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  • Aaron Toh

INTRODUCTION: THE MULTI-DIMENSIONALITY OF OUR MINERAL KINGDOM


Stepping into these transformational times since early 2020, there have been significant shifts ongoing for all of us and to the world at large. What better time than now to set our minds to reflection and intentions into motion by connecting with our customers and kindred friends out there. As we have arrived into the later half of 2021, TAMZA will be sharing original content on crystals and lifestyle. Personally, it has been an ongoing journey of self-discovery in conjunction with my passion for crystals, which eventually brought me into this new phase, albeit close to two years now, working at TAMZA. It is a delight to see many new and familiar faces, and also a pleasure to witness how, over time, our showroom as a safe space for many has evolved in dynamism. I truly believe that there is no end in learning, thus there will always be new insightful experiences we can continue to mutually share and draw upon as a community.


In this following write-up, I would like to suggest and address questions that we can contemplate on. Fundamentally, what are the purposes of crystals? How does the role of Mother Nature contribute to the understanding of utilising crystals and minerals? Do crystals have consciousness of their own? Are they alive? For a start, let's approach these ideas with a clean slate in regards to the purpose of collecting crystals and minerals.


How My Journey Began With Crystals and Minerals


This can be described like an affinity or a journey of interwoven memories, with events leading into my ever-growing passion for the mineral kingdom. There were numerous experiences during childhood, from being inexplicably attracted to the bejeweled props on a mock guitar at a toy shop, to collecting and being gifted stones; from playing with gem-like marbles, to watching the therapeutic interaction of my ‘Luohan’ pet fish (flowerhorn cichlid) with its surrounding tumbled jasper and agate stones- all were but a start of this personal connection I would then soon have with the mineral kingdom.


It wasn’t until my late teens when significant shifts in my belief systems pertaining to religion, life purpose, relationships, and self-image occurred. There was an increasing desire for authenticity. The process of upheaval was catalyzed by years upon years of rejecting and disowning the authentic and organic aspects of myself, which I have eventually come to know was due to my upbringing. During the phases of breaking down and re-creating who I was, also surfaced was the ever insatiable hunger to look out for habits or lifestyles that I would resonate with, which in turn brought about more understanding of myself.


Eventually, and almost naturally, crystals came under my radar. It was that inexplicable connection I had once again felt with crystals, through their colours, textures, and unique abstract and figurative designs, all of which served like an external mirror for the different archetypes, abstract concepts and even emotions that I was rediscovering within myself. I appreciate them as artistic expressions which really helped form into this habit, much like anyone would approach a thoughtfully created visual art, rendering crystals as objects that I would both be inspired by and to contemplate with.


Apart from perceiving crystals as natural aesthetic commodities, one can form a deeper appreciation and understanding of the mineral kingdom when we examine its interrelations to the life-supporting qualities of Mother Nature and the multi-layered human psyche.


How Appreciation of Nature Connects Oneself to the Purpose of Crystals


Witnessing patterns embodied within nature speaks of much wisdom to the soul. It is a gateway where solace, serenity, transformation, and the strength in meekness reside. Hence, what better way in interacting and experiencing nature than to hold a piece of it in your hand? Every piece of crystal and mineral we have come to appreciate is derived uniquely from diverse geographical locations. The conditions that minerals were formed in prior to being harvested would have affected their texture, coloration, size, characteristical macrocrystalline geometric forms and overall aesthetic composition. So in essence, as I hold my Auralite Amethyst, I am actually holding a piece or a fraction of Canada! How awesome is that? Crystals are pure manifestations of Mother Earth, formed by her nurturing elements, taking thousands, millions or even billions of years to form under specific conditions.


2-billion year old Canadian Auralite Amethyst.

Being in nature brings clarity and a sense of groundedness, away from growing implications that technology has on our health. Nature represents reformation and rejuvenation; she encourages a heightened state of health. Therefore, even the mineral kingdom, in sync with Mother Earth’s frequency serves a purpose, and that is to reinstate us from the state of stress into our natural state of health. Through their state of resolute stillness and statuesque compositions, they provide a sense of stability and serenity; even down to the atomic level, structure and uniformity can be found. Therefore, in unique ways crystals affect their surroundings with an air of equilibrium as they are formed inherently coherent. Imagine the state of reverie one would be in when taking a walk into the majestic mineral-rich stalactite and stalagmite Carlsbad Caverns of New Mexico, or taking a dive into the underwater gypsum-adorned Orda Cave beneath the Ural mountains in Russia!


Apart from the feelings of wellness that Mother Nature fosters, attributes of contrast also bring about balance which is often perfectly orchestrated by her, for example, the relationship between predators and prey. Without the role of the predator, prey species would flourish and overpopulate, and this would undeniably result in an off-balance to nature’s pursuance of equilibrium. Hence, in contrast to her more balanced peaceful side, Mother Nature is also ever-growing and transformative.


