Choosing and Caring
for Crystals

healing mandala or grid using crystals
A Crystal Mandala - made by Hilary

This page will tell you a little about how you can start to work with crystals for healing or therapeutic purposes. It will cover how crystals are thought to work; how to choose and buy crystals; how to cleanse and maintain crystals and give some suggestions for selecting a basic healing collection. We at Inner Light (through our "School of Inner Light") teach a professional 2 year part-time Diploma Course in Crystal Healing and Energy Work for those that would like to know or learn more about crystal healing and working with subtle energies. We also can teach shorter introductory courses in crystal healing and exploration for those that would like a taste of working with these fabulous minerals. Follow this link to see our Diploma Course Syllabus and to find out more.

N.B: If you wish to copy ANY of our website's material please read the "copyright notice" at the foot of this page.

WHAT IS A CRYSTAL? HOW DO THEY WORK?

Crystals, precious and semi-precious gemstones have the most orderly structure in the natural world. They are formed of mathematically precise and orderly lattice arrays of molecules. The perfect order of their lattices is due to the individual atoms and molecules being packed together as tightly as possible during their growth, partly because of strong electro-magnetic forces and high pressures around them as they form. This stability ensures that they react in characteristic, precise and predictable ways to a broad spectrum of energies, including sound, light, heat and pressure - this is why they are of use in the electronics industry. Esoterically they also respond to bioelectricity and consciousness (i.e. to thought and emotion) and we believe that they have a consciousness of their own. Crystals are highly evolved within the Mineral Kingdom and are directed to work with humanity for the Higher good and for the growth and advancement of all the Kingdoms on Earth, including that of Humanity.
By applying the coherent, stable and focused energy of crystals to dysfunctional energy systems within the human energy fields, stability and optimum balance can be restored. Quartz crystals resonate with the liquid crystals that are found to be within the physical body, and can transfer their energies to the bloodstream for health and rejuvenation, as well as transmuting unwanted information that may be locked within bodily tissues or the mind and other etheric bodies. When crystals are used in geometrical arrays they have an amplified effect, which can be put to different uses depending on the nature of the stones chosen and their placements.

night sky
Night Sky with Orbs

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR CRYSTAL:

We can select the crystals we need purely using LOGIC, by choosing specific stones for a specific purpose or condition as shown in a crystal directory or book. However we need to bear in mind that how a crystal's energies interact with each of us will often vary subtly, for everybody is an individual with a unique energy field that (to further complicate matters) fluctuates from day to day and so we each may react in differing ways to a crystal's vibrations. Additionally the symptoms we present with may not be the real root of the problem - for example, we might have a headache / feel depressed, but WHY do we have that headache / feel depressed?

Alternatively we may select our crystals using our INTUITION, by working solely through instinct and innate inner guidance - what we might call our "gut feeling". This means picking the crystal we are drawn to, which is very often the first one we really notice or that we really want to pick up! If selecting a crystal for a specific ailment or purpose, or to give to another person, we need to have that ailment, purpose and / or person in mind when starting our selection process, and try to focus on it throughout. Don't forget that each person may feel and get different things from the same crystal, for the vibrational interaction of each person's energy field with a crystal's energy field is always unique. We can ask someone else's opinion if we have to, but we should always go with our own gut reaction first.

As an optional method, we can choose our crystals through MECHANICS, by backing up our "gut feelings" with a tangible test such as dowsing or muscle testing (kinesiology). When using a dowser or muscle testing we need to be grounded, centred, clear and focused for the results to be accurate and reliable, but this can provide supportive input to our intuitive thoughts and feelings and can be a useful option until we have the confidence to trust fully in our intuition.

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF THIS IS THE RIGHT CRYSTAL?

What thoughts, feelings, or sensations do you get? Is the crystal talking to you?
Look for signs such as a tingling or prickling sensation in your hands or fingers; a "humming" sensation against your skin (like touching an electric fence!); sensing an energy flow coming from the termination of a crystal when directing it into your other palm, or feeling energy flowing between the stone and your body as you hold it; a change in the temperature of your skin as you hold the crystal (becoming colder or hotter); seeing or sensing a glowing light, aura or energy field around the crystal; a feeling of completeness or of "coming home" and being one with the stone as you hold it.

