5 Ways to Cleanse “Difficult” Crystals

So, the bog-standard crystal cleanse is pretty simple: immerse it in salt water, hold it under running water, cover it in dry salt, or stick it in the sun. Easy, right?

There’s only one problem: those are very efficient ways to accidentally destroy a lot of different minerals. Your stones might come out energetically cleansed, but they also might be much worse for wear. (Cleansing selenite, for example, definitely shouldn’t involve water.)

It’s important to remember that, beneath that shiny surface, there’s a ton going on in a crystal in a molecular sense. Some crystals’ color and structure depends on water molecules bound up in their matrix, like opals. Some contain soluble material, like selenite. Some might leach toxic compounds into water when soaked, like pyrite. Some might just end up fading on you — especially translucent crystals, like amethyst or rose quartz.

So, how do you cleanse crystals that won’t survive regular cleansing methods?

1. Make some noise.

Sound cleansing is a simple, but effective, way to get negative or stagnant energy out of a thing. You can use music, chimes, singing bowls, or whatever you want, within reason. (I would not, for example, try to cleanse a quartz point with death metal.) To do so, just place your crystal(s) in an area where they won’t get knocked around, and make your noise. Pick them up and handle them every so often to get a feel for how “light” and “clean” they feel, so you know when to stop.

Before trying this method, there are a couple of things to remember:

  1. Don’t put crystals inside of singing bowls.
  2. Ascending scales lift the vibes, descending scales banish the bad ones.
  3. Keep your instruments cleansed, too.

2. Use other crystals.

Some crystals are particularly good at drawing negative energy away from others. Selenite and kyanite are often said to never need cleansing, and citrine’s bright, solar properties make it useful for keeping energy clean, too. To use crystals to cleanse other crystals, just place them in proximity to each other. You can also set up a crystal grid with the stone that needs cleansing in the center.

While kyanite and selenite supposedly never need cleansing, I do it anyway. There isn’t really anything particular about them that would lead me to believe that they never need a little TLC, and I’ve definitely handled some specimens that benefited from it. If in doubt, cleanse them.

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3. Use your own energy.

Using your own energy is one of the easiest ways to cleanse anything, because you don’t need any special tools to do it. As long as you’re familiar with energy play, it’s simple: hold a crystal in your non-dominant hand, and sweep your dominant hand over it. As you do so, use your energy to sort of “push” away the negative or stagnant energy around or within the crystal. Use your non-dominant hand to get a feel for how much of that energy is left, so you know when to stop.

4. Use incense.

Incense smoke, or the smoke of reekening herbs, can carry negative or stagnant energy away. Some sources call this smudging, but that’s not accurate — smudging refers to a specific practice within a specific religion, all of which is a bit more complex than “burn herbs to cleanse [thing].” Smudging is not really equivalent to reekening any more than Wiccan cakes and ale are equivalent to the Eucharist.

While this method works, it’s one I use with caution. No matter how you slice it, smoke is made of particulates. These may be sticky, or even discolor surfaces they come in contact with. You shouldn’t be producing enough smoke in a single session to discolor a crystal, but residue can build up over time. So, I usually only bust this method out for particularly difficult stones that require a variety of methods.

5. Ask some plants for help.

Some crystals benefit from being placed beneath a plant, buried in a plant pot, or even buried in the earth itself. Soil is moist and some plants are delicate, so I would not recommend this method for soluble stones like selenite, or those that produce toxic leachates.

If you choose to bury a crystal in the earth instead of a pot, use a basket. Dig a hole about the size of the basket, set the basket in the hole, add some dirt, place the crystal on top of the dirt, and add more dirt until all but the handle are covered. That way, you’ll know where it is and you’re less likely to lose it if the soil shifts or settles.

No matter which method you choose, ask the plants’ permission first. If it’s a tree, lay your non-dominant hand on the trunk. If it’s a smaller plant, hold your hand a few inches above the leaves. If you get the feeling that you’re being brushed off or ignored, ask other plants until you find one that gives you a warm, welcoming sensation. When you bury the crystal, leave an offering. When you dig it up, give thanks and leave another.

