With alternative lifestyles, crystal healing, and an interest in all things mystical at an all-time high, it’s high time we learned how to educate ourselves on crystals!
Once a part of the creative industry, Ben of Ready.To.Rock brings his unique take on crystal healing. He tells his story, shares how he got started, and gives us a few in-depth tips for how to spot fakes! Read on to learn more!
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Tell us about your journey as founder of Ready.To.Rock! What is one unquestionable life event that nudged you into the realm of crystal healing, and later aromatherapy?
I started my career in advertising, where I stayed for a couple of years. During this time, I went from Graphic Designer to Art Director. I later set up my own boutique agency which I helmed for almost eight years. Towards the later part of this cycle, I became a little disillusioned with the industry in general. I felt like my work didn’t resonate much with me, and that it was time for a fresh start.
Instead of remaining within the corporate machinery, I wanted to do something that was more ‘tangible’, especially for the world around me. Crystals and aromatherapy were both introduced to me by friends. I slowly immersed myself in these two worlds as a hobby. Gradually, it evolved into a way of life, a newfound passion, and a business. It was totally unplanned, but the best surprises happen when you follow the flow and see where life takes you!
Share your thoughts on the recent surge in popularity of alternative lifestyles and crystal healing, tarot, astrology, meditation, and aromatherapy!
I’m glad that these holistic lifestyles have slowly exploded into the mainstream (especially since the pandemic)! They provide a new and surprising way to help people navigate the challenges in their lives. Sometimes, these methods have a way of awakening your inner awareness of possibilities previously unknown to you. They may even provide new ways of thought and perceptions that help you make sense of things in your life.
In the same vein of thought, do you think it does more harm than good when unscrupulous vendors start selling fake or imitation crystals to unsuspecting buyers on a crystal healing journey?
It’s much easier now to freely connect, discuss, and openly share these interests without judgment for the reputation they once had. However, there is danger in people embracing these practices simply because they are trendy, or something their celebrity or influencer ‘gurus’ are into. When you get into it just for the glam (or the ‘gram), there is no due diligence involved. Many sellers simply copy and paste product descriptions and info with no knowledge of what they’re selling. These sellers of fake crystals and essential oils give genuine passionate sellers a bad name. They may also cause unnecessary difficulties for us in the future.
Another point I would like to highlight is that crystals are not miracle cures that can change your life overnight. Think of them as additional companions to complement your growth and nudge you in the right direction. It’s when you co-create with the energies with joy and intention that the magic happens!
Share your tips for how to identify fake, manmade, or imitation crystals so as to not negatively impact one’s crystal healing journey!
Always do a bit of research before making any purchase! It’s not too difficult to spot if the seller truly has an interest in crystals, or if they’re just drop shippers looking for an easy way to make money. Google is your best friend. There are lots of websites (both metaphysical and mineral and geology based) that can help provide additional info about a specific type of crystal. You’ll learn where the crystal is mined and its distinctive features. Some sites even have tips to outright spot an imitation.
Price point is also a factor. If it’s too cheap compared to the average price of most vendors, something is definitely up. Sometimes, looking at the colour can also provide insight. If a crystal is overly-vibrant or saturated, it’s likely been dyed to enhance its appearance. Though some crystals are really beautifully vivid, not all things in nature were made to stand out in our 4K filter frenzy world 😊
Oftentimes, the average customer may not have a straightforward way to tell if a crystal is authentic. However, as long as it feels good to you, go with your gut feeling and just enjoy the process!
What are some easy ways to determine if a crystal is authentic?
Here are some examples of gemstones that are commonly mislabeled!
- Herkimer “Diamonds” are double terminated Quartz crystals that are only found in Herkimer County in the outskirts of New York. Many sellers have Herkimers from Afghanistan, China, and certain parts of Europe. These are a different type of double-terminated quartz and should not come with the Herkimer prefix (and the increased price that comes with the name).
