A while back, over a period of two years, I cut a collection of crystals for a Native American group who used them for what they termed the extraction of negativity from the body. We powwowed, pondered, and discussed. We perused, squeezed, and rolled many raw six-siders in our hands, looking for volunteers whose destinies called them to this service. We designed different configurations of angles and geometries that we concluded would vacuum dissonant energies from the body. They tested each newly designed and cut crystal to determine how it worked, and then asked me 
to change the design slightly, according to their desired specifications. It was your standard research-and-development project. After we agreed upon each new design alteration, I would disappear on a vision quest. Closing myself in my grinding room, with ears plugged and cooling water flowing, I pressed the crystal faces to the 18-inch diamond-impregnated lap wheel, forging the new geometric. I would emerge transcendent after indeterminate chunks of time, as if having spent days on a high desert plateau in the blazing sun, seeking divine deliverance.

Cutting and polishing a crystal can leave 
me feeling like I’ve performed feats of magic, changing the illusion into something more real. By my becoming all consumed in this ritual, the rules of time and space get broken, and I have no desire to fix them. At the end of the process, I have a glistening, transparent, precisely shaped, glowing object in my hand: the mystery of changing substance into frozen light. And I wonder, “Did I have anything to do with this?”


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