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[whitespace] Rock The Pod People Are Finally Here: Oh, wait, actually it's just one of the largerst Andara Crystals in Santa Cruz.

The Crystal Method

What is up with these Andara stones and their supposed mystical powers?

By Sarah Phelan

IF THE MERE mention of healing crystals makes your blood boil, then you, like me, are probably a confirmed skeptic.

Some of my more spiritually inclined friends have gently suggested that the problem isn't their beliefs but rather my unwillingness to adopt them, a closed-mindedness they fear will leave me unable to tap my full potential.

Which is kinda like getting a D minus from God. Especially since I'd be willing to believe in such things, if only I had some solid proof. Still, I strive to keep an open mind, and after agreeing to look into some of the most offbeat healing happenings, I decided to open my heart to the mysteries of the Andara crystals, a type of volcanic glass found in the Sierra Nevada foothills and said to have special energetic properties.

According to who? Well, for starters, the hundreds of people who've flocked there to get a hold of the crystals. Lately, the crystals have hit Santa Cruz by the truckload--literally. As some people have even been buying them (for sometimes hundreds of dollars) in the hope of partaking of their alleged curative powers, the stones have become one of the strangest healing fads on records.

Crystal Necklace Jewel of the Nellie: An example of the jewelry made from Andara Crystals.

4x4 Truck of the Gods?

Especially strange since, at first glance, the crystals look like recycled glass, a suspicion further strengthened by the fact that they come in four colors, which I have dubbed Heineken brown, 7 Up green, rosé and champagne because those are the bottle colors they resemble.

To figure out something like this, you've gotta go to the source--namely, the 90-year-old woman known as "Nellie," on whose property the stones have been found en masse. Legend has it that Nellie, who is half Choctaw Indian, half Irish, was born with a spider web over her head, a sure sign among those in the know that she is a medicine woman.

Reached by phone, Nellie, who has won awards for her work helping veterans and homeless women, says she only found the crystals because a psychic friend named Ally Keith said she had healing green stones on her property.

"She said they were in the mountains where the unicorns rubbed horns and left off white powder and where the Time Walkers--tall brown men--are. And I said, 'No way, I've walked there for years,' but she told me to get off my ass and find them because she needed them for her work".

Nellie found them, obviously--about six months later, she says. Asked about the possibility the stones are man-made, Nellie says she doesn't see how they could be.

"They are way up high on the mountain, you'd need a 4-by-4 truck and a crane to get them up there!" says Nellie, adding that one day a voice told her she had to get the crystals to the four corners of the earth.

"I wondered how I could do that, but it's happened. People come from all over the world to get the stones, which the Great Spirit seems to travel so well through," says Nellie, who keeps them by her bed, puts them under her pillow for pain and nightmares and uses them in energy work.

"I don't just hope or depend on the stones to work," she says. "I know they will."

I Wanna Rock: Andara stones like this one are hitting Santa Cruz by the truckload.

On the Fringe

But it gets a lot weirder than unicorns and "Time Walkers." According to one Andara Crystal brochure I received, "the Andara Crystals are actually in another dimension of reality."

This brochure does consider the stones "man-made," but also says "when the man-made glass was buried as scrap on the land some time ago, the energy of the original crystals 'bled through' the dimensions of time-space and anchored into the man-made glass, which we are now calling Andara Crystal-Glass."

Randy Masters, a local musician and educator who researches vibrational energy, believes the stones do have special properties, and says there is no record of man-made glass or a recycling dump near Nellie's land.

"Who knows if their special properties are a case of them being on the crystals, or vice versa," says Masters. "And we don't know whether they are man-made, ancient or superancient. And UFO activity could be affecting the mineral activity. Soccer ball-shaped lights of different colors have been seen flying around the land. And Bruce Tainio, a soil expert, who has analyzed the crystals, feels there are codes in them that are important for creation. But no one has a definitive answer."

Masters does claim that when he uses the crystals "in balancing work, people report special effects," and that the root beer-colored crystals, which Nellie calls Indian pearl, have extra special properties.

To this end, Nellie has given a batch to Santa Cruz-based energy workers Gabriella Christolos and Mickey Thurmon, who are sponsoring a crystal sale, the proceeds of which will go to the Lady Nellie Foundation to help the homeless and veterans.

For information on the crystal sale call 457.2847 or 429.6542. For info on Randy Masters jewelry, call 622.2594. Andara Crystals are also available at Art Forms; 425.2787.

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From the July 31-August 7, 2002 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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