As a child, I can recall picking up shimmery rocks along my walks. I kept them like I would collect shells on the beach. Each was special to me. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started really paying attention to crystals as part of my life’s journey.

It was actually an Uber driver about a decade ago who, after a great chat about humanity and compassion, had offered me a crystal from a box he had stashed in his car. “Pick one. It’s a gift,” he said. He was the first one who mentioned that they had provided him clarity and focus in his life.

I reached into the box that had probably 30 pretty stones and pulled out a beautiful green stone. He believed it was Jade. I had a lot of questions for him — what did they do for him? Why did he have them in his car? Why the heck did he offer me one?

Promote Calmness and Boost Your Energy Levels

He smiled and mentioned he had always carried them around and once in a while, he would share — even to strangers. I remembered him wishing me well and thanked him for the gift and chat. Quickly pulling out my phone and searched what Jade was all about. I still have that stone to this day.

Jade is a healing crystal that has been used for centuries to bring about balance in the body, mind, and spirit. It is known to promote calmness, peace, and serenity, and can be especially helpful in times of stress or anxiety. Jade is also said to boost energy levels and increase vitality. (source: crystaldigest.com)

I continued an interest in crystals. Visiting Sedona and one particular crystal shop there several times only increased my interest. I would even pick out stones for me and my friends. They even sometimes tell me a name. I know it sounds woo-woo but I have paid attention to them. One that yelled  “Tracey” to me was one I couldn’t walk away from. I brought that home and when I saw Tracey, I told her that it had called for her. I was no expert by any means but I knew it was meant for her.

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I carry crystals around with me like lucky charms or talismans. Maybe there’s something to them or maybe the stones are nothing more than just pretty souvenirs. I don’t really know. But I always carry at least one in a pocket or in my handbag.

Back at home in Toronto, I had visited several spots. I had noticed more shops popping up. It used to be a couple around Bathurst and Bloor but as the public’s curiosity and interest continue to grow so does the marketplace.

But how do you know where to shop? I stumbled across the Dream Den on Instagram (yes, it might have been my algorithms). There was something definitely very different here. I reached out to co-founders Lindsay and Kyle to learn what they were all about.

Knowledge of Four Generations

Lindsay’s family had been involved with crystals for four generations. Her grandmother’s father came to Canada from Hungary. He was a renowned jeweller but had to escape because of the Holocaust. She tells us they were the only survivors in the family. When they came here he opened a little jewellery shop downtown. He had sold fine jewellery but also crystals. Her grandmother worked with him there and eventually opened her own shop. Then, her uncle took over the shop.

Lindsay had access to crystals at a young age. “I was around them my whole life,” said Lindsay. “So, a lot of my sourcing and knowledge comes from my grandmother and what was passed down. She taught me so much and she was a very spiritual person.”

She recalls her grandmother’s house filled with crystals but mentioned that she felt in her generation, spirituality wasn’t openly discussed like we do now. “She didn’t really have the language to discuss but she embodies it and believes in energies.”

What’s the Connection with Crystals and Witchcraft?

We discussed if it was more considered witchcraft back then. Lindsay believes so. “I remember discussing the powers of crystals and being asked if it was the devil’s work. I would explain how crystals all come from the earth. They were nature’s gifts,” said Lindsay.

She would continue to share how many cultures have used gems and crystals for centuries. Mayans and Egyptians have considered them as sacred objects for spiritual elevation. Lindsay’s partner, Kyle, also tells us about a Mayan God that has obsidian placed on the left foot. Considered a black mirror with a rich history worth diving into.

“Black obsidian is known for its protective energy. That’s a crystal that is very good if you need direct protection. Like an unwanted entity. But also needs a lot of cleansing because it really works hard for you.”

Kyle is also fascinating to chat with. He is a dream analyst with a PhD in Neuroscience. He explains that he’s interested in analyzing dreams. “Dreams are like supercomputers. The layers and symbolisms are unbelievable.” But we’ll revisit him another day.

Why are Crystals Gaining in Popularity?

While crystals have been around for centuries the interest has flourished in recent years and has become more commonplace. And today, many people, including myself are interested in learning more about them.

Lindsay’s clientele range from people with experience with crystals to those who have none but are curious. She noticed a shift especially when the pandemic hit. “So many people felt their lives had changed and the care they were receiving in the past wasn’t working anymore. So, now they are open. We are getting people you would never think would be interested in crystals.”

crystals

crystals can nurture a new connection with nature

What Makes Dream Den Different?

Lindsay’s knowledge and experience are obvious but two things really differentiate them from others that I’ve seen in the city. Firstly, Lindsay and Kyle are very grounded and spiritual people who are very easy to spend hours chatting with.

“It’s very easy for me to talk to people in the business or medical worlds where to just find a common ground. Then, I also talk to people who are really out there as well. I’m kind of like both,” said Lindsay. “I can see both perspectives. I believe spirituality needs to be grounded in your daily life for it to work. I found that a lot of people, men and women, are from very interesting walks of life. They often come for the first time as super curious.

That was how I started. I was guiding people through their experiences. Now the landscape has changed. I find that people now have become more familiar with crystals. I find that some people come to us after getting a few crystals elsewhere and are not really excited about them or checking the sourcing and where they are from. They wonder if they are real.”

They actually travel to places like the Tucson Gem Show annually where Lindsay will hand-select out crystals for Dream Den. Not only does she have an eye for quality but it’s also important for her to only source from suppliers that she trusts.  Kyle explains that even though the popularity of crystals continues to grow it’s really important for them, and their clients, to understand the importance of ethically sourced goods and they feel very strongly about that.

