Crystal Care Questions Answered – Part 1

Your Crystal (Healing) Care Questions Answered

I’ve been working with crystals in subtle energy work for nearly a decade. And I have learned that the relationship each person has to their crystals is unique and personal. In this article, I share with you my personal perspective on crystal healing crystal care: specifically cleansing and charging. I provide my very pragmatic reasoning for this perspective, but let it be said: the only “right” way to take care of the crystals you’ve been entrusted with is YOUR way. Whatever that looks like to you.

One of the top five questions I am asked is, “How do I cleanse my crystals?” So I’m going to share my personal lessons learned, some things you might want to keep in mind before choosing a particular cleansing ritual, and I’m going to challenge the status quo a little too.

It might surprise you to learn that I don’t cleanse or charge crystals and I explain why in the next section. I work with crystals everyday. I create essences, crystal grids, I do distance healing sessions, in-person healing sessions, and never once have I gotten an impression or received a message that the crystal masters I am called to work with have become dirty, weaker, or out of tune. Quartz is a bit of a different situation because of its unique programming and storage abilities. Even then, a simple request to clear is usually all it takes before I can work with it for another purpose.

I understand that the rituals of cleansing and charging crystals are an important part of being in relationship with the mineral kingdom, metaphysically speaking. When I’ve asked people about their crystal cleansing or charging rituals, what I’ve found is that oftentimes, the ritual is more for the crystal caretaker. This ritual of “resetting” a crystal in any capacity is actually an opportunity for the subtle healer to express gratitude, and to personally reset themselves; to realign and rebalance which is really beautiful. Also, just as I’ve rarely had a crystal communicate a need to be recharged or cleansed, others have! So I’m not here to judge anyone’s practice of crystal cleansing or charging. If you are drawn to the practice – for whatever reason – and it feeds you in some way, keep doing it!

If you practice either of these rituals, there are a few factors to consider before choosing a method: primarily each crystal’s physical properties. This is so that the crystal is not accidentally damaged during the ritual. In this 3-part article, I’ll review some of those factors. In Part 1, we will explore why we cleanse crystals and I’ll address the issue of toxicity. In part 2, I’ll briefly describe the most common cleansing methods and I’ll talk about the KISS Methods (never-fail, works for all crystals). In Part 3, we’ll explore the different properties of crystals that we want to be aware of when choosing a cleansing ritual.  Ready?

Part 1

Do we need to cleanse or charge our crystals?

That’s a great question and one that often goes unasked. It is one of those assumptions in the crystal healing community that of course (!) we cleanse and/or charge our crystals. But why? Well, generally there are two reasons:

  1. to get rid of negative energy that the crystal has “picked up”
  2. to help the crystal recharge its energy

Let’s consider these reasons in light of the working theory of crystal healing.  It is understood in subtle energy healing that crystals are valuable tools because they have a strong, constant vibration – stronger than our own weaker and constantly changing vibrations. We place crystals in our subtle fields, along our subtle channels, and on our chakras in order to help that field, channel, or chakra regain balance. It’s resonance through entrainment.

This working theory depends on the crystal having a strong,  stable vibration which is evidenced by the rate of entropy of most minerals. And not just strong and stable, but stronger and more stable than the vibrations of our subtle anatomy. If the crystal’s vibration were weak and easily influenced – we wouldn’t rely on them as co-creation tools in our subtle healing practice.

When an aspect of our subtle anatomy is unbalanced, a CCTP will choose the crystal (or crystals) which carries the vibration that the unbalanced aspect would be singing were it in a healthy, balanced state. That crystal’s vibration, being the stronger one, will entrain the weaker subtle body vibration until it matches the vibration of the crystal – until the crystal and the subtle aspect has resonance.

