A Brief History of Crystals and the Science Behind Them

It happened seemingly overnight: your aunt enthusiastically praised the power of crystal healing, your friends started showing off their meditation stones on social media, and even the ambivalent skeptic in your extended family now has an amethyst caged around their neck.

Anticipated or not, crystals have resurged into the mainstream spotlight.

The History of Healing Crystals

Despite decades shrouded in misinformation and mystery, crystals have been used by mankind for centuries since the Ancient Sumerians provided the first historical references of healing crystals.

Ancient communities in Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, and Mexico used crystals as amulets in rituals, ingredients for “magic” formulas, healing potions, sacred objects, and more. It’s clear crystals have been widely valued for their properties and benefits, but they have more ties to science than just mysticism.

The Science Behind Crystals and Spiritual Practice

Modern belief in crystals isn’t a rejection of science, rather, it incorporates widely held scientific understanding into a spiritual practice.

Everything in our universe generates energy, which is composed of some amount of inherent disorder. Entropy is the measure of this disorder and randomness within a crystal.

In physics, the third law of thermodynamics asserts that the entropy of a perfect crystal would be zero when the temperature of the crystal is equal to absolute zero—but an entropy of absolute zero is unattainable.

While this physical makeup is impossible to find in nature, crystals are the closest thing possible to zero entropy. In the words of certified shamanic energy medicine practitioner Colleen McCann, “crystals are the most orderly structure that exists in nature, meaning they have the lowest amount of entropy.”

Where Crystals Come From

The word “crystal” comes from the Greek word for “ice,” because in ancient times, clear quartz was believed to be water that had frozen so deeply it remained solid. In effect, this primitive understanding of crystals and their scientific properties was pretty darn close to the truth.

Crystals react to their environments by absorbing and emitting new frequencies through vibration. This is why so many swear by crystals as the perfect vessels for absorbing negative energy from people and spaces, as well as electromagnetic fields and radiation emitted from computers, cellphones, and other modern technologies.

There’s a natural vibrational energy found in every crystal, and this is how their healing properties and effects are often determined; you can explore different crystal types for their unique benefits based on these properties.

While they have a rich cultural history of uses and benefits, crystals are deeply entrenched in our understanding of scientific energy, frequency, and vibration.

So whether you rely on them as healing stones for meditation, sacred objects for your personal rituals, or merely decorative gemstones for your apartment, crystals will continue to be prized by mankind for their raw beauty.

So next time you pick up a crystal, remember there’s a power within that transcends our physical realm.

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