ETCHED Crystals and Sacred SIGILS – Surface features with special energies

This week we’ll be discussing Etching on crystals which falls under the category of surface features. Before we can discuss what surface features are, you need to know how to see them.

etched crystal

To view the surface features on a crystal (to keep from looking inside of the crystal), hold your crystal parallel to a light source so that you can use the glare that the light creates in order to see what is on the surface.

Surface Features & Light Glare

Surface Features & Light Glare

To illustrate this, imagine a lake with very clear water. If the sun isn’t shining off the surface, then you see right down into the lake and you can see rocks and fish and weeds, right? But when the glare of the sun is on the water, you can see things floating on the surface like dust, bugs, or even ripples that you wouldn’t have been able to see without the sun’s glare. The same is true for surface features on a crystal.

The best way to do this is to find your best light source, which may be the sun if you are outside or a bright light or lamp if you are inside. Then, starting with the main face, work your way around the crystal by tipping it until you can see the surface features in the light’s glare. (See how the glare on the surface of the crystal allows you to see the surface features on the crystal in the photo?)

Etching presents on sides as well as faces, so to look for Etching you would apply this technique to all surfaces of the crystal, not only the faces.

So what exactly IS an Etched crystal? Etched crystals have abrasions on the outer areas of the crystal that look like hieroglyphics or writing of some sort. I’ve seen them called Lightning Strike Quartz, as well. I don’t know exactly what causes the etching, but it isn’t always the same in all cases. Sometimes it is a type of shallow Growth Interference or the way the surface interacts with the environment in which it is growing.

Here is a crystal with Etching on the sides:

etched crystal

Here is another crystal with Etching on the sides:

etched sides

Notice how differently each Etched crystal presents. In the first, it looks like pock marks, in the second, like raised and squiggly lines. Below is yet another way Etching may present:


Because we’re talking about Etching, we’re going to need to discuss Sigils as well. The pronunciation of sigils is the same as “vigils”, (the G has a J sound). Sigils are any markings that represent an idea. For example, a dollar sign is a sigil that represents money and abundance. Sigils are much more than just ordinary markings, however. They also call up a deeper, more architypical meanings and are used in magical workings.

Sigils are surface features and fit well with the topic of Etching (sometimes Etching takes the shape of Sigils, sometimes it doesn’t). Crystals may have markings that resemble things such as snake skin, mountain ranges, water or even cities. I have seen many crystals that have three-dimensional cities made of layers of buildings that look like pueblos on the surface. Here are a few examples of some of these Sigils:

Sigils which look like buildings

These Sigils are Etched and look like snakeskin:

Sigils which look like snakeskin

Gas Phantoms are often etched in  a specific way, they have a lot of triangles and sometimes whole layers of the face may be etched away. Here are some Gas Phantoms and the etching usually present on their faces:

etching on a Gas Phantom

Here are three more Gas Phantoms and their etched faces:

Etched Gas Phantoms

Here are some etched faces, (not Gas Phantoms), which have angular etching. Remember, sometimes the etching may take on the shape of Sigils, sometimes it doesn’t. It may also have a shape which speaks to you but not someone else (you may see a Sigil in the Etching, where another might not).


Because a Sacred Sigil is a marking that reminds us of an idea or evokes a memory or feeling, the meaning will depend on what shape the sigil is in and what that particular sigil represents to you. For example, the etching on the sides of this Dolphin Crystal look fluid to me, like rain on a windshield (or water on a dolphin).

etching on Dolphin crystals

To me, a lot of times the etching on crystals is symbolic in that it looks like writing. Sometimes it takes on the shape of faces, angels, animals, etc. What it is, is most important to the person working with the crystal, it doesn’t matter what I see or what someone else says they see (or don’t see). If you see a Sigil in an etched crystal, work with the energy according to what the Sigil means to you.

etched crystals

Here is an example of Sigils with a triangular shape. What do YOU see in these Sigils?

Teepee or forest shaped sigils

What about these?


The picture above is another good example of using the glare of your light source to view the surface features.


Do you see any Sigils in the Etching on this large Gas Phantom? Sometimes you may see faces or you may simply receive an impression of a Sigil (it may “remind” you of something or bring something to mind), even when you cant really say the etching looks like a particular Sigil which you could point out to another. Remember the important thing is what it means to YOU.

Today we’ve learned that:

  • Etching is a surface feature.
  • Etching occurs on the faces and or sides of crystals.
  • Etching may be in the shape of Sigils.
  • Sigils are markings which represent an idea and may mean different things to different people.
  • To work with an Etched crystal, determine if there are Sigils and then work with the particular energy the Sigil represents to you.

I hope you have enjoyed this discussion about Etched quartz crystals and Sigils; what they are, how to determine if you have one, and how to work with them. Next time we’ll discuss Extra-Terrestrial quartz crystals, sometimes called ET or Extra-Termination.

