The Gaia Guide to Healing Crystals and Gemstones
Healing crystals used to personify New Age fringe, but in recent years they have crossed over into the mainstream. Google searches for “crystal healing” have increased by 40 percent in the last four years, fueled by celebrity endorsements from the likes of Adele, David Beckham, Katy Perry, and Miranda Kerr. You can even purchase crystal décor items at Target. Riding the public’s increasing appetite for all things wellness, the crystal fixation has infiltrated industries such as beauty and everyday home goods.
Talismans and amulets are nothing new. The ancient Egyptians wore amulets of precious stones as protection from evil spirits; ancient Chinese civilizations have associated jade with healing since the Neolithic period; and the Greek word for amethyst means “not drunk” — the stone was believed to inhibit intoxication in those who wore it.
How does crystal healing work?
Despite the growing acceptance, how crystals actually work is a little fuzzy. The basic idea behind crystal healing is that crystals carry certain energies that can positively impact our own. Similar to magnets, crystals and gems use energy to attract or repel. When you place certain stones over certain parts of your body, they interact with your individual energy fields, also known as chakras. Your energy transforms, vibrates, pulses, moves and shifts in accordance with the properties and energetic signature of the crystal.
Crystal fans claim they bring everything from peace and happiness to stress relief and headache prevention. Scientifically speaking, there’s no proof to back claims like these up. But regardless of whether crystals harness the placebo effect or have mechanisms not measurable by science, they serve as a potent focal point. If nothing else, use crystals as a tool to help you pause, tune in and realize you are connected to the earth and something bigger than yourself.
Want to get started? Here’s a brief guide to tapping into the power of healing gems and minerals.
Set your intention:
It also helps to identify a particular problem or challenge you’re currently facing.
What aspect of your life do you want guidance with? Do you want your heart to feel open? Or do you feel like you would like better boundaries? Feel into what seems out of balance and trust your intuition to come up with what is most significant for you at this time.
Choose your stone:
Intention is key, but there’s also something to be said for recognizing which crystals you naturally gravitate toward. Pay attention to the color of the stone—color, a powerful healing modality in its own right, holds important clues about the stone’s energetic vibration. Chakras, symbolic of our sacred energy centers within, have been linked to the healing properties of specific gemstones for time immemorial. You can start exploring the myriad ways crystals can heal with our guide to stones that correspond to each of the chakras.
L to R: Hematite, Bloodstone, Citrine, Rose Quartz, Turquoise, Azurite, Amethyst.
Hematite (first chakra) Color: Reddish-black — Healing properties: protects, grounds and heals
Bloodstone (second chakra) Color: Dark green speckled with red, blood-like inclusions — Healing properties: Transmutes, clears emotional negativity
Citrine (third chakra) — Color: Medium deep shade of golden yellow — Healing properties: Positivity, luck and success
Rose Quartz (fourth chakra) Color: Pale pink — Healing properties: Attracts and anchors love
Turquoise (fifth chakra) Color: Mixture of pale blue and green — Healing properties: balances spiritual energy and brings wisdom
Azurite (sixth chakra) Color: Deep blue — Healing properties: Opens third eye an intuition
Amethyst (seventh chakra) Color: light to dark purple — Healing properties: Purifies the mind and facilitates connection to the divine
- Clear the energy: Since stones retain energy, it’s important to clear the stone before and after each use. Clearing a stone can be done in multiple ways. Soak it overnight in a salt bath, with a cup of cold water mixed with sea salt or Epsom salt. Or leave the stone out overnight in moonlight. You can also smudge it with sage, a cleansing herb, or sweetgrass, a sweet-smelling energy cleansing herb.
- Charge the stone: This step is to program the stone with your healing intention. The best way to do this is through physical contact. Hold the stone, wear it on your body, or simply pray over it, asking for it to be prepared for your highest potential.
- Put your stone to use: There are so many ways to work with your stone. You can hold it while meditating or place it on a specific part of your body that corresponds to the stone’s properties.Wear it as an amulet or as jewelry. Put it next to your bed or under your pillow while you sleep so that it can influence your subconscious mind. Place them in your home or car to set the energy of the space.Crystals serve as nimble conduits for the subtle energies that are in us and around us. Compact meditation portals, they are constant reminders to enquire within for healing.
To learn more about how crystals work, watch the Healing Gemstones episode of Open Minds with James Tyberonn: