Getting Clear:
Clearing Your Crystals, Part II


The practice of burning herbs for emotional, psychic, and spiritual purification is part of many religious traditions, from the incense burned in Catholic churches to the smudge ceremonies of Native Americans. Smudging is a ritual way to cleanse a person, place or an object of negative energies, spirits or influences. For many people, this is the preferred method to clear crystals. It is totally noninvasive, and it smells good. You can either use loose herbs or a smudge stick. A smudge stick may be made of any of the following herbs: cedar, sage, lavender, juniper, and pine.

To smudge your crystal, pass it through the smokeŅor, if you have arrangements of crystals around your house, pass the smudge stick over the crystals. This method is excellent as well for clearing yourself and your environment and deserves some space here.

For Clearing Yourself

You may want to smudge yourself and your home when:

Smudging can be a meditative activity, and I believe that it should always be done while in a respectful and centered state. I find that it can be especially helpful when you have an intention in mind. For example, if you are feeling depressed visualize the smoke carrying away all your feelings of depression. If you had an argument with someone in your space, imagine yourself and the person with whom you argued being at peace with each other.

If you are clearing your crystals prior to programming them thank both them and the smudge stick for helping you to realize your goals.

In smudging your room/house you may want to affirm that your dwelling place is a temple for your body and your spirit.

Practical Notes

Smudge sticks are tightly packed, and you'll probably find that a match goes out before the stick gets lit. I recommend using the flame from a candle. Once you have a flame lit, blow it out so that the smudge stick is smoldering, not burning.

(Special note: Don't smudge while infants, pregnant women, or people with respiratory diseases are in the room. If you have pet birds, you may want to remove them to a different room.) When I smudge a room, I walk around its edges and give special attention to the corners and the places behind doors. I wave the smudge stick in a slow circle or spiral. If you like, you can fan the smoke through the room with a large feather.

If you're smudging yourself, fan the smoke with one hand so that it touches all parts of you. You may feel that an area needs special focus. If you're feeling sad, you could give special attention to the heart area.

If you're smudging someone else (a client for whom you're doing healing work, for example) do the same.

It's important that you have a fireproof receptacle to put the smudge stick in when you've finished, such as an abalone shell or glass or ceramic dish. The smudge stick will go out most efficiently in sand. See if you can find a clay bowl that has been especially made as a home for a smudge stick. You can also use a small amount of water. If you use too much, it will take a long time for the smudge stick to get dry enough to light again.

Always make sure that a smudge stick is out before leaving the room where you keep it.

Cleaning/Clearing with Essential Oils

(Please note: many texts recommend that pregnant women be cautious in using essential oils. If you are pregnant, consult with a qualified practitioner before using any.)

I'm focusing here on oils that have particular qualities for cleaning or clearing crystals. You can use them in several ways. An economical method for using oils is to place crystals in a container, fill it with filtered water, and a drop or two of essential oils into the water. Another method is to put three or four ounces of water into a container, put in several drops of essential oils and rub crystals with this mixture. This is particularly useful if your crystals have gotten very dusty.

The following essential oils are generally good for clearing and cleansing.

Lemon: This has a purifying effect and, on a practical level, cuts grease.
Juniper: Like juniper in a smudge stick, juniper oil has the ability to help release any negative vibrations.
Lavender: If you've been doing any kind of intense emotional work with your crystals, lavender oil has a calming and balancing effect. Put some on yourself, too.

The most concentrated method of all is to anoint crystals with essential oils. This will imbue the crystal with a particular energy. For example, you might want to anoint a rose quartz with rose oil. This will enhance the energy of love. You could anoint an amethyst with lavender, which will expand the energy of calming. Chamomile combines well with any of the communication crystals.

The Earth Method of Clearing

Some people like to bury their crystals in the earth. (Do not use this method on iron-based stones such as hematite and tiger iron.) This method can clear any rough energy from your crystals and give them a kind of rebirth in the earth (from which most crystals are mined). It's like taking them home. (Be sure to mark the place where you've buried them.)


Hold your crystal, close your eyes, and relax. Visualize your crystal glowing with white light or rainbow hues. Feel it radiating smooth, balanced energy.


If you're a Reiki practitioner at any level, you can use this energy either alone or in combination with visualization to clear your crystals. If you're Reiki Level I hold the crystal in your hand and simply Reiki it. If you're Reiki II you can also draw the power symbol and the mental/emotional symbol over your crystals.

Cleaning and Clearing Jewelry

If the crystal part of your jewelry needs cleaning (say you've spilled something on it while eating), use a damp cloth and dry it thoroughly. If the silver becomes tarnished, use a cleaning product recommended by jewelry professionals. Never use any kind of commercial detergent. Any of the methods described above can be used for clearing jewelry (although I wouldn't recommend the earth burial method). Smudging is especially nice.

How Often Do Crystals Need to be Cleared?

It depends on how much you use them. If they're sitting on your desk, looking pretty (and you can get a great deal of value just from having them around) once every three months is probably sufficient -- in which case they probably need baths, too. Crystals you work with every day, especially if you're doing a lot of clearing of emotions, may need to be cleared on a weekly basis. If a crystal looks cloudy or has a dull feeling it probably needs to be cleared. It is always a good idea to clear a crystal before you program it. However, once you've programmed it, don't clear it until it's done its work.

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