Beware of Phony or Fake Crystals

“A lot of people come to me with a fake crystal collection,” said Lindsay. She tells us there are a lot of scams out there and she’s certainly open to talking with them about that. “In certain countries sourcing the crystals is so inhumane. If you’re not careful, you’re literally bringing in that slave labour – often child labour, and that energy into your space. Think about it. You’re trying to cleanse your life and energizing. I think that conversation isn’t happening enough. I understand the allure of a cheaper crystal but there’s often a reason behind that. Question it.”

After Lindsay has sourced the crystals, they bring them all to Sedona where the crystals are charged by exposing them to the vortex energy in this well-known powerful area. The red-rock landscape is not just stunning to visit but also has a worldwide reputation as a mecca for spirituality, healers, and intuitives. There is no denying that this place is truly special.

crystals

rich and dynamic, crystals can evoke intuition

Another reason why Dream Den is different…

A visit to the Dream Den for crystals is unlike any other in the city. First off, it’s not open for walk-ins. Lindsay offers a more personal and customized experience for her clients so you must make an appointment first – virtually or in person.

Lindsay will discuss her process and if in person, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the collection of crystals. There are hundreds in the sunlit room. Most prices are not attached to the crystals nor is there any explanation as to what they are generally. The reason? She doesn’t want that to sway your decision.

“What this does is it allows you to tap into your intuition because when you don’t have it there you don’t have a choice. You have to tune in,” said Lindsay. “It’s funny because many people who come here are the most analytical people. They need to know, and have everything written out and categorized and they freak out when they come because there are literally thousands of crystals here and wonder how they will choose. But once they settle into the space, they always choose exactly what they need. They like to come and talk about it and often say it feels like a reading.”

Pick Crystals Call Out To You

You pick what you are attracted to you…or what speaks to you in the moment. But it can all seem overwhelming. Lindsay will ask questions and help to narrow down choices. I decided to go with my intuition and select what caught my attention. I chose seven on my first visit and we explored each one and what they meant.

If the client is not in Toronto, zoom meetings are available. In this case, Lindsay will ask a series of questions to learn about the client and the current events.

“When people can’t come to the shop we do the same thing, we have a conversation and I ask what’s happening in their life and I’ll then take a video of some crystals based on my intuition and what  I think they would need based on what’s going on in their life. They can also tell me if they have a budget range- I want it to be realistic for them. I would usually select about 20 crystals for them to take their time and look at on the video.

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I would tell them to take their time and get back to me with their selection. And then I’ll tell you what each one does. I don’t tell them what they are ahead of time. I still want them to pick intuitively.”

There is no pressure to purchase any of them and Lindsay explains that after the initial selection, it’s not uncommon that clients will not leave with all of them. But she keeps notes of the choices just in case you change your mind later – even if it’s a few weeks or months later. And that happens often.

“Sometimes people will pick out like 12 crystals and then we’ll narrow it down to what that person needs at that moment in their life. Sometimes it’s all but not always. Sometimes it’s a “not now”.  We’ll take a look at what’s pressing and what’s happening in their life so we can pick the perfect team of crystals for them to take home. Often they will return a few months later to add something else as their life evolves. It always happens in this very organic way,” said Lindsay.

She’s very interested in her client’s journey and that’s one of the big reasons why they return. Lindsay believes in creating a safe space with no judgment. Her clientele ranges from students to executives on Bay Street. Each one has their own reason to visit.

When it comes to pricing, there is a wide range anything from a few dollars to thousands. She offers payment plans if needed. “I always want to find a way for my clients to get what they want and need in ways that can work for them. I try to limit any barriers – some come with strong blocks and we have to be patient. We’ve never had anyone that was regretful of what they ultimately decided to bring into their lives.” 

A Personal Touch for a Crystal Connection

Lindsay is very close to her clients. She will follow their journeys even those that just start with their first crystal and with those who want to grow their collection to have an entire room. “I’ve seen such massive growth and change in people. It’s why I love doing what I do. You can see how the personal touch works. We love seeing people transform into who they are meant to be. I find crystals to be direct and empowering for that purpose. It’s so personal and for my clients, they own that journey,” said Lindsay.

crystals

crystals come in many shapes and sizes

And when I asked her what would be her next steps she definitely knew she would be the end of the business. “We could never sell this. This is much more than a shop. We are here for people and will never have a judgment on anyone. People go through their life’s journey. In this world where people really don’t want to know what’s going on with you or don’t have time for you – this is a sanctuary. I will always make the time.”

Checking in on what each Crystal Means

On a personal note, one of the crystals I selected was a small carved piece of light pink-coloured stone with a floral etching and rays spanning outwardly. Lindsay explained this particular piece was about the heart. Some trouble perhaps? I told Lindsay that this didn’t make any sense to me at the moment but I was still drawn to it. She mentioned that there was a reason for it but sometimes it takes a few days for someone to fully understand why a crystal is chosen.

So, I decided it was one of three that I wanted to keep. A few days later, I was admitted to emergency hospital care …for my heart. I texted Lindsay and it is now clear to me why I had chosen that particular one. Don’t worry! I’m okay tests are still going on. That crystal stays close to me.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Dream Den visit their website here. You can also discover what many of the crystals mean and what their purposes are. Focus, health, love, grounding, clarity, healing, and more.