I think it can be difficult sometimes to remember that our day-to-day physical-plane existence of cause and effect does not necessarily apply to our subtle-plane existence. When we use a dish, wear clothes, drive our cars, use our cellphones, what happens? They get dirty and/or they need to be recharged. So we wash the dish, launder the clothes, wash the car, and charge our phones. When we “use” (and here I much prefer “work with”) crystals, we don’t have to assume the same cause and effect is occurring.  This work is mysterious and happens in subtle time/space so the usual way of things don’t necessarily have to apply. And yet we’ve been teaching each other for decades now that if we use a crystal we have to clean it/charge it afterward. The natural inclination toward this cause and effect makes perfect sense until we remember that because we’re working in the realm of subtle energy, it doesn’t make any sense at all.

The question you have to ask yourself is whether or not crystals require your help to recharge, release, or get clean after you’ve worked with it. The answer to this question for me personally is “no,” but we are perceiving our experiences differently and so it stands to reason that your answer may be different.

crysta care

Okay, I do cleanse and/or charge my crystals. How should I do it?

There are a lot of different cleansing and charging practices to choose from and if you design your own, all the better! When we  understand how the mineral kingdom responds to certain environments, it is very helpful so that we don’t accidentally damage the crystals. Crystals, depending on a lot of factors, can breakdown in various ways when exposed to certain light, heat, acids, moisture, and other compounds such as salt. We also want to be aware of the elements in our crystals’ chemical compositions – we don’t want to expose ourselves to heavy metals or toxic elements. (Understanding the chemical composition of your crystals helps you in numerous ways).

crystal careToxicity
Most crystals that energy healers work with are perfectly safe. Especially when those crystals are highly polished or tumbled.  When a crystal is labeled “toxic” – you don’t have to get rid of that crystal. There are minerals that are highly toxic, that’s true. Most of those crystals on that short-list are not easily acquired. Still, some hear the word “toxic” and get overly nervous. For example, I know some who refuse to work with Malachite because they heard that Malachite can be poisonous. This is true when Malachite is being cut by a lapidary artist. The dust is toxic and special care should be taken to ensure that it is not breathed in or ingested and so people who cut or polish Malachite are urged to wear masks and eye protection.

Polished Malachite – the form we typically work with – is not dangerous. Rather, we ought to work with it mindfully. Do not lick Malachite. Do not create a crystal essence with Malachite unless using the indirect method. If you have a piece of rough, unpolished Malachite, handle very carefully and wash your hands afterward. Do not handle those forms of Malachite and then touch your face or eat or put your hands in your mouth.

These are good guidelines to follow whenever working with most minerals. 

Same goes for other:
– copper-bearing (Cu)
– lead-bearing (Pb)
– arsenic-bearing (As)
– mercury-bearing (Hg)
asbestos-bearing
– antimony – bearing (Sb)
minerals such as Stibnite, Cinnabar, Realgar, Orpiment, Chrysotile, Galena and others. You’ll note many, many crystals contain Aluminum which is also considered a toxic element. As such, I simply encourage all crystal essences be made using the indirect method and that people do not touch their face, eyes, or mouths when handling their crystals and to wash their hands after. The minerals listed specifically above require extra care and this list is not comprehensive. Handle minimally if at all. I have Stibnite, Cinnabar, Galena, and Orpiment in my collection, but they are on the top shelf of my mineral cabinet and I do not handle them. As always – keep out of reach of children.

Please know that while you might find various toxic crystals lists online, there is no definitive list. New minerals are being found and no list can be comprehensive. If we learn about the elements that make up the crystals we work with, we won’t need a list because we’ll understand how to read a crystal’s chemical formula and we will understand not only if it contains toxic elements, but much, much more.

Got questions? Comments? Email me at tana@tanaschott.com

Click here to read Part 2

I will be accepting new students to the Crystal Therapy Program next month (February 2018). If you are drawn to crystals and have a desire to learn about the mineral kingdom’s effect on the subtle body from a deeply grounded perspective, please check out the course description page HERE
Students come to this course from a wide variety of vocations and practices:  gemstone faceters, massage therapists, jewelry designers, Reiki practitioners, Healing Touch practitioners, as well as those who want to practice crystal healing independently.
The course offers an Independent Study track, as well as a certification track.

