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Caring for you crystals
 
Being precious, crystals should always be treated with the utmost care. Although they may feel hard, they can still be scratched, chipped or even broken. Take extra care when transporting crystals, and always wrap them well. Tumbled stones are probably the most robust, whereas crystal clusters are the most fragile. If you intend to carry crystal around with you, never throw it into your pocket or handbag, where it is likely to be scratched or chipped by items like keys or coins. Instead place each of your crystals into a pouch to prevent them from being damaged.
 
Cleansing your crystals
Because crystals can attract and absorb all kinds of vibrations, both positive and negative, it is crucial that you cleanse them to remove any negative energy, both prior to use and on a regular basis. If you purchased your crystals, they will usually have travelled hundreds – even thousands of miles before reaching the outlet from which you bought them, and will have accumulated within them the energies and imprints of those who mined and transported them. In addition, while they were waiting to be sold they were probably picked up by more hands and will therefore have absorbed many more vibrations from the individuals with whom they had contact. Remember that negative thoughts, as well as diseases, could have been accumulated by the crystal and may then be passed on to you. (All the crystals that I stock have been cleansed after purchase from the wholesaler)
 
There are many methods of cleansing crystals, and whichever you use is entirely a matter of personal preference. The only thing that you should never use is detergents or soap to cleanse your crystals, which would have an adverse effect. All of the following cleansing methods are very useful.
 
Water cleansing
Water cleansing is particularly suitable for those born under the water signs in the western zodiac.
 
Cleansing with natural water
Take your crystals to a natural source of clean, fresh water, such as the sea, a spring, a stream or a waterfall, and either place them in the sea or hold them under running water. (If there is no source of pure water nearby, you can use bottled spring water.)
Never dry your crystals on a towel or cloth. Instead allow them to dry naturally, preferably in the sun, which will re-energise them.
 
Cleansing with salt water
Fill a large ceramic or glass bowl with cold or tepid water (do not use hot water, which could cause your crystals to split or fracture). Add a handful of sea salt to the water and immerse your crystals in it for a few hours. Rinse your crystals thoroughly afterwards to remove any salt residue and then allow them to dry naturally.
Take great care when cleansing your crystals with salt, particularly if the salt comes into direct contact with them. Salt has a chemical reaction with some crystals, causing damage to the crystalline structure, making a crystal lose its polished finish or even causing colour changes. If an opal is placed in dry salt, for example, the salt extracts the water from the opal and changes it into chalcedony – a much cheaper stone. However, since using salt is very effective cleansing method, a safer alternative is to put the crystal in a small glass dish and then to place it in a larger dish full of salt. Even though the stone is not in direct contact with the salt, the cleansing process will still take place.
 
Cleansing with holy water
You can also rub a few drops of holy water on your crystals to purify them and lift their vibrations. There are many sacred sites around the world where you can collect holy water, including the Chalice Well in Glastonbury, England. Remember to allow your crystals to dry naturally.
 
Fire cleansing
Fire cleansing is particularly suited to those born under an fire signs under the Western zodiac.
One fire cleansing method is to surround your crystal with night-lights and then leave them for several hours until they have burned out. Alternatively, you could light a candle and very quickly pass your crystal through the flame. Note that if your crystal is an opal, however, the first method is the safest because opals can be damaged by fire.
Warning: never leave candles unattended.
 
Earth cleansing
Earth cleansing is particularly suited to those born under an earth signs under the Western zodiac.
To cleanse your crystal with the earth, bury it in your garden and leave it for at least twenty-four hours. Make sure that you remember where you have buried it – it is a good idea to mark the spot – and watch out if you have pets in case they dig it up. If you do not have a garden or the soil is too acid (which could damage it), you can bury your crystal in a plant pot. After you have removed your stone from the earth, rinse it thoroughly in pure water and let it dry naturally.
 
Smudging
The smudging method is particularly suited to those born under an air signs under the Western zodiac.
Smudging is excellent for cleansing, not only crystals but also rooms and auras. In Native American tradition, smudging plays a very important role. Smudging sticks are tightly bound bundles of plant material. Sage is a particularly purifying herb to include, but cedar, lavender and sweet grass is also commonly used.
Light your smudge-stick bundle at one end and, as it catches fire, blow it out so that it is just smouldering. Slowly move your crystal in the smoke so that every facet is treated, thereby allowing the element of air to transmute any negative energy.
If you prefer, you could use a feather or your hand to direct the smoke from the smudge-stick bundle towards your crystal. Make sure that you have a small saucer or bowl to hand to catch any ash and to stub the smudge stick out in.
 
Cleansing with a crystal cluster
Another excellent cleansing method is to place your crystal on a large, quartz cluster or bed of amethyst. Leave it there for a few hours to neutralise any negative vibrations.
 
Flower cleansing
A beautiful and gentle method of purification is to use flowers or petals. Pink rose petals are ideal for cleansing rose quartz, while lavender is wonderful for purifying purple stones, such as a amethyst.
Collect some petals and flowers to which you are particularly attracted and place them in glass container. Now bury your crystals inn the petals or flowers and leave it there for approximately twenty-four hours. You could then leave the crystal outside to bathed in the moonlight – particularly if it is a full moon – or catch the rays of the sun.
 
Rice cleansing
To cleanse your crystal using rice, fill a glass bowl with organic, uncooked brown rice and bury the crystal in the rice. Wait for twenty-four hours before removing it, by which time the rice will have absorbed any negative vibrations. The rice should be discarded after use and should not be eaten.
 
Mantra cleansing
A mantra, such as ‘Om’, may be employed to cleanse your crystals.
‘Om namah shivaya’ is highly effective for clearing negative energies because you are calling upon Hindu god Shiva, who is the destroyer or transformer.
To cleanse your crystal, simply repeat ‘Om’, or your favourite mantra, over it. As you repeat the mantra, visualise the negative energies in your crystal being replaced by pure energies.
 
Essential oil cleansing
Although using oil is not a well-known method of cleaning crystals, several aroma therapists have used it effectively. Especially useful oils for purification include the versatile lavender, sage, cedar wood, lemongrass, pine, juniper, rosemary, lemon and rosewood.
To cleanse your crystals, simply shake one or two drops of essential oil on to a cotton cloth – perhaps a handkerchief – and thoroughly wipe your crystals with it.
Alternatively, you could use an essential oil burner. To do this, first put a few teaspoons of water into the bowl on top of the diffuser. Then light the night –light underneath the diffuser and sprinkle a few drops of your chosen oil on the water. Add the vapour oil on the water. As the vapour begins to rise, hold your crystal in it.
Crystals appear to enhance the aroma of an essential oil. One drop of essential oil placed on a crystal is very powerful and can easily perfume an entire room; the aroma also seems to last for longer.
 
Sound
The vibration of pure sound can quickly clean a stone. A singing bowl, one made of crystal that resonates when struck or rubbed along the rim is very useful because it can hold many stones at once and will clean stones thoroughly and quickly in a minute or so. The sound will also have a purifying effect on the surroundings. A bell, gong or tuning fork can also be used. Sound them close to the crystals until they feel completely cleared.
 
Visualization
Visualization can be useful where other techniques can’t be used. Experimenting will help you choose which works best for you. The imagery is less important than your clarity and intent (Where thought goes energy follows) fill the stone with bright light, visualise water rushing through the stone or fire burning away all impurities, or imagine the stone as an animal shaking water off its fur after swimming. Use your breath to heighten the imagery. Take a deep breath, pause, and then forcefully blow over the crystal. As you do this, imagine all negativity clearing away from the stone. Repeat this until you feel it has worked.