Crystals are definitely having a moment. These days you’re just as likely to see them on jewelry, as you would in your local New Age shop. After noticing so many of my friends IRL and on Instagram, raving about their healing properties, I decided to do a little exploring myself. After all, crystals are said to de-stress, brighten moods, and ward off negative energy and who wouldn’t want that? While there’s still no science or medical research to back up any of these claims, many spiritualists and holistic practitioners believe these pretty, shiny stones do come with health and wellness benefits. In search for answers, I spoke with Sacred Living Guide Ceremony Priestess and Holistic Nutritionist, Rena Unger, who broke down for me how crystals can help you live your best and healthiest life.
The use of crystals in holistic practices isn’t new. In fact, they’ve been around for centuries. “The origins of crystal healing dates back to the beginning of mankind. Carvings of bone and ivory, and beads made of shell and shark teeth have been discovered dating back 60,000 years,” says Unger. “The first recorded signs of crystal healing comes from the Ancient Sumerians during the late neolithic-middle bronze age, which includes crystals in their magic healing formulas. Ancient Egyptians also made incredible and beautiful use of stones like lapis, lazuli, carnelian, clear quartz, emerald, and turquoise as jewelry primary means for protection and healing.”
Crystals made a big resurgence back in the 1970s but why the recent comeback? “Right now we are in challenging times. I would certainly attribute crystal healing’s rising popularity as a positive response to help balance the negativity we are experiencing globally,” says Unger.
So what exactly is crystal healing you ask? It’s quite simple actually. “On the most basic level, crystal healing helps to increase the positive flow of energy by decreasing negative energy in the human body and surrounding environment,” she adds.
Start off by “connecting” with your crystals. When buying crystals, Unger recommends letting the crystals pick you. In other words, grab the ones that you immediately gravitate towards. “I highly recommend carving out uninterrupted time to spend in a reputable crystal store. Walk around the entire store a few times before settling into one area,” she says. “Once you find an area that feels welcoming, look at the stones and the meanings of the stones if they are displayed. Begin by holding each one by itself, breathing in and out consciously and deeply with the intention to tune in to the stone’s power.”
Figure out where you want to put them. “The two easiest ways to benefit from crystals are to place them in a room where you sleep or spend a lot of time or to wear them as jewelry,” says Unger. “You can place a single crystal or create altars and grids with a variety of crystals for multiple healing purposes.” But for more advance uses, Unger also suggests holding a specific crystal during meditation or laying it on a specific area of your body that needs healing.
Make sure you’re washing them. “Our stones to do a lot of work, especially before they become ours. Many hands have touched them before they find you,” says Unger who recommends washing crystals immediately after purchasing. “My favorite way to clean crystals is by smudging them with smoke from sage or palo santo. Simply light the sage or palo santo and work around the entire surface area of the crystal. You can also cleanse them by leaving them out in the sun on a bright day or under the full moon. Some people also put them in a bowl of uncooked rice for a few days to neutralize and draw out negativity.” How often you cleanse the crystals after depends on how often you actually use them. “If you are working on clearing dark traumas or energies, I would cleanse it after each use. The same applies if you are using them on clients for healing work. But if all is balanced and well, I would suggest once a month,” she adds.
Understand how they connect with your energy and vibrations. “All of the sensations we feel each day emit a frequency,” says Unger. “Holding an expansive stone like rose quartz, one can experience the vibrational feelings of love-like bliss, joy, safety, and comfort without the external exchange of love. But holding a more grounding stone like black tourmaline can offer a sense of stability in the face of fears like losing your job.
Have a set of crystals to start off with. There are hundreds of crystals, each with unique properties. But if you’re a beginner, there are certain crystals most practitioners or spiritualists would recommend you have in your starter bag. Unger suggests the following: