The World of Crystals

Last fall I was talking with a young friend, Aidan, who had recently begun kindergarten. He told me about walking in a meadow with his classmates and teacher.

"We were supposed to say what was alive there and what wasn't," he said. "Trees, yes, flowers, yes, grass, yes, rocks, no."

Aidan loves crystals, and has a large collection. His first mission upon coming to my house is always to go to the office and add new stones to it. "You don't think rocks are alive?" I asked.

"Rocks, no," he said. "Do you think they're alive?"

I said I did.

"Rocks, no," he said, with extra emphasis.

When I asked him what made something alive, it became clear definitions hadn't been part of his lesson. For my part, I decided it wasn't important to be right by making his teacher wrong, especially at this early and vulnerable stage of Aidan's education. We will have many opportunities to discuss what makes things alive.

What We Learned

The conversation, however, has stayed with me. I don't remember ever walking in a meadow and saying, "Trees, yes, rocks, no," but I'm sure some version of this theory was introduced to me at an age when I believed my teachers (or parents) knew everything. Most of us probably learned at a receptive age that stones weren't alive.

Over my many years as a crystal educator I have encountered people who say they believe in the energy of crystals, but have never felt it. The first thing they usually assume when they don't feel anything from a crystal is that they're doing something wrong or that there's some special technique they haven't mastered.

This is rarely the case. It's far more common that an unexamined belief is preventing them from experiencing crystals' energy.

The Power of Beliefs

In The Wizard of Oz Dorothy and her fellow travelers were given green-tinted glasses when they reached the Emerald City. Unsurprisingly, they saw it as green.

Without knowing it, all of us wear filters which shape our particular experiences of what we call reality. When we hold -- also without consciously knowing it -- the long-ago-acquired belief that a stone is a lifeless mineral, this belief can prevent us from experiencing its aliveness.

Beliefs can be changed, and crystals can help us to experience their aliveness, especially when we are engaged in generally reawakening our senses.

You're Feeling More Than You Know

I remember when I had my store in Greenwich Village (New York City) how many customers came in who vehemently denied there was anything to "the crystal craze." They said they bought crystals for their value, because they were beautiful, because they'd always collected rocks, or thought they were interesting.

What interested me was how long they would stay at the store, and how whatever moods and tensions they'd brought in with them disappeared from their faces by the time they left. Often they'd say, "You have such a nice store. I feel so comfortable and relaxed here." If I'd suggested the crystals had anything to do with their comfort, though, they would have strongly disagreed.

Like my customers, you are feeling something from crystals. It's just that the feeling isn't able to push through the barricade of disbelief.

Thus, the first belief to adopt is that the feelings are there. You only need become open to them.

Choose a Partner

Choose a crystal to be your partner in your sensory opening. You may want to be near your crystal collection and ask (either silently or aloud), "Who wants to help me?"

Then see which crystal attracts you on some non-intellectual level. This means, don't choose a hematite because someone told you you need it for grounding. Choose it because it's pretty, it's shiny, because it feels very smooth and comforting in your hand, or because you know this is the one.

You might also choose a crystal on the basis of an attraction to a particular color. Do you love to wear blue? Do the colors of autumn thrill you than those of any other season? Are pink flowers your favorites?

Some people find themselves attracted to the names of crystals. Azurite has a magical sound to me, as does chrysoprase. I don't know why, but these are two of my favorite stones.

Keep the crystal you choose with you as much as possible. Put it beneath your pillow, in your pillow case, or hold it at night while you sleep. I like the idea of carrying a crystal around, too, but if you put it in a pocket, be very careful about checking all pockets before putting clothes in the wash.

Another way to become attuned to crystals is to wear one. Again, you can use the color attraction principle or an attraction to its name.

Finally, a very simple method is to choose a quartz crystal. You will never go wrong with this choice.

In Comes the Good Air

Deep breathing is an important part of opening ones' senses.

Here is an excerpt from a Living With Crystals newsletter article published in 1998. For the complete article please go Here.

If you hold a crystal while you do this breathing exercise you may begin to feel its energy.

  1. Make sure that your feet are on the ground (literally). Take a deep breath, and imagine that your breath originates with the soles of your feet, moves up your legs, to your abdomen, back, chest, out your arms, up your neck to your head.
  2. Then exhale, reversing the direction of your breath.
  3. Keep on doing this until your inhalations and exhalations come easily.
  4. Now expand your scope. Continuing to imagine your breath coming up as you inhale and down as you exhale, feel your breath filling all of your cells until you feel an overall tingling.

You can find more information about sensory opening in an article from Rainbow Reflections at

Meditate with Your Crystal

The above exercise is also helpful for anxiety, worry, or any emotion which has you agitated. It's also a very good way to lead into a relaxed state of meditation.

In meditating with your crystal you can both feel its energy and ask it what it would like to teach you. Be patient with yourself; remember you're opening a new channel for sensory and spiritual awareness. Meditate with your chosen crystal often.

Crystal Clearing

When you spend a lot of time with a crystal, it's probably a good idea to clear it often (and clean, too; remember fingerprints).

The easiest and safest way to clear a crystal is with a smudge stick of cedar and sage (or whatever combination you prefer.) Hold the crystal in the smoke for a minute or so.

Another method is to place the crystal in uncooked rice (which you can later eat, of course) overnight.

There's more detailed information in Clearing Your Crystals


There are a number of essences which are generally helpful for opening the senses. You will also benefit greatly by choosing essences best suited for you.

Agrimony (Bach) is for those who hide their feelings from both others and from themselves. A form of behavior originally developed in order to not burden others with their unhappiness, it becomes a habit, and feelings become generally suppressed.

Impatiens (Bach) is for those who are impatient for results. It is especially good for the subject of this newsletter because Impatiens people are mentally quick and often slow to realize that sensations and feeling don't always show up on demand the way thoughts do.

Lotus (FES) is a generally helpful essence for opening spiritual development.

Bach and Other Flower Essences
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