Notes to Poem:
Gemstones for Healing

Peter Y. Chou

Preface: On May 10, 2012 (11 pm-2 am), George Noory interviewed Dr. John DeSalvo on radio. DeSalvo talked about "Power of Crystals" based on his recent book Power Crystals: Spiritual and Magical Practices, Crystal Skulls, and Alien Technology. DeSalvo co-authored Human Anatomy— A Study Guide with Dr. Stanley Stolpe, former Head of the Anatomy Department at the University of Illinois. For over 20 years, Dr. DeSalvo was one of the scientists involved in studying the Shroud of Turin. He has a B.S. in Physics and M.A. & Ph.D. in Biophysics. DeSalvo has received research grants from NSF, NIH, and USPH. Because of his extensive scientific background, I was open to his talk about supernatural elements associated with crystals and the mystical crystal skulls. Crystal healing is a pseudoscientific alternative medicine technique, and there is little peer-reviewed scientific journal articles regarding its efficacy. When a caller asked on which gemstone is the best energizer, DeSalvo told him that it's better to visit a gem store and find the best stone for oneself. DeSalvo's story of his own experience inspired this poem. In Crystal Healing for Animals (2002), Martin J. Scott & Gael Mariani wrote "Crystal healing is by no means a New Age phenomenon" but dates back to antiquity. The Notes below are my further exploration on crystal healing, crystal skulls, and ancient folklore on crystals.

Commentary on Poem "Gemstones for Healing"

Rocks and stones have healing power but
you need to find the right one for you.

Richard Hugo (1923-1982)

“Believe you and I sing tiny and wise /
and could if we had to eat stone and go on.”
These lines harken back to Richard Hugo's "Green Stone"
in Singular Voices: American Poetry Today
(Edited by Stephen Berg, Avon Books, 1985)—

All stones have luck built in. Some
a lucky line that curves a weak green back
into some age prehuman. If stones
could talk they'd tell us how they've survived...

The luck of each is the same but each suited.
to a different situation. That's why December,
told I was dying of cancer
I picked up a green stone I liked the look of
and carried it in my pocket...

When I'm totally recovered, another three months
they say, I'll throw the stone back where I found it.
I won't tell you where that is.
The same rock would not work for you no matter
how trivial your problem, how little
luck you need. Please know
I want your life to go on same as mine.
It's just essential you find your own stone.
It lies somewhere near you now, innocent,
and your eye will spot it in one right moment.
You must hold it close to your ear, and
when it speaks to you, you must respond.

Photo Sources: Richard Hugo (;
Richard Hugo's Gravestone (

Some say quartz crystals can cure cancer

Quartz Crystal

Quartz Crystal Rod
Quartz is the most abundant mineral in the Earth's crust, made of SiO4, silicon-oxygen tetrahedra. Australian aboriginal shamans attribute their magical powers to quartz (maban) the celestial power of light (J.C. Cooper, An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols, 1978, p. 135). In the 17th century, Nicolas Steno discovered that no matter how distorted a quartz crystal, the long prism faces always made a perfect 60o angle. Crystal healing is a pseudoscientific alternative medicine technique employing crystal stones as healing tools. Kirlian photography showed that holding a small double terminated quartz crystal (a point at both ends) will double the photographable portion of a person's aura. Notable proponents for crystal healing include Marcel Vogel, research scientist at IBM for 27 years, and William A. Tiller, Professor of Material Science & Engineering at Stanford (1964-1992). Vogel crystals are cut to the exact angle of 51o 51' 51", the exact angle of the Great Pyramid of Giza, so they may increase "universal life force". Tiller's book Science and Human Transformation: Subtle Energies, Intentionality and Consciousness (1997) explores human energy fields that have been ignored in scientific research. (Crystals for Cancer, Healing Power of Crystals, Crystal Healing for Cancer). Photo Sources: Quartz crystal (; Crystal rod (

crystal skulls can predict the future

Smithsonian Crystal Skull

Paris Crystal Skull

British Skull

Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull
Crystal skull are a number of human skull hardstone carvings made of clear or milky quartz, known in art history as "rock crystal", claimed to be pre-Columbian Mesoamerican artifacts by their alleged finders; however, none of the specimens made available for scientific study have been authenticated as pre-Columbian in origin. The skulls are often claimed to exhibit paranormal phenomena by some members of the New Age movement, and have often been portrayed as such in fiction. Some believers in the paranormal claim that crystal skulls can produce a variety of miracles. Anna Mitchell-Hedges claimed that the skull she allegedly discovered could cause visions, cure cancer, that she once used its magical properties to kill a man, and that in another instance, she saw in it a premonition of the John F. Kennedy assassination. Crystal skulls in the British and French museums came from the antiquarian Eugène Boban in pre-Columbian artifacts. However, particle accelerator tests showed them to be made in late 19th century. Crystal skulls in popular culture includes a film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) directed by Steven Spielberg starring Harrison Ford (Video Trailer ). Photo Sources: Smithsonian Crystal Skull (, Paris Crystl Skull (, British Crystal Skull (, Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull (

