How Do Healing Crystals Work?

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If you’re drawn to translucency- glass, crystals and things that reflect and refract light in a hypnotizing dance against the surfaces of all things mundane- or all of the above plus a dash of magic, then you’re one of mine. There’s something magical and nostalgic in the colourful play of light – a reminder that natural beauty still exists in this synthetic world. 

Aside from being a gorgeous addition to your aesthetic, crystals also lend a multitude of healing properties to the wearer. The most common of which is to balance, open, unblock, and align the chakras as well as the emotional, mental and physical states. I understand, it begs the question “How does it work, though? They’re just rocks.” Being the spiritually inquisitive person I am, I’d asked myself the same thing – and scientifically, it would be right; they’re rocks formed from minerals, but to think that’s all they are would be doing a major disservice to yourself considering the many benefits they offer.

Earth-found crystals (or semi-precious stones) have had a variety of uses and purposes throughout history. Dating back thousands of years, they have been treasured by many ancient civilizations from the ancient Sumerians, the ancient Greek, Persians, and Romans to the Mayans, Aztecs, and the ancient Egyptians. Interestingly enough, each civilization without any known possibility of interaction or communication with each other, recorded very similar uses for particular stones such as healing, protection, and spiritual guidance. Certain stones were even crushed up for their powder to use as paint as well as to be smeared on the bodies of warriors for protection in battle. As medical science advanced and with the advent of christianity, for many centuries these ancient practices became hidden from sight in most parts of the Western World. In present times, however, many spiritualists and healers have once again implemented the use of crystals in healing rituals.

So what makes a crystal a healing stone? A healing crystal is essentially any crystal that is borrowed as a conduit for its own healing properties which are then amplified by one’s intentions such as cleansing, purification, protection, relieving anxiety, promoting love, etc.

The Basics: Manipulating and channeling energy using crystals, their corresponding planets, and the phases of the moon. 

For active practitioners in the manipulation of energy (or magic), some more common types of crystals like amethyst and clear quartz are a couple examples of stones that are often attached to wands or athames; this is believed to draw energy from within and direct it outwards from the tip of the stone and vice versa. In this respect, crystals are often used in anointing oils as well as spell jars so as to channel the stone’s energy into them. Other modern types of spiritual therapy implement the concept of energy healing through crystals, such as Reiki (a Japanese healing practice by which the flow of energy is manipulated through the body so as to release emotional blockages caused by stagnant energy) and Crystal Healing, in which a series of healing stones are used to lend energy to and amplify the energy of an unbalanced or blocked chakra. Together, Reiki and Crystal Healing make for the perfect equilibrium of energy and emotion. But aside from their many practical uses, one could also benefit from healing crystals by simply wearing them on gorgeous pieces of jewelry. For example, a green aventurine or jade stone could be worn on a necklace hanging against the chest to aid in opening and unblocking the heart chakra, for which another corresponding stone would be rose quartz. Or for clearing the throat chakra and improving self-expression, wear Lapiz Lazuli around the neck. 

To better understand how such stones are used in modern-day therapeutic practices, here are several healing stones and their relationships with the zodiac, the planets, the elements, and the chakras. 

Carnelian is a variety of chalcedony and as its reddish-orange color suggests, matches the Root and Sacral chakra. It encourages vitality and a deep connection to our core as well as the strength and courage to pursue our passions, bringing success in our endeavors. Helping to trust your perceptions, it overcomes negative conditioning and promotes steadfastness. This stone protects against envy, rage and resentment, calming anger and banishing emotional negativity. Tuesday as the day of Mars, the Roman god of war, makes this the best day for invoking Carnelian’s energy. 

Chakra: Root, Sacral

Birthstone: July
Planet: Mars
Zodiac: Taurus, Cancer, Leo, Virgo
Element: Fire

Yellow Jasper is a microcrystalline variety of quartz and is a highly protective and nurturing stone, offering aid to the digestive system as well as helping to boost self esteem and self-confidence. In matters of the Self and personal power, this stone assists in relieving stress, promoting relaxation, tranquility, and lengthening sexual pleasure. This stone relates to the energies of Sunday and Friday. 

Chakra: Solar Plexus

Planet: Mars
Zodiac: Leo, Virgo, Scorpio
Element: Air 

Peridot is a variety of Olivine and a cleansing stone which releases negativity, toxins, and blockages in the heart chakra. It is the perfect stone for opening oneself to healing trauma, boosting self confidence, and promoting self-love. This stone helps the wearer to grow out of old habits and beliefs, and move forward with a new perspective and appreciation for oneself.  Wednesday is ruled by Mercury, the Roman messenger of the gods and is the best time to pursue matters of business, seek knowledge, and improve communication.

Chakra: Heart

Birthstone: August
Planet: Mercury
Zodiac: Gemini, Leo, Virgo, Sagittarius, Scorpio
Element: Earth

Amethyst is a variety of quartz and with its deep purple hue indicates nobility as it pertains to the crown chakra, supporting spiritual ascension and expansion of the higher mind. This stone enhances passion and creativity, giving a sense of accomplishment and contentment to the wearer. Instilling calm and contentment, it relaxes the mind and quiets anxiety. This is the perfect stone for artists, creators, and people with a busy mind. Heal with amethyst on the Waxing Crescent Moon, whose constructive energy grants attraction and aids in manifestation- and on Thursdays (or Thor’s day) also ruled by Jupiter, making it the best day for attracting luck, wealth, and healing energies. 

