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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 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.
About the Author
Jaya Saxena is the co-author of Basic Witches (Quirk, 2017) and a staff writer at Eater. Her work has appeared in many outlets, including the New York Times, Buzzfeed, GQ, ELLE, Electric Literature, Catapult, the Daily Dot, The Toast, and more. She lives in New York City with her partner.
“Crystal Clear is a book for anyone seeking meaning and comfort in their life. The essay topics range from virginity to success, and while Jaya Saxena's writing feels personal and intimate, it's also relatable and clarifying. I don't know a single thing about crystals, but I do know a thing or two about trying to make sense of the confusion and tragedy and joy of life. I can't think of a better book for the moment.”—Scaachi Koul of Buzzfeed
“One of the most fascinating and unique books I’ve seen in a long time. Beautifully written, exquisitely researched, and filled with penetrating insight into the pretty rocks that can mean exactly as much as we want them to, and so much more. Saxena surprises you at every turn.”—Nicole Cliffe
“A collection of thunderously well-researched and generously human works."—LitHub