Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about using crystals.

Why do certain crystals need cleansing (as opposed to physical ‘cleaning’)?

When crystals first come out of the ground, they may pass through many hands before eventually finding their ‘home’ - from the miner, packer, distributor, jewelry designer, wholesaler and so on. Any crystal possesses its own unique vibration which can be affected by the energies in its environment. It is, therefore, always important to fully cleanse any crystal before you start to use or wear it; to clear it of any unwanted energy and then to continue to clean them at regular intervals to maintain their purity and integrity. Regular cleansing is important to maintain their subtle vibrations and healing properties and to help you become attuned with them.

How do you cleanse and charge a crystal?

Some crystals require more regular cleansing, for example Smokey Quartz, which is a sponge for negativity, and there are a few exceptions which are self-cleaning, such as Kyanite.

As crystals are in essence natural items, created in the earth, cleansing and charging methods tend to involve natural elements or substances. For example using sunlight, moonlight and running water or salt, smudge and rice. We can, of course also use whatever subtle energy healing technique we feel is right to cleanse and charge our crystals, such as Reiki. It is also good to repeat an affirmation over a crystal after cleansing, for example you might say, ‘I ask that this crystal be cleansed and blessed and restored to its natural glory, so that it may release its subtle energies for the greater good of all’. There are many different ways to cleanse and charge crystals and we have provided a short list of suggestions below.

Please note - some crystals must not be placed in water, such as Angelite, Turquoise, Kunzite, Selenite and Kyanite. If you are in any doubt we recommend using the Dry Brown Rice method.

Most common methods:

*Salt Water
Salt has been used for its cleansing and negativity absorbing properties throughout the ages. Place your crystal in a bowl of well-salted water for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. Any negative energy will be absorbed into the water, which when finished with should be washed down the sink so that the earth can absorb the negativity safely. Rinse your crystal briefly under running water and then dry with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth. Good method for Quartz crystals.

Leaving your crystals on a moonlit windowsill overnight can cleanse and charge them with the moon’s gentle energy. Some crystals are more suitable than others, such as Moonstone, or any which has a very feminine vibration such as milky Quartz

*Smudging (This is the method favoured by the Native American Indians. )
Another ancient, traditional method is the use of a smudging stick (l use White Sage but there are others) to cleanse crystals of negative energy. If you don't have one, any scented incense will work as a substitute. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for lighting the incense stick or smudge, then hold the crystal in one hand whilst passing the stick up and down the length of the crystal in a spiral pattern. Be very careful not to burn yourself and ensure that the incense or smudge stick is properly extinguished after use. This method uses the energy of fire (albeit smouldering) plus the sacred scent of the smudge or incense (regular burning of incense can raise the vibrations in your home).

*Dry Brown Rice
Use dry, uncooked, organic, brown rice and fill a bowl large enough to accommodate your crystal(s). Gently place the crystal on top of the rice and leave for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. As with the salt water method, any negative energy will be absorbed into the rice, which when finished with should be safely disposed of in a waste bin - most definitely not cooked and eaten or you will absorb all of the cleared negativity!

If you have completed your Reiki II, a very effective way to clean and charge you crystals is to programme them with the Reiki symbols. Hold the crystal in your left hand and draw the symbols over it using your fire finger (middle finger) on your right hand. This process can be repeated as often as you feel necessary. If you wish to clean a large number of crystals at once, place them on a clean white cloth or sheet and draw the symbols over the entire group.

*Running Water
Especially good method, again, for the Quartz family (Amethyst, Rose Quartz, Citrine, Clear Quartz). Hold your crystal under running water for a few minutes to wash away any negative energy. It is advisable to place a cloth in the bottom of the sink to protect the crystal in case you accidentally drop it. Dry with a soft, clean, lint-free cloth, or if it is a warm, sunny day, you can let it dry naturally outside.

Clear Quartz in particular loves sunlight. In the warm summer months you can place your Clear Quartz crystals outside in your garden in a safe place away from children and pets. If you don’t have access to a garden then a sunny window sill is just as good. This is also the best way to let them re-charge during the winter months. Other crystals can be cleansed and charged in sunlight but be aware that they may be prone to fading, especially if they have a strong colour like Brazilian Amethyst, so short periods of exposure are advisable with coloured crystals.

