Honestly, part of the reason we’re drawn to crystal healing is because it’s so pretty — it just feels magical.
Whether it is truly magical is up for debate. There is evidence that crystal healing has been around for 6,000 years, dating back to Sumerians and ancient Egyptians.
Today’s crystal healing most often relates to the Buddhist and Hindu understanding of chakras. All of these different practices assign different properties to different stones—diamonds to draw out poison, garnet to keep nightmares away, jade for longevity, and so forth.
There hasn’t been much in the way of real scientific research done on crystal healing, and what little there is shows nothing more than a placebo effect.
But, worst-case scenario, crystal healing is utterly harmless, and according to its practitioners, it can achieve a staggeringly wide variety of results—everything from stimulating psychic abilities to aligning the spine and offsetting alcoholism.
Because there are so many stones with such varied uses, crystal healing can be a fairly complicated practice.
The effect of each crystal changes not just with its type but also its shape and how it has been activated and cleansed.
For instance, rose quartz will produce different results depending on whether it is shaped as a wand or left as a tumbled stone. For a professional session, a healer will interview you about your needs and concerns before having you lie on a mat or a massage table for the session. The healer will then place stones on or near your body as you remain still and try to achieve a state of comfort and relaxation—which isn’t always easy with someone darting about putting rocks on and around you.
Most often, the placement relies on the chakras:
MULADHARA, the root chakra, can be stimulated with red or black stones like obsidian, hematite, garnet, and smoky quartz.
SVADHISTHANA, the sacral chakra, responds to orange stones like citrine and carnelian.
MANIPURA, the solar plexus chakra, should be paired with yellow stones like yellow jasper and golden calcite.
ANAHATA, the heart chakra, traditionally responds to green stones like malachite and jade, but since our bodies are influenced by our minds and cultures, pink stones like rose quartz have gained in power and popularity for the healing of the heart.
VISHUDDHA, the throat chakra, is stimulated by blue stones, including aquamarine and turquoise.
AJNA, the chakra located right between your eyebrows, at your “third eye,” is opened up by indigo stones like lapis lazuli and azurite.
SAHASRARA, the crown chakra at the top of your head, is paired with violet and white stones including amethysts and clear quartz.
After that, it’s a matter of the healer’s personal preference and interpretation of your needs. The healer will observe your reactions to each stone as it magnifies your positive energies and balances your negative energies. During or after a session you might experience some lethargy, a runny nose, and even some weeping as physical and emotional blockages are released.
Whether that’s just a placebo effect, the power of your mind choosing to believe that it’s working, or amethysts really taking your headache away… who knows? And if the headache is gone, does it matter?
How to choose your crystal
The first step is to determine your needs at the moment. Are you addressing a physical ailment or a spiritual one? Are you going to attempt astral projection or perhaps a spell? Sometimes you might find yourself drawn to a particular stone, so that the stone chooses you, rather than the other way around. Go to a holistic shop and see what calls to you.
If you’re not sure what stone you need, try quartz. It’s the salt in the spice cabinet of crystals.
Once you’ve chosen the type of stone you want to work with, you need to select its shape:
CHUNK This is a crystal without noticeable facets—turquoise often comes in this form, as does pyrite. While geodes have some facets, they are considered chunk crystals as well. These are often placed around the living space or work environment to cleanse the atmosphere.
CUT. This is when a crystal or gem has been shaped to enhance sparkle and capture light, which amplifies the crystal’s energies.
TUMBLED. These are the stones you’ll find in bins at a science or mystical shop. They are smooth, shiny, and comforting to hold.
WAND. This type of crystal, rough at one end and pointed at the other, is frequently used in jewelry, but a healer may also use it to direct energies in a more pronounced and targeted way.
Once you’ve chosen a stone, you’ll want to clear it. Your stone didn’t come to you straight from the earth—it was found by others, packaged by others, and handled by others, so their energies have penetrated it.
The most common stones and their uses
Develops intuition and spiritual awareness. Aids in meditation, calm, and tranquility. Relieves headaches.
Aids in expressing your personal truth. Reduces fear and tension.
Helps find spiritual or psychic blocks that are causing physical blocks. Transforms fear into understanding. Good for arthritis and joint pain.
An energy amplifier, it eases communication between the physical and spiritual world.
Enhances creativity and sexuality, and helps with exploring past-life experiences. Aids in digestion.
A stone of abundance, it invites success and money, and raises self-esteem. Good for the heart, kidneys, liver, and muscles.
A stone of healing, it channels power and amplifies universal energy. This stone can be programmed to whatever use you require.
A stone of health and creativity, it stimulates your internal fire. Wards off cancer, good for skin elasticity, and also helps prevent nightmares.
A stone of protection and grounding, it closes your aura to keep out negative energy. Provides support for astral projection.
Will inspire you to ambition and keep you working toward your objective. Good for longevity.
A stone of focus that helps amplify thought, aids in meditation, and releases you from melancholy. Good for sore throats and fever.
Releases stored emotions, allows you to look inward. Useful in alleviating mental illness.
Soothes the emotions as well as the digestive system. Encourages peace and harmony within.
A stone of protection, particularly from spiritual forces. It will help you to understand and face your deepest fears. Helps with bacterial and viral invasions.
Stone of amplification, enhances mystical experiences and creativity. Balances mood swings.
A stone of defense and protection, it symbolizes the sun and cleanses the blood.
A stone of love—not just romantic love, but familial and brotherly love as well. Nurturing and comforting, this stone dissipates anger.
A stone of protection, it stimulates your survival instincts. Enhances focus and fertility.
A stone of stability, it heightens personal power and integrity.
A stone of healing, it guards against disease and environmental pollutants.
Stimulates the pancreas and the endocrine system. Helps align the energy meridians.
How to activate
There are several ways to purify your crystal:
soaking it in salt water or holding it under running water (preferably a stream, but rain or even your faucet will do in a pinch) are the simplest ways, but if your stone is a bit too delicate for that, you can let it rest with carnelian or clear quartz, which have cleansing properties; do a little smudging (see here);
or let the sun or moon work their magic by “washing” the stones in their light.
Once the stone is cleared, it can be activated. While each stone always carries its special properties within itself, you can enhance a stone’s power by programming it with your specific needs and intentions. Clear quartz in particular can become whatever you want it to be and do whatever you require it to do.
Activating your crystal can take any form you desire. This can be as simple as holding the crystal in your hand and setting an intention. You can invoke a higher power, or you can really set the stage for your healing process by performing a ritual.
Stand in pure light, either sunlight or moonlight, depending on your needs, cupping the crystal so that the light shines on it. Speak aloud a phrase of your choosing, invoking love and light in a way that speaks to you. If you are using your crystal for a specific purpose, name that purpose, and focus your intention into the stone. Hold the crystal to your heart and bow your head, giving thanks to the energy within the stone, or to a higher power—whichever feels right to you.
Once you’ve activated your stone, you can use some small-gauge wire and a chain to make it into a necklace for a lovely piece of supportive jewelry. You can simply carry it around in your pocket, put it into a gris-gris bag or incorporate it into your spellwork (see here), or place it around your home to ward and protect you.