Book shows how crystals can change your life
Gemstone expert releases book about how the power of crystals can improve your life
Peacock ore is a crystal that will boost your self-confidence.
Pure white celestite will calm anxiety.
A moonstone can assist fertility. And if you’re trying to get over your ex, try snuggling up to a hunk of rosy pink kunzite.
Tamara Driessen — a.k.a. Wolf Sister — is cheerfully matter-offact about all this. For her it only makes sense that we should seek to unlock the hidden power of gemstones and crystals.
“For some people, crystals are definitely weird,” Driessen, 34, admits with a laugh. “I think everybody is entitled to be skeptical and not believe.” But Driessen, a true believer whose popular workshops are a driving force in her success as a crystal healer and shamanic practitioner, argues the skeptics are diminishing in number as an ancient culture reasserts itself in the 21st century.
So is crystal therapy a religion or a science or something in between? “I think it’s something in between,” Driessen says. “Crystals are used in technology: rubies in lasers, quartz in watches. I wouldn’t say it’s a religion — crystals come from the earth. But they are spiritual in nature.”
She also notes that it’s easy to keep your favourite crystal close to you as the small-sized equivalent of a security blanket. “Crystals are more portable. You can’t carry a green park or a tree around with you!”
So Victoria Beckham always has one in her handbag. Lena Dunham wears a crystal necklace to block negativity. Katy Perry figures crystals will attract new lovers. And Gwyneth Paltrow advocates putting one in an unmentionable place.
Driessen herself admits that she sometimes conceals a small crystal in her bra. Indeed, bras are a frequent repository for crystals these days. “And some are big ones,” Driessen giggles. “There was one workshop where a woman pulled a large crystal out of her bra saying she wanted it to be big enough not to fall out!”
Driessen explores and embraces this resurgent culture in a new book, The Crystal Code: A Modern Guide To Crystal Healing, published in Canada by Penguin. She sees it as a user’s manual, its centrepiece a guide to the unique powers of 70 different crystals, each beautifully photographed.
She proceeds from the premise that these stones represent cosmic technology, capable of absorbing and transmitting energy. And she offers reams of advice — how to pick one, how to keep them clean to ensure “the purest connection possible” and how to “program” them for the greatest personal benefit to the user.
Driessen had an intuitive attachment to crystals even as a child. She will always remember the day she visited London’s Natural History Museum and took home her first crystal — a pink quartz specimen.
“There are some things you often don’t remember, but I remember this,” she says. “It feels like it was yesterday, and after I bought it, it was at my side everywhere I went.”
But it wasn’t until she was a teenager that she started wondering whether crystals might exert a life-changing power. “I used to hang out at the local witches shop on weekends, and I carried a tiger’s eye for confidence.”
She saved up to buy a garnet ring after reading that garnet attracted love. And that worked at least temporarily when she found a boyfriend.
As a teenager she was still “dipping in and out” of the crystal culture. “But when I was in my 20s and experiencing a lot of anxiety and depression, I had therapy with somebody who produced a lot of crystals. That brought me back into the game.”
She began studying various crystals, “choosing which ones would support me in what I was going through at the time and keeping them close by.” She discovered that her anxiety was helped by three stones in particular — amethyst, celestite and black tourmaline. “And
Crystals are used in technology: rubies in lasers, quartz in watches. I wouldn’t say it’s a religion — crystals come from the earth.
then came this shift in energy and a feeling that things were changing and opening up in my life.”
When she was 29, she went to Bali to apprentice with a shaman and learn about various healing practices and how to connect with “the spirit and energies of different elements of nature.” That’s when she learned how to meditate with crystals “rather than just leaving them to roll around in the bottom of my handbag.”
The unhappiness and anxieties of her 20s were receding. She returned to England, and friends began seeking healing sessions with her. Word of mouth about Driessen began to spread. To her astonishment, people started following her on Instagram. Today, her crystal workshops sell out regularly.
She returned from Bali with the shamanic name of Wolf Sister. “It’s my business name, my screen name on social media — also a kind of alter ego,” she explains. And as Wolf Sister, her dedication to mystic wisdom extends far beyond crystal healing workshops. She contributes to the New Age magazine The Numinous, teaches supernatural potion-making classes at London’s flagship Topshop store, is a resident teacher at the She’s Lost Control lifestyle store in Hackney and leads moonlight meditations in Croatia.
Driessen’s book is coming out at a time when there has been an upsurge of interest in crystal culture on both sides of the Atlantic. Crystals now show up in homewares, bath salts, jewelry and wardrobe accessories. And shops are springing up everywhere.
“I really think it’s because of the digital age,” Driessen says. “The internet and social media make all this much more accessible. When I was a teenager, I was limited to a few local shops and what they had or maybe a visit to Camden Market. Now, on the internet, you have access to so many crystals worldwide. And so many people are talking about them online.”
She has some basic advice for the novice crystal buyer: Trust your intuition. “A specific crystal will set off a specific vibe for a specific person,” she emphasizes.
Author Tamara Driessen studied the effects of crystals with a shaman in Bali.
Tamara Driessen leads workshops and classes in England and Croatia.