Seeking Tranquility in Taos

​An otherworldly treatment with fairy crosses, a powerful crystal found only in a few places on earth

It’s the stuff of folklore.

Like buttons on a dress, a handful of fairy crosses lie poised atop the blanket that covers my body. They run from my throat to my sacrum, basically lined along my chakra points. Though they measure less than a half inch in diameter, and weigh very little, they anchor me to the massage table in this womb-centric treatment room at El Monte Sagrado Hotel’s The Living Spa in Taos, New Mexico. Their grounding energy seems to tingle the tips of my fingers and toes, and I imagine myself caught amid swirls of golden glitter. As I migrate from a dreamy alpha state to a theta realm of switched-off consciousness, I swear that I hear pixies singing. Words from a William Butler Yeats’ poem, a favorite from my childhood, meander into my mind: “Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!”

In search of otherworldly interaction and the hopes of reigniting my spiritual flame, I’ve opted for the spa’s signature treatment, The Sacred Staurolite. Using fairy crosses, officially known as staurolite, a crystal found only in a few places on earth, the ritual aims to treat the whole being. “It focuses on total wellness—physically, through lymphatic dry brushing and massage; mentally, with the deep relaxation of a turquoise wrap, plus a scalp massage; and, energetically, through the grounding and connective qualities of the staurolite stones,” says Spa Director Heidi Gates. Under the peaceful ministrations of my healing therapist, Rebecca, an elfin being herself, I melt into the table, then reshape into something solid again, as water turns to ice.

Fairy crosses hail from just a few places on earth. Taos is one such locale. Found amid the scrubby brush and rocky promontories of this high desert terrain, they bring a sense of place to this treatment—and to the spa, which also honors the surrounding landscape with its earth-made, adobe building, circular architecture, and omnipresent sounds of falling water.

Staurolite, unique for its enchanting natural shape, comes straight from metamorphic rock configured as a cross, usually in Maltese or St. Andrews form. From the Greek word, stauros (which means cross), the crystals, legendarily formed from the tears of weeping fairies, have been carried by the likes of Teddy Roosevelt for good luck. Purportedly, they were used by Richard the Lionheart to heal the wounded, and many believe that placing one beneath a pillow can turn a normal night’s sleep into an astral trip to the other side. Generations have sought them as protection against sickness, a relief from anxiety, and as a helpmate to counter addiction. As I child, I was told by a shaman that putting one into my pocket would help me talk to animals.

Whatever one believes, it is generally suggested that fairy crosses ground and soothe. They dispel fear and stress. They may even be able to block harmful aspects of radiation. Related to the root (or muladhara) chakra, staurolite can connect one to her core, re-establishing balance and initiating spiritual detox. I feel replenished when the treatment ends. Like a character from Peter Pan, I mumble as exit, “I do believe in fairies. I do. I do.” elmontesagrado.com

Becca Hensley

Becca Hensley

Award winning travel writer Becca Hensley can’t resist the unexplored alley, that glass of champagne in an unknown bar or taking the train far beyond her planned stop. Travel Editor for Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, her work appears in myriad magazines and newspapers including Washington Flyer, National Geographic Traveler, Toronto Star, Fodors, Dallas Morning News, Coastal Living, Smart Luxury Travel and more. Reared in Mexico, Europe and the US, she now resides in Austin.
Becca Hensley

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