The healing power of gems and crystals
In a quaint antique shop tucked away neatly in the hustle and bustle of the Corporate Area, you will find an oasis - Colette at the Wanderer, home to myriad gemstones and crystals and other charming elements from all over the world.
For more than 30 years, Colette Garrick has ventured into unknown territories, discovering the hidden elements of these crystals and stones and then creating fabulous artwork that she displays in her shop.
"I wander all over the place. During my tenure at Air Jamaica, I visited several countries, including Mexico, Suriname, Kenya, and Morocco. But Brazil captured my heart. I found out about the amethyst and my journey began. For the first year, I went there three times," Garrick said.
Healing crystals and gemstones are among the most beautiful, mystical and profound energy medicine tools, which have been used for centuries throughout all cultures, religions, and empires.
Healing stones and crystals bring amazing benefits to the healing arena and have been gathered throughout the centuries. In the beginning, it was the beauty of many of the stones that first drew people's attention. These stones have been historically used in jewellery making, given as gifts at special times such as birthdays and christenings.
These days, they are also grouped according to the astrological sign that they are associated with. Having crystals in your environment is beneficial, which is why lovely pieces of crystals are carved into a variety of different shapes. Just having them in the room may contribute to creating a better healing outcome, and an improvement in your overall life.
Garrick found the artwork created from these gems and crystals intriguing and later found that they were European, African, and Indian in origin.
"It was interesting and stimulating and I started doing my own jewellery pieces. What I saw walking through some of the places in Brazil, I incorporated into my own style. While these persons were waiting to make a sale, they actually made the products right there on the spot, so you are able to see what they are doing," she said.
According to Garrick, by knowing the healing stone meanings, you are able to make better decisions about how you can put them to use in your life.
"You may recognise their beauty and find their presence in your life is beneficial to you. The vibration of some stones is very strong, including most of the quartz varieties, and can be incredibly useful to have close to you. If you feel depressed, stressed, or anxious, using one of the powerful lithium-based stones is helpful to relieve stress," she said.
Some say that the crystal or gemstone itself is not energised, but when stimulated by an external electromagnetic field, they oscillate and create a vibration that can be generated and directed. Others suggest that they hold their own energy field, and when connected to another energy field (such as a physical body), it can stimulate and enhance the similar energy pattern. Much like the molecules that attract other molecules, a formed crystal attracts other energy that it resembles.
"You can keep a crystal in your pocket, or wear it as a charm to help stimulate that particular energy needed. For instance, someone who is healing from a loss may want to carry a rose quartz crystal with them to help stimulate healing of the heart," she said.
Crystals can also be used in spiritual rituals or healing in a similar manner. You can also place them around your meditation space to promote inner peace, and stimulate connection to spirit or to amplify divine energy coming into your space or being sent out from your space; such as during a healing circle.
The Wanderer is constantly evolving. In 1982, The Wanderer was a Mexican craft shop, now it also carries an extensive collection of vintage Native American silver jewellery Feng Shui enhancers and a variety of ethnic art, craft, and jewellery.
In 2000, there were significant life changes in Garrick's life and she closed the shop and went to India, where she studied the art of Ayurveda that is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Over a nine-year period, she collected American vintage jewellery and then, after living in California for a while, she made the decision to return to Jamaica.
After an illness that floored her for a while, Garrick became involved in art estate, which gave her something to do following her road to recovery. She also started doing massages from the depth of knowledge she got from her studies in India.
"When I came back to Jamaica, I decided I would not reopen the shop. I got involved with the antique show here in Jamaica, where I would sell some of my collection and from there, four artists asked me if they could show things in the shop. I slowly began to reopen after that," Garrick said.
However, she is still smitten by crystals and gemstones that she believes can help persons in different ways as each stone has specific properties and benefits.