~ About the Quartz Family ~
When most people hear about crystal quartz/quartz crystal, a picture of a clear or white crystal normally comes to mind. But there are others that belong to this family as well, such as; purple amethyst, pink rose quartz, smoky quartz, aventurine, yellow citrine and several other stones that belong to the quartz family as well. In this article, we will discuss some of the brief history and uses for some of these quartz crystals.
Clear Quartz Crystal
Clear Crystal Quartz is a very well known item that is used in every day life. Some of the unique attributes that make it useful in our day-to-day lives are its piezoelectric and pyroelectric abilities. Piezoelectricity is the ability of a crystal to generate a voltage in response to applied mechanical stress. Pyroelectricity is the ability of certain materials to generate an electrical potential when they are heated or cooled. With these qualities, quartz crystal has been used in the making of deep-sea diving instruments, clocks, watches, and the control of radio frequencies.
The Greeks first gave it the name kystallos or crystallos, and acenteta ("without a core") to this clear rock crystal. The word quartz may have derived from the Slavic word kwardy, which means "hard." The first recording of the Latin quarzum comes from the sixteenth century, by the German writer Agricola; he said the Bohemian miners of Czechoslovakia used this term in reference to quartz. The English spelling was gradually changed from chrystal to crystal between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Archaeologists have discovered Egyptian and Babylonian crystal scarabs, vases, and cylinders, dating back to 1500 B.C.E. Un-worked and un-engraved rock crystals was imported from Alabandina in Asia Minor by the Romans. Roman ladies would carry the crystal spears to cool their hands during the hot weather and the armies also used the crystal spears and lenses as a focus for the sun's rays to cauterize wounds that occurred in battle.
Crystal Quartz is also known as the Witch's Mirror and Star Stone, which was used in many ancient rituals to start the sacred fires. The Greek Eleusinian Mysteries, held in the honor of the goddess Demeter, started fire by focusing the Sun's rays through the crystal.
Explorers have found large quantities of crafted objects made from quartz in the French and Austrian Alps around the 1800's. The Irish and Celts called these rock crystals by the name of God Stones. These stones were buried with the dead, a similar tradition that is also used by the Native Americans. Other finds have included balls of crystals fashioned with metal for use as an amulet, commonly used to ward off ill wishing.
Quartz is has always been greatly valued in Scotland, where several of the clans have hereditary "victory stones." In some parts of both Scotland and Ireland, the people still pour water over certain ancient crystals then they will give this water to their cattle as a protection against enchantments, illness, and attack by fairies.
Quartz has a long list of uses associated with it, which can also vary on the termination (this is when the crystal is pointed on either one end or both) of the crystal, the size, shape, and/or colors. This crystal is an all-purpose healer that can be extremely powerful if not used with knowledge and care. This crystal can also be used as an emotional balancer by enhancing the pineal* and pituitary* glands and stimulates the thinking process. It can also be used to repel and destroys negative energies and vibrations, not only in the body's shield, but also in the surrounding environment. Not only can it repel and destroy negative energy but is can also be used to store, transmit and amplify energies. Even individual crystals can also be programmed to hold certain energies.
This crystal is excellent for meditation as it enhances communication with the higher self, spirit guides, and inter-dimensional entities. If you put this crystal in a headband, it can help you with telepathy or aid you in gaining clarity of visualization.
While meditating on a question that concerns you; it will reveal images, symbols, or direct knowledge to help answer your question.
This crystal can also useful for protection, by burying a chunk of quartz at each of the four corners of the property, house or apartment. This method can also be used in your magic circles for protection as well.
I haven't been able to find much history behind this useful crystal other then it was used by the Assyrians as early as 800 - 600 B.C.E. Later, it became popular among the Romans. Rose Quartz is associated with Taurus and Libra. To dream of this color of quartz means a true love or friendship is coming.
