Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I Care About Crystals

atheist parent  blog
This week on social media I have seen a meme, piece of clip art, whatever you call it, that is actually upsetting me. I don't know how much you are on social media, but it can be a cesspit of innuendo, uninformed rioting, super bad science, pseudoscience, mythology, bullshit, and unarguably the worst source of breeding, progenitor-type nonsense. And once one person shares some meme of questionable voracity, everyone shares it.

It makes me feel corroded and drained...and I just remembered that I recently told you how I felt such a strong need to post And Now for a Moment of Science on my Facebook so often. But it's not enough.

I have already whittled my Facebook friend list down to bare essentials +essential family. Yet memes like this one still appear on my feed:

Yes, grown ups, get out your collection of crystals
 with differing vibrations and cleanse them.

As Rachel, a woman on an atheist parenting group that I participate on at Facebook, said:

And why, you might be asking, do I care? Live and let live and all of that. This type of belief isn't hurting anyone!

Why Do I Care?

I care about this because so many of these people are adults with children. They are raising kids and passing this nonsense on to their waiting children, thereby crippling the minds of these children. I care because one of the smartest sciency kids I know just told me yesterday that she does not NOT believe in ghosts. I care because this crap is all over social media and is treated as fact. I care because ADULTS I know actually believe in genuine freaking guardian angels. I care because the weight of time and space this kind of thing gets is enormous.

I care. But what can a person do?

  Maybe I'm too grumpy to write about this...  


  1. Hi - I am new to your blog; I came across it when I was looking for more information on Camp Quest (my dream would be to have my son attend one summer)...anyway, I saw your post about crystals. I have similar topics that just send me off into the grumpy deep end. However, there is a good book called the 7 Laws of Magical Thinking by Metthew Hutson. He draws on various sciences to explain why we engage in magical thinking and why it is not all bad to do so. I recommend it - not to change your mind, but to give insight into the why of it all.

    1. I think I own that book. ;)

      Also, thank you for commenting. I was actually checking into my blog today because I was going to delete this post. It's so negative and it's just not my normal vibe, so to speak. ;)
      But I'll leave it if others can relate a bit...

  2. I have a chuckle a little because I remember a time where I was really into crystals and astrology. I actually still do collect crystals but for different reasons now, I just think they're pretty. I was thinking the other day about the whole concept of birthstones though. I mean, what the heck are birthstones and why do certain stones correlate with certain birth months? Mine is opal and I do have an opal ring currently (though I've lost a couple of my opal rings in the past) and it's curious how that all gets started. I also have rings that have the birthstones of both of my girls. It's interesting the things we do without really thinking about it whether it's birthstones or something like superstitions.

    There was a series of books out called The Secret Circle that was above a witch coven. It was interesting and a lot of my interest in the so-called properties of crystals started there but I re-read the series not too long ago (because of the TV show) and found how much of it I no longer believe. But, I was 14 when I was into this stuff too. :)

    1. I have several friends who are Wiccan or other forms of nature worship, so I truly and really try to Get It. Just sometimes I get intolerant...
      Can you say a little bit about what attracted you to the Wiccan practice? How did it appeal to you and what did you feel, at the time, it offered you. Thanks. :)

    2. At the time, it was a way to try and regain control over a life that wasn't within my control. I had been Catholic prior to that and there were too many questions for me to remain Catholic, first of all and then later on, after losing my virginity, that was kind of the end of any tenuous hold I had left.

      At the same time, I dabbled in figuring out what I believed. I already had been collecting rocks and some crystals having been to rock shows with my dad and was already fascinated by certain gemstones already so reading on what possible magic crystals had fascinated me and astrology played into that too. I had friends who were also into it so there was some peer stuff there and being extra sensitive, felt sort of a power outside of myself during storms and such. So that, being nature minded (grew up on a ten acre farm the first 10 years of my life), sensitive, all of that had me seeking out something beyond myself but not so rigid like Christianity and again, something with magic because I was looking for that control.

      Keep in mind too, there were movies out such as The Craft back when I was in my teen years so it just all came into play. I had a spell book; a friend of mine gave me other spell books. I left them behind when John and I moved from our first place; it was one of the first ways I started denying myself because I left them due to his dislike of anything witchcraft based (I don't own Harry Potter books for the same reason; he's absolutely against the books). For the longest time, I had what my brother called my alter. It had my dolphin collection, my crystals, and other things on a book shelf.