Crystals are found in clocks and computers

Atomic Clock

Computer Microchip
At Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, Lois Van Wagner's paper "Crystals: More Than Meets the Eye" outlines the atomic structure of crystals, shapes of crystals, kinds of minerals and their hardness. She discusses the quartz family and describes various gemstones (diamond, ruby, sapphire, emerald, geode), and concludes with a chapter on "Crystals and Modern Technology". Crystals have been valued by man throughout history as building materials or ornamental objects. Today they are further valued as technological materials. Solar cells and semiconductors are two recent developments based on the unique properties of certain crystals. Students are familiar with solar-powered calculators where photovoltaic energy is produced by the solar cell. When these thin layers of semi-conductors are sandwiched together they make up a transistor which can be used to regulate the flow of electrons in circuits, detect and amplify radio signals, produce oscillations in transmitters, and act as digital switches. Wrist watches and clocks whose numbers melt from one display into another are liquid crystals. Three appendices include student activities to identify minerals and grow crystals. There's an extensive annotated bibliography. Photo Sources: Atomic clock (; Computer microchip (

moonstones and sunstones eliminate toxins,
lace agate relieves soreness & headaches,
and green jade is used to ward off evil.

Star Moonstone

Star Sunstone

Blue Lace Agate

Moonstone is a sodium potassium aluminium silicate, with the chemical formula (Na,K)AlSi3O8. It is composed of two feldspar species, orthoclase and albite. The Romans admired moonstone, with its sparkling shimmer, and believed it was formed from frozen moonlight. Healing: aids digestive system, assimilates nutrients, eliminates toxins and fluid retention.
Sunstone is a plagioclase feldspar, which when viewed from certain directions exhibits a brilliant spangled appearancel. It has been found in Southern Norway, and Oregon, where it is the state's gemstone. The Medieval Sunstone was used to locate the sun in a completely overcast sky. Many believe that sunstone can repel destructive forces (including poisons) and help to relieve depression. Healing: treats chronic sore throats, cartilage and spinal problems, reduces stomach tension.
Blue Lace Agate was discovered by George Swanson on his farm in Namibia (South West Africa). He coined it "Gem of Ecology" because of the swirling blues and whites resembled clouds above the Earth (fragile blue marble) as seen from space. Blue lace agate is a gentle, calming stone that engenders tranquility. It is a stone of communication and enhances public speaking. Healing properties: relieves headaches, painful swollen glands in the neck, and soothe skin allergies.
Jade is an ornamental stone made of silicate minerals Nephrite and Jadeite. According to Chinese tradition, jade possesses an essential quality of immortality as of right (J.E. Cirlot, A Dictionary of Symbols, 1962, pp. 153-154). It is the Jewel of Heaven, product of the interaction of mountain and water, unified powers of yin and yang. Book of Rites: "Polished and brilliant, jade represents purity; smooth and lustrous, it appears as benevolence; its compactness and strength represent sureness of the intellect." (J.C. Cooper, An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols, 1978, pp. 88-89). Healing properties: aids body's filtration, treats kidney problems and adrenal glands. Jade removes toxins, rebinds skeletal and cellular systems, heals stitches. It assists fertility & childbirth, and balances body fluids. Photo Sources: Star Moonstone (, Star Sunstone (, Blue Lace Agate (, Jadeite (

