Preparing your crystals for use in healing/energy work requires a bit of basic know-how. First, consider your intention and the sort of energy you’re looking for from them, then with a few suggestions in mind, head out to the shop and see which crystals feel right to you. Once you bring them home, they’ll need to be cleansed and charged–if we want our crystals to be able to do their job, if we’d like their vibrations to work in synch with our bodies or our spaces, they’ll need to be cleared of the residual energy they’ve picked up along the way.
Cleansing your crystals is also an important part of their general maintenance, especially if they become dusty or dirty, if they’ve been handled by others, if they’ve been out of rotation for a while, or, on the other hand, if they’ve been put to a lot of use. You’ll need to apply a bit of intuition to know when your crystals need to unload accumulated energy, or when they need a boost.
I spoke with Lady Samantha, crystal therapist, and owner of Toronto’s The Rock Store, who suggests that in addition to the cleansing and charging, all crystals should also be attuned to the energy of your heart center before they are set to do their work.
She explains that the physical heart is the electromagnetic powerhouse of the body, and in order for our crystals to work with us, we need to establish a sort of resonant frequency, a line of communication, with them. Place your crystals on or near your heart and give them time to align with your energy, and be sure to set clear intentions around their usage.
How To Cleanse Your Crystals
There are a few ways to cleanse and charge your crystals, so work with the method that feels right for you!
One effective way to cleanse crystals is to give them a smoke bath. What’s great about this method is that it can be done at any time (as opposed to synching with lunar/solar cycles), and it won’t affect the more fragile minerals like water or salt might do.
Create a small bundle of dry herbs or wood—try a mix of cedar, rosemary, and lavender—in a small firesafe bowl, and then blow out the flame to create a fragrant smoke. Simply hold the crystal in the threads of smoke and focus your mind on the intention of cleansing it. Cedar wood or incense could also work well here.
If you have a natural water source near your home such as a lake, ocean, or river, you can take your crystals down and give them a quick dip. If not, you can use running tap water—rinse each stone individually for about 30 seconds while you set your intention for cleansing.
Note that this method is not suitable for all stones—you’ll need to check and see if the crystal has a hardness level of at least an 8 for it to structurally withstand being submerged in water. Samantha suggests doing some research around this first, and recommends The Book of Stones by Naisha Ahsian for anyone looking for a great reference book which includes information on hardness. She notes additionally that while some sites recommend salt water for cleansing, salt is a mineral that can affect the integrity of some crystals.
Some sources suggest giving your crystals a clearing by returning them to the earth so they can discharge the energy they’ve picked up, and reset to their natural vibrations. Dig a small hole in the ground, and place your crystals (wrapped first in cloth or a small pouch) into the soil and bury them, allowing them to rest undisturbed for at least a week.
Don’t forget to mark the spot! Samantha notes while earth is an effective cleansing element to work with, its energy is also the slowest. She also notes that this method works best if you live in a quiet, natural environment, but may not be the best option if you live in an area with a lot of underground interference.
Sound cleansing is a great choice when you have numerous crystals in one place to clear, or if you have stones that are more fragile. Metal Tibetan singing bowls work well as their resonance is very loud and clear, their vibration so strong it can be felt throughout the body. Crystal bowls, chimes, and even a tuning fork or a triangle can work.
Emitting a strong, singular, clear sound frequency in your room and around your stones will help to reset them to their original state. If you have just a few stones, you can even place them within the singing bowl as you ring it. This method also works well to charge your crystals as sound has such a strong, transferable energy.
How to Charge Your Crystals
While cleansing helps to rid your stones of any heavy energies they’ve accumulated, charging addresses the other side of the equation. If we want our stones to work with a clarity of purpose and potency, we must not only clear out the old, but also infuse them with fresh input as well.
Some crystals stay programmed and don’t need re-charging, and you will feel that they are continuing to work for you. However, if something significant in your life changes, or you feel a weakness around the work of your crystal, it might serve you better if it is cleansed and reset with a new intention.
One common way to charge crystals is to set them out under the light of the moon. Full moons are the most energized times of the lunar cycle, and this extra potent energy is great for amping up the vibe of your stones.
Be sure that they are set in a place that will see the light of the moon, whether that’s indoors at the window, or outside. If you do place them outside, be sure it’s not going to rain, or you’ll also need to consider whether or not your stones are hard enough to handle the water.
Samantha suggests that you might also think about what sort of intention you would like the stone to absorb from the moonlight, and choose a phase of the lunar cycle that most closely aligns with that. Waxing and waning moons are moons in motion, so they might offer better lunar energy for certain intentions; new moons are good for bringing in the new, and full moons align well with intentions around letting go.
2. Crystal Grid
Another way to charge a crystal is to set it within a larger grid formation along with other crystals. Create a grid with some of your favorite or most potent stones, and place a larger clear quartz point in the center to amplify the energy. This allows your new stone to feed off of the energy of the other stones and gives them a chance to “talk” to each other and to work energetically in tandem towards your intention.
3. Clear Quartz
One go-to method for charging a crystal is to set it near clear quartz. Clear quartz is known as a supercharger, and it works by amplifying the energy of any crystals nearby.
It’s a good practice to set stones that have been cleansed near a quartz before bringing them back into rotation. Once you have connected with the stone and consciously set your intention, leave it to rest alongside the quartz for anywhere from a day to a week, depending on the potency of your intention or ritual.
How to Store Your Stones
One final thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need to take care of your crystals when they are not in use. Of course some of your favorites might be prominently set out on display in your home, but for those that you save for ritual, or the ones that feel more particular or personal, you can keep them tucked away, wrapped in cloth or in a small pouch to keep them from banging around and breaking.
Tending to your crystals through cleansing and charging is a great way to create conscious moments of alignment with them. It also offers an opportunity for mindfulness. While cleansing your stones, you might also tune in to the things in your life that need releasing. Charging your stones is an opportunity to become conscious of and intentional about what you want more of in your life, or of what are seeking to encourage.
Do you have a favorite way to keep your crystals clear, aligned, and strong? We’d love to hear from you!