Tools of any kind are not necessary for practicing magick or connecting with your spirituality. The only tools you truly need are your mind, body, and intuition to transform your reality! However, sometimes working with certain tools in your magickal or spiritual practice can help you direct your energy and hone or refine your intentions. Especially tools that come from the earth like plants and crystals or stones can be really beneficial in this way.
How to Use Crystals & Stones For Spirituality (The Ultimate Beginner Guide)
As a practicing cottage witch myself, I work with very few tools in my practice: candles, some crystals, tea and herbs, essential oils, and oracle cards make up pretty much my entire repertoire! Cottage witchcraft is about keeping things simple and grounded, which using these tools of the earth helps me to achieve. You can work with as many or as few tools in your own practice as you desire. The only important thing is that your practice feels right and meaningful to you.
What Are Healing Crystals?
In spiritual circles, crystals and stones are often referred to as “healing crystals” due to their apparent magickal, metaphysical, and energetically healing properties. There are many different theories as to how healing crystals actually work or whether they merely have a placebo effect.
A common interpretation is that crystals vibrate at imperceptible frequencies which are aligned with certain outcomes or tangible effects in our own lives. Having crystals aligned with certain frequencies in your space or even on your body is then thought to help you physically and energetically align with those same desired frequencies as well.
But even if healing crystals truly are little more than a placebo effect in terms of physical or mental healing, they can certainly play a deeply supportive role in your spirituality and intuitive healing process. Crystals are associated with certain outcomes or energies such as love, clarity, protection, and cleansing, all of which can be helpful in a number of ways.
First of all, crystals can serve as a physical, visual reminder of an intention you’ve set or a way of being that you want to embody. For example, you might keep a crystal associated with clarity on your desk at work to remind you to proofread your emails or you might wear a rose quartz necklace to remind you to be loving and compassionate to those around you.
Crystals can also serve to help you feel grounded and centered. Getting grounded can look and feel a bit different for everyone but essentially, it’s about feeling supported with a clear head and open heart, knowing that you know what’s best for you. When you’re feeling scattered or lost, meditating with crystals on certain points of your body or even just holding a crystal in your palms can help bring you back to center.
For those with an inclination to the witchy and the woo, you can also use crystals for magick and manifestation. Crystals can be charged with your magickal intentions and used to amplify your desires out into the universe, calling back in everything you want and more.
Buying Crystals and Crystal Ethics
When you decide to start your crystal collection, it can be tempting to go out and buy everything you see! But I actually recommend starting small and keeping it simple at first. There’s both a practical and an energetic reason for this.
Practically, it’s super easy to forget which crystals you have! Even for long-time witches like myself, it’s hard to remember what all the different crystals are, especially some of the more obscure ones. Energetically, it’s a good idea to really spend time charging your crystals with your intentions and getting to know how they make you feel. You can think of this as literally forming a relationship with your crystals, instead of jumping from one to the next without creating a foundation of understanding and trust.
For both of these reasons, I recommend finding a few crystals that you really resonate with and spending time getting to know them before growing your collection like crazy.
You can purchase crystals in their raw, jagged form, in a smooth polished form, or even in the form of jewelry. There are lots of places you can acquire crystals including dedicated websites, sites like Etsy, and in-person shops. Most towns and cities have a crystal or rock shop of some kind, whether it’s your local New Age or metaphysical shop or more of a geology-focused spot, and shopping local is always a good idea. If you need to turn to online, though, look for ethically sourced crystals as much as possible.
Unethically sourced crystals are a major issue in the spiritual community as they can be both damaging to the earth in the way they are mined and/or rely on unethical labor practices that exploit workers, especially people of color in South America, Asia, and Africa. Ethical mines do exist, however; one of the most popular sites for ethical crystal sourcing is Moonrise Crystals. I don’t recommend buying crystals from Amazon or other large online retailers like that.
Another issue is fake crystals which are either clear quartz injected with colored dye, quartz crystals that are heat-treated to change or intensify their color, or crystals that have chemically been altered to appear iridescent. I actually don’t believe any of these are a problem, so long as they are clearly labeled as being altered from their natural state. However, you will occasionally see plastic rocks sold as “crystals” so do be sure to do your research on your supplier.
Cleansing and Charging Crystals
The first step in working with your new healing crystal is to cleanse and charge it with your intention. Cleansing is an important step since unless you dug the crystal up yourself from the earth, it has probably passed through many hands and energies before arriving to you.
