How to Charge Your Crystals with Intention
Plus why their sourcing matters.
In recent years, the popularity of crystal healing has gone mainstream, but the metaphysical attributes of gemstones have been honored for centuries and across vast cultures. Known for having high-frequency energy fields, which are attributed to their highly ordered molecular states at the microscopic level, crystals are used therapeutically to help people initiate pro-wellness shifts into high vibe states.
By understanding the nuanced energetics of different crystals, their etheric natures can be harnessed in pursuit of a range of wellness goals — from physical and mental health to spiritual connectedness, to outward manifestation. But in spite of their beautiful appearance, it’s time to rē-examine an unsettling problem that lurks behind the sourcing of these spiritual tools. Crystals possess highly programmable natures, which essentially means that they can be energetically imprinted by the energy they are exposed to — both intentionally and not. Keep reading to learn more about intentionally programming your crystals to achieve your wellness goals, and on the other hand, the importance of ensuring your crystals are sourced ethically.
Programming Your Crystals
A vast crystal collection can make it feel like the metaphysical world is at your fingertips. But selecting the next crystal you add to your collection is just the first step. To truly harness their etheric potential, you must solidify your intentions ritualistically in a process called programming your crystal. “To program a crystal is to imprint your energy and intention onto the stone,” Corbin Chamberlin, Energy Advisor and founder of Sage and Salt, tells rē•spin. “Think of it as set-up: willing it to perform a specific duty, or to call in a particular energy.”
We like to think of it as forming a rapport or bond with your sparkling wellness tool — sure, it’s a rock, but it’s also an ally accompanying you on your journey to self-actualization. As Ambi Kavanagh, founder of Alchemy with Ambi, describes it, you are activating your crystal with intention. “One can do this with guided meditation, using your intention, and visualization. For example, you may want to program a piece of citrine or pyrite (both powerful for manifesting) with your intention to bring abundance into your life,” Kavanagh explains. “You just need to be clear on your intention and get specific. Add the caveat that it is for your highest good and the greater good of all.”
As Quantum Sound and Energy Healer Andrea Donnelly points out, taking this special time to connect with your new piece of the earth is itself therapeutic. For instance, if you are feeling tired or stuck on a work project, she recommends reaching for opal or labradorite for a boost of inspiration. “Get up from your desk and go chill with your stones for a few minutes outside,” Donnelly says. “It’ll bring you back to center and help you get unstuck.”
Sourcing Your Crystal
It is wonderful that more minds are being opened to the wonders of crystals, but unfortunately, with the increase in demand has come the risk of purchasing unethically-sourced crystals. This speaks to potential harm done to workers (i.e., labor conditions, child labor) and the earth itself in the mining and acquisition of resale crystals, but also their efficacy. “If you’re purchasing crystals with the intention of utilizing their energy, it’s vital to keep in mind where and how they were sourced,” says Chamberlain, who personally visits the mines from which he purchases crystals in order to ensure the ethical treatment of all involved. “You can’t expect a stone to change your vibe if it originated from a harmful situation like unfair labor or mining-practices that harm the earth. You simply can’t overlook bad energy.”
To understand why, think of it in terms of how your own energy operates more efficiently and clearly when you are not burdened. “When you are energetically clear it enhances and increases your creative flow [because] you are not muddy with energies that aren’t yours; so, you’re able to hear the whispers of your own heart more clearly,” Donnelly describes. The same principle is at work when it comes to your crystals. It is because of their highly programmable qualities — the very same ones that make them susceptible to being programmed by our intentions — they can absorb a multitude of outside energies before ending up in your hands.
Utilizing a gemstone for wellness is antithetical if it comes at the cost of the wellness of others, including that of the earth. “It defeats the purpose if we purchase an unethical crystal — one that has been mined under questionable environmental or labor conditions,” Kavanagh explains. “That energy will have been impacted by the means in which the crystal came into our hands, even if we are unaware of the process and journey that crystal has been on.” It is because of the politics behind crystal acquisition that conscious resale is so important — and why certain crystals are so pricy.
Clearing Your Crystals
If you are worried that a crystal in your collection might have picked up negative energies along the way, rest assured you can clear it. One way is to periodically cleanse and clear your crystals using a selenite wand, dish, or plate. “Selenite is incredibly clearing,” says Donnelly, adding that this clearing process will amplify their energy. (Incidentally, as it is currently Breast Cancer Awareness month, she notes that selenite is a wonderful pick to promote breast health. “Selenite is powerful for breast health because breasts help us clear toxins through our lymphatic system, and selenite keeps things so clear and free of [misalignment].” If you are one of the many women that like to stash crystals in your bra, she also recommends a piece of Lemurian quartz.)
Others prefer to charge their crystals under sunlight and moonlight — particularly around the New or Full moon (although typically not the chaotic energy of eclipses). “I personally like to give my crystals a little salt bath outdoors and leave them out in the moonlight and then the sunlight,” Kavanagh says. “I then conduct a [smoke cleansing] ceremony with some white sage [and] finish off by giving the crystal a little reiki energy.” The rē•spin way to curate crystals truly comes down to quality over quantity: consciously sourcing your crystals to put the value of wellness into action, programming them with your intentions for your highest good, and caring for them with periodic cleanses. After all, these are pieces of the earth.