7 Crystals for the Editor's Desk
Editing is an art, a craft in its own right. It requires analytical thought, intuitive judgement, impeccable communication skills, an ever expanding knowledge of grammar and language, and a willingness to abandon one's own ego in the service writing, whatever type of writing that may be. Whether you are editing creative writing, school essays, or work emails, the process of editing can sometimes be blocked, hazy, and unclear. Thankfully, there are many crystals that an editor can work with in order to enhance the abilities editing demands and sooth some of the frustrations that editing can amplify.
Focus | Clarity | Calm
As every editor knows, editing requires a state of pure focus. And as every editor also knows, "focus" is often incredibly evasive. Fortunately, flourite can help! This stone helps to improve mental focus by allowing you to enter a clear and decisive state of mind. Like a lighthouse spotlight cutting through mental haze, this stone aids editors in understanding what is most important to address in any form of writing.
I find that flourite is the best crystal to work with when my focus is frayed. When I was in university, worried about five different assignments all at once and gut wrenching anxiety was blocking me from just getting started, I always reached for flourite. Specifically, I reached for deep purple flourite—which inspires deep understanding, mental clarity, and ease.
The crystal habit of flourite is cubic (or sometimes octahedral) and something about that crisp, pointed lines of raw flourite is both energy-calming and energy-directing. When working with the stone, it's like the clutter clears and suddenly you know where to focus your mental energy. It's like the stone reminds you that it's okay to focus in one place at a time, to move forward one step at a time.
Chakras: Heart | Throat |Third-Eye
Wisdom | Truth | Intuition
While excellent editing certainly requires technical skill, an equally important aspect of editing is being able to intuit the potential of a piece of writing—to see what a piece of writing could be with the unnecessary words pruned and any gaps of information filled. Also, an important part of editing is unearthing the core of a piece of writing, the embedded truth or meaning of it, and allowing that core to resonate with the piece as a whole. When unearthing the truth feels tedious, and your ability to detect what isn't already there is clouded, the best stone to reach for is lapis lazuli.
This stone is deeply connected to truth—both spiritual and material truths—and it can make articulating your intuitive knowing or feeling about a piece of writing a simple task. The intense blue is inspires clear, compassionate communication, as if wording your editorial observations is as clear and unquestionable as stating "the sky is blue." Lapis lazuli stimulates objectivity and clarity both mentally and emotionally, and allows you to tap into your own well of wisdom which can deeply nourish a piece of writing, rather than just wetting the surface through cosmetic changes. All of these qualities make lapis lazuli an exceptional stone to work with for editors.
Lapis lazuli is a metamorphic rock. One of the main components of lapis lazuli is the mineral lazurite, but it also often contains calcite, sodalite, and pyrite. The crystal shape of lapis is isometric, but the main component, lazurite, often appears in a dodecahedra shape. Something about this shape, how it almost looks like it is ever-expanding while simultaneously folding in on itself, feels ancient and encompassing, appealing to inner and outer wisdom at the same time—both of which are certainly needed for the art of editing. Also, the shining flecks of pyrite remind me of the keen eye of an editor, who must look for places where writing shines in order to understand where it falls flat.
Chakras: Throat | Third-Eye
Integrity | Truth | Harmony
The process of editing requires engaging not just with written words but also the author of those written words. This dynamic is central to editing—it's important not to alienate, lecture, or condescend the author. I've often seen editors eschew the responsibility of delivering ethical feedback and begin to act as the judge and jury—doling out lines like "I don't like this story so it's bad writing" in their feedback and line edits. The complete lack of empathy is astounding, but it happens all the time—give a person a little power, a red pen, and suddenly their repressed critic emerges. Therefore, it's extremely important for editors to always remember the power dynamics at play with the act of editing, and to vow not to abuse that power. Editors must remember that if every piece of writing was perfect, they'd be out of the job. Also, an editor's purpose is to guide the author to make the best changes possible for their writing and audience, not to judge the writing as merely good or bad.
Thankfully, the gorgeous blue-green crystal amazonite soothes and calms the mind and spirit, and tempers irritation and aggression. Through helping to clarify one's own inner truths and integrity, amazonite can help editors dispel the fear of making unsound judgements. This beautiful stone, with its circular streaks of cream and grey, also aids one in understanding the whole picture—including the perspective of other people—which is central to creating a harmonious relationship with writers.
Additionally, modern editing demands prolonged use of technology which can make some editors feel mentally foggy. Many editors are also habitually stressed about work because the freelance nature of the industry subjects them to incredible job insecurity. Naturally, worries and anxiety surrounding editing can then creep in and compromise an editor's mindset.
Amazonite can also help with these mental and physical stresses. This stone is said to block EMF frequencies and absorb cell phone emanations and microwaves. This unique ability can alleviate some of the side effects of prolonged technology use, and help keep editors feeling mentally clear. It is also said to be a stone of luck in business and finance, so working with this stone may help alleviate the stress and worry about when the next job may come in.
The crystal shape of amazonite is usually prismatic, and the columns the stone forms I think are a lovely reminder for editors that the work they do is in support of writing; the work of an editor lifts writing up to its highest potential.
Chakras: Heart | Throat
Order | Objectivity | Truth
The practice of editing requires, above all, clear and precise communication. Editors must develop the ability to convey why the changes needed for a piece of writing are absolutely necessary because the reason why you are suggesting the change may affect whether or not the author decides to take your suggestion.
