Crystals 101: A Guide to Choosing Crystals & Working with Crystal Energy

Crystals 101: A Guide to Choosing Crystals & Working with Crystal Energy

by Andrea Pacini April 21, 2020 1 Comment

Are you curious about crystals but don't know where to start? Due to the wealth of information, this can definitely be an overwhelming topic. If I had to give one piece of advice, it would be to simply have fun with it. First and foremost, crystals are beautiful - something about the sun shining on a crystal refracting rainbow streams of light is enough to brighten a mood. Crystals are captivating; they're harvested from volcanoes, mountains, lakes and forests - some have been embedded in the earth for 3 billion+ years! I love to let my mind ponder all of the secrets and wisdom they must hold. One thing is certain with this topic - the learning never ends! I've accepted the fact that I will never know everything about every crystal on earth and that's part of the fun for me. Crystals are like my most fascinating friends who reveal something new and unexpected with every conversation.

Before diving any deeper, first let's start with why and how crystals work.

Crystals vibrate at a much higher frequency than the human body so working with them can bring us into a state of homeostatis and balance much more quickly than we can on our own. Clear quartz crystal, which comprises twelve percent of the Earth's crust, vibrates at a rate of 32768 Hz vs. the average human's vibration of 5 to 10 Hz. The piezoelectric effect proves that crystals can change forms of energy which is why they're used in everything from LCD televisions, computers, cell phones and watches to medical devices and spark plugs. I believe that if crystals can conduct and convert electrical energy to mechanical energy, they can certainly influence human energy as well.

I've been drawn to crystals my entire life - my most prized childhood possession was a small amethyst grape cluster that my mom allowed me to buy on a field trip to a gem and mineral store in the 4th grade. I've worked with them continuously - mostly turquoise pieces (my birthstone) that my mom collected during her time in the American Southwest. I'll never forget a bit of wisdom imparted to her by a Navajo artisan in New Mexico, "when you notice a new crack in your turquoise, that means it's taken a hit for you and has protected you from something worse."

But my greatest anecdote regarding the power of crystal healing involves my husband who has been a Type 1, insulin-dependent diabetic for 47 years. Due to his decreased circulation capacity, weakened immune system, and compromised organ function, energy in his body becomes quickly stagnated. Within 20 minutes of laying crystals on him, all of his energy systems and their corresponding glands and organs pep right up and resume healthy and vibrant energy flow. He reports improved glucose readings, better sleep and mental clarity after each session.

This type of energy work is not new. Crystals and precious gems have a long and rich history, most frequently used in healing rituals and burials. Famously used and revered by Egyptian & Persian royalty, ancient Greek and Roman empires and Native Americans, every civilization before us recognized their ability to heal, interact with and influence human energy.

Crystal History 101

  • Several crystals including jasper, amethyst, clear quartz, emerald, sardonyx (carnelian) and sapphire (lapis lazuli) are mentioned in the Bible (see Exodus Chapter 3, Ezekiel Chapter 27 and Revelations Chapter 21).
  • Greek soldiers rubbed crushed hematite on their bodies before battle because they recognized its ability to impart a sense of protection and increased strength and focus.
  • Roman soldiers carried Tiger's Eye for protection in battle. Romans also used crystals in medical treatments, to enhance health and attract wealth.
  • Greeks lined their stone goblets with amethyst (derived from "not drunken" in Greek) after noticing that this crystal helped lessen the symptoms of hangovers.
  • Ancient Indian Aryuvedic texts and the Hindu Vedas both reference crystal healing and the ability of certain crystals to alleviate specific physical ailments.
  • Mayans, Aztecs and Incans used crystals to treat disease and perform spiritual divination rituals.
  • Crystals were used extensively in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese emperors were buried in Jade armor.
  • Crushed Lapis Lazuli, known as ultramarine - once more valuable than gold, has an iconic reputation in the art world and has been used to paint some of the world's most recognizable pieces of art such as Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring, Bellini's Madonna & Child, Annunciation by Leondardo da Vinci and the Holy Family by Michaelangelo. Lapis was also discovered in Eqyptian tomb paintings and 6th and 7th century AD Afghanistani caves.
  • Amethyst bracelets, anklets and scarabs were discovered in the burial tombs of Egyptian royalty, including King Tut. Egyptian royalty were also buried with clear quartz crystals on their forehead (which activates the 3rd eye and crown chakras) and used ground malachite and lapis as eyeshadow.
  • Native Americans interacted regularly with crystals in daily life - most frequently using clear quartz for spiritual connection, turquoise for protection and black obsidian for weapon-making.

