Book Review of Shadows: Crystals Plain & Simple by Cass and Janie Jackson

I get questions all the time about books for beginners! There are just so many out there, so I’ve got a whole stack of books from Weiser’s Plain & Simple series to review just for y’all! I’ve chosen a handful of topics that I like or am interested in learning more about, but the series covers a wide range of topics! Head to Wesier’s website to check out the whole series (so far!).


9781571747570From time immemorial, crystals have been used for healing, and legend has it that long ago, people knew how to store information inside these precious stones. How does their incredible magic work? Through this clear, practical guide, discover the many ways crystals can cure physical, emotional, and spiritual problems, divine the future, and enhance psychic powers. See which ones work best to aid meditation and visualization, clear a room of negative energy, promote creativity, or foresee the future. Thereโ€™s advice on buying, purifying, and charging the stones, crystal folklore, and a breathtaking gallery rich in information. – Weiser Books


Despite the wealth of information on the internet, I firmly believe that everyone who’s planning to work with crystals should find a book or crystal author they trust and use that to identify and begin working with all of their crystals. Sometimes too much info is just that, too much, and this book really gives fun, straight and simple information about working with crystals.

The book talks about how crystals are formed, their shapes and mineral makeups, and how to buy and choose your own crystals. I also really enjoyed a section on crystal legends and folklore! Many crystal books and encyclopedias have little lines here or there, but I really liked having a whole section of them. I also found my new favourite story about amethyst:


I like that this book encourages beginners to have some silly fun with their crystals. I think fun is essential to spirituality!

The book talks about how to buy a crystal, cleanse it, charge it, and then begin bonding with it. It describes great exercises to use your crystals for visualization, meditation, and healing and talks about how crystals work with the chakra system. So helpful!

This book does have a few faults, however. In the section on cleansing your crystal, they recommend cleaning your crystal with water when you first get it, and just don’t give enough info on how damaging this can be for your crystals! Not only can this damage a LOT of crystals, but many crystals you buy at an average crystal shop contain toxic minerals and metals and you really don’t want to get that into water and dump it down the drain. They never mention the toxicity of any crystals, actually. Even when they talk about crystal elixirs. I don’t recommend putting any crystals in any water to any beginner, personally.

The book has short definitions and correspondences for the stones spread out throughout the book, some crystals appear in multiple chapters with different info. It gets fairly repetitive and is harder to get all the info on any particular stone. Also, a personal pet peeve of mine is crystal books that don’t include full colour photographs – UGH. This is essential to identifying crystals. ESSENTIAL. The book even includes a section called “A Gallery of Crystals” and every crystal mentioned isn’t pictured, and the pictures are black and white. I expected it because the Plain & Simple series is just that, but I’m judgey haha.

I still recommend this book to people who want a quick primer on why it is people collect and work with crystals, and how to get started! In combination with a great, full colour encyclopedia (I use The Crystal Bible and The Complete Crystal Handbook ) to help you identify the crystals you buy you’ll have no trouble getting started.


Want to win your own copy of Crystals, Plain & Simple? Leave a comment here on the blog about your first ever crystal or what’s inspired you to start exploring crystals! I’ll pick my favourite tomorrow and send it in the mail! This giveaway is open internationally, but your entry must be here on the blog post. 



Ever wondered what my crystal ball rating system actually means?

The Fat Feminist Witch Rating System:

๐Ÿ”ฎ๐Ÿ”ฎ๐Ÿ”ฎ๐Ÿ”ฎ๐Ÿ”ฎ- I literally cannot live without it now
๐Ÿ”ฎ๐Ÿ”ฎ๐Ÿ”ฎ๐Ÿ”ฎ โ€“ YASS
๐Ÿ”ฎ๐Ÿ”ฎ๐Ÿ”ฎ โ€“ Itโ€™s good, but itโ€™s not for me
๐Ÿ”ฎ๐Ÿ”ฎ โ€“ Nah
๐Ÿ”ฎ โ€“ Iโ€™m literally angry this even exists

9 thoughts on “Book Review of Shadows: Crystals Plain & Simple by Cass and Janie Jackson

  1. I believe my first “I’m going to purchase a very nice crystal item” was a rose quarts pendulum, so need I say more? It’s rose quarts, so the energy was/is amazing. Exploring crystals is just another way for me to stay in touch with nature and explore its incredibly diverse array of offerings.

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  2. I went to see a medium when I was nine and she told me I would benefit from using Amethyst. That was 15 years ago and I haven’t looked back, it’s my go-to Crystal and I wear one on me almost all the time, including when I was in hospital for major surgery.

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  3. My first crystal was an aragonite cluster that I chose as my birthing stone. While not a traditional selection, after doing some research I felt like something so earthy and grounding, that could spread that energy through the whole room and help my airy self would be good. Plus, itโ€™s known as the conservationists stone and I wanted to manifest a little eco-warrior/the next Rachel Carson.

    I donโ€™t know if it actually helped with labor, which was tremendously hard and long. But I keep it in Beulahโ€™s room now where I keep setting it with earth-saving intentions and also where it just looks pretty AF. (๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ)

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  4. I’m not sure which in my collection was my first, but I got my first three from a dear friend. I had been open with her about my exploration into Wicca/Paganism, my interest in tarot, and trying to figure out where my spirituality fit into all of this. As her and I talked more and share what bits I did know, we found a kindred connection in each other, now having a trusted companion to talk to where we weren’t sure we had one before. She’s further along in her crystal exploration and I’m interested in learning more to share this part with her. I have a small collection that I adore, I just wish I knew more on how to care for them. Working on it!

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  5. I think my introduction to crystals is a bit interesting. One night after a concert, I went to a Waffle House. A guy came walking in with a cardboard tray full of pieces of quartz. He said he had mined them and just wanted to pass alone good vibes and for everyone to take one for free. So, I grabbed one and after I left, I looked up to notice a crazy meteor shower. It went on for hours. It was hard to deny the energy that night!! I’ve been hooked ever since.

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  6. Pingback: #WitchReads Weekly – October 1st! – The Fat Feminist Witch

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