Crystals and stones were formed with the cooling of the Earth millions of years ago. They continue to change through the evolving processes that involved the planet’s history. As a result, they comprise the memory of the world’s development. Furthermore, their mass is made of dynamic atoms which make them vibrate at a particular frequency, thus, giving them energetic power.
For all of these reasons, many people believe in using these elements to balance the energies of the body, potentiating inner processes and even helping in healing processes or tough times. The argument states that an energetic imbalance is related to general discomfort and illnesses. Both natural crystals and stones are used in alternative therapies such as Gem therapy, Crystal healing or Reiki. Each piece vibrates and connects with a specific centre of energy or chakra of our body by contact, due to its colour and composition. Besides this therapy, people may use them in meditation sessions and as accessories to accompany them through everyday life.
Several cultures have turned to these natural elements over history. For instance, Egyptians used to sculpt crystals and gems into fine jewelry worn by men and women alike. They believed in the influence that the energy of minerals had over moods and states of mind; as well as appreciate them by their beauty and role as personal amulets. And Chinese traditionally claimed the healing powers of jade stones.
So, these elements are usually used for their energy, beauty or as a charm. They even were introduced in fashion as a growing accessory trend, including natural crystals and precious gems in necklaces, rings and earrings--a magical vision which combines the power of nature, spirituality and aesthetics in harmony.
The perfect alchemy
There are many brands in Buenos Aires City that offer said type of jewelry due to its increasing popularity, and Bohemia like you is one of them. Paula Pangallo Purtscher is the Uruguayan designer behind the label. She creates limited series of necklaces and rings made with natural crystals and stones set in silver or surgical steel. Moreover, she sells them online, shipping to Argentina and Uruguay for now.
Pangallo Purtscher holds a multifaceted formation. She studied law and design simultaneously, and developed a clothing design project but abandoned it after some quandaries regarding sustainability. “I always had a personal search. I have always had a connection with nature and was sensitive to the vegetal, animal and mineral kingdoms,” she declared. Nowadays, she is studying astrology and transpersonal psychology, which focuses in astrology as a tool for self-knowledge. She has also taken several courses with holistic orientation.
We met Paula Pangallo Purtsher and learned more about crystals as well as her growing undertaking.
How was Bohemia like you born?
After the “personal crisis” that lead me to end my clothing design project, I tried EMF Balancing Technique, which works with the energetic meridians of your body. It helped me to get in touch with an intuitive part of me. And this world opened for me where I started searching for what I liked to do. I did several things, such as Reiki and Tarot; and I also developed an undertaking of sustainable reusable clothing bags called Las Bally Bags.
I don’t really know how, but crystals came to me four years ago. I was amazed and started to investigate and create things for myself. So, I connected with them, without thinking on a commercial side. One day, my sister saw a necklace I was wearing and said: “this is incredible! I love it! Where did you buy it? I want one.” She couldn’t believe that I had made it and suggested that I could earn some money by selling that sort of jewelry. I hadn’t realised because I wasn’t in the mood of creating a brand after the clothing one, of going through the accumulation of materials, stock, producing, going into the market… Futhermore, I even had to learn more about crystals. After that initial moment of doubt, it struck me that it could be a good thing.
Anyway, I started to produce small series and used the name of my original project to take advantage of its public and not start from scratch. Despite the fact that they weren’t my target consumers, I already had a certain base to make the undertaking known. Then, I started to define the audience, since I aim to sell the crystal and stone pieces in a holistic manner, as a healing tool. Although there are people that know about their properties and look for specific articles, others are only attracted by aesthetics. But crystals work the same; they are good for everyone even if they don’t know it.
Why were you interested in working with natural crystals?
What I loved about crystals is that they had an added value for me because they come from nature. I started this path by using my intuition, because of my affection for it. I am living in the city but always about to escape. I consider Buenos Aires as the place to build my education regarding a great number of things, since it is a cosmopolitan space. But I would be happier if I were surrounded by nature.
Apart from that, I am trying to spread the word about them and share my own experience. I studied with a local benchmark on the subject and have some really great books but I found that online information is not precise and is usually poorly written.
And in my experience, crystals actually help you healing, connect and activate frequencies. I am truly convinced that we are energy. So, crystals can change your frequency by working with vibrations (as if you were a radio). This is deeper when you are conscious of the process, you are aligned and boost their power through other techniques, such as Reiki, meditation, balancing, etc.
How do crystals actually work?
On one hand, they work by simply being in contact with your skin, passing their minerals (which are the same of the body). On the other hand, they work on a vibrational level. You can drink water activated with the crystals, for example, or by having them around and sensing its vibration.
I use these elements myself and they worked successfully. However, I would like to point out the importance of being aligned with yourself and be balanced beforehand. Otherwise, the process is much slower.
