From the popular 80's sitcom, Designing Women, I heard the skeptical, shrewd, logical character Julia scold the more new age free-spirited Charlene with, "Crystals are just rocks. Pass it on." And at the time, I agreed with Julia. Crystals are just stones, minerals. They don't have special powers. They can't be used to heal. Crystal power has no basis in truth. If you believe otherwise, you are just fooling yourself. I can't believe how wrong I was.
Even once I got involved in the metaphysical and alternative health, I had a hard time swallowing the notion that crystals are healing. Herbal healing I could understand. Each plant has certain chemicals within it. Through teas, tinctures, and oils, your body absorbs these chemicals and they promote certain reactions within your physiology. Yoga made sense. Your body changes with your breathing and movement. You can synchronize your mind with your body to create a greater sense of health and harmony. Chakra meditations and balancing have analogs in the body with particular glands and hormones. The mind-body connection can balance the production of hormones and create a healing effect in the body. Even the amazing feats of psychic ability—from simple intuition to readings with tarot cards, runes, tea leaves, or seeing auras—are based in some mystery of brain waves, hormones, and personal energy. But crystals? The idea just seemed silly to me at first glance.
Feeling Crystal Energy
When I first got involved in the metaphysical, people would say with wonder, "Can you feel the energy of this stone?" and pass it to me. By their reaction, I expected to feel like I had put my finger in a light socket. They had such a look of energy and excitement. I felt nothing. The energy was too subtle for me, but at the time I just thought these people were a little nuts. As I continued my meditation practice and psychic development, I learned, with great effort, to sense the subtle. I learned to hold a variety of substances in my hand, from plants and food to crystals, and feel their subtle vital force. It was amazing to feel the difference in a variety of crystals. Each one had its own personality and characteristics.
Phyllis Galde, in her book Crystal Healing, suggests on page 69,
"Pick a stone by attraction, by being drawn to touch it, and then hold it in the left hand loosely. Let it rest against the palm chakra and notice the impressions, colors, sounds and mood feelings that accompany the stone. No two crystals are the same. They are like snowflakes. Each crystal has its own particular vibration, and each will resonate differently. Look for one that will resonate with your being—regardless of size, shape, color, or jeweler's quality. It's the intuitive impression which is important."
When you are done, write down your impressions, and then look up that particular mineral in several crystal books. Are there any correspondences? The definitions in crystal books are a mix of traditional lore with personal insight. Refining your impressions allows you to "define" what a crystal heals for you. You might match the book definition in some way, or be totally different, but trust your intuition and experience. They will guide you to the right stone for the right situation in your life.
Finding Your Crystals
The technique above is a great way to choose stones when shopping. If you hold a stone for a few moments and don't feel anything, then perhaps that stone is not for you. Whatever it heals is not needed in your life at this time. If it is, it will resonate and feel good for you. If you feel something distinct when you hold it, then perhaps that type of crystal is needed. Such techniques can even help you find the most appropriate specimen out of a larger selection of the same mineral. When I shop for crystals, I use a mix of intuitive and deductive methods. If I have a particular issue I want to heal, I might research what crystal is appropriate, but then use my intuition to feel if it's right, or if another crystal is right. Crystal shopping means you get to play with a lot of stones, and a good store will let you touch and feel and hold stones to find the right one.
A general deductive guide on stones can be based on the color. Certain colors are used in healing and magical manifestation with specific effects. You will find corresponding lore in chakra healing, color therapy, candle magick, and flower healing. William C. Stuber's Gems of the 7 Color Rays organizes his crystal information based on color. Here is some general information collected from the book:
So if you want to carry a stone to help promote the quality of generosity within yourself, then carry a green stone. Different traditions of crystal healing associate different qualities to the colors. You can find more magical definitions, designed to bring change into your life, in a book such as Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem and Metal Magic, and more healing associations in Crystal Medicine by Marguerite Elsbeth. If you want to balance and heal a particular chakra, one of the seven energy centers in the body according to Hindu lore, carry a stone with the color associated with a particular chakra. It's also important to realize that stone power doesn't always come from a shop or in the form of an exotic specimen.
Care and Feeding of Crystals
Although simply holding a stone can impart wonderful benefits, they are even more effective in our healing process when cleansed and programmed. Many crystal users soak their crystals in a solution of sea salt and water, to cleanse any unwanted energies from the stone. In Crystal Awareness by Catherine Bowman, three steps are given for using crystals. Though specific for quartz crystals, the technique can be adapted for all stones.
The crystal will amplify your intention. If you want healing, program the stone with the images of yourself completely healed and whole. Carry the stone with you. Meditate with it. Make it a personal charm and talisman. Phyllis Galde has another great tip on healing in Crystal Healing:
First of all, it is a good idea to ask the crystal for information and advice on what is really wrong. You can do this through programming, by saying such things as, "Where am I really sick? I know where I hurt, and the doctor said I have this particular disease. Is this true?" Ask the quartz crystal for answers.
Healing not only occurs physically, but simultaneously heals the root of the issue. The body and mind must work together by asking such questions as "Why am I sick? What lesson does this have for me? What do I need to change in my life to heal?" The crystal can help you attune to universal healing wisdom.
Try this basic meditation abridged from Crystal Awareness. It requires a "personal crystal," one charged for your own personal healing and growth.
Crystal Meditation #1: The Pyramid
Sit with both feet flat on the floor or in lotus position. The personal crystal can be held in either hand, or can be resting on your lap.
Learn to incorporate stone healing into your daily routine by simply carrying a different one with you during the day. Invite the healing energies of the stone world into your spiritual life.