Colleen McCann

Capable of healing body and mind, the energy transforming properties of crystals are versatile.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Capable of healing body and mind, the energy transforming properties of crystals are versatile.

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“Crystals can be unbreakable or as delicate as sand falling apart in the surf”

Mystical crystals have been used throughout history, from enhancing the function of modern technology to their ancient spiritual healing properties. Colleen McCann is an American fashion stylist turned shaman who discovered her fascination with crystals at a young age. She says, “I got the bug for stones when I was gifted a rock tumbler for Christmas as a child. It came with a kit to turn all the pieces into jewellery.” With obvious creative flair and 15 years in the fashion industry under her belt, she loved her career and wanted to combine the two. “I am a healer, but didn’t want to give up fashion,” she says of her search to unite her creative profession and spiritual practice.

McCann experienced her psychic awakening around her 30th birthday, sparked by a number of strange and accurate premonitions after receiving advice from a well-known healer, who helped her fine-tune her gift, urging her to study and embark on her journey as a healer. She wanted to find a medium that translated her spirituality into something women could understand, which helped her embrace creativity. “Most people are accustomed to readings with tarot cards, but I work with crystals because it’s something women love,” she says.

After studying crystals for more than a decade with a private feng shui mentor, McCann learnt different uses for them within healing modalities like shamanism and reiki. The former was studied at The Four Winds Center, Los Lobos Lodge in Olmue, Chile with the Q’ero shaman of Macchu Picchu. She says, “That was such a great experience as I was also able to meet Chilean shamans and experience the similarities and differences between each lineage.” The energy practitioner explains how energy can linger, inhibiting your health or emotional state and influencing the course of life. She aims to clear low vibrations from the body, wardrobe or flat with “curated crystal prescriptions” depending on the issues faced at that particular moment.

For crystal novices , McCann recommends eight essentials to create a well-being starter kit. She explains the purpose of each, “Black obsidian offers grounding and protection; carnelian provides relief and support for female issues, citrine puts women in a productive mindset, rose quartz encourages self-love and love of others, lapis lazuli promotes the speaking of truth and clear communication. Clear quartz operates as the higher channel of connection with your higher self, intuition and spirit guides; amethyst absorbs negative energy and chrysocolla is the goddess stone.”

Whether you use crystals for meditation, to wear, sleep with or keep by your bedside, they can impact your energy, and particular stones can be effective in alleviating stress, sleep deprivation, jet lag and anxiety. McCann says, “I always carry black obsidian with me as it is a great stone when you need grounding and protection. I am constantly on the airplane and in crowds due to the nature of my work so I wear a piece around my neck. Malachite is also known to offer protection from accidents and during air travel, while aquamarine protects during seafaring adventures and hematite curbs jet lag.”

For nervous travellers, blue calcite helps to settle the rapid heartbeat associated with stress and anxiety, aventurine soothes an overactive mind and sugilite is said to release emotional fear. McCann says, “Lepidolite is the Xanax of the crystal world. I usually keep a small piece in my bra when I travel. If you don’t deal with turbulence well, keep a larger size piece in your hand for the duration of the flight”.

McCann says looking after crystals is key. “You should not let anyone else touch your stones as they have become attuned to your energy. You wouldn’t share your toothbrush or mascara now would you?” She cleans her crystals every day. “Sunlight is very good for clearing energy, a full moon’s light or burying them are also good methods. I like to use reiki, or to cover them with sage smoke. Make sure you do your due diligence when researching how to clear your stones in water as they may disintegrate – crystals can be unbreakable or as delicate as sand falling apart in the surf.”