The Fat Feminist Witch

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!).


From 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. There’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:

🔮🔮🔮🔮🔮- I literally cannot live without it now
🔮🔮🔮🔮 – YASS
🔮🔮🔮 – It’s good, but it’s not for me
🔮🔮 – Nah
🔮 – I’m literally angry this even exists