Amythyst image by Didier Descouens – Own work, CC BY 3.0.
Two years ago I skeptically stepped into a shop in the West Village called Namaste Bookstore. I was immediately greeted with the intense smell of incense and the banging together of wind chimes as the door shut behind me. Right ahead were toppling shelves stuffed with books with names like: “The How To’s of Crystals,” “Finding Your Inner Child,” and so on. Right about when I was nursing some serious regret and discomfort at how far I had delved out of comfort zone I spotted a beautiful sparkling rock amongst a pile of multicolored stones.
Some had smooth surfaces, others ran rough under my fingers (I would later learn stones begin in the raw and are often more powerful in their natural forms and are smoothed out to become the pocket or worry stones we’re accustomed to rubbing). The purple rock that had caught my eye was an Amethyst. I wasn’t yet aware of its properties or what it could do or the role the stone would take on in my life, but I knew I had to have it. $30 later I walked home with my rock friend nestled in a box in my bag. I took a small glimpse of it on the train when I thought no one was looking and felt like my life had literally just changed.
My personal experience with crystals and their healing properties goes only as far as the knowledge passed down to me by friends, books, and healers. I decided to do some in-depth research about the people who have made crystal healing their full-time job. It fascinates me that something like the properties of stones can cure ailments, calm anxious minds, and change lives. Obviously such traits aren’t guaranteed, but it my experience and in the experience of those healers I interviewed, such traits have been experienced, sought, and/or discussed at length.
The first person I interviewed was Azalea Lee, who is a crystal healer in Los Angeles. You can find more information about her healing sessions as well as her jewelry line here. Lee answered some of my questions regarding what she felt called to do for a living and how she got there.
Haley Sherif: What first captured your interest about crystals?
Azalea Lee: Though a spiritual seeker my whole life, I was not particularly interested in crystals until my husband and I started digging for rocks for fun. Then after one of these trips when we found a rough gem, I was introduced to custom gem stone cutter, Jean-Noel Soni whose work with gemstones is with so much beauty and intention, it changed my whole perception on what fine jewelry could actually be.
After making a few metaphysical jewelry pieces for myself with his work, I decided I wanted to make metaphysical jewelry for other people. I didn’t want to read from some book that “this” crystal helped with “that,” so I began studying crystal healing to see if I had any connection with the crystals. In my first crystal healing course (with Katrina Raphaell’s Academy of Advanced Healing Arts) I suddenly understood how to work with the crystals. My past life experiences with the crystals flooded back to me and my life’s purpose was finally revealed to me.
HS: How do you use crystals in your personal life?
AL: In all ways! Wearing crystals, meditating with crystals, sleeping with crystals. All with the purpose and intention of understanding, support, and healing.
Quartz image via JJ Harrison on Wikimedia.
HS: What is it like to bring crystal healing into your client’s lives?
AL: It’s an amazing experience. When a client is ready to heal there can be such profound shifts in their energy. When people come back and tell me the insights from their session continues to reverberate in their life, even years later, I am honored to have been able to assist them in shifting their energy that way. I am truly honored to do this work with the crystals.
HS: What is your favorite crystal (s) to heal with?
AL: I often use a rose quartz geode to assist people in seeing how beautiful they are to themselves. I also use a lot of elestial quartz to help break up old energetic patterns that are tangling up their energies. And hematite, for grounding! We could always be more balanced with our grounding!
HS: How do you suggest someone start learning and/or practicing with crystals?
AL: Even though my metaphysical jewelry line and crystals may be at a higher price point than what people are used to, what truly is most valuable is the information and teachings I give freely on Instagram and on my blog. Here, there is plenty of information to work with to begin learning and practicing with crystals. I also teach and in depth Crystal 101 Workshop in Los Angeles for anyone truly serious about learning about working with crystals.
Dainichi Lazuli at Namaste Bookstore where he can read your crystal tarot.
The fundamentals of crystal healing never fail to surprise me. I am oftentimes completely taken aback upon meeting someone in person who has dedicated their lives to studying crystals and using them in their everyday lives. Namaste Bookstore has become a cornerstone in my own practice, so next I sought their crystal guru, Dainichi Lazuli to ask a few crystal questions to.
The information he provided me with was so mind-blowing, so completely intoxicating that only after I had left did I notice I had forgotten to write anything down. I do remember bits and pieces as he held a rock directly at my eye level and talked to me about interconnectedness. Didn’t I know that everything was connected? I think I nodded. I wasn’t sure. Were we? Sometimes I feel completely illiterate when it comes to my knowledge about crystals. Although it is more substantial than most, when put in a room with someone who literally talks about them for a living I’m suddenly unsure.
A small portion of my crystal collection bathing in the sun.
Today is another day of freedom, I’ve got nothing on my calendar other than this. I stretch, pick up my latest crystal acquisition, a triangle labradorite that fits just right in the palm of my hand and also in the pocket of my pants, with a sheen so bright in the sun I can’t help but flip it over and over countless times to catch it. I light my sage. I shuffle my tarot deck. I inhale and exhale and all of the knowledge of acquired in the last twenty-two years seems to brighten in my brain. Suddenly my palm is on fire, the small stone warming to my touch. I feel a bit more healed than I did before.