We have a selection of beautiful, carved stone and crystal skulls crafted from a variety of materials including rose quartz, tiger's eye, agate, pyrite, blue apatite, fluorite, malachite and much more. They make for eye catching display pieces.
Crystal Skulls: Fascinating Symbols of the Human Past
Crystals are among the most intriguing formations in nature. Crystals impart strength. They can be adapted to hold information. They are objects of beauty and tokens of human devotion. Some crystals, like the Koh-i-Noor, Hope, and Cullinan diamonds, hold huge commercial value. Some crystals, like the crystals in your saltshaker or the crystals in your electronics, are very affordable. Crystals play a role in almost every aspect of our daily lives.
Crystal skulls are a particularly intriguing application of human technology — well, most of us agree that the technology behind crystal skulls is human. The fascination we have with crystal skulls is not due to their being either rare or mysterious. They are neither. Crystal skulls are also produced in lapidary shops from Brazil to Madagascar to Germany as ornamental or decorative items. But there are a few crystal skulls that have energized intense interest in adventurers, archeologists, spiritualists, scientists, collectors, and people who appreciate good stories for over a century, as well as in people who see the symbolic power of the skull.
Where did the legends of the crystal skulls originate?
Crystal skulls are a tangible connection to the Mayas, Aztecs, Olmecs, and Zapotecs. These native American cultures in Mexico and Central America were fascinated with skulls. Their Christianized descendants today continue their celebration of skulls with the Day of the Dead. Every November 1, tens of millions of people in Mexico and Central go to cemeteries to offer flowers, fruit, and chocolate to their ancestors. Families hold picnics in cemeteries, and children are given little sugar skulls to eat. The modern descendants of ancient Mesoamerican people associate skulls with love, family, and shared memories.
The celebration of the Day of the Dead is a reminder that death is part of the cycle of life. Death is not to be feared. The skull is a reminder of the cycle of life that is beyond human comprehension. The skull is kind of souvenir of lives long ago.
In the late 1400s, the native ruler Netzahualcoyotl ordered his people to build a temple to the "Unknown, Unknowable Lord of Everywhere" in which no sacrifices of humans or animals were allowed. He dedicated the temple with a poem.
"Eventually jade will be shattered,
Eventually gold will be crushed,
Eventually quetzal plumes will be torn,
Lives not forever the human on this earth,
Only in our moment do we endure."
All that is left us is the skull.
Other cultures in the bridge between North and South America had a similar view of the symbolism of the skull. According to the Popol Vuh, a "book" of the Mayan people that was oral legend until the Spanish friar Francisco Ximénez translated the stories and wrote them down, the Mayans created a legend that a shaman had created and hidden 13 crystal skulls in 13 locations around the world to be rediscovered in a time of great need. These skulls were said to contain information about the origins of humankind, its purpose, and its destiny. When humans are ready for enlightenment, the skulls will be rediscovered and brought together to provide the knowledge to save our kind. But if these skulls ever existed, where did they go?
Fake skulls and found skulls
For dozens of popular writers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the location of the crystal skulls was obvious: The Spanish colonial governors and later the presidents of Mexico had them. The California occultist Sibley Morrill, who was famous for books such as The Texas Cannibals or Why Father Serra Came to California and The Trouble with Shakespeare, repeated a rumor that Mexican president Porfirio Díaz kept a secret treasure trove including the crystal skulls.
Díaz served seven terms as Mexico's president. He was only removed from office by the Mexican Revolution in 1911. Surely the dictator's longevity in office, Morrill speculated, could only have been possible with supernatural help. Morrill spun a story in which Díaz was only removed from the office he held for 31 years when his enemies stole the skull and hid it again in British Honduras (now Belize). Nine years later the skull was discovered by British explorer Frederick Albert Mitchell-Hedges and his daughter Anna in 1924 — or so they claimed several decades later.
Interestingly, neither Mitchell-Hedges nor Anna seems ever to have made a public comment about their crystal skull until an identical skull was sold at an auction at Sotheby's in London in 1943. Mitchell-Hedges wrote to his brother that he had bought the skull for £400.
The "Collection" grows and grows and grows. You possibly saw in the papers that I acquired that amazing Crystal Skull that was formerly in the "Sydney Burney Collection." It is fashioned from a single block of transparent rock crystal, exactly life size; scientists put the date at pre-1800 B.C., and they estimate it took five generations passing from Father to son, to complete. It is anthropologically perfect in every detail, a superb piece of craftsmanship. There is only one other in the world known like it, which is in the British Museum and it is acknowledged to be not so fine as this.
