Knowing when to cleanse...
When you first get a crystal
After a period of heavy use (or when you feel it needs it)
When your energy is low
When you are dealing with negative energy
Sometimes cleansing can be done to remove traumatic or emotional experiences from the stone. For example, if you were to buy a crystal that was previously owned by someone else, the crystal may still hold the memories or experiences of that previous owner. For myself, I cleanse my crystals regularly, particularly after completing energetic work between my attunement clients, we wouldn't want anything to linger!
How to cleanse
Sage: Simply waft the smoke over your crystal and hold the sage about six inches away from it. Have a bowl ready for the ashes to fall into. When I have a substantial number of crystals to cleanse, I will use a large, flat basket to hold all the crystals, and by positioning my sage beneath the basket, it allows the sacred smoke to gently surround the crystals, guaranteeing all my stones have been cleansed.
Selenite: Place your crystal on the selenite for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.
Running water: Place your crystal under running water for 3 minutes, then dry thoroughly. Make sure that any crystals you clean this way are safe to be immersed in water (some of the most common stones to keep away from H2O, include: Selenite, Lepidolite, Azurite, Malachite, Calcite, Angelite, Halite (Rock Salt), Celestite, Fluorite, Rhodochrosite, and Ammolite, just to name a few!)
Moonlight: Place your crystal outside in the moonlight from midnight until dawn for three days (preferably during a full moon).
Salt: Use sea salt. You can either place your crystal in saltwater (again, make sure that it's safe to get wet) or bury it in salt overnight ( or longer depending on your purposes), making sure to remove all traces of salt before letting anyone use it again.
Other crystals: If you have other cleansing/charging crystals such as citrine, clear quartz, or black tourmaline, simply place them on top of or near other stones that need clearing.
Clearing your crystal with sage is the most popular method, and like with many other things, it's become somewhat of a trend. This is one of the easiest ways to cleanse your crystal. Therefore, it may be helpful to go over the basics of sage smudging in case you're not familiar with this method. You can use a smudge stick (bundle of dried herbs) or loose leaf sage to do this and burn it using a fire source such as a lighter or match. The smoke from the smudge stick is used to cleanse the area of negative energy and restore balance to the space.
It can be used to cleanse the energy of a person, place, or object. We will talk more about other aromatics that are also beneficial for clearing energetic debris in another post.
Selenite is the most powerful cleansing stone, but it's also quite fragile. It’s so soft that you can scratch it with your fingernail. Selenite is used to cleanse other crystals by placing them on top of a piece of selenite—it draws out negative energy like a magnet. You can place your crystal jewelry around a selenite wand overnight to recharge and cleanse them as well. A selenite bowl works great for this too!
How to cleanse crystals in running water
Running water is a powerful way to clear and cleanse your crystals. This can be either a gentle method, using a bowl of freshwater, or more powerful, using a natural stream. River stones and pebbles can be placed directly into cold running water for several minutes or immersed for up to 24 hours. Be aware that some crystals may dissolve under these conditions; consult your crystal guidebook for additional information.
You’ve heard the phrase, ‘so shiny I could see my reflection?’ Well, crystals are so shiny they could bounce your reflection around the room. And in much the same way as a mirror accumulates dust and grime after being left on the wall for too long, crystals can absorb unwanted energy over time.
For example, you might have picked up a stone while walking through a graveyard after a particularly stressful experience. Since all living things carry some kind of energy, it’s best to give it back to Mother Earth before bringing it into your home.
I will quite often, put my crystal babies outside during moon cycles. My personal preference is to place them out during the full phase since there is more light and healing energy available from our Grandmother Moon, but the new moon phase works as well! (we'll get into New Moon activity in another post)
For your crystals to be cleansed by moonlight, you should place them somewhere off the ground where they will be undisturbed for at least 24 hours, such as on top of an outdoor table or windowsill. It’s also important to remember that certain stones fade in sunlight which means they might also fade if left in direct moonlight. If you think this may be an issue with one of your pieces (jasper and amethyst are prone to fading), try placing that particular piece inside its own little drawstring bag before leaving it outside overnight.
It's important to know when to cleanse your crystals and how.
Cleansing crystals isn’t just good practice, it’s an essential one. It doesn’t matter how much money you spent on your crystal or the fact that it was blessed by an actual shaman, if you don’t cleanse it on the regular, it won’t be able to do the work. So, with that being said, here are some things to keep in mind when cleansing may not be such a hot idea:
Keep your crystals far from any source of bright lights. This includes candles and fireplaces because they will make your crystal feel too warm and buzzy.
Avoid cleaning your crystals while listening to loud music; this can put them into shock since they're highly sensitive beings... strange but true, I know!
Now that we've covered what to do and not to do with your precious stones, we'll chat next about what these stones can do for you!