Here is a recap of the past posts featuring the metaphysical configurations and links to where you might find these various crystal configurations if you decided you might like to work with them:

EMPATHIC CRYSTALS (To bring out and amplify compassionate feelings.) purchase Empathic crystal   read blog post

ELESTIAL or ELESTIATED CRYSTAL (To connect with angelic energies.) purchase Elestial crystal   read blog post

EIGHT-SIDED FACE / GROUNDING CRYSTALS (Any time you need to refocus and ground.) purchase Eight-Sided Face   read blog post

DRUSY (To assist with ideas or thought forms ready to spring forth and grow such as thoughts or dreams, desires or wishes.) purchase Drusy    read blog post

DOW or TRANS-CHANNELER CRYSTALS (For divine balance, and a connection with the self and Universal Truth.) Note: Dow crystals are rare, and I don’t always have very many of them. Sometimes the ones I have are Dow by count (7-3-7-3-7-3) but have one large 7-sided face (present as a Channeler) or two large 7-sided faces and one small 7 (present as a Transmitter). If you order one, I will let you know at time of purchase what I have available.  purchase Dow or Trans-Channeler crystal     read blog post

DOUBLE TERMINATED CRYSTALS (Useful in any application in which you want the energy to flow in both directions) purchase Double Terminated crystal    read blog post

DOLPHIN CRYSTAL (To encourage teaching in a loving, fun, joyful way, or alternately, to assist one to enjoy learning) read blog post

CURVED CRYSTAL (To assist with flexibility “go with the flow” or to cleanse or brush your aura)  purchase Curved crystal    read blog post

CLUSTER CRYSTAL (Raise the vibration in an environment or to assist with group dynamics)  purchase crystal cluster    read blog post

CATHEDRAL or LIGHTBRARY CRYSTAL (Raise your vibrational frequency or access Akashic Records)  purchase Cathedral or Lightbrary    read blog post

CHANNELER or CHANNELING CRYSTAL (To access higher wisdom, guides, other-world beings)  purchase Channeler    read blog post

BRIDGE or INNER CHILD CRYSTAL (To help Bridge between worlds or help to access your innermost self)  purchase Bridge or purchase Inner Child    read blog post

BARNACLE QUARTZ CRYSTAL (Wise energy; ‘new souls’ attracted to ‘old soul’ energy)  purchase Barnacle    read blog post

See you next week for Extra-Terrestrial (ET or Extra-Termination) quartz crystals.

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About Genn

Genn John has been acting as the legs for the Crystal People as the Keeper at Arkansas Crystal Works, an internet-based source for crystals and crystal knowledge, since 1995. Having accepted the honor to be their voice as well, she is the author of Understanding The Crystal People: A Handbook for Lightworkers; a crystal reference book for people who desire to fully understand their connection to the crystal kingdom and who wish to enhance their working knowledge of these majestic beings. Genn has also published a 4 part series of coloring books which are a useful tool for anyone with an interest in learning the anatomical structures of quartz crystals. It features precise, extraordinary hand-drawn designs crafted especially for easy coloring and interactive study. Find the store and more at, or her blog at To connect: email -, facebook -, Instagram - gennjohn or Twitter @GennJohn.

10 Responses to ETCHED Crystals and Sacred SIGILS – Surface features with special energies

  1. K says:

    Thank you for your very in depth article on sigils. I was having a hard time finding any solid information until I ran into your piece. Being familiar with crystals and their etchings I had never heard the term sigils before. So, I learned a lot!
    Thank you

  2. Loi Nguyen says:

    I bought a clear quartz and I noticed on the edge of the clear quartz there are triangle symbols when I shine the light on. The edge of the stone is completely flat. I want to know what it means. Hope you can explain. Thank you

    • Genn says:

      Hey Loi! Hard to “diagnose” 100% without a photo, but it sounds like you either have Record Keepers (the triangles are “flat” like a piece of tape stuck to the surface, with the pointy end of the triangle pointing toward the termination (top) of the crystal) or Trigonic Record Keepers (appear to be “cut” into the surface, palpable, with the pointy end of the triangle pointing toward the middle of the crystal). Here are a few blog posts on each, you can compare yours to the pictures to see which you have. Record Keepers are here, Trigonic Record Keepers are here. Hope this helps!

  3. Rita Malhotra says:


    Thanks for this useful blog.

  4. Onetrue says:

    I have with what looks to be eyes eched on it o find it very beautiful would like to know what they mean

    • Genn says:

      Thanks for your question! When Etching appears to be in the shape of something it is called Sigils. Explore what eyes represent to you.

  5. Thank you so very much for sharing these articles about crystals. I have enjoyed learning about the names of the crystals I have seen it books or the Crystal groups I am in, this is the first time they have been explained in a way I can understand. The pictures and how they are presented are of great importance in the overall meanings.
    Thank you for the excellent work and passion that you have put into your blogs.

    Love and light
    Patty O’Brien

    • Genn says:

      Thank you so much for your input, Patty! I strive to make the Crystal People and their nuances as understandable as possible (as well as fun!) so I am happy to hear that I am hitting my mark. Thanks!

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