Crystals, like the jewelry they are so frequently made into, are meant to be beautiful and fun. Building a set of crystals is the perfect first step for a baby witch, and seasoned occultists regularly add new stones to their collections. There are black tourmaline stones for protection, baby pink rose quartz stones for self-love, and bright yellow citrine crystals for abundance, among others. Some healing-crystal fans turn to them for anxiety; others for relaxation, calmness, and clarity.
However, there's also been a lot of talk about the ethics of dropping hundreds or even thousands of dollars on crystals. Many rituals around these precious stones can be traced directly back to indigenous cultures and weren't meant to be accessible only to the rich. Thankfully, with these types of practices experiencing a surge in popularity, there are more ways than ever to find quality and affordable crystals. "There’s a lot of crystals people are buying and they don’t know where they come from," says Paul Mastor, who runs the ethically sourced Cali Crystal Company, along with the directory Black Crystals Matter with his wife, Fabiola. "As a Black man, I noticed that a lot of Black-owned crystal businesses were having a hard time. My wife and I started Black Crystals Matter and started re-posting Black-owned crystal businesses for free."
It's important to know the roots of these rituals we're engaging in, and also understand which crystals are most powerful for each intention. Here's your no-bullshit guide to what every beginner should know about crystals, as well as insight on how to develop a practice and your own crystal collection for under $20. "It's like going to a farmer's market. Shop small. Shop local. It's a great way to connect with the seller and ask, where do your crystals come from? If your vendor can't answer that question, don't shop with that vendor," says Fabiola Mastor.
So, what are crystals, and why are they powerful?
Crystals are naturally occurring rock formations valued for their unique shape, texture, and luminosity. Ancient civilizations incorporated crystals into daily life, integrating them into rituals, medicine, and even beauty routines. For instance, the Egyptians thought that rose quartz would help the wearer look young.
They still have a major role in our society: Many technological products — including satellites, cell phones, televisions, watches, and computers — contain crystal components used for their abilities to convert electrical impulses or for their optic properties. They're also used in beauty products and cultural ceremonies. The diamond, for instance, has come to symbolize eternal love and, therefore, is a popular stone for engagement rings. Because diamonds, the solid form of the element carbon, are so hard, they are also embedded in saw blades, drill bits, and grinding wheels. Once upon a time, such technology would certainly be considered magic.
Though these energetic minerals are powerful, they're not super rare, so cost shouldn't be prohibitive. If you purchase your crystals wholesale or from honest retailers as opposed to high-margin, lifestyle brands, you'll likely find incredible deals. Because so much of the witchy fun we have today is derived from indigenous cultures, it's also a good move to purchase from POC-owned businesses whenever possible.
We can use crystals to identify, raise, and direct energy to a targeted source.
Crystal healing holds that the magic of crystals derives from their structural compositions. It's believed that the energy of the crystal flows through the geometry of the stone and that different crystals produce various healing energies. Under pressure, they generate energy and we can use them to identify, raise, and direct energy to a targeted source. Does this sound familiar? This is the fundamental premise of spell work. Since crystals naturally mirror our innate power, they are extremely dynamic manifestation tools. When we infuse a crystal with spiritual intention, we create a symbiotic bond with it. The crystal, charged with energy, can independently create transformation.
How do l work with crystals?
While modern uses for crystals range from beauty to technology, let's talk about uses these beautiful gems as part of a spiritual practice. Though crystal healing can seem confusing and arcane, it's very easy to begin. Ultimately, working with crystals is an extension of spell-casting, which means the key ingredient will always be your unique energy.
Think of a USB flash drive. These devices are designed to take on, store, and transfer information. Crystals function the same way. In fact, over the past several years, researchers have developed a tiny disk, nicknamed the "Superman memory crystal," on which files are written in fused quartz. Each of these discs can reportedly store up to 360 terabytes of data for up to 14 billion years. Likewise, it is believed that crystals can be programmed ("attuned") to receive, absorb, and transfer emotions. You can attune your crystal for a variety of purposes; it can promote wisdom, wellness, love, or prosperity.
Before you attune your crystal, however, you have to be sure to reset its vibrations. Cleanse your crystal by washing it with water, or cleansing it with the smoke of sage or Palo Santo: Simply light your bundle of choice and pass the crystal through the smoke. You can also bury it in the soil for a while (a potted plant works) or leave it out under a full moon.