Crystal Colors & Their Respective Properties

This list is intended to be a general rule of thumb and does not address the unique and subtle properties of each crystal - what's always most important is how a crystal resonates with you and your unique energy field.

Black crystals such as shungite, obsidian, onyx, jet, black kyanite and tourmaline absorb, protect, dissolve and transmute negative energy.

Brown crystals like smoky quartz and petrified wood facilitate connection to the earth and the physical body.

Red crystals like red jasper and bloodstone increase strength, energy and vitality.

Orange crystals such as carnelian, fire quartz, peach moonstone and orange calcite stimulate creativity, joy and passion.

Yellow crystals like citrine, honey calcite and golden quartz energize, motivate and boost confidence.

Green crystals such as emerald, green aventurine, jade, and moss agate improve connection to nature, growth, abundance & love.

Pink crystals like rose quartz, rhodonite and rhodochrosite enhance feelings of love, compassion and kindness.

Blue crystals like turquoise, larimar, sodalite, lapis and blue kyanite promote focus, clear speech, expression and wisdom.

Purple crystals like amethyst, fluorite, charoite, ametrine and kunzite encourage imagination, spiritual connection & intuition.

White crystals like selenite, opalite & scolecite cleanse, calm and balance.

Clear crystals amplify energy or intention.

 Click here to view more crystals and to order your own customized set!

Rainbow Aura Quartz Cluster

Crystal Shapes: What They Mean

You may have noticed that crystals come in all shapes and sizes, each one possessing different meaning.

Clusters transmute, protect, uplift and harmonize energy. They emit a soft, gentle, radiating energy to promote spiritual connection and balance.

Cubed or square crystals work with the energies of the root chakra to connect you to the energy of the earth and to ground, balance and stabilize.

Double Terminated points absorb, amplify and emit energy from both ends, making them excellent tools for energetic cleansing. Used as a bridge between two things, double terminated pieces help restore flow to life, break up stagnation and assist with transitions.

Elestials have natural terminations within a layered crystal which work on a deeper level to promote transformation, healing, connection to highest self and positive change.

Eggs represent transformation, renewal, fertility & new beginnings.

Heart-shaped crystals represent love and correspond to the heart chakra. Hearts can heal emotional wounds, increase self-confidence, inspire self-love, attract new love or bring loving energies to existing relationships.

Palm Stones are designed to fit into your hand and are perfect to keep in your pocket as a touchstone or to hold while meditating.

Points or towers amplify energy and intention. Placed in the center of a grid or the corners of your space, they are used to raise vibration and focus intention.

Pyramids anchor into earth energies while also directing energy out of the top point. Used for grounding, protection, energy amplification and to raise vibration.

Spheres are associated with the Third Eye chakra and the earth, moon and planets. They radiate energy smoothly and evenly in all directions. Spheres can neutralize imbalanced energies and are used to increase intuition.

Spirit Quartz amplifies the energy of the main stone through its tiny points. Each point reflects light promoting alignment, harmony and radiance.

Tumbled crystals radiate energy in all directions and can be carried, placed around your home or office, used in grids or placed directly on the body.

An opalite heart at sunrise

 How to Use Your Crystals

You've got your crystal, now what?

There are several ways to work with your crystal energy.

