To this day, learning about and using crystals is considered “woo-woo.” For a lot of people, the term brings forward visions of some granola-munching hippie who dances naked under the full moon—or maybe that’s just me. While I’m not that kind of crystal owner (there’s still hope), they aren’t just for witches, hippies, or any other sub-group. Anyone interested in bringing a little extra somethin’ somethin’ into their lives, be it clarity or chaos, there is a crystal for it. Hematite helps reduce anxiety, while Citrine brings success. Then you have the chaotic neutral crystal, Moldavite…which you do not touch unless you’re ready for some upheaval.
Regardless of which crystal you choose, the majority of crystals need cleansing. This holds true even if they’re brand new. From sourcing to shipping, to finally landing in your hands, crystals go through a lot. Even though they hold their own purpose and energy, it’s similar to how you are sometimes bogged down with negativity. A good “bath” goes a long way. The good news is that you have multiple options for crystal cleansing and are (almost) completely free.
This one is a popular option but must be given great care to avoid appropriation. It’s common for people to use white sage for smudging spaces, objects, and people, but it’s considered cultural appropriation. On top of that, there is a serious concern with over-harvesting for the already threatened plant. Instead, you can burn items like herbs, wood, and incense. Herbs that are great for smoke cleansing are lavender, rose, cedar, and sweetgrass.
Make sure you use a fire-safe bowl, like a cast-iron cauldron and if you’re burning inside a dwelling, keep a window open. When the fire is lit and the smoke is flowing well, wave the crystal through the smoke for around thirty seconds. Imagine everything negative floating away from the smoke and out the window.
Selenite Charging Plate
A Selenite charging plate is probably the easiest and safest for all crystals. It does require a small purchase but this crystal is an all-purpose little thing. The beauty of Selenite is that it does not need charging or cleansing—that is its entire job in the first place. A charging plate is the perfect flat surface where you can place multiple crystals on top of it. You can even use it to cleanse your tarot cards, items from your altar (if you have one), and even yourself!
I may or may not be the person who drags all of their crystals to a beach vacation. Saltwater is one of the best healing sources on the entire planet. After a decade of living in Hawaii, I learned that saltwater can cure almost anything. The flu, injuries, acne, a broken heart—you name it and the ocean can cure it. The same goes for crystals.
However, if you’re unable to lounge near turquoise waters any time soon, then purified water with some natural salt (not table salt) will absolutely do in a pinch. There is a small caveat: not all crystals can or should get wet. Check out a more detailed list here. Below are some common examples.
P.S. You can also use moon water for a salt-less water bath, as described below.
Safe in water: All quartz minerals, including Rose Quartz, Clear Quartz, Citrine, Tiger’s Eye, and Amethyst.
Not safe in the water: Most crystals that end in “ite” should avoid water. This includes Hematite, Labradorite, Pyrite. The crystal named above, Selenite, will literally dissolve.
Light Of The Full Moon
For thousands of years, human culture has revolved around the moon. It’s this enigmatic slice of the universe that floats above us, marking the passage of time when the sun slumbers. In Wiccan culture, it is the center of most spells. In the most basic sense, a new moon represents new beginnings, while the full moon represents endings. There are, more often than not, a lot of intentionalities that go into the full moon for so many people, and crystal cleansing is the main staple of it. It’s free, it’s easy, it’s effective.
All you need to do is place your crystals on a flat surface, preferably in direct moonlight. This is still effective when it’s overcast—the clouds refract the mellow light. Leave them out overnight for the best effect. In my personal opinion and practice, I only use moonlight for the crystals I use for grounding. To me, the moon represents stabilization, centering, and peace. It’s perfect for my Hematite, Obsidian, and Tourmaline. Not everyone prescribes to this belief, so make sure to hone in on your instincts to decide.
To create moon water for a more grounding cleanse, take some purified water (boiled is fine) and place it in a cleansed container. Leave it out overnight under the full moon. You can use it to cleanse your crystals, use it in spells, or even drink it.
A Sunlight Bath
The greatest source of energy on our planet can also be one of the most cleansing. The heat and life-giving properties of our star overlord can be perfect for cleansing and charging your crystals. The sun is absolutely more for charging than cleansing, but it can also be a great fit for cleansing powerful crystals such as Aventurine, Citrine, Malachite, Tourmaline, and Clear Quartz. Leave it in the sunlight for at least 12 hours for the best results.
Note: Not all crystals can withstand direct sunlight for periods of time. Some examples are Opal, Rose Quartz, Sapphires, Smokey Quartz, and others. These crystals will lose their color, albeit not their effectiveness.
If you’re not familiar with the concept of grounding, you should definitely look it up. Essentially, it’s just digging your toes into the earth and being mindful in the moment. Of course, with more intention, it involves visualizing the negative energy inside your being, balling it up, and depositing it into the earth. There is (speculative) science behind this therapeutic exercise, so make sure to explore it further.
Your crystal can benefit from the neutralizing properties of our earth in the same way. Just dig a little hole and place them into the dirt. That’s it! Easy peasy! Leave it in the ground for at least 24 hours for best results.
Using Your Own Energy
This technique is at the end of the list because it’s the most taxing. If you are not familiar with using your own energy for tasks, it can become incredibly depleting, quite quickly. However, if you’re able to understand how to use your energy to imbue intention and wipe away negative energies from crystals, it can be a far more powerful way to harness your crystals.
If you feel capable enough to do this, then make sure to settle somewhere comfortable and cup the crystal in your hands. Close your eyes, visualizing the shape and feel of the crystal. Then imagine a ball of white energy in the center of your chest, growing bigger and bigger. When it feels strong enough, visualize it coursing through your arms and into your hands. Gently push this energy into your crystal, making it fill the crystal with your essence. If you’re looking to use it with a purpose in mind, for manifestation or a spell, then also attach your intention to this process. Do this until it feels ready.
What’s Important To Remember
As with all spiritual practices, there’s no right way to do it. Every belief system and instinct will vary from person to person—it’s important to focus on yourself. Rely on that gut instinct to make the choices best suited for yourself. Crystals are not cure alls, but they certainly help boost your goals. Happy cleansing!