Amethyst, citrine, clear quartz, rose quartz and other crystals are laid out on the table as Dana Cote, explains her introduction to crystals.
“I was on TikTok one day and I ended up on Witch Tok [a section of TikTok filled with videos on astrology, tarot card reading, numerology] and they were doing all the crystals. And, I said, let’s check it out,” says Cote, a senior English major.
The world of crystals and tarot was not always an obvious choice for Cote who says, “I was raised Episcopalian Christian, but I turned 18 and I was like, this is not it for me.”
According to the Pew Research Center, 5% of the silent generation was unaffiliated with a religion, Baby Boomers 22%, Generation X 28% and older and younger Millennials 22%.
For Cote, crystals led her to a spiritual practice.
Cote found crystals to be less harmful than other practices, in a world of spirituality, not fully her own to explore.
“A few months ago, I’d been in a relationship for a year and a half, and he ended up leaving, and I really wasn’t expecting it,” she says. “I was just looking for something to hold on to basically.”
“I did briefly consider the typical witchcraft, spells and communing with different deities and entities and stuff like that, but I didn’t want to disrespect anybody that’s a practicing witch and everything by doing it wrong,” Cote says.
“And I found this cute little mom-and-pop Wicca shop in a town nearby in Derby. I went in and I’m just like, let’s give this a shot because nothing else I’ve tried has worked to help me feel better.”
Not wanting to step on anyone’s toes participating in closed practices of the Wicca faith, Cote saw it better to not emulate certain practices, but to do what felt the safest.
“A lot of the stuff that you see actual practicing witches do with Wicca and stuff, a lot of it is closed practice. Crystals are an open practice. They’re good for anyone to use. You’re going to be hard-pressed to accidentally summon some kind of bad entity by manifesting with a crystal. So, I figured it was the safest bet and just the easiest access,” says Cote.
Alexandria DePaul, a junior psychology major, reads tarot cards and collects crystals as well. Like Cote, she grew up religion, then transitioned to using crystals.
“I grew up in a Catholic household. I know a few people in my family aren’t a big fan of it, and it kind of goes against the Catholic religion, but I always make sure that they know that I only do it for myself. And if anyone wants a reading, I always get permission before doing readings on people because that’s just respect,” says DePaul.
DePaul says her most prized crystal is a titanium quartz a friend gave her for her birthday.
“I like it a lot because it’s very colorful and when the light hits, it shines all the different colors. It just protects my aura, which I’m very thankful for because sometimes I feel like I’m very empathetic. I’m always taking in a lot of negative energies, and I can feel other people’s emotions. I feel like sometimes I just need like my energy to be like, blocked off from others,” she says.
Crystals are believed to hold energies and are used to help certain facets of everyday life. DePaul expresses this in her list of favorite crystals and their corresponding properties.
“The crystals that are my favorite would be titanium quartz, which helps protect your aura and your energy from any negative sources. I also like amethyst because it helps with calming yourself and building your intuition. I also like carnelian, because it helps with your confidence and your passion, which helps me with school,” says DePaul.
While DePaul keeps her crystals by her tarot cards to cleanse and give good energy to the decks, Cote keeps her crystals in various places like her car to grab when needed.
“I’ve noticed that when I’m having driving anxieties generally, the citrine is the one I pick up the most. And I just kind of grab it and it’s smooth so it’s nice for stress relief. I can just kind of feel all the negative energy melting out of my body which is great because when you’re driving you don’t want to be anxious,” says Cote.
DePaul says she also searches for the meaning, also called energetic properties, behind the stones.
“When I purchase crystals, I tend to look for what the characteristics are for each one. Some of them are for good luck or to protect your aura and your energy so I tend to look for things that I’m interested in for myself to help myself but also for spirituality as well,” DePaul says.
For Cote and DePaul, crystals are a safe entrance into a spiritual world ripe with closed practices, possibly dangerous entities, and an ultimate commune with nature. Crystals can be seen as a harmless spiritual tool that hurts no one to believe in.
DePaul says she believes everyone should try it out.
“I do believe that they work,” DePaul says. “I know some people don’t believe that they have powers. But I think it’s always good to go to a crystal shop and just see what crystal calls to you. You can even look it up on your phone to see what the powers the crystal has to see why you know you’re being called to it.”
Cote says, “There’s a possibility, of course, with anything that it could just
be a placebo effect. ‘Oh, I got this neat little rock and now I feel better’ but ever since I’ve started getting them and using them, I’ve started feeling like things have started really looking up and it could just be the power of positive thinking, but I don’t know. I feel like there actually is something to it.”
Story by: Danielle Campbell
Video by: Kaitlyn Gerckens