Even more interestingly, the details about the crystal skull Mitchell-Hedges shared in his letter to his brother are identical to details about a crystal skull in The Crystal Skull, a popular adventure story written by Jack McLaren in 1936. This remarkable coincidence didn't keep Mitchell-Hedges from repeating them in his memoir Danger My Ally in 1954, although by that time Mitchell-Hedges was no longer saying he had discovered the crystal skull in British Honduras in the 1930s. So in 1959, we get another version of the story.
In this version of the provenance of the famous crystal skull, daughter Anna inherits it. In these renditions of the story, she was accompanying her father to the ruined Mayan city of Lubaantun in southern British Honduras. This trip took place in 1924, 1926, 1927, or maybe 1928. As Anna was being lowered into a cave by a rope, or as she was looking for a secret passage to a burial chamber, or just before the roof of a pyramid crashed down on her, it was Anna who found the crystal skull. In later versions of the story, Anna added that she had found the skull in the ruins of a vast, pyramidal underground city, reaching a height of 300 feet (about 100 meters) over an underground valley.
Anna's riveting tales came to the attention to Frederick Dockstader, then director of the Museum of the American Indian in New York City. In 1964, Dockstader and Anna Mitchell-Hedges, who was at this point claiming that her birth name was Anne Marie Le Guillon and she was Canadian despite being the daughter of Mitchell-Hughes who was British, started a years-long exchange of letters with the objective of selling the crystal skull for "not less than $50,000." Anna provided a document that claimed that the skull had special powers. It warded off the evil eye. It connected its possessor to the powers of Heaven. It defeats all powers of witchcraft and recruits the strength of angels.
Dockstader then set out to sell the skull. Anne or Anna's claims, however, were not enough to persuade a buyer to pay $50,000, so Dockstader made a succession of more and more unbelievable claims. The crystal skull contained a holographic record of time. The crystal skull healed incurable diseases, or made enemies fatally ill. The crystal skull was left to us by extraterrestrials.
By 1970, even Anna had had enough, and she demanded the return of the skull. Dockstader, however, had moved on to promote a book called Phrenology: the key to limitless understanding of character and personality as revealed by the configuration and regions of the head, written the British witch Sybil Leek. Dockstader had provided a photo of the crystal skull for the book cover.
Anna eventually recovered the skull, and kept possession of it until her death in 2007 at the age of 100. By that time the "father" Mitchell-Hedges had become the inspiration for the fictional character Indiana Jones.
The Mitchell-Hedges Skull of Doom next arrives at the Smithsonian Institution. A team of researchers led by anthropologist Jane Walsh subjected the skull to examination with a scanning electron microscope. This exam showed that the skull is the result of "modern, high-speed, diamond-coated, rotary, cutting and polishing tools of minute dimensions." It had not been made by ancient peoples 3,000 years earlier. It had been made in Germany or the UK less than 100 years earlier. But it had stimulated the imaginations of hundreds of millions of people and inspired five blockbuster films (Indiana Jones 5 coming out in 2021), as well as a television series.
No crystal skull has ever been found in a registered archeological dig. The National Geographic Society reports, however, there are about a dozen crystal skulls in private collections around the world that do not seem to have been made with modern technology. Science has not disproved any of the legends of the crystal skulls.
Of course, neither has science proved that crystal skulls hold supernatural powers. The healings attributed to crystal skulls have not been medically documented. We don't really know that crystal skulls are some kind of vibrational computer that records the thoughts and life energies of people around them. We don't know where the "replay button" is on a crystal skull to see images of the entire history of our planet. We don't even completely understand the mythologies of the Aztec gods that were represented by the skulls, or what invoking their names was thought to bring into reality.
Perhaps crystal skulls have the power we give them. They are objects of art. They are tools of meditation. They are macabre reminders of our place in the cycle of life and death.
Buy crystal skulls as a token of the possibility of renewal. Beauty can be found in unexpected places. Crystal skulls remind us that beauty and renewal survive the grave.
Washington state has now joined over a dozen other states to put in place “shelter in place” or “stay at home” orders. While we agree this is the correct course of action, it will have a substantial impact on our business. It effectively shuts down much of our company for several weeks.
We will continue taking orders on our website and we will have a single staff member at our warehouse to facilitate shipping of these new orders. Depending on the order volume this may mean that we do experience some shipping delays, particularly with large or fragile items that require more packaging time.
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