There are about as many ways to cleanse a stone as there are crystal healers – everyone has their own favourite method. But first, let’s consider why you would want to. This is not just about the stone being handled by others – although that matters; you have no idea what kinds of energies previous potential buyers have on their hands. Nor is it because you may not know where the mineral has come from or how it was removed from the earth (probably not gently, possibly not very respectfully). No, it’s because your healing crystal is alive.
It has spirit. It has energy. It’s how crystal healing works.
And just as we can absorb negativity around us, needing to cleanse ourselves – possibly using crystals! – at the end of a really bad day, most stones need a spiritual cleansing now and then, some more than others.
When to spiritually clean
First, it’s good policy to spiritually cleanse all new gemstones and crystals immediately upon bringing them into your home. It’s also good practice to regularly monitor all stones that come into frequent contact with others, especially when using them for ritual or healing purposes.
Some stones don’t require cleaning. Super Seven (Melody’s Stone) and citrine are two examples that do not absorb energies so rarely need cleansing. Clear quartz is another; although even with these the occasional cleanse may be useful. Some stones require regular cleansing while others prefer a monthly, biannual or yearly ‘top-up’, perhaps at a certain time of year. Some stones will let you know. They might feel heavy or uncomfortable to handle. You may be ‘turned off’ by them and they could even change colour, appear ‘stagnant’, cloud up or lose their lustre like a person too tired to smile any more!
If you take the time to get to know your stones, you may be surprised how unique each one is. Yet you cannot expect to know anything if they’ve been covered in accumulated spiritual gunk or simply overused. Honour them and allow them to rest and recharge in a way that is appropriate to their needs.
Some of the following methods of spiritual cleansing can cause damage to certain stones, so be careful and do your research first.
1) Allow clean running water to pass over them (not recommended for angelite, turquoise, kyanite, selenite, or kunzite; generally works well for the quartz family)
2) Bury them in salt (this is not recommended for high luster stones or those set in silver, but again, it works well for the quartz family). Non-contact salt is also possible – place the stones in a clear glass and bury it halfway in a bowl of salt to allow the energies, but not the abrasiveness, seep through. In both cases remember to throw away the salt after use
3) Bury them in uncooked brown rice: a safe substitute for the salt technique above. Throw away the rice after use
4) Give them sunshine (not recommended for amethyst, aquamarine, smoky or rose quartz, fluorite, hiddenite, spodumene, or kunzite. Clear quartz, however, is very partial to sunlight)
5) Leave them in salted water (refer to 1 and 2 above)
6) Bury them in the earth for three, seven or 28 days (one moon cycle) and then rinse. This is almost a rebirthing ceremony, allowing the stone to recover from the experience of being mined and better attuning it the local land and yourself
7) Smudge them with incense or sacred smoke; you might choose frankincense and myrrh, a sagestick, braided sweetgrass, to name but a few
8) Cleanse them ritually using the Sacred Elements
9) Bury them in appropriate flowers of herbs overnight, matching the plant to the stone e.g. rose petals / rose quartz. This is a lovely, safe way to cleanse most stones without exposing them to water, salt or sunshine
10) Give them moonlight (recommended for stones listed in 4 above, as well as certain stones that enjoy a natural affinity with the moon, e.g. moonstone)
11) Place them in the centre of a circle of quartz crystal points or on a geode/cluster. This charges them up as well!
Take care of the physical
If your stone is not professionally finished – maybe you found it yourself or chose to bury it for a spiritual cleansing – you will need to physically clean it also.
Some practitioners prefer to leave dirt clinging (after all, dirt is a powerful magical tool and denotes the spirit of the place) but if you’re not one of them, remember that not all stones take kindly to being attacked by a potato scrubber! Do your research or risk causing structural damage. Hiddenite, kunzite, quartz, garnet, topaz, tourmaline and aquamarine among others should all be safe to clean under water with a scrubbing brush.
You may wish to rinse your tumbled stones as the tumbling finishing technique incorporates silicon carbide and cirium oxide or tin oxide to polish. Some gemstones, including turquoise, are also treated with wax in order to deepen their colour or disguise natural flaws; whether this matters depends on your intentions for the stone but keep it in mind particularly when creating elixirs (and storing them!).
Remember that soaking any mineral in any solution could damage its luster; even a weak acid like vinegar will dissolve calcite, while acetone (nail polish remover) easily degrades amber. If in doubt, don’t try it out.
When all this is done, store and transport the gemstones appropriately. A clean, light-coloured cloth bag made from natural fibers is a good carrier; check your stone regularly to see how it feels and whether it is time for another spiritual cleanse.
Thanks to mauro cateb for providing the original picture (CC-BY-2.0)
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