Rose Quartz is a type of quartz that is light to strong pink, opaque to translucent, and somewhat brittle. It is sometimes called the "love stone"; it eases emotional and sexual imbalances, while helping to clear out stored anger, resentment, guilt fear, and jealousy. It can aid in the development of compassion and love and is very useful in learning how to give and receive love. This crystal is associated with the heart or fourth chakra for comfort and healing. It will help one to forgive and love oneself. With all that it does for love, one could see why it is also known as the "love stone" or the "stone of unconditional love" and why it is so widely preferred then the other crystals. This crystal can also be used to reveal and bring to the surface buried negative childhood experiences, particularly those of great emotional stress. Such childhood experiences can keep you from moving forward in your life, by facing them will help make you a stronger person and can also help with relationship issues.
Smoky Quartz is actually clear quartz that has been naturally irradiated by the earth, which gives it its dark smoky color. Although smoky quartz mostly comes from Brazil, very dark smoky quartz comes from Scotland and Colorado.
The Sumerians and Egyptians were using this stone before 3100 B.C.E. Later it became popular by the Romans who used it in beaded jewelry which was uncovered in Rome. This color of quartz is also known in Scotland as cairngorm, name after the Cairngorm Mountains from where this crystal can be found. Cairngorm was set in the hilts of the Scottish Dirks and in brooches.
This crystal is very useful to help over come depression and severs mood swings and is mildly sedative and relaxing. It can also help balance sexual energy and may aid in fertility. This crystal is excellent for meditation as it will ground and center you, and can also aid in removing emotional blockages and the negativity that they attract. It will also help strengthen your dream awareness and channeling, a good stone for mystics and seers. Smoky Quartz will absorb negative energy from the aura and block out psychic attack. It is an ideal stone to help you with linking with the Earth, its energies and Nature spirits.
The word Amethyst comes from the Greek word amethystos, meaning "non-intoxicating." Ancient Greeks and Roman wise men claimed that it had the ability to neutralize the alcohol in a goblet of wine just by dropping it in (I haven't tried it, I just can't bring my self to do such a thing, can you?). This belief in the power of the amethyst to prevent inebriation was still held in 1750, as reported by Camillus Leonardus, an Italian writer and physician who also listed other powers of this crystal such as; repressing evil thoughts; grants good understanding; makes a barren wife fruitful; gives victory to the military; and makes wild beasts and birds easy to capture.
This crystal has a long history with religious practices. In the Egyptian book of the dead, instructions are given for placing heart shaped amethysts on the body of the deceased. This use of the heart -shaped crystal survives today in the practice of the groom giving a hear-shaped amethyst that is set in silver or gold to his bride. This is to confer great happiness and tranquility to the newly married couple for the rest of their lives. During the Middle Ages in Europe, amethyst was also known as the "bishop's stone," it was worn by cardinals and bishops. The Crusaders continued the Pagan use of amethyst by attaching it to their rosaries. This crystal was even popular during the 15th century because it was thought to control and repel evil spirits. Soldiers wore it as an amulet against injury and death.
Amethyst is a powerful mental healer that has the ability to sooth the nervous system, aids in neural transmission, focuses realistic goals, and boosts memory. Amethyst is a major player for healers. Even though amethyst is mostly associated with the Brow/6th chakra, it also has the abilities to calm mental disorders, purify the blood, boost memory, find realistic goals, strengthens the immune system, help with insomnia, and balances and heals all chakras. Amethyst will help reduce the mental burdens and allow you to focus on realistic goals.
Single amethyst crystals are very beneficial, but clusters are even more powerful and purifying. Because of this purifying power, amethyst clusters are also used to help cleanse other crystals and stones simply by placing them on the cluster and leaving them for at least 24 hours. If this is your choice of cleansing for other crystals, you might want to consider soaking the amethyst crystals in a saline solution for 24 hours, rinse and dry under the moon.
