“What’s your favorite crystal?” is the new “What’s your favorite color?” Of course, crystals themselves aren’t new. Of the millions of years that they’ve been on the planet, records of these stones being used in healing date back as far as 6,000 years. And in recent years, they’ve shifted from the bohemian fringe to mainstream (much like astrology). Everyone from Victoria Beckham to Gwyneth Paltrow to Katy Perry is a big fan of these healing stones. But diving into the world of these shiny, presumably powerful rocks can be intimidating for newbies. What are crystals? What do they even do? How many, and which ones, should you have to promote the best energy? What you need is a “crystals for beginners” explainer.
Well, you’re in luck. We, ahem, crystallize the must-have information for you below. It might even inspire you to curate our own vast collection. Bonus: You can finally discover the answer to that “What’s your favorite crystal?” question.
What do crystals do?
Crystals are having a moment right now because crystal practicers, such as lightworkers, attribute healing and energetic properties to crystals that can amplify and raise your vibe. Or, you know, give your life that extra magic sauce. There’s pretty much a crystal for every facet of your life, from career to love to money. Practicers also believe crystals aid overall wellness by healing various issues, such as anxiety and depression. Another method used in crystal work is placing specific ones on your body or nearby places to help draw out negative energy.
Do healing crystals work?
Ah, yes, this loaded question. Like many forms of alternative medicine (color therapy comes to mind), crystals receive their fair share of skepticism. And the reality is very few conventional studies on the efficacy of crystals exist. While the scientific community-at-large considers the power of crystals to be a sort of placebo effect, these stones have been used throughout history by various cultures to promote physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. So, we can’t give you a cut-and-dry answer other than to say you probably shouldn’t use them to replace traditional medicine.
However, if it makes you feel better to incorporate crystals into your life, go for it! Even if you give it a try and don’t notice any qualifiable effects, you’ll have something pretty to sit on your bookshelf.
What’s the secret to storing and charging crystals?
After you purchase and/or receive your crystals, it’s always a good idea to cleanse them. By cleansing crystals, you are clearing away any energy — good or bad — that doesn’t belong to you.
- Place your crystals in a bowl of saltwater. You can make this with distilled water and sea salt. Leave the stone overnight. If desired, you can enhance the solution with healing essential oils, like patchouli or lavender.
- Some people prefer to leave their crystals outside under a full moon to clear them fully. Or you might want to place them in moon water (which is water charged with the energy of a full moon).
- You can also cleanse your crystals by leaving them out in sunlight for the day. Just be careful about leaving stones in direct light for prolonged periods — certain transparent crystals, such as rose quartz and amethyst, may fade.
- Other crystals such as carnelian and clear quartz may actually cleanse other stones, so you might have them surround or touch your new additions.
- A singing bowl could cleanse their vibration, too.
How do you activate crystals?
For the best results, you should know how to activate crystals and how to charge crystals with intentions. Each crystal has a specific meaning, so you will want to keep your intention aligned with the energetic charge of the crystal. For example, rose quartz is known to help with love, so if you have an intention for your love life, that’s your crystal to use. To activate and program your crystal:
- Hold the crystal and close your eyes. Think about the intention that you wish to use in activating your crystal. Maybe it’s a vision in your mind’s eye or an affirmation (or both).
- Believe that your crystal will hold the intention for you.
- You can place the crystal in a crystal grid or on your altar. Some people prefer to wear the crystal on their person to remind them of their intention every day.
How should you store crystals?
Although there is some debate over crystal storage, you can keep them just about anywhere. Some people create altars at home featuring crystals, but you can also place crystals in your purse and even in your bra.
Some people prefer to use pouches or containers made of natural materials for storage, as they believe these materials act as a natural energy shield. The idea? Your crystals will remain free of negative energy. Others, though, use inorganic materials (like plastic). But most people seem to agree that you should be mindful of the Mohs Scale of Hardness. Storing hard stones with soft stones can lead to chipping and damage.
What are the most popular crystals for beginners?
Here are some of the most popular healing stones to start your collection, including crystals for anxiety.
- Amethyst: This tranquil purple stone is known to help alleviate anxiety and rid you of addictions. It may also enhance your spiritual side.
- Citrine: The cheerful yellow stone is said to promote positive feelings while eliminating heavy negative vibes. It’s purported to exchange doubt and tension with confidence and lightness.
- Moonstone: This beautiful stone reportedly boosts your intuition and connects you to your feminine side, including fertility and pregnancy, in positive ways. It’s also a good stone for overwhelmed moms, as it’s said to dispel stress and fears.
- Clear Quartz: This crystal stimulates your crown chakra and helps you center yourself. With this quartz, the spirit is better protected and negative thoughts and challenges are much easier to manage. A clear quartz is a good crystal to get because it allows you to keep an open mind and deal with negative perceptions.
- Shungite: This crystal is excellent for refreshing or restoring your energy. Some put it under their devices to balance their energy with technology. Or hold it in the morning to boost spirit and vitality.
- Chrysocolla: This crystal is great for stimulating ideas and discovering new outlooks and perspectives. It’s a great crystal to keep when embarking on a new journey in life or for someone in need of a fresh start.
- Hematite: This crystal is used to break down negative energy by absorbing it. If you’re feeling stress, it helps with grounding, but hematite can also protect you from bad energy. It’s a great crystal to carry around to calm down or when facing chaotic and frustrating situations. It’s often used with your root chakra to convert negative energy into positive energy.