A Quick & Easy Guide To Using Crystals
Crystals are suddenly everywhere — they’re in our water bottles, our jewelry, and our yoga studios, and celebs like Victoria Beckham and Katy Perry have incorporated them into their most sacred daily rituals. So what’s the big deal?
Whether you believe in the healing powers of crystals or just think they look cute, the basic idea is that the vibrational energy of the Earth can be harnessed and refocused by connecting our positive intentions with rocks that come from the Earth’s crust. Crystals are millions of years old, created during the Earth’s formation, and can be found in most of the world’s technology from cell phones to Square readers. There’s a long history of crystal use in ancient cultures dating back to the Sumerians of Mesopotamia and continuing through the Romans, Egyptians, Greeks, Indian Ayurvedic medicines, ancient Japanese fortune telling (called ‘scry’), and various eastern medicines, but Western pseudo-scientists first took note of the stones’ potential power more recently. IBM scientist Marcel Vogel noticed that crystals he viewed under a microscope took the form of whatever he was thinking of at the time and assumed it was because of the constant disassembling and assembling of molecular bonds causing vibrations in the stones. Honestly, he could have just been shrooming, but he continued studying quartz crystals and hypothesized that they can use their energy to store our thoughts. Albert Einstein did say that everything in life is vibration, so maybe our man Marcel was onto something.
Once you’ve chosen your stones, which is a whole other story but mostly comes down to trusting your gut and using vendors that you trust, you have to cleanse it. This is something that should be done periodically anyway if your crystals have been living on an altar for a while, is touched by someone other than you, or has been used daily for about a week. There are different schools of thought on the best way to cleanse a stone, but Shamanic energy medicine practitioner Colleen McCann sticks to these five options: bury them in dirt for a week, wash them in salt water (if they can get wet, which most stones that end it “-ite” cannot), leave them in moonlight for three days before and after the full moon, wipe them with a soft cloth and isopropyl alcohol (which TBH sounds like it’s just the sanitary thing to do), or burn sage and run the stone through its smoke.
After the stone has been cleansed, hold it in your hands and set its intention through meditation. How you choose to put this energy back into the world is up to you: Katy holds one in her hand each night as she sleeps, others prefer to wear it on a chain close to their heart or set up a small altar in their room. Elle talked to a healer that keeps a small stone in her bra because that feels good to her. It’s all about what works for you, and there are thousands of options that can be as specific as possible to what you need.
McCann explains that crystals are the “most orderly structure that exists in nature,” with the lowest amount of entropy, that respond to the inputs of the other energies around them like the human electromagnetic field before emitting vibratory frequencies back. Going back to ancient Indian traditions, any good yogi knows that chakras are concentrated energy centers in the human body. Naturally, as crystals are all about harnessing vibrational energy, it makes sense to match up your stone and your intention with a corresponding rock. Your root chakra provides grounding and is associated with feelings of stability in the most fundamental aspects of your life like the home, family, and the other foundational blocks of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. If this is the area of your life that you need to bring into balance, Black Obsidian is the stone for you. McCann recommends putting it in your pillowcase or near your bed to help ground yourself as you sleep. It should be sourced from anywhere with high amounts of volcanic activity.
Next up is your sacral chakra, which aligns itself with anything involving your lady parts. This means sex, reproductive issues, menstruation, and anything else that falls under the umbrella of female fertility. Placing carnelian with your tampons, on top of your abdomen, or simply holding it in your hand during your time of the month will activate its healing powers. This would probably be a good stone to cleanse in moonlight since your period is governed by the moon.
Your third chakra is the energetic center of your body, ruling your creativity, wealth, and personal power. If you’re trying to use crystals to get your bag, use Citrine in a 30-day Abundance Altar by placing citrine on a stack of new, clean bills alongside other items that symbolize whatever type of material abundance you’re trying to manifest. Perhaps burn sage and visualize what you want once a day for thirty days. Aventurine should also be helpful here, as it’s known as the stone of luck, money, and good fortune. If you’re soft and looking for ~love~ instead of wealth or sex, Rose Quartz activates the heart chakra, which rules all kinds of love. Romantic love, self-love, unconditional love, you name it. The Goddess Stone, chrysocolla, is also great for your heart chakra if you feel you’re struggling with sharing your feelings. This green stone shares the heart chakra’s associated color and connects it to your throat chakra, which is all about speaking your truth. Help your truth be compassionate, prosperous, and heard by harnessing the power of its ancient wisdom and connection to the high priestesses that came before you. Send good vibes to others either vocally or internally with the stone, and trust that what goes around comes around. Lapis Lazuli also activates your throat chakra and works as a great stress ball if you hate public speaking and need a helpful talisman.
The sixth and seventh chakra are where it gets ~mystical~. Your third eye chakra is your seat of intuition, while your crown chakra connects you to the spiritual energy of the world, your higher self, and the powers of the universe. Amethyst amplifies both of the most bad*ss chakras while keeping negative energy away. It’s also one of a few crystals that are actually safe to drink, so it’s a good one to keep in your water bottle. Clear quartz, meanwhile, is the master healer connected to your crown chakra which amplifies other crystals. This might be because quartz makes up 12% of the Earth’s crust and is one of the most commonly used stones in technology, making it the most connected of the healing rocks. That’s just our take. Using any of these stones alongside a chakra-based yoga practice should also amplify the natural energy balancing effects of the poses or any kriyas you integrate into your flow for a one-two punch that’ll kick negative vibes’ butts.
Like in most things, size *does* matter when it comes to crystals. No matter how small the stone is there will be positive vibrations, but the bigger the stone, the larger the effects. The shapes also carry different meanings, and Ethan Lazzerini points out this is especially true if they’ve been purposefully carved. A tumble stone is all-purpose and a good starting point if you’re at the beginning of your crystal journey (which, if you’re reading this, you probably are). Pyramids can either be used at the center of grids to amplify your intention or placed on your body for chakra balancing, while spheres are meant to amplify the supposed psychic properties of your third eye chakra. Yeah, it’s a crystal ball. Hearts do exactly what you think they would, wands are used to direct energies or to channel energy from a healer, and standing crystal points amplify our intentions.
So, you’ve energetically chosen your stones, cleansed them, set your intention, and strategically placed them to amplify your vibes. Now what? Remember to cleanse and reset your stones roughly once a week or anytime someone else touches them to keep their energy pure and check in with your own intentions. And don’t worry if you’ve lost one — the wand chooses the wizard with these little blessings, and when you lose one, it means that you simply no longer need it. Stay specific, open, and know that these stones only amplify what’s already coming from inside of you. They don’t manifest luck, love, and courage out of thin air, they engage with your personal journey and guide you through it by pushing you further down the path you want to follow. If you’re even the slightest bit curious, just pick one up and give it a try. You never know what the universe has in store for you.