Cleansing and Purifying Stones, Crystals and Crystal Jewelry Techniques using Traditional Method of Purified Water,
Moonlight and Sea Salt as well as Alternative Techniques including White Sage Smudge, Sweetgrass, and Singing
Cleaning crystals is a very simple process, once you learn the basics.
So what does it mean to clean a crystal? You may have heard people referring to it as cleansing crystals, purifying crystals, smudging stones, or energeticaly balancing crystals. It can be confusing to hear so many different terms, but we're here to simplify it for you.
These terms all mean the same thing, they amount to cleaning your crystal or gem stone of old, stagnant vibrations.
It is important to purify crystals in your collection on a regular basis. The reason for this is that they tend to pick up energies along the way, like the bad day you had last week, or a fight with a loved one. Purifying your crystals will help to keep their conduits open so that they can work with clarity towards your highest good. It is also kind to the crystal allies. Each crystal is a spirit, a tiny bit of energy. By cleaning your crystal you are honoring it as the sacred and divine being that it is.
Whether you are a beginner starting out with your first stone or a seasoned crystal worker, cleaning the crystals in your life is an important aspect to working with their healing energies. Just as people can hold old, stagnant energies in their bodies, so can stones. A simple cleansing process will release the old energy so they can work at their highest vibrational frequencies.
It is also a good practice to energetically purify new crystals and stones that you decide to bring in to your life. Oftentimes they have been handled by multiple people in a store setting, and they collect energies off each interaction, whether positive or negative. So whether you've been working with the stone for a long time, or it's a newcomer to your spiritual circle, it may be time for a cleanse. We'll get to the techniques for cleaning crystals a little bit further along. For now, let's look at some of the signs showing that a crystal is ready for purification.
1) If the stone is a new arrival from a store or a gift from a friend: As mentioned above, it is always wise to cleanse new stones so they can work with your energies coming from a pure vibrational state.
2) If the crystal is discoloring: I've seen it happen, you may have too. Stones do pick up what's in their environment, and a very clear, visible sign is when dark inclusions appear in a stone. I've seen sodalite pick up dark brown splotches. I've seen clear quartz pick up black pockets within it's structure. If you have a crystal that has changed colors, especially if the new colors are dark, you're stone is in need of purification.
3) If you aren't drawn to the crystal or gem stone anymore: This can be something as simple as always picking up a different piece to work with, or as dramatic as the stone not feeling good to you anymore.
4) If the crystal feels dull, heavy, or drained: A purified stone, ready to do energy healing should feel light, bright, and pure. If your stone doesn't, it's time for some clearing.
BASIC CLEANING CRYSTALS TECHNIQUE
So, you have a stone that you just bought and you want to do a quick cleansing on it, or it's time to do some maintenance on crystals you've owned for a while. Either way, it's time for a nice, basic purification. There are many methods for cleansing stones, but for the basic cleanse I'm going to share with you my favorite technique.
Gather one or more stones together that are ready for purification. Hold them under running water from your kitchen sink for a few moments. It's a quick physical cleanse to wash off dust, but it also serves to strip away the loosest layer of stagnant energy.
Place the crystal or crystals in a bowl. Preferably a large wooden bowl (because it adds in the energy of the Tree People also known as the Standing People).
If you don't have a wooden bowl, then substitute as you see fit. Ceramic is nice because it carries the energy of Earth, grounding the stones. Copper is wonderful because it amplifies the cleansing effect.
Not many of us have silver bowls laying around the house, but if you do, silver carries Moon Energy and Goddess Energy, which is incredibly powerful for cleansing. I don't recommend plastic, or any other manmade substance as your bowl, because of the jarring, unnatural energy associated with it's production. Your crystals won't be as receptive to healing.
O.K. So your crystal or crystals are in your chosen vessel. Now add water to the bowl until they are completely submerged. Structurally charged water is ideal but distilled, purified water is also a good choice. Tap water will also do, if that is all that is available.