*Other options:
You can bury the crystals in the earth for 24 hours, but you have to make sure you remember where you put them! Some crystals (like certain quartz clusters and geodes for example) can be used for cleansing and charging other crystals. Do some research! There's quite a few options.

What’s the difference between programming and dedicating?

Any crystal (or piece of gemstone jewelry) can be dedicated to a person, project or situation by appealing to the crystal’s Deva, but only Clear Quartz is truly programmable. Clear Quartz crystals are the best type to use for programming because they have six inherent, main properties. They can structure, store, amplify, focus, transmit and transform energy on every level; subtle and physical. Clear Quartz is the chameleon of the crystal world and one of our best crystal healing tools. If you were to place a piece of Clear Quartz on an Amethyst bed, it would take on the additional subtle energy properties of Amethyst (promoting psychic ability, dispelling negativity, guarding against nightmares and so on). Without actual programming, this change would be temporary, but it serves as an example of the ability Clear Quartz has to absorb energy and therefore to take on programming.

What are programmed crystals used for?

Programming can be very useful if you wish to use one particular crystal for a specific task. For example, if you attend a healing group or circle, you may wish to use a Generator point (six equal sided crystal, terminating at one point) to amplify the collective healing energy sent out. This is done by placing the point in the centre of the circle when you are working. Alternatively, you may choose a Quartz cluster to represent the group as a whole; encapsulating the combined, dynamic energy of the group. In this case, the cluster just has to be in the same room as the group and not placed in the centre. The cluster method applies equally well to a work or family environment, as clusters represent any ‘group’ of people with a common connection. They can even be used for groups of animals, for example your pets, including mixed species like cats and dogs.

You may also have a wand which you use just for space clearing, or have a Channelling crystal (main face has seven sides with a small three sided face immediately behind it) which will be actively used to channel information. In any of the above cases, programming is a very effective.

It is important to remember, though, that once programmed, it is best that your crystal is not handled by anyone not included in the programming. For example, if it is your own working crystal, then no one else should handle it and if a group or family crystal then no one outside of that party should handle it. This is important because the crystal’s programmed energy will become altered by another person’s energy. Even if that ‘someone’ is truly spiritual, it will alter the vibration of the crystal which has been attuned to you or your group.

Before programming a crystal it must be thoroughly cleansed and charged, perhaps using one of the methods listed above. Next, choose a quiet place to sit. Suitable, peaceful music and pleasing incense add to the process as sound and scent are positive, subtle vibrations in themselves. Hold the crystal gently in your right hand; placing your left hand under the right. Close your eyes and meditate on the crystal. Start to feel its energies merging with your own, and when you are ready, make your request for programming. This may be something like the following:

‘I ask that this crystal be programmed as a healing tool for sacred, space clearing, and that this be for the greater good of all. I respect and thank the crystal Deva for granting this request.’

or if it is a group crystal, stand together in a circle with the crystal in the centre and hold your right hands up at a slight angle, palm facing towards the crystal and say:

‘We ask that this crystal be programmed for the healing work undertaken by this group; that its energies absorb and focus our combined, highest vibrations and purest intentions, and that this be done for the greater good of all. We respect and thank the crystal Deva for granting our request.’

Do you have to dedicate or re-program your crystal after every cleansing?

No, you don’t. When you feel your programmed crystal needs cleansing, you can asked that only the negative or low vibrations be removed; keeping the integrity and intent of the programming intact. This is especially useful if you have a particular crystal dedicated to group work. When programmed, it can contain all of the energy of the group, and can be cleansed to remove only any low vibrations which may have been absorbed, whilst maintaining all of the positive energy of the group dynamic.

Once the issue you programmed your crystal for is taken care of, can you program your crystal for something else?

Yes. By performing a thorough cleansing of the crystal, you can remove all previous programming. Simply ask, when cleaning your crystal, that all programmed information is removed, and that the crystal be restored to its former, perfect form and vibration. It is wise to let the crystal recharge for a few days before re-programming it for another purpose. With Quartz, a full 24 hours on a window sill may suffice, so that it can absorb balanced energy from both sun- and moonlight. Placing a crystal on the ground (preferably directly on to grass or in a window box if you don’t have access to a garden) is a super way to help cleanse and re-charge programmed crystals. The earth can safely absorb and discharge negative vibrations with ease, whilst reconnecting the crystal to its source. Just take care if you have children or animals are around!