Updated: 
Originally Published: 
this beginner's guide to healing crystals will teach you to harness their energy
OatmealStories/RooM/Getty Images

Life

A Beginner’s Guide To Healing Crystals

Balance your energy and reclaim your space.

Whether or not you’re the kind of person who packs your schedule with weekly yoga classes, practices meditation, engages with witchcraft, or none of the above, you may be in search of something that will help you to get in more touch with your spiritual side. Enter healing crystals: stones found usually underground or in caves that are believed to have individualized properties that help to balance energy in physical spaces and the body.

Healing crystals have gained popularity as more people collect them to spur natural healing, self-love, prosperity, adventure, and communication, among many other things. Online communities and WitchTok, in particular, are introducing more and more people to the spiritual practice. While you can, of course, simply collect the healing crystals you think are the most alluring, there are also so many ways to deepen your understanding of the stones and choose ones that fit the specific intentions you want to set. By understanding the properties of healing stones, as well as their proper care and keeping, you’ll be well on your way to bringing spiritual balance to your life — as well as bringing prosperity, love, and power your way. Let’s break it down to the basics.

What Are Healing Crystals?

The use of healing stones dates back to ancient times, so this isn’t a new trend in spiritual practices. “Huge quartz crystals are referred to in ancient Sanskrit writings,” says Patricia Bankins, founder of The Crystal Matrix Healing & Learning Center. “Egyptians used rose quartz as a beautifying aid and amethyst as protection for their traveling emissaries.”

Information about healing crystals has been passed down millennia — making this practice a time-tested spiritual tradition that crosses cultural barriers. Today, the modern practice of crystal healing is not necessarily attached to a specific religion, though it has been connected to many in the past throughout the world.

Crystals are seen as a spiritual way to balance energy — affecting emotions, relationships, and the like. While the practice seems inherently mystical, practitioners do not view the use of healing stones as magical. “Every crystal has its own kind of energy — some boost our mood or levels of vitality, some help to calm us down, some make us more attractive to other people, some help us focus, etc.” says Krista Mitchell, crystal reiki master teacher of Rock Whisperer NYC. “People may want to interpret them as magical, but it's just energy vibration affecting our own energy vibration.”

By practicing with different crystals, unseen energy levels can be increased, decreased, or altered to positively impact one’s emotional and spiritual life. It’s a matter of balance — the same kind of end goal sought by people who turn to meditation and feng shui to naturally encourage healing.

Which Healing Crystals Should I Buy?

The number of crystals you can add to your collection is pretty much endless, and with so many stones available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with choice. “Start with your intuition,” Madison Young, the owner of Open Eye Crystals and the Ace of Cups club in Los Angeles, tells NYLON. “Go either online or in a crystal store and just straight up go toward whatever catches your eye energetically ... Go ahead and purchase it and start to work with it, and you'll intuitively feel like, ‘Oh, yes, I want to put this in my pocket.’”

That being said, there are some specific healing crystals that experts say are great for novice crystal collections. When it comes to building an intro collection for healing practice, Young says there are some stones that are completely non-negotiable, including, as she recommends, selenite. “Selenite is like the sage of the mineral kingdom,” Young says. “It's energetically 100% pure white light, so it clears your entire field and it also clears your other stones.”

Another favorite starter pick is black tourmaline. “For someone beginning, I always tell them that a protective stone is needed,” says Alana Gordon of Crystal Rock NY. “Black tourmaline is good for protection. It helps to neutralize any unwanted energy in their energetic field.”

Before bringing in positive vibes, negative energy has to be distilled. And everyone could use a bit of negative energy removal in their lives. “Black tourmaline is a protection stone, so it protects you from other people either siphoning your energy or you being affected by other people's energies,” says Young. “It’s a beautiful stone for boundaries and just keeping your ship clean, so to speak.”

Nicole Dantzler, certified crystal healer of Sacred Healing NYC, suggests springing for something basic: “[Clear] quartz is known as the master healer and can be used for any purpose.”

“With clear quartz, you can actually program it to carry any frequency you’d like,” Young says. “You can take your clear quartz, hold it, [and] put your intention into it. Your intention is for the clear quartz to hold the frequency and emanate the vibration of whatever other crystal.”

Michell also recommends buying crystals according to the results you wish to see in your life. “Green aventurine is a great one because it helps us to attract abundance by encouraging us to feel more deserving of good things in our lives,” she says. “Amethyst helps us to feel less anxious and more resistant to negative thoughts, feelings, and choices. Moonstone helps us to feel more creative and intuitive.”

Rose quartz carries the frequency of love. And honestly, once you have that, everything else just melts away. It takes you out of the humanly hardness: anger, resentment, fear — all of that washes away with the love frequency. So it's a really beautiful stone and it helps someone be the apex of who they are, who they can be.”

Lepidolite is a lilac-gray or rose-colored stone, which Young refers to as the Xanax of the mineral kingdom. “It carries lithium in it, so it actually has this physically but also emotionally soothing energy,” she says. “Any anxiety, tension, bubbles of fear, [or] whatever it is that’s showing up, it just helps completely keep you and your shoulders relaxed. It's one that everybody needs, regardless of how stressed they are.”

Just remember that when buying starter crystals, making sure they come from ethically sourced, transparent sellers is essential. As Young recommends, do some research to see where the stone you are searching for naturally comes from, and crosscheck that information with the seller. Any reputable vendor should be able to provide you with the information about where the crystal came from and through what supply chain.

How Do You Care For Crystals?

While some opt to wait for a full moon to cleanse crystals, most people choose to clean their newly acquired crystals as soon as possible, to ensure maximum effectiveness. Most stones can be washed in a salt bath (with a ratio of one tablespoon to one cup of water) for 24 hours, but soluble crystals like selenite can be cleansed with smoke by smudging. In addition, you can cleanse crystals by using other cleansing crystals, such as selenite or quartz.

Susan Chu, holistic intuitive advisor of One Peace Sanctuary, recommends using sunlight and moonlight to respectively cleanse different crystals. “Typically, all black, clear, red, orange, and yellow color stones can be placed in the sunlight, whereas white, pink, green, blue, and purple stones can be placed in the moonlight,” she says. Salt baths, smoke, and light should be used to regenerate the properties of crystals approximately once a month.

Start your collection with just one or two crystals, and be sure to take care of them — then feel the good energy start flowing. All in all, Young emphasizes that the healing crystal journey shouldn’t feel like a hassle with all of the information out there. Instead, it should be about personal growth and enjoyment.

“I think that people get really intimidated when they see how many crystals are out there and how to use them and what to do with them,” Young says. “Enjoy the journey, the process, and how it unfolds for you in all the right timing. The universe is always on time, and you're learning that crystals have their way and you’re experiencing them at exactly the right time. So just enjoy the process of it! There's so much to learn.”

Experts:

Patricia Bankins, founder of The Crystal Matrix Healing & Learning Center

Krista Mitchell, crystal reiki master teacher of Rock Whisperer NYC

Madison Young, owner of Open Eye Crystals and the Ace of Cups club

Alana Gordon, Crystal Rock NY

Nicole Dantzler, certified crystal healer of Sacred Healing NYC

Susan Chu, holistic intuitive advisor of One Peace Sanctuary

This article was originally published on