Working with Cathedral Quartz

cathedral quartzCathedral Quartz in subtle energy healing

Cathedral Quartz Information
Quartz are given unique names to help distinguish between different growth processes, environments, and appearances. Both the mineralogical community and the metaphysical community give names to different formations, for different reasons. Sometimes the names match, sometimes they don’t. And yes, that can be confusing. To make matters more confusing, metaphysical folks tend to apply names based on the energy of the piece, rather than its appearance and formation. This creates confusion about true rarity and quality, location, as well as price. In the mineral world nomenclature is a bit of a mess. Don’t worry, the more you engage with different communities, minerals, and sellers, the more comfortable you’ll get identifying minerals and quartz formations. It just takes time and experience.
A mineral’s price is (or should be) most affected by the availability of the mineral. The more difficult a mineral is to mine, or the less frequently it is found in excavations, the more expensive the mineral will be (before considering internal clarity, color, weight, and condition). When I first started studying crystal healing, natural, unheated Citrine was relatively easy to acquire and afford. In recent years, natural, unheated Citrine became scarce and the price jumped accordingly. Same with Sugilite. Ajoite, especially that from the most popular site – Messina – is no longer available except from collections and the price has gone through the roof. Should a new pocket be discovered for any of these minerals, we will see the price fluctuate accordingly.
Sidenote: (In my opinion, pricing a mineral based on subtle energy experiences is unethical. A personal experience cannot be proven, let alone guaranteed for anyone else, and conveying that minerals and certain quartz formations only offer X is misleading and limiting. Promising a specific energetic experience based on working with a specific mineral and then upcharging sometimes 10 times the actual value of the stone is taking advantage of the customer base, especially those who are new to the art. I have seen this done time and again and it breaks my heart. People are easily influenced and people who are hurting and seeking answers can be especially vulnerable.
Each of us needs to be empowered to have our own experiences: to build our own unique relationships to the mineral kingdom based on sound, grounded knowledge that helps inform the most important aspect of communication between a person and a crystal – that person’s HEART. Just because some people find Moldavite to be powerful doesn’t mean everyone will feel that way with Moldavite. And that doesn’t make either party wrong in their experience or interpretation of their experience. When we price a stone or mineral, the only ethical thing to do is price it according to availability and quality (as well as the hours and energy it took for us to source it. I’m not suggesting people cannot make a living or have a business selling crystals), and to provide the actual, mineralogical name, rather than a made-up and trademarked name that hides the fact that the mineral is actually very, very common and can be purchased elsewhere for pennies on the dollar).
I’d like to address what a Cathedral Quartz IS, because there are a lot of quartz being sold as Cathedral Quartz that are not, in fact, cathedral quartz. Elestial/Jacere quartz, sprouting/artichoke quartz, cactus quartz, candle quartz, and others are often mis-identified and sold as Cathedral Quartz. It’s confusing partly because the term ‘elestial’ has been a mineralogical identifier as well as a metaphysical identifier. Meanwhile other metaphysical names are flat out rejected by the mineralogical community. Knowing which names or labels are truly mineralogical (and therefore used to identify properly the types of minerals we have) can be tricky and just takes time and experience to figure out. Sometimes the mineralogical community will begin to use metaphysical labels when the label just won’t go away and becomes common, or, when they realize they can make a bigger profit selling certain minerals using the metaphysical labels. (Hint, when you know your stuff and can buy your crystals from rocks shops rather than metaphysical shops – you will save money a lot of the time).

