Crystal cleansing is a deeply personal practice that allows you to connect with the energy of your crystals in a meaningful way. Crystals are more than just beautiful objects; they're powerful catalysts for connecting with your intuition and spirituality. But, they can accumulate negative energy over time, diminishing their effectiveness. That's where crystal cleansing comes in! Crystal cleansing is a ritualistic practice that purifies your crystals, bringing them back to their natural state of energy and power.
Whether we're looking to release negative energy, cultivate positive vibes, or simply deepen your spiritual connection, cleansing your crystals can be a powerful tool for transformation and growth. With its rich history and ancient roots, it's a time-honored ritual that can enrich you energetically and spiritually.
In fact, performing any ritual is deeply symbolic. Rituals help to connect you with your higher self in a way that's often difficult in our fast-paced modern world. Rituals like crystal cleansing provide a safe space for you to reflect on your values, beliefs, and desires, and to align your actions with your innermost intentions. I like to incorporate my crystal cleansing ritual into my self care Sunday time.
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What's The Difference Between Cleansing & Charging Crystals?
Although people often use the terms interchangeably, it's important to note that cleansing and charging crystals are actually two distinct processes.
Cleansing crystals refers to the process of removing any negative or unwanted energies that they may have accumulated. Charging crystals, on the other hand, refers to the process of giving your crystal an energy boost, usually with the intention of amplifying its natural properties or enhancing its ability to work with your energy.
In this article we'll focus specifically on how to cleanse your crystals. If you need more information on charging crystals, have a look at my post on charging crystals, which will give you all the information you need on that process as well.
When Should You Cleanse Your Crystals?
Firstly, you should always cleanse a crystal that you've just acquired. Crystals have the ability to absorb and store energy, which means that it's possible that your crystal came into contact with negative energy prior to your ownership. You'll definitely want to cleanse it to give it a fresh start with its new owner (that's you!)
It's also a good idea to cleanse a crystal that you've used in any form of healing work. Examples of healing work where you might use crystals include Reiki healing, sound healing, feng shui or chakra balancing. In general, always clear and cleanse crystals that have been used on other people in any healing modality.
Next, it's a good idea to cleanse any crystal that's been used as an aid in divination practices such as tarot readings or shamanic journeying, particularly if you were performing divination for another person. If you're making a crystal grid, you'll definitely want to cleanse them before placing them in your grid.
I like to cleanse my crystals any time they are touched by another person. Crystals readily absorb energy. After all, that's their job! You want to be sure that your crystal is free from any toxic or negative energy that it may have absorbed doing its healing work.
You should always let your intuition guide you, but here's a few signs that your crystal may need to be cleansed:
- It feels heavy or dull
- Your crystal feels less effective, or it's not working as well as it used to
- It feels unusually hot or cold to the touch
- Your crystal has a cloudy or hazy appearance
- You feel uncomfortable or uneasy when holding it
How To Cleanse Crystals
There's a certain magic in the process of crystal cleansing - a sense of transformation and renewal that leaves you feeling lighter, clearer, and more in tune with the natural world, and your crystal.
Sometimes, you can intuitively feel the weight of all the negative energy your crystal has absorbed - that's when you know it's time to give it a fresh start by clearing any negative energy it's still holding onto.
In this article, we'll cover the following crystal cleansing methods:
**There are other methods as well, but these methods are the most effective and accessible.
Smudging is the sacred ritual of purifying, or energetically cleansing, your environment by burning particular herbs or resins. It's a practice that dates back thousands of years and has been widely adopted by many cultures throughout history. Among these, Native Americans are perhaps the most well-known for their use of smudging in spiritual ceremonies.
A Native American smudging ceremony typically involves burning sacred herbs, such as sage, cedar, sweet grass, or tobacco, in a shell or bowl. The burning herbs release smoke that dispels negative energy, purifying the mind, body, and spirit.
As part of the smudging ceremony, the person leading it often uses a feather or their hands to waft the smoke over themselves or others, cleansing and blessing them. Additionally, they may direct the smoke towards the four directions (north, south, east, and west) to symbolize the connection to the elements and the four stages of life (infancy, childhood, adulthood, and old age).
***Please note: smudging ceremonies are a sacred traditional practice that should be approached with reverence! If you're interested in participating in a smudging ceremony, please seek guidance and permission from a Native American spiritual leader or elder.
You don't need to conduct a traditional smudging ceremony to cleanse crystals, and I'd advise you against it. I'm simply providing this information for context.
What we can do though, is to use the inherent properties of sacred herbs and resins as tools for crystal cleansing. There's quite a few herbs you can work with, but in this article we'll focus on the most accessible , which are incense, sage and Palo Santo.
To cleanse your crystal with incense, first choose an incense that aligns with your intentions. We'll cover the use of sage and Palo Santo separately, but other choices might include frankincense or sandalwood.
Light your incense, letting it burn for a few seconds. Next, blow out the flame; your incense should be smoldering and producing smoke.
Now, move the incense around your crystal, allowing the smoke to envelop it. While doing this, visualize the smoke lifting away any negative or stagnant energy from your crystal, leaving it cleansed and purified.
Extinguish the incense once you intuitively feel that the crystal's cleansed. That's it! You've cleansed your crystal with incense.
Cleansing crystals with sage is possibly the most well known method. Before, telling you how it's done, I'd like to note that there's growing concern that the widespread commercialization and appropriation of the practice of burning white sage (Salvia apiana) has led to over-harvesting and depletion of wild populations. This is due to the increasing demand for sage as its use spreads beyond Indigenous communities and into the mainstream.
Over-harvesting of white sage, which is native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, can have negative ecological impacts, disrupting the natural balance of plant and animal communities and degrading soil quality. In addition, many Indigenous people view the commercialization and appropriation of sage as a form of cultural misappropriation that's disrespectful to their culture and traditions.
