by Phyllis Kennemer
For thousands of years, crystals have been used for adornment, healing and protection. Ancient peoples thought of crystals as sacred gifts from Mother Earth. Priests, medicine men, rulers and shamans valued the richness, rarity and variety of gemstones and wore them as symbols of spiritual and temporal authority.
The ancient art of crystal healing uses the gentle, transformative properties of gems. Specific resonances of crystals transmit energy. They dissolve stress, remove blockages, support new intentions and bring harmony into the environment. They neutralize negative energies, draw energy away from an over-stimulated area or reenergize a depleted one. They bring serenity to a home and peace to an individual. They protect, heal, attract abundance and create love. Crystals enhance the environment wherever they are placed. Their effect is pleasant; they induce a feeling of well-being and harmony. People in all parts of the world and in all cultures accessorize themselves with beautiful jewels. They may not know the properties of the stones, but they instinctively feel good wearing them.
Andrea Presse of Sacred Enlightenment (www.sacredenlightenment.com), a Wyoming resident who has spent much of her life working with crystals, says they can absorb negative energies during mining or transportation, while awaiting sale or through use. She also says crystals have extensive memories. An individual gem remembers all the places it has been, all of the people who have touched it, and all of the forces that have permeated it. New-to-you crystals need to be purified, and all crystals should be cleansed regularly to ensure optimum energy.
Purification is part of the ritual of using crystals and there are many ways of doing this. Some take several days, others only a few minutes. As you cleanse your crystal, hold the intention in your mind that any negative energies will be transmuted into positive ones and that the crystal will be reenergized.
Those who work with crystals have different methods for cleansing them. Blue Eagle (Luc Bourgault, The American Indian Secrets of Crystal Healing, Quantum, 1997) begins with purifying the room with burning sage, cedar, or scented hay. He opens a window so negative elements can leave. He then places the crystal in a bowl made of natural material (glass, ceramic, stoneware, wood) and adds a mixture of distilled water containing ¼ teaspoon sea salt per liter. He leaves the crystal in the solution for one week to erase all the accumulated memories. After that, the stone can be purified in the salt water mixture in twenty minutes. As an alternate procedure, he suggests placing the crystal on a wooden plank and running tap water over it. Crystals that are used or worn need to be cleansed every day. Static crystals (those on desks or furniture) can be purified about every three weeks.
Presse agrees that crystals should be cleared after each session, but she discourages the use of either salt or salt water for the process. For her this is literally the same as putting salt on a wound. It is painful to crystals.
If the crystals have been in a room with scented candles or incense, she recommends cleaning them by using a mild organic soap and placing them under running water at room temperature. This procedure is also recommended for crystals that have been imported from foreign countries where they may have been traumatized by being placed in acid to remove unwanted sediment.
Her preferred method for purifying crystals is placing the crystal in a bed of sage and rose petals (either fresh or dried) overnight. This procedure is based on her communication with a specific crystal. Presse relates an instance of encountering a piece of smoky quartz while browsing in a gem store. The quartz was homesick and distressed. She asked how she could help. He told her he would feel better if he could sit in some sage and “just be” for awhile. As their communication continued, he added that some rose petals tossed in with the sage would be nice. The shop keeper followed these directions and when Andrea returned a few days later, the quartz had better energy and was much happier.
Presse thinks of crystals as living beings which have agreed to be here as survival sources to help us ascend past our human condition. She believes that all people have the capacity to communicate with crystals if they approach the process with a sense of acceptance and a high level of awareness. She communicates with her crystals through holding a still state of mind. She places the crystal in her left hand and opens her heart chakra to surround it with love. Crystals communicate through the Universal language of symbols, shapes, colors, feelings, and visions. Once someone makes the connection with crystals, the communication process becomes easier. This connection is pure light energy. A crystal will do no harm. Asking a crystal to do anything with a negative intent may cause the crystal to disappear or to break.
Both Presse and Blue Eagle recommend establishing a good relationship with crystals. They believe that crystals offer help along life’s journey. Honor them and treat them with respect. Thank them for the work they perform. In this way your friendship with crystals can be nurtured and expanded.