The Illustrated Crystallary

Guidance and Rituals from 36 Magical Gems & Minerals


By Maia Toll

Illustrated by Kate O’Hara

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In the ancient world there were three medicine kingdoms: animal, vegetable, and mineral. Following her previous acclaimed volumes on animal (The Illustrated Bestiary) and vegetable (The Illustrated Herbiary), Maia Toll fulfills the call for mineral with The Illustrated Crystallary, exploring the mystical qualities of 36 fascinating crystals and minerals, including amethyst, hematite, mica, smokey quartz, emerald, ruby, and more. Combining bits of ancient wisdom with her own insights, Toll illuminates the aspects and energy of each stone and, through rituals and reflections, the life guidance it might offer contemporary readers. Obsidian’s shiny surface and sharp edges reflect the shadowy corners of the self and serve as the tool for cutting them loose. The sky-like color of earthly turquoise provides balance between opposing forces. Stunning illustrations by Kate O’Hara magnify the symbolism of each crystal and are also featured on 36 bonus cards included in an envelope bound in the back of the book.

Also available: The Illustrated Herbiary and The Illustrated Bestiary 


To the stones, who seem quiet, but in silence truly sing.

And to my parents for applying the heat and pressure that taught me how to shine.




The Crystallary

Garden Quartz: There Are Worlds Within You

Azurite: Activate the Void

Labradorite: Recharge Your Destiny

Amber: What Are You Becoming?

Moonstone: Ebb and Flow

Lapis Lazuli: Step Up to Sovereignty

Howlite: You Are the Foundation

Emerald: Choose Your Initiation

Sugilite: Feel in Order to Know

Chrysocolla: What Do You Need?

Amethyst: Expand into Wonder

Larimar: First the Fire

Carnelian: Get Curious

Imperial Topaz: You Live in Abundance

Blue Topaz: Be Soft and Listen

Ruby: You, Only More So

Almandine Garnet: Lessons in Blood

Salt: The Fundamentals of Humanness

Lepidolite: Breathe In Your Trueness

Peridot: So Much Life in You

Elestial Quartz: Become Inimitable

Selenite: Sacred Center

Citrine: Full of Riches

Sodalite: Come to Calm

Morganite: Fill Yourself

Hematite: Anchor In

Ammolite: Better with Time

Turquoise: Find Your Way Home

Rose Quartz: A Different Kind of Love

Black Tourmaline: Transmutation

Precious Opal: Envision the Future

Smoky Quartz: Fall Apart

Green Fluorite: Is This Mine?

Obsidian: Sharp and Shadows

Rhodonite: Heal Your Heartbeat

Clear Quartz: The Only Thing

How to Work with the Crystallary Cards

Sources & Resources


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About the Author: Maia Toll

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"Blame it or praise it, there is no denying the wild horse in us. To gallop intemperately; fall on the sand tired out; to feel the earth spin; to have — positively — a rush of friendship for stones and grasses, as if humanity were over."

— Virginia Woolf,
Jacob's Room

"A leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time, is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole. Each particle is a microcosm, and faithfully renders the likeness of the world."

— Ralph Waldo Emerson,
The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson: Nature Addresses and Lectures


The parking area was unremarkable, a simple pull over next to the ubiquitous Irish combo of hedgerow, gate, and cow stile. Each time we visited this particular stone circle I wondered whether I'd be able to find it again if I came here alone. It felt like my teacher's presence was a key to the magic that seeped into my skin as soon as I opened the car door and began hiking up the hawthorn-edged dirt track. The cows had been here before us, leaving the ground lightly churned. Mindful of droppings, we made our way to the eastern side of the circle, pausing on the threshold to let the quiet of this place ease into our breath and bones. It was a mute moment, an intentional stepping out of the space of our individual lives and into the timelessness that permeates Neolithic sites. This pause, this in-breath, was the beginning of our ritual of greeting. We then walked clockwise, our fingers trailing over the stone's granite faces as if to say, Wake up! We're here to visit with you. Once this courtesy was complete, my teacher and I went our separate ways, communing with the trees and rocks until the sun lowered in the sky or a shower drove us back to the car.

During those long afternoons, I would find a sun-warmed stone and nestle my back into its heat. Resting there, I'd have the strangest daydreams: soliloquies on the movements of the stars or conversations about the nature of time. Waking as new shadows crossed my face, I'd write it all down for future contemplation.

Going over these notes later, I'd wonder how my thoughts had meandered across galaxies and through portals that quantum physics was only beginning to discover. The stuff of these daydreams felt different to me than the way I usually saw the world, the voice of these thoughts much more resonant than my own. It felt as if the standing stones were dreaming through me or guiding my visions, and I began to see stones (and rocks and crystals) differently. I began to think of them as teachers whose whispers got louder when I got quieter. This realization eased my yearning for human mentors; I began to take my lessons from the natural world around me.

Stones are easy to come by. Take a walk outside and scour the ground, fish a stone out of a creek bed, or visit a local rock shop and buy a crystal that seems to be shining just a little bit brighter than the stones around it. This is the beginning . . . and it's also the ending if you place your stone on a shelf and forget about it. But if you instead treat this moment as the start of a new relationship, if you get quiet and listen, not just with your ears, but with your whole being, a different kind of knowing begins to unfold.

