Silica Quartz is the most common mineral on this planet, so common that many people consider it to be the 'bones of Mother Earth'. Quartz crystal is the clear, transparent form of silica Quartz. It epitomises the concept of a crystal; the word 'crystal' is derived from 'krystallos', the name that ancient Greeks gave to Quartz, which they believed was water magically frozen by the Gods to become eternal, unmelting ice. Silica Quartz also forms in many colored varieties. Natural radiation within the Earth combined with chemical impurities causes purple Quartz, which we know as Amethyst. A little more radiation, heat and pressure will cause yellow Quartz or Citrine. Pink crystals get their color from titanium or tiny mineral inclusions and are known as Rose Quartz. Venus (or Angel) Hair Quartz, Rutilated Quartz, Lodolite Quartz and Tourmalinated Quartz are clear crystals that contain inclusions or mineral growths.
The beauty and symmetry of natural, hexagonal Quartz crystals, whether they are perfectly clear or cloudy, is enchanting, which may be why this gem is as popular today as it has been throughout the ages. Quartz has been considered important and magical by many cultures throughout history, including our own. A very personal magical stone that seems to develop a 'connection' with the person who works with it, Quartz is used magically to help scrying, divination and far-sight, develop psychic abilities and focus your intent and energy for increased success.
Quartz is a 'communication crystal' that seems able to absorb, focus and transmit energy of any vibration. Because of this ability the crystal is often used as a 'generator' to amplify the energy that is being worked with. Quartz a very effective prayer generator - whisper your prayer or wish to the stone in the morning and then leave it somewhere safe where it can focus and amplify your intent and transmit the energy of your prayer into the Universe. The crystal will keep working long after your everyday routine has driven the prayer from your conscious mind.
Because Quartz is so good at absorbing energy you must take care to cleanse it thoroughly after working with it. The easiest way to cleanse a crystal is to run it under cool water for a few minutes. If you like to use visualization then imagine the energy the crystal has absorbed as a gray smoke that clings to it and see the water washing this smoke away, leaving the crystal bright and sparkling clean. Keep your personal Quartz wrapped in cloth or in a pouch to protect it from stray energy and don't let anyone else touch it without your permission.
Clear Quartz is renowned metaphysically for its ability to stimulate psychic development, and is well known to many as the stone used to create a crystal ball or scrying sphere (though the most popular crystal balls in the Middle Ages were made with Beryl). If you can get hold of a Quartz sphere it is a wonderful focus for scrying, contemplation and meditation. The circular shape seems to be very effective for containing and amplifying your energy and intent, and the crystal is believed to open your mind and stimulate your imagination while you are gazing into it, making it much easier for beginners to get encouraging results. Flawless, perfectly clear Quartz spheres tend to be very expensive, but inclusions, clouds, swirls and fractures within a sphere give it character. Personally I prefer an 'imperfect' sphere for crystal-gazing because it offers me shapes, patterns and colors to focus my attention on.
In magical rituals clear Quartz can be used to symbolize any stone, person, object or color because of its clarity and ability to absorb energy. Quartz is a blank canvas onto which you can paint any magical desire. A Quartz stone can be 'programmed' for many purposes - as a healing aid, to focus power, to encourage communication, to develop psychic abilities, to bring rains... once upon a time it was even believed to be responsible for pregnancy!
Phantom Quartz are clear, transparent Quartz crystals that have the remains of a black crystal at their heart, which looks as though it is dissolving into the Quartz. These crystals are said to be powerful helpers that can concentrate Underworld energies and send your love, questions or messages to those who have passed beyond. It is also said to be helpful for processing 'phantoms' from your past, dark memories that cloud your mind and trouble your emotions.
Snow Quartz is a very common Quartz, usually found as water-polished pebbles on sea shores and river banks. Snow Quartz is usually opaque, as white as snow and slightly glassy. It sometimes has dark seams or stains caused by iron within the Quartz, which tend to make it look even more like snow. Snow Quartz is believed to be an excellent stone for transmitting healing energy, especially for emotional healing.
Crystal Skulls are believed to store and transmit magical energy so effectively that some people consider them to be natural 'super-computers'. The Singing Skulls of American Indian legend have become very popular among modern healers and magic users. There are believed to be thirteen Skulls, though not all of them have been rediscovered yet. Perhaps the most famous is Sha-Na-Ra, which was found in Mexico and dated at around 5,000 years old by an investigation commissioned by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). Some sources say that Sha-Na-Ra could be up to 100,000 years old, though I've never seen any evidence that would support that claim. According to legend, the thirteen skulls will one day come together and speak their wisdom to the Tribes of Man, but no individual will hear their message until they are spiritually ready to listen. Modern, carved Quartz skulls are becoming quite common as gift items and they make a nice focus for meditation, especially when contemplating the mysteries of the Ancients.