New Age Crystals From The Northern Mountains

By Pat Werner

I note with interest that Katie Yedinak recently wrote about New Age Crystals.  It interests me not because I am a New Ager, I am not, but an old Presbyterian, but because the rocks and crystals of northern Nicaragua interest me, and they are New Age crystals.  Many expats like the beach, where there are very few crystals. But many New Age crystals are found in the northern mountains, where the land is not flat and there are a bunch of old mine shafts, and many legends.  The natives say  the mountains have many duendes, or evil elves, and there is the persistent rumor of a beautiful succubus, originally called a Ciguacoatl, who kisses young men and suck out their life.  The belief is still persistent, and some restaurants in Sebaco have an upside down Aloe Vera plant hanging upside down over the front door, to keep out brujosand the Ciguacoatl.

The many mineshafts have their mysteries, and a little risk, as some of them  are inhabited by bats, who leave their leavings, which sometimes contains the essence of histoplasmosis, which will make you very sick.  Not to mention ventilation shafts which may be hundreds of feet deep, straight down, and the risk of cave ins.   There is no 911 to call if get trapped in a mine shaft.

Some of the mysteries of those very old mines are the rock formations found inside of them.   Wandering the northern mountains over the years I have crawled in some mines and found some crystals that New Agers may think give off New Age vibrations. I send along photos of four crystals I have found in old mines. The first is dog toothed quartz. It comes from a spilt mountain with a foot wall out of which grew the dog tooth crystals, which are covered in hematite dust.  Where the crystals meet the foot wall there are flakes of gold.  There are not many of chunks of dog tooth quartz around because it gets ground  up to get out the gold.

The next crystal is of schorl, or black tourmaline.  The crystals are floating in white or bull quartz, and are found at a certain level of the northern mountains, from Mozonte to Santa Clara.  I cut and polished this specimen so you can see the bull quartz, and the schorl crystals.  It also comes out of a split mountain, where the schorl and quartz rolled out of the mountain like bread dough.

The next example is of metallic antimony, that is found in its native, crystalline state, in one mountain.  It is also a split mountain, and the site of a colonial mine, where the antimony was mined.  The last example is my big crystal of quartz that I found during the war.  Maybe I felt the vibrations, because I remember entering the mine shaft and seeing the crystal sparkling at me.  I cannot feel the vibrations, but New Agers tell me they are there.

If you get curious, leave the beach and head straight north, until you get close to Honduras at Las Manos.  East and west of Las Manos are many mountains,  where the land is not flat but steep, and covered with pine and oak forests.  Go where it is steepest and sooner or later you will run into signs of old mines. You will also find orchids, bromeliads, great views, and some interesting mushrooms, for cooking, if you know your mushrooms.  But be careful of anything looking like an Amanita, as there are some really poisonous types in those forests.  But you also may find the Boletus. 

It is also a place where the locals say there are ghostly figures that appear at night.  It is where the Indians fought the Spaniards to a standstill at the mining town of Nueva Segovia, and finally kicked them out in 1610.  The Indians cut the head off the last Spaniard, one Captain Daza, put it on a pole, and paraded it around the ruins of  Nueva Segovia  It is also the place of many encounters between the Contra and the EPS.  Maybe best not to be there after dark.  There are over 100 mine shafts in those mountains, and maybe they have ethereal forms guarding their secrets.  Maybe better to stay at the beach, and don´t kiss any attractive young lady you find walking by those old mines.

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