Basic crystal understanding

The use of crystals dates back as far as there are records of history itself. They were used in Biblical times, throughout Ancient Egypt, Rome and date to all ancient cultures.

The bible makes mention of crystals over 200 times, one of the most notable being in Exodus, where the High Priest, Aaron, (brother of Moses) was instructed by God to make breast plate from particular crystals which he was to wear for protection and wisdom. Ancient cultures and civilizations have used crystals for many different purposes. They have been used in medicine and health care, protection, magic and rituals, as offerings and currency, scrying for gazing for divination, for good luck and wealth as well as precious gifts and items of beauty. They were used to make elixirs and as a “first aid” tool.

The actual word crystal comes from a Greek word Crystallos, from “Krysos” meaning “ice cold”, as it was originally thought that crystals were a type of ice that was so cold it would never melt. Around the late 1700’s this theory was superseded by the idea that crystals “grew” by the addition of layers.

Now science has been able to calculate physical laws which clarify this theory. When a crystal is shattered, each piece may vary in size, but the fragments all have the same shape. The outer crystal reflects a larger version of the inner structure, consisting of one of seven basic shapes: Cubic, tetragonal, trigonal, hexagonal, orthorhombic, monoclinic and triclinic.

Crystal in fact came from the period in history when the Earth was forming. The heating and cooling of the planet formed the magnificent crystalline objects we have today.

Most crystals are formed mainly from silicon and oxygen, silicon being a most prolific element in the Earth’s core. When silicon and oxygen combine, they form silicon dioxide, which is also known as quartz. The other elements which are present during this combining of elements are what create the different types of crystals and contribute to its properties.

There are of course other types of crystal formations such as Diamonds which are made from carbon, Jet, which is fossilized wood or coal, Amber which is a resin. So the category of crystal /mineral/ gemstone is quite broad, and also includes such minerals as silver and gold.

Over the years, uses for crystals have not really changed and they are still being used in the same way as the ancients. However, we do now have the modern-day benefit of discoveries such as the silicon chip for computer technology and quartz to power clocks and watches.

During the mechanical revolution, the world experienced a shift in it’s thinking where “medicine” and other practices became redefined and much more scientific. Only now are we moving back to acceptance of historic tradition in term of healing and spiritualism where we have the option to work with both ancient and modern modalities, benefiting in the wisdom of both worlds. The popularity of using crystals is spreading rapidly as we move into an era of open-mindedness and a willingness to experience different modalities in a search for “what works” for us as individuals.(Melody 2001,p.31-32)

How Crystals Work

It is a scientific fact that all matter is made up of energy, and that any object, be it a person, plant, a plastic pipe, grain of sand or body of water has energy within it and surrounding it., Energy resonates at a particular vibration, and for each object or thing, there will be a specific vibration.

The human body is designed to function ‘properly’, and when it is doing so, each part of the body and particular emotions have their own specific vibrations. When the body or emotion is not healthy this vibration changes.Just like watching TV, if the waves from the TV signal are not turned in properly, the picture and sound is affected. Crystals can help “tune in” the vibration for the human body as well as for other living things such as plants and animals.

This is called the Theory of Resonance. Crystals are set in their formation, so unlike the human body, they do not alter in their vibration and “get sick” or out of balance. This makes them excellent tools in assisting the body and mind as the crystals stays constant in its vibration and will therefore bring the body into line with the crystal’s “healthy” vibration.

It is important to note that as the body is designed to repair itself, it does not tune itself to the ‘wrong’ vibration. Just one of the many amazing facts about the human body which baffles science. Perhaps we can put it down to the 90% or so of our brains which we are ‘supposedly’ not using.

So in actual fact, the principle of how crystals work is extremely simple, a fact that is a great benefit to the lay-person as it makes them very simple to use on any level. Crystals have so many uses – healing on a physical and emotional level, cleansing your environment, protection, relaxation, assisting meditation, attraction (love, money, luck).

The energy level that crystals work on is extremely subtle so don’t be surprised if you feel nothing at first. As you work with crystals more and more, you will become attuned to their subtle, beautiful energy. Just being around them has a wonderful effect. To ‘tune in’ to the vibrationary energy of crystals takes a little work. Some people are naturally quite sensitive to its energy and feel it the instant they come into contact with their first crystal, whilst for others it takes time and effort.

The sensation of this energy is a similar feeling to Reiki energy, which works at the same level. Remember, don’t be discouraged if you don’t feel anything straight away. You can change the hand positions around to try to pick the energy up from different angles. Just keep practicing and you will eventually feel the energy in your hands. We are all different, so naturally we will ‘tune-in’ in our own time.

The breathing exercise is also very useful to assist in meditative states, not to mention the fact that it is simply very relaxing.(Melody 2001,p.61-65)(Lilly 2002,p.8-20)

Cleansing, Charging and Programming Crystals

Why do we cleanse crystals? On their journey to us, crystals go through different processes and through many sets of hands.

