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Author Topic: Ethics of using crystals  (Read 7371 times)
Rocquelaire
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« Topic Start: February 06, 2011, 05:49:11 am »

Hi all,

I'm not sure if this is in the right place so apologies if it's not.

I was recently reading Marian Green's A Witch Alone and in it she takes a strong stance against using crystals. She points out that we obtain these by destructive means (blasting them out of the earth) and that as they are finite we will eventually exhaust the supply of these natural wonders. She therefore argues that no-one should have more than one crystal and it's better if you don't have any. At least, this is my understanding of her position.

This has caused a dilemma for me. I had never thought of crystals in this manner and she does seem to have a very good point. Currently I have a few crystals on my alter, a couple of pendants, a chakra bracelet with crystal chips and a set of small chakra crystals that I use for healing and meditation. After reading A Witch Alone I felt very guilty about having these things and started to lose my connection with them. That connection has now started to return and when I feel the energy of these pieces I find it difficult to think of having them as being a bad thing. I have also felt compelled a couple of times to buy some more crystals for specific work and one to give as an offering. I haven't bought these so far because of this internal debate.

What do you all think of this issue? Are there ethical implications in using crystals? And do you have any suggestions on how to resolve my opposing feelings on it?

Love and light,
Rocquelaire 
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« Reply #1: February 06, 2011, 06:09:56 am »


Such questions never hold easy answers.

Yes.
The mining of crystals and precious stones is a violent thing, the miners work often under terrible conditions.
And it is true, that the mining of stones pays for some warlords expenses on weapons.

OTOH the mining is often the only possibility to earn money at all for the folks living there.

There are some companies that sell fair trade crystals.
Maybe this is an option for you?

I do use precious stones and crystals.
But I treat them as this: Precious.  Smiley

It hurts me if I see them turned into el cheapo tourist merchandise.
Or crushed and colored artificially.

All in all: the world is a complicated place. If you want to wash your hands from any exploitation of man or nature, you will have a tough time. But it is possible to be aware and responsible of what we consume. And to use the things we purchased till they cant be used anymore.

End OT. Wink
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« Reply #2: February 06, 2011, 06:41:28 am »

I was recently reading Marian Green's A Witch Alone and in it she takes a strong stance against using crystals. She points out that we obtain these by destructive means (blasting them out of the earth) and that as they are finite we will eventually exhaust the supply of these natural wonders. She therefore argues that no-one should have more than one crystal and it's better if you don't have any. At least, this is my understanding of her position.

What do you all think of this issue? Are there ethical implications in using crystals? And do you have any suggestions on how to resolve my opposing feelings on it?

The first thing that crosses my mind is that it is her opinion, that is all. There are ethical questions to everything we have-food, clothes, cars etc. You can question pretty much everything when it comes down to its creation. Do you never use anything derived from wood as people are cutting down forests? Do you stop using metal as it is dug up from the earth? You have to be careful IMO as this is a very slippery slope to start on. My habit is to choose where I buy my crystals from. Others I have recieved as gift and I am not going to refuse something that someone has made a great effort to choose for me because I don't particularly like that it has been dug up from the earth. I have a great many crystals (over 170 at last count) of all different shapes, sizes and states (raw, natural and formed), I have natural and man made types of crystal and I use them all for different purposes. All of my crystals and gemstones mean a great deal to me. I accept Marian Green's stand point, even though I don't agree with it. She is entitled to her opinion as I am to mine. My advise is to decide for yourself what it is that you want to do, but please try to see all sides of an issue before making a choice. That's what I try to do. (I might not always be very good at it, but I do try! Wink Tongue )
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« Reply #3: February 06, 2011, 07:10:57 am »


If you really want to make absolutely sure there's no exploitation, you can always go to Herkimer NY and chip your own quartz.

Or buy them - they're called Herkimer Diamonds - they're quartz, it's a natural open quarry, I've been there.
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« Reply #4: February 06, 2011, 08:00:15 am »

If you really want to make absolutely sure there's no exploitation, you can always go to Herkimer NY and chip your own quartz.

Or otherwise find your own. It limits what crystals you'll have, but if you consider most mining of them unethical, it's your only other choice other than not using them at all.  Personally, I think Green has selective ethics when she brings up this issue as most of the stuff we use has bad business ethics somewhere along the supply chain. The only way to avoid it is to be rich enough to have everything you need handmade to your requirements by you know to be ethical enough to not take shortcuts your consider unethical.
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« Reply #5: February 07, 2011, 12:27:38 pm »

If you really want to make absolutely sure there's no exploitation, you can always go to Herkimer NY and chip your own quartz.

Or buy them - they're called Herkimer Diamonds - they're quartz, it's a natural open quarry, I've been there.

There are a number of areas around the U.S. where you can mine your own stones.  F'ex, I've been to Franklin, NC, a couple of times and found some gorgeous garnets, sapphires, and emeralds.

