Guest Author - Lauren D´Silva
There are plenty of crystal reference books on the market these days and unfortunately many seem to be copycat versions of trusty favourites that have been on my shelves for years now. Gems of Wisdom, Gems of Power: A Practical Guide to How Gemstones, Minerals and Crystals Can Enhance Your Life has something new to offer the crystal enthusiast and I think it makes a worthwhile addition to the bookshelf.
Unlike most of the ‘directories’ of stones in print this reference book has been organised by grouping stones under their main attributes. For example we have sections entitled:
The Love Stones
Stones for Money and Prosperity
The Stones of Protection
I enjoyed this fresh approach. You can head for the chapter that matches the issue you’d like to work on and read through the recommended stones for the one that seems most appropriate for you. I feel the organisation of the book will benefit those who would like a stone for a specific purpose but are less confident about choosing a stone by intuitive means.
There are some little quirks that arise by organising stones in this manner. As those who love crystals will know most of them are able to support us in more than one aspect of our lives, therefore of the groupings limit a full appreciation of each stones properties and potential. To partially address this the author has covered properties of the more commonly used and easily available stones in more than one section. So for example Amazonite is covered in ‘Stones for Money and Prosperity’, ‘Stones for Emotional Wellness and Healing’ and ‘The Stones of Creativity’! These stones are cross-referenced at the beginning of each entry for them and the contents pages at the front list all the stones under their section headings alphabetically so it easy to find the entry you need.
Each entry includes a clear photograph of the crystal in colour. The descriptions of the stones are engagingly written and often include historical background to the stone including its mythology as well as the therapeutic uses, which makes for a more interesting read than a standard directory of crystals. I found out some new and interesting facts that I hadn’t come across before in my ‘crystal library’.
Some other features that appealed to me included ‘Buyer beware!’ boxes that appear through the book warning of some of the more commonly misleading practices in the selling of stones, such as dyeing and passing off cheaper stones to imitate more expensive ones. I also enjoyed the inspiring quotations from the world’s great thinkers to provoke thought and contemplation for each area of life covered.
The only big criticism I have is the small section in ‘The Basics’ at the start of the book which is entitled ‘To Cleanse or not to Cleanse?’ Kennedy mentions that some healers recommend cleansing stones, but shows a lack of understanding of the range of methods available and decides that it is probably okay to bring your new stone home, let it rest a few hours and then use it:
it’s a pretty good bet that a few hours undisturbed will allow them to slough off any undesirable vibes
Speaking as an experienced crystal healer and teacher of crystal healing I can tell you this is dangerous advice and following it at some point would become ‘crystal harming’ not healing! I have felt the sorry state of some crystals when they have come to me and the energy does not simply ‘float off somewhere’ by itself in a couple of hours. Equally I know that if I transferred crystals between clients I would be risking a transfer of the energies I’d just shifted from one onto the next. Please read my article on Cleansing Crystals here if you don’t know how to cleanse and do not use uncleansed crystals. Cleansing is normally simple, often quick and using stones uncleansed simply isn’t worth the risk.
Rant over! This is a lovely book overall and one bit of bad advice shouldn’t put you off getting a copy. There is much that is of value in it and much to enjoy too.