Shungite and the Power of Crystal Healing
What Exactly is Shungite?
Shungite is a curious stone found primarily in Russia that's relatively rare, virtually unknown and the finest grade is known as elite shungite. As well as being surprisingly light weight it's naturally lustrous and has a black residue similar to the soot produced by coal. With the world's primary deposit being in Karelia in the north west of Russia it's expensive and rough material is popular with rock and mineral enthusiasts around the world.
My first encounter with shungite came whilst in South Africa buying rocks and minerals for Stone Mania. Having caught my eye I was immediately curious about this material that was unlike anything I had seen before. Following a quick search on Google I learnt that it was a non crystalline solid made up mostly of carbon hence was widely used in crystal healing. Having decided to buy a few pieces I surprised at how expensive it was particularly because the stones were so light. Once back home it was photographed and uploaded to our website. Within a few weeks it had all sold so on my next trip I bought more and that too sold very quickly.
Considering the world's largest shungite deposit was in the north west of Russia it seemed crazy for me to be buying it in South Africa so I started looking for a supplier in Russia. The main difficulty was communication but persistence paid off and after receiving two parcels of low grade small pieces that were sold to me as large elite grade shungite, I finally received a parcel at a fair price containing stones that were a nicer grade than what I had bought previously.
It’s widely reported that shungite is at least two billion years old which sounds impressive but the oldest rocks on the planet are believed to date back around four billion years which actually makes shungite seem quite young in comparison. Despite referring to it as a rock that's not really accurate because shungite is not crystalline hence is correctly known as a mineraloid. This name describes the group of mineral-like substances that includes amber (an organic substance), jet, moldavite, pearl and obsidian all of which are amorphous or non crystalline solids which basically means they have no visible crystal structure.
The Ability to Heal or a Placebo?
Elite shungite which is used in crystal healing because of its perceived curative powers has in the past been referred to as “the miracle stone” or “stone of life”. Judy Hall author of the Crystal Bible series even claims it may have been instrumental in creating life on Earth. Alternative medicines and healing practices that use crystals rocks and minerals have been around for thousands of years whilst conventional medicine in one form or another dates back as far as 3300 BC. Whilst there’s still a degree of scepticism surrounding the effectiveness of crystal healing, many people including myself remain open minded to it. Although there may not be any scientific evidence to support what is sometimes called a pseudoscience, healing crystals are without doubt an integral part of many people's lives. There is some evidence to suggest they may may act in a similar way to a placebo which is a substance or treatment that's believed to be genuine but actually contains no active medicinal ingredients. It has been proven in certain trials that a placebo has the ability to stimulate genuine physiological responses from a change in heart rate or blood pressure to chemical activity in the brain. In cases involving pain, depression, anxiety, fatigue and even in some symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, a significant improvement has genuinely been achieved.
Despite claims that shungite may have been instrumental in creating life on Earth that does seem a little far fetched but rocks and minerals have certainly played a crucial role in creating and shaping our planet. With that said, who can say for certain they don't have properties that mankind is yet to fully understand? I have been working with crystals rocks and minerals for the last twenty years and remain very open minded to their holistic abilities. Personally I don’t use them for healing purposes but am without doubt drawn to them in a way that just cannot be explained. When working around them I feel a sense of calmness and they lift my mood, their colours, characteristics, texture and in some cases translucency never ceases to captivate my attention even when looking at the most common mineral. The fact that I'm handling something that dates back millions and in some cases billions of years is also something I can never really get my head around. I completely appreciate that rocks and minerals are not for everyone but absolutely believe there’s more to these naturally occurring inanimate objects than meets the eye.
Show someone who knows nothing about minerals a flawless diamond, a polished ruby or even some chatoyant tigers eye and watch their reaction. Back in the days when we did markets we often watched as people who knew nothing about rocks and minerals handled our stones and quickly became totally captivated by them. They couldn't resist touching them, holding them up towards the light and trying to work out exactly what it was they were looking at despite the fact that we're surrounded by rocks and minerals every day of our lives. More often than not they'd be drawn to one variety over another and having been introduced to these curious inanimate objects, would often return to our stall time and time again. One of the most difficult questions to answer which I was asked more times than I can remember was, what do you do with them?
