Laugh at “healy feely” if the term tickles you.

Just understand that there’s gold in them thar crystals that our Henry Meier writes about on the front page of this issue.

And it seems somehow right that Los Angeles – and the Venice neighborhood more specifically – is at the center of a budding local hub for high-end mineral specimens.

Anyone who wants to see the sort of commercial opportunity crystals can fuel needs only to check out Sedona, Ariz., a resort town that’s achieved a big-time metaphysical rep among healy-feelies around the world. Seems a lot of them believe the powers of the place owes to Sedona’s combination of crystals and its location at a “vortex,” which the city’s visitors bureau describes as a “special spot” where “energy is either entering into the earth or projecting out of the earth’s plane.”

Theses vortexes are said to be the stuff of sacred sites around the globe, including the Great Pyramid in Egypt, Machu Picchu in Peru, Stonehenge in England and Ayers Rock in Australia, among others.

Give Sedona credit for getting itself in the conversation with such wonders of the world when talk turns to crystals and vortexes.

Give the visitors bureau credit for being ever-ready to guide potential travelers – from this world or another – to hotels, restaurants and the town’s lineup of toney shops, with plenty that cater to believers in the powers of crystals. Our report indicates that the U.S. market for “psychic services” – which overlaps with just one slice of the crystal trade – is about $2.1 billion.

Some poking around the world of such devotees indicates that Los Angeles isn’t credited as a locale for any vortex of the metaphysical sort.

This is home to a lot of creative folks with wide-open minds, though – not to mention a veritable army of entrepreneurs who can always find something new to market (see related op-ed, facing page).

Consider Jeff Segal, who has two retail shops peddling crystals in Venice and embodies L.A.’s commercial tradition of giving everyone a chance at a slice of the Southern California sunshine.

“One of the things I’ve tried to do is have price points that cater to everybody,” Segal says in the story. “You can buy a tumbled stone here with the metaphysical properties of that stone and a little mesh bag for $2.95 and you can also buy a stone here for over $10,000.”

That’s the spirit – entrepreneurial and otherwise.

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