for modern-day pseudo-scientific
things. Often associated with yuppies
, the original hippies
(who have now grown up), homeopathy
, and audiophile
s (who often employ crystal magic, such as green marker
s and lead pyramid
s in vague, overpriced attempt
s at improving their sound
It gets its name because back in the 80s there was a huge surge of these sorts of belief systems which seemed to stem from the supposed magical properties of quartz crystals (that is, the fact that a current applied to them would cause them to oscillate at some relatively-constant frequency, which was grossly misinterpreted as the heartbeat of some living being, brought to life through energy). Good thing none of them ever seemingly discovered that computers and watches of the time used quartz crystals as clock generators...
In any case, nowadays it is much more broadly applied to any sort of neo-magical pseudo-phenomena. Although I will refrain from commenting on ESP (insufficient data at this time), it is quite obvious to me that things like the basic tenets of Scientology and much of trendy herbal medicine is definitely crystal magic.
That isn't to say, of course, that all herbal medicine is crystal magic - to the contrary, most of it is quite legitimate and uses the same techniques as mainstream medications, but much of it is rather hokey. People seem to believe nowadays that herbs have magical properties that "normal" medications wouldn't, when really, most commonly-used mainstream medications are derived from herbal remedies. They also seem to believe that being herbal/natural makes it immediately good for you. For people who adamantly believe that, I'd prescribe them some nightshade with a touch of hemlock...
But I digress. Crystal magic is basically any misapplication of science to religion or vice-versa, as set in a mainstream western culture which really should know better. It helps if it involves quartz, of course...