There’s no doubt about it – crystals are beautiful. If you have magpie qualities like me then chances are you already own some of these pretty stones. But do you want to go deeper into the legends, attributes, and transformational power of your crystals? This definitive guide to crystal healing for beginners will reveal some of the history and folklore surrounding crystals, explain how to use them for crystal healing, and why they work so well to help us heal and grow.
A Brief History of Crystals and Crystal Healing
Since the dawn of civilization people all over the world have used crystals for magic, religion, spirituality, and healing. Poets and lyricists were inspired by crystals and wrote about their connections to life events and emotions. Ancient peoples used crystals aesthetically and ritually, making jewelry and power amulets.
Amulets and jewelry made of amber, jet, and malachite have been found dating back to Palaeolithic times. The Ancient Sumerians used crystals to add power to magical concoctions. The Ancient Egyptians revered semi-precious and precious stones for their spiritual power, protection, and healing abilities. There is evidence of their use in jewelry and funerary ceremony.
The Ancient Greeks
The word ‘crystal’ comes from the Greek word ‘krystallos,’ which means coldness drawn together. The Ancient Greeks thought that clear quartz was a form of permanent ice because of its clear ice-like appearance. Greek soldiers and sailors used crystals for protection.
Crystals in World Religion
Crystals were used by people from many religions and spiritual paths – they are mentioned in the Bible and in the Koran. In Christianity, crystals were used as decoration and jewelry because of their purity and beauty. Ancient Hindu and Buddhists texts also mention particular gemstones in their richly symbolic myths and legends.
Medieval and Renaissance Periods
In Medieval times, poets and troubadours wrote about crystals and their associations with love, passion and emotions. As well as their connection with love and sexual desire, people also used crystals for spiritual connection during the Middle Ages.
Crystal healing became popular during the Renaissance, and herbal medicine protocols regularly featured certain crystals to amplify the healing effects of the remedy. Crystals were cleansed and consecrated before use to ensure there were no demons or evil spirits present in the stone. This began crystal healing, cleansing, and programming as we know it today.
How Do Crystals Work?
It is clear that people throughout history have used crystals to effect change. But why can crystals provide so many wonderful benefits to us humans? It’s all about the good vibrations…
Created over millions of years from intense heat and pressure, crystals are imbued with a lot of energy. They harness the energy of the elements and of the sun and the moon. The vibrational frequency varies from gemstone to gemstone, each having its own unique energetic signature.
We know from quantum physics that everything is energy vibrating at different frequencies, including humans, so it makes sense that our frequency can be affected by things with a different vibration. After all, if crystals are used as energy transmitters and communicators in tech like phones and watches, then it is clear why humans as powerful energy conductors and transmitters are affected by crystalline vibrations.
Crystal Healing in a Nutshell
Because the vibrational frequency of crystals is so high, and each crystal has a different energy signature, they can help to heal us on an energetic level. They do this by reharmonizing our energy when it has been damaged, disturbed, or blocked. The most obvious example of this type of crystal healing is chakra balancing and clearing with crystals.
However, it isn’t just the chakras that are helped by crystals. Specific body parts, emotions, thoughts, habits, physical ailments, and even the entire energy field benefit from crystal healing. The thing to remember about crystal healing is that essentially the crystal is making a change, a shift in the energetic arrangement of the subject that is being healed.
Healing is simply a shift in energy – a transformation of ‘negative’ vibration (a frequency that is not serving us) into a ‘positive’ vibration (a frequency that does serve us). When you consider it this way, you can begin to understand the awesome potential that crystal healing holds.
If we have the power to transform our energy from a negative state to a positive, then we each have the possibility of being our own healer. Stepping into this role is extremely empowering because it encourages us to take responsibility for our own health and lives. So many people these days rely solely on western medicine for their healthcare.
Now, please don’t misunderstand me, I am in no way saying that crystals have the power to take over from doctors and hospitals. We are blessed to live in a time when we have access to such advanced medicine and emergency care, and my life has been saved by the amazing doctors and surgeons at the hospital before, for which I am eternally grateful.
Obviously if you have been in a car accident and broken your leg, placing a few pieces of gemstone over the break isn’t going to fix it. Or, if you have a serious health condition such as diabetes or heart disease, you will need professional medical care.
However, what crystals can do for you is realign your energy so that your body becomes more efficient at the healing process. With the example of the broken leg – you need to go to hospital to get the bone set back in place and make sure you’re not at risk of infection.
The doctors will tend to your wounds, set your leg in a cast, and give you medicine for the pain and to prevent infection. But it is not the doctors who fuse the bone back together, that is down to the intelligence of your own body. Crystals can help harmonize your energetic vibration and balance your emotions so that you feel less stressed and your body can heal faster.
Although western medicine is great for emergency and chronic illness care, an area that is not really covered by modern medicine is preventative action. We know that stress is a massive factor in chronic illness and disease. If we have a way to help us manage stress and live healthier, happier lives, it makes sense that this will have an impact on our risk of developing illness and disease.
Not only that, but crystal healing can also help us to manage our mental and emotional health. Mental health issues affect 1 in 4 people and are a leading cause of sickness and unemployment. Managing reactions to stress, getting enough quality sleep, and relaxation all have a huge impact on mental wellbeing. And there are crystals to help with all of those issues.
How to Choose Your Crystals
The invention of the internet is great; it allows us to buy practically anything we choose instantly. However, it is not the best way to buy crystals. This is because you cannot see and feel the crystal before you buy it.
I absolutely love going to crystal shops because for one, the energy in them is so amazing and I always feel uplifted. But the main reason is that I can walk around, look at the crystals, sense their energy, and find the one/s that I resonate with the most. That is the very best way to choose your crystals. Some people call it ‘the crystal choosing you.’ I think it’s just that you feel drawn to the stone that has the energy vibration you need the most at that time.
