Hi Everyone. I’m back from Brazil, and wow, another amazing adventure! For six days I travelled around the country, by plane and car, visiting crystal workshops, crystal showrooms, crystal mines, and plenty of Brazilian churrascarias and kilo (pay by weight) buffets!
I began by flying from Los Angeles to São Paulo, meeting up with my good friend, Ricardo, from Bom Despacho, and then flying to Porto Alegre which is on the coast near the southernmost point of Brazil. From Porto Alegre we drove two hours to the city of Soledade, which is where all of the largest crystal dealers in Brazil have their workshops and showrooms.
I’m not big on shopping for clothes, but I sure do love shopping for crystals!!!
This was my third trip to Soledade. The city is magical for me: The sights, the sounds, the smell of the workshops and seeing all of the crystal dealers. Walking in and amongst the hundreds, really thousands of crystals and geodes. Seeing the amazing array of colors and feeling all the different energies emanating from the crystals. Standing beneath some crystals that are nearly 10 feet tall, and even sitting inside another that was big enough to hold me! Then at the workshops seeing the geodes go through all the stages of preparation. I see them opened with huge saws. I see, touch and even smell the dust and dirt that has been inside them for millions of years. Then I see the geodes cleaned and polished and prepared for presentation to the “surface world”. And of course, and maybe best of all, from the multitude of crystals and geodes I see and experience, I get to pick the ones I want to bring back to Mystic Journey. I’m not big on shopping for clothes, but I sure do love shopping for crystals!!!
Standing beneath some crystals that are nearly 10 feet tall, and even sitting inside another that was big enough to hold me!
My time is Soledade was particularly special this trip as I was invited to visit an amethyst mine in Ametista do Sul, the city from which virtually all of the amethyst from Brazil originates. Ametista do Sul is about a three-hour car ride north of Soledade. Once there, I visited the city’s amethyst museum and went through an abandoned mine. I then went to the workshop’s mine and spent about an hour walking through it and asking questions of the mine manager (with the help of Ricardo’s translation into Portuguese of course!). In the mine tunnels I could see open amethyst geodes in the walls. It is truly wonderous to see the geodes actually “in” the earth. I imagined the air pockets which formed the geodes, them being infused with the minerals that ultimately formed the purple crystal points inside, and the heat and pressure that was necessary over tens, if not hundreds of thousands of years to make the geode be what we see today. I got overwhelmed in contemplating the whole process and the wonders of nature and our mother earth.
In the mine tunnels I could see open amethyst geodes in the walls. It is truly wonderous to see the geodes actually “in” the earth.
Interestingly, amethyst mines are only horizontal. The miners enter into the side of a hill and then proceed horizontally with only a minimal drop in elevation. This is because amethyst crystals only form in certain geologic and geothermal conditions, and only in the presence of certain minerals. This combination of factors only occurs within a very narrow band of the earth, and thus, there is no need to drop vertically to find the amethyst geodes.
Once an intact geode is found, it is then “carved” out of the mountain by a special artisan miner who removes the entire geode without damaging it. These artisan miners are few in number and skill is handed down from one generation to another in a mining family.
...These artisan miners are few in number and skill is handed down from one generation to another in a mining family.
Once in a while, a geode will be removed so precisely that water which has been trapped inside the geode for millions of years remains inside. When the geode is then opened, the water comes out. On one my prior trips to Uruguay, I was fortunate enough to watch this happen and actually drink the millions-year-old water that came out of the geode! People often ask me: “What did the water taste like?” and “Did you feel anything while you were drinking the water?” My answer is always: “All I can tell you is that shortly after I drank the water, Mystic Journey Crystals opened!”
I was fortunate enough to ... actually drink the millions-year-old water that came out of the geode! ... I can tell you is that shortly after I drank the water, Mystic Journey Crystals opened!
This leads me to take a moment to tell you about the opening of Mystic Journey Crystals and the spiritual nature of its creation. For many years, I had thought about opening a second Mystic Journey Bookstore. A few opportunities came my way, but nothing materialized. At the same time, my interest in crystals grew and I began bringing larger crystals into the bookstore. Soon, however, I was running out of room for large crystals and I began to wish I had more space. But as my interest in large crystals grew, my interest in opening a second bookstore waned. I became stuck with an ever-growing desire for bigger crystals, but at the same time not wanting to open a second bookstore. Eventually, I threw my hands up, and more or less gave up trying to figure out a solution.
Then, out of the blue, I got a call from the bookstore’s landlord. He said, “I have this new space that has become available. You have told me about wanting to have more big crystals. I think this place would be perfect.” A month later I had signed a lease, and Mystic Journey Crystal Gallery was born. On top of this, the lease was signed just three months before I was set to go on a long-planned trip to Brazil to get crystals, so the timing to “stock” the new gallery was perfect. In fact, the whole creation of Mystic Journey Crystals was a perfect representation of how the laws of the universe, the proverbial Law of Attraction, works.
