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How To Activate and Set Intentions with Crystals

It’s all about the energy.

From common crystals to rare minerals, all stones in the healing world are believed to have their own unique energies and vibrations that make them positive additions to your life in different aspects, be it helping to bring self-love, manifesting your dreams, or even helping you relax and sleep better. Part of crystal healing is understanding how you can get the most out of your relationship with your gemstones, which is why knowing how to activate crystals and set intentions with them is an essential part of the journey.

It’s important to note first, though, that you do not need to charge or activate a stone to bring out its vibrations and energy — those already exist within the crystal. “Its wisdom is ancient, inherent, and readily available for those willing to hear its message,” Susan Diamond, the owner of Moonstone Metaphysical and Serpent’s Kiss crystal shop and learning center, tells NYLON.

In fact, Diamond believes that the word “activate,” though commonly used in the crystal community, might be misleading. As she sees it, activating implies control on the human’s part and servitude on the part of the stones, but that simply isn’t the case in the relationship. “They are the wise old teachers, we are the students,” Diamond says. “That being said, we all benefit from being fed and getting rest, which leads to us having more energy. This is no different for stones and crystals.”

What activation really refers to is essentially feeding stones natural energy so that they may help you with manifestation, which is one of the most powerful ways to co-create and develop a connection with your crystals. “By activating it, really what you're trying to do is connect your energy with that crystal and that crystal’s energy,” explains Madison Young, the owner of Open Eye Crystals and the Ace of Cups club in Los Angeles. “It's to help you with your intention.”

Below, you’ll find all you need to know about how to activate crystals, as well as how to set intentions with crystals if you are just beginning to set out on your journey with healing stones or simply want to learn more.

What Does It Mean To Set Intentions With Crystals?

Setting intentions is a way to develop a more personal relationship with your crystals, as you are essentially letting the stone know exactly what you would like them to help you with, and that may change over time, which is why it is important to communicate it.

Every type of crystal is known for having certain natural properties that they possess and can thus support you in. However, they often possess multiple properties, and setting intentions helps “tunnel that energy into a specific goal and manifestation that you want to bring in,” according to Young.

For instance, Young explains, the stone carnelian is great for creativity, but it's also great for fertility. So if you are working with carnelian to help manifest confidence and your personal power, and not because you are trying to get pregnant, it’s helpful to communicate that intention with your crystal when you are activating it, or feeding it with natural energy.

Ways to Activate Crystals

Bathe Your Crystals In Sunlight Or Moonlight

According to Diamond, stones feed on light, which is the source of energy for all beings. Not all light, however, is the same, and certain stones benefit from a strong solar light while others need a softer indirect lunar light.

“A simple rule of thumb is: ‘solar stones’ are those of red, orange, yellow and gold colors that do well to feed on sunlight,” Diamond explains. “‘Lunar stones,’ those that are in the pink, purple, blue, green, and black ranges, benefit most from moonlight.” And clear crystals can be fed with both.

To reinvigorate your crystal with sunlight or moonlight, simply place it on a window or outside at the appropriate time of day. And be mindful of how your types of crystals react to sunlight, as some stones — many of the lunar stones — may actually fade in sunlight.

Use A Crystal Grid

A crystal grid is essentially an arrangement of robust, energetically aligned crystals — such as — to surround another stone with. Encircled by the crystals’ energy, the stone in the center will absorb the frequencies of the other stones and be fed, or activated, with whatever specific intention you designed the geometric grid to have, so you will want to choose crystals that have the properties that coincide with your intention, such as malachite for self-love or kyanite for communication. Altogether, a crystal grid combines energies of the surrounding crystals in a synergistic way to feed the center stone.

Prayer or Meditation

Overlapping with the setting of intentions with your crystals, prayer and meditation will help to lend your crystals some energy through purposeful interaction. “You can make it as ritualistic or simple as you'd like,” says Young. “Setting your intention and your connection with your crystal is as unique as a thumbprint.”

Young, for example, will activate and set intentions with one of her stones by holding it in her non-dominant, receptive hand and asking it to take up space and help her in her power, or whatever it may be that she intends to manifest. “And it can be as simple as that,” says Young, “holding it, breathing, connecting with its energy, and viewing it in your mind's eye.”

There is no one blueprint for how to feed a crystal through prayer, either. Some people may write down their intentions on a piece of paper or meditate with a crystal, holding it at their third eye or heart center. What matters is that you focus on infusing it with pure energy emanating from your being.

There are many ways to go about activating your crystals with natural energy and setting your intentions, and no one way is the right or wrong way to go about doing it. What matters most is that you do what feels best for the symbiotic relationship you have with your crystals and you respect the healing process and journey.