Sodalite is a wonderful stone for communication, as it inspires order, objectivity, rational thought, and aids in the verbalization of intuition, feelings, and observations. A stone of deep examination and observation, it can help editors thoroughly understand a work and arrive at sound, logical conclusions about the piece. This stone aids editors in shifting from emotional to rational—which is needed for editors, as every edit must be backed up by something tangible, something able to be articulated.
Additionally, just like amazonite, sodalite is thought to posses the ability to clear electromagnetic pollution, so keeping it on your desk as you work may help make your editing space feel light, clear, and open.
Interestingly, the crystal habit of sodalite is massive, meaning that there is no particular geometric shape the crystal tends to form in. I love the irony that even though sodalite grows without a precise form, this stone is helpful in allowing you to take a formless thought, feeling, or intution, and give it shape and clarity through clear communication.
Chakras: Throat | Third-Eye
Courage | Integrity | Power
Editing can be an intimidating process, and speaking the truth of what you see in a piece of writing can take a lot of confidence in your own abilities—especially because every editor should expect at least some push-back about suggested changes, making it important to be able to stand your own. However, equally important is not letting your ego get in the way of editing; it's important to avoid thinking that you as the editor are the ultimate power. At the end of the day, it's not your work. It's the author's.
Tiger's eye is a great stone to work with for editors because it is a stone of courage, integrity, and responsible use of power. It can lend one the courage to make those edits even through the fear of offending someone. It inspires in an editor the courage to tell the truth of what they see. Tiger's eye also has transformative power—using it, you can transform your perspective (or the perspective of others). It also has an uncanny ability to allow you to tune into your own inner vision. Tiger's eye reminds an editor to have fun and not be too critical even though editing requires a lot of critical thinking. Additionally, tiger's eye is a stone of stamina! Editing can be quite tedious and time consuming, and so keeping around this bright stone can encourage perseverance and the motivation to continue on even through the lulls.
Tiger's eye often forms in a hexagonal crystal habit—and the many shining faces that reflect different shades of warm brown and gold in the light reminds me of the many perspectives that can be present in just one piece of writing.
Chakras: Sacral | Solar Plexus
Transformation | Grounding | Wholeness
Ideally, an editor's goal is to help transform a piece of writing into the best version of itself—and so an editor must have a deep love of words and communication that is unchanging while also being adaptable enough to not limit the potential of writing through enforcing old, outdated standards. The transformative power of adding or taking away just one word is immense, and editors understand this power and responsibility. Nuumite is one of the best crystals for understanding transformative power and discerning where to apply that power.
Nuumite—aka, the sorcerer's stone—is the oldest mineral on earth at well over 3 billion years old, and as such it is deeply grounding. The beautiful stormy black and the flecks of gold glimmering is reminiscent of sunlight shining through dark storm clouds, and this stone is excellent for transforming negative energy into positive energy. Editors can benefit from its simultaneous grounding and transformative power as it can help one understand when to suggest conforming to standards, and when to encourage new techniques.
The crystal habit of nuumite is often fibrous or abestiform, with long, thin crystals. Nuumite thus reminds editors of the long history of oral words compared to the rather short history of the written word. Each individual's voice and way of communicating is incredibly unique, and it's important that through the process of editing an editor protects what makes each writer's voice special and unique rather than eradicating it.
Chakras: Root | Solar Plexus | Third-Eye
Balance | Devotion | Intuition
While editing certainly requires noticing all types of issues—large issues such as plot holes or small issues such as grammar mistakes—sometimes editors can get overzealous about attempting to improve a piece of writing before understanding the piece as a whole. This practice can lead to wasted time; for example, an editor may spend time asking questions that are actually answered later on, or perhaps an editor corrects a suspected error only to realize later on that the writer was trying something experimental (think of The Road by Cormac McCarthy, which uses no quotation marks for dialogue, a choice which at first I thought was a mistake when reading it). Editing requires patience, balance, and discerning judgement as much as it does the precise application of knowledge.
Every word affects the whole, and apophyllite can remind an editor not to lose sight of the forest for the trees because of its ability to connect one with the bigger picture, as well as forms of higher consciousness such as spirit guides, ancestors, and angels. Apophyllite is also said to embody the archetype of the selfless helper, and it can encourage an editor to remember that the work they do is in the service of writers. Remembering the pure purpose of being an editor, and the service it really does for other people, can keep an editor feeling like their work is meaningful and encourage them to remain devoted to the work.
The crystal shape that apopyllite takes on is usually prismatic, stretching upwards to a point. The shape is a constant reminder to connect to higher forces, to look at the bigger picture, and to trust in the process of editing.
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If you are interested in learning more about crystals, there are some excellent books you can check out!
Judy Hall's The Crystal Bible is extremely popular for good reason—it outlines the meaning and use of over 200 crystals. Check out this book HERE!
In this updated book, Judy Hall outlines over 400 crystals and their uses! Check out this book HERE!
This comprehensive book outlines the spiritual and healing qualities of 455 stones. Check out this book HERE!
Note: Before you purchase any crystals, it's important to keep in mind the ethics and sustainability of purchasing natural goods. Unfortunately, not every shop values ethical trade and the fair acquisition of stones. The mining industry doesn't always treat its workers respectfully, so please, research where the crystals in your local shops come from. Call and inquire! Shops that value ethical trade will certainly be happy to tell you where they source their products.