In fact, the whole creation of Mystic Journey Crystals was a perfect representation of how the laws of the universe, the proverbial Law of Attraction, works.
All thoughts are creative. We create every moment of every day with what we think, whether we are aware of it or not. I had been thinking so much, wanting so much to be able to have more space for larger crystals. While I wasn’t consciously wanting a new store or a new business, my mind was subconsciously at work, forming, in the planes of existence we don’t physically see or feel, the building blocks of what I wanted, the building blocks of Mystic Journey Crystals. And then it manifested. In my lessons on how to manifest, I was taught not to concern myself with “how” something will manifest. That is the work of the Universe, or as some would say, God’s work. Our job is to use our creative ability, our imagination, to initiate the process of manifestation, and then let the “how” take a care of itself. In fact, I was emphatically told by more than one of my teachers never to say to myself, “I don’t see how this can happen.” I could never have imagined my landlord, or anyone else for that matter, coming to me, giving me the opportunity to have a space for larger crystals. I just had the desire in my mind. And this time, without even being consciously aware of it, I created, I manifested what I truly wanted. Now we have Mystic Journey Crystal Gallery.
And this time, without even being consciously aware of it, I created, I manifested what I truly wanted. Now we have Mystic Journey Crystal Gallery.
But I digress. Both before and after my trip to Ametista do Sul I took more than a little time in Soledade to acquire some AMAZING new crystals and geodes for the gallery. Some are quite large, over 5 feet tall. Others have crazy horizontal arm-type crystal clusters protruding from them. Two more are incredible pairs of angel wings. And finally, while I was in Ametista do Sul, at the workshop where the geodes are first taken right after they come out of the mine, I was able to come to terms with the workshop owner on acquiring two pieces that had just emerged from one of their mines! No one but me, the miners, and the workshop artisans had seen these two pieces. It’s always so awesome when I get “first crack” at the best pieces coming right out of the mine. All in all, I have to say that while I am somewhat biased(!), the entire group of crystals I acquired on this trip are some of the most beautiful, most unique crystals and geodes I will have ever offered at Mystic Journey. Some are so large I had to send them by ocean, rather than by my usual choice of air freight. As a result, they will take a little longer to get to us, but when you see them late July or early August you know they were worth the wait!
...Some are so large I had to send them by ocean, rather than by my usual choice of air freight.
But that’s not the end of my trip. After my time in the south of Brazil, I ventured north to the state of Minas Gerais. This translates to “general mines” in English. Hmmm. I guess they have a few crystals there! In fact, the vast majority of the clear quartz, as well as rose quartz and tourmaline from Brazil come from Minas Gerais.
In Minas (as the Brazilians call it), there are two small cities throughout which are scattered homes and other buildings in which there are small crystal workshops and crystals for sale. Often, I would walk into one of these places, into the living room or kitchen area, and be offered a small cup of Brazilian coffee, called cafézinho, to share with the family, including grandma! Then we would walk into another room of the house, or into the backyard, where there would be a small workshop along with tables full of polished crystals that were for sale.
In this part of Brazil there are no geodes, only points, spheres, and other cut and polished small pieces made here. Of course, I did some buying! I also got to experience Ricardo negotiating his own purchase of about seven tons of “rough material” which he will have cut and polished by others in these towns and then sell to retail folks like me.
Of course, I did some buying!
After two days of buying I returned to Ricardo’s home town, also in Minas. Before I left, I attended Ricardo’s grandson’s sixth birthday party. Another year when I was in Brazil, I spent Mother’s Day with Ricardo’s family. He, and really everyone I know from Brazil, are always so warm and welcoming. I have close relationships with many of my crystal dealers. This is one of the aspects of what I do that I enjoy most. Getting to know the crystal people from all over the world, and spending time with them and their families, is an absolute joy for me.
In closing, I have three additional thoughts to share. First, as I wanted to relate more than just a cursory overview of my visit to Brazil in this Missive, I am going to continue sharing my spiritual journey next month. Thank you for your patience in waiting for this.
Second, I want to express how grateful I am to the Universe, and to all of you, for the opportunity to do what I do. I am blessed to have come through a career in law and a bout with cancer to live and work in place, and in a field, and with people that are truly amazing. People often say to me, “Wow, you have the best job” or “Wow, I’d love to have your job.” Each time I hear something like this, right in the moment, I silently express gratitude to the Universe for what I have, and what I do. I want to thank all of you as well for helping to make my life, and all that it is, and all that I do on a day to day basis, possible.
Finally, I want to shout out loud, “The new crystals we are getting are so amazing! They are fabulous! They are Oh My God beautiful! I’m so excited for everyone to see them!” Truly, this is the finest group of crystals I’ve bought in to either location. I’ll let you know when they are here, and I do hope you will come by and experience them.