Some crystals are beautiful and helpful, but are also delicate and difficult to cleanse. Others just seem to be magnets for gross energy. With these methods, you’ll have more ways to keep your stones in good shape.

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A small, helpful rock.

Chronic illness demands strange rituals from you.

Sure, you go to the doctor. You take what they give you, though you might find that you have to do so at a certain time of night, or with a certain type of food, or adjust your dosage based on the weather or time of the month you take it. You start developing the small repetitions that (hopefully) keep you functioning.

Sometimes, that isn’t enough. So you branch out — you start adding medicinal baths, special pillows, vitamins, herbs. You go to a massage therapist, maybe an acupuncturist. You stretch, meditate, and spray yourself with magnesium oil. Your house becomes a haven for therapeutic smells.

Maybe you go further still. You look up the meanings and properties of crystals, and leave little groups of them huddled on your shelves or nightstand. You draw sigils on your medicine bottles, and paint runes on yourself in arnica gel and muscle rub.

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All of this is to explain how I ended up with my favorite medicinal rock.

Crystal guides usually give the same set of properties for a given stone — you use rose quartz for love, amethyst for peace and relaxation, and so forth. I come from a magical background staunchly rooted in personal associations. I don’t believe it’s necessary or desirable to reinvent the wheel, but most of the herbs, stones, and other tools I use are ones that I have a personal history with, and what I’ve learned about them doesn’t always match what the guides say.

Selenite is usually used to cleanse things. You can keep it with other stones or tools, or use the little wands to clear negative energy out of spaces like a spiritual lint roller. One crystalworker uses them to help itching from bug bites and eczema. I used to keep a couple pieces of it around to keep stagnant energy from accumulating. Now? I use selenite crystals for pain.

I get terrible neck pains sometimes, a direct consequence of a rare, incurable  neurological condition. There’s no help for it. I’ve been given everything from massage, to camphor gel, to opiates, to tricyclic antidepressants, all to little avail. If the pain becomes bad enough, it means I need to visit the ER for an emergency lumbar puncture and more hardcore pain management (which is also why I have several opinions on how the opiate crisis is affecting the way pain is managed in emergency settings, but that’s neither here nor there). If it isn’t yet at the ER point, I just have to suck it up.

One night, in a moment of sleepless desperation, I picked up a rough selenite wand and pressed it to my neck. And it worked.

Now, I keep a smoothed and shaped wand of selenite in my bedside table, ready for all of the times when pain keeps me awake. I don’t need to do much with it, just pressing it lightly to the places that hurt is often enough to give me enough relief to sleep. Would I use it instead of evidence-based medicine? No, but I also haven’t met a doctor yet that objects to me having a safe, drug-free means of relieving pain. I still need to visit the ER when things become bad enough — I haven’t found any stone that can substitute for having about 15 mmHg of extra fluids siphoned off my brain, unfortunately — but this helps make the other days more bearable.

Sometimes, chronic illness makes you do things. You might give up nightshade vegetables, take up polyphasic sleeping, or begin carrying magnesium oil in your bag.

Or, you might befriend a small, helpful rock.

 

A(n Actual)”Starter Witch Kit”

Note: This post contains some affiliate links. These links let me earn a small commission for each sale, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for helping to support this site, as well as rad people who make neat stuff.

After Pinrose chose to pull their Starter Witch Kit amidst a heap of (justifiable) controversy, it got me thinking.

“Self,” I says to me, “If you were going to put together a kit for a beginning witch, what would you put in it? If someone asked you to design the Starter Witch Kit, how would you have done it differently?”

And then I started brainstorming.

While I object to the attempt to use witchcraft as a way to sell perfume samples, I don’t necessarily see anything wrong with including perfume as a way to help beginning witches start to connect with witchcraft on a practical level and begin practicing regularly. I mean, I use perfume and cosmetics as part of my practice. Besides, just look at the origins of the word “glamour!”

So, if Pinrose had drafted me to come up with a kit for baby witches, here are the things I would choose instead of their sage/rose quartz/pastel tarot deck/perfume samples combo.

 

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