by Etecia Brown
As a child I collected rocks. Smooth rocks that were washed over by waters, rough edged rocks that glittered, flat rocks that hid in plain sight. All were sacred to me for some reason and I stored them in a box decorated with markers and craft paper. My relationship with the earth was nurtured in me as a youth on field trips hiking, and exploring tide pools right in my neighborhood of Hunter's Point, and while camping with family. I have since rediscovered this relationship, expanding again and again as I grow older. When did you first pick up a rock and bring it home with you? Most of us have collections of things we deem valuable sitting somewhere in a special corner of our room. Sometimes these things find us, sometimes they are gifted, and sometimes we uncover them. You know how people say, "the universe has your back"? That's real. Every action has a reaction. Your movement in the world causes the universe to respond to you in accordance with what you are outputting. That's why it is important you walk on YOUR path. You never know what you might find. Discovering your path requires doing deep dives into yourself. What is it that you love to do? What is something you have been longing to do? What are you great at or passionate about? Who are you becoming? What is for you is already yours. Yes. Asking questions for self discovery will help you to map out your dreams and take actions toward them. The healing you need so that you can walk on the path of your highest self is within you. Your purpose for being was ordained lifetimes ago. So, trust that the Universe has your back. Life is about picking up the tools so you can sharpen your strengths and answer your calling. Stones/Crystals can be one of those tools.
In addition to being absolutely beautiful and often time having significant monetary value, stones carry with them spiritual value beyond measure. Stones have been in existence longer than any living being. Stones act as a filter for your desires and will help to point you in the direction you want to/must go. Stones are like any other filter, let's say your Spotify or your Pandora, the more you use it the more its tailored to who you are and who you want to become. Most people use the terms “crystals,” “stones”, and “gemstones” interchangeably. According to Dictionary.com, crystals (i.e. quartz, diamonds, rubies) are solid materials in which the atoms are patterned in a rigid, often symmetrical, geometrical structure. This symmetry gives crystals inherent order and stability, which means the electromagnetic frequencies it emits are reliably consistent. The International Gem Society describes stones (i.e. rocks and gems) as a combination of minerals or organic materials that form a solid more dense often round mass. Beyond mastered words and trivial categorization crystals/stones hold millions of years of the Earth’s memory, energies, and ancient wisdom within them. Indigenous civilizations have worked with the energy of the Earth since the beginning of time, finding direction from the rhythms that echoed beneath their feet. Crystals were an important mention in Abrahamic religious text. In the Bible, for example, crystals are referenced about 200 times. Archaeologist have found evidence that Ancient Egyptians used carnelian, lapis lazuli, turquoise and other crystals in their jewelry, sacred adornments, and rituals. Moreover, in the West, many indigenous American warriors would travel with tiger's eye to keep them safe on their journey. Unfortunately, by mid-18th century western science, with its capitalism and imperialistic nature, completely demonized and discredited anything metaphysical. Westerners mined gemstones for their financial gain, maintaining their facade of luxury. However, no matter the chaos that occurs on the human plane the law of the universe brings us back to our purpose. In parts of India today crystals are ground up and mixed with soil to infuse healing and good energy into the seeds that have been planted in farms. The power of the Earth's energies have been absorbed by these sacred objects and are vibrating to lift us higher, awaken us to shift, whispering to us the messages of our ancestors. When you look around, you see the art and practice of crystal healing done on a spiritual and physical level is being rediscovered.
When the body is stressed (overworked/out of shape/not supported), you begin to see systems shut down or notice pain and aches in certain areas. The body functions best when our mind, body, and spirit are in alignment. When we are feeling overwhelmed and unsupported I like to compare what happens to our body to when one bee, or a group of bees begin to fly slightly out of sync, falling behind the others. This creates chaos in the overall "direction" (electromagnetic frequency) that is produced. There is "dis-ease" in the system. Introducing a crystal into a situation where we need support or clarity is like the Queen Bee emitting a syncing signal. One single, pure tone is emitted that can act as a guide by which members of the hive can recalibrate their direction and re-establish harmony. The crystal energy of the Earth is a tool to help you become more centered, grounded, and in tune. Crystal healing is the affect of energy vibration on our being. The use of different crystals can help to increase, decrease, or alter energy levels to impact your emotional and spiritual life in a positive way. Working with crystals is about finding balance. Like the art of cooking, what ingredient do you need more of for this dish to taste just right? What direction do you need to go? What actions do you need to take? People who have mindfulness practices such as meditation, yoga, sound healing, etc. all have the objective of aligning and balancing. Crystal healing is another mindfulness practice. When you manifest from this vibration, magical things happen.
