Can crystals become your rock?

Concordia students discover hidden gem in spirituality

Graphic Nanor Froundjian

Crystals are more than just pretty stones—they’re said to have properties that can influence one’s life.

“Crystals are a way to connect with something tangible, to help you connect with your intuition,” said Raphael Hul, co-founder of Crystal Dreams, a Montreal business that sells crystals and other merchandise relating to spirituality. He explained that he sees crystals as a “bridge” between the physical and spiritual world. 

Alexandre Rivard, co-founder of OM Bien-être, a local wellness shop that sells crystals, explained that while some people just collect them because they’re beautiful, most people are concerned with their energy. 

That being said, it can take some time to warm up to the spirituality that using crystals demands.

“I was very logical, so I had a hard time connecting with the crystals at first,” said Hul, who was studying electrical engineering before he decided to start his business.

He was fascinated after he learned about clear quartz, a crystal known to help with communication, in one of his engineering classes. He was taught that clear quartz was a key component in the early days of radio, thus facilitating communication on a physical level as well. 

Though they’ve been around for millennia, crystals have undergone a cultural resurgence in recent years. Now they grace the pockets of many, Concordia art students at the forefront. 

Maria Aouad, a Concordia art history and film studies major, has been using crystals for the past two years. Now a staple of her self-care ritual, she describes crystals as a “good luck charm.” 

When asked whether this “good luck charm” has had a tangible impact on her life, Aouad was quick to recall her final exam period at the beginning of the pandemic. 

“I was having such a hard time being creative,” said Aouad. Not sure how to solve her problem, she turned to crystals, citrine in particular, carrying it in her pocket when she was working on assignments. “I felt like it really got me out of my little creative block. And so I actually got through finals pretty well,” she said.

Art history student Lili Carrubba grew up with crystals around the house but only started using them herself at the start of the pandemic. She finds them “very therapeutic” and even holds them when she does tarot card readings. 

“I’ve been really stressed. What makes me feel better is meditating. I’m just sitting, relaxing, holding crystals and it’s to ground myself a little bit,” said Carrubba. She explained that her personal life is currently “very hectic,” but that using crystals helped her clear her mind. 

Pablo Vargas, a film studies student, became interested in crystals after seeing people with them at school, but also through TikTok and Twitter, where they are gaining traction. When asked to describe them, however, he opts for a “more scientific” explanation, pulling heavily on the notion that everything is vibrating, and the vibrations of the crystals affect our own in some way. He said that “people react better” when you bring science into it. 

Vargas uses the blue agate crystal to cope with anxiety and stress, feelings that surfaced when he recently began a new job. “I feel like it really does help me to feel more calm and not overthink things,” he said.

Perhaps most importantly, those who use crystals stress that placing all your faith in them is not going to solve your problems—you have to be willing to put in work as well. 

“I think it has a lot to do with intentions,” said Carruba. When she uses crystals, she must sync up her own mindset with what the crystal is meant to help with. 

Hul compares crystals, and spirituality in general, to exercise; you have to keep practicing and setting your intentions. “Spirituality is something that you have to work on and devote your time to,” he said.

“It’s your work plus the work of the crystals as a tool. Crystals won’t do the dishes for you,” said Rivard. He related a story of when his dog had a mass on his leg. He said he put a crystal under it, and a few hours later the dog was healed. While some might chalk this up to coincidence, he said he hears stories like this all the time. 

“Our role is not to convince anybody. It’s just to show people that there is something more than the physical world that anyone can connect to to become the best versions of themselves,” said Hul.

“Some people think it’s a placebo, but placebo means it works,” said Aouad. She feels as though they do make a positive difference in her life, and it doesn’t matter whether that is based on the energy of the crystals or based on her intentions. 

Either way, I think it’s safe to say that crystals definitely rock.

This article originally appeared in The Influence/Influenced Issue, published January 13, 2021.