 

But even without the mineralogical community, we in the metaphysical community can make things rather complicated all on our own. :) For example, Lightbraries are often known to be Cathedral Quartz, yet the Lightbrary name has since been applied to sprouting Citrine Quartz, once very popular from the DNC (Congo). If you do an Internet search for “Cathedral Quartz,” you will see images of Elestial/Jacare, Sprouting/Artichoke Quartz, Candle Quartz, even Quartz clusters and Cactus/Spirit Quartz. Different groups giving different names to the multitude of quartz formations can create a bit of confusion.
For example, if Crystal Healer Steve decides that Artichoke form should be called Lightbrary because of his personal experience with the stone, and then begins teaching about or selling Artichoke growth crystals as “Lightbrary” crystals, it makes sense that those who have read elsewhere that Cathedral Quartz are also called Cathedral Lightbraries start mixing up Artichoke Quartz formation with quartz that display the specific parallel-grown, stepped formation that we know as Cathedrals.
Artichoke/sprouting quartz are much easier to come by while Cathedral Quartz is rarer. The price tag often reflects this because not only is the formation rarer, but to find a Cathedral Quartz with good clarity and not a lot of damage can be difficult. Plus – Cathedrals seem to arrive in waves every 20-30 years. Right now, we are entering a drought. How long that drought will last is anyone’s guess. But past experience shared tells me that these special formations tend to be found in spurts before a long dry spell when none are mined. I do wonder if the time between showings is getting shorter. 
Though Mindat.org states that parallel, stepped growth formations of quartz are quite common, I have found that true Cathedral Quartz formation is one of the rarer formations of quartz growth and I know I’m not alone in that experience. It can take some time and experience to learn how to distinguish a true Cathedral Quartz – having a specific parallelly-grown, stepped formation – from other parallel growth forms but once you see it, you’ll be able to identify a Cathedral forevermore. (When I say “true,” I am not speaking about the crystal’s energy. I’m speaking about the formation requirements to be classified as a Cathedral Quartz).
What are the identifying features of Cathedral Quartz?
One very important identifying distinction is this: while it might appear that there are numerous quartz points which grew together (smaller attached to one primary larger center crystal), the crystal is in fact, one crystal. If you turn the crystal upside down, you won’t see lines where crystals fused together. Sometimes a Cathedral Quartz can actually be multiple Cathedrals which fused together in which case you will see those boundary lines on the bottom – but the individual points which fused, may still, in their own right, be Cathedral formation.

cathedral quartz

Elestial quartz is more of a patterning on the surface of the quartz. Sprouting or artichoke quartz has one center crystal with numerous, smaller crystals growing separately but attached to the primary point. In a cathedral, even though it may appear that separate crystals are growing off of a main point, in fact, it is all one piece.  A great website to visit is QuartzPage.de (specifically their Growth Forms page). This site is a wealth of information about quartz.
Parallel, step-growth occurs when a quartz crystal experiences a phenomenon called twinning during its formation. In the case of Cathedral Quartz, a double spiral rotation occurs which gives the point a multi-terminated appearance, though in reality, it is ONE crystal, rather than multiple crystals fused together during growth. This is KEY for identifying a Cathedral.
Cathedral quartz are interesting quartz specimens in that they can look like completely different pieces depending on which side or angle you are looking at. Consider that these two photos show the exact same piece – just from different vantage points. For this reason, if purchasing online, be sure to ask for numerous photographs from different sides of the piece if not already provided.

