How do you know when you’re being drawn to a crystal? Which ones are right for you? We interview Clive Carter on his first encounter with gemstones, with some useful tips for beginners
What was your first personal experience with crystals?
“My first experience and introduction to crystals was over twenty years ago now, when my son George was around four years old. We used to take him fossil hunting on the Jurassic coast of our home county of Dorset. Over several years, we visited many of the well known fossil-finding locations in Dorset and bordering counties, such as Lyme Regis, Charmouth, Burton Bradstock and Kimmeridge. After a few hours on the beach, we usually walked into the local town or village. It was while visiting these towns that we strayed to have a look in some of the small fossil and crystal shops that are along the Dorset Coast. At that time, I knew very little about crystals, but would often see something that I felt drawn to, but with no idea as to why. My wife (Nicola) often bought herself a small crystal from the shops (really as a reminder of our visit that day). She would bring them home and very quickly filled our windowsill with the many crystals that she had bought. I felt drawn to some of the things that Nicola bought, usually the Quartz crystals, but still did not know why. It was not long after that point that we found our first crystal book, The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall. We both looked up most of the crystals that Nicola had bought and it then became clear as to why we were both drawn to many of them due to their healing properties and so on.”
What was the first crystal you purchased?
“The first crystal that I actually bought myself was a small Carnelian pendant. Having been a master thatcher since leaving school, now totalling 36 years, the toll of all of the lifting heavy ladders and equipment about had left me with a bad back. One day I was talking to an old friend, David, who was a Reiki master. He gave me some Reiki healing on my back, and then recommended that I should buy myself a piece of Carnelian, as he said it was good for the sacral chakra. I went home and found a pendant online, hit the buy button and paid for it. Not being a master of computers, a few days later a small package arrived with not one but ten Carnelian pendants! I picked the one that I thought had the nicest patterns on it and kept it on for over three years. At that time, I was not sure about the said powers of crystals, but was willing to give anything a try, and of course I did trust David. I carried on about my work as normal, not really thinking about the Carnelian and not really noticing my back had been feeling better. It was not until a visit to Beer in Devon where I walked almost five miles non-stop, without complaining about my back, that Nicola pointed out that this was something that I had not been able to do for a few years. Talking to David again a few days later, he reassured me that the Carnelian was helping my back. I still have that little pendant – it hangs on the end of the curtain pole at our bedroom window. I am no longer thatching, so I don’t need to wear it as often.”
What signs should a person look out for when choosing the right crystal for them?
“After over ten years of working with crystals, I’m convinced that you do not actually choose a crystal, but the crystal chooses you. So often customers in our shop pick up a crystal, sometimes knowing what it is. They bring it to Nicola or I and ask “what is this one good for?” It is truly incredible how often the properties of the crystal resonate with that person, and will benefit them in some way. I always tell our customers to choose the crystal that looks and feels right to them. We can often point them in the right direction, but are able to offer a choice of several different crystals in varying forms, such as tumble stones, palm or thumb stones, clusters, beds, wands or ornate carvings. It should never be about the price – it must be the crystal that that person feels right with.”
How does a stone respond to a person’s vibration?
“We are often asked as to how crystals and healing stones work. I think the simplest way to explain how crystal healing works is to first understand that everything in our lives is made up of millions of tiny molecules. Everything from plants, stones, and even us – we are really millions of different molecules vibrating gently together (hopefully in harmony). I believe that when we feel out of balance, this is caused by some of our molecules getting out of sync for any variety of reasons. It is said that if you can find a crystal or stone that has the correct vibrational pattern to match that of the part of you that is out of sync, that the gentle vibrational patterns of the crystal can help to re-create the pattern in you and bring things back to a balance. Sometimes this can be done by just holding the crystal in your hand and concentrating the mind to help to heal you. Other times, you may simply need to hold the crystal on the place of the problem. Or, if it is an internal problem, this can be helped by making an elixir with the crystals. But please be very aware that some crystals have harmful effects if used this way.”
Can there be a ‘wrong’ stone for a person?
“Yes! Some stones, particularly those high in copper content such as Malachite and Azurite, are said to have an effect on the heart rhythm, giving a person the feeling of palpitations. Sometimes people are much more sensitive than others and find the energy in some crystals or stones just too much for them, but more often than not there will be an alternative stone that can help.”
How can you cleanse a stone of another person’s energy? “There are many ways of cleansing your crystals. Because we have a shop with thousands of different stones, often many of them are touched and picked up by many people. I find the best way to remove any negative energy that the stones and crystals have picked up from customers is to use white sage, and burn the sage to ‘smudge’ the crystals by wafting the smoke around and between the crystals, not forgetting to ask our angels or spirit guides for their help in cleansing the gems to make them ready for their new owners.
I like to cleanse my stones by rinsing them in pure fresh spring water from our local brook. We are fortunate enough to live less than half a mile from the head of the spring that supplies the brook, so I am able to get fresh water from the spring where it emerges from the huge chalk downland of North Dorset. I tend to collect a good couple of litres when I go up there, so that I don’t need to go to the spring every time to cleanse my crystals.”