Wishing you deep connection.


Like many people who decide to road-trip cross-country, I was traveling with baggage of the emotional sort. I'd quite intentionally left someone behind, a married someone who flirted and promised but remained steadfastly married to someone else. During weeks alone on the road, I'd peeled back layer upon layer of hurts and betrayals. On this particular desert afternoon, I suddenly knew I'd walked myself through the worst of it: it was time to move on and be done.

In Santa Fe, I'd picked up a tumbled piece of Snowflake Obsidian. Its shiny black surface with a dusting of white "snowflakes" had sparkled in a way that, crow-like, caught my eye. Driving north toward the New Mexico border, I rolled the stone through my fingers, enjoying its cool smoothness. The road was languid before me, lazy in the summer heat. I was on my own schedule with nowhere to be but, still, I couldn't relax. My breath, I noticed, was coming harder. As the miles rolled by, my breathing picked up force, as if something within me was seeking a way out, pushing upward with each exhalation. The snowflake obsidian felt glued to my palm and I had the weirdest sensation that it was breathing me, the stone squeezing the last bits of hurt from the molecules of my being and releasing them to the azure sky.

Moments like this are dreamlike. We have scant language to describe the mysterious, and stories like this can sound nonsensical or get diluted in the retelling. So, when I learned of a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine that included minerals (like that piece of Snowflake Obsidian) I was intrigued. Perhaps these teachings could provide a vocabulary for talking about stones and crystals as more than just shiny objects. Maybe there was some logic for thinking of crystals as "medicine" in the same way that plants and animals can be medicine for our bodies and spirits.

Stone Nourishment

Today, we can walk into a pharmacy and buy bottles of vitamins and minerals that have been purified in a lab and conveniently encapsulated. This has not always been the case. While traditional healers knew that the human body needed specific mineral nutrients, these supplements were not pre-encapsulated; they were unrefined and found in the dirt of the earth. We consumed these nutrients indirectly through eating plants and animals: minerals in the dirt nourished the plants and plants then fed the animals (including us humans). Ancient healers decided to see if we could skip the step in which the plants assimilate the minerals and instead use rocks and crystals directly. In Asia, an entire materia medica of stones was created which complemented the use of medicinal plants. In fact, because these minerals feed the plants, stones were considered the primary medicine.

A few principles emerge that can help our heads understand the compelling song stones sing to our hearts:

  • Minerals are formed at various layers within the earth. Some are created in the mantle, right near the surface, while others are formed down in the core. The deeper the origin of the stone, the further it can reach into our own bodies and psyches. By this principle, plants (which grow on the surface of the earth) were mostly used to treat surface-level conditions in the human body while stone medicine was used for deeper work.
  • Stones and crystals range from soft to hard. This is called the Mohs hardness scale. Soft stones are fast acting. Harder stones take longer to work and are used for more stubborn conditions.
  • Crystals grow and change just like we humans. Ancient Taoism teaches that jaspers and agates, both of which feature bands of different colors, are actively in the process of becoming — and when they complete this process, they will be monochromatic jade (jade is considered a stone of self-actualization). Crystals become more relatable when we realize they grow and change. We can see injuries to their surface and the physical obstacles they've had to work around in their shape and growth habits.
  • Different chemical components within a crystal (like copper or magnesium) are nutrients for different organs in the human body. Sulfur, for example, can help with detoxification and is necessary for liver and kidney function. Lithium is calming to the nervous system and supports brain function.


  • “In The Illustrated Crystallary, modern oracle Maia Toll hands you her seeing eye. As you scry into her luminous dreamscape, you'll find intimate passages written with humor, wisdom, and the clarity of a sage. This book will center you in a timeless truth: your relationship with Earth will deepen when you listen to Her stories told in stone.” — Sarah Thomas, LAc, founder of the Upper Clarity School of Stone Medicine

    “Enchanting, fascinating, and surprising. Maia Toll introduces us to stones as teachers, and invites us into relationship with them so we may deepen our relationship with ourselves. This is the most beautiful, sane, and humane book about crystals I know. What a gift.” — Sarah Selecky, author of Radiant Shimmering Light

    “Toll’s poetic and practical prose offers a gentle invitation into the world of crystals for those who dabble and, for more serious readers, new ways of thinking.” — Kelley Knight, author of Spells for the Modern Mystic    

    “An informative, empowering, and introspective must-read for every witch non-witch alike!” — Amanda Lovelace, best-selling author of the princess saves herself in this one

On Sale
Sep 1, 2020
Page Count
168 pages

Maia Toll

About the Author

Maia Toll is the author of Letting Magic In, The Night School, and the Wild Wisdom series, which includes The Illustrated Herbiary, The Illustrated Bestiary, The Illustrated Crystallary, and Maia Toll's Wild Wisdom Companion. After earning degrees at the University of Michigan and New York University, Toll apprenticed with a traditional healer in Ireland, where she spent extensive time studying the growing cycles of plants, the alchemy of medicine making, and the psycho-spiritual aspects of healing. She is the co owner of the retail store Herbiary, with locations in Asheville, NC and Philadelphia, PA. You can find her online at 

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