Keeping an Open Mind
I have three beautiful pieces of elite shungite in my personal collection of rocks and minerals and it still captivates and fascinates me. As with many minerals health benefits have been reported from using it and scientific trials have confirmed that when used for purification purposes it can remove organic and inorganic substances, disease causing bacteria and traces of metals from contaminated water.
I believe the authenticity of crystal healing is something that each one of us has to decide for ourselves and nobody should ever scoff at something simply because they don’t believe in it. Everyone who has ever worked with crystals or experienced crystal healing will have a different story to tell and whilst some may fob it off as baloney, many others will shape their lives around it.
More than one hundred new minerals are discovered around the world each year and there's still things about certain varieties which geologists and mineralogists don't fully understand. With that in mind part of me hopes and to some degree believes, that there may be something else about them that we are not yet consciously aware of. All living creatures need certain minerals in order to remain healthy and if not present naturally they're added during the manufacturing process to the foods that we eat, the creams that we apply and medicines that we take. Could it be that at this early stage of human evolution we’re still too young to fully understand the benefits of crystals, rocks and minerals because our brain has not yet advanced enough to be able to see them from a different perspective? Shungite has been in existence for around two billion years compared to the mere two hundred thousand that man has been on the planet so in the grand scheme of things humanity is still very much in its infancy. With than in mind it's highly likely there are still many things that are still way beyond our comprehension.
Many people are quick to dismiss things that they don't fully understand as being nonsense yet the human race still has so much to learn about this incredible planet, its resources and what everything does. Despite the advances in medicine and science in recent years we have been oblivious for far too long about the damage that we've been causing to natural habitats around the world and as a consequence, plants, animals and insects are now disappearing at an alarming rate. If mankind can't understand something as simple as that, how can we know for certain that these naturally occurring mineral-like solids that have evolved over millions and even billions of years, don't engage with man in a way that we're not yet able to fully understand?
I work with crystals, rocks and minerals because I love being around them and they interest and fascinate me for many different reasons. I'm certainly not in a position to say whether they have health benefits or not or whether a stone like shungite or any other will bring luck or change your life but what I can say is that as difficult as it may be, try to keep an open mind.
My Own Experience with Crystal Healing
I once went to a psychic out of curiosity who had been highly recommended to me but I'm very sceptical about people who claim they have psychic abilities. Before I'd even sat down she blurted things out that she could not possibly have known, I hadn't even given her my real name and she knew nothing about me at all. Although she didn't subsequently tell me a great deal, what she did say was very personal to me and she also kept seeing two letters but couldn't understand what they meant or why it was all she was getting. Those letters were the initials of my partner's name who happened to be sat on a bench down the road waiting for me. So could it be that crystals are similar to psychic ability in that only certain people are able to tune into them and for everyone else they're nothing more than plain old stones?
I’ve read extensively about crystal healing for many years and have heard countless stories some of which I take with a pinch of salt but you can't dismiss everything. I've also had a few experiences of my own that can't logically be explained one of which involved a piece of obsidian which is reported to be one of the most powerful of all crystals. It's said that black obsidian which is natural volcanic glass will bring issues to the surface and can be very confrontational so you should be ready for a full onslaught before using it. I didn't choose the stone it just happened to come in to my life by chance but within a very short period of time what followed was certainly an onslaught and one that completely changed my life.
My own experience with crystals rocks and minerals has shown that if these curious inanimate objects are destined to be part of your life, they'll make an appearance but only when the time is right. There are people around the world from every race and ethnicity and always have been who believe rocks and minerals have mysterious energies or healing properties that can bring about a change on a physical, emotional or spiritual level. Providing this practice is used to compliment and not replace traditional medicine, then let's just embrace it.