Charlotte McGary & Sharon Faiola-Petersen
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December 19, 2014

Caverns, crystals . . . and Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
By Sharon

Since late October, I've been meaning to write this blog about a cool TV show on caves and crystals. But now that it's already mid-December, something aligned with the holiday season seemed more appropriate. Well, I just re-watched the show and—lo and behold—it drew me smack-dab into the middle of Bethlehem's nativity scene! So without apology, I now present my December blog with a touch of Christmas wonder.

As a culture, and especially as readers and writers of science fiction, we spend so much time staring up in to the heavens we forget how many wonders may be just below our feet. I'm thinking of the vast systems of caves branching and curling like fractal art for endless miles beneath Earth's crust. Such massive, mysterious, and powerful places! When you delve into the history of caves and their relationship to humankind's development of community, spirituality, and cultural tradition, I find it baffling that we don't invest more time into exploring them—yes, literally as well as figuratively.

Perhaps a recent episode of TV's "Ancient Aliens"* will help bring about a renaissance in speleology. First aired October 31, 2014, on cable channel H2, "Forbidden Caves" has much less to do with aliens and anything forbidden than it has to do with the profound physical and symbolic significance ancient man discovered in cavern depths and the amazing technologies modern researchers are gleaning from the crystals growing in their nooks and crannies today.

Typical of the "Ancient Aliens" series, this episode hits on far too many topics in too short a time, and it tries far too hard to connect all the dots to its extraterrestrials thesis. (Want to skip most of the alien stuff? Start watching half-way in.) But it's worth viewing if only for its segments on the amazing piezoelectric properties of quartz crystals and the related energy-harnessing power of caves . . . or the goose-bump inducing visuals of Chihuahua, Mexico's Cueva de los Cristales with its pristine, dinosaur-sized crystal deposits.

But I promised you Christmas amidst all this cavernous splendor (hmm, these splendorous caverns?). So note about 40 minutes into the video the surprising and fascinating detour to Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus in, yes, an animal stable "cave"! And completing the sacred cycle, the episode incorporates the resurrection of Christ from a tomb "cave" where the mysterious Shroud of Turin is said to have originated. Wow.

If you've already read "The Dream Crystals of Gandara," then you'll recognize that, in our book, Charlotte and I have already touched on some of the wondrous subjects approached in this "Forbidden Caves" episode. Yet there are many more ways we intend to explore the power and mystery of crystals and caverns in books to come! Now we just have to finish writing them. . . .

*Access H2's "Ancient Aliens: Forbidden Caves." Or, if you don't subscribe to a cable provider, watch it at a sponsored site, such as Disclose TV.

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Thoughts, musings, and words of wisdom from our distinctly different minds and POVs.

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