Olympic athletes wear gemstones to
increase their prowess and performance

Green Tourmaline

Elaine Youngs

Mark Foster

Therese Alshammar
Michael Katz's book Gemstone Energy: Medicine: Healing Body, Mind And Spirit (2005) describes how gemstone therapy is used in energy medicine including Olympic athletes. Roxanna Bain writes in "Bling Therapy— Healing with Gemstones"— “Glen Christiansen, a Swedish Olympic record holder, has now broken nine world-swimming records! Glen reports, "the experience that I am having with the Green Tourmaline necklace is that it gives me a lot of strength. And I recover faster from hard workouts."” David Beckham was the first British footballer to play 100 Champions League matches. Beckham was spotted wearing Energy Muse gemstones at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards, at the Opening of Gordon Ramsey's restaurant in Los Angeles and at LA Lakers Games. Elaine Youngs won Beach Volleyball Bronze Medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics. Nicole Branagh won Bronze Medal and was the Top Scorer at the 2003 Pan American Games. According to Elaine and Nicole, "Our Energy Muse necklaces were intended to help us get the strength we need to support and accomplish our Olympic goals." Others wearing Energy Muse necklaces include Dwight Howard and Phil Jackson. Mark Foster is amongst the most successful British swimmers of all-time, winning 6 World Championships Gold Medals (1993-2004) in the 50 meters freestyle and butterfly. Therese Alshammar is a Swedish swimmer who has won three Olympic medals, 25 World Championship medals, and 43 European Championship medals. Both Mark and Therese wear Green Tourmaline necklaces during their swim meets (Video). Photo Sources: Green Tourmaline (, Elaine Youngs (, Mark Foster (, Therese Alshammar (, Gemstone: Energy Medicine (

while diamonds are a girl's best friend
and star sapphires add to their glamour

Marilyn Monroe

Star Sapphire
"Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" is a song introduced by Carol Channing in the original Broadway production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949), which was written by Jule Styne— "A kiss on the hand / May be quite continental, / But diamonds are a girl's best friend... Diamonds! Diamonds! / I don't mean rhinestones! / But diamonds are a girl's best friend." The song is perhaps most famously performed by Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes directed by Howard Hawks. Most of the song in the film is Monroe's own voice but she needed help in two phrases— "These rocks don't lose their shape, diamonds are a girl's best friend", and at the beginning with a series of high-pitched "no's", all of which were dubbed in by the soprano Marni Nixon. A Star Sapphire is a type of sapphire that exhibits a star-like phenomenon known as asterism. tar sapphires contain intersecting needle-like inclusions following the underlying crystal structure that cause the appearance of a six-rayed "star"-shaped pattern when viewed with a single overhead light source. The inclusion is often the mineral rutile, a mineral composed primarily of titanium dioxide. The Black Star of Queensland is believed to be the largest star sapphire that has ever been mined, and it weighs 733 carats. The Star of India (weighing 563.4 carats) is thought to be the second-largest star sapphire, and it is currently on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The 182-carat Star of Bombay, located in the National Museum of Natural History, in Washington, D.C., is an example of a blue star sapphire. Photo Sources: Marilyn Monroe (; Star Sapphire (

John DeSalvo walked into a gem store
to find the right crystal stone for him—

Dr. John DeSalvo
Dr. John DeSalvo is director of the Great Pyramid of Giza Research Association. A former college professor and Dean of Student Affairs, his B.S. degree is in Physics and his M.A. & Ph.D. degrees are in Biophysics. His books include Sindon: A Layman's Guide to the Shroud of Turin (1982), The Complete Pyramid Sourcebook (2003), Decoding the Pyramids (2008), Decoding the Enochian Secrets (2012). His latest book is Power Crystals: Spiritual and Magical Practices, Crystal Skulls, and Alien Technology (March 26, 2012). He hosts a weekly Saturday Night radio program called Mysterious Realms Radio with Dr. John. On May 10, 2012, George Noory interviewed John DeSalvo "Power of Crystals" on radio. DeSalvo said that crystals have been reported to "store information", transmit energy, and act as an amplifier for the subconscious. He believes there is a "space time crystal matrix which gives quartz its paranormal properties." Photo Sources: John DeSalvo (; Power Crystal (
Power Crystals

the amethyst and turquoise were too icy
and cold, the crystal ball much too large



