A Guide To: Choosing and Cleansing Crystals

From your coworker’s desk to the shelves of your fave yoga studios, using crystals as a form of self-care and therapy have risen in mainstream popularity over the past decade… But do they actually work? And how do you actually use them? Read on!
11 Oct 2021

Historically Speaking…

These shimmering gems are nice to look at, sure; but they are so much more than what meets the eye. As crystals have been created over the millennia deep within the Earth, the practice of using them has been around for thousands of years, in many different cultures and communities. To name a few, the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Mayans, Indians and the Chinese have all used crystals in various forms for healing, protection and more.

The Benefits of Crystals

By channeling the vibrations of the earth and its elements, crystals have the power of connecting us to the energies of the universe; but only when we consciously open ourselves to the possibilities do we become more receptive to the stones’ natural energies.

Crystals can help us improve our mental wellbeing by balancing our energy fields and increasing positive feelings, including self-confidence, tranquility and focus – and that’s barely scratching the surface as to what they can do for us. It’s crucial here to note that there is no one crystal fix for all; different crystals have different uses, as they all have unique properties that align to specific areas of our lives.

In this introduction to crystals, we’ll take you through how to choose your crystals and how to cleanse them for use.

Closeup details of crystal with inclusion, blue chalcedony with pyrite and selenite
Photograph by Olga Serjantu
The New Moon’s Guide to choosing and cleansing crystals, a woman’s hand gently holding an apophyllite
Photograph by Content Pixie

How to Choose Your Crystals

Ready to elevate your physical and mental spaces with crystals for emotional healing? Good! Let’s get to it.

The first thing you need to do is to figure out your most immediate wellness needs. Are you trying to ease your anxiety? Get over an emotional hump? Advance at work? Or finally cut a toxic person out of your life?

What is your biggest concern in the moment? By acknowledging our concerns, their root causes and aligning that them to our truest, deepest intentions, you can then start to examine what improvements are needed. Consider what change can take place for you to get what you need and how it can take place; and have an honest think about what you want to achieve, and why.

Now comes the fun part: going crystal shopping! Do a little research and find the ones that resonate best with your desires. Also, trust your gut! Does a particular crystal resonate with you when you pick it up? Does one catch your eye? It’s probably for a reason – let your senses attract the crystal for you, as we do energetically reach out for what we need the most.

How to Cleanse Crystals

The first thing to do when you get a new crystal is to cleanse it. And after the initial cleanse, you should continue to occasionally cleanse your crystals just like any other tool you use and maintain.

When we find ourselves operating at a lower frequency or energy level, this is a good time to cleanse and reconnect with our crystals; after all, they can help us remember our goals and potential. Crystals are like sponges: the longer you have them (without cleansing), the more they soak up errant energies and become occupied by what’s in the past.

When it comes to cleansing crystals, remember that “cleansing” doesn’t equate to “cleaning with water”. Many minerals will be fine after a light rinse in cold water, but there are stones — such as pyrite — with a high iron content that will cause them to oxidise after contact with water.

Our advice on how to cleanse crystals? Don’t soak them in water unless necessary.

The act of cleansing crystals is a spiritual one. It is the cleansing of unwanted energies and negativity. For a few rituals to help you cleanse your crystals, read on!

The New Moon’s Guide to Cleansing and Choosing crystals, still life photography by Amanda Kho of colourful crystals lined up on a table
Photograph by Amanda Kho
The New Moon’s Guide to Cleansing and Choosing crystals, still life photography by Amanda Kho of colourful crystals lined up on a table
Photograph by Amanda Kho

Method 1: Natural Light Cleansing

Set your stones out before nightfall and bring them in before 11am the following day, allowing your crystals to bathe in the natural glow of the moon, as well as the sun. Do beware, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight may damage the stone’s surface.

You can also place your crystal under the moon for at least four hours, allowing time for the moon to take away the negative and outdated energies that can accumulate within your crystals.

Some like to do this according to the solar or lunar cycle, particularly during a full moon or a new moon, as these stages of the moon’s course generally signify release and reset. Some even make this a nightly ritual.

Method 2: Smoke - Cleansing

Smoke cleansing is one of the most popular and easy ways to cleanse crystals. Light the wood, herb or incense of your choice, and allow the smoke to drift over and around your crystal. As you do this, imagine all the negative, heavy energy clearing from your crystal. If it helps you to focus, recite a mantra of clearing as you smoke cleanse.

Palo Santo and white sage are among the most well-known options of smoke cleansing. We must not neglect to take into consideration the sustainability and cultural appropriation elements of these tools first: not only is white sage sacred to certain native communities, but the overharvesting of palo Santo has caused deforestation in some areas of South America. Please purchase mindfully and with care.

Method 3: Sound-Healing

From the tones of Tibetan singing bowls, the Om mantra, to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, sound is probably one of the most fuss-free ways to cleanse crystals.

To bring the crystal into a particular vibration, you can chant, use singing bowls, a tuning fork, gongs… it doesn’t matter what the sound is or what you use, so long as the sound emitted is loud enough for the vibration to fully permeate the crystal. For a thorough cleansing, we recommend allowing 5 to 10 minutes for the crystal to be fully bathed in and cleansed by the sound.

The New Moon’s Guide to Cleansing and Choosing crystals, still life photography by Amanda Kho, still life of burning palo santo with smoke drifting off, with celestite
Photograph by Amanda Kho

Final Thoughts

For centuries, human beings have put their faith – and fate – in the power of prayer and other practices of organised religions. By publishing this healing crystals guide, we are not asking you to completely let go of the wheel to let these jewels from the Earth drive your life for you.

Instead, think of these pretty, shiny rocks as touchstones to help you remember your purpose in your daily life. At the end of the day, what really counts is self-awareness of what we are, clarity of what we do, and gratitude for what we have. Enjoy!