Self-help / Cleansing your crystals
Cleansing Your Crystals
By Patrick Cave
A professional tennis player can pick up a tennis ball and bounce it once on their
racquet and know instantly whether the ball is at the correct pressure, not a ‘second’
or inferior in any way. The right ball will feel live, eager, ready to be coaxed into
correct behaviour, whether in a fearsome smash or a delicate drop shot. The player
will know that they can channel the energy of their body, of their skill and intent, and
of the racquet strings, purely and effectively into the ball and achieve the results they
Conversely, a slightly flat or below ‘spec’ ball will feel (to that player) lifeless,
undependable, not a true vessel for carrying their skill and energy. Watch the way
the top players test each ball before they serve!
By whatever means, those handling and using crystals regularly (and
therefore tuned to their nature) will also learn to know instantly when a particular
stone, whether pendulum or wand or tumblestone or generator, is not pure and
ready for channelling their energy in the way they would wish. A crystal in need
of cleansing can feel flat or lifeless, reluctant to channel anything. Or it may feel
contrary, polluted, unclear, ambiguous: again making it the wrong tool with which to
achieve the ends of healing or similar energetic work.
Such a crystal may well be in need of cleansing and/or energising.
What is it in the crystal that needs to be cleansed? How can a
crystal be ‘unclean’?
Crystals are used because of their ability to channel energy or to resonate with
certain vibrational frequencies of energy (frequencies that may correspond in our
healing work with e.g. a particular physical or emotional issue that is manifested in a
person’s energetic body, in their chakras and so forth).
Different theories may be given concerning why they become polluted. Do
they, for instance, hold memory of the last ‘program’ that has been run through them
in the same way that the silicon (crystal) circuitry and cobalt-based magnetic grains
in your computer can ‘remember’ whatever has been run through them? Or is it
more that the pure tuning of the crystal has been muffled by a residue of unhelpful
energetic vibration that remains from the last usage, just as if a duster were lying
across the strings of a piano? After all, even the most magnificent, state-of-the-art
loudspeaker, playing delightful music sharply and clearly, can be negated, made to
sound inferior or partially quieted by vibrations of the correct ‘interfering’ frequency
being caused in the same room.
Leave your computer hard drive next to a powerful magnet overnight and it
will be wiped quite clean of its memories. Remove other sounds or obstructions from
your piano or loudspeaker and from the space in which they are to be heard, and the result will be crisp, clear and rewarding.
It is this kind of effect that we wish to achieve through cleansing a crystal.
How does cleansing work?
In the list of cleansing options that are given in the next section below, there are
three common themes.
1. One of these is the use of other natural energy sources (light, sound, etc.)
or energy channellers (in particular, other crystals) to cleanse a crystal.
The background fabric of our universe, the stuff of which all is made at the
tiniest sub-quantum level, is energy. Recently, physicists have discovered
that through some process or other (yet to be identified – it is this search
that occupies the Large Hadron Collider) background energy waves
transmute into matter and thus the universe – you, me and all we perceive
– is given shape and form. By working with this fundamental energy, a
healer is able to dramatically change reality for an indivdual, and if crystals
are employed, their role (as stated above) is to allow energy to resonate at
the correct frequencies to address whatever problem is being targetted.
All energy is resonance. All energy travels in resonance/vibration/wave
(You may well have discovered this in school physics with e.g. different
coloured light: we have a blue sky, for instance, because the shorter
wavelength of blue light is ‘trapped’ and then re-diffused by the
gas molecules of our atmosphere. The prisms that, no doubt, you
experimented with at school, are able to show in a very basic way how a
crystal may play with energy wave forms)
It seems to be the case, therefore, that a strong or consistent resonance
from a pure energy source, such as the full moon or the sun, or from
energy deflected through other crystals, can make our target crystal ‘ring
true’ once more, according to its own resonance properties.
2. A second theme is that of the intention of the person doing the cleansing.
Healing, ‘magic’ and similar arts are all about intention, for it is by
our own will and focus and ability to dip our toes into the deepest level of
being and ask/give permission for change to take place that we are able
to direct and channel and use the fabric energy of the universe to our
own ends. We are, after all, highly complex and powerful receivers and
transmitters of electro-magnetic energy in our own right: the rituals, spells,
use of certain words and so forth that have been prevalent in ‘magick’ for
so long are simply catalysts that allow us to de-focus from the surface
appearance of ordinary daily life (if such a thing exists) where background
energy has become what seems to be unchangeable hard matter; and to
focus instead on underlying and deeper realities where all is fluid.