Tradition says to add sea salt to the water. The sea salt is a powerful purifying agent. It dispels any sort of disease, negativity, or stagnant energies and is a physical and psychic "scrub brush" for your crystals. To use sea salt, add approximately one tablespoon to the water.
Before using sea salt consider the crystal types to be cleansed. Sea salt can have an adverse effect on the finished surface of many types of stones. I choose not to use salt in my crystal purification if I am cleansing amber, opal, malachite, jade, freshwater pearls, chrysocolla or any other "soft" stone. Sea salt is too harsh on the surfaces of these stones and will tend to dull or pit them. If you do add the salt, make sure it is sea salt and not regular table salt, because table salt contains aluminum and other chemicals not conducive to purification.
Next, place your bowl of crystals outside in a safe place. If you live in an apartment and feel that it would not be beneficial to leave them, you can omit this step or shorten it. If you are graced with a backyard where your stones will be in a safe, private location then this step is highly recommended, as it is has a powerful clearing effect on stones. Place the bowl on the earth. If you have a tree that you feel drawn too, place the bowl at the foot of the tree. Leave the bowl outside for at least twenty four hours. This allows the crystals to receive energies from the earth, wind, water, sun energies, and moon energies.
If you feel drawn to leave the crystals outside longer, this is fine too, just check on the water level occasionally and add more water if it becomes low.Some people choose to leave the stones outside from the peak of the full moon through the new moon. If you have the time, and watch lunar cycles, this is a traditional time span. I have found that for most stones, one day to a week outside is enough to completely remove built up stagnant energy. If you have a stone that is in need of deep cleansing, consider leaving it out for an entire month of lunar cycles, from full moon to full moon.
After this step, bring your bowl back inside. Remove each crystal one at a time and rinse it for a few moments under running water. This will completely remove any salt residue from the stone and also serves as a final purification. The water that the stones have been sitting in will have picked up some of the energetic residue and that water will still be on the crystals. That's why I like to rinse them under clean running water. It simple adds another level of cleansing by removing the thin layer of old water from around the outside of the crystals.
Your stone has now been cleansed. Read further for more cleaning crystals techniques or visit the crystal programming page for information on how to program your stone now that it has been cleansed.
You may wish to incorporate additional steps into the cleaning crystals process. I often do, as my intuition guides me too. Allow your intuition to guide you also. Please, never feel that the crystal cleansing process is something you must follow step by step. It is much more powerful to listen to your own intuition and allow for the variations that your spirit guides and crystal allies know are best for each stone you cleanse.
CLEANING CRYSTALS WITH SMUDGING
Native Americans have used smudging for purification since time began. It is a beautiful practice and your stones will appreciate it. A simple definition of smudging is using the smoke of sacred herbs to cleanse and purify. Smudging can be used on crystals, sacred objects, people, pets, homes, land, and more. For the purpose of this section I will only be discussing smudging your stones.
Sage, sweet grass, and copal are the three most common smudging herbs. They can be found at your local new age store or health food store, as well as online, or at any Native American pow-wow. Sage is available loose or as a bundle. Bundled sage is very convenient, consider getting a mini sage wand if it is your first time using it. Sweetgrass comes in long braids, and copal comes in a round disc. To burn the copal you will also need a charcoal briquette (not the kind for barbecuing, but a specialty kind found at new age stores and health food stores).
Out of the three herbs mentioned above sage is the one most commonly used for smudging. It has long been considered a cleansing herb that can remove old energies, negative energies, and even negative entities from people, objects and places. To smudge a crystal using sage simply light your smudge wand on one end using a lighter. It will start to smoke. Pass your crystal over the smoke. If you are using loose sage instead of a smudge wand light a piece of the loose sage and place it in a bowl. Pass your crystal over the smoke. If you feel intuited you can add in toning or chanting as you cleanse with the sage, or invoke a divine prayer. Here is an example:
Bless this Stone with Purity
From the Earth
From the Air
From the Water
And From the Fire
Blessed Be and So Mote it Be
Smudging with sweet grass is similar to smudging with sage. Sweetgrass is known for bringing in animal spirits and allies. If you want to program a crystal to work with one of your animal guides, consider using sweet grass in addition to or instead of sage. Simply light one end of the sweet grass braid and pass the crystal over the smoke several times. I like to start with a sage smudge to cleanse the stone and then use the sweet grass to bring in the animal allies. If it feels right to you, you can ask the Great Spirit and the Earth Mother to assist you in your work. Also call on the animal spirits that you want to work with and ask for their presence to be imbued into the crystal.