Chakra: Third eye, crown

Birthstone: February
Planet: Jupiter
Zodiac: Virgo, Sagittarius, Aquarius, Pisces, Capricorn
Element: Water   

Rose Quartz (or the stone of unconditional and universal love) cleanses and opens the heart chakra to promote healing from trauma as well as self-love. It removes feelings of unease and negative energy and imparts forgiveness, acceptance and inner peace. This stone is most effective on a Waning Gibbous Moon and on Fridays. 

Chakra: Heart

Planet: Venus
Zodiac: Taurus, Libra
Element: Earth, Water

Turquoise is a hydrous phosphate of copper and aluminum and a purification stone. It dispels negativity and can be worn to protect against outside influences. While opening and clearing blockages of the throat chakra, it stabilizes mood swings and instills inner calm. It is excellent for depression and helps to prevent panic attacks as well as promoting self-realization. Get the most out of this stone on a First Quarter Moon whose energies support growth as well as on Fridays, the day of Venus, the Roman goddess of love and sex.

Chakra: Heart, throat, third eye

Birthstone: December
Planet: Venus, Neptune
Zodiac: Scorpio, Sagittarius, Aquarius, Pisces
Element: Earth, Air, Fire

Black tourmaline is a crystalline boron silicate mineral found mainly in Brazil. It is a highly protective stone that is often used in banishing and protection rituals. It enhances one’s physical well-being by promoting physical vitality, emotional stability and intellectual acuity. This stone also helps to clear out any residual negative energy and is perfect paired with any other stone. Saturday (or Saturn’s day) as well as on the Dark Moon whose deconstructive energies are perfect for invoking change and transformation, protection, psychic wisdom, spiritual communication and locating lost items.

Chakra: Base

Zodiac: Capricorn
Element: earth

Golden Obsidian is a volcanic glass that is brownish-black in colour and a stabilizing stone often used for protection, mental stability and grounding. It’s also used for scrying, banishing negative energies, stimulating growth and releasing emotional trauma. This stone also promotes financial well-being and good fortune. Golden Obsidian corresponds to the energies of Thursday and the New Moon, which resonate with change, transformation, and endless possibilities.  

Chakra: Base

Zodiac: Scorpio, Sagittarius
Element: earth, fire

Labradorite is a Feldspar mineral which imparts strength and perseverance while raising consciousness, grounding spiritual energies, and balancing and protecting the aura. This stone reveals the truth behind illusions, banishing fears and insecurities. It restores faith in oneself and trust in the universe, calming an overactive mind. Its properties best resonate with energies of the Waning Crescent Moon, which support balance, success, reflection, and the attainment of wisdom.  

Chakra: Throat, Third Eye, Crown

Planet: Uranus
Zodiac: Leo, Scorpio, Sagittarius
Element: Water

Clear Quartz, also known as the master healer, promotes emotional stability, calmness and mental clarity. It cleanses negative energy and amplifies the healing properties of any stone it’s paired with. Combine with any other crystal to immediately cleanse and neutralize its energy. This stone is best used on a Full Moon and on Sundays which, as its name suggests, is the day of the Sun and the perfect time for banishing negativity and invoking healing energies.

Chakra: Crown

Birthstone: April
Planet: Sun
Zodiac: All
Element: water, earth, air, fire

Moonstone, a Feldspar mineral composed of Orthoclase and Albite is a stone of new beginnings, new growth, and transformation. It also protects against outside forces and negativity. It soothes stress and stabilizes the emotions while enhancing intuition and promoting inspiration, success and good fortune. Its properties are especially prominent on the Full Moon whose high vibrational energies make the ideal time to manifest – and on Mondays, which is the moon’s day and a representation of the femenine spirit- ideal for working on matters regarding communication, reconciliation, and tying up any loose ends.

Chakra: Third Eye, Solar Plexus

Birthstone: June 
Zodiac: Cancer, Scorpio, Libra
Planet: Moon
Element: Water

*additionally, these stones could be paired with clear quartz or selenite to cleanse and amplify their energies*

Cleansing and Charging

Certain crystals (like clear quartz and selenite) cleanse themselves, but even so they require a little love now and then, especially after they’ve been handled by someone other than the person they belong to. Bonding with a crystal is something personal, as the term itself would suggest and happens instantaneously. As soon as you touch a crystal or hold it in your hands, its energy enters your auric field and affects your equilibrium – even more so if it’s worn as a piece of jewelry that lays against your skin constantly. Just as these stones borrow energy, they also give. Needless to say, it’s quite easy for tainted energy to rub off on a crystal so they should be cleansed regularly. The sun is our largest and most natural energy source and the moon, following suit, moves the tides of the ocean; their energies and ours are one. But be sure to do some research before attempting to cleanse your crystals as the molecular composition of certain stones cannot withstand sunlight or water, meaning they would fade and/or dissolve. When you’re ready, cleansing can be done by smudging your crystals (wafting the smoke of sage or palo santo over and around them), or by simply setting them out on a windowsill to sit in sunlight or moonlight. It also helps to bathe them under the rain, a waterfall, or in moon water (made by leaving a bowl or jar of water under the full moon overnight). Cleansing a stone is the same as “charging” a stone and so is essentially the same process, minus the smudging. Selenite, with its healing and amplifying properties can also be used to charge your other crystals, either by storing them together or by sitting them on a selenite plate which can be found in most metaphysical stores. Our chakras are constantly spinning and vibrating at various frequencies, so it’s important to realign and cleanse them regularly. Introducing crystals into your spiritual therapy and mediation routines is a great way to keep the Self and Spirit in harmony with your physical being. Pick up some “rocks”, check your calendars, and get to manifesting!