Silver obsidian formed by volcanic activity.

Within Mother Nature, some examples of her transformative and chaotic aspects are storms, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and floods. Many such activities alter the molecular and/or physical structures of minerals. Natural silicate-based matter such as fulgurite, tektite and obsidian are formed by extreme activities of terrestrial and cosmic influences. Collecting such specimens definitely serve as a symbolic reminder for the expedited pace one should partake in should golden opportunities come our way, and to be ever ready for the unexpected.


To transform is to change. Yet change is a prerequisite to growth which may consequently feel uncomfortable, repulsive or even volatile. The onset of deconstruction allows reformation to take place for an improved sense of order. Just like the concept of alchemy, different elements and processes are applied to break the stagnant or less desired pattern of a said element to create a whole new element (e.g. transforming lead into gold). Therefore, a hint is not to only look out for crystals that we feel attracted to, but it is equally essential, in context of one's self development, to find out why we may not feel drawn to other crystals as a means to break out of the existing undesirable patterns in our lives.


Interfacing with Our Psyche and Emotions Using Crystals.


Crystals often have subliminal effects on our preferences and choices we make. For example, in color psychology, the role of colors takes on a prominent role in our human experience. Colors bring up different emotions in a person; even assorted hues of the same color (e.g. ultramarine blue, midnight blue, sapphire) generates different emotional, thought, memory associations, which then influences the reactions one has that fuels the actions we partake in. But of course colours are the start of how one may choose to experience the properties of crystals.

Assorted quartz in 7 colors.

Mental and emotional feedback are also generated by the crystal's formation and aesthetic composition. They tend to portray abstract and figurative imagery. These symbolic and metaphoric attributes generate impressions within our subconscious mind that in turn translate and communicate ideas to the conscious mind. The distinct role of our subconscious mind is undeniable, as it runs up to 95% of our full mental faculty. When used mindfully, crystals act as a medium for one to project his or her thoughts and emotions effectively by association or assignment of different archetypal traits, to bring out innate qualities of oneself, which improve one's perspective of self, situations and general state of well-being.


Crystals Beneficial for One’s Well-being and Overcoming General Perceptions or Judgements Imposed Upon the Passion for Crystals.


As city-goers, we live in a hectic fast-paced environment. Having time to pause, reflect and meditate to calm our often flustered and cluttered minds would truly be beneficial. With a beautiful crystal, a piece of geographic site, or a natural relic from Mother Earth, they act as catalysts that soothe our mind, emotions and general well-being. Various qualities such as color visualizations and archetypal associations inspired by crystals, aid like an anchor, for individuals who are intimidated with the idea of meditation and require a medium for concentration.


More than just ornamental commodities or 'lucky charms', the functional aesthetics of crystals initiates us through the cultivation of deeper awareness, into a reality versed in subtle impressions or frequencies. This can be understood through the underlying culture of resonance that many collectors tend to experience with crystals. In physics, the definition of resonance describes the process where a vibratory system or an external force acts as a stimulus by driving another system to oscillate at greater amplitudes at specific frequencies.


Natural agate slice. Backlit.

While patronizing and exploring a crystal outlet, one may adopt the nature of an avid crystal collector to be led and drawn by the 'vibratory' ecosystem of the space. As all matter is fundamentally made up of atoms that vibrate and emit electromagnetic frequencies, so do our organs, such as our hearts and brains that on etheric levels are in tandem to our psychological and emotional states of perception. Thus, one may subconsciously feel 'led' to a particular specimen or an assortment of crystals. The state of resonance may organically start out as a pleasant impression that leads to feelings of curiosity, excitement or even one's cognitive dissonance towards a said crystal specimen. Be it by color, texture, formation, archetypal associations or all of those factors, context of such 'attractions' frequently occur subconsciously.


When exploring the mineral kingdom, do note that the feelings of numbness or non-reaction is still a type of reaction per se. This may be an indication to the level of awareness and sensitivity we may have towards certain inhibited qualities, such as the sense of safety, belongingness, determination, confidence, sovereignty, empathy and authenticity.


The basics of progression in one's understanding towards crystals is to make the subconscious conscious. One may first learn the names and properties with their chakra associations, and to adopt the habit of unbiased observation to assess the effectiveness of described properties of the crystals when they are used or applied experientially during work, studies, social gatherings, meditative practices and/or sleep etc. Through the process of observation and analysis, much like figuring the functions on a new mobile device, one would start to harness practical knowledge in beneficial ways of applying crystals and minerals.