IS IT REALLY YOURS?

Which one captivates you or attracts attention over and above all others?
Which one is leaping up and down and shouting ME, ME?
Which one do you feel possessive about if someone else picks it up?
Which one do you dream about, or can't get off your mind when you get home having NOT bought it!!

candle quartz
Large Candle (Celestial) Quartz

STARTING YOUR OWN HEALING COLLECTION.

It is useful to have the following as a starting point:
o A selection of coloured tumble stones at least four different minerals in each spectrum colour, plus a selection of multicoloured, clear, black, metallic or white stones
o Six normal size clear quartz points with reasonably clean terminations
o Six normal size amethyst points (basic points from a bed / cluster are fine)
o Three normal size citrine points (preferably natural, but heat-treated amethyst will do)
o Six small or normal size natural smoky quartz points
o A cut clear quartz or smoky quartz or amethyst crystal dowser (not cut glass or leaded crystal) for questioning / personal use storing it in a pouch protects the point and keeps it safe
o A second crystal dowser (see above) reserved for therapeutic use
o One or two crystal guides / decent reference books with pictures or illustrations
o Materials for energetically cleansing / charging your crystals (see below)

As soon as you can afford them it is also useful to acquire:
o Six herkimer diamonds the genuine article if possible
o Six small black tourmaline crystals or tumbled stones
o A pair of boji stones (the BEST grounding stones!)
o A smallish cluster or bed of clear quartz or amethyst (about 4-6" / 10-15 cm wide)

What to look for when making your choices:
o Most importantly, does it resonate with you: is it "your" crystal?
o When considering the type of stone you need, bear in mind whether you want cut or uncut, polished or rough stones and whether it is a sensible and appropriate shape and size (is it comfortable to hold and work with; will it roll off the body too easily; is it too heavy or large to comfortably place on the body; is it unwieldy or heavy if you have to hold it for a long time etc.)
o For precise work clarity, purity and perfection are important, although damage to faces, points etc. is not always a bad thing. Be prepared to give a knocked about piece a good home - they can be very rewarding!
o Watch out for special crystals with inclusions, rainbows, unusual formations and special features. Not all sellers are esoterically aware and you may find a rarity (clear quartz crystals especially are often more interesting than might first appear!) A good crystal reference book will help identify these.

waterfall
Waterfall in Wales

CLEANSING CRYSTALS:

Once you have bought your crystal, cleansing it is VITAL. It will have travelled far and passed through many hands before getting to you, and will have picked up many energies that you don't want to have around you and in your energy field.

Additionally ALWAYS cleanse your crystals before and after use (whether in a healing situation or not), and at periodic intervals, depending on where they are kept and how they are used. You can dowse to see if / when this is needed if you are not sure. Crystals will pick up energies from their surroundings even when not being directly worked with and they are also working even when we are not aware of it. If they are not kept clear they can release any junk or negativity back into your space - often amplifying it in the process! This rule also applies to crystals kept for "decorative" or "aesthetic" purposes in living spaces.

"Physical" dirt should be looked after first. You can use water to remove any physical dirt first, which will also discharge static electricity. Place your crystal under a source of cold running water such as a tap or ideally (!) in a stream. Obviously don't do this with soluble crystals or those with a low Mohs count, such as the softer calcites, selenite, halite, talc and celestite (which tends to have a very delicate groundmass). Good reference books should tell you the hardness and solubility of most crystals. Harder crystals, such as clear quartz or amethyst, can take a gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush, if you find that a cluster or crystal has a lot if imbedded clay or dirt. A good wash and brush up can make an amazing difference to a crystal's energy.

