Cleansing, Charging & Programming Crystals
Cleansing: Most crystals absorb energy from their surroundings. So, when you first acquire your crystals, be certain to “cleanse” them both physically (removing dust and dirt) and energetically by using one or more of methods listed below. I always suggest cleansing crystals with smoke, light or sound first as water could damage them – the main exception to this rule is Quartz (like clear quartz, smoky or rose quartz).
Many people favor the smudging technique with smoke from sage, herbs or incense. You can do smudging regardless of weather. It smells wonderful and the ritual of fire sets a sacred tone in the space. Either move the crystal through the smoke or use a feather to direct the smoke toward the crystal. I like to cleanse my space at the same time (and open windows as to not set off any fire alarms).
Most crystals respond beautifully to being bathed in sunlight for an hour or two. We don’t recommend longer than this for crystals that might fade such as Amethyst and Celestite. Choose a nice sunny spot that will be protected and quiet and let your crystals breathe in the healing sunlight. (Be aware that the rays of the sun could start a fire when focused through a crystal like quartz). Caution advised as the crystals could become hot after some time.
Another way to cleanse or to energize “dead” crystals is to set them in full moonlight for an entire night. Set them on a soft cloth where the moonlight will softly bathe over them. This is a particularly magical practice so sit with them for awhile and see what the Night Goddesses have to share with you. Should dew, fog or some rain fall during the night that would be an added bonus if your crystals are able to handle water. I like to meditate during the Full Moon so adding my crystals to the meditation only improves the experience for us both!
My personal favorite technique is using vibrational sound to cleanse crystals. You can use a tuning fork struck on a clear quartz crystal to create a cleansing sound that can be moved over and around the crystal. Or strike a metal singing bowl, tingshas or bell to create a cleansing vibration. Sometimes crystals can be placed inside a crystal or metal singing bowl (try this with caution in crystal bowls so the bowl does not shatter!) Very often, I chant AUM to cleanse them and if you are so inclined, the breath with a mantra. All of these techniques work well, its just finding the one you are most comfortable with.
Water, especially salt water is not appropriate for rough specimens, unpolished or fragile / layered stones like Celestite, Kyanite, Calcites, Selenite, unpolished Malachite and porous or soft crystals. These types should never be immersed in water. You can spritz a bit of plain water on them if necessary to remove dust or dirt. Or you can quickly run water over them if absolutely necessary, but never soak them. Selenite especially is water soluable, so if it needs dirt removed, use a damp cloth and dab gently. For polished tumbled stones like quartz based Rose Quartz, Amethyst and such, you definitely can soak them in plain water, but salt water is corrosive and can take the shine off. Sturdy polished stones like Agate, Jasper and Quartz are wonderful added to your bathwater, but again, be aware that if there is salt in the bathwater it could take the shine off. If this is all right with you, go ahead and luxuriate in a crystal bath. For my water friendly crystals, they simply love a natural rain shower outdoors.
If a crystal is very old, been used intensively for healing or neglected, it could seem lifeless, dull or dead. It will need to be “charged” by placing it on top of or next to a clear quartz cluster for a few days, even up to a week. Or, use sunlight or sound from a singing bowl or bell and allow the vibration to wash over the crystal a few times. You will know when the job is done. Be sure to recharge crystals that have been used for healing sessions especially with very ill people. Any of the cleansing techniques can be used for recharging.
Programming crystals is about attuning the crystal to your own energy and intentions. One cardinal rule is to only use crystals for the highest good, even if you are not sure exactly what that might be. Under no circumstance, should you ever attempt to harm anyone or anything using crystals or any other method. This could be extremely injurious to yourself. To program a crystal (after cleansing) hold it in your hand or situate it in a special place, sit quietly and allow yourself to attune to its specific energy. Be open to receive guidance about it. When you are relaxed and in harmony with the stone, state your intention simply and clearly and anchor the intention to the crystal. An example is “My intention is that this amethyst will help bring a calm mind and help me sleep.” Be creative and speak from your heart. You will intuitively know when the programming is complete.
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