Crystal Care: How To Care For, Cleanse And Charge Your Crystals

Be good to your crystals, and they will last a lifetime and reward you a thousand times over.

When I first began collecting crystals 18 years ago, virtually every person and book recommended soaking them in a water and sea salt bath under the sun in order to cleanse and charge them. Unfortunately, this still commonly recommended tactic is the worst thing that you can do to your crystals. Exposure to salt can scratch the surface of even the hardest crystals, and cloud the clarity. Some crystals are water soluble and can begin to deteriorate if submerged for an extended period of time. Other stones can fade with prolonged exposure to the sun. In order to keep your crystals in good condition, consider some of the suggestions outlined here.

STORAGE

Your crystals are precious gifts of the earth, and should be treasured. The first thing you should consider in your crystal care is a proper storage system to prevent any damage. Keeping an assortment of crystals in a bag may cause them to harm each other. Some harder crystals, such as quartz, will begin to nick, scratch, and chip away at the softer crystals, such as calcite.

If you plan on storing your smaller stones away or traveling with them, one of the best storage systems you can invest in is a compartmentalized plastic tray with a tight-fitting cover. These are available at craft stores. The clear ones are especially nice to have because you can see the contents without opening them. Smaller crystals can be stored nicely into their own little section to avoid bumping or scratching other crystals.

Larger crystals or clusters should be individually wrapped in a soft cloth and packed with bubble wrap in an individual box or container. This will ensure the crystal's survival in storage.

If you like to carry your crystals with you, you should wrap them individually in a soft, cotton cloth before putting them into your pocket or purse. Natural fibers will not impede the flow of their energy, but will protect their surface from coins and other things you may be carrying. If you like to carry an assortment of crystals in a pouch, each crystal should be individually wrapped in a cloth to protect them from each other.

If you like to keep your crystals out in the open, be sure to keep them out of direct sunlight. Many crystals with vibrant colors, such as amethyst, turquoise and fluorite, will fade in direct light. Other crystals may crack from temperature fluctuations.

Another enemy of crystals out in the open is dust. If you rub the dust off of a crystal with a cloth, it could act as an abrasive, scratching and dulling the surface. Instead, run the crystal under a faucet to rid it of debris, or use a blast from canned air (the kind used in cleaning computer key boards).

CLEANSING

Cleansing crystals is not about physically cleaning them, but about removing any negative or unwanted energies that they may have absorbed. You should clean your crystals regularly, particularly when:

-you first obtain them

-they are kept out in the open

-they are used frequently in ritual or when traveling

-after you have been ill

-after you have gone through a negative ordeal

-if it has come into contact with a stranger or person harboring negativity

-when they feel weak, or have a strange vibration or energy

How you should cleanse a crystal depends largely on the type of crystal. If you are unsure of your stone's properties, there are a few methods that are safe for all crystals, as well as a few that should never be used.

WATER: Some crystals can be cleansed by running them under a stream of water, either from the tap or in a natural stream. Any crystal with a rating of 6 or higher on the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness can be safely cleansed in water. This includes crystals in the quartz family (clear or "rock," smoky, rose, amethyst, chalcedony, aventurine, etc.) and gemstones (diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires).

Other crystals, however, are water soluble, which means they can dissolve in water. Some of these are so low on the Mohs Scale that even brief exposure to running water on an occasional basis can begin the deterioration. If you are not sure if your crystal can withstand water, remember that most water soluble crystals end in "ite." Fluorite, calcite, malachite, halite, sodolite, and rhodizite should all be kept away from water. Lapis Lazuli, turquoise, ivory, and gypsum are also water soluble. If you are not sure if your crystals are water soluble, take a specimen and a steel knife. Try to scratch the surface. If it scratches, its best to keep it out of water until you are able to research it further.

BURYING: You might find many sources that recommend burying your crystal in salt or sea salt in order to purify them. The problem with salt is, being a crystal itself, it can scratch other crystals. If moisture becomes present, salt can also be absorbed by the crystal's pores and cloud or dull the surface. Salt is simply not a good option if you want to keep your crystals in good shape.

