People have been fascinated with crystals and gemstones for thousands of years. Their color and beauty made them mankind's first precious objects, and they would have used them for decorative purposes, as well as symbols of power and authority. According to the book of Exodus, Aaron, the High Priest of Israel, wore a twelve-jeweled breastplate. Precious stones were also used as amulets and talismans, showing that people have always been aware of their spiritual and protective aspects. Using crystals for healing and divination was a logical development of this. People still use crystals and gemstones for all of these purposes today. Some years ago, a friend made me an amulet of green jade that I wear for a number of reasons, including protection and luck.
When my family were young, we regularly visited a huge crystal store in a small town about sixty miles from home. It was housed in an old movie theater that our three children thought was haunted. On each visit, they happily spent an hour or two selecting stones that appealed to them. On one occasion, when my daughter was about twelve, I asked her why she'd chosen a particular stone, and she replied that it felt right. I was excited as, up until then, she'd always chosen stones solely on how they looked. Unknowingly, she'd discovered the best way to choose a crystal: it has to feel "right."
Try to handle as many crystals and gemstones as possible before buying one. If you're in a store that sells crystals, ask permission before handling their stones. When you find one that appeals to you, place it on your left palm and cover it gently with your right palm. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths while focusing on the palms of your hands. See what thoughts, feelings ,and other sensations come to you. Trust your intuition. If the stone is the right one for you, it will feel "right." Even if the stone feels right, confirm this by repeating this process with several other stones before buying it.
There are other ways to handle a crystal while deciding which one to buy. You might like to hold it in the palm of one hand and gently close the fingers of the same hand over it. You might hold it between your thumb and first finger. You could place the crystal on a flat surface and hold your palms facing each other an inch or two away from each side of the stone. If you use a pendulum, you might like to hold it over any stones that appeal to you and see how your pendulum responds. A friend of mine uses his body as a pendulum. He places a selection of stones in front of him, closes his eyes, relaxes his body, and thinks of his need for a suitable stone. When he opens his eyes, his body will have moved unconsciously and he'll be looking at the crystal that’s right for him.
Body dowsing, as this process is called, is also a good method to use when you can't choose between two stones. Place one stone slightly to your left, and the other slightly to your right. Close your eyes, take a few slow, deep breaths and ask yourself, "Which of these stones is better for me now?" When you open your eyes, you'll find that your body will be indicating the stone you need to buy.
The right stone will protect, guide, and help you in everything you do. Consequently, it's important to take your time in choosing your stone. The more stones you handle, the easier it will be to recognize the right one when you find it.
Once you've found the right stone you'll need to look after it. You should cleanse your crystal regularly to remove any negativity that might be affecting it. This is especially important when you first obtain it, as you'll want to eliminate any energies the stone might have picked up before it came into your possession.
There are many ways to do this. These include water; smudging; exposing the crystal to the rays of the sun and the moon; burying it in the earth or a container of raw salt, brown rice, or dried herbs; or even placing it in the freezer for a few hours. My favorite method is to pass the crystal several times through the smoke produced by a smudge stick. However, this isn't always convenient, and is potentially dangerous as smudge sticks give off a great deal of heat.
Probably the simplest and easiest method is to use your breath. Hold your crystal in your cupped hands and blow on it while focusing on your intention of cleansing it. Do this at least seven times, turning the crystal each time to make sure that every part of it receives your breath.
Ideally, you should keep your crystal somewhere where it will receive plenty of sunlight and fresh air. Crystals also like to rest on natural surfaces, such as wood, glass, silk, and other natural fibers. Please don't hide it away in a jewelry box, drawer, or any other closed container.
The best way to get to know your crystal is to carry it around with you. Hold it or stroke it whenever you find yourself in a stressful situation or feel the need for more energy or confidence. Talk to your crystal, silently or out loud. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the helpful answers that will appear in your mind. Your stone will become a good friend that will guide and protect you in every area of your life.
You might decide to keep your crystal as a friend and confidante. Alternatively, you might want to dedicate it to a specific purpose, such as remembering past lives, attracting prosperity, improving your memory, handling grief, or attracting love.
To do this, decide on a specific intention and create a sentence that encapsulates what you want your crystal to do for you. A good way to start is to use the words, "I intend this crystal," followed by whatever it is you desire. If you want to attract good luck into your life your sentence might be: "I intend this crystal to attract all the good luck I need in every area of my life." This is a general good luck intention. You might want to attract luck into a specific part of your life, such as your career, health, relationships, sport, or gambling. If you want good luck in relationships, you might write: "I intend this crystal to provide advice, protection, and good luck in every area of my love life."
Once you've created this intention, carry your crystal everywhere with you and hold or stroke it whenever you affirm to yourself that you're a lucky person who deserves a good, honest, loving partner. Assure yourself that good things happen to you because you're a lucky person, and that you'll recognize the right person as soon as he or she comes into your life.
Every morning, hold your crystal and say: "I am a lucky person. Good things happen to me every day. The universe will bring the right person to me." This is a positive affirmation, and whenever possible you should repeat it out loud three times, increasing the volume and intensity with each repetition.
Remember to thank your crystal whenever you receive good luck of any kind. Even though you might be asking for luck in relationships, you should also thank it when, for instance, you find a parking space exactly where and when you want it.
Once you've achieved your goal, you can dedicate your stone to another purpose, if you wish. Alternatively, you might find another stone that you can dedicate to your new intention. In my case, by the time I'd reached this point, I already had several crystals. You'll probably be the same.
Please look after your crystals. Give them the care and love they deserve, and they'll repay you in many different ways.
Richard Webster (New Zealand) is the bestselling author of more than one hundred books. Richard has appeared on several radio and television programs in the US and abroad, including guest spots on WMAQ-TV (Chicago), ...