Crystal Ball

The Crystal Ball

John Dee & Shew Stone
Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz (SiO2) often used in jewelry. It owes its violet color to irradiation, iron impurities, and the presence of trace elements. Ancient Greeks & Romans wore amethyst and made drinking vessels of it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication. Amethyst is the birthstone for February. Amethyst is mentioned in Exodus 28:19 as a precious stone in Aaron's breastplate. It is also the twelfth gemstone of the New City's foundation wall in Revelation 21:20. Healing: boosts hormone production, tunes the endocrine system and metabolism.
Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral that is a hydrous phosphate of copper and aluminium, with the chemical formula CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)84H2O. It is rare and valuable in finer grades and has been prized as a gem and ornamental stone for thousands of years owing to its unique hue. The gold burial mask of Tutankhamun was inlaid with turquoise, lapis lazuli, and carnelian. Healing: enhances the immune system, aids in the absorption of nutrients, stimulates the regeneration of tissue, and heals the whole body.
Crystal Ball or shew stone is believed by some people to aid in the performance of clairvoyance. A body of water, either in a container or on the ground, used for this purpose, is called a scrying pool. Celtic druids are one of the earliest known peoples to have used crystals in divination. During Europe's medieval period (500-1500), seers, wizards, sorcerers, psychics, gypsies, fortune tellers, and all other types of diviners also used crystals to "see" into the past, present, or future. Though early crystal balls were made from beryl, they were later replaced by rock crystal. The largest quartz sphere (weight = 106.75 lbs, diameter = 12.9 inches) is displayed at National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C. John William Waterhouse's The Crystal Ball (1902) shows a woman scrying to see the future.
John Dee (1527-1609) was an English mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, occultist, navigator, imperialist, and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I. He devoted much of his life to the study of alchemy, divination and Hermetic philosophy. Using a "scryer" or crystal-gazer, Dee sought to contact angels. When Elizabeth took the throne in 1558, Dee became her trusted advisor on astrological and scientific matters, choosing Elizabeth's coronation date himself. Dee amassed one of the largest libraries in England, and has been credited with the coining of the term British Empire. Rumor has it that Dee himself conjured up the storm that allowed England to defeat the Spanish Armada. The historian Frances Yates brought a new focus on the role of magic in the Renaissance and the development of modern science in her books The Rosicrucian Enlightenment (1972) and The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age (1979). As a result of this re-evaluation, Dee is now viewed as a serious scholar and appreciated as one of the most learned men of his day. Photo Sources: Amethyst (, Turquoise (, Crystal Ball (, John William Waterhouse, The Crystal Ball (, John Dee, (

He felt one gemstone after another
to see which had just the right vibes—
not beryl, topaz, opal, nor ruby,
even lapiz luzuli gave him no uplift.


Mystic Topaz



Lapis Lazuli
Beryl is a beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate with the chemical formula Be3Al2(SiO3)6. The name beryl is derived from Greek beryllos— "precious blue-green color-of-sea-water stone". The French word brille and Spanish brillo both mean "shine", and we have "brilliance" in English. Beryl is mentioned in Song of Solomon 5:14— "His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl". Other citations include the breastplate gem in Exodus 28:20, and the eighth gemstone of the New City's foundation wall in Revelation 21:20. Healing: helps stomach, intestines, ulcers, nausea and eating disorders; stimulates the mind, nervous system, spine and bones.
Topaz is a silicate mineral of aluminium and fluorine with the chemical formula Al2SiO4(F,OH)2. Pure topaz is colorless and transparent but is usually tinted by impurities; typical topaz is wine, yellow, pale gray, reddish-orange, or blue brown. Orange Topaz is the birthstone for November, and the state gemstone for Utah. Blue topaz is the state gemstone for Texas. Mystic Topaz is colorless topaz which has been artificially coated giving it the desired rainbow effect. The word topaz may be related to the Sanskrit word Tapas meaning "heat" or "fire". King James Bible mentions topaz in Exodus 28:17 as a precious stone in Aaron's breastplate. It is also the ninth gemstone of the foundation wall in Revelation 21:20. Healing: soothes, heals, stimulates, recharges, remotivates and aligns body meridians; releases tension, inducing relaxation; promotes openness and honesty.
Opal is an amorphous form of silica related to quartz, a mineraloid form, not a mineral. Its chemical formula is Hydrated silica. SiO2-nH2O. Opal is the national gemstone of Australia, which produces 97% of the world's supply. The word opal is from the Roman opalus. Pliny the Elder suggested that it was adapted from Ops, wife of Saturn, and goddess of fertility. Opal is the birthstone for October. Opal is found in the clock faces above the information stand in Grand Central Terminal Manhattan, New York, but not in Grand Central Clock below the statues of Hercules, Mercury, and Minerva. Healing: purifies the blood and kidneys; intensifies emotions and releases inhibitions; encourages freedom & independence; stimulates originality & creativity.
Ruby is a pink to blood-red colored gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum (aluminium oxide). The red color is caused mainly by the presence of the element chromium. Its chemical formula is Al2O3:Cr. Its name comes from ruber, Latin for red. Ruby is the birthstone for July. Rubies are mentioned in Isaiah 54:12— "I will make your towers of sparkling rubies, your gates of shining gems, and your walls of precious stones." However in Proverbs 3:15 "Wisdom is more precious than rubies" and Job 28:18 "the price of wisdom is above rubies". Also in Proverbs 31:10— "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies." Elizabeth Taylor's ruby & diamond necklace, a gift of Mike Todd, sold for $3.7 million at Christie's (12-14-2011). Healing: detoxifies the body, blood and lymphatic system; treats fevers, infectious disease; stimulates the adrenals, kidneys, reproductive organs and spleen; encourages passion and a zest for life.
Lapis Lazuli is a relatively rare semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense blue color. The main component of lapis lazuli is lazurite (25% to 40%), a feldspathoid silicate mineral with the formula (Na,Ca)8(Al6Si6O24)(S, SO4, Cl2). Lapis is the Latin word for "stone" and lazuli is taken from the Persian lazaward meaning "heaven" or "sky", therefore, it is the "stone of heaven" or "sky stone". In ancient Egypt, lapis lazuli was a favorite stone for amulets and ornaments such as scarabs. Sumerians used Lapis Luzuli extensively in temples and depicted the firmament and its sacred power (J.C. Cooper, op. cit., p. 96). Spiritual meaning: In early alchemy texts, Lapis Lazuli was considered as the Philosopher's Stone, turning base metal to gold. On the spiritual side, the Philosopher's Stone can bring self awareness, enlightenment, and to open the mind to all astral possibilities. Lapis is very well known for its purifying and healing abilities. It aids in opening the chakras for cleansing. James Joyce refers to Lapis Lazuli in Finnegans Wake"lazily eye of his lapis" followed by two circles intersecting to form vesica piscis— Eye to Enlightenment (Notes 1, 2). Healing: boosts the immune system, purifies blood, lowers blood pressure, cooling and soothing areas of inflammation; alleviates insomnia and vertigo, and overcomes depression; guards against psychic attacks; releases stress, and brings deep peace. Photo Sources: Beryl (, Topaz (, Opal (, Ruby (, Lapis Lazuli (

