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Presented by Brandon Knight, edited and adapted by Beth Ward

Crystals can be one of the most effective tools in your spiritual tool kit – if you know how to use ‘em. Their energies can help you calm and protectclear and predict. They can also amplify a meditation or yogic practice and aid in ritual work and manifestation.

But how exactly do they work? And how should you be using them?

One of the most important things to understand about working with crystals is that at their basest level, they’re minerals – just like, say, calcium. That means that in order for them to do their healing work effectively, they need to be in the body. We can’t eat crystals obviously, so the most effective way to do this is through contact with the skin.

Where to place your crystal

The palm of the hand is full of nerve clusters and blood vessels that send messages to the brain and heart, which makes it a really effective place to establish contact with crystal energy.

The heart is another good place to do this, which is why wearing your crystal as a pendant around your neck can also be effective.

Consistent interaction with your crystal is key. After wearing the same crystal or combination of crystals each day for roughly a three-week period, you’ll likely notice the stone having an effect on your body. Maybe it gets warm quickly, or you notice a type of energetic buzz when you hold it. This is a good sign that the crystal has been ‘mineralized’ and programmed to your energetic field.

Other quick tips to get the most out of your crystals

  • Choose the right crystal for you. The crystals that you need are unique to your own energies. To choose one, let your mind get quiet and clear on what you’d like the crystal to do. Then palm one – notice if it feels warm or cold to you. Does it make you feel dizzy? Lightheaded? You’ll likely know what feels best for you.  
  • Set an intention for your crystal. Programming crystals with a specific intention isn’t always necessary, but it is a good way to direct that crystal’s energy. You can use pyrite, for example, to help foster a general sense of abundance, but you might also have better results if you meditate with that pyrite while repeating your own, specific money manifestation mantra.
  • Interact with your crystal regularly. Your crystals aren’t going to do much in the way of healing if they’re just piled in a bowl on a shelf somewhere. Use your crystals, keep them with you, meditate with them, program them with your intentions, grid with them, place them in rooms you go into often.
  • Cleanse your crystals. Crystals don’t get “dirty” exactly, but if they’re used frequently, or used in very high-stress environments, it’s not the worst idea to clear them occasionally. Some crystals, like clear quartz and selenite, are self-clearing. But those that aren’t self-clearing can be cleansed and cleared using cleansing herbs and sprays or purifying incense, by burying them in the Earth to neutralize negative energies, or with salt. You can also use place crystals or crystal jewelry on a selenite slab.