe to it, even if not wholeheartedly.
I fell into that category. I wanted to know more. And when I did, I enlisted my crystal expert friend Andrew to co-create what we like to call a sexy crystal glossary for all the colorful stones we learned about and collected over time, a sort of intro to crystals.
This story should probably start with “Only in Los Angeles…” I was on a business trip to sunny California where I met up with Andrew, jaded ad man, who had recently gone sober and was finding equal parts peace of mind and power in—wait for it—crystals. Suddenly, our activities shifted from rosé at the Chateau and poolside hangovers to the more healthy, and yes, too LA pursuit of crystal shopping.
We hit Spellbound Sky in Silver Lake and I stocked up on a little desert rose (hits the deep relax button) for myself, some black tourmaline (bad vibe neutralizer) for one coworker, and dalmatian stone for another. Dalmatian Stone is believed to ease an over-analytical mind (warning: gifting crystals is an art. Said coworker was mildly offended. However, it was well worth it). I also secured a big green fluorite for my husband to help him focus. (Not just on my needs, FYI).
Fast forward a couple of weeks and we drafted our app design on a paper place setting at a restaurant on Bowery. Months later we launched Stone, a tool to explain the healing powers of many popular crystals in a way that sounded and looked more Vogue and less New Paltz. It also helps people find the crystals that are best for them via an intuitive “vibe guide”. Need more love in your life? The app will serve up heart-centric Rose Quartz. Looking to get creative? The app will lead you to Orange Calcite, the perfect stone to stoke those deep artistic fires.
Crystals are certainly becoming more mainstream. And wellness—from SoulCycle to Headspace (the meditation app) to the Astro Twins to “I have the best acupuncturist”—has hit the zeitgeist. Celebrities like Katy Perry, Adele, Naomi Campbell, David Beckham, and Kate Hudson have all publicly announced their belief in crystals. Even the downtown cool kids are taking notice. The culture of alternative wellness that sprung up in the US in the 70s just isn’t so alternative anymore.
So why is this happening now? Likely because of and thanks to our digital lives. We are exposed to more information about wellness and therefore are able to learn about it and share it. Meanwhile, what we are really searching for is an escape from the very source we got that information from. We are drunk on our digital connectedness and slaves to our phones. The addiction to our inboxes, the constant text messages, the trance of our Instagram feeds, facebook posts, and Tinder swipes have created a primal desire to believe in something bigger than us. Something to make us feel strong, safe, and calm.
It’s hard to ignore something that people have been believing in for so long. There is evidence of crystals being used in Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Mexico several thousands of years ago. In fact, the word “crystal” is Greek for “ice”, because it was believed that clear Quartz – the Beyoncé of crystals as we explain on Stone – was eternal ice sent from the heavens.
Over time, hundreds of cultures and religions used stones to help during specific times, like in war, marriage, death, and even to ease hangovers during nights of excessive libations (popular purple stone called Amethyst comes from the Greek word ametusthos, meaning “not intoxicated”). Even Cleopatra is said to have bathed in Rose Quartz as part of an anti-aging regimen. While the medical community disregard crystals because of the lack of scientific support, their popularity continues to grow. And perhaps, like religion, it’s not necessary to apply science to a certain kind of healing. Simply believing in something can be enough.
Still cynical? That’s fine! Consider crystals a really pretty placebo, a nice trinket.
Regardless of whether you’re a believer or not, crystals carry vibrational frequencies. That’s why they are used in physical and chemical sciences, and why you’ll find them inside watches and computers. It’s hard to conclude that those frequencies wouldn’t have an affect on the human body and mind also …
The ecological, geological, and even astronomical events that have to come together for some crystals to even exist is incredible. From color to composition to energy to touch, we all respond differently to different stones. We all need different things in our lives at different times. A mineral can be a powerful protector stashed away in a pocket. It can be a talisman. A tool to get deeper in meditation. A memento. A reminder to stay on course. And even a bold fashion statement. That’s what we love about crystals the most, their healing flexibility. The value that is created in the unique way we interact with them.
And they make a great gift too. We might send a broken hearted friend a box full of Rhodochrosite. We think of them as the new flowers – and it doesn’t hurt that they last forever. We always include a little bundle of sage or a stick of Palo Santo for our friends to smudge and cleanse their crystals. This is important in order to keep their powers at top form. When you’ve got an investment banker calling you to find out where he can get more Palo Santo to cleanse his Malachite, you know everything in this crazy world might just work out after all.
And since we just celebrated another year gone (and what a year!), here are a list of the top three crystals to properly kick off your 2017:
CARNELIAN: A beautiful deep orange stone that fires up your confidence, courage, motivation, and passion. What else do you really want to start a new year? Channel all your resolutions into this stone and you won’t be afraid to take bold actions and avoid any doubts.
MALACHITE: Some people like calling it the money stone, but it’s more than that. It helps ignite your strength and creativity to get what you really want. To lead the way you’ve always wanted to lead. Whether it’s money, power, or glory you’re looking for, Malachite can help you find it in the right way, for the right reasons.
PYRITE: This is a powerful one. Don’t sleep too close to it because it’s energy will keep you awake. But do keep it on your desk, or wherever you work, and you’ll kick a whole lotta ass. This action stone brings the muscle required to beatback our fears of failure and inadequacy, shape inspiration into form, and will all our creative endeavors through the blissful end.