It is important, then, that whichever method is selected for crystal
cleansing, the intention is there for this cleansing to take place, for this
amplifies, directs and makes more effective the background resonance
that we are harnessing in this procedure.
3. The third and final repeated strand is that of purity. Throughout human
history certain substances have been associated with purity or
purification: salt, (running) water, fire, earth and so forth. It is no surprise,
then, to find that cleansing procedures may well incorporate some of these
Whether this is simply to enhance and direct the intention mentioned
above (the symbolic properties of e.g. salt making it even more certain
what the cleanser intends) or whether there are other intrinsic properties
of these substances that help cleanse a crystal, it may be for individuals
to decide. However, if one sees the unwanted energy residues within a
crystal as a charge (like static in a wool jumper), it would be easy to see
how water or earth might ‘ground’ that charge and take it harmlessly away
to the core of our mother planet. Or perhaps these are all substances
which create a clear energy background around our crystal – devoid
of ‘interference’ – and so allow the unwanted vibrations to subside
harmlessly and become neutral.
Ultimately, each of us should find the method of cleansing that works best for us.
There are no rules. In every stage of our work as healers, magicians or super-
evolving lifeforms we are using both the abundant fabric of energy that is freely
available 24/7 all around us and our own developing ability to interact with this fabric.
Just like the tennis ace and his balls (oooerrr missus!), we will know through our
growing experience and expertise when we have chosen correctly.
Some popular methods of crystal cleansing
SALT (12 hours)
• Leave the crystal in 30% salt water
• (Ideally) use sea water. If you can secure your crystal in a
container at the edge of the sea, wonderful
• Submerge the crystal in dry salt OR (for those stones unfriendly to
salt) submerge a (glass) container in the salt so that no contact is
made between crystal and salt
SMUDGING (30 minutes)
• Use sage (traditional native American), frankincense, sweetgrass,
rosemary, myrrh, mugwort or lavender. If you have another
favourite incense you can experiment with this. Immerse the
crystal in the smoke or pass it backwards and forwards in regular
RUNNING WATER (15 minutes to an hour)
• Immerse your crystal in a source of running water, preferably a
stream or young, clean river
BURYING (1 to 7 days)
• Find a lovely spot and bury your crystal, wrapped in something
waterproof or within a container. Let the benign grounding
energies of the earth do their work.
LIGHT (8 to 12 hours)
• Put your crystals on a window ledge or (ideally) outside in some
suitable safe or sacred place during a full or new moon. Moon
energy is soft and feminine and will especially suit softer, more
feminine stones. Experiment with different phases of the moon for
• Place your crystals in direct sunlight, from sunrise if possible.
Outside is always better, or somewhere with a flow of clean air.
Sunlight is more appropriate for masculine, ‘Yang’ stones
OTHER CRYSTALS (1to 24 hours)
• Place your crystal within a hollow cluster of (preferably) Amethyst
• Use your quartz or selenite point for cleansing or grounding
rituals. Selenite is particularly good for cleansing
• Grounding stones such as haematite, black obsidian and red
jasper can be powerful cleansers. Try putting your crystal in a
bag/bowl of grounding tumblestones
SOUND (10 minutes)
• Following the principle that all energy is vibration, a pure note
of sound (singing bowls, violin, voice, tuning fork etc...) can be
a great way to cleanse. Energy frequencies correspond to one
another. So, for example, each colour will have a corresponding
note, and each of these will relate to one particular chakra or
perhaps to a particular crystal. For detailed discussion about how
these frequencies can be seen to relate to one another in mystical
belief systems going back 1000s of years and in science going
back to Newton, see http://www.crystalinks.com/chakras.html and
http://3kta.net/colmus/Colmus_Andre_Rangel.pdf (the second
of these is more ‘scientific’ and complex, if that is what you are
COLOUR (12 hours)
• As with sound, colour represents certain energy frequencies. A
coloured light or a piece of coloured material wrapped around a
crystal can help to cleanse. Choose an appropriate colour for your
HEAT (1 minute to 1 hour)
• Pass your crystal through a (candle/sacred) flame or over a fire
• Place your crystal inside a ring of fire
THE POWER OF THE INDIVIDUAL (ten minutes)
• Whilst all the above methods require some sort of prop or
appliance, there is no reason why an individual who is used to
directing energy cannot cleanse a crystal without any of these. Ask
for (and visualise) a sacred flame to purify your crystal. You can
begin in your mind with this being violet, but let the colour change
if it needs to. The stone will know what colour flame it needs.
•Whilst in a peaceful, balanced, harmonious state, take your
crystal in your palm and breathe on it, allowing your breath to be a
A few precautions and general principles of cleansing
Whichever method you have selected, there are a few basic principles that will
enhance the cleansing process and avoid any negative outcome.
