An old Methodist church building on Sullivan Street in Wurtsboro houses Crystal Connection. Co-owned (with Tim Bracci) and run by Travis Ogden, it’s more of a holistic experience than a store, although every one of the thousands of crystals, stones, gems, geodes and other unique tchotchkes are for sale.
Ogden sees his job as welcoming visitors to Crystal Connection so that they might simply feel the energy of the sacred space and touch samples of this vast collection of crystals from all over the world. He invites people to get out of their intellectual ways of thinking in order to really feel what’s going on in response to holding and touching different crystals. Some might make the hair on your arm stand up and you’ll feel tingly. Others might be calming and soothing. It isn’t magic, he says, but it is miraculous – something you have to engage with to experience. “Crystals are minerals. Our bodies are made of minerals and we need them,” Ogden explains.
Ogden left his home in Newburyport, Massachusetts to attend the Culinary Institute of America, thinking that good food would be a worthy livelihood for his ambitions. A chance meeting with enthusiasts at a gem and mineral convention altered that path, and soon he found himself in Wurtsboro.
It was after becoming immersed in the fascinating world of crystals that he recalled a childhood connection. “My grandfather carried a crystal stone in his pocket,” he says. “And my dad, who was an antiques dealer, was also into crystals. He gave me a three-by-three-foot collectors’ box full of specimens, which I kept under my bed. I was sleeping right over all these crystals!”
With a wealth of anecdotal and experiential information about how crystals have been used to promote healing and renewal of body, mind and spirit, Ogden encourages visitors to touch the stones that they find attractive. It takes a bit of quieting the discursive chatter, a bit of letting go of skepticism, to sense whether one of them might enhance an individual’s well-being. Ogden tells me that crystals are living things, that they have grown in the depths of the Earth and have something energetic to offer us.
The one-time church is filled with light and color. The store’s inventory includes both rare and common samples, from tiny bits of amethyst, rose quartz, citrine, hematite, fluorite and carnelian to the hundreds of other unearthed rocks, some shaped and smoothed, others in a raw state. A whole shelf holds large quartz crystals mined just a few miles away, in Ellenville.
We sit on a cushioned bed at the altar-end of the room, where you can lie down and be surrounded by crystal energy. Ogden talks about the upcoming Psychic Healing Fair and the handpicked and certified practitioners who will be on hand to offer Reiki energy healing, tarot, aura photography and intuitive readings. Visitors can experience a gong bath and crystal tuning fork therapy, chakra reading, oracles and Akashic record navigating. “I want people to be well and happy,” Ogden says.
I’m feeling a little agitated, lightheaded. I have more questions now than when I first came in – plus my recorder is acting funny. I may not yet be a believer, but curiosity and intrigue have taken hold. No doubt, I’ll be back.
Crystal Connection is open Thursday through Tuesday in September (closed Wednesdays) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It closes for the season on December 23. The store is located at 116 Sullivan Street in Wurtsboro. For more info call (845) 888-2547 or visit http://crystalconnectioncenter.com/home. The Fall Healing Psychic Fair takes place on Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 22, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free. Fifteen- and 30-minute sessions run from $22 to $55. Check out the list of practitioners at http://crystalconnectioncenter.com/psychic-fair.