On Working With Stones
When I was a little girl, we would go and visit my grandma in Oregon. This wasn’t the lush, wet, green that you might picture when you think of cities like Portland. This was the dry, rattlesnake desert of Central Oregon. The summers were hot, and my grandma had a cactus garden (as well as a prolific strawberry patch). My grandpa and his coworkers would catch rattlesnakes and collect their rattles.
There was a stone quarry not too far away where they sold all sorts of rocks, including geodes and nodules that you could crack open, or have them slice open for you (a geode is a rock with crystals inside, and a nodule is a rock with a solid mass inside, in this case, usually agate). My grandma once bought me a nodule that had been sliced open and had a blue shape in the middle of it that looked a bit like a map of North America. This was my first memory of collecting stones.
Most of the stones that I’ve kept around over the years haven’t been fancy. They’ve been pretty beach pebbles, or a stone I found in the gutter on a rainy day (some of which turned out to be garnets, actually). I’m notorious for filling my pockets with stones on any hike.
Crystals are particularly special stones. It goes without saying that they are beautiful. That’s reason enough to keep them around. But they also carry particular energies that can make them useful as tools for those in the know. Each type of stone has a different energetic profile and way of serving. Labradorite brings light to the darkness, having the power to act as a flashlight as you traverse challenging times. Fluorite clears away murky energy, strengthening both your intuition and your analytic capabilities. Howlite calms the mind and aids focus on goals. Sometimes similar crystals from different mines will have variations as to how they can serve -- for example, lemurian seed crystals and herkimer diamonds are both varieties of quartz, but are quite different, both in look and in purpose. They come from specific regions, and have different energetic profiles from each other, and from other clear quartz.
When you keep crystals with you, their energies impact your energies on the subtle level, gently bringing your energies back into balance and strengthening you. Crystals can be kept in your space, or even placed on particular areas of the body to focus their energy in a specific way.
In addition to projecting energy, crystals can also absorb energies and should be cleansed from time to time. There are many ways to cleanse a stone, including setting them in sunlight, the light of the full moon, soaking in water, packing with salt, burying in the earth, or passing through smoke. Not every method is suitable for every stone. For example, selenite is a delicate and porous stone that can be damaged by water, and Amethyst can fade in the sunlight.
My favorite way to cleanse stones is by passing them through smoke. Sage, palo santo, sweetgrass, copal, or any other sacred incense are ideal choices. Light your incense, and while setting an intention for your stone to be cleared (for example -- “may this stone release all residual energy, and may it be restored to it’s full power”), pass your stone through the smoke. That's it! The stone is now ready to keep doing it’s work. Stones don't need to be cleansed constantly, but they should be cleansed when they are new to you, when they've been doing a lot of work, or if you start to feel a shift in their energy.