Crystals entered my life fairly early on, although I never really made any energetic connection at the time, when my Auntie Muriel (my mother’s sister) went to Scotland for a holiday in the early ’60s and brought me back a pendant of Cairngorm stones. I still have this bracelet as I have fond memories of my aunt who was more like a sister to me when I was very young.
Later on, in my first year at university, a friend bought me a pendant with a raw stone in it as a Christmas present, and this too still remains with me. When I was living in Boonah, I visited a crystal supplier who identified the stone for me as Rhodochrosite.
Crystals came one step closer in 1993 when, as I look back, I can see that our life began to undergo mega-changes. I’ll go into the details later but, as the Wheel of Fortune, a Major Arcana in the Tarot, shows graphically, life moves in ups and downs and very weird ways indeed.
In early 1994, my husband, Bryan, and I returned to the UK for a holiday and to see his family after his father died suddenly of a stroke. While we were there, we went out for the day from Colne, in Lancashire, to Wales to travel on the Blaenau Ffestiniog narrow gauge steam railway. My husband is into steam railways and builds model railways to scale. It was a lovely journey ending up in Porthmadog where, in the souvenir shop close to the station, I bought a quartz crystal with a small dragon on it.
This is the crystal: it’s rather a lovely little piece, double-terminated with a double-terminated cross quartz. The dragon is the symbol of Wales and years later I realised it connected me with my Welsh heritage. My great-grandfather came from Aberystwyth and took part in the South Wales Miners’ March to London in 1927 to demand jobs and an end to starvation among the mining communities. My great-grandfather realised there were jobs in London, went home, packed his family and moved lock, stock and barrel to the Big Smoke. And so, eventually, I was born close to London and lived there until I was four-and-a-half years old when we moved to Ramsgate where my mother opened a boarding house and my father worked in a factory in London until he found work in an engineering factory locally.
In 1994, we decided to move to Queensland and that’s where my relationship with crystals blossomed, although looking back I think the word “exploded” is nearer the mark. I boggle now when I look back as I voraciously read and absorbed anything and everything I could find on crystals. The more contact I had with rocks, crystals and gemstones of all kinds, the more enamoured I became of them in general. I had a good eye for pieces that had a great deal of clear, good energy and my communication with crystals intensified. It operated at some unknown level but I’d be in a warehouse, turn around suddenly and find a particular crystal waiting for me. It became such second-nature to me that it wasn’t until a friend remarked on the crystals I’d found in a warehouse when I was with her that I realised just how natural it had become to me.
I’d get a crystal out for no reason and then find it was just right for someone who turned up the next day. Or I’d get a picture of a crystal in my mind when someone came wanting one and it would be just right. It used to nark me no end when a favourite crystal popped up in my mind and I knew I’d have to pass it on to someone else. But I’ve learned along the line to understand over the years that when you’re working with the realm of crystal Elders, you are in higher, unknown realms and you need to let go of any intellectual comprehension because it simply doesn’t work.
I started teaching crystal healing in small groups and, with the encouragement of Yvonne and her daughter, Joy, moved on from selling crystals in Yvonne’s herbal clinic, to buying crystals on a bigger scale. I sold them them to friends in Boonah and, eventually, at markets further afield including on Mt Tamborine on the Gold Coast of Queensland.
I used to leave early on a Sunday morning with my friend, Cathy. I had met Cathy when I gave her Reiki healing for the rheumatoid arthritis she suffered and, as she was on her own and feeling a bit lonely, she agreed to come with me to the markets to get out, help and also meet people. We had a great time driving to and from the markets, nattering our heads off, and then setting up and meeting all the different people interested in crystals.
It was here that, for the first time, I realised that individual crystals call, or attract the attention of, particular people. You could have a bowl of fairly common tumbled stones like amethyst, rose quartz, clear quartz, carnelian, jasper, moonstone and so on, and people would forage around until they found “the right one” and they’d pounce on it. So for me, while crystals may be associated with a particularly energy – such as rose quartz is linked to the heart and love – each crystal within that overall family offers something particular to the person who chooses them.
Kids used to love crystals and spend lots of time playing with the tumbled stones, fascinated by the energies and different colours. It used to frustrate me no end when I’d hear a kid say; “Can I have this stone, mum?” and Mum would say: “Oh, you don’t want that stone, have this one instead, it’s much nicer”, not realising that she was picking the stone calling her and ignoring the stone yelling “Hi” to her child.
On one occasion a young lad picked a stone which, thankfully, his mum let him keep and she asked me what it was for. Now I rarely offer a textbook definition of stones. Instead I tune in to find out what a particular stone has to offer to each individual. On this occasion I got a vision of the boy being bullied. “Do you get bullied at school?”, I asked. He dropped his head and you could see him wilt and turn in on himself. He nodded quietly. “So what do you think about keeping that stone with you in your pocket,” I asked, “and hold it when you’re getting bullied so you feel brave and can let go of fear?”. I could see his energy level rise as he straightened up, looked at me with glee and determination, and said in a strong voice: “Yes, I can do that!”.
I can do readings for people after they’ve held a stone in their hands for a short while. How it works I have no idea. I hold the stone and then get a vision or voice talking about the person, giving insights and offering ideas for the future. People want to know exactly how these things work and it really reflects the intellectual nature of the society in which we live. We want to dissect what happens to find out how it works. I just shrug my shoulders now and don’t give a damn how my inter-action with crystals works. It works. Full-stop.