cathedral quartz   cathedral quartz

One more thing: Cathedral Quartz can be found in clear, smoky, and citrine
Cathedral Quartz Crystal Healing & Properties Information
I hope that more than anything you feel empowered to discern for yourself what your crystal masters are trying to communicate to you and through you. Crystals are not stagnant. They are pulsing energy sources with one of the lowest rates of entropy of any physical thing on planet Earth. They are always working with each of us individually in the NOW moment. Therefore, their messages to us will be unique from person to person and applicable to the NOW moment. Tying them down to a singular purpose or chakra or healing focus limits OUR ability to work with them to the highest good of all Beings and to evolve and grow spiritually.
Having said that, when we are learning something new, it helps to have a starting point, a spring-board, right? In the new age community, many have written down their personal experiences with crystals and published them so that we could have just that – a starting point from which we can begin our own unique work with crystals. Even when an author insists their understanding is THE understanding – I always encourage my students to hold these writings lightly, to not create dogma or true/false narratives based on other people’s personal, subjective experiences. The following information comes from Katrina Raphaell’s book, The Crystalline Transmission: A Synthesis of Light, pages 173-183. Katrina Raphaell is considered by many to be THE teacher for metaphysical work with Quartz. Many people resonate with her work and her experiences and so her books have, over time, become the go-to reference tools for learning about different quartz formations from a metaphysical perspective.
Here are some highlights from her section on Cathedrals:
  • Are “universally oriented…synchronized to universal frequencies.”
  • A Thought-Form gatherer and translator:
    • A tool to “…receive new waves of consciousness…” from the Masters. These messages are translated for our understanding through the crystal so that we can comprehend and integrate these messages. “…the wisdom of the soul can take tangible form in thoughts that the mind is capable of understanding.”
  • Exist to aid whoever comes to them, when the heart is open and the desires are in alignment with the Light.
  • Contains knowledge written in the language of Light. (Though is also said to be void of information until programmed – which is not my personal experience).?
  • Can be an access to the Hall of Records (Akashic Records – records containing every thought, word, and deed of every living thing throughout time).
  • Is said to be a “group” crystal (2 or more) though an individual can work with Cathedral Quartz imo
Recommendations for working with Cathedral Quartz
cathedral quartzGroup work
In a group of 2 or more like-Hearted individuals, who all share the intention of grounding Light to Earth, and bringing Universal Divinity into their joint endeavor. Sit in a circle with the Cathedral in the center, apex pointing up to the sky. Holding hands, focus on the inner world of the crystal. Imagine oneself within, focused on the common intention and desire, open to receiving knowledge from the Universal Masters.
Individual work
While many teach that Cathedral Quartz are not “personal” crystals or are specifically meant to be a Master Tool for groupwork, I have found that communing with a Cathedral Quartz can be a very expansive, powerful, empowering, and humbling experience. Holding the crystal or being near it, open yourself to the messages awaiting you. I recommend getting grounded first, firm in your Light, centered in your Heart before entering into this energy so that your discernment is clear. Setting the crystal on your Heart (if not too heavy), or placing the crystal at your feet pointing up, at your head pointing down, or however feels “right” to you in the moment, go into your meditation. Focus on your breath and allow your body to relax. Be open to receiving wisdom, assistance, messages.
Some people meditate while gazing into the crystal. This is particularly wonderful when the crystal has an internal clarity and lots of clear facets on its surface through which to look. Some say that each of the turrets or spires is a room of knowledge unto itself and that we can enter into these rooms and access Akashic Records or universal wisdom or enter into the collective consciousness through these “rooms.”

Personal share:
I do personally find Cathedral Quartz to be neutral, Universally-oriented, as Katrina Raphaell has mentioned. That resonates with me and my experience of the crystals. This may not be your experience – your message – from the Cathedral you’re called to work with. That’s perfectly okay. There is no one-way or right-way to work with the Crystal Masters. There is YOUR way.
I work with Cathedral Quartz when I am seeking clarity on a “big world” type of issue. Or when my mind is not serving my Heart and I am seeking to create a calm ebb and flow between the two with the Heart in the lead. I find myself reaching for Cathedral Quartz when I want to consciously, intentionally send waves of compassion to the Earth or to a specific group of people experiencing difficulties. I go to the Cathedral to ask for clarity; to see the Mirror being reflected back at me from my community, country, from the world. When I perceive the world to be “going mad,” I must ask how I might be going mad. How might I be contributing to the madness within and in my community? I find the Cathedrals to be powerful helpers in this. I also asked for help, guidance, and perspective-widening from my ancestors.
Because Cathedrals are Universally-oriented, they are about The All. Our work with them can often be to understand our place and purpose within The All.