Katy Perry doesn’t exactly need magic to attract a man. Beyond her best-selling albums, sold-out concerts, and campaigns for everything from makeup to fashion brands to potato chips, she attributes her prowess for easily ensnaring a love interest to something else. “I don’t stay single for long,” Perry says in the July 2014 issue of Cosmopolitan. “I carry a lot of rose quartz, which attracts the male. Maybe I need to calm it down with the amethyst.” Gossip sites say she learned about crystal healing from Madonna, who Perry says gave her the number of a crystal healer after the singer’s public breakup with musician John Mayer that same year. “Everything stems from people’s energy, so it makes sense,” she adds. “I sleep with a rose quartz in my hand at night. It’s supposed to help you find love and also heal your heart.”
Perry is just one of several musicians who’ve recently vocalized their beliefs (or experimentation, at least) in crystal healing. Earlier this summer, Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast revealed that she employs crystal healing to help quell her anxiety, going so far as to hold crystals in her hands while flying. “I carry a pouch of crystals with me everywhere I go.... One is for anxiety and depression, one is Moonstone, which helps with clarity,” she says. “They’re basically all to help center and balance you.” Cosentino also asserts that this practice was helpful while penning the band’s latest record, California Nights, in which themes of self-actualization and self-realization are woven throughout.
This uptick in the alternative method’s popularity is evidenced everywhere from popular Etsy shops to the shelves of Urban Outfitters and, yes, the sex toy market. One possible reason could be attributed to the desire to seek out new treatment options—for everything from chronic pain and depression to cancer—outside of medications that can be, for busy working musicians, hard to come by regularly at best and habit-forming at worst.
The latter inspired Karen Bolt, a 56-year-old crystal healer based in Atlanta to take a more holistic route. Bolt spent decades working in ICUs and emergency rooms before sustaining a back injury that hindered her ability to work. Hesitant to turn to prescription pills, she began practicing yoga, reiki, and meditation, which led her to crystals. Now, she works full-time as a co-owner of online crystal shop My Dream Crystals and as an energy healer—her house contains more than 100 various types of stones. “I was really disillusioned with traditional medicine,” Bolt says. “It doesn’t look at the root causes—most of these medicines are to treat symptoms, and once you’re on it you usually end up being on it for a long time, if not forever.” The root cause she refers to, in her eyes, is often emotional issues we don’t deal with and are then manifested in the form of physical ailments.
Last June, 19-year-old Atlanta-based artist Raury appeared on Sway Calloway’s radio show, Sway in the Morning, bringing with him a handful of crystals and minerals, which he laid out on the table. When Sway asked, “Are those rocks or crystals?” with a touch of confusion, Raury explained that one was malachite, which helped him “stay grounded” and be a better communicator; one was aragonite, which kept him calm; and one was a regular, clear crystal, which “pretty much serves all the purposes—it connects all of them together.” He added, “The thing about crystals and whatnot is that, just like your heart and your brain have electromagnetic waves, like brainwaves, these crystals give off waves too, that resonate with your brain and your heart and are good for your health and wellbeing. Everything is vibrations. This whole thing about vibes and energy, it’s not a hoax.”
Sam Smith recently posted an Instagram photo of a table displaying what appears to be several types of crystals, as well as a small golden pyramid. He captioned it: “I have always been very sceptical (sic) about Crystals, and what they do etc. However, I have decided to give it a go!! So today I purchased my first little Collection. I'll keep you informed with how I'm doing with them. Either way thou (sic), they are beautiful xx.” A few months prior, R&B singer-songwriter Kehlani discussed in an interview that she wants to start a blog with her friends and write about healing crystals and protein shakes.
Regardless of the belief among these artists and those who staunchly feel crystals can realign your emotions and energy, there remains no proven evidence that this alternative healing method warrants anything more than the moniker of pseudoscience. Live Science associate editor Elizabeth Palermo writes that, “Scientifically speaking, there is no evidence that crystal healing can be used to cure diseases, because diseases have never been found to be the result of a so-called energy flow in the body,” and that, “Furthermore, no scientific studies have shown that crystals and gems can be differentiated by chemical composition or color to treat a particular ailment.” The Daily Mail went so far as to report that crystal use is likely nothing more than a placebo, and that the practice can be harmful if used in the place of traditional medicine. Others, however, say science merely hasn’t caught up yet.
That includes Ashley Leavy, 30, the founder and educational director of the Love & Light School of Energy Medicine, based in Madison, Wis. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in botany, Leavy began working at a New Age shop and subsequently logged hundreds of hours of professional training courses to learn all she could about crystal healing. She began conducting sessions with clients, which led to teaching classes so others could do the same. (Her courses, which are approved as official continuing education providers by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, run from $15 mini-classes to $695 for the 11-course, 26-hour crystal healing certification program.) She urges people not to write crystal healing off as “a silly fad that has no basis in reality, because there is something bigger going on there that maybe science can’t explain yet, but I think we’ll get there.”
Leavy says she’s not surprised successful musicians, especially those on the up-and-up, would be attracted to the holistic remedy. “There’s a huge push toward alternative medicine right now for people, especially when dealing with things like high levels of stress or anxiety and just needing to get more grounded,” she explains. “These musicians, a lot of them are amazingly talented people—and people who are highly creative are usually a little more higher energy. They’re at a higher vibratory frequency, they’re operating in a more spiritual realm and pulling down this creative influence from who knows where.” She says it would make sense for them to turn to crystals for focus and comfort “because crystals match that higher frequency they’re already feeling.”
For what it’s worth: Since Perry’s statement, multiple reports swirled that she and Mayer had rekindled their romance. Shortly after Raury’s conversation with Sway, he announced his fall tour, dubbed “Crystal Express” after releasing a song of the same name from his debut album, All We Need. Best Coast’s latest album was met with generally favorable praise, and Cosentino received support from fellow artists when she publicly took a stand and called out a concert review she considered sexist. Around the time of Smith’s Instagram snap, it was revealed that he’d been tapped to do the theme song for the new James Bond film Spectre.
Both Bolt and Leavy acknowledge that the practice is not for everyone and that there are plenty of nonbelievers who write off the methods as something for flighty or “woo-woo” types. But for those interested, Leavy recommends visiting a crystal store, picking out a stone that catches your attention, and simply carrying it around while being open to any changes or mood shifts you might detect—adding that everyone experiences crystal energy in different ways and one stone may have different effects on one person than it has for another. “We’re used to thinking about Western medicine where you take a pill and it’s gonna be pretty much the same for everyone who takes it, but crystals don’t work like that,” she says. “I have doctors, lawyers, and engineers who all just know that there’s something more to these stones than meets the naked eye.” And therein, perhaps, lies the little bit of magic.