Roger Moore believes chamomile and turquoise can heal you, and he wants to share that healing with Alamance County.
Three years ago, Moore founded A Mystic Life, an online new age store selling crystals and crystal jewelry. His initial plan was to build a large enough customer base to open his own brick-and-mortar store in Burlington, but that changed when he met Healing Teacher Menolly Bentley-Dyess.
Now heâ€™s focusing on traveling workshops.
On Monday, August 12, Moore and Bentley-Dyess hosted a metaphysical tea party in the backyard of Spokes Bicycle Company on Davis Street. The small group meditated before trying lavender, chamomile and rosebud teas, all of which have ties to mental and physical healing.
The turnout was better than they expected. Five years ago, it would have been difficult to get people to show up.
â€śIâ€™ve noticed a mystic wave,â€ť Moore said.
Stress, combined with the mainstream popularity of yoga, meditation and CBD oil, have helped open peopleâ€™s minds to the idea of mindfulness and alternative healing, but Bentley-Dyess believes people are drawn to their workshops for another reason as well.
â€śA lot of people are not very religious anymore and they donâ€™t go to church,â€ť she said. â€śAnd religion was actually really beneficial to who we are as people. It was a set routine that we had. It was a ritual, like having a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving. Thatâ€™s a thing thatâ€™s very special to a lot of people because itâ€™s a ritual and going to church on Sunday was a ritual and weâ€™ve kind of lost that. And Iâ€™m not saying that we need to stick with religion, but â€¦ weâ€™re all kind of lost and disconnected from the world. Weâ€™re all on our phones all the time, watching movies that are disconnecting us more. Weâ€™re not connecting to people in our communities or anything like that, and so I feel like this new wave of (spirituality) is trying to connect us back to what we knew before.â€ť
Crystal healing, in particular, offers a connection to the earth.
And those who believe in it claim holding the stones or placing them on certain areas of the body triggers an interaction with the bodyâ€™s â€śchakrasâ€ť â€” centers of spiritual power.
Each crystal has its own set of healing properties. For example, amethyst may help you get to sleep. Selenite is said to ward off headaches.
With a wedding coming up soon, Bentley-Dyess said sheâ€™d been feeling very connected to love stones like morganite, which is the â€śpure, true loveâ€ť crystal.
Mooreâ€™s favorite is labradorite, an earthy blue-grey-green stone said to promote courtesy and lessen the negative emotions brought on by stress, anxiety and depression. More than that, itâ€™s just plain cool-looking.
And it isnâ€™t just adults that can benefit from crystals.
Bentley-Dyess taught kindergarten for four years at a Chapel Hill private school and found crystals and other forms of spiritual healing helped calm her students.
â€śWhenever I had a child that was really having a hard time, Iâ€™d have a crystal bag that I would bring with me for my own benefits â€¦ and I would take them into the hallway and open up my crystal pouch and theyâ€™d choose one and theyâ€™d just meditate on it and theyâ€™d feel better within a few minutes and then weâ€™d go back into the classroom,â€ť she said.
Sheâ€™s planned out youth programs, including a class that teaches parents how to get their children to sleep faster at bedtime, for the near future.
â€śI want to do more classes with children and do storytelling and things like that with them to create that space with the children to be more in their body and connected with whatâ€™s around them,â€ť Bentley-Dyess said.
â€śInstead of technology,â€ť Moore added.
WHILE THEYâ€™VE found a core group of supporters in Burlington, there will always be skeptics.
The medical communityâ€™s official stance on crystal healing is that itâ€™s all a result of the placebo effect, which occurs when a patient feels the â€śeffectsâ€ť of a placebo â€” a fake medical treatment â€” because theyâ€™ve been conditioned to think something is going to happen.
In short, itâ€™s all in your head.
But that doesnâ€™t mean crystals canâ€™t be beneficial to a personâ€™s health. Belief is a powerful thing, and crystal healing is generally perceived as doing more good than harm.
If holding a piece of rose quartz comforts someone so they can get through the stress of the day, itâ€™s clearly doing more good than harm. And if gathering together to drink herbal tea allows someone to feel less lonely, whoâ€™s to stop them?
In 10 years, Moore and Bentley-Dyess hope theyâ€™ll be able to travel to peopleâ€™s homes â€ślike Mary Kayâ€ť to teach their house guests about crystals, or tea or any other new age subject they might be interested in.
â€śWeâ€™re hoping that if we do enough classes, it will get to the point that we have a whole client base and then weâ€™ll know that itâ€™s time to open up something, maybe itâ€™s time to take the next step,â€ť Moore said. â€śUntil then, weâ€™re building the family.â€ť
To find out more or see a list of upcoming events, visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/amysticlife/.
Reporter Jessica Williams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 336-506-3046. Follow her on Twitter at @jessicawtn.