Birth times, chakras, incense and healing crystals all have entered mainstream vocabulary in the past year, but what exactly has been leading this spirituality craze?
Downloads of horoscope apps such as Sanctuary and Time Passages have rocketed, many can now attempt a makeshift tarot card reading and even singer Lorde has returned to parody the craze in her latest single, Mood Ring.
While the use of healing crystals has been growing steadily over the last few years, the pandemic led to an explosion in their popularity and now they can be seen everywhere from the runway to skincare, and most noticeably on your social media feed.
#Crystals has accumulated over 5.9 billion views on TikTok, where content creators provide advice on their meanings, instruct how to charge them and explain what they can do for your life.
Many are now building their collections based on the flourishing craze, much to the benefit of local businesses.
Angel Times is a local business reaping the rewards of this trend. Located on Thomas Street in Limerick City, staff member Rachel Stuart has observed the global trend through the lens of the independent store.
“It’s like nothing we’ve ever experienced before,” said Rachel. “Our business on average since we have reopened has been up an average of fifty percent on last year.”
The crystal craze is mainly led by the Gen Z demographic, with the shop welcoming new customers as young as twelve since reopening.
“I do think that it is partially a trend,” said Rachel. “A huge amount of the people coming in are younger than we have ever seen before and that’s down to TikTok.”
The go-to product for new customers is crystals, closely followed by tarot cards, a topic that has also accumulated considerable following over lockdown with the hashtag now surpassing 1.2 billion views on TikTok.
Crystal healing is the concept that gemstones can bring balance to both life and mind, change an energy pattern and help users in times of uncertainty.
Rose quartz promises to support relationships, jasper can relieve stress and amethyst bestows calmness and wisdom on the owner.
But with every trend comes a considerable fallout and many staunch spiritualists are questioning the intentions of mysticism newcomers .
“With every trend comes both positives and negatives,” said Rachel. “I think what we are hoping is that there will be people that will come on board due to the trend and there will be a huge amount of people that will see benefits and changes in their lives.”
The use of crystals has been documented throughout human history, from the Ancient Egyptians decorating their jewellery with gemstones to the extensive use of crystals in ancient Chinese medicine.
Many aspects of this modern ideology originate from Asian cultures such as the Hindu concept of chakras and the Chinese practice of life-energy.
Modern spirituality is characterised by a pick and mix of various practices such as yoga, crystal healing and oracle cards.
The main difference in new customers is they tend to come equipped with extensive research and little personal connection to the products.
“I think people who have been on a spiritual journey for a longer period find it easier to trust their intuition, whereas beginners don’t necessarily,” said Rachel.
Many newcomers turned to spirituality as a way of helping cope with the uncertainty of the pandemic by learning these healing practices.
In the recession of the 1980s, New Age culture incorporated crystals and gemstones adopted from ancient practices.
As this generation faces the consequences of climate change and economic uncertainty, their revival could have been predicted.
“I do think that there is truth to people turning to anything that may potentially help them deal with certain circumstances, be that a recession, a pandemic, grief in your life,” said Rachel.
“People look for some level of comfort and something that they feel will benefit them and that definitely is the case during Covid.”
Those considering the benefits of spiritual practices may be enticed by the freedom to choose what works for them.
While some will develop an extensive crystal collection, others may simply find the benefit in one tumble stone of rose quartz.
“The first piece of advice I would give is to let yourself be guided by what feels right for you. You can absolutely go to town in your research, but ultimately when it comes to things like tarot or crystals you really need to let your intuition ignite and allow it to guide you.”
“You have to believe that you are being guided towards something for a reason.”
With the crystal boom bringing us into what has been deemed as the New Stone Age, for many this passing trend will become a valued staple in their everyday life.