      Nowadays, for me, it's more spiritual than anything else. I do still feel that there's some power within nature. I practice mindfulness for Dialectical Behavior Therapy for my Borderline Personality Disorder. Some of the skills training will bring in some stuff that starts to get closer to woo than I like but much of it doesn't. It was all self-practice though, or with a couple of my friends so nothing serious, you know? There actually is a pagan group in my area that I found on meet up but I think I'm past that time where much of that would attract me. It did in my teens and probably a good bit of my 20's but being almost 36 now, I tend to seek out things that are more solid. Granted, there's a lot I haven't figured out yet (death being one of them) but I'm not as into the supernatural as I used to be.

      But who knows, it's very possible that things would have been different if I hadn't married someone who was so anti-pagan beliefs to begin with. I might have kept some of those beliefs and rituals.

    3. Thank you so much for your thoughts.
      Correct me if I am wrong here, it seems as though it's a personal empowerment thing. I thought that, especially for a girlfriend of mine who seemed to feel very empowered the more she embraced the identity of "Wicca".

      You said you might have remained Pagan if you hadn't married someone anti-pagan. Maybe, but I do think you would have loved the Potter books. ;)

      Seriously, though, I also appreciate you mentioning the idea of spirituality. As an atheist I still feel spiritual about some things, but my definition of "spiritual" might be different from other definitions. For me it's more like the sublime...the Grand Canyon, Weather, our atmosphere. :)

      Anyway, thank you again, Janeen, for your openness and honesty and authenticity. :) SO glad you are here.

    4. I have read the Harry Potter books. Checked most of them out of the library, I think. Just don't own them. And I loved them; the last two hundred pages especially I could not put the book down. I need to read them again. I'm actually (since I managed to rack up a number of credits from audible) planning to put the audio version of Harry Potter on the Kindle. I have no issues with the books and if John would learn to think outside of what his church tells him to think, he probably wouldn't have an issue with them either. He did see one of the movies but it was back before he went back to the church and once that happened, total mind shut.

      And yes, personal empowerment probably did have a lot to do with it. Just seems something very empowering about not having control over your life but having control over the elements as well. And I do still feel that power or force out there; I'm just not as inclined to believe I have any control over it. Would be nice though!

      And thanks Karen, it's good to be here too! I love reading of the different ideas that come up in your blog, definitely has me thinking. I need to do a little more blog writing myself but this past month has been very draining taking care of two girls who came down with the chicken pox at different times. I am burned out and I haven't had a Saturday to myself in weeks!

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    6. Such interesting discussion. I think, even as I turned away from Christianity - I remained "spiritual". Spiritual, to me, is the sublime - and very connected to the natural world. I also feel there is a need for ritual; it is important to us as humans. So, I am drawn to things like crystals or other metaphysical practices and tools - however, it is the way it is approached that makes the difference to me. If it becomes too supernatural in the approach - I can be turned off. Maybe, for me, it is the difference between metaphysical and supernatural.

    7. I totally get that. I think I'm very similar. I see this with what I'm learning in DBT. It uses a number of Eastern influences such as meditation. Our skills group starts off with a 5 minute mindfulness exercise using a Tibetan bell (many of the mindfulness apps use the bell as well). There will be things here and there that comes in that tend towards Eastern philosophies. A lot of it is great and I can use. But sometimes it starts to stray towards the supernatural and I don't feel as comfortable with it. Fortunately, it doesn't do that too often.

  3. New to this blog and find the comments interesting but I agree with Karen that there's so much of this out there. I come from s Mexican catholic family and most of the time I prefer not to engage in negative conversations especially related to religion when I'm in family reunions but I the crystals topic really make me upset. I also believe that it is a trend associated with being into nature which is totally wrong

  4. New to this blog and find the comments interesting but I agree with Karen that there's so much of this out there. I come from s Mexican catholic family and most of the time I prefer not to engage in negative conversations especially related to religion when I'm in family reunions but I the crystals topic really make me upset. I also believe that it is a trend associated with being into nature which is totally wrong


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