If you really, really want to use crystals for magick or jewellery it’s actually not impossible to find them yourself. And you don’t even need a mine! All you need is a forest, patient and sharp eyes. Of course the conditions for finding crystals will change depending on where you live but If you live near a forest in the northern hemisphere you should have a decent chance. When I first started looking for crystals I did a huge mistake. I went to a quarry. Then I went to another quarry and then a ravine and I found nothing. The best place to find crystals is, believe it or not, here:
Beneath uprooted trees. Probably, I think, because the earth and rocks beneath have been safe for many, many years and also, you don’t have to dig very much because the tree has already done the hard bit! If the earth is stony, as in this case, you’re chances are pretty good, if it’s just mud and marshland I wouldn’t bother with it.
Study each rock carefully. Sometimes you can only see a few millimeters of the actual crystal. Sometimes all you need to reveal a crystal is clear water, a strong brush and a pair of calloused hands. In other cases you may have to grind it. If you don’t have the equipment or knowledge to do it yourself you can ask a jeweller or even at a museum (preferably one with a geological section).
What crystals can you find then? First you should find out what crystals are native to your country (and which are legal for you to pick, this post is adapted to the Scandinavian laws, make sure you check what the laws are in your own country) and where those are usually found. Quartz are what I mostly come upon. From personal experience I have determined that rose quartz are the most uncommon while rock crystals are so common I don’t even understand why anyone would pay for them. I have heard rumours you can find amethysts here in Sweden but I’ve never seen one. Then there’s the crystals I don’t know a name on (I’m not a geologist after all).
Above is three of my crystals in different states. The rose quartz has obviously been polished to reveal it completely. The crystal in the middle is recently picked and has neither been cleaned or polished. The last crystal has been cleaned roughly.
Have fun finding you own crystals and spare Mother Earth while at it! 🙂
Grey Catsidhe has written an interesting blogpost about using silver in Druidic rites while Diandra Linnemann has written about using crystals in magickal work. Or rather, they have both posted about how unethical both of these are. I agree fully with their opinions and I feel this is a matter that needs to be brought up as often as possible. The first book I ever read on witchcraft was very centred on crystals, as are most of the witches I have contact with. Actually, I can’t name anyone except myself who doesn’t use them at all. It bothers me that some of the most popular witch/wicca-books out there present lists of important crystals and how to use them without mentioning that if you buy them you also abuse Mother Earth. They should tell you that. Everyone doesn’t think about that by themselves.
I know a lot of people who gets aha-moments when you inform them about things like this. Not everyone is hard-wired to analyse what they do or what they read. I don’t blame them because everyone is different. But! If you’re going to write books that will reach a big audience you have to analyse even if it’s not in your nature. You can’t write a book on magick aimed towards beginners if you can’t mention that those crystals are good for a lot of things, but people and nature gets hurt while mining them.
I personally do not buy any crystals. I’m not going to say that it’s ok if you do because I don’t actually think that. If you buy crystals I think you should stop. I don’t care if you pay it back to nature through offerings afterwards, the best for nature would still be to abstain the crystals. And let’s not forget about the people. The miners. The people who gets used and abused so you can have your crystals. Is it worth it?
There are tons of material to work with all around us, no matter where you are. There are cones, rocks, plants and feathers everywhere. You can find substitutes for crystals, I promise!
Today was a beautiful day. The weather was cold and the sun was shining bright. I went out for a walk and on one of my favourite paths I found a huge Moor Frog. It looked at me and it was just stunningly beautiful. I looked at it for a moment and then It jumped of the path and down into a brook. However, living animals wasn’t the only thing I saw during my walk. I also saw a lot of dead animals. Someone in my neighbourhood must be a true snake-hater because I always find snakes with their heads squashed. They come up on the road to sunbath and instead they get their heads smashed in. Sometimes it’s adders but most often it’s Slow-worms. Who would kill a slow-worm? They’re beautiful, their faces looks like a dinosaurs’ and they’re pretty much the definition of harmless. They can do nothing. Literary nothing, that can ever harm you. Why would you kill something that is lying on the ground defenceless? What is the point?
Moor frog photographed by Lars Bergendorf
The worst part is that I am the youngest person in this neighbourhood. If I found out it was a kid I would give them a lecture and be over with it but there are no kids around. Whoever is doing this must be at least 30 or older. And it’s not a small amount of dead snakes I’m talking about. I haven’t counted them but I have found at least one new every day during this summer. I now what the problem is but I don’t understand it. The problem is that certain animals are considered “disgusting”. Snakes, snails, worms and frogs are some of those. My cousin once smashes a toad under her shoe. The same cousin that always keeps angry lectures about people hitting their dogs.
Whenever I speak up for those animals I always hear things like; “but they’re only snails” or “they’re disgusting”. Apparently things are only worth caring about if they’re beautiful. Idiocy is a short term for that kind of thinking.
Slow-worm, or copper-snake as we call them where I come from.