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Crystal Clear: Extraordinary Talismans For Everyday Life

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From amethyst to obsidian, Basic Witches author Jaya Saxena explores the multi-faceted meanings and history behind eleven popular crystals in this relatable personal essay collection. Highly prized for their beauty, crystals can take the shape of jewelry, household objects, and an array of self-care products. But it’s the ideas they stand for that draw people to their raw From amethyst to obsidian, Basic Witches author Jaya Saxena explores the multi-faceted meanings and history behind eleven popular crystals in this relatable personal essay collection. Highly prized for their beauty, crystals can take the shape of jewelry, household objects, and an array of self-care products. But it’s the ideas they stand for that draw people to their raw forms. Like astrology, tarot, and modern witchcraft, crystals help practitioners understand themselves and the wider world around them. In this collection of sharply observed essays, Jaya Saxena reflects on—and challenges—the ideas associated with eleven popular stones, including unconditional love (rose quartz), happiness and success (citrine), balance (amethyst), self-care (black tourmaline), purity (pearl), imposter syndrome (pyrite), toxic positivity (carnelian), change (opals), traditional concepts of marriage (diamonds), presentation versus identity (obsidian), and death (amber). The result is a deeply personal book with universal appeal, exploring how we assign meaning and power to crystals in order to give meaning and power to our lives.


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From amethyst to obsidian, Basic Witches author Jaya Saxena explores the multi-faceted meanings and history behind eleven popular crystals in this relatable personal essay collection. Highly prized for their beauty, crystals can take the shape of jewelry, household objects, and an array of self-care products. But it’s the ideas they stand for that draw people to their raw From amethyst to obsidian, Basic Witches author Jaya Saxena explores the multi-faceted meanings and history behind eleven popular crystals in this relatable personal essay collection. Highly prized for their beauty, crystals can take the shape of jewelry, household objects, and an array of self-care products. But it’s the ideas they stand for that draw people to their raw forms. Like astrology, tarot, and modern witchcraft, crystals help practitioners understand themselves and the wider world around them. In this collection of sharply observed essays, Jaya Saxena reflects on—and challenges—the ideas associated with eleven popular stones, including unconditional love (rose quartz), happiness and success (citrine), balance (amethyst), self-care (black tourmaline), purity (pearl), imposter syndrome (pyrite), toxic positivity (carnelian), change (opals), traditional concepts of marriage (diamonds), presentation versus identity (obsidian), and death (amber). The result is a deeply personal book with universal appeal, exploring how we assign meaning and power to crystals in order to give meaning and power to our lives.

30 review for Crystal Clear: Extraordinary Talismans For Everyday Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Renata

    I've been a fan of some of Jaya Saxena's online wrings and I've been semi-ironically getting into crystals but I probably wouldn't have picked this up if I hadn't read some online reviews that were like "uh this is not a guide to crystals it's actually set of beautiful personal essays" and I was like, sick, I love beautiful personal essays!!! Each essay focuses on one crystal and its alleged purposes/abilities but then applies that out to moments in Jaya's life/personality/whatever and they're al I've been a fan of some of Jaya Saxena's online wrings and I've been semi-ironically getting into crystals but I probably wouldn't have picked this up if I hadn't read some online reviews that were like "uh this is not a guide to crystals it's actually set of beautiful personal essays" and I was like, sick, I love beautiful personal essays!!! Each essay focuses on one crystal and its alleged purposes/abilities but then applies that out to moments in Jaya's life/personality/whatever and they're all just really honest and #relatable and lovely. Highly recommended even if you're not into crystals. (But also it's 2021, why not get into crystals.)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Isaac R. Fellman

    I loved this. It's an autobiography of Saxena's private search for meaning, but with a lightness of touch that avoids all the potential traps of that idea. Beautiful balance of chatty and erudite. I loved this. It's an autobiography of Saxena's private search for meaning, but with a lightness of touch that avoids all the potential traps of that idea. Beautiful balance of chatty and erudite.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Karen Mace

    This was a wonderfully insightful book that looks into more than just crystals and what they can do for you. The author bares a lot of her soul in these passages as she looks into meanings of different stones along with times in her life that she felt drawn to each rock. I've become fascinated other the past few months by how others have been introduced to the world of crystals and I loved reading about how Jaya became involved in the world of crystals. She looks into the history of the use of cr This was a wonderfully insightful book that looks into more than just crystals and what they can do for you. The author bares a lot of her soul in these passages as she looks into meanings of different stones along with times in her life that she felt drawn to each rock. I've become fascinated other the past few months by how others have been introduced to the world of crystals and I loved reading about how Jaya became involved in the world of crystals. She looks into the history of the use of crystals through the centuries and exploring why the crystal industry is currently booming. It seems many of us are looking for more spiritual help in our wellbeing. The book is full of fascinating facts on different stones, alongside great quotes, illustrations and all showed off on soothing shaded colour pages! some of the stones she features are carnelian, citrine, black tourmaline etc and I enjoyed finding out more about each stone and their meaning and uses. Her crystal stories would often take her off on different tangents and that made for a really interesting read finding out her thoughts and opinions on a wider variety of subjects. It touches on politicial, social and sexist issues alongside imposter syndrome and help with positive thinking so it was a really well rounded book - a little bit of everything! Even the muppets get a mention and that's always fine by me to see them included! This book has given me a little more of an insight into various crystals, alongside Jaya as a person and I found it a really fascinating and inspiring book! My thanks to the team at Quirk for the advanced e-copy in return for a fair and honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kate Henderson

