How Crystals Work


“All crystalline structures are formed of mathematically precise and orderly three-dimensional arrangements of atoms. This is the crystal lattice, which confers a high level of stability. It also gives Crystals their unique colours, hardness and physical, geometrical and energetic properties. Gemstones and Crystals have an amazing capacity to absorb, reflect and radiate light in the form of intelligent fields of stable energy that increase the flow of vital life-force within the human physical and subtle anatomy. By applying this stable energy or Crystal resonance in a coherent, focused way to dysfunctional energy systems, they holistically restore stability and balance. This results in the releasing of dis-ease bringing about restructuring and alignment” – From “Heal Yourself With Crystals” by Hazel Raven


Let’s start at the very beginning: Crystals formed millions and millions of years ago as the Earth went through dramatic and volatile changes – shifting tectonic plates, swirling gasses and volcanic explosions.

Crystals were formed in many different ways – intense pressure, intense heat, gasses bubbling up and getting trapped, or minerals slowly dripping – the process the Crystal formed in is specific to the type of Crystal, but it all involved a rich supply of minerals mixing together. The way they formed affects the way they look and how they function. For example, Black Obsidian formed and set very quickly, so it has no set structure – you’ll never see a natural Black Obsidian cluster or point. We call this “Amorphous”, meaning no set structure.

This process of how Crystals formed is why we can say that Crystals are mother earth’s DNA, because they contain the information on her development over thousands of millions of years – like a blueprint.

How Crystals Form - Diagram of the Earth's Crust


Although outwardly Crystals come in a huge array of different shapes, colours and sizes, inwardly at a microscopic level there are only 7 different forms made of a combination of 27 different mineral elements. By “forms” we mean the way the matter is arranged. This is what makes Crystals so special and powerful; their internal structure is perfect – it is mathematically precise. The 7 different “lattice structures” (internal arrangements) are:

1. Isometric or Cubic Crystal System

This basic Crystal system has 3 axes of equal length intersecting at 90 degree angles. Pyrite is an example of this system. These Crystals are extremely stabilizing and grounding. They are excellent for structure and reorganization. This is the only Crystal system that doesn’t bend light passing through it.

2. Triclinic Crystal System

This basic Crystal system has 3 axes of unequal length which are oblique to one another. Turquoise is a member of this system. These Crystals integrate energy and opposites, and assist in exploring other dimensions.

3. Hexagonal Crystal System

This basic Crystal system contains 3 horizontal axes of the same length intersecting at 120 degree angles. The vertical axis is either longer or shorter than the horizontal axes. Calcite and Quartz are both members of this system. These highly energetic Crystals are especially useful for energy balancing and exploring specific issues.

4. Orthorhombic Crystal System

In this basic Crystal system, 3 axes of unequal length intersect at 90 degree angles. Topaz is a member of this system. These Crystals encompass energy and are useful cleansers and clearers.

5. Monoclinic Crystal System

This basic Crystal system has 3 axes of unequal length, in which 2 intersect at 90 degree angles. The third axis is oblique to the others. Gypsum is a member of this system. These Crystals are useful for purification and perception.

6. Tetragonal Crystal System

In this basic Crystal system, 3 axes intersect at 90 degree angles. The 2 horizontal axes are of equal length. The vertical axis is longer or shorter than the horizontal axes. Zircon is a member of this system. These Crystals absorb and transform energy and are excellent balancers and resolvers.

7. Amorphous Crystal System

This defines a rare category whereby the mineral composition sets so rapidly that no defined structure can form. Energy is able to pass through this system very rapidly as a result – making it an extremely fast-working Crystal. Obsidian is a member of this system.


Now, in order to understand the next part of this, you need to understand ENERGY. Energy is life, it is in everything and it IS everything. Our cells are alive for as long as there is energy in them, a blade of grass, the air we breathe – it’s all made up of tiny atomic particles that “oscillate” (move) – they have energy. Even the wood of a table still has oscillating particles (although of course it’s very, very miniscule movement). Energy moves constantly; it moves things, around things and through things. Because of Crystals’ perfect lattice structure, energy is able to move through it easily and quickly – but as it moves through, it is transformed into a harmonious state. Imagine a guitar out of tune: when you strum it, the sound it makes isn’t very pleasant. This is energy that is not in a harmonious state – like when you are feeling agitated or anxious. Tuning the guitar makes a big difference in the sound you get when you strum it – the sound it creates in tune is beautiful and harmonious. The Crystal in effect is able to take energy that is “out of tune” and put it back out into the environment in its natural, “in tune” state. Some Crystals can absorb energy – like Tourmaline, it takes in negative energy and traps it, clearing the space that it is placed in. Others focus energy – like a Quartz point, it is able to focus positive energy through its point into the direction it is placed. Yet others are able to diffuse energy – like Rose Quartz, it constantly sends out loving, positive energy into its environment.

“Scientific photo of the quartz crystal electro-magnetic system photographed by Kirlian photography.” – from

So, when we apply this knowledge of Crystals’ internal structures and how energy moves through them and becomes positive and harmonious, we can begin to explore just how this affects us. Remember that Crystals are millions and millions of years old. Energy has been passing through Crystals all this time – energy which contains all there is to life. Crystals as a result contain all the knowledge and information there is to life, all that has been (and all that will be – but now we’re branching into Quantum Physics). A Crystal is anything but just a pretty stone. Its perfect structure; its ability to absorb, transform, focus and diffuse energy; and its intrinsic knowledge of life, makes it an incredibly powerful tool that we can benefit from. We can use Crystals in our personal environments and on ourselves – to clear, heal, re-energise and learn from.


In an environment level, we need to take into consideration the current state of our lifestyles. The waste and pollution we create daily is clogging up the sky, earth and waters – not good for our health or the state of energy around us. We are living in demanding times – we juggle a million things every day running from one to the next, and we never seem to have enough time. Everything is electronic and designed to make our lives faster – cellphones, instant messaging, the internet, cars, television… All of this has a negative impact on our personal environment. We are bombarded daily with negative energy. All electronic things – your phone, your TV, your laptop, your microwave – they all emit what is called “electromagnetic smog”. Imagine it as tiny bits of radiation – it’s not enough to see burn marks on our skin or serious illness from a single exposure, so we ignore it. But the fact is, these negative energy emissions are bouncing off us all the time and often being absorbed by us (remember that we are energy too). As a result, we battle with feeling tired, run down and negative. It’s a constant battle to keep going. We’re also surrounded by other people in the same boat – and their negative, “out of tune” energy affects us too.


Our bodies have an “aura” around them. The concept of an aura is relatively new in the Western world, but has been around for centuries in the Eastern philosophies and spirituality – and now we can actually prove they exist. I’ve listed some links below where you can go to learn more about how the technology was developed to take actual photos of our auras. Based on Eastern philosophy, the aura is made up of 7 colours, which correspond with 7 points on our body, called “chakras”. Each chakra is a swirling portal where we take in and put out energy. When our bodies are bombarded with electromagnetic smog, stress and the negativity of others, our aura can develop tears or leaks where our energy seeps out and negative energy can get in. Our chakras can become blocked or spin erratically. This can also be triggered by emotions or experiences that we haven’t been able to deal with. When energy, our life force, isn’t flowing through our bodies in a harmonious state, it manifests as illness in our physical body.


References: Judy Hall (The Encyclopedia of Crystals; The Crystal Bible); Hazel Raven (Heal Yourself with Crystals); Melody (Love is in the Earth) – and many mentors I’ve met along the way!


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