First they are taken from the earth and then they are broken and cut into pieces. Some will be rumbled and polished and others left in clusters or rough pieces. They will be transported around the world to wholesalers and retail shops. In the shops they will be handled by staff and many customers before they finally make their new home with you.

During all of these stages, the crystals will be knocked around physically and they will come into contact with the energy of each person who handles them, so thy have already had quite a life. We cleanse crystals to remove any unwanted energies they have collected through these processes and to give peace back to them so we may use them from a fresh beginning.

There are many different ways which crystal can be cleansed. Some of these are – leaving them in the sun, taking them to running water and washing them, placing the crystal on a large cluster, washing with warm water, leaving them in salt water, burying them in the earth, crystal cleansing solution, Reiki or white light energy and smudging with incense or a herbal smudge stick.(Lilly 2002,p.13)

After you have cleansed your crystal, it is ready to be used. However, the energy of the crystal will be greatly boosted if it is charged. Whilst there are a few methods to do this, the simplest and most powerful is to leave your crystal out in the light of a full moon over night.

If you want to use your crystal for healing work or you just want to give it a really big boost, you can leave the crystal out under the moon for the two nights prior to the full moon, the full moon night, and the two nights after the full moon. However, remember to bring the crystal in each day as some crystals fade after long periods of sun light.(Melody 2001, p. 56)

Crystals are willing helpers for us and will work as we instruct them to. You may not have a specific purpose for your crystal and may simply like just having it around. If his is the case then you may not wish to program the crystal. It is fine just to cleanse and charge the crystal and leave it be.

However, to receive a particular benefit from a crystal or to specifically use it for healing work, you will need to program it. This too is a very simple process, the easiest method being to pick up the crystal and think about what you want it to do as you use it. For more specific programming, you will need a bit more preparation. Sit quietly with your crystal and focus you mind on receiving protection from the universe and assistance in programming you crystal for the highest good. Hold your crystal and allow your body to receive the desired energy form the universe. Visualise this energy entering your crystal. You can also change the programming of a crystal by giving it a quick cleanse and then re-program.(Lilly 2002,p.19)

How and Where to use crystals

There are many ways and places to use you crystals. They can be placed around the home, at you work place and on yourself or others. They can be used in pendulums and for scrying. You can use them to cleanse your environment, for protection, creating types of energy or mood, for healing and relaxation, to assist meditation, to attract or repel, and anything else your imagination can conceive. Crystals can be placed in pot plants or in you garden to boost the health and energy of the plants.

The easiest way to use a crystal is simply to have it in you home. Place it somewhere (protected from sunlight and damage) where you can see it and this is enough if you wish. If you would like to take it a step further, you can “grind” your home or office for protection, to attract love, create harmony, prosperity – anything you like.(Lilly 2002, p. 10-31)

Other uses for crystals include holding a crystal during meditation, or lie down and place them on your body – A Chakra layout is a good example of this.

‘Chakra’ is a Sanskrit work which means wheel. The Chakras are spinning energy points throughout the body which conduct and transfer energy. They vibrate at different levels and perform different functions within the body as well as control the balance of the functions of you bodies. Having the Chakras spinning freely and without energy block assists us in maintaining our physical and emotional health. There are 7 main Chakras. Each of these has it’s own role in the story of your bodies and lives.(Melody 2001, p. 61-65)

Properties of Crystals

There are many factors that contribute to the properties of a crystal such as chemical composition, shape, inclusions within the crystal as well as colour.The attached crystal guide lists some of the common properties listed, as some crystals have quite numerous and complex uses and attributes. You will also find you discover other properties as you work more with your crystals.(Melody 2001)

Practicioners organization and training

Nationally recognized training: The International Academy of Vibrational Therapies, Gold CoastCertificate in Vibrational TherapyDiploma of metaphysics

Practicioners organization:


  • Love is in the Earth – by Melody***highly recommended
  • Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic – by Scott Cunningham
  • The Crystal Bible – by Judy Hall
  • Chakras for Beginners – by David Pond
  • The Magic of Crystals – by Wendy & Barry Jones
  • Crystals, talk to the woman within – by Cassandra Eason
  • The Illustrated Guide to Crystals – by Judy Hall
  • The Healing Power of Gemstones – by Raymond J.L. Walters
  • Healing with Crystal and Gemstones – by Daya Sarai Chacron
  • Crystal Healing, a beginners guide – by Roger C. Croxson
  • Crystal and crystal healing – by Simon Lilly


  • Melody, 2001. Love is in the earth – A kaleidoscope of crystals, 12th ed., Earth-love publishing house, Colorado, USA
  • Lilly, S., 2002. Crystals and crystal healing, Hermes House, London, England
  • Weingerger, D., 2004. Nationally recognized training, retrieved 5. September 2004 from

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