Energy expresses in the physical universe in waves. The primary characteristics that concern us in the area of audio are consistent with the characteristics of energy in general. These qualities include amplitude, frequency, velocity, wavelength and others. So though there appears to be different types of energies such as sound, light, radio, microwaves, cosmic rays, magnetic, etc.; these types of energies have some common characteristics. (Ever hear of Einstein's "unified field?") And energy is very much a part of the traditional healing arts.
One of the defining characteristics of traditional, i.e. alternative, therapies is the respect for and awareness of our natural healing energy. In the Chinese medical system it is known as chi. Japanese systems use the word ki. The ayurvedic system that is handed down through the 7500 year-old Vedic texts of India define three basic energies or doshas : pitta, vata and kapha and then multiple sub-doshas under them. The indigenous tribe of the Kalahari, the !Kung, refer to the healing power of nature as num. They incite it, clear it, and use it for healing. There is hardly an ancient culture you can think of that doesn't acknowledge this natural connection with healing energy. (However sadly, future archaeologists may surmise that 20th Century Western medicine used strange words for "healing energy." Words like: "prozac" or "hmo" or "viagra.")
So, healing energy or audio energy, energy regardless. And energy has certain characteristics either way. Learning to honor and use energy is the key.
"TIME KEEPS ON SLIPPIN'...INTO THE FUTURE"
What time is it? Look at your watch. Chances are, you just looked at a wristwatch that uses a quartz crystal to accurately clock the electrical flow of energy from the watch battery. Put on a CD. Listen to a favorite tune. You just activated a sound system that uses a laser to read tiny pits and flat spots on a plastic-coated metal disc. That laser uses a ruby crystal (that's why it's red) to amplify and organize the light energy that reflects off of those CDs. Did you drive to work today? The ignition system of your car likely uses a small silicon crystal chip to regulate the firing of the spark plugs of the engine. Listen to Otis XII? Your car radio uses a transistor made from silicon to amplify the sound. And your home or work computer? Intel Inside? You bet. And what's it made from? A computer chip is a chip allright; a chip of silicon quartz crystal. Why do you think they call it Silicon Valley?
The point is, you are using crystals everyday and all day long. These crystals, in the form of computer chips, transistors, clocking devices, liquid crystal displays, etc., are all doing some basic things with energy. They are maintaining, changing, manipulating the characteristics of energy to perform tasks. They store, amplify, correct and control energy waves. Not so mysteriously either. It is, as it turns out, a natural property of crystals to be able to do that.
Now this concept was not too far-fetched for my students sitting in Schonenberg Hall on UCLA's Westwood campus. After all, physics is what makes the world go 'round, and that includes CDs. And then that figurative lightbulb went on over their heads when I held up an amethyst quartz crystal and chided them for the next time they might be inclined to look skeptically at someone wearing a crystal pendant. We would then begin to discuss the use of energy and crystals in making records. Today, it's about healing. Same thing. Energy.
Plain and simple! If your laptop can store information on silicon quartz crystal reworked by Intel, then what makes you think it's impossible that a quartz crystal pendant might store the energy of a conflict at the gas station earlier in the day? Or an argument with your mom. Or a loving moment of romance with your girlfriend? Energy is energy; crystals is crystals.
Crystal transistors can amplify Eddie Van Halen's guitar to 140 decibels of pure grunge, (through the PA system -- not his amp -- which is a Marshall and uses tubes, not transistors -- a whole other column.) Then don't you think an amethyst crystal properly used can amplify the healing energy of your body?
It seems that mankind has always been attracted to certain objects in nature and gemstones and crystals are among them. It is a natural action to pick up a pretty rock or stone, rub it or hold it and perhaps keep it in our pocket. So it is that cultural traditions through the eons used and collected gems, stones and crystals.
