But Y Tho explores a plethora of funny, strange, and peculiar trends to provide long sought-after answers to questions that have been swimming in all our heads.
When moldavite sales skyrocketed over the past year, Michelle Ferris knew right away that it was because of TikTok.
“For a long time before TikTok, it was not popular except among specific collectors,” the Seattle-based crystal shop owner told me. At the peak of the moldavite craze, Ferris went from selling one moldavite every few weeks to selling about five pieces a day.
In the world of crystal healing, moldavite is a tektite known for heralding powerful transformations that will invite things into people’s lives and put people on their “highest path.”
When Ferris first started wearing moldavite, she experienced a huge surge of energy, she said. Apparently, this feeling is so common that there’s a name for it: moldavite flush.
The purported power of moldavite may be how it gained initial traction on TikTok. Then came the trove of videos that have given the gemstone an especially bad rap for stirring shit in people’s lives. In these videos, TikTokers tearfully document terrible news supposedly caused by moldavite, from car crashes to severed relationships and even death of family members.
Stephanie Porth, a student in New York, posted one such TikTok video. In the six months since she started wearing a moldavite ring, her dog died and she lost some important people in her life.
Porth’s video, which has racked up 3.5 million views since June, naturally rattled some dog owners in the comments section. But she doesn’t actually believe that moldavite is cursed.
Porth noted that a lot of people saw her video as a negative thing. “But they don’t understand the situation that’s surrounding it,” she said. In fact, Porth thinks moldavite has served its purpose of introducing more positive things into her life—her family adopted a rescue dog and she made a new friend.
Keegan, a 19-year-old in Nashville who prefers to go by just her first name to keep her professional life separate from her TikTok persona, shares similar sentiments.
“Moldavite getting a bad reputation is also kind of my fault. And I do feel bad about it,” she said. In April, the TikToker made a series of viral videos about the bad things that happened to her after wearing her moldavite earrings.
“No more boyfriend,” she declared in tears in one TikTok video shot in her car, wearing her moldavite earring. That video has since been viewed 6.8 million times.
“No more parent,” she announced in another video with her standing in front of a hearse. That one got has gotten a whopping 10 million views.
Keegan told me that she was having a breakdown in her car after ending things with her boyfriend when she suddenly recalled the moldavite-is-cursed meme. So she whipped out her phone and made a TikTok video about it. Similarly, the video about her stepfather’s passing was a humorous way to cope with her loss.
After her videos blew up, she found herself having to explain to panic-stricken viewers that moldavite isn’t actually jinxed—her stepfather’s health had been deteriorating because of brain cancer, and her relationship had been facing circumstantial challenges.
“I think about it a lot that I’m like, ‘Oh my god, I cannot believe I admitted to the internet, like, that I blamed all this on a rock,’” she confessed. “The way that I joked about things gave it a negative reputation where people are like, ‘It’s gonna kill everyone.’ And I'm like, ‘No, no, it won’t do that.’”
Now, she sees moldavite as a “big inside joke” among TikTokers for when something bad happens.
Molly Donlan, a reiki master and yoga teacher who incorporates crystal healing in her practice, wears moldavite on a necklace almost every day.
“I see crystals as crossing guards helping you walk across the street to the next part of your path,” she said, adding that crystals are not there to “drop bombs in your life.”
“I always like to describe the purpose of moldavite is to help get you from where you are, to your life’s purpose,” said Donlan. “So it really supports you in making changes that are in alignment with your soul’s calling.”
Donlan also thinks that a lot of the claims on TikTok are wildly exaggerated. Ferris, the crystal shop owner, agrees. Crystals, whether it’s moldavite or not, are never going to work against you, intentionally harm others, or cause devastating situations, she said.
While crystal enthusiasts have defended moldavite’s cursed reputation, I was still itching to test it. Will it fuck up my life or stoke good fortune? I wanted to know. So, I bought a moldavite ring, fashioned it into a necklace pendant, and wore it for a week. Here’s what happened.
My first day of wearing the moldavite necklace was massively uneventful.
I went for a run with my moldavite ring and on my way back I think I kicked a frog. In case the significance of this encounter isn’t clear, I’m terrified of frogs. I didn’t dare to look at the ground to confirm my fear and sprinted away in a moment of panic. I also tried and failed to pet a stray neighborhood cat. Pretty devastating for someone who likes to think of herself as an animal whisperer.
Again, nothing eventful happened to me on this day. My editor did call in sick and while the cursed crystal didn’t bring me mishaps, I did wonder if it was working its curse on the people around me.
Dinner with friends sent me into a spiral over COVID-19 paranoia because I had been suffering from a stubborn sore throat and my friend was sharing stories of a COVID-19 cluster at her workplace. That night, I decided to get tested at the doctor’s clinic.
This weekend was supposed to be filled with morning walks, zoom interviews, miscellaneous errands, and meetings with friends. It was gearing up to be lots of fun but also scarily hectic. After taking a COVID-19 test that required me to be quarantined for about a week, almost all of my plans were wiped clean. For the first time since I can remember, my weekend was completely free from plans. I was homebound, of course, but free.
My weekends, I realized, have been bursting at the seams with activities and errands, leaving me with barely any time to just sit and simmer. This quarantined weekend was shaping up to be the rest and relaxation that I sorely needed.
By Sunday, I was well-rested but a little restless, which was just the right spur of motivation I needed to start making plans for a personal newsletter and podcast, and getting back into watercoloring—basically, all the projects that I keep brewing at the back of my mind but never had the time nor headspace to really consider. On this day, I also found out that I did not have COVID-19, which meant I had essentially canceled all my plans for nothing. I can’t say I regret it, though—my idyllic weekend was amazing. I also couldn’t help but imagine that this was perhaps the moldavite’s way of clearing my schedule.
Another uneventful day, the last before I took off my moldavite ring. To be honest, I was kind of disappointed that nothing that extreme happened. Or perhaps I need to give it more time.
“I think the difficulty with a week is that if there are changes, you might be too close to it to notice it,” Donlan said when I told her about my experiment. “Sometimes its effects are immediate… and sometimes you don’t really notice much at all. But when you look back on your life, a year later or six months later, you realize, ‘Wow, a lot of things did change for the better.’”
Stina Garbis, a professional psychic and longtime crystal healing enthusiast, told me that she believes crystals work more on your mood and experience, rather than hitting you brick-to-face with unexpected changes. Moldavite, especially, can help those who have goals but have trouble achieving them.
First, get a clear idea of your goal and the potential barriers, then you can allow moldavite to work its charm and get rid of those barriers, she said. So it’s basically practicing more mindfulness, which is almost always a good idea.
“It’s all about mindset and what you get out of your sessions when you’re using your crystals,” she said.
I’d like to think that moldavite helped me catch a breather over the weekend and forced me to get started on personal projects I’ve been procrastinating on. Even though my week-long experiment has come to an end, I’m inclined to keep my moldavite on for a little while longer, just to see what else it has in store for me. What’s the worst that could happen?
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