Crystal Reflection & Refraction

This is Nicholas Pearson’s 2nd article for Vibrational Doorways, a series of articles focusing on the fundamentals of crystals and crystal healing.

In my last post I introduced the definitions of some important terms, such as crystal, mineral, and rock. By and large, these terms hinge around the concept of coherency. Coherency equates to a high degree of order, symmetry, and organization, on every level from the physical structure and composition of a crystal (and therefore in a mineral), as well as in the energy field that surrounds them. While we will be delving into coherent energy fields a little further on in this series, we will talk about one of the most visible effects of crystals’ coherent structures: reflection and refraction.

When someone says the word “crystal” you will probably immediately think of clear quartz, or perhaps clear glass, like leaded glass “crystal.” The world of precious gemstones is populated by transparent stones, too, and their relationship with light is one of the most important factors in humankind’s long obsession with the crystal world. There are many properties that can factor into the optics of any crystal, but the two most important to understanding how crystals work are reflection and refraction. These two terms describe behaviors of materials in relation to light, and this influences how they interact with other energy, too.

Reflection occurs when incoming light is bounced off of a surface. If you play with your favorite crystal under full sun, there will come a moment when you feel you might blind yourself as you turn it in the sunlight. This is the critical angle of reflection. Virtually all materials reflect visible light, in addition to many other wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum, of which light as we see it is only the minutest fraction. It is due to the reflection of specific wavelengths of light that we perceive all the color in the world; objects “appear” to be a certain color because they reflect photons of that particular color’s wavelength, which is then received by your retina. Thus, all substances must reflect something in order for us to see them.

With crystalline substances, the reflection takes place on a deeper level than just the physical. Crystals are tools for contacting higher consciousness because they “reflect” this consciousness back at us. The reason for this is because their highly ordered, coherent state is able to reflect back our own highly ordered, coherent state. However, more than likely, when we work with crystals, our experience will not be all rainbows and sunshine– it is more than probable that you will see some shadow in there, too. This is because our imperfections (or at least our perceived imperfections) stand in the way of seeing our true nature– that we are utterly perfect beings created in Divine Love.

Refraction, on the other hand, takes place when light (or other energy) is bent as it travels. We often think of beautiful, prismatic rainbows when we think of refraction, but it includes so much more. Magnifying glasses, burning globes, even fun house mirrors all refract visible light, because they are changing the angle by which this light travels. Crystals are also known for their refraction, and we see this best in transparent examples of minerals.

As light and other energy moves through a given medium, the angle is bent according to the arrangement of the molecules in that substance. If you’ve ever marveled over the way a straw appears to bend a curious angle when placed in a glass of water, this is refraction in action. Refractive functions in crystals result in a redirection. The key word I associate with this is focus. Crystals are catalysts for change because they can improve the quality of our focus, as well as shift that focus onto the right path. Energetically speaking, crystals reflect and refract energy such that they can direct the flow, bringing light, nourishment, and awareness to areas that are in need of healing or change. When we work with crystals in a therapeutic setting, they help to focus and redistribute the flow of energy to the recipient’s benefit.

The key to all of this is understanding that all materials interact with energy– both subtle and measurable forms of it. All the measurable frequencies can be mapped out on the electromagnetic spectrum, including visible light, infrared (heat), X-rays, microwaves, radio waves, and more. However, science is beginning to apprehend that this gradient of energies doesn’t include all the forces at work in our universe. Those that cannot [yet] be measured are referred to as “subtle energy.” If crystals interact with known energies in precise and predictable ways as a result of their inner and outer perfection, then they will similarly affect the spiritual energies that we haven’t yet learned to quantify.

Thus, when we talk about how crystals of all sorts support Light-with-a-capital-L, we aren’t all that far off from really understanding what mechanisms are really at play. Crystals, such as minerals and gemstones, are such profound healers because they help to direct Light and other energies where we need them most, oftentimes revealing the aspects of our psyche, body, and spirit that need healing the most. The next time you need some extra support, think about getting a little crystal R&R, and let the innate perfection of the mineral kingdom illumine your own inner perfection.

(c) Nicholas Pearson, March 2017

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