Then he spotted a glowing red stone
in the corner of a bottom shelf.
Picking it up, he put it in his palm
and felt the warmth energizing him.

Red Orange Agate

Gemstone in Palm
In Crystal Healing (2002), Simon Lilly writes about the color red (p. 41)— "Red is associated with heat and dynamism, lust, energy, and passion." Red is the color of blood. "Enthusiasm and drive require red energy... On a mental level, red energy manifests itself as assertiveness and self-confidence... Red energy is always needed at the beginning of any creative venture... Red stones include garnet, ruby, spinel, zircon, jasper, iron, red quartz, red tourmaline, hematite, and granite." In the chapter "Hand-Held Crystals" of Crystal Healing (pp. 92-93)— "Many crystal healers use a single large clear quartz to energize or cleanse the auric field. Intention and visualization are an important part of the effectiveness of this method... The first thing to establish is what methods feel right for you personally. If a recommended process doesn't feel comfortable, it will not be fully effective because, in these situations, it is the mind that directs and controls the flow of healing energy." When asked by a caller on Radio (May 10, 2012) on what gemstone is most suitable to energize oneself, John DeSalvo said that it's better to try them out at a gem store. This is the story he told that night on his experience at a gemstone searching for the right gemstone for him. Photo Sources: Red Orange Agate (; Gemstone in Palm (; Red Garnet (; Gem in Palm ( edited in Adobe Photoshop.
Red Garnet

Red Stone in Palm

He asked the clerk the name of this gem
and price, eager to buy this treasure.
Raising the stone to the light, it broke
when squeezed & she said "It's a jelly bean."

Jelly Bean
When John DeSalvo finished his story on finding his gemstone on Radio, George Noory had a good laugh and so did I. Whether his story was meant as a joke or a real experience didn't matter to me. It inspired this poem. Jelly beans are a small bean-shaped type of confectionery with a hard candy shell and a gummy interior. It is made mostly of sugar, corn syrup, and starch. President Reagan & Jelly Beans: Blueberry flavor was created for Reagan's presidential inauguration in 1981 when over three tons of Jelly Belly beans were consumed during the festivities. During Reagan's presidency, Jelly Belly beans were served in the Oval Office and on Air Force One. While writing Notes to the poem, I learned more about different gemstones and their purported healing properties. Photo Source: Jelly Bean ( edited in Adobe Photoshop.

— Peter Y. Chou
    Mountain View, 5-24-2012

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