By Rebecca Noble | Jackson Hole News & Guide
May 8, 2018
Every morning the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ski patrollers boarded the Aerial Tram and chanted a resounding “Om.”
No, they were not preparing for a predynamiting yoga session. Chanting the sacred Buddhist mantra started last winter after Connie Kemmerer, the resort’s co-owner, introduced two behemoth crystals — one between the tram and the Teton Club and another near Solitude Station — believed to have healing, protective properties.
Chanting “Om” really has nothing to do with crystals. But the new pseudo-ritual shows that belief in the metaphysical powers of crystals is still unusual in “normal” American culture, though crystal popularity is on the rise. Though there aren’t scientific studies that prove the metaphysical properties of crystals, evidence exists that people as far back as the ancient Sumerians believed in harnessing their powers.
According to believers, crystals carry natural living energy that interacts with energy fields in the earth and in humans. And as of last winter, two have made Jackson Hole Mountain Resort their home.
‘Acupuncture on the Earth’
When placed strategically in public settings, like in a house or on a ski resort, crystals are believed to have the power to heal, change or protect an area. Kemmerer wanted the crystals to be part of her legacy at the resort.
“It came up when we were thinking of what to do for Jerry Blann’s retirement,” she said. “We named a [run] after him, Jerry’s Way, but that got me thinking: What would I want as my legacy on the mountain?”
Around the same time, Kemmerer was introduced to Marta Barreras, a Hawaii-based feng shui master who since 2015 had worked with Rob Deslauriers, a ski mountaineer, real estate agent and crystal user. Barreras said she doesn’t “even have a word for what I do.”
“I am an evolutionary catalyst and the crystals are part of the work that I do,” she said.
Much of her work relies on the principles of feng shui, which aligns a space according to certain Chinese geometry to help people harmonize with their environment.
“Feng shui is basically like acupuncture for your home,” she said. “It is based on the same principles of Chinese medicine.”
In her feng shui work, Barreras started using crystals in certain parts of people’s homes.
“What I started seeing was that the results of the feng shui remedy were exponentially more positive,” she said. “I would get stories back that would just blow me away.”
Fast-forward 20 years: Barreras has focused her efforts on helping individuals place large crystals around the world to promote healing and connect the earth’s energy.
“The way I work with the crystal is like acupuncture on the earth,” she said.
Deslauriers’ home brought Barreras to the Teton Range.
“After visiting Jackson Hole and learning a bit about the spiritual history of the Tetons, I thought it was really important to go back and forth between Hawaii and Jackson Hole,” she said. “I felt that there was an energy connection.”
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