I have had an interest in crystals since I was a child. But, I must admit, my interest started because of my brother. He was interested in all types of stones and had a geological curiosity about stones. I simply thought they were pretty.
Over the years my attraction to crystals has evolved into an esoteric curiosity. Crystals have energy, and can benefit us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and provide us healing and wellness.
I have a small collection of crystals at home and in my office, and I also wear them as jewelry. I have learned a bit about crystals along the way, but I am in no way an expert. I decided to read up about them and share that with you. Much of this information I gathered from Judy Hall’s The Crystal Bible.
How Crystals Are Formed
Crystals are natural formations that have been around as long as the Earth has existed. They are by-products of the tumultuous activity within the Earth’s crust, and are formed from a combination of magma, lava, gases, heat, water, rocks, minerals, and a shake-up of the earth. This is of course a simplified explanation.
Types of Crystals
There are several hundred types of crystals, ranging from precious gemstones, such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, to semi-precious stones, such as jade, lapis lazuli, and aquamarine, to relatively inexpensive raw stones.
Crystals can be purchased in their raw and naturally occurring form or in polished shapes. They can be purchased as stones, geodes, clusters, pyramids, eggs, wands, spheres, squares, and many other varieties. We can select the right shape of crystal depending on the intended purpose for the crystal. For instance, geodes and crystals are great options to place in homes and offices, whereas stones and eggs are great for meditation and placing on the body.
The same crystal may come in different colors, and the effect of the crystal changes. For example, calcite is beneficial in clearing negative energies, providing calm, and alleviating stress. Black calcite helps with trauma and depression, blue calcite relieves pain and anxiety, clear calcite detoxifies, gold calcite focuses the mind and assists in meditation, green calcite helps us let go of what we don’t need, orange calcite helps us overcome fear, and red calcite is uplifting.
Selecting the Right Crystal
There are many ways to select the right crystal. We can simply pick the ones we are attracted to, regardless of the reason. We can use our intuition, allowing our gut to show us which crystals we are drawn to, and hence which crystal will benefit us. We can also select crystals based on specific criteria.
Based on Conditions
We can look up crystals based on particular conditions. These can be physical. For example, malachite, sapphire, and lapis lazuli assist with back issues. Amethyst, black tourmaline, and turquoise boost the immune system. Peridot, amber, and emerald aid with lung and respiratory conditions.
Conditions can be mental. Amethyst, aquamarine, and beryl help to calm the mind. Lapis lazuli and opal amplify our thoughts. Agate, amber, azurite, and calcite enhance our memory.
Conditions can be emotional, such as relieving anger with blue-green smithsonite, kyanite, and melanite. Also, amethyst, azurite, magnetite, and sugilite alleviate grief. And, chalcedony, chrysocolla, and orange jade bring joy.
Conditions can be spiritual. Pink calcite, chrysoprase, and sodalite help us accept ourselves. To deepen our meditation practice we can use apatite, opal aura quartz, and zoisite. Cat’s eye, jade, and sunstone bring luck.
Based on Chakras
Chakras are energetic centers along our bodies that affect us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Since crystals act on us in similar ways, they are a great resource to help us balance our chakras. Here are some examples of crystals that can be used:
Root chakra: smoky quartz, red jasper, bloodstone
Sacral chakra: orange carnelian, orange calcite, topaz
Solar plexus chakra: yellow jasper, yellow apatite, yellow calcite
Heart chakra: rose quartz, labradorite, amazonite
Throat chakra: blue lace agate, sodalite, blue apatite
Third eye chakra: garnet, amethyst, danburite
Crown chakra: clear quartz, clear tourmaline, purple sapphire
All chakras: jasper (all types), tree agate, amber
Based on Our Birth Month
These vary based on the tradition, which include Polish, Arabic, Hebrew, Roman, and Hindu traditions, among others. The most commonly found include:
January: garnet, ruby, black stone
March: aquamarine, bloodstone
April: diamond, sapphire
May: emerald, agate
June: pearl, moonstone, alexandrite, agate
July: ruby, onyx, carnelian, sapphire
August: peridot, carnelian, sardonyx, ruby, alexandrite
September: sapphire, peridot, zircon
October: opal, tourmaline, aquamarine, beryl, coral
November: topaz, citrine, cat’s eye
December: turquoise, tanzanite, blue topaz, ruby
Based on Our Zodiac Sign
Aries: ruby, diamond, amethyst, red jasper, bloodstone
Taurus: emerald, topaz, aquamarine, carnelian, rose quartz
Gemini: tourmaline, agate, apatite, citrine, chrysocolla
Cancer: moonstone, pearl, amber, ruby, emerald
Leo: cat’s eye, ruby, amber, tiger’s eye, citrine, onyx
Virgo: peridot, sardonyx, amazonite, carnellian
Libra: sapphire, opal, ametrine, aventurine, jade
Scorpio: topaz, malachite, aquamarine, turquoise
Sagittarius: topaz, turquoise, amethyst, lapis lazuli
Capricorn: Jet, onyx, amber, garnet
Aquarius: aquamarine, amethyst, amber, garnet
Pisces: moonstone, amethyst, aquamarine, bloodstone, rose quartz
Preparing Crystals for Use
Anytime we purchase or get a new crystal it is important to cleanse the stone. Crystals pick up energy from their surroundings and from anyone who handles them, and we need to clear this energy away.
There are many ways to cleanse stones. We can place them in the sun for a full day, although beware that some crystals fade under the sunlight. We can smudge them by burning sage or another cleansing herb. We can wash them with salt water, although some crystals dissolve in salt or in water, and some get damaged if salt is left on them. We can also cleanse them under a full or new moon or 24 to 48 hours.
Once they are cleansed set an intention for the crystal. Pray or meditate with it and be clear on how the crystal can be of support us. Say the intention in your mind or state it out loud.
Then they are ready to be used. It is important that other people don’t handle the crystal, so that the intention we have set for it remains undisturbed. It is also to cleanse the crystal on a regular basis, so as to recalibrate it keep it effective. Always re-set the intention with the crystal.
How to Use Crystals
Crystals can be used in a number of ways. Some of the most common include meditating with them, wear them as jewelry, have them intentionally placed in our home or work environment, place them on our bodies, or create grids to draw energy in or out.
When not in use, store crystals in a cool, dry, and dark place. It is best to keep them in silk or cloth pouches.
Crystals can add versatility to our healing and spiritual practices. They also enhance our being and our environment in dynamic ways. I would encourage you to explore crystals, if you haven’t already.
Hall, J. (2003). The Crystal Bible: A Definitive Guide to Crystals. Blue Ash, OH: Walking Stick Press.