Having said that, if you cannot get to a crystal or metaphysical/new age shop to purchase crystals, it is fine to buy them online. While you are perusing the site, send an intention out into the universe that the person picking and packing your crystals will be guided to choose the right crystals for you.
How to Use Your Crystals
Which crystal you choose and how you use it depends on your reason and goal. This is the first in a series addressing how to use crystals for different issues. Whichever crystal you choose, you’ll need to cleanse, charge, and program your stones for optimum results.
Negative Energy and Cleansing
Crystals absorb and remember all types of energy, both positive and negative, and so you need to cleanse them regularly to remove negative thoughts and emotions that they have absorbed. After all, you don’t want those amplified and emitted out into your environment! Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds.
Cleansing with Smoke
Cleansing your crystals with smoke is called smudging. You can smudge with regular incense, white sage, sweetgrass, and Palo Santo. To smudge your crystals (or anything else), pass the item through the smoke while holding the intention of cleansing and purifying negative energy.
Cleansing with Water
You can cleanse your crystals by holding them in running or moving water – the water’s flow washes the negative energy away. The ocean or a river or stream are wonderful ways to water cleanse your gemstones. If you don’t have access to a natural body of water, you can pour spring water over them. I don’t recommend tap water as there are chemicals present that can damage or contaminate your stones.
There are some crystals, however, that you can’t put in water because they dissolve, become damaged, rust, or give off toxicity. These include:
This list is by no means exhaustive though, so do your research before cleansing your crystals in water.
Cleansing with Salt
Sea salt is extremely purifying and a great choice for many crystals. Simply fill a bowl with sea salt or pink Himalayan salt and place your stones on top. Leave them overnight, and if you can, in the moonlight.
Like water, some crystals can’t tolerate salt. These include (but are not limited to):
- Aqua aura
Charging Your Crystals
Once your gems have been cleansed in an appropriate way, you can charge them to amplify their beautiful healing effects. You don’t HAVE to do this step, but many crystal healing practitioners do because it is like charging the crystal’s batteries; you’ll find that the results are much more powerful after the crystal has been charged.
A popular was to charge crystals is in moonlight. A full moon is amazing for this as that’s when the moon is at full energetic expression. The sun can also be used to charge your crystals.
If placing your crystals outside isn’t an option but you’d still like to charge them, you can use universal energy and visualization. Focus your mind and relax for a minute or two and then hold your stones in your hands and visualize white light from the universe flowing into your body through your crown chakra. The white light pours out of your hands and into the crystals, charging them with divine cosmic energy.
Recording and Amplifying Intention
Crystals been scientifically shown to record and respond to thought energy. This ability is the basis of using crystals to help us hold and amplify our intentions. Thoughts and feelings are energy just like everything else, and as such, can be communicated to crystals.
Those of you familiar with crystals will recognize this as programming the crystal. We can choose a stone that has the transformational properties we are looking to achieve in our crystal healing or general life and infuse our intention into the crystal.
The crystal will then amplify and emit your intention into the environment in which it is placed. If you have programmed a piece of jewelry and wear it, you will be absorbing the energy of your intention throughout the day. That is how crystals can help you to achieve your goals.
To program your crystal, begin as if you were charging it with universal energy, holding it in your hands while you are in a meditative state. Then bring your intention clearly into your mind. You can say it out loud or in your mind, whatever you feel comfortable with. Imagine the energy of your intention pouring from your heart and into the crystal. Keep the crystal with you as you go about your daily routine to enjoy its healing and supportive vibrations.
Crystal Healing Examples
Here are some examples of ways you can utilize crystal healing to balance and harmonize your energy body. This series explores in depth many different crystal healing protocols, so make sure you check out the additional articles.
Chakra Crystal Healing
You can use stones that are associated with the color or properties of the chakras to restore balance and openness. For example, the Muladhara (root) chakra is all about survival, safety, security, and fundamental needs. It represents your physical and emotional safety. Its color is red. If this chakra is blocked or out of balance then you can feel fearful, at risk, and ungrounded.
You can use both red and black crystals for restoring harmony in the root chakra. Red Jasper aligns with the color energy of the Muladhara chakra and provides emotional balance and grounded stability.
Black tourmaline provides grounding and protective energy, which is a helpful way to use crystal healing to realign an unbalanced root chakra. Simply place a red or black crystal on the location of the Muladhara and focus your intention on the stone clearing blockages and balancing the energy.
Liquid Light Purification
Another way we can utilize the powers of crystal healing on our energy field is with a selenite wand or rod. Selenite is one of the highest vibration crystals, so much so that it is used to cleanse negative energy from other gemstones. It is known as ‘liquid light’ and can dispel the negative energy in your field and fill you with liquid light energy. Selenite is a powerful crystal healing stone, it is associated with the crown chakra, the angelic realm, and purification.
Lay down and hold a selenite rod or wand in each hand. Close your eyes and visualize the beautiful energy of the crystal healing you and filling you with white light. Selenite is so powerful and radiant; I guarantee you will feel different afterward!
You can also clear your auric field using selenite. Stand up and slowly stroke the selenite all over your aura, a couple of inches away from your physical body. This measurement doesn’t need to be exact because the aura is deep, just use your intuition as you sweep away negativity, from your head down into the ground.
Crystal healing is a wonderful way to practice natural wellness and self-care. Ensure that you choose your crystals carefully, and then cleanse and program them with your intention. I hope you have enjoyed this beginner’s guide to getting started with crystal healing. The next articles in this series can be found at the links below: