Simulants and synthetics in Crystal Healing

Crystal Healing with Lab Created Gems (aka simulants or synthetics)

The above video showcases a 374 carat Lithium Niobate simulant gemstone from Hashnu Stones and Gem’s YouTube page. (For Hashnu Stones and Gem’s website, click here).

As I mentioned in the article I published a few days ago, it wasn’t that long ago that I would have refused to work with lab created crystals or gemstone like this, simply because it wasn’t naturally occurring/dug from the earth. Over time and through direct experience, that self-imposed rule has been challenged. And boy am I glad those challenges have come, asking me to question my beliefs.

Growth, healing, and evolution happen when and where there is humility and malleability.

When we create a rule or belief from a thought or label, we box ourselves in (especially when the definitions and parameters are determined by someone else). In that box exists only so much room for growth and expanded awareness. Should we come to a place where our rules or beliefs no longer serve, we will undergo a deconstruction period that, depending on what you built your box out of and how attached you got to what you put in it, might be fairly time and energy consuming. Ask me how I know. (Insert smiley face here). 

I suppose without intending to, my THEME for the month of January has been this:

If someone or something challenges your understanding of yourself or the world, LET IT.

It doesn’t hurt to consider another perspective. And allowing ourselves the space to question our own premises doesn’t mean we are necessarily going to shift or change. It just means we are open to considering other perspectives. We are humble enough to not believe we have it all figured out (and none of us do so who do we think we’re fooling?). When we are wise enough to recognize that inner resistance is probably indicating an opportunity to become more aligned with our true self, life becomes easier. Sometimes the challenge will resonate and open up things for us. Sometimes not. Either way, we gain clarity and an opportunity to realign with our hearts.

But back to the crazy-beautiful gem above…

So here I am, with this amazing opportunity to work with this amazing simulant gemstone. How do I get to know it better? The cool thing about the crystal healing methodology that Michael Gienger teaches in his book, Crystal Power Crystal Healing (a required text for my crystal therapy certification course), is that it empowers me to work with lab created synthetic gemstones (sometimes called simulants depending on their purpose) from a deeply grounded place. Lab created crystals or gemstones such as these are often not listed in metaphysical crystal prescription books. So if you have the opportunity to work with a gem like the one above, how would you know what it might be offering in terms of healing properties?

The energetic message a person receives through their heartspace when working with a mineral is the ace of spades. It trumps all other externally-received information. So if someone asked me the above question, I would first encourage them to allow the gem to convey its energy directly. Meditate with the gem, carry it around (carefully), sit with it. Journal with it. Hang out with it. Play with it. It doesn’t have to be serious. Just pay attention however you pay attention.

If you do that and still desire to know more, or desire to know the physical aspects of the gem more definitively, this is where the methodology Michael Gienger created comes into play. It is rooted in geology, mineralogy, and crystallography. In other words – the sciences. While I would never call the art of crystal healing (which is an art for a reason) a scientific or scientifically-proven alternative healing modality (it’s not), we can still more firmly ground our understanding and experience of crystalline energy in what we can learn about stones through the lens of their geological, mineralogical, and crystallographic facts.

Crystals are crystals are crystals. There are 5 conditions any mineral must meet to be considered a crystal:
1. Naturally occuring
2. Inorganic
3. Internal atomic structure/1 of 7 crystal systems
4. Definitive chemical composition
5. Solid

This lithium niobate gemstone is not a crystal, technically, because it is not naturally occurring. While lithium niobate does exist in nature, it does so only microscopically. (It isn’t even listed on Lab created lithium niobate is mostly applied in the optics and electronics industries. It has a high refractive index (2.3) and was at one time used as a diamond simulant. With a Moh’s hardness of 5.5 however, Lithium Niobate is not ideal as a diamond substitute.

Let’s look at one of the above physical aspects this gem DOES have, which happens to be my favorite: the chemical composition. Lithium Niobate is LiNbO3

Based on his clinical studies as well as his knowledge of chemistry, Gienger provides healing properties for many elements individually in his textbook. This means that anyone can check out the chemical composition of any crystal and find out from the crystal itself, how it might be applied in crystal healing.

Lithium is an element which has been used in pharmaceuticals dealing with mental illness such as depression. Gienger mentions this and also attributes a general physical calming of the motor nervous system and nerves; improved memory; spiritual devotion and humility, as well as surrender to that which we cannot control.

Niobium (Nb) is a less common element in the crystal healing world. As such it is not listed in the textbook and when this happens, I head over to and read up on niobium uses and occurrences. Specifically, I pay attention to the Uses, Reactions, Geology, and Biology sections. Niobium is an element that assists me energetically when I am focusing on becoming more grounded, calming my mental auric field, and drawing that grounded earth energy up into my heart space.

Oxygen (O). Spoiler alert! Oxygen is the most common non-metallic element in the most common crystals used in crystal healing. We don’t even have to look at the book to know that oxygen is life-giving, life-sustaining, and is necessary for energy production. If someone is feeling especially unmotivated or experiencing an overall dullness, work with stones that contain a high oxygen content.

I spend maybe 15-20 minutes of checking out the most basic chemical information on the elements that make up the gem I want to work with, and I’m provided some insight that is extremely grounded and crystal-centric. This is but ONE way to uncover the healing properties of crystals in a truly grounded way. A crystal’s internal atomic structure, its mineral class, its manner of formation also tell us a lot about the various ways each crystal can become a crystalline ally in our subtle energy work.

*(Some might be wondering, “Why would I put stock into MG’s listed healing properties for elements, but not the healing properties for crystals found in common crystal healing books?” There are two clarifications I’d like to make. One: crystal healing books that are prescriptive in nature, have their place and purpose. They are not bad or useless or incorrect. The source of the information is simply different: this is important to some and not important to others. Two: the healing properties Gienger assigns to individual elements (as well as a number of crystals in the back portion of the book) are based on 2 important things: his study of chemistry at university, as well as the clinical studies done over a 5-year period in concert with a variety of medical and wellness professionals. These controlled clinical trials, which he speaks about in the forward of his book, were completed with a wide variety of people presenting with a variety of imbalances. Michael Gienger’s clinical studies are possibly the closest we’ve come to in terms of a long-term, clinical study for an as-yet scientifically-unprovable subtle energetic healing art).

Registration opens February 13 for this amazing, comprehensive, fully-facilitated, fully-guided crystal healing certification course. If you are drawn to crystals and have a desire to learn about the mineral kingdom’s effect on the subtle body from a deeply grounded perspective, please check out the course description page HERE
Students come to this course from a wide variety of vocations and practices:  gemstone faceters, massage therapists, jewelry designers, Reiki practitioners, Healing Touch practitioners, as well as those who want to practice crystal healing independently.
The course offers an affordable Independent Study track, as well as a certification track. Be sure to check out the Program Options and Tuition for more details.

Identification with thoughts – more on mindfulness

Identification with thoughts – more on mindfulness

I’ve been talking a lot about mindfulness and meditation practices in my blog and just in general because finding, learning, and integrating these practices helped me learn how to be with depression, anxiety, and panic attacks differently.

I know people want to hear how they can ERADICATE or banish depression and anxiety from their lives. In my experience, there is no way to minimize the effects without first learning to be in relationship with these energies. In the same way we talk about being anti-something politically…that is until we meet and get to know someone who happens to be that something. You know what I mean? There is no boogieman but coming to this realization is having the courage to come face-to-face with that which we fear. You have that courage. And you don’t have to do it alone. Find a coach, a spiritual counselor, a healer, a good counselor.

So the question is always “how?” How do I meditate? How do I have a mindfulness practice? What is the point? It seems hard. I can’t do it. Etc etc Here, Teal Swan provides a step by step process and explains the role judgment plays AND explains about that ever important gap that begins to form between the identity and the thoughts. Give it a listen. You can choose to cut to the chase at 29:30

Mindrolling with Raghu Markus, ep 113