Another possibility is to use lab-created stones.  These start from tiny "seed crystals" of the natural material, but are otherwise "grown" in a lab.  The chemical properties of lab-created stones are identical to their natural counterparts and they look the same.  Some people don't like the energy of lab-created stones, but others feel there is no difference.

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« Reply #6: February 07, 2011, 01:29:10 pm »

If you really want to make absolutely sure there's no exploitation, you can always go to Herkimer NY and chip your own quartz.

Or buy them - they're called Herkimer Diamonds - they're quartz, it's a natural open quarry, I've been there.

You can also learn to identify minerals when and where you find them.  You probably won't end up with perfect crystal points, but I've found some gorgeous chunks of agate, jadeite, moonstone, and quartz just strolling on the beach.

Brina
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« Reply #7: February 07, 2011, 03:31:33 pm »

Or otherwise find your own. It limits what crystals you'll have, but if you consider most mining of them unethical, it's your only other choice other than not using them at all.  Personally, I think Green has selective ethics when she brings up this issue as most of the stuff we use has bad business ethics somewhere along the supply chain. The only way to avoid it is to be rich enough to have everything you need handmade to your requirements by you know to be ethical enough to not take shortcuts your consider unethical.

She does suggest finding your own, which is actually how I acquired one of my pieces of quartz. I don't think it's the business ethics that she has an issue with (although that can clearly be an issue in some cases) but the fact of mining itself. She equates the "destruction of the crystal's habitat" with the destruction of forrests etc and talks about them being "ripped" from the earth. She even goes so far as to make reference to a "raped crystal". You have a good point about selective ethics. I wonder if she feels so strongly about a carrot being ripped from the earth to provide food?

Maybe what's more important is to honour the crystal by using it wisely and treating it with respect?
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« Reply #8: February 13, 2011, 05:02:52 pm »

She does suggest finding your own, which is actually how I acquired one of my pieces of quartz. I don't think it's the business ethics that she has an issue with (although that can clearly be an issue in some cases) but the fact of mining itself. She equates the "destruction of the crystal's habitat" with the destruction of forrests etc and talks about them being "ripped" from the earth. She even goes so far as to make reference to a "raped crystal". You have a good point about selective ethics. I wonder if she feels so strongly about a carrot being ripped from the earth to provide food?

Maybe what's more important is to honour the crystal by using it wisely and treating it with respect?

As someone who has worked with an activist dealing with mining issues, I felt the same feelings of guilt surge in me.  Keep in mind we (often) support really horrid mining practices when we turn on our own lights when our energy comes from coal.  I'm very particular now-a-days about my crystals & echo the sentiments of some of the previous post, about treating them precious.  I only use ones that really "speak" to me & "feel" right.  Purifying them helps as well.  If you still feel some karma-tic guilt, why not direct that towards supporting non-profits that help with the  environmental issues surrounding mining?  I think those of us who are emphatic can relate a lot to this post & I feel like it is good to think of ways to justify our privalage to such natural wonders, as crystals.   Smiley
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« Reply #9: March 20, 2011, 03:02:07 pm »

Hi all,

I'm not sure if this is in the right place so apologies if it's not.

I was recently reading Marian Green's A Witch Alone and in it she takes a strong stance against using crystals. She points out that we obtain these by destructive means (blasting them out of the earth) and that as they are finite we will eventually exhaust the supply of these natural wonders. She therefore argues that no-one should have more than one crystal and it's better if you don't have any. At least, this is my understanding of her position.

This has caused a dilemma for me. I had never thought of crystals in this manner and she does seem to have a very good point. Currently I have a few crystals on my alter, a couple of pendants, a chakra bracelet with crystal chips and a set of small chakra crystals that I use for healing and meditation. After reading A Witch Alone I felt very guilty about having these things and started to lose my connection with them. That connection has now started to return and when I feel the energy of these pieces I find it difficult to think of having them as being a bad thing. I have also felt compelled a couple of times to buy some more crystals for specific work and one to give as an offering. I haven't bought these so far because of this internal debate.

What do you all think of this issue? Are there ethical implications in using crystals? And do you have any suggestions on how to resolve my opposing feelings on it?

Love and light,
Rocquelaire 

Well first off - I think it is one writers selective viewpoint, and it shouldn't be something you should worry about.

 But worries are not always logical, so I would recommend if it is a issue for you, get your own or find someone in a area with cystals you need to get you some.   One thing to remember is that the commercial miners, for all there warts, provide people with a livelihood.   
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« Reply #10: March 24, 2011, 09:26:24 pm »

She does suggest finding your own, which is actually how I acquired one of my pieces of quartz. I don't think it's the business ethics that she has an issue with (although that can clearly be an issue in some cases) but the fact of mining itself. She equates the "destruction of the crystal's habitat" with the destruction of forrests etc and talks about them being "ripped" from the earth. She even goes so far as to make reference to a "raped crystal". You have a good point about selective ethics. I wonder if she feels so strongly about a carrot being ripped from the earth to provide food?