    I loved the dedication at the beginning of the book "for every kid who picked up a rock and saw more than just dirt" - very sweet!! Firstly, I loved the illustrations in this book - incredibly original, great colours. Loved it! Could see myself having some of the artwork framed and put on the walls of my flat. The book was different to what I expected, I thought it would be about crystals and its uses but it was more of a history of the crystal and the authors thoughts, feelings and anecdotes ab I loved the dedication at the beginning of the book "for every kid who picked up a rock and saw more than just dirt" - very sweet!! Firstly, I loved the illustrations in this book - incredibly original, great colours. Loved it! Could see myself having some of the artwork framed and put on the walls of my flat. The book was different to what I expected, I thought it would be about crystals and its uses but it was more of a history of the crystal and the authors thoughts, feelings and anecdotes about the crystals. This does make the book more original and complex than a lot of the bog standard crystal books I have read in the past - but I'm not sure if I liked it. It read more like fiction than non-fiction. I didn't like the layout of the text - I was lucky enough to be given an advanced electronic copy, so I don't know if it was just the formatting of my ARC, or if this will be the finished layout. I found the text very close together and it felt very dense. Not necessarily in the writing itself, but it appeared that way with the layout. I found this very difficult to read at times, it was definitely original - but it wasn't for me.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kay's Pallet

    This book had all the excitement of finding something you want to learn more about. I've always been a rock collector and interested in these types of things, I just haven't go around to researching it. Then this book fell onto my lap at work and it feels like fate. The only reason I'm giving this 4 stars and not 5 is because the author occasionally went on these tangents that I guess were related to the rocks/ crystals. I got a little lost on how they connect at times. Other than that, I really This book had all the excitement of finding something you want to learn more about. I've always been a rock collector and interested in these types of things, I just haven't go around to researching it. Then this book fell onto my lap at work and it feels like fate. The only reason I'm giving this 4 stars and not 5 is because the author occasionally went on these tangents that I guess were related to the rocks/ crystals. I got a little lost on how they connect at times. Other than that, I really enjoyed this and will be continuing my research into crystals.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amna Waqar

    An insightful read into the world of crystals and to be honest, it wasn't what I was expecting. Saxena somehow manages to relate every crystal to a movie (From You've Got Mail to the original Muppet Movie) or life event, thus making it into a memoir. The metaphysical properties given for every stone were quite intriguing; such as black tourmaline eliminating negative energy, carnelian being the stone of communication and public speaking by giving the user confidence and amethyst being the stone f An insightful read into the world of crystals and to be honest, it wasn't what I was expecting. Saxena somehow manages to relate every crystal to a movie (From You've Got Mail to the original Muppet Movie) or life event, thus making it into a memoir. The metaphysical properties given for every stone were quite intriguing; such as black tourmaline eliminating negative energy, carnelian being the stone of communication and public speaking by giving the user confidence and amethyst being the stone for calm and peace. This book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    The title of this book and the highlighting of crystals indicated to me they would be featured more heavily yet this book did exactly what it said as a deeply personal collection of essays on a variety of themes. Basically the crystals serve as a theme for the book and a prompt for each essay. I found it to be well written and interesting, but the author's personality and perspective is utterly reversed mine making it frustrating to not have conversations. I guess I just don't read a lot of essa The title of this book and the highlighting of crystals indicated to me they would be featured more heavily yet this book did exactly what it said as a deeply personal collection of essays on a variety of themes. Basically the crystals serve as a theme for the book and a prompt for each essay. I found it to be well written and interesting, but the author's personality and perspective is utterly reversed mine making it frustrating to not have conversations. I guess I just don't read a lot of essay collections. If the synopsis and its themes seem appealing this is likely worth picking up.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ciera Moore

    I really liked the way this book looked aesthetically. The layout was pretty clear and easy to read. In some instances I could see myself getting bored of the repetitious layout, but if you're only focusing on one crystal at a time then the layout wouldn't matter. It's certainly informative but only focuses on a few crystals. So, if you're looking for something that includes more, this wouldn't be it. But for beginners this is a great book to get started with! I really liked the way this book looked aesthetically. The layout was pretty clear and easy to read. In some instances I could see myself getting bored of the repetitious layout, but if you're only focusing on one crystal at a time then the layout wouldn't matter. It's certainly informative but only focuses on a few crystals. So, if you're looking for something that includes more, this wouldn't be it. But for beginners this is a great book to get started with!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jason Diamond

    Very smart and often moving essays. Really executed well. I think even if you don't think you're interested in the topic you'd be surprised at how engaging this book is. Really enjoyed it a great deal. Very smart and often moving essays. Really executed well. I think even if you don't think you're interested in the topic you'd be surprised at how engaging this book is. Really enjoyed it a great deal.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kai Charles(Fiction State Of Mind)

    This book is more than an educational primer on crystals but a description on how to add them to your life.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gale

    Beautifully written and researched, weaving social commentary and personal stories.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Athena Abood Brown

    I really enjoyed this book. A philosophical read for anyone.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Rogers

    Not what I thought it would be. Less about crystals and more about the author’s life. C-

  14. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Flynn

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jen (from Quirk Books)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gianna

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jess

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cora

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alisa

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shoshana Goldberg

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Whiteford

  26. 5 out of 5

    Annalise

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lauren (Northern Plunder)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Thebeagee

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kendra Goertzen

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lynne

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