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Understanding people’s obsession with crystals

https://news.stanford.edu/2018/08/09/understanding-peoples-obsession-crystals/

news.stanford.edu

Understanding people’s obsession with crystals
Medievalist Marisa Galvez finds that crystals inspired the writing and poetry of some authors of the Middle Ages in unexpected ways.

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Crystals at the forefront

Crystals at the forefront

Crystals are at the forefront of recent fashion and wellness trends. Celebrities are putting traces into their new perfume products while stores advertise the crystals' supposed healing powers and energy.

But people's fascination with crystals and other gemstones dates back for centuries. Poets and authors during the Middle Ages used the imagery of crystals in their writing. Some medieval poets also used crystals as a way to examine desire.

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Crystals used in past ages

  • The word "crystal" comes from the Greek krystallos, literally meaning "coldness drawn together."
  • Crystals are both dark and transparent. You can see through them, but not quite. For this reason, crystals have been thought to have magical, healing effects, and energy.
  • In the Middle Ages, people thought crystals would bring a spiritual presence. People still have that need, explaining the popularity of crystals. In a way, crystals fulfill the spiritual need for some people.
  • Medieval troubadours used the stone and its qualities to describe the beauty of the main character's love interest in their stories. They also used it to describe different aspects of carnal desire and love.

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