There is an old saying: Everybody needs a hobby. I began mine when I was quite young—around 5 or 6 years old. My mother gave me a handful of tumbled gemstones. I cherished all of them, especially my clear quartz. Many years later, I rediscovered my passion for gemstone collecting because I learnt of their “metaphysical properties.” I believe gemstone collecting augments spiritual practices such as meditation. I love to look through my vast collection of natural glass, rocks, and crystals to pick out which two I would like to hold for meditating today. This afternoon, I chose my labradorite and smoky quartz spheres. I discerned a subtle energy emanating from them, a tingly sensation in my palms. I am fully comfortable with the idea that this phenomenon is strictly internal. The experience helps me assign import and significance to the world around me. These stones aid in my feeling connected with the universe. I sense a communion with the divine nature of everything when I hold these miraculous treasures from the Earth.
The reason why I would recommend anyone to collect gemstones is its dual nature: on one hand, it is a hobby. After all, Winston Churchhill said, “To be really happy, one ought to have at least two or three hobbies” (“Good Reasons Why You Should Have a Hobby,” n.d., para 2). It is practically in human nature to want to possess beautiful materials (consider some people’s insatiable appetite for gold, for instance). On the other hand, these materials have a spiritual meaning running parallel to their aesthetic splendor. According to “Metaphysical properties” (2007), my labradorite “Represents the light of the universe, extra-terrestrial energy. Intuition, subconscious. Illumination” and my smoky quartz “Dissolves negativity, grounding, balancing. Excellent for meditation.” Without knowing it, I picked an excellent pair for my afternoon meditation. The smoky quartz in my left hand grounded me to the Earth, allowing me to ease into a more tranquil state. The labradorite in my right hand symbolized a more celestial, astral energy that balanced the physical nature of my smoky quartz. My selection had a yin and yang dynamic. I typically like to decide which gemstones I would like to hold based off of my intuition, and then I look up what they supposedly do for other people. To me, it is a highly personal and subjective experience. I suspect some people will feel no energy coming out from gemstones. I pride myself in my imagination, and I let it take me places.
You do not need to be rich, and you do not need a degree in mineralogy, to collect gemstones. In fact, a great way to start out is finding your own specimens. When I was younger, around ages 6 through 9, my family and I would frequent a lake. I used to dive down to the surface of the lake, grabbing handfuls of rocks. I would then sort these rocks on my boogie board (a.k.a. a “bodyboard”) to figure out which ones I ought to keep. Now, I like to hike around lakes after a rain storm. Rain erodes away dirt covering up amazing and gorgeous crystals. It is not uncommon to find calcite and quartzite. The stones give off a grounding feeling to me. By that, I mean I selected a piece of the Earth. I picked it off of the ground. That is an artifact of a connection I shared with the planet. Even looking for gemstones can easily become a meditative, spiritual experience. I am mindful of the present when I walk along the lake in search of cool rocks; I am actively investigating, exploring, and engaging with, my environment.
If you are like me, however, collecting only the variety of gemstones afforded to your area will eventually not be enough. We live in a wondrous age where almost anything is available online. Sometimes I check sites like eBay for good deals. It is ridiculous how low of a price you can get from a supplier from China, for example. I have bought clear quartz points and astrophyllite from eBay and was not disappointed.
Then again, I prefer to buy crystals from a physical store for two reasons: 1) The suppliers from China may be using unethical mining techniques (for human dignity or environmental reasons), and 2) I cannot feel the stone and choose a specimen for myself. They can be hard to find—and they can certainly be pricey—but New Age/Spiritual/Nature stores have a selection of many different stones (to pick between) and kind-hearted people as a reference. And while it may cost more than eBay, plenty of the most spiritually powerful stones are plentiful and thus affordable. Clear quartz can be “programmed” to do anything. Amethyst is a power stone and can help dealing with alcoholism. Rose quartz has a calming effect. You could buy all three of those—clear quartz, amethyst, and rose quartz tumbled stones—for under $10. Keep in mind that crystals, unlike a foot-long Subway™ combo meal, will virtually last forever—or, at least, will most likely stick around a lot longer than you or me.
Winston Churchill said, “Broadly speaking, human beings can be divided into three classes: those who are toiled to death, those who are worried to death, and those who are bored to death” (“Good Reasons Why You Should Have a Hobby,” n.d., para 13). Gemstone collecting can conceivably exclude an individual from all three classes. Because no collector possesses all gemstones, you may indefinitely avert restlessness. Because gemstones have meditative applications, you may regulate anxiety. And, because gemstones may help one balance the tug-of-war between stress and tedium, you may end up feeling less toiled; you may live longer and enjoy each moment even more. I would highly recommend trying out gemstone collecting as a hobby. It does not have a steep learning curve, and it does not require a lot of resources. The worst that could happen: you are stuck with a beautiful conversation piece.
Good reasons why you should have a hobby. (n.d.). Retrieved from Early to Rise website: http://www.earlytorise.com/good-reasons-why-you-should-have-a-hobby/#
Metaphysical properties. (n.d.). Retrieved from Best Crystals website: https://www.bestcrystals.com/metaphysical.html