For those new to this lifestyle, and are just starting to discover the mineral kingdom and reaping the benefits, there may be some challenges along the way; one of which is encountering people that are resistant, sometimes disrespectful, towards such lifestyles. Even when crystals are viewed by some with outdated superstitious stigmas, we have to recognise that they are very much natural, neutral commodities, which one may assume myriad perspectives of appreciation. The potency or 'power' that people frequently associate with the mineral kingdom are also reflections of one's inner virtues that are interpreted by our cognitive senses and projected by the mind.


In general, we often resist, fear and judge what we do not understand. And synchronistically, fear acts as an element that keeps us stuck in our comfort zones. It is definitely commendable when one adopts an open mind, using crystals creatively as alternative means of understanding one’s emotions and psyche. Because we are willing to - or beginning to - step outside the box of ‘formulas’ that engineer the limiting narratives we are being told by society and while growing up, that tells us who we should become, how reality should look like, and how our future should pan out.


By stepping outside the confines of this ready-made box, we shall reclaim our uniqueness, authenticity and sovereignty.


Differing perspectives or disapproving attitudes by others can be discouraging, especially when we are confronted by people that may have certain misconceptions in the knowledge of the cultural use of crystals. As disempowering some situations may be, these experiences act as pockets of opportunities for us to experience our individuality which in turn leads to a better understanding of ourselves, of others, and of what healthy boundaries mean to us.


Moreover, differing perspectives may not always be such a 'bad' thing. This can be a useful tool, especially between crystal collector friends. How we perceive and utilise crystals as tools for understanding our psyche and personal transformation may differ from another because each experience is unique. When we piece together different methods of crystal/mineral applications, we broaden our understanding to the ascribed properties of each particular crystal.


How Are Crystals & Minerals Alive and Conscious?


Are crystals living and breathing organisms? Are they alive then? Well, according to science they are not living things, as they do not fulfill all given factors, namely feeding, movement, respiration, excretion, growth, sensitivity and reproduction. Yet, how do we define something as truly being alive? Must they be able to reproduce, be mobile, have different cycles of growth to be considered alive or once living?


Smoky Elestial Quartz with double terminations.

Crystals do undergo the ‘growing’ process in the earth’s crust for thousands, if not millions of years. Some crystals, like the elestial quartz, adapt to the tremors and earthquakes which transform their physical structure from a crystal that was originally growing into a single crystalized point, to then multiply into numerous macro-crystallizations. Also, there are caves around the world that are home to mineral stalactites that contain bacteria and plant growth. Areas where sunlight enters the cave, these micro-organisms enmeshed minerals amazingly react by tilting and growing towards the light source!


Moreover, there are many living organisms deep within the ocean with bodies completely made-up of silicon, the same element that makes up the quartz crystal! How awesome is that? Crystals and minerals are very much ‘alive’ when we learn to look at and appreciate this concept of ‘being alive’ outside the beliefs of conventionality.


Crystals are embodiments of a unique stream of consciousness, different from other living organisms such as animals and plants. Yet if we can look at the idea of 'being alive' outside the limited confines of the mind, by engendering 'aliveness' to the idea of the ecosystem of a forest, an ocean or even the human body, we can then begin to understand the sacredness in the purpose of crystals. The mineral kingdom is part of the thriving interconnected network, just as we all are, to Mother Earth’s ever growing and ever evolving nature.


Getting to familiarise with the mineral kingdom often starts with the seemingly superficial. The deeper the dive we take into identifying their properties objectively, rather than by just hearsay, and when used in specific situations, places and practices, crystals become more than mere commodities of collection.


It is also common for us to humanize the mineral kingdom by assigning different specimens with human personalities and qualities. Crystals, although part material, unlike humans and other living organisms, are not bound by the ego as they do not have it. It is always good to check in with ourselves whether our interpretations on the properties of crystals derive only from our ego or from a mindful heart-centered space. Perspectives based on ego are comprised of filtered opinions projected through the attachment one has to certain personality types or experiences. A healthy balance between ego and mindfulness is recommended.


As awareness expands when we interface with our mental and emotional faculties through the use of crystals, we may begin to create or continue to strengthen the relationship we have to ourselves and with others. The mineral kingdom, when mindfully and respectfully tapped on, are useful tools to harness and reinforce our innate virtues which elevates our quality of life to greater heights.


We are glad to share this overview on the introduction to crystals and lifestyle with all TAMZA's customers and friends. And especially for those that have recently started collecting crystals, we hope these insights serve you well! It is by no means a manual to adhere to, but a reminder to consider perspectives you may resonate with that brings about more awareness and wellness into your life. Much appreciation to all that have stayed and read till the end. Certainly there would be more chapters pertaining to the lifestyle of crystals and wellness yet to be touched on, so let us know what you think of our first article and what other topics you would be interested in next! Stay blessed.

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