• UO Obsessions: Crystals & Minerals

    It's all about the VIBES. We're longtime fans of incorporating gemstones and crystals into little at-home still lifes, but to learn more about the properties and histories behind them (other than just being fun to look at!), we're digging a bit deeper. Crystals and gemstones have long-standing associations with balance, healing, and purpose. In Eastern cultures, they are traditionally organized by "chakra," or "wheel" in Sanskrit. Each chakra is believed to relate to seven different major centers of energy in the body, and when all are in balance, you're able to be more in tune with your perceptions, feelings, and choices: the best version of yourself. And whether you use the chakra stone color system to meditate, reflect on self-awareness...or just to create your own little corner of good vibes at home, it's a cool thing to learn more about. We also really love the idea of giving a little set of crystals as a gift — the perfect totem for displaying, arranging, or carrying around in your pocket. From smoky quartz to fire opal, read on to learn more about the gemstones associated with each chakra, their traditional uses, and balancing properties. 
    Photos by Michael Persico 

    First Chakra 
    Sanskrit Name: Muladhara
    Represents: Security and survival
    Location: Base of Spine
    Energy Functions: Grounding, stability, security, physical energy, loyalty
    Malfunctions: Fear, insecurity, feelings of not belonging, feeling burdened 
    Colors: Black, red
    Symbol: Elephant
    Element: Earth 
    Planet: Mercury
    Crystals: Crystals traditionally connected to the chakra are black and red: Red is a warm color that brings heat, and why these crystals associate with blood and circulatory issues: black tourmaline (for protection), hematite, black obsidian (identifying factors that limit growth), smoky quartz (a link to connect the first and seventh chakra), dragon eye (security, reliability), garnet (patience), red jasper (grounding), ruby (amplifier of consciousness). 

    Second Chakra
    Sanskrit Name: Svadhisthana
    Represents: Creativity
    Location: Navel, Sacral
    Energy Functions: Creativity, desire, healing, emotion, intuition
    Malfunctions: Guilt, lack of boundaries, issues with kidneys or reproductive organs, rigidity
    Colors: Yellow/orange, orange, orange/red
    Symbol: Crocodile
    Element: Water
    Planet: Venus
    Crystals: Orange crystals traditionally relate to life's energy: carnelian (creativity and decision making), orange calcite, fire opal (spiritual growth), orange agate (balance), orange topaz, sun stone, and orange chalcedony.

    Third Chakra
    Sanskrit Name: Manipura
    Represents: Action and balance
    Location: Solar Plexus
    Energy Functions: Intellect, ambition, willpower, protection
    Malfunctions: Anger, greed, shame, seeing obstacles everywhere, suppressing emotions
    Colors: Yellow, yellow/green
    Symbol: Ram
    Element: Fire
    Planet: Mars
    Crystals: Amber, yellow (imperial) topaz, yellow calcite, tiger's eye, yellow jasper, golden calcite, citrine, pyrite

    Fourth Chakra
    Sanskrit Name: Anahata
    Represents: Love and compassion
    Location: Heart
    Energy Functions: Compassion, emotional balance, unconditional love, healing
    Malfunctions: Fear of rejection, easily hurt, codependent 
    Colors: Pink, green
    Symbol: Deer
    Element: Air
    Planet: Jupiter
    Crystals: Pink traditionally represents vibrations of harmony. Green represents health, love, and creativity: aventurine (physical health, balancing the heart), emerald (love), green calcite (soothing), green tourmaline (opens the creative elements of the heart), heliotrope (protects the heart's circulation), jade, chrysocolla, peridot, and malachite (release blocked energies), unakite, lepidolite (removes stress), kunzite (blood circulation), pink calcite (releasing harmful emotions), rhodonite  (patience), rosenquartz (creating and manifesting love and self-love).

    Fifth Chakra
    Sanskrit Name: Vishuddha
    Represents: Power of communication
    Location: Base of Throat
    Energy Functions: communication, expression, guidance, voice
    Malfunctions: Weakness, fear of judgment, shyness, insecurity
    Colors: Blue, light blue/green
    Symbol: Peacock
    Element: Ether
    Planet: Mercury
    Crystals: Blue is traditionally the color of faith and protection, associated with: angelite (higher intelligence), aquamarine (self-expression), blue topaz (rid fears of communication, stimulate creativity), chrysocolla (self-esteem), larimar, Tibetan turquoise (asking for help), lapis lazuli, blue agate, blue chalcedony, and blue sapphire (cleansing thoughts and emotions).  

    Sixth Chakra
    Sanskrit Name: Anja
    Represents: Intuition, wisdom, identity
    Location: Brow, Third Eye
    Energy Functions: Understanding your purpose, awareness, concentration
    Malfunctions: Confusion, depression
    Colors: Indigo, dark blue
    Symbol: Swan
    Element: Silver
    Planet: Uranus
    Crystals: Dark blue traditionally associates with intuition, sensitivity and open-mindedness: azurite, (facing your beliefs), falcon's eye (perspective), kianite (reminder of constant change), lapis lasuli (brings forth hidden beliefs), sugilite (releases guilt), indigolite (truth-realizing). 

    Seventh Chakra 
    Sanskrit Name: Sahasrara
    Represents: Transcendence, humility, vastness
    Location: Crown (inside the top of head)
    Energy Functions: Enlightenment, perfection, cosmic consciousness 
    Malfunctions: Grief, feeling isolated, fear of death, inability to relate or understand
    Colors: White, Violet, Purple/Blue
    Symbol: Lotus flower
    Element: Cosmic energy
    Planet: No one planet is associated
    Crystals: amethyst, apophyllite,calcite (clear, white, optical), chevron amethyst, danburite, diamond, euclase, iolite, clear quartz, gold, herkimer diamond, moonstone, opal.

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