Crystal Skulls: Ancient Tools for Peace, Knowledge, and Enlightenment

Merit-Aten. The author’s Egyptian Sodalite head. Not all skulls are clear crystal. (Courtesy of Sandra Birch,

Crystal skulls are a conundrum. The skulls are here to bring peace and knowledge, so they tell us. They seek to awaken higher consciousness in humanity. To offer healing to the Earth. But they have stirred up vigorous controversy. There is little authentic empirical evidence as to their origins. Some of the well-known skulls, such as the Mitchell-Hedges and “Max,” are said to be exceedingly ancient. Modern technology is, however, showing that virtually all crystal skulls are comparatively recent, although, of course, the material from which they are carved—throughout this book generally referred to as “crystal”—is exceedingly ancient.

When it comes to crystal skulls, we need to ask if there are just too many caveats for them to be credible. Although, given that it is postulated that a separate “higher consciousness” animates the skull, we could ask whether it really matters how old they are. What about the hundreds of contemporary skulls sold around the world? Are these a cynical marketing ploy as claimed by skeptics? Or is something extraordinary going on?

Merit-Aten. The author’s Egyptian Sodalite head. Not all skulls are clear crystal. (Courtesy of Sandra Birch,

Merit-Aten. The author’s Egyptian Sodalite head. Not all skulls are clear crystal. (Courtesy of Sandra Birch,

Fact or Fiction?

Sifting fact from fable is a major challenge. So much is presented as certainty when it is anything but. It is virtually impossible to consult primary source material. Hearsay is rife, especially online, but print authors are equally culpable. Speculation is dressed as fact, and fabrications and deceptions abound, deliberately or otherwise. Stories are passed around, and get embroidered in the telling. Without provenance and documented archaeological context, there is no certitude. But, as has been said, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Who knows what a validated archaeological dig may soon reveal?

In talking about crystal skulls, departures from “truth” inevitably occur. But what is truth? Just because the origins of a skull are dubious does not invalidate people’s subsequent experiences.

First, I’d like to share with you how I was beguiled by a skull. I’ll also take the opportunity to introduce a rather idiosyncratic—and somewhat anarchic—character: Horace, my Smoky Quartz skull. He appears at intervals throughout this book.

Meeting the Skulls

Have you ever come face-to-face with a skull and had it call to you? I did, in 1975 in the Museum of Mankind (now once again part of the British Museum) in London. The skull was a life-size, flawless crystal with more than a tinge of blue about it (you can see its picture on page xvi). The mesmerizing eyes were alive with intense intelligence. It was a truly awesome experience, like being pulled in by a powerful tractor beam. I gazed into it, watching an ancient South American temple going about its daily business. I thought I stood there for a few minutes, but it was almost two hours. I had been seduced.

I’m aware that the British Museum skull has since been deemed “fake” in that it was carved within the last two hundred years, probably in Germany from Brazilian Quartz. That does not negate my experience. Until I read the label on the way out, I had no idea where it was, at the time, thought to have originated. I’d never heard of crystal skulls. Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World, in which a skull dominated the opening credits, wasn’t aired until 1980. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull wouldn’t appear until 2008. Nothing in my experience or my psyche in the 1970s was attuned to crystal skulls. Elsewhere in the world, however, interest was stirring. So was I picking up on a burgeoning belief system? Reading impressions other people had left in the skull? Frank Dorland would certainly have said so. Or was something else entirely going on? Were they calling to me? This book has been written in part to explore that idea. I invite you to join me in my journey and to experience these enigmatic beings for yourself.

It took another thirty-five years for me to start collecting crystal skulls. I’d met several skulls over the intervening period. Skullkeeper Edwin Courtney introduced me to a small portion of his vast collection and to skull lore. That was in the faded grandeur of a ballroom in a particularly deprived part of the UK. The skulls lifted the gloom, but didn’t grab me. It took a visit to Glastonbury, home of all things magical, mystical, and downright weird, to get me hooked.

“Get me out of here,” a voice pleaded. The friend I was with said, “I think someone’s talking to you.” So into the shop we went. I had already voiced the intention of buying a skull. It felt like time. I had in mind a clear crystal like the one I’d seen in the museum. Something light and bright. I had not envisioned this inky black one. Out of the shop with it I came. Once a skull adopts you, it seems you have little choice.

I took the skull home and did extensive clearing on it. Fortunately David Eastoe, founder of Petaltone Essences, created new essences that helped to heal the skull.1 It had had a hard few months. A murder had been committed in front of it, and it had been living next to the favorite hangout of a group of alcoholics. Their aggressive behavior was the antithesis of the spirituality for which Glastonbury is famed. The darker side of the light.

Horace awakens. Summer Solstice 2014. The author’s Smoky Quartz Earth healer skull. (Courtesy of Terrie Birch,

Initially, the skull seemed to have taken on the boorish characteristics of the addicts. Maybe it thought that was how all humans communicated? Little impact had been made by the people inside the crystal shop. It glowered at me and resisted attempts to interact. I knew there was a crystal being in there that needed my help. I could understand why it was reluctant to fully manifest. Over the next year or so the formerly almost black, impenetrable head gradually lightened and became full of bubbles. It was still a pretty intense, curmudgeonly companion who stood no nonsense, however. I had to remind it that a sense of humor is essential in this world.

This summer I took it to my local sacred site at the solstice. We placed it in bright sunlight with a Golden Healer crystal spiral around it. What a difference that made! The skull lit up like a Christmas tree. The inside of the skull cleared miraculously. So many sparkles, like a glass of champagne. And the rainbows!

It became clear to me that the skull’s role is to help with transitions and transmutations, clearing trauma and toxicity, and with earth-healing. I had more communication with it in the next few hours than in all the previous years put together. It’s finally given me an everyday name: Horace. The initial one was an impossible tongue twister. So he’s mellowing. His innate wisdom is being revealed as more of the higher consciousness within is able to manifest. His story illustrates how skulls may need nurturing and care, especially if they’ve been traumatized before they reach you. Horace was worth the wait.

Excerpted from Crystal Skulls: Ancient Tools for Peace, Knowledge, and Enlightenment by Judy Hall, with permission from the publisher, Weiser Books. Available now from and wherever good books are sold. 
A trained healer and counselor, Judy Hall has been psychic all her life and has had experience with many systems of divination and natural healing methods. Judy has a BEd in Religious Studies, with an extensive knowledge of world religions and mythology, and an MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology from Bath Spa University. Her specialties are past life readings and regression, soul healing, reincarnation, astrology and psychology, divination, and crystal lore.