Using Copal for smudging will require a slightly different approach. Gather the copal, the charcoal briquette, a lighter, and a flat rock. Light the briquette on one edge. It will start to spark a little. Place the briquette on top of the flat rock (the rock absorbs the heat and keeps you from damaging your furniture). Place the copal on the briquette and wait for it to start to smoke. Once it is smoking then pass your crystal over the smoke several times.
EARTH TECHNIQUES FOR CLEANING CRYSTALS
Another method for cleaning crystals is to bury the crystal in the earth. This is especially useful for crystals that have built up a lot of negative energy within them. Crystals that have been abused, neglected, placed in an impure environment, or used by people with dark intentions are often in need of serious cleansing. Bury the stone in the earth and leave it be. Burying it for twenty four hours will have some effect, but this technique is most powerful when the stone is allowed to reconnect with earth energies for a longer period of time. I recommend at least two weeks. In some cases it may be best to gift the stone back to the earth and leave it buried. In most cases, it can be dug up again and reused. After an Earth Cleansing, I prefer to follow the full steps of the basic cleanse also. It will help the stones to release all of the old energy within them.
You can bury the crystal on it's own or you can add elements along with it. Add a handful of some dried herbs with it such as rose petals, sage, frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood, sweet grass or copal. It doesn't need to be deep, simply dig a hole slightly larger than your stone, place the stone in the hole, and cover it up with dirt. If you're in an apartment and don't have access to the earth where it won't be disturbed, consider using a flower pot. It can be an empty pot that you add dirt to, or dig into the dirt next to a plant in a pot on your porch.
An alternative approach if it can't be buried in the earth is to bury the crystal in a cup or bowl inside your house. This alternative method just requires a vessel, a little bit of earth from outside and a several cups of dried herbs. Any of the ones mentioned above are possible, along with many others. Use your intuition to choose the right herbs, but remember, sage is the one most commonly used for cleaning crystals purposes.
CLEANING CRYSTALS IN THE OCEAN
If you are fortunate to live near the ocean, or are planning a vacation to the ocean, consider cleaning crystals in the ocean. Simply bring a crystal or several crystals with you to the beach. Hold the stone securely in your hand and submerge it in the ocean water. You can also do this at any natural water source, a river, stream, or pond. Since the sun is hotter at many beaches make sure you don't leave the stone exposed for a long time because it could crack the stone. The color of the stone could also fade. If you are going to be at the oceanside for several hours, simply cover the crystal with a piece of cloth or keep it in a small bag when you are done cleansing it.
REIKI TECHNIQUE FOR CLEANING CRYSTALS
Infusing your crystal with Reiki energies and symbols is another excellent method for cleaning crystals. This will also have the effect of charging your stone at the same time it is being cleansed. If you know how to do Reiki simply hold the crystal in one hand or both and give it Reiki. Crystals are very receptive to Reiki healing and will appreciate the experience. If you don't know how to do Reiki, ask a friend who is a Reiki practitioner to do this for you. If you are or know a Reiki Master, consider imbuing the stone with the Reiki symbols. This can be done by holding the stone and envisioning the symbols being drawn on it's surface. Another method is to draw the Reiki symbols on a piece of paper and place the stone on the paper.
