Crystals have been in the lime-light ever since celebrities such as Shirley Mcleane and Cher have come out of the closet and admitted they were "New-Agers". However, along with this public scrutiny, has also been a whole bunch of misconceptions. The most common of which is that a person just wears a crystal like jewelry or carries it and it works like some kind of instant stage-magic or prestidigitation. This, of course, is not the case. To get the full effect of "Crystal Power" in your life means, as with so much else, that you must put into it what you take out of it. So here are a few simple guidelines for those of you who plan on taking this subject seriously.
Selecting your Crystal
To select a Crystal is not all that much different from selecting a pet or a work of art. When you go into the store to purchase your crystal - or any other stone used in healing or Psychic work - just pick the one that "calls" to you. Handle the various stones and place them, one by one, in your receptive hand. (the one that is not your dominant hand; if you are right-handed or ambi-dextrous, your receptive hand is your left. If you are completely left-handed your receptive hand is your right.) The stone that is right FOR YOU will "pull" you to it. This may not be the stone that looks the clearest or the most impressive, either. Our societies materialistic values and our conditioning to accept them must not enter into our decision, which is very hard for most of us at first. Our first tendency is to judge the stone -as we always judge ourselves and everything else in a constant stream of thoughts- by what we have been conditioned to believe is "good" or "bad".
If the piece you are choosing is for a specific purpose; i.e. for healing, or to enhance your psychic abilities, or for meditation; it will help if you keep that purpose in mind while you are selecting the stone. An interesting phenomena often happens to people who are just going into the gem and mineral healing or psychic work. Most people start off with clear quartz, because it has the most applications. They go into a store or a gem show to purchase a clear quartz and find themselves drawn to all kinds of other "rocks" (as the collectors call them) too. Many times they bring a bag of various mineral specimens home with them. Later they look up the stones in one of the many reference books on this subject, only to find the stones they were drawn to are exactly the ones they need to deal with issues or illnesses that they need to work on.
The very first thing you need to do when you first get a crystal is to "clear it" from the imbalanced energies of anyone else who has touched it. Crystals "work" because of their piezoelectrical field.
Researchers in Kirlian photography and other subjects have long shown us that the body is surrounded by a field of electromagnetic energies, which psychics call the AURA. People who have studied this subject tell us that Crystals help us by attuning their piezoelectrical charge to the charge of our auras. So we must first remove the charges from the stone that come from other's handling of it. This is done by leaving the stone in sea-salt (available at almost any health-food store) for 3 days. The only time you will have to use this technique - which is drastic - to cleanse the stone is when you first buy it. The reason I say the technique is drastic is because it erases ALL of your energy from the stone too, so the stone has to be rebonded. (explained later) This piezoelectrical effect of the stone is the same reason that quartz is useful in making computers, telephones, watches, and in other electronic devices.
The regular maintenance of your stone
The regular care and maintenance of your stone is really quite simple. First of all a gentler method of clearing the piece should be used at least once a week and after any uses in either physical or inner (mental/emotional/spiritual) healing work. This can be done in several ways. First of all, you can run it under COOL - no extremes of temperature PLEASE - water in your sink for several minutes, while visualizing (intensely imagining in vivid detail, from a meditative or extremely relaxed state) all imbalanced energies leaving it. You can also leave it in mugwort (an herb) for 2-3 days buried it in carefully. You can also place it in a flowerpot with an african violet plant, but you should know that if it has been used to heal any severe conditions, the plant will die. The stones should also be re-charged about once a month or after every use. For other stones, direct sunlight is not such a good idea as it can fade the colors.
You can get the reflected energy of the sun by placing them in the moonlight during the waxing of the moon. (from one day after the new moon through the night of the full moon) They can also be charged by surrounding them in a circle of quartz points that have been charged by the sun, with the points of the crystals facing inward toward the stones being charged. Another method is to purchase an amethyst or quartz cluster and place the stones on it. A cluster is a specimen with several individual crystals on it. Oh, and if you charge the stone by a circle of crystals, be sure they have been cleared and charged themselves before using them to charge anything else. The circle should consist of at least 4 points, but 8 is best. These stones used for charging do NOT have to be large at all.
Using your stones
Stones are tools in our psychic work and, as in any other object used, work by focusing the mind's powers. To get the best use out of them, more than just wearing them or carrying them is required. They should be used from a state of meditation, while visualizing the goals we wish to accomplish with them - such as healing, increased Psychic perception, etc. A good way to do this for to help you focus and a self-hypnosis tape that relates to your goals and use it. And if you are using the crystals in healing, be aware that they are NOT meant to replace the care of a competent health professional - but many people find them a useful adjunct to it.