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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.
Aside from Crystal Clear, Jaya Saxena is also the author of Basic Witches (Quirk 2017), and her work has appeared in the New York Times, Elle, GQ, The Toast and more. She is currently a staff writer at Eater.com, and she lives in Queens, NY.
Claire Comstock-Gay is the author of Madame Clairevoyant’s Guide to the Stars (Harper 2020), a collection of essays about astrology and culture. Her work has appeared in outlets including the New York Times, The Toast, and New York magazine’s The Cut, where she contributes weekly horoscopes. She currently lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.