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How crystals have been used in history

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Photo by Kira auf der Heide

Crystals have been used in many different ancient cultures for centuries around the world to enhance emotional, physical and spiritual balance.

Although they’re still used for many of the same uses today, you might be surprised to learn some of the weird and wonderful things past ancient cultures have used crystals for!

The Ancient Sumerians made magical potions with crystals

It’s hard to tell exactly when crystals were first used by humankind, but we know the first historical recorded uses of crystals were in Ancient Sumer - a urban civilisation who lived in modern-day southern Iraq. They used crystals in magical formulas to bring good fortune and cure health problems.

Photo by Vangelis Batsikostas on Unsplash

The word “crystal” comes from the Ancient Greek for “ice”

The Ancient Greeks believed crystal quartz was everlasting solid ice that they (along with other crystals) were gifts from the gods. In fact it wasn’t until as late as 1500 BC that many ancient cultures believed crystals were gifts from the heavens and were full of powerful godly energies. In the Ancient Greek culture, they believed hematite (a dark, dense crystal made from iron oxide) made them invincible, so would crush it and rub it on their soldier’s bodies before battle.

The Romans clad themselves in crystals for protection

The ancient Romans used crystals in talismans and amulets - objects that were believed to give the wearer protection and magical abilities. They used them to improve health, for manifestation and for protection at war.

Photo by Daniel H. Tong on Unsplash

The Ancient Egyptians understood different crystals offered different properties

The Ancient Egyptian pharaohs carried copper and zinc cylinders filled with quartz crystals to balance their energies. Royals wore crowns decorated with crystals to bring enlightenment and awaken the Third Eye. Cleopatra gained her famous blue eye shadow from crushed lapis lazuli, as crushed crystals were used as makeup by ladies of royalty to enhance their enlightenment and awareness. Crystals were even used as aphrodisiacs. Belly dancers increased their sex appeal by wearing rubies in their belly buttons. After death, they buried their dead with quartz crystals on their foreheads to ensure they traveled safely to the afterlife.

Photo by YI J. on Unsplash

For over 5,000 years crystals have been used in Chinese medicine

In China, crystals were believed to be ancient, living entities that would help heal and stabilise even the most difficult of diseases. In herbal medicine crystals were used to make elixirs and tinctures for consumption, as well as creams, solutions and powders for topical applications. In acupuncture needles were made from crystals and they would also use crystals to place on acupuncture points.

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash

Ancient Indians used crystals to cure imbalances

In Indian traditional holistic Aryuvedic medicine practitioners used various crystals for healing emotional and metaphysical imbalances in the body and mind. The Hindu Vedas (a collection of ancient texts) document healing crystals and their abilities.

The Ancient Japanese looked into crystal balls

The ancient Japanese regarded crystal quartz as the perfect gem and viewed it as the source of peace and power. They practiced scrying, which involved looking into crystal quartz spheres. These crystal balls represented the heart powerful, wise dragons.

Uses today

Although medicine and science have taken the place of many of these ancient crystal healing rituals today, crystals still have their uses. Many still use crystals to assist with their physical and mental healing alongside modern day medicine as they help you feel closer to nature and offer spiritual enlightenment.

Are you aware of any other historical uses of crystals? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

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