Reiki attunements can be given to crystals, plants, and animals as well as people. If you want, turn a special stone into a Reiki practitioner. If you are a Reiki Master, pass an attunement on the stone the same way you would pass an attunement on a person. The crystal will then be a Reiki healer that can be used in healings. Make sure to ask the stone for permission before passing the attunement. Not all stones want to become Reiki practitioners. Some stones have very different purposes on Earth. Simply ask the stone and sit quietly waiting for a nudge of intuition. If you are in touch with your intuitive feelings you will be told if the stone wants the attunement or not. This can come from a feeling, or an image in your minds eye.
CLEANING CRYSTALS WITH CRYSTAL SINGING BOWLS
Another method for cleaning crystals is to use a quartz crystal singing bowl. Place the stone in front of the bowl, and begin playing the bowl. The vibrations of crystal sound will permeate the cells of the stone, and provide a deep cleaning. Stones receive cleansing from crystal singing bowls, anytime the bowl is played if they are in the same room at the time.
The stones in our crystal bowl room are always super-charged and cleansed from the frequency that we play our set of bowls. If you don't have a crystal singing bowl, find a sound healer in your area that does crystal bowl meditations or crystal bowl concerts. Most practitioners are delighted for you to bring in several of your own stones to participate in the event. The stones will be cleansed naturally, just by being there.
When we held regular crystal singing bowl meditations in Florida, many of the participants would bring in their stones so they could absorb the vibrations of the crystal bowls and take a little bit of the healing home with them. It was a beautiful experience to see a room full of crystals and light workers all absorbing the vibrations of the crystal singing bowls. It was a great method for our clients to slip in a cleaning of their crystals.
If you don't have a crystal singing bowl practitioner in your area, and don't have access to a bowl, consider purchasing a crystal singing bowl CD. The vibrations transmit through the CD as it is played and will have a cleansing effect not only on your stones, but on you and your home at the same time.
Our crystal singing bowl CD, Sacred Sounds, has been used by many healers and practitioners. You can hear a sample of the crystal singing bowls cd, and if you like it, it is also available for sale.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CLEANING CRYSTALS
When should I focus on cleaning crystals?
If it is new to your home. If it feels dull or heavy. If it is discoloring with brown or black additions inside of it. If you don't feel drawn to it anymore. If it's been more than six months since a cleansing.
How often is too often for cleaning crystals?
There is no such thing as too much cleaning for a crystal. Follow your intuition. If it is in need of deep cleansing, allow a period of time for this to occur. Otherwise, we recommend once every three to six months. If you work with the stone regularly in a group or with clients, then after each healing session it should receive some cleansing.
Will cleaning crystals remove the intention I have set into the gem stones?
Cleaning crystals does not remove any specific intentions you have set, unless you wish it to. As an example if you have a stone that you intentionally charged as a prosperity stone, it will still hold the prosperity intentions after the cleansing. If you wish to change the intention of a stone it is best to cleanse it, hold a ritual to clear the old intention, cleanse it again, and if you wish to give it a new intention, hold a ritual to cast the new intention. We always recommend asking the stone if this is in it's higher purpose and wishes before setting intentions or clearing them.
If other people touch my stone should I cleanse it?
Many people believe that a sacred crystal should never be touched by another, because it will be tainted by the other persons energy. In our practice, we have found the opposite to be true. Crystals are social and enjoy the interactions between other people and other crystals. We share our crystals with others, and often take them to group healings. At these events the stones are often picked up and touched by other. Do what feels right for you, though. If it makes you uncomfortable to have others touch your stones, you should do as your intuition speaks and keep your stones private. We have on very rare occasions had people at a healing circle whose energy did not feel clear. In those instances, we cleansed our stones after the interaction. If you ever feel that cleaning crystals is needed, listen to your intuition and do it.
Should I always make a habit of cleaning crystals after a healing?
It is a good idea to at least do a short running water cleaning crystals technique after a healing. If the crystal was held by you or another participant receiving energy healing, the crystal has a tendency to take away the impurities from the person. Some of it can get drawn into the crystal. We recommend cleaning crystals after they participate in a healing circle or energy healing of any kind.
Now that you know the details of cleaning crystals, visit our section on programming your crystals to find out methods for increasing the power and intention of your stones.
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