Vanessa Kunderman is a writer and designer, avid reader and crystal collector. Her blog, Rogue Wood, is where she shares her knowledge and tips on spirituality and mindfulness. Her new e-book, The Rogue Wood Botanical Grimoire – out today! – is an introductory guide to the magical and spiritual properties of plants. Crystals, herbs, magic, AND a love of lipstick? We had to learn more about this goddess!
How long have you been interested in crystals?
Crystals first piqued my interest while I was undergoing chemotherapy in my teens. I had been diagnosed with cancer in my senior year of high school, and spent much of that year living in the hospital. There was a market in the mall of the main ward, and I was really drawn to the tables of healing crystals. My mom bought me a large pendant weaved with onyx and rutilated quartz. The necklace came with a tiny piece of paper describing how the crystals in the necklace were intense healers, promoted spiritual growth, helpful for energy depletion and strength-giving during intense times of stress – all great things for a cancer patient. I remember feeling more powerful every time I had the pendant with me. My body was so weakened and fragile, the tiniest influence from a crystal was amplified. Going through an experience as intense as that one was for me made it impossible not to become more curious about the body I spend my life in – not only on a physical level, but on a mental, emotional and spiritual level, as well. Crystals were my catalyst to living a healthier and spiritually aware life.
In what ways do crystals heal?
Despite crystals being admired for their luster and brilliant colours, our bodies have a natural draw to them. Understanding the way they can assist the human body to heal lies in understanding the basis of holistic healing. The very orderly atomic symmetry in a gemstone’s crystalline structure lies at the core of what makes them the energy conductors that they are. Crystals transmit radio signals through piezoelectric effects in the electronics industry; it’s behoove of us to recognize these same waves of energy affect the subtle energies (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energies) in the human body as well. Our bodies are just heaps of energies weaving about in different densities or patterns and sometimes these patterns can become corroded or stressed causing disharmony in the body. That’s why we catch colds or even find ourselves battling cancer. A crystal maintains its pure structure and can rebalance and align the misaligned patterns in our bodies. On a scientific level, the atoms flying around in a crystal are just as alive as a rose or maple tree – or even human beings.
What tips do you have for someone who wants to work with crystals, but doesn’t know where to start?
The best thing about crystals is that they are relatively accessible. And while you might find a special crystal in a forest or on the beach, I suggest going into a metaphysical or holistic store and letting a crystal choose you. You might palm a bunch of different crystals, but based on the things happening in your own body, particular crystals will harmonize with you. You’ll know which ones you need just by holding them. Crystals are alive! Their energies communicate with yours. Or maybe there is a beautiful pink one that calls to you – trust that. Take it home. The next step is reading up on particular crystals and discovering what properties they hold and how they can help you in your life. I love researching a crystal and then trying to track it down.
How does someone find the right crystals for them?
There are two ways one can go about this: you can either research ailments you have or areas you would like help with, be that self-love, becoming more grounded or looking for abundance in your financial life, and find the crystal that best aligns with that need. Or you can approach the crystal first, holding different varieties and seeing which one calls to your body. Crystals feel different when you hold them, often in an inexplicable way. One won’t feel the same to you the way it does to one of your girlfriends, because we all have different things happening inside our bodies. On my site Rogue Wood, I showcase a new crystal each week, explaining the many ways that crystal can assist us in our daily lives.
How can crystals be used for self-care?
Wearing a beautiful pair of amethyst earrings, or the amber teething necklace your child wears are both helping with self-care. Even placing a piece of rose quartz on your night table can help assist you with the romance in your life. Self-care is about making the active choice to do things for yourself in order to strive for betterment and balance.
For example, amber has qualities that help with inflammation and has the ability to absorb pain. It reduces the puffy cheeks in little ones who are teething making the journey of sprouting new teeth a little more bearable. By choosing crystals for your toolbox that possess qualities you find beneficial to you, you can make leaps in your self-care journey. Crystals are phenomenal tools to use because they can be completely tailored to you and what you need in your life.
You’re also a writer. What relationship does your writing have with your personal journey with crystals?
Crystals play a huge factor in my writing. I love setting up my desk with appropriate crystals to help me with creativity and focus. I like to create a really balanced and harmonious writing space so I can get lost in my plot and characters. I believe this same mindset can be channeled to varying professions. Jet is always a good crystal to keep on your desk because it protects your business and finances. Crystals also find their way into my writing, whether I name my characters after a particular stone, like Ruby or whether one of my characters keeps a special stone in her pocket. My spiritual life has inspired my writing and I credit it to what as made my fiction writing so successful.
Where can we find more of your work?
I write a biweekly column about financial advice for Millennials. When I was a financial security advisor, all my clients received a piece of citrine – an abundance stone. I think it’s important to realize that crystal work isn’t just for those who wear free-flowing skirts or regularly track the moon phases. I wear blazers and heels, and love a busy schedule. I also keep crystals in my pockets. They’re beneficial to everyone.
I also write fantasy and science-fiction under the pen name Van Kunder. My most recent work is in the anthology titled “Woman,” a collection of works by Stephen King, Alice Munro, many others and myself. Each story showcases a strong female lead and demonstrates the many dynamics of a woman and how diverse we all are. All the proceeds from this book go to breast cancer research. You can buy this book in hardcover at Indigo stores, and the soft cover is available worldwide this fall, so be sure to check your local bookstore for it.
And of course, I have eBooks available on my site, Rogue Wood. The Rogue Wood Botanical Grimoire is available for download starting today (May 1). It features 50 different plants and herbs and offers ways to use these botanicals to enhance your daily and magical life.