  • Keep them close to your body, either in a pocket, purse or your bra. When I have a public speaking engagement, I keep a piece of larimar in my bra as this crystal really resonates with me and helps integrate my energy, making it easier for me to focus my communication in a clear and calm way.
  • Sleep with them under your pillow or keep close on the nightstand. This works best with crystals that emit a soft, gentle energy such as rose quartz, angelite, celestite, lepidolite, selenite and scolecite (I would not recommend keeping an energizing crystal such as carnelian near your head or bed when trying to sleep).
  • Use them in prayer and meditation. I place a clear quartz point on the space between my eyes (the 3rd eye) every morning to help promote mental clarity, intuition and balance. I also keep them close during my morning devotional and prayers. Their soothing energy enhances my sense of peace and alignment.
  • Absorb ElectroMagneticFrequency (EMF) radiation. Shungite is the most powerful crystal for combating EMF exposure as it absorbs harmful EMFs. I have a shungite button on both of my cell phones and keep one on my laptop and modem. Shop my EMF protection set here.
  • Crystal healing. Placing crystals at their corresponding energy centers, or chakras - on the body can help restore balance and energetic flow to areas that may be blocked. Check my chakra-specific healing sets here or here.
  • Decoration. I have a citrine cluster by the front door for good luck, a rose quartz tower next to the bed and crystal bookends and bowls throughout the house.
  • Take them to yoga. I like to keep a few crystals on the corner of my yoga mat while I practice. I feel this "charges" my practice (and my mat), and I love placing a crystal over my heart in savasana.
  • Grid. Crystal gridding is a form of art therapy in which one arranges crystals, flowers, twigs, seashells or other organic elements into a shape to help magnify the power of an intention. I don't grid often, but when I do I like to place a written intention under the center stone.

My Crystal Grid to Welcome Spring

How To Clean Your Crystals

  • Place on a windowsill & let them bathe in the light of the Full Moon (this also works one night before and one night after the moon is full)
  • Cleanse with sage, sweetgrass or Palo Santo smoke
  • Set on a Selenite plate or bowl. (Shop selenite charging stations here).
  • Crystals can also be cleansed in the sun, salt, water or dirt - but some crystals don't like these elements and will either rust or dissipate with water or fade in the sun. The first three cleansing methods are safest, but always research the best ways to cleanse your particular crystal to avoid damaging it.

How to Program Your Crystals

  • Crystals are believed to hold energies, thoughts and information.
  • Work with your crystals’ natural properties (e.g. citrine for abundance, rose quartz for love etc.)
  • After cleansing, hold your crystal and state either out loud or to yourself “I program this crystal to help assist with (state your intention here). Please work to my highest good.”
  • You can reprogram your crystal anytime, just cleanse then infuse it with a new intention.

Which Crystals Should I Start With?

I don't believe that one size fits all when it comes to crystals as each will interact differently with your unique energetic field. I am personally very drawn to quartz crystals and probably consistently use these most often.

My current most frequently used crystals are:

  • shungite for EMF protection
  • larimar for clarity of thought and speech
  • clear quartz for alignment
  • smoky quartz for dissolving resistance and negative energy
  • cherry quartz for heart opening self-love support
  • labradorite for increased intuition
  • obsidian for drawing out mental stress
  • turquoise because it feels like home
  • kunzite for unconditional love
  • hematite for grounding and concentration
  • ametrine for joy
  • amazonite for balance
  • fluorite for mental focus 
  • green and orange calcite to enhance love, passion and creativity
  • bumbleebee jasper for confidence and motivation
  • astrophyllite for a feeling of limitlessness
  • amber for healing

The crystals you are drawn to will naturally change given your circumstances and evolution in life. As your interests shift and evolve, so will your crystal collection.

How To Choose the Right Crystal for Me

Don't overthink it!

I usually just tell people to go with their very first instinct. The color, shape or energy that is calling to you most loudly will most likely be the perfect stone for you.

Another way to choose is to lay out potential crystals and close you eyes, slowly moving your hand over each one. Observe any sensation that arises - this could be tingling or waves of heat or cold or just a "knowing." Wherever you feel the strongest pull of sensation is where you should stop and open your eyes - the crystal beneath your hand is the one for you.

What's your favorite type of crystal? What shapes and colors are you most drawn to?

Andrea Pacini
Andrea Pacini


1 Response

kasey millington
kasey millington

May 05, 2021

Love this! Thank you for sharing!

Leave a comment

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