In 1992 I stumbled across a tiny shop hidden up a narrow wynd in St Andrews in Scotland. There weren't any showcases or fancy panels just a couple of shelves and a guy sitting on a stool. On the shelves was a display of crystals - polished ones and rough ones, small ones and large ones. At first I thought it was an exhibition then I noticed the price tags. I turned to the guy and must have looked a bit puzzled, he got off his stool, pick a crystal from the shelf and held it out to me, "hold it," he said smiling. And so began my love affair with crystals.
The Story of a Crystal Healer
This story of a crystal healer is the introduction to a series by the author features crystals and gemstones.
From St Andrews to Kirkcaldy
the start of the journey
While I held onto that crystal Chris explained to me about the vibrational energy that every crystal contains. At first I was sceptical to say the least even when he explained about crystal technology, crystal radios or bye-gone days, quartz watches and computers we all now take for granted.
As an ex-nurse I knew there was more involved in how a person healed than science could explain, I had experienced some pretty amazing things over the years, but I can't honestly say I have given it much thought except maybe to mutter something about mind over matter occasionally.
The crystal I held in my hand that day was a simple piece of rose quartz - it just about filled the palm of my hand, was a very pale pink and was a rough piece of... well... stone. Yet while Chris talked I found myself enclosing it between my two hands, a warmth spread throughout my body and I felt incredibly peaceful. I've since learned that rose quartz is a calming crystal, something I was sorely in need of.
1992 was a bad year for me, I was going through some major problems and really had no idea where life was taking me. I put down the crystal, thanked Chris and walked out. I made it as far at the car, I even had the key in the door before I was certain I had to have that crystal. Back to the shop I sped and just about snatched the same crystal out of a startled woman's hand. That chance visit changed my life and three weeks after that I had my own crystal shop in Kirkcaldy.
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Setting up shop
Everything just fell into place, another chance meeting told me about a retail unit for rent cheaply in a shopping centre in Kirkcaldy - one day, and £50 rent money secured that.
Online I found a wholesaler - it was in Huddersfield hundreds of miles from where I live - but - only 30 miles from my friend's home. So I drove down to her and the pair of us set off to Huddersfield to check out what was what. I confess we were so busy chatting we got a bit lost and ended up near the centre of the city with no idea how to get to the place. Then the strangest thing - we stopped at a junction and I just knew which way to go. Whether that many crystals were sending out vibrations I can't scientifically prove but they drew me through every twist and turn till we stopped outside this Aladdin's cave.
Honestly it was magical and I was like a kid in a sweet shop. Money and weight dictated my purchases that day but I managed to get everything I needed from the crystals themselves to bags and boxes to put them in.
The car packed and buzzing with crystals I was back up the motorway to Scotland within 3 days.
I found an old draper's cabinet with a glass top and display drawers in an antique shop (cheap), bought some plywood round occasional tables (cheap) and with a few other bits and pieces and a few pretty tablecloths, I was in business.
I called it The Gathering because I wanted it to be a place where people felt welcome and a gathering is a very Scottish thing.
Kirkcaldy is an old town and the surrounding area was rich in coal mines at one time. Of course by 1992 the mines were long gone and the area was fairly well depressed. Which might seem a strange sort of place to set up a crystal shop. I can't honestly tell you why I started there, it just felt right and so it proved to be.
The Gathering attracted all sorts of people from old miners eager to share their finds and buy new treasures, to mums who had 'parked' their kids in the shopping centre crèche situated opposite me, to people searching for something, just like me. It was an amazing experience and I learned my trade on the job to begin with, handling the crystals, trusting my instinct much of the time and of course devouring book upon book.
I learned to take what I needed or liked or believed for each book and learned even more from the crystals. I did health shows and fairs and met all the people I needed to help me learn. I eventually took several courses in crystal healing then several other complementary health therapies to keep those certificates company.
Like many people who find their feet on the alternative health path, once I started there were so many ways to go, so many new discoveries to make.
That little shop led to the next one in Perth and then one in my hometown of Crail before I took over the post office there, but that is another story.
I don't have The Gathering any more, my life moved on but I still love crystals and from here I hope to share some of my experience and some of my gem and crystals with you.
Haste ye back as we say in Scotland.