Crystals and Rocks Lesson 1
My philosophy for the courses I teach is simple: you get out of these classes what you put into them. If you want to apply yourself and really work, you’ll get a lot out of what I hope to offer to you. But, you can skim and still get a lot of benefit, too! Your outside life takes precedent; your work, school, family life, and friendships in the real world are important, and I don’t want you to neglect those things in favor of my classes.
I believe that we learn best when we try, and that we can learn more from trying and failing than we do from breezing through with no challenges. I want to challenge you just enough that you learn something, but not so hard that you wind up with ulcers.
I created this course during the pandemic lockdown, for a discord teaching server. You may find references to a google classroom, or to the server, but those spaces no longer apply and you can safely ignore them.
If you need help identifying your stones, I can help with that, but I ask that you make it easier on me by taking clear, up close photographs, in natural light of the stones you’d like help identifying. I’d also challenge you to try to identify the stones yourself, first!
Humans have loved shiny rocks ever since we started to walk somewhat upright. There are neolithic grave sites that feature pretty rocks, quartz crystals, stones with holes and leather thongs through them to turn them into necklaces… Basically, the history of crystals and rocks is the history of our species. We have used rocks and minerals as tools, weapons, and to make art. And of course, to make magic, too. From grinding iron rich deposits into a paste to use as paint for ritual magic frescoes, to tattoos created with deeply pigmented ores, all the way to using the ability of quartz to hold an electric charge in ritual and worship, stones and rocks have been at the center of our ritual lives.
Our ancient history is full of crystals, and the religious texts that guide our lives reference those crystals. The breastplate of the high priest Aaron, from the Old Testament of the Bible, and referenced as well in the Jewish Tanakha, contained 12 different stones, believed to confer power over various forces. The Seal of Solomon was often inscribed into softer stones chosen for their mystic properties, and then used as talismans against evil. In the 1800’s and early 1900’s, with the rise of the Theosophy and the secret societies of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Ordo Templi Orientalis, and Thelema, the mystic properties of crystals became more well known. As the Age of Aquarius awoke in the 1970’s, crystals became a central tool and well known earmark of the New Age movement.
As crystal magic became more well known and popular, the industry around mining the stones and cutting the crystals grew. In our second lesson, we’ll discuss the ethics of crystals and crystal collecting in the modern era, keeping in mind that under a capitalist system, ethical consumption is nigh impossible to attain. Today, it is possible to find a rainbow of crystals and stones from all over the globe, and to get your hands on exotic specimens and fantastic conversation pieces with ease.
A lovely side effect of learning about crystals is the ability to find the magic in rocks everywhere. From the pigments used in art, to stones set in gold and silver and worn as jewelry, all the way up to the very stones in the foundation of the building you likely sit in right now, stones and crystals are all around us. It is my hope that by the time you’re done with this class, you’ll have a new appreciation for the beauty and power of the stones and crystals in your own backyard, as well as the showpieces on the shelves of the occult emporiums.