There is also something related with vibrations. Some crystals attract you because maybe they are what you need at an unconscious level. You can pick one randomly but perhaps its properties have something to do with what you needed to work. Or you had one and lost it, it falls or you never really liked it; maybe it wasn’t the one for you or maybe it has a connection with something that you deny or is in the shadows. It is extremely interesting.
Finally, people ask me for their astrological sign’s crystal but I don’t believe in that; even though crystals tune to certain energy from the zodiac, actually. In general, I suggest doing an astrological chart in order to be able to tell which crystal should they use, based on problematic aspects and what they should work on.
How do you tackle the creative process for each piece of jewelry?
Again, it all comes from intuition. I begin by choosing the crystals, which is the funniest part of the job. There is a broad variety of quality in the market. Their value depends on the quality, the formation of the natural piece, the extraction method, the colour and other variables. In addition to this, there are some stones that I import from Australia, for example. These are obviously more expensive.
So, I select the gems out of intuition but taking into consideration all of the variables that define the price. I try to obtain material of great quality and at the same time have an offer of a wide range of prices to make them affordable for everyone. In the end, the vibration is the same. However, the other features concern the aesthetic. I am a designer above all and therefore I aim to create a design and make a functional piece, to avoid creating something heavy or that chokes you. I think about the design from both a holistic and a practical perspective, so that the person can wear the jewel daily. If they can’t because of a high price or discomfort, then it loses all purpose.
How do you take care of the natural crystals?
Fundamentally, I recommend charging and discharging them from time to time, according to what you need or feel. For instance, if you have a job related to customer service and you are frequently under stress, you’ll have to clean it a lot more regularly than someone who works at home. This is also the case of people that suffer from an illness or if the crystal looks opaque.
Regarding the methods, crystals can be cleaned with the four elements: fire, air, water and earth. When it comes to discharging, you can get it close to a fire flame and visualise it getting cleaned with a purple flame. You can clean it with rosewood, incense or a feather by using the air and visualising the process. If you have a lake or flowing natural water near your house, you can submerge the piece in it. If you’re in a city, you can let the tap water flow and put it under the stream. I don’t recommend using salt because it could hurt the stone. Finally, you can bury the crystal if it is not mounted, or simply let it rest in the earth and the energy will flow. This is the easiest way and can become a routine.
Lastly, crystals can be charged through Reiki symbols or similar ones related to healing process, such as the Wicca pentacle; or you can use solar or lunar energy. Lunar power is suggested for black crystals or specific ones that prefer this source. And colourful pieces like the amethyst may be damaged by too much sun. Besides, when using lunar energy is best to turn to the full moon; or to take advantage from a certain phase and sign of the moon to work certain issues. The best way is to do it with an intention related to that moon and channel its energy towards that end. In other words, you can achieve the cleaning with a purpose in mind, working from the inside, with positive and present thinking. Then, the crystal will function as a companion of your journey.
Why people are so attracted to crystals and stones?
I believe that people love them because they regain an ancestral memory. I mean to awake to something from our most distant origin. People really believed in crystal powers in the Lemuria, Atlantis, Egypt and other civilizations from whom we are descendants.
On the other hand, and in my opinion, the attraction to a particular crystal may vary according to the moment of mankind’s consciousness. Right now, we are in the Aquarius age, which is related to an instantaneous knowledge, set under a grid. Thus, the information era and the Internet revolution. Crystals are meant to connect this and our memory, and the newly discovered ones are supposed to raise the consciousness level of humanity.
As a result of all this, the elements that attract us the most during a certain moment have to do with a specific moment of the person as individual, as part of a collective set in a place and, at another scale, part of global consciousness. I study transpersonal psychology and it seems to me that the consciousness grid exists and we are all united through something that appears as subtle.
What does the future holds for Bohemia like you?
Actually, my learning is related to going with the flow and seeing what happens next, and at the same time, to draw the limits (something I am still working on). I used to organise private showrooms to be able to connect with the visitors and explain this subject in a warm, comfortable and intimate space, where a friend or myself can attend to interested people. It should be done from one person to another, in a quiet place with music or mantras, while having a tea. Whereas in a locale you have a level of noise and lots of people (who may not be interested in this matter) circulating and touching the stones.
However, I realised that I am pretty busy at this moment: I am preparing a workshop in astrology, crystals and energetic plants (and how to bring heaven to the earth) with a friend; I study and do a lot of other things related to the holistic vision. As a result, I find it hard to have the time to do it the proper way, which requires time and effort. Apart from that, we are all connected and we are holographic: the visual image counts. You can get to anyone in the world by being online.
Therefore, I am selling online for the moment and organising private showrooms every other month or so. This are my current rules. My undertaking has been up and running for four years and people know me, that my product is real and that I give an excellent assistance. So, the idea for the future is to open the online store to the whole world. I’d like to move to other cities and this would allow me to continue with the project and add public to the established one. I honestly do this with lots of love.