Burying crystals in the earth is another option. However, if you simply dig a hole in the ground and toss them in, you risk them coming into contact with damaging materials. You also risk not being able to find them again unless you carefully mark the spot.

Still, burying crystals in earth is a good way to clear them of negative charges. The best method I have found is to bury them in a soft potting soil or peat moss obtained at a gardening center. Fill a tray or flowerpot with loose soil or moss, and bury your crystal in it (without packing the soil) for a few hours to a few days. To keep water soluble crystals from getting moist, you can keep the container in the house and out of the rain and humidity. Just make sure that, if the soil is moist when you purchase it, you leave it out for a day or two to dry it before putting water soluble crystals in it. When you retrieve your crystals, you can toss the soil into your garden or by the nearest tree.



SUNLIGHT: Again, some crystals love the sun. Clear quartz in particular does well to soak up the sun's energies, and is strong enough to withstand the heat. But being that the sun will fade many crystals, it is not recommended for most.

MOONLIGHT: The light of the full moon is a powerful cleanser, and is 100% safe for all of your crystals. That makes it a great method for cleansing any of your precious stones.

INCENSE: Another fail-proof method for cleansing any crystal is to hold it in the rising smoke of a cleansing or purifying incense. Sage, sandalwood and lavender are excellent choices for this method. Simply suspend the crystal over the smoke, avoiding contact with the heat source.

LIGHTNING: If your crystal is holding on to some stubborn energies, lightning is a very powerful cleansing agent. The crystal need not be struck by lightning; it should be kept on a windowsill or in a sheltered place outdoors where it can absorb the lightning's negative ions.

FIRE: While fire is one of the 4 sacred elements generally hailed as a great purifier, it is not for crystals. Your stones should never come into contact with flame, or they might crack and shatter.

CHARGING

While your crystal already contains its own unique vibrational energies, those energies can sometimes become low or depleted. Charging a crystal is like giving a jumpstart to a weak battery. You should charge your crystals:

-after you have cleansed them

-before using them for a specific intent

-when their vibrations feel weak

Many cleansing methods outlined above also can be used to charge crystals, along with a few others outlined here.

SUNLIGHT: If your crystal is sunlight safe, the sun's energies are a powerful charging element.

MOONLIGHT: Another positive charge option, particularly for moonstone and milky colored stones, such as milky quartz, opal or pearl.

INCENSE: Running your crystal through an incense imbued with the same intent of the stone can help give it a tremendous power boost. For example, an incense associated with loving energies (lavender, rose, applewood) makes a good charging element for a stone used to promote loving energies (rose quartz, emerald). Power amplifying crystals, such as malachite, can be charged with power-lending resins, such as dragon's blood or frankincense. You might also want to choose your incense based on planetary or elemental associations. For example, using incense associated with Venus for stones associated with Venus, or incense associated with the element of earth for crystals with the same association.

LIGHTENING: If you cleanse your crystals in lightening, they will be powerfully charged by the time you retrieve them.

MUSIC/SOUND: Different instruments are associated with different vibrations, as are different notes on the music scale. You may want to do some research to find the proper associations to match your crystals, and then play music for them (either live or recorded). You can also use a tuning fork or "singing bowl," which is a crystal bowl that makes a heavenly sound when stroked properly.

CRYSTAL CLUSTERS: Crystal cluster chunks or caves are known to be self-charging, and will charge other crystals lain upon them. Make sure you lay a soft cloth over the crystal cluster before placing any smaller crystals on it to avoid scratching.

LENDING IT YOUR OWN ENERGY: You can transfer energy into your crystal in a number of ways to empower it. You can meditate and hold the crystal in your projective (dominant) hand, visualizing energy pouring into it. You can hold the crystal and charge it with your own breath. You can also charge it in religious rites and rituals by laying it before you or upon your altar and directing energy into it with your sacred altar tools.

Crystals are nature's gifts. They are microcosms containing all of the earth's positive energies in a single, pocket-sized source. If you take these simple measures in caring for your crystals, they will last you longer and serve you well.

© High Speed Ventures 2011