You can cleanse your crystals physically, energetically, or both:
This method involves physically cleaning the crystal with water. Water cleansing is a powerfully intuitive method that can help wash away negative energy. This method is especially good for those who identify as empaths who may be extra sensitive to negativity.
This is fine for quartz and other hard crystals, (i.e. clear quartz, smoky quartz, rose quartz, amethyst, or citrine), but some crystals, such as selenite or calcite, should not be submerged in water as they will crack or dissolve.
This method involves waving smoke from incense or burning herbs around the crystals. This is a very traditional method of cleansing that is found in cultures all over the world and is good for removing negative energy and releasing spirits or entities.
This method is suitable for all crystals. Learn more about smoke cleansing in this article.
This method involves setting your crystals outside or on a windowsill in the moonlight. This is most commonly done on a full moon when the moon’s power is most potent but can really be done during any moon phase.
This method is suitable for all crystals.
It’s definitely a good idea to cleanse your crystals when you first get them but you should also plan to cleanse your crystals regularly, especially if they are in high traffic areas where they may be picking up a lot of other people’s energy.
Once your crystals are cleansed, they are ready to be charged! Charging crystals is basically the process of programming them to align with your intentions and goals. The words cleansing and charging are sometimes used interchangeably and you’ll often see people talk about “charging” their crystals in the moonlight. This is totally accurate – sometimes all you really need to do to charge your crystals is to cleanse them so they can vibrate at their most natural, unencumbered frequency.
However, sometimes you might want to charge a crystal with a specific intention. For example, amethyst is great for both peaceful sleep and connecting with your intuition. Amethyst naturally vibrates on this peaceful and intuitive frequency and is associated with the moon and the intuitive sign of Cancer in astrology, but you can amplify your specific intention when working with it.
Perhaps you really want to start remembering your dreams more because you feel that they have psychic or intuitive messages for you but you struggle to remember them after you wake up. You could sit in bed with a cleansed amethyst and hold it over your third eye, (the space between and just above your eyes), which is the source of your intuition in your body and speak out loud or in your head that you want the amethyst to aid and support you in remembering your dreams. Then keep the amethyst on your nightstand and start writing down as much as you can remember about your dreams each morning as soon as you wake up.
You can use crystals to help you manifest your desires, to help you communicate more clearly, or to help soothe your anxiety. You can incorporate them into your meditation, yoga, or mindful stretching and movement practice or take them with you when traveling to feel safe and energetically protected.
Crystals won’t magickally make things change with a snap of your fingers – you do have to take the aligned actions to help you create what you want – but they can be very supportive of directing and focusing your energy and amplifying your intentions.
Popular Crystals and Their Uses
Clear Quartz: The jack-of-all-trades of the crystal world. Great for cleansing spaces and removing negativity but also has a neutral energy that can be charged or programmed for essentially any intention.
Rose Quartz: A beautiful, light pink crystal often used in jewelry. Associated with love, self-love, and the heart chakra. Great for keeping on your vanity or any space where you want to project love and compassion.
Amethyst: A stunning, purple crystal. Associated with intuition, sleep, and dreams. Great for keeping on your nightstand to encourage psychic dreams and peaceful sleep.
Smoky Quartz: A mysterious, dark and smoky crystal. Associated with banishing negativity and protection. Great for keeping on your desk if you have gossipy or negative coworkers.
Citrine: A pale orange or yellow crystal. Associated with success, luck, and prosperity. Great for keeping on your desk or in your pocket when asking for a raise or starting your own business. If you see citrine that is dark or bright orange, it’s actually heat-treated amethyst. It’s fine to use, just be aware that it’s not completely natural.
Selenite: A milky white crystal with soft, breakable layers. This crystal has a neutral energy that not only removes negativity from spaces but actually absorbs and dissipates it.
Lapis Lazuli: A beautiful, rare blue stone from Afghanistan. Associated with clarity, communication, and spiritual wisdom. Great for wearing as jewelry or carrying in your pocket when you want to be sure to be clearly understood. Can be substituted by sodalite which has a similar energy and is less expensive.
Obsidian: A jet black stone that’s actually volcanic glass. Associated with banishing negativity and protection. Can be used in similar ways to smoky quartz.
Black Tourmaline: A black layered stone. Associated with psychic protection and grounding. Great for using in rituals when you will be connecting with spirits or carrying in your pocket for protection.
Moldavite: A green stone formed by impact from a meteorite. Associated with psychic awareness, cleansing auras, and spiritual awakening. This crystal is particularly trendy but packs a powerful wallop – I recommend starting with one of the more accessible quartz crystals above.