Selenite, a common crystal used to dispel negative energy from the body, strengthens our connection to the ancestors and brings mental clarity. Selenite is salt based and works well in cleansing other stones.
Whereas, carnelian, a beautiful sunset orange stone is perfect for manifesting intentions and tapping into your creative power.
Although quartz crystals, most used in technology devices, are usually the preferred crystals for programming* (think of them as a remote control), I’ve used many others: citrine for abundance, rose quartz for a situation which calls for love, turquoise for protection, tiger's eye for clarity.
How to Use Crystals
Often when you first see a range of crystals, one stone will catch your eye and continue to draw your attention. This is likely to be a stone that will be beneficial to you. If you are in a store look through a variety of stones until you find one that you touch or pick up (you may even put it down then find yourself come back to it). Generally stones that are beneficial to you depends on what feels right for you. I suggest buying crystals in person and not online because its important to touch crystals and see how they look and feel to you in person. The store's energy should feel good to you as well, it should evoke a feeling of peace or being at home. Choose stones appropriate for the purpose you want, but always use your intuition. Crystals given as a gift is also a sacred experience. Because what is for you is already yours, stones may begin to find you as well. Often you'll discover that these crystals in particular are exactly what you need in that given moment. It is also very common to lose crystals, and although this can be disappointing, it is helpful to remember that your feeling of connection to your crystal is based on the energies that vibrate between you and it. Your intuition is not just spiritual but also physically manifest as vibration. When you lose a crystal your energy in relation to the crystal has shifted and thus your vibration reflects that it has served it's purpose in your life.
Clearing + Charging
Once you've found the crystal that feels good for you, it's important that you cleanse it to clear away all the energy left over from the many hands that touched it before you. There are many different methods for clearing energies: smudging using smoke from a plant, resin, or wood, soaking in sea salt, sound clearing using a singing bowl or tuning fork, or using an energy clearing stone. You may also want to cleanse your crystals after a new transition (or less often depending on how you feel). A move to a new place, new career, ending of a relationship, new goals, etc. may warrant a cleanse. To cleanse my crystals I soak them in room temperature water and Himalayan sea salt (if you are able to access natural water sources I would use this water to soak it). I usually smudge the water with sage when I first place the crystal in to soak. Then I let it soak overnight. After cleansing my crystal I then place it outside under the sun a few hours to charge. The process of charging is best when done immediately after cleansing your crystals. Charging is about revitalizing the energy of the crystal. After a bath you put on shea butter or something right? Your crystal needs shine too. The sun is a powerful source of energy that can empower your crystal (think of solar panels absorbing energy of the sun to charge generators that provide energy to your house). Some people also use the moonlight to charge crystals especially during significant times in the moon's cycle. These are just the techniques I found that have worked for me. You may find something else works better for you. This process is about you strengthening your own personal connection to your crystal.
Intention Setting (Programming)
So, your crystal is charged and ready to go. Why did you buy it (or why has it found you)? The answer to this question will help you to set your intention in alignment with the energy of your crystal. You might look up the metaphysical use of your crystal online or in a book or talk to a person you trust is knowledgeable about your particular type of crystal to help in your initial understanding of its purpose in your life. Your connection to the crystal is a reflection of the power that resides in you, not the crystal. It’s important to hold the crystal in your hands or to touch it if it's a larger stone. Sit quietly and breathe. Connect to your breath, your knowing, the Earth that provides for you. This slowing down is a way to clear the mind and simply be. You may begin notice a shift from asking questions to stating what you want to manifest in your life. As you begin to connect with your crystal more often you will shift from simply regurgitating your crystal's intended use, to gaining a spiritual and physiological understanding and relationship. Programming is the act of storing an energy vibration in a crystal. Crystals help to focus our energy and remind us of our intentions. They raise our vibrations and energy level and help to turn our attention from everyday concerns to our greater purposes in being alive. Your intentions, visualizations, and feelings are energy. Energies are things you can feel, although you can not see them, they affect all that you do and all the systems moving in your body. An example of this is when you walk into the room after two people were just arguing the energy "feels heavy". When you program a crystal /stone to assist you in manifesting your intentions and dreams you put that energy into your crystal.
Common ways that Crystals are used
- Worn on the body (pendants, bracelets, rings, inside bra) or close to the body (Key rings or placed in pocket/purse)
- Kept under a pillow
- Used in a bath soak
- Held in hand or placed close by during meditation practice
- Placed around the home or workplace for environment protection and room intention
- Making Gem Essences
- Used in spiritual cleansing and space clearing rituals
- Placed on the body for chakra clearing