Maybe what's more important is to honour the crystal by using it wisely and treating it with respect?

  You certainly do sound as though you're having an internal debate.  It sounds like you're addressing yourself in a forum.   Wink
  I think you have a very keen sense of sacredness, a respect for the sacred, rather I assume you do.  I've never bought a crystal and for this reason it never occurred to me.  I found my crystal in a large bowl by happenstance and decided to take it because my family was not using it at all.  It is a very nice pink crystal that my father found and collected himself somewhere in the United States.  I cleansed it and charged it with energy and it's wonderful, I keep it safe in a wooden box with a spell designed to keep unwanted inquisitors away.  It's full of energy.
  Now, I imagine that crystals "blasted out of their natural habitat" may collect some negative energy--yes.  However, if you can cleanse this energy then it is no longer there and the crystal is practically safe to use.
  My view, which is really what you're asking for, is that there is no need to extract this wonderful resource from its natural habitat if they are already laying about, as mine was.  So my advice would be:
  1.) If you'd like one, ask around for one that is not being used, as an alternative to buying one.
  2.) If you absolutely need one for an important cause, but cannot attain one without buying, then excavate one yourself and pay respect to the crystal's place of origin to help protect it from abuse.

  I hope this helps, please respond.
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« Reply #11: March 27, 2011, 05:09:22 am »

  You certainly do sound as though you're having an internal debate.  It sounds like you're addressing yourself in a forum.   Wink

I'm sorry, I'm not really sure what you mean by this?

Quote
Now, I imagine that crystals "blasted out of their natural habitat" may collect some negative energy--yes.  However, if you can cleanse this energy then it is no longer there and the crystal is practically safe to use.

The book doesn't really address the negative energy created but I would always cleanse crystals before I use them, wherever I get them from.

Quote
  My view, which is really what you're asking for, is that there is no need to extract this wonderful resource from its natural habitat if they are already laying about, as mine was.  So my advice would be:
  1.) If you'd like one, ask around for one that is not being used, as an alternative to buying one.
  2.) If you absolutely need one for an important cause, but cannot attain one without buying, then excavate one yourself and pay respect to the crystal's place of origin to help protect it from abuse.

  I hope this helps, please respond.

I have looked into this option but so far have not found it possible as I am unable to find anywhere that I could do this within reasonable travelling distance of where I live. I think I've come to the conclusion that crystals are like any other resource that I use. Therefore my approach at the moment is Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Just like my approach to all other resources. This may well change as I move further along my path and do more reading.

Thank you for all of your opinions and views. It was very helpful to see what other people thought and I had never heard of excavating your own before and it's given me another avenue to explore even though it's not an option for me just now.
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« Reply #12: March 28, 2011, 06:12:13 pm »



The book doesn't really address the negative energy created but I would always cleanse crystals before I use them, wherever I get them from.

I have looked into this option but so far have not found it possible as I am unable to find anywhere that I could do this within reasonable travelling distance of where I live. I think I've come to the conclusion that crystals are like any other resource that I use. Therefore my approach at the moment is Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Just like my approach to all other resources.

T

I dislike crystal mining, both for the human cost and the environmental cost so I rarely use purchased stones. I do have some on the prinicpal that the damage has been done and it won't help to throw them away. However any more I acquire will be from known sources. I also prefer to work with items that are native to the area where I live rather than being transported half way around the world ( that is a whole other ethical issue for me). I find they resonate better with the rest of my surroundings rather than a stone that is attuned to a different part of the world.

The amount of energy required  to create those pretty shiny stones also concerns me. I therefore prefer to work with the stone in its natural state.

Mostly I work with stones/crystals I have found myself. Ordinary pebbles can be put to work very successfully and many are just calling out to be picked up and used. It is getting quite embarrassing how many naturally  holed flints I now have, even crossing a car park can often add a couple more to my collection!
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« Reply #13: March 28, 2011, 07:28:52 pm »

If you really want to make absolutely sure there's no exploitation, you can always go to Herkimer NY and chip your own quartz.

Or buy them - they're called Herkimer Diamonds - they're quartz, it's a natural open quarry, I've been there.

I still have a whole bucket of those that were Daniels  Smiley

My mother took him there a couple of times and once they came home with something like 50 lbs of rocks in a 5 gallon bucket that still needs to have the quartz chipped out.
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« Reply #14: March 29, 2011, 07:15:57 am »

I still have a whole bucket of those that were Daniels  Smiley

My mother took him there a couple of times and once they came home with something like 50 lbs of rocks in a 5 gallon bucket that still needs to have the quartz chipped out.

*stares* Kitty?

KITTY!  *pouncehugs*
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