- Larimars are a rare gorgeous crystal reminiscent of clear blue waves and skies. They’re only found off the coast of Barahona in the Dominican Republic. This is the only place in the world with this particular mineral deposit, formed under unique circumstances.
- Turquoise is another commonly-mislabelled crystal, both intentionally and unknowingly. They are only mined in select locations in the world. There’s a lot of information online about famous turquoise mines and their distinct formations and patterns. A lot of turquoise on the market is actually howlite dyed blue. They’re unfortunately sold at the same price as rare Turquoise stones due to how they are visually perceived upon first glance.
- Citrine is also a commonly debated crystal! Most Citrines that you find online are heat-treated amethysts. They can easily be identified from their burnt, extra bright, and orange tones. Genuine citrine is naturally darker or occurs in muted shades of yellow to brown. Essentially, the gems undergo an extreme heat treatment that emulates the natural process that occurs over thousands of years. This is why some feel both variations feel pretty similar energetically. There is no right or wrong. If a particular piece is calling out to you, by all means, bring it home. Just be mindful of the price. Genuine Citrines (especially the Congo variety) are generally priced much higher than their heat-treated counterparts.
There are many trade names that are given to crystals. Trade names are designed to make a material more marketable, and do not often truly represent what the mineral actually is. Once again, Google is your best friend! It will make more sense with practice and reading! For example: amazon jade is actually amazonite, crocodile jasper and kambaba jasper as the same, and scenic quartz is the same as lodolite and garden quartz.Ben, Founder of Ready.To.Rock
What are some crystals that are great to keep around for setting intentions and to use with crystal healing? How can we use them?
Most of us have heard of or encountered Clear Quartz, Rose Quartz, Amethyst, and Citrine. You can think of them as evergreen all-rounders; perhaps your ‘basic starter crystals’. Citrine and Jade are perhaps the most famous for abundance, wealth, confidence, and creativity. Meanwhile, Amethyst can help with sleep, intuition, peace, calm, and serenity.
There are hundreds of crystals out there and lots of them overlap benefit-wise. However, some noteworthy choices similar to Citrine are Malachite, Green Aventurine, and Pyrite. Likewise, crystals with similar energies to Amethyst are Selenite, Moonstone, Angelite, and Blue Lace Agate.
Spheres, pyramids, raw specimens, or even crystals shaped into bowls, plates, and candle holders make beautiful statement pieces! At home, they fit great in the living room, dining area, and in the bedroom. They can radiate their loving energies out into the space, just like energetic ‘Wi-Fi’ while you work, play, or sleep. Smaller pieces like tumbles are great to keep on a nice dish by your workstation, next to the bed, or even under your pillow. You can reach for them when you need some energetic help, and this physical activity is a lovely way to be present in the moment too. Jewellery pieces like pendants, rings, and bracelets are also an excellent way to keep your intended energies close as you breeze through the day. Hopefully, they can be of help whenever you need a little extra boost.
Where do you source your crystals and ingredients for your roll-ons, room fresheners, and other personal care products?
Most of the crystals in my store come from various suppliers all over the world. Some of them were introduced to me by chance, and others through research and sourcing. Competitive pricing aside, I usually purchase from suppliers based on the feelings and energy I get from them. There were also times when I hadn’t intended to bring a particular crystal into my shop but felt that they were calling to me. So, I brought them in knowing that I am a conduit and transit point for them to reach their intended souls.
For the aromatherapy side of things, I rely on my experience spent trying out different brands. The essential oils that I use in my blends are a mix of brands based on the aroma, and also the energetics that I get from them.
Do you think that the integrity that goes into selecting the best materials translates into an end product that has heart, love, and joy? And do you think the end user can feel this energy?
I believe integrity is a form of your personal energy. A person will always know or ‘get the feeling’ that their purchase has been made with love and care. When it feels good, it will truly be like a gift that you’re happy to receive, use, and share with those around you.