When your cleared crystal is ready to be programmed, hold it in your hand, close your eyes, and speak your intention. Repeat your manifestation, visualize your goals, and feel the crystal absorbing your energy. Trust your intuition — you'll know when the energetic transfer is complete.
Now that the energy is stored in this physical form, you can decide how you'd like to engage its power. Some healers like to keep their crystals close by in a pocket or purse, while others only take them out for rituals such as full moon ceremonies. You may decide that you want to keep your crystal in one permanent location, such as on a windowsill or in the corner of a room. However you decide to engage with it, always be mindful of its radiance.
Your crystals may even adopt their own personalities. This is all part of the fun, so don't be afraid to embrace these powerful properties. Though any crystal can be activated with magical intuition, over the centuries some minerals have developed strong associations with specific manifestations.
How do l select the right crystals for me?
Crystal healers often say that you don't choose the crystal, the crystal chooses you. In fact, your deep dive into crystal work begins with the selection process. If you plan to purchase your mineral in person from a brick-and-mortar shop, let your intuition guide your acquisition. Walk over to the crystal and stone area, close your eyes, and run your hands over the cool, smooth forms. "You don’t decide which crystals you want. The crystals decide for you," explains Paul.
Crystal healers often say that you don't choose the crystal, the crystal chooses you.
Now, consider your intention: What would you like to harness? Focusing on your manifestation, squeeze the different crystals and stones in your hand. Observe your physical and emotional sensations. Is your palm building heat? Are you feeling energized? Tranquil? Remember, there is no hierarchy of divination tools. Choose the mineral that tantalizes your soul.
Alternatively, if you would prefer to purchase your crystal online, explore the intrinsic properties of the crystals. To find the mineral that best suits your intention, match its inherent function to your manifestation. You'll love these time-honored minerals, but you'll also relish the prices: No divination tool should put you in debt. Crystals should make your life easier, not more stressful. Below are five terrific choices for those beginning their crystal practice.
Known as the "Master Healer," clear quartz is both powerful and versatile. It easily absorbs frequencies and magnifies magical intentions, so it can be used for healing or simply to increase positive vibrations. Clear quartz is also an all-purpose crystal that can be used in place of others. "Clear quartz is known as the master healer crystal. Basically, it's an all-around must-have for anyone who wants to get into crystals," Paul tells Allure, noting that clear quartz can also enhance the power of other crystals. Simply hold it in your hands and concentrate on your desires, whether protection, love, or abundance.
This distinctive purple crystal helps you tap into your psychic powers and access a higher state of consciousness. Additionally, amethyst offers protection by clearing negative energies from a space. Historically, amethyst is known for healing psychological pain. It's often worn over the heart during times of sadness, as a small and beautiful talisman to fight the demons of anxiety. It's also associated with psychic abilities and dreams. Both Paul and Fabiola say that they experience enhanced dreams, and dream recall while wearing amethyst necklaces.
This calming mineral symbolizes love and harmony. Rose quartz can be used for welcoming new romance or easing existing relationship trouble: Its soothing powers encourage us to open our hearts, embrace passion, and celebrate intimacy. "Rose quartz is a crystal of love, and compassion, and beauty. It's also used as a crystal of grief for a loved one that has passed or maybe even during a breakup to mourn the loss of an ex-partner [in your life]," Paul says. While red stones usually signify carnal passion, pink stones such as rose quartz work fabulously to infuse a relationship with sweet love. Rose quartz is a wonderful crystal to work with to promote self-love and friendship.
Citrine's dynamic golden hue mirrors the sun's warm luminosity. Likewise, citrine's energy is optimistic, creative, and prosperous. This mineral is a powerful manifestation tool: When infused with sunlight, it will radiate your intentions, transforming your dreams into reality. Citrine is a fabulous self-confidence booster. It's believed that wearing and working with citrine can bring more money, likely because it helps you realize your worth. "Citrine is really good for manifesting abundance, and not just money or material things, but anything that you’re trying to manifest into your life," says Paul.
If hiring a bodyguard isn't in your monthly budget, consider this powerful mineral. Black tourmaline is a dynamic force field protector believed to absorb negative energy and emit positive vibrations. Many people wear it around their necks as a protective talisman. Some people even keep a piece of black tourmaline on their desk by their computer to defend against trolls and the temptation of doom scrolling. "I think everyone should have a piece of black tourmaline in their pocket," advises Paul. "I place them on my wife's laptop while she's working." It's all about blocking bad vibes and welcoming new ones.
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Originally Appeared on Allure