The name aventurine derives from the Italian "a ventura," meaning "by chance." This is an allusion to the chance discovery of aventurine glass or goldstone at some point in the 18th century. Although it was known first, goldstone is now a common imitation of aventurine and sunstone. Goldstone is distinguished visually from the latter two minerals by its coarse platelets of copper, dispersed within the glass in an unnaturally uniform manner. It is usually a golden brown, but may also be found in blue or green. So far this is the only information that I have been able to find concerning the history of aventurine.
Aventurine has been known to help relieve anxiety and fear. It has a strong healing energy that affects the pituitary gland*. It sooths the eye and relieves migraines. Some other uses for this crystal are to help build a positive attitude, good health and independence. This crystal can enhance creative visualization, which is excellent for writers, artists, musicians, or anyone in the creative fields.
Green Aventurine can help enhance your self-esteem; keeps the sixth and seventh chakras open; creates harmony and balance and will help you in channeling. This crystal makes a powerful good luck piece that will draw opportunities your way, even unexpected adventures and good luck in love. Red Aventurine will help stimulate creativity and communications, keeps the second through the fifth chakra open and balances all the bodies.
Although green aventurine will attract prosperity and love, it also draws unexpected adventures or incidents. If you are the timid or shy type of person, you might find using this crystal unsettling, but if you stick through it, it can help you over come your shyness.
This crystal is not very popular compared to the other crystals among the ancient cultures, but it was used during the Hellenistic Age (323-280 B.C.E) in Greece. Its popularity was mostly in jewelry in the first and second centuries in both Rome and Greece. The name probably came from the French word citron ("lemon"), referring to its yellow color.
Yellow Citrine can help reduce flare-ups from ulcers and helps with digestion. This crystal is also good for tissue regeneration and detoxifying all the bodies. It will also work on the circulation, kidneys, heart, gallbladder, liver, and intestines. This crystal can also help you eliminate self-destructive tendencies and raise the self-esteem. This stone is related to the navel, or third chakra, which can be used to strengthen your self-esteem and protect your aura. It will transform emotional fears, even inherited ones, by giving clarity of thought.
The vibrations of this crystal will build up physical, mental, emotional and spiritual stamina, thus making it possible to deal with karmic events in a positive manor. This crystal will also help open channels to the intuitive levels of the mind. This crystal has also been associated with prosperity on all levels especially for those that are looking for business success. It will increase a person's motivation and helps in using creative energy. This is an excellent crystal for those in education and business.
So you never know, that pretty crystal that you once bought because you like the color, the form, etc. might have helped you out in more ways then you realize. If you own any crystals, stones or gemstones that are used as jewelry or as decorations, I encourage you to look into the history and uses for that crystal and see if things have been different since you acquired that item, or how they might be able to help you out in the future.
* Pineal Glad - The pineal gland is responsible for the production of melatonin, which is regulated in a circadian rhythm. Melatonin is a derivative of the amino acid tryptophan, which also has other functions in the Central Nervous System. The production of melatonin by the pineal gland is stimulated by darkness and inhibited by light.  The retina detects the light, and directly signals and entrains the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Fibers project from the SCN to the paraventricular nuclei (PVN), which relay the circadian signals to the spinal cord and out via the sympathetic system to superior cervical ganglia (SCG), and from there, into the pineal gland. The pineal gland is occasionally associated with the sixth chakra (also called Ajna or the third eye chakra in yoga). It is believed by some to be a dormant organ that can be awakened to enable "telepathic" communication.
* Pituitary Gland - The pituitary gland helps control the following body processes: Growth ,Blood pressure ,Some aspects of pregnancy and childbirth ,Breast milk production ,Sex organ functions in both women and men ,Thyroid gland function ,The conversion of food into energy (metabolism) , and Water and osmolarity regulation in the body. The pituitary gland is also occasionally associated with the sixth chakra and must vibrate in unison with the Pineal Glad to activate the third eye.
Posted in www.paganpages.org
in Feburary 2007 by Chronos