"Energetic" dirt exists even if you cannot see it, and if you want to use your crystal for healing work you MUST clear it, so that you don't pick up other people's negativity or psychic junk.
Although many sources say to use salt or salt water to cleanse crystals, we DO NOT recommend this. Salt is itself a crystalline material and can become embedded in the crystal's matrix, so we prefer not to use it. There are many other much gentler ways to cleanse crystals, which can be quick and easy to use:
o Use flower essences such as Pennyroyal or the Bach flower remedy Crab Apple (*see below for method)
o Use "Crystal Clear" essence from Petaltone (* see below for method)
o Use sound play a singing bowl, bells, tingshas, rattle or drum over or around your crystals, or place the crystals on a cloth in the base of a metal singing bowl and strike the bowl until the sound clarifies
o Use smudge sticks or incense - pass the crystals through the smoke, or waft smoke over your crystals using your hand or a fan / feathers
o Use Essential Oils especially cleansing oils such as juniper, pine or sage. Pass the crystals through the vapour given off when heating them in a burner or vaporiser.
o Use Aura-soma essences such as the White Pomander or the St. Germain Quintessence
o Reiki healers can use the Power / Harmony / Master symbols as appropriate

All the above methods may be used singly or in appropriate combinations, depending on the extent and nature of the energetic cleansing required. We tend to use primarily "Crystal Clear" essence in a mister, combined with sound using a Tibetan Singing Bowl and with the Reiki symbols. If we come across "stubborn" dirt, we will also smudge the crystals with white sage.

* METHOD: When using flower etc. essences you can either place a few drops in a bowl of water and soak or wash your crystals in it (watch out for soft / soluble crystals!) OR spray your crystals using a solution of water plus 7 drops of the essence in a small spray bottle or plant mister. You can also use essences without dilution, but this uses more essence and is not really necessary - less IS more!

amitayus
Buddha - Amitayus - with Moldavite & Rose Quartz

DEDICATING YOUR CRYSTAL

It is good and responsible to dedicate your crystal to the Light after cleansing it, to show your own commitment to looking after it and to reinforce your intentions regarding its positive use. Three suggestions follow, but you may choose to make you own up, which should be phrased as concisely and positively as possible:
o "I cleanse this crystal in the Light and Love of God and of Mother Earth. May only that which is of its own consciousness remain, and may all else be transformed into the Light." (see the crystal being surrounded by an intense white or golden Light as you say or think this)
o "I ask and intend that this crystal work with (me/myself and x/my healing group etc.) for (healing myself/absent healing/healing others/meditation/protection). I will keep it safe and well to the best of my abilities, for the period of time that I am honoured to be its earth-keeper."
o "It is my pure intent that from this moment on this crystal may only be used in the name of love and compassion, and always for the Universal Highest Good of all".

A FEW FINAL HINTS AND TIPS

o Do not let other people handle or touch any crystals reserved for your personal use. This will affect the energies you have built up and interfere with your connection with the crystal. Likewise, "Crystal Etiquette" demands that if visiting others who keep crystals always ASK before touching their crystals!
o Some crystals may lose their colour if exposed to excess sunlight e.g. amethyst, rose quartz and celestite, so you may not want to keep them on sunny windowsills. Also be aware that sunlight can be focused through clear crystals, and you do not want to set your curtains alight!
o If you wear crystal jewellery you must cleanse it often - preferably daily. As the crystals work and absorb negativity they can become "full up" and will start to spill out energies you do not want in your field. The same principle applies with second-hand items. You should also take crystal jewellery off at night to give your body a rest from their energy - this will also allow the crystals time and space to recharge themselves.
o Charging crystals to energise them is part of their aftercare.  Rest them in sunlight or moonlight; place them on quartz or amethyst clusters; spray them with charging essences (such as Petaltone "Soul Star; "White Spring" or "Golden Light"), or Reiki healers can use any of the Reiki symbols for charging them up.
o You can charge crystals using specific energies if you wish to. Focus your thoughts and ask Angels, Archangels / Archaeon, Masters or other Light Beings you are drawn to to place their energy within the crystal.

We tend to charge our crystals with moonlight or sunlight; use Reiki symbols or give them a soak in the bath with some Petaltone essences, such as White Light or Golden Light.

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