Although white sage is not currently classified as an endangered species, over-harvesting has significantly affected its wild populations. Therefore, it's crucial to consider utilizing alternative plants that can be harvested sustainably. Please obtain sage through ethical sources that support Indigenous communities.
Some alternatives to white sage that can be used for smudging include desert sage (Artemisia tridentata), juniper (Juniperus spp.), sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata), and cedar (Thuja spp.). It's important to research and obtain these plants from reputable sources and to use them respectfully in the context of the cultural traditions from which they come!
Ok, enough said! To cleanse your crystal with sage, light a sage smudge stick or loose leaves and let the smoke flow over the crystal. Visualize releasing any negative energy and replacing it with positive energy. Continue the process until you intuitively sense that your crystal has been purified.
Related Post: Palo Santo Vs Sage - Understanding Sacred Smoke
Palo Santo is a type of wood that's traditionally used for spiritual and medicinal purposes in South and Central America. You can buy it as raw wood (see photo above) or as incense sticks to use in your crystal cleansing practice.
For centuries, Indigenous peoples of South and Central America have revered Palo Santo for its spiritual benefits. Traditional ceremonies often employ Palo Santo as a spiritual tool, aimed at dispelling negative energy and fostering spiritual equilibrium. Moreover, it enhances meditation practices and heightens intuition.
To use Palo Santo for crystal cleansing, light a stick of wood and let the smoke drift over your crystal. Hold the crystal in one hand and the lit Palo Santo stick in the other. Allow the smoke to surround your crystal. Focus your intention on cleansing and releasing any negative energy. Repeat the process until you feel that the crystal has been cleansed.
***It's important to always use Palo Santo mindfully and respectfully, and to source it from ethical and sustainable suppliers.
Next, let's have a look at one of the most tools for crystal cleansing (and my personal favorite) - salt!
Many ancient cultures believed that salt had purifying and cleansing properties. The Greeks, Romans, and Native Americans have all incorporated salt into their rituals and ceremonies to ward off evil spirits and dispel negative energy. The use of salt for protection is still prevalent in many spiritual and religious practices today. For instance, Hindus believe that salt has the ability to absorb negative energy and purify one's environment.
Cleansing Crystals With Salt
So how can you incorporate salt's incredible ability to absorb toxins and negativity into your crystal cleansing rituals? Here's how:
- Choose a container that's safe to use with salt and is large enough to hold your crystal. A glass or ceramic bowl is a good choice.
- Pour enough salt into the container to create a layer at the bottom that's about 1-2 inches deep. You can use any type of salt, such as sea salt or Himalayan salt. It's my personal preference to use organic salt for crystal cleansing for obvious reasons.
- Dig a little hole in the salt and put your crystal in it. Make sure that it's completely covered by the salt.
- Leave your crystal in the salt for at least a few hours, ideally overnight. Some people prefer to leave it for several days. Let your intuition guide you.
- Remove the crystal from the salt and rinse it under running water to remove any remaining salt.
- Dry the crystal with a soft cloth. You've cleansed your crystal with salt!
Note: Some crystals can be damaged or scratched by salt. Examples include crystals that are water-soluble, such as selenite or halite, and some crystals that contain metals, such as malachite or pyrite. It's always a good idea to research your specific crystal and its properties before trying this method of crystal cleansing. Use your best judgment!
Cleansing crystals with water is simple, quick and effective.
Simply holding your crystal under cool running water (like a faucet or a natural stream) is a surprisingly effective way to clear it of negative energy. Be sure to visualize any negative or stagnant energy washing away with the water. Afterward, pat your crystal dry.
Another way to use water to cleanse your crystals is by creating a saltwater solution. For more on the power of salt to cleanse, see above. Simply mix warm water and salt in a bowl and then submerge your crystal in the solution. After a few hours, or ideally overnight, rinse your crystal thoroughly under running water and pat it dry.
You can also immerse your crystal in a bowl of clean, purified water. Let it soak for a few hours to overnight. This method is particularly effective for cleansing crystals that are water-safe, such as quartz or amethyst.
Lastly, leaving your crystal outside during a light rain shower or a gentle drizzle can naturally cleanse and recharge it with the energy of nature.
Not all crystals can be cleansed with water, so please research your specific crystal and its properties before trying this method. Some crystals, such as selenite or halite, can be damaged by water. As always, use your best judgment!
Using Selenite For Crystal Cleansing
Did you know that you can actually cleanse your crystals using another crystal? You can, and that crystal is called selenite!
You can buy selenite in a slab, bowl or wand. To use this powerful crystal in your cleansing ritual, all you need to do is to place your crystals near or on the selenite. Leave them to sit undisturbed for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. The selenite will absorb any negative energy from your crystal and charge it with positive energy. Your crystals will feel lighter and more energized.
Frequently Asked Questions
To cleanse a rose quartz crystal, there are several methods you can use. One way is to place the crystal in a bowl of salt water and let it soak for several hours. Another method is to smudge the crystal with sage or palo santo. You can also place the crystal in direct sunlight or moonlight for a few hours to recharge its energy.
Malachite is a sensitive stone that should be cleansed gently to avoid damaging it. You can smudge malachite with sage or palo santo, or place it in a bowl of dry sea salt for several hours. It's important to avoid using water or other liquids to cleanse malachite, as it's a porous stone that can be damaged by moisture.
Clear quartz is a powerful crystal that can be cleansed using several methods. One way is to place the crystal in a bowl of dry sea salt for several hours, or overnight. Another method is to smudge the crystal with sage or palo santo. You can also place the crystal in direct sunlight or moonlight for a few hours to recharge its energy.