Crystals: a beginner’s guide to the craze

Want a clear mind? A holistic healer? To feel connected?

Maybe the answer can be unearthed with crystals.

While formally, the use of crystals is regarded as no more than a pseudoscientific alternative medicine practice, many individuals find comfort in the use of crystals to enhance physical, emotional or spiritual healing.

Stanford medievalist Marisa Galvez credits the rise of crystals in the past decade to the modern craving for a physical representation or symbol of spirituality. She explained that in the same way some go to church weekly, some integrate crystals into their life to receive similar spiritual outcomes.

So, what exactly qualifies as a crystal? One of their enticing qualities is the contradictory nature of their appearance: able to be both transparent and dark, and able to both reflect and emit light. Encyclopedia Britannica defines crystals as “any solid material in which the component atoms are arranged in a definite pattern and whose surface regularity reflects its internal symmetry.” Essentially, most crystals are minerals and are usually identifiable by their distinct appearance.

As far as their healing properties, the theory is that crystals can impact the frequency of your body’s vibrations. They are also thought to absorb or redirect the user’s negativity. Some cosmic energy healers claim that crystals can redirect and re-channel energy in the body in incredible ways, cultivating peace, and a sense of center, among many other specific sensations. Despite the lack of scientific evidence to support these claims, even the placebo effect at play for those who genuinely believe crystals can aid them is likely beneficial.

Want to discover some crystal techniques to adopt into your life? Keep reading.

What crystal is right for me?

Clara McKoy

1. Identify how you would like your crystal to serve you, then dive into researching which crystal could achieve it for you.

2. Allow your intuition to take over. Your subconscious mind is thought to be able to draw you to whichever crystal is right for you. Trusting that sense surely can’t hurt and will likely only heighten the connection you will form to that specific crystal.

Where can I find my crystal?

Do your research. As a result of the surge in crystal demand in recent years, many crystal sources produce their products irresponsibly with insufficient labor conditions. This reality starkly counters the message crystals spread as tools for healing, and therefore should not be supported. Locate crystal shops near you that source their crystals responsibly before purchasing, or better yet: get crystals secondhand from those who aren’t using theirs anymore. Online shops can also be a resource to discover ethically supplied crystals.

How do I cleanse my crystal?

Clara McKoy

The crystal’s transport from the mine to the seller to the purchaser can misalign its energy—there are various methods to “charge” your crystals back to a positive state before using them to influence your energy. Beyond the classic soaking in sunlight or moonlight, some alternate ideas are:

1. Running water. Either in your kitchen sink or a creek nearby, the rush of water over your crystal can neutralize its energy.

2. Saltwater. Salt is believed to banish bad energy, and by soaking your crystal in a saltwater bath for a couple of hours or even days, neutral energy can be achieved.

3. Brown rice. Just as you might soak your phone in a bowl of rice after dropping it in the toilet, brown rice is thought to draw negative energy from crystals. Simply submerge it in a bowl for a few days.

How do I use my crystal?

1. Physical contact. Placing your crystals on areas of your body that you feel need attention can direct energy and healing vibrations there.

2. Keeping them close. Whether carrying them in your pocket or purse, or wearing a crystal as a necklace, the long-term proximity of crystals allows the vibrations to truly absorb into your body for optimal effect.

Clara McKoy

3. Meditation. Intention is vital in the practice of crystal healing, and therefore designating specific meditation sessions for healing and holding or simply sitting near your crystal allows their effects to be felt intensely.

4. Affirmations. If reciting affirmations is a part of your daily routine, consider involving crystals in this ritual. While affirming a positive thing you wish to achieve, crystals will only heighten the energy you attract and emit while in this state of healing.

The ways in which crystals can be integrated into your spiritual journey are boundless, and their potential benefits and beauty outweigh the uncertainty of their scientific legitimacy for some individuals. The prospect that crystals can be explored and individualized to meet your needs is truly exciting.