Modern science has obviously learned to harness the characteristics of quartz crystals in technology. In the traditional healing arts, working with crystals is perhaps the most well-known of the practices of using earth elements for healing. But other stones, rocks and minerals are considered to have resonant frequencies and energy characteristics as well. Even lead and uranium have their uses. Ancient and arcane sciences are aware of some of the higher functions of these elements. (Think of it -- radiation therapy might be considered a radical adaptation of elemental healing that Western medicine has adopted.)
One interesting fact about crystals is that they grow. We're not talking about a stagnant artifact. We're talking about something that starts smaller then grows larger. Crystals actually grow in the ground in a matrix. They absorb, use and store energy and mature, just like anything else in existence that we consider "alive."
The most common element on earth is oxygen. The second most common element on earth is silicon. The most common of crystals is silicon quartz. It is a crystal that grows from the combination of silicon and oxygen. When other factors are involved, such as natural inclusions or background radiation, the characteristics of the quartz change enough to appear colored or smoky. This is a primary identification factor that links crystals to their best use in healing.
Remember, what we are interested in here is energy, healing energy. Color is an indicator of one of the characteristics of energy: frequency. Color is a function of light. It is determined by the frequency of the light wave observed by the eye. The visible light spectrum goes from the lowest frequency, red, to the highest, violet. This spectrum is, in order, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. If you ever forget this order of lowest to highest, just use nature's classroom to remember it. That is the same order you will see in the sky when a rainbow forms. Red is lowest; violet highest. Crystals and gems are easily identified by color. This gives us a general guide for the frequencies on which they operate.
The body has frequencies of energy waves also. Some of them have been accurately measured by Western science; some haven't. Because Western science hasn't figured out how to measure them doesn't mean they don't exist. It means only that Western science hasn't figured out how to measure them. But crystal therapy makes use of this energy system of the body. One of the first things considered is the color frequency.
There are specific areas of the body that are main centers for the flow of energy. In Sanskrit the word is chakras. These energy centers correspond to frequencies, low to high. The lowest frequency energy center is the first chakra. Now if you just consider this intuitively, you may realize that the first chakra is at the base of the spine. Indeed it is so. The next six chakras are located in order at the reproductive organs, the naval area, the heart area, the base of the throat, the brow and at the crown of the head. The colors that correspond to these chakras are roughly the frequencies that represent red to violet, lowest to highest. Now we have established a very basic rule of thumb for the use of crystals and gemstones. Deep red stones or deeper rose quartz would resonate with the lower chakras and violet to clear would be associated with the higher ones.
Color is but one consideration in the concept of crystal therapy. While important to a crystal worker, other factors are too. Stones and crystals have an evolutionary history also. Stones and gems are believed to be in different stages of development in regard to earth history. This too is considered.
One of the qualities that typifies traditional healing arts is respect for the holistic nature of our existence. That healing energy mentioned earlier is not isolated. It is connected with the energy that is all things. We are part of an holistic event: the Universe. Traditional healing excludes naught. A connection to the whole is honored and utilized. In this sense, therapeutic use of crystals and is deeply connected in a relationship with the cosmos, including the stars and the planets.
Zodiac connections are considered. Scorpio aligns with ruby, moonstone, garnet and diamond and others. Capricorn has an affinity for some purposes with amber, sapphire, amethyst and jade. Of course there are points of conjunction between all signs and planets.
Chakras and zodiac signs and planetary considerations are elemental. So too is the day of the week. Observe the ruling planet of each weekday. Monday (moonday) is in French, lundi, from the Latin luna, or moon. Tuesday is mardi; Mars. Wednesday, adapted from the Teutonic version of the French mercredi, Mercury. Thursday, Thor's day, is Jupiter in the Latin mythology. And so on. If one considers energy, consider the interplay of energies with the planets and stars; and the days of the weeks. Less than 100 years ago, and in some cases still, farmers planted certain crops on certain days of the week under certain conditions. Even plants and herbs have a relationship to the stars and energy and therefore crystals.