•Whichever materials you are using, make them ‘living’ materials if at all
possible. i.e. choose natural running water over still or domestic water,
choose natural sea salt over domestic salt, choose open land over a pot of
earth in your kitchen! The less processed and less affected by people your
materials, the more potent and the more filled with natural universal energy
they will be.
•Discard all materials that you have used for cleansing as soon as the process
is complete. Never use them twice or recycle them elsewhere. You wouldn’t
want the negative vibrations so recently in your crystal to be in your soup,
would you? So throw that salt away! One should even go so far as to avoid
breathing the smoke used in ‘smudging’ as this, too, may be contaminated.
If you have cleansed using other crystals, then these too may need to be
cleansed afterwards or from time to time.
• When using water, salt, light or heat, check first that these materials will not
damage your crystals. Some examples of combinations that do not work
WATER: Not to be used with ‘softer’ porous stones and those with salt or
metal content. E.g. avoid using with Calcite or Malachite
LIGHT: Sunlight can cause some stones to fade in colour. Rose quartz and
amethyst are obvious examples.
SALT: Salt is a strong alkali and will possibly react with stones that have
metal content or are acidic in nature. Avoid using with (amongst others)
Selenite, Lapis Lazuli, Malachite, Turquoise, Hermatite, Opal and Pyrite.
• As intention is such an important part of using the energy of the universe,
crystal cleansing can be enhanced by making the process into a (sacred)
ceremony, and also by being carried out when one is in a peaceful and
neutral, grounded frame of mind/spirit. Ceremonies focus our abilites to
harness universal energy.
How often should I cleanse my crystals?
Ideally, every time they have been used.
If you are healing with them, this is especially important. However, pendula
may begin to give false readings if not cleansed regularly (your questions leave an
energy residue) and even crystal jewellery should be given time out and a fresh start
to prevent its effects becoming clogged or dulled or even negative.
Practice using a pendulum or (even better) your own increasing intuition to tell
when a crystal is fully restored.
What is the difference between cleansing and ‘energising’? How
can I energise my crystal?
Some crystal users make a sharp distinction between cleansing and energising a
crystal. For example, many websites might advocate the water or salt techniques for
cleansing, followed by exposure to sun or moon light to energise. (A bit like charging
the battery after you’ve wiped your hard drive or emptied your trash). This is an
area where (again) you should experiment to see what works for you. However, my
personal belief is that all of the cleansing methods given above will, in restoring a
crystal to its neutral, perfectly-tuned state, also allow its energy to be ready to flow
freely. The cleansing methods involving other energy sources are likely to be most
effective in this.
However, for a crystal to work well for us, it is ideally tuned to or imprinted
with our own energies and we may find that keeping a crystal we intend using near
to us for a while (after cleansing) will make it the perfect tool. This is especially true
of crystals we use constantly, such as pendula and generator points.
Needless to say, it is no good keeping your crystals in tip top shape if you
yourself are a bundle of stressed out nerves or in a trough of depression. So.... side
by side with maintenance of your crystals goes regular grounding, opening to the
highest light, chakra balancing, meditation, bathing, exercise and so forth.
The tennis ace needs to be in top form in mind, body and spirit to get the best
out of his equipment and really make that energy flow, bend, deliver according to his
intention and will... and so do you.
Final thoughts... Is this scientific?
Hopefully this article has given what seems like a sensible theoretical context to
this subject, although, if you are already enthusiastic about the world of crystals,
healing, ‘magick’ and so forth, it is unlikely that you will be too worried about what is
currently regarded as ‘scientific’.
The world of science and the set of criteria it uses is constantly changing.
In a way, science is only now finally catching up with empirical knowledge that as
been in practical use for thousands of years, knowledge that relies on that energy-
matter weave that underlies all. However, amongst some members of the scientific
community, the word ‘proof’ has become a battle cry. If you find this bothers you,
remember that there is no proof for much of what you intuitively know to be true.
Indeed, most of science starts with theory, intuition and imagination, and every
scientist starts with the same set of interfaces to the universe, the same methods
of understanding, as you yourself have. A very great deal of scientific work ends up
On the day that science can provide proof and evidence of how the beauty of
e.g. the Largo from Bach’s double violin concerto (*feel free to substitute the music
of your choice) can bring inner wellbeing, health and healing to the listener, it will
also no doubt be documenting in detail how crystals and their ability to resonate with
background energy, can have the same effect. Until that day, trust your own link with
the crystals you use, learn to listen to the knowledge and perception that lies within
you, and make the cleansing process an area in which you can really test and hone