What inspires your fragrance blends? Tell us a little bit about that, and your learnings that contribute to how you put them together.
A lot of my aromatherapy blends started off as personal or custom blends to address specific issues. These included blends to calm restless minds and soothe tummy issues, headaches, or skin irritations among others. A few others were for more general issues and provided calm, peace of mind, focus, and space cleansing. Along the way, they evolved into a wide range of aromas with benefits to lend their magic to both physical and emotional as well as holistic areas.
The blends under the BOTICA natural remedies label make their way into everyday aromatherapy oils, inhalers, and space mists. They can be used as your daily BFFs for overall well-being. The blends under Ready to Rock are more energetic in nature. These include blends for aura and space cleansing and purifying, as well as gem essences that are infused crystal energies in a bottle. Likewise, our ever-growing Palo Santo range encapsulates magical and sacred healing energy into handcrafted modern-day formats like mists, roll-ons, and soaps.
Most ingredients for our physical remedy blends are selected based on their therapeutic properties. Energetic blends, however, usually start out as a rough idea. The train of thought goes from ‘perhaps I’ll start off with this’, followed by a little bit of reading and research. The end formulation is usually a mix of research and intuition.
What is one compliment about your products that you have never forgotten, and that continues to fuel your passion today?
There’s been so much amazing feedback over the years on how my blends have truly helped people in various aspects of their lives! These include:
- Eczema flare-ups that almost instantly calm down.
- Customer’s mums feeling a deep sense of relief from painful conditions.
- The ability to open their hearts and channel compassion.
- The ability to fall asleep easier at night.
- More feelings of confidence, leading to certainty in their ability to turn their lives around.
This is a massive confidence booster for my personal formulations! My modern-day ‘potions’ are handcrafted with intention and care, so it’s truly humbling to hear that they can bring ease to people around me. A number of customers have also remarked that opening their parcels inspires a sense that they are receiving a special self-care gift. This warms my heart and inspires me to keep doing what I do.
Related: Crystal Jewellery, Hope, and Healing with Sharon from feithe
What is one thing you wish you knew when you started your business?
To trust my gut instincts and intuition – they are never wrong! In the early days, I constantly pushed myself to achieve more. I felt the need to achieve a certain amount of things in a day or reach certain milestones in a given timeframe. This took so much energy. Over the years, this led to many occasions in which I felt absolutely drained and in need of downtime to re-energise. It would have been much more energy-efficient to do things at a natural flow, maintaining a constant supply of energy, rather than functioning in extremes.
How are you hoping to expand your business in the future? Tell us a little bit about that.
I am still a one-man operation at the moment. There are so many ideas in my head, but I don’t have enough energy and time to get started. I’d like to be able to find a suitable way to have a small team, and perhaps grow the brand into a small setup just like my previous boutique agency. I’m also planning to collaborate with a few other local entrepreneurs from similar or different industries. This mix and match of personalities could be a whole lot of magic!
In the meantime, I plan to continue growing the Palo Santo range with more new variants launching in the next couple of months. It’s such an uplifting oil aroma-wise. Infusing its healing energy into additional product types would allow more people to experience its uplifting, grounding, and renewing energies.
What’s your main focus for 2023? Share a little bit about that! What are some ways we can all contribute to a better world?
Slow down and rush less. In business, we’re taught to hustle and maximise opportunities. However, for the type of work I do, chasing results has a contrary effect. When I am calm, relaxed, and in the flow and zone, the intention, love, and magic behind what I do are more palpable. In turn, this will be of greater help to the intended audience. I feel this conscious effort of being more present can have an astounding effect on all of us. It allows us to truly appreciate our blessings, enjoy our little moments, and radiate more love and kindness to those who cross our paths.
As per my own personal mission statement – ‘Help People’, this year will be a continuation of that theme! My goal is to just try to help, or be a supportive shoulder to as many people as possible through my energy, interactions, and products. As someone wise once said, ‘Give and you shall receive’.
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