A guide on how to charge crystals so that you can keep negative energy at bay and harness crystal healing
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words Ella Glover
If the terms ‘birth chart’, ‘the law of attraction’ and ‘how to charge your crystals’ mean nothing to you, where have you been? New age spirituality is hard to escape right now, and has been for years. In fact, collecting crystals and attending regular tarot readings have become staple practices among young people.
Last year, a survey of 10,000 young people aged 13-25 found that the majority of us are less likely to identify as religious, with a quarter (24 percent) labelling themselves agnostic. Of those, almost two thirds considered themselves to be spiritual – and crystals have a huge part to play in this. In fact, the #Crystals tag on TikTok currently has 14 billion views.
Crystals for healing have been used by many cultures for centuries and are thought to give off vibrations that interact with the body’s energy field, bringing it into alignment. But, in order to work to their full potential, crystals need to be cleansed and charged regularly.
How to charge crystals
As Emma Lucy Knowles, an energy worker, healer and author of The Power of Crystal Healing, explains: “Just like us, crystals need to keep a certain level of hygiene to keep them optimised.” She tells Woo that crystals can become “full,” just like our minds or phone memory. “Remember, these beauties, alongside charging and aligning our vibe, are also absorbers and transmutes of negative or low vibing energies and they need to reset, re-align to move back into their soft and gentle flow.” If your crystals aren’t regularly charged, she adds, their powers will become dull or muted.
Before charging your crystals, they need to be cleansed of any negative energy they’ve taken up, so the two practices go hand in hand, and there are a number of ways you can do this.
How long should you charge crystals?
How long you spend charging your crystals will depend on how often you do it. And that will depend on how often you use your crystals. For example, Knowles says, if you’re using your crystals regularly, keeping them on your person and using them for a specific intention, you’re probably going to need to charge them more often.
Many people choose to do this monthly, using the moon cycle as a guide, but if you’ve been using a couple of yours particularly intensively, you might want to charge them more frequently. Equally, if you have crystals dotted around your home, “working in the background,” you might only need to cleanse them every quarter.
Knowles recommends cleansing and charging your crystals as soon as you get them home from the shop. “Remember,” she says, “they’ve passed through many a hand before they reached yours and every fingerprint leaves an energetic mark.” She also suggests cleansing them after friends and family have touched them, or if you’ve used them on a friend or, in Knowles’ case, a client.
As a general rule, Knowles says crystals should be cleansed for around an hour (although you can spend more time if you think it's necessary) and charged for at least 12 hours throughout the night. If you’re charging them in sunlight, for example, you want to leave them during the day and the night. If it’s moonlight, just nighttime will suffice.
How to cleanse crystals in water
You can use water purification to cleanse your crystals, although it's important to remember that submerging some crystals in water can dull their shine, aesthetically speaking, or even break them. Some examples include Fluorite, Black Tourmaline and Aquamarine, but make sure to do your research. Water purification is great for crystals that are more “house bound” and starting to gather dust, both internally and externally, says Knowles.
To cleanse your crystals in water, run them under a tap and rinse them through your hands, just like a waterfall. Or, run them a bath in your sink or in a bowl and allow them to soak. You don’t need to use any soap or detergents, but Knowles says you can add Himalayan salts for an “extra cleanse”.
Cleanse crystals using sage
As mentioned, not all crystals can be cleansed in water. Instead, Knowles recommends smudging them using white sage. Get yourself a white sage smudge stick and light it as instructed on the packaging, making sure to be very careful when using fire!
“Allow the smoke to pass gently over your crystal collection,” says Knowles. “Much like a sniffer dog trained to perfection, the smoke from the smudge stick will track the negativity and alleviate it.”
You can also use brown rice to soak up any negative energy out of those crystals that don’t take to water.
How to charge crystals in moonlight
The full moon is extremely significant in spirituality making it the perfect time to give your crystals a moon bath. “It’s pure magic how mamma moon removes the toxins from your charms and equally yourself,” says Knowles, who adds that it's her “go-to” cleansing and charging technique. “Even if you can’t see [the moon], her presence is more than felt and she has an incredibly special connection with crystals as she does with all things nature.”
Make sure to cleanse your crystals first. Then, simply lay them on a piece of natural fabric outside or on the windowsill, beneath the full moon which will draw out all of those negative vibes.
How to charge crystals in sunlight
Sunlight, says Knowles, fuels the world. “It fuels our very existence and for crystals that is no different – sunlight moves through and warms even the hardest materials.”
After cleansing, Knowles recommends moving your crystals outside so they can be further cleansed and fuelled by the sun’s rays. “If you do not have access to an outdoor space, the rays of the sun penetrating through your windowsill are equally as powerful,” she says. “It’s important to see just how the crystals twinkle after their sun kiss.”
How to charge crystals with candles
Charging your crystals in candlelight is ideal if you’re short on time or only need a “quick fix”.
“Think of it like plugging your phone in to top the battery up,” says Knowles. “If I’ve had a seemingly toxic day or I’ve been exposed to some unwanted or unexpected bad vibes I will always cross my crystal through the very tip of a candle flame.”
It’s important to note that you don’t need to hold your crystal too close to the candle, otherwise you risk burning off the “energetical dust”. Instead, pass it through once or twice and allow it to sit on a natural surface, cloth or even sand, soil or Himalayan salts to ground it. “This will allow it to settle and soak in the recharge,” says Knowles.
How to charge crystals with intention
Cleansing and charging crystals for the sole purpose of draining them of negative energy can be an intention in and of itself, but if you give them a job, says Knowles, this can be even more powerful. This could be anything from helping you to find peace, feel confident or find focus.
To do this, Knowles says you should simply sit with your crystal and talk to it, like you would a friend. “Say this is what I’m expecting you to do,” she says. “They work so much harder when they’ve got something to do – they’ll be more focused on the vibration of the energy that they're seeking to draw in and help you to let go.”
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