Selecting the right stone
In selecting the correct stone it is important to trust your own instincts. Each person will be drawn to different stone for different reasons. Some people prefer clear crystals, while others will appreciate inclusions and rainbows. Perhaps it is the shape that draws you or the way the light reflects inside. It may be that the stone just fits right into your hand and feel comfortable there or it may be that the little crystal that comes out the side reminds you of your baby or sibling. Some people are attracted to cathedral crystals with many terminations while others prefer long single point wands. The most important thing is that you like your crystal. There is no sense in selecting a stone you are not attracted to because you are much less likely to want to pick it up and work with it. Take time in selecting your crystal and if it speaks to you right away don’t be alarmed often the first crystal a person will pick up is the correct one. There is no rule to how many crystals you can own. Some people with have a crystal for help in their work or for protection while others will have only one stone that serves many purposes. Each person will have at least one ‘life crystal’. This is a stone that most commonly looks in some way like the person that owns it. This stone can be used for personal work including meditation, dream enhancement or it can be used simply as a personal totem. Personal totem crystals can be placed on an altar with other sacred objects or wrapped in a special pouch and carried on a person.
Selecting the right stone for another person can be tricky. Again the most important thing to remember is to trust your intuition. Think about the person that you are buying the crystal for. Think about whether they would carry it or wear it on their person. If they are more visually oriented than a cluster or something decorative might be appropriate. If it is a wedding gift than we often suggest twin crystals, which is two individual crystals that have joined together in their formation. They are quite rare and so make extra special gifts. If the person you are buying the gift for likes tactile things than a smoother crystal that fits in the hand would be appropriate. Giving and receiving crystals as gifts is always an enjoyable experience. Just like a snowflake, you can be assured that no one will get the same one twice.
One of the most important things to remember when clearing a crystal is that intention is a crucial aspect. Hold in your mind the intention that crystal is free from external influences and energies and any method that you employ will be successful in clearing your stone.
An ancient form of energy clearing is “Smudging”. Smudge is sage that is rolled into a wand. When lit it will give off a purifying smoke which can be wafted over the crystal. You may be drawn to aromatherapy oils and these do indeed work to cleanse a crystal. Citrus blends are recommended as these seem to work very well.
Place a few drops of your favorite oil into your hands a rub them together. Then lightly stroke the crystal on all of the faces while holding the intention that the crystal be thoroughly cleansed of unwanted energies. One popular method is to cleanse crystals in salt water but since this is harsh and can actually damage some crystals we do not recommend it. If you are particularly drawn to using salt than use it dry. Create a sand box and rest the crystals there. Some also recommend resting the stone in a fast flowing stream or in the ocean. Cold water can shock a crystal and even minute flaws in a stone can grow, splitting a crystal in 2 so this is not a method we advise. Clearing crystals in sun or moonlight is another option. Sun can be used to revitalize a crystal while moonlight can be used for enhancing aspects of to encourage intuition, dream states, or other reflective powers. Find a safe place in the sun to rest your crystal. For some people a whole day is needed while for others it can be only a matter of minutes. Again it is important to trust your own instincts. You may not feel it necessary at all to cleanse your crystal and if this is the case than do not cleanse it. One very powerful crystal healer once told us that if you come from a place of love there is no need to ever cleanse a crystal. We clear the crystals in the gallery when we have had people in touching the stones that we are not comfortable with. We use smudge and feathers to remove unwanted influence. We have on occasion also used mandarin essential oils and rock salt in the dry form. Some crystals have rested in salt for year before we felt we could bring them out while most require minimal smudging to clear them. Above all trust yourself to know how and when to clean your stones.
Cleaning of crystals
Toothbrushes and tepid water are the best bet. Fingerprints can be cleaned off with a wet cloth. In Arkansas nearly all crystals receive a bath in oxalic acid to rid them of the iron oxide coating that they are found coated in. The crystals are sprayed off first them placed on metal trays, which are lowered into a cool solution of oxalic acid. Then they are heated very gradually and then cooled. A further rinse with clear water takes away the harsh acid. The reason that the crystals do not split during this process is that the water temperature is changed very, very slowly. We do not advise trying this at home. Oxalic acid needs to be used out doors as its fumes can be very caustic.
Identifying crystal localities
Each mine produces distinctly different crystals. Although most Arkansas quartz is found within a 100 mile radius, there are mines that produce enormous crystals, and mines that produce needle point crystals. Collier creek is renowned for its brilliant crystals. Very fine needlepoint crystals come from there as well as crystals with inclusions of calcite. Sometimes clusters will form over top of calcite crystals and then the calcite has been dissolved away leaving a cluster without out matrix. These delicate formations are rare as the constant shifting in the earth has caused much damage and many clusters do not survive whole. The Miller Mountain mine produces crystals with unique horizontal lines. Many beautiful double terminated crystals are found there as well. A doubly terminated crystal is one with points on both ends. High Peak mine has produced quartz with iridescent coatings of manganese. Selene County mine has produced faden crystals and tabular crystals. These crystals form lying horizontal to the matrix. A faden crystal is one that displays an internal string from which the crystal has hung while forming. Tabular crystals have two sides that are much larger than the other four.
Working with crystals
Working with crystals is not an exact science. Each person will have a different degree of sensitivity to the stones. Some may feel a tingling in their palm when holding a certain crystal. Some will feel warmth, some will feel cold and others may actually hear a crystal sing. Others of you may feel nothing at all but a sense of awe when you realize the amazing age and perfection of a particular stone. It doesn’t mean that you are unable to work with crystals if you feel nothing from a stone. It doesn’t mean that you are in some way metaphysically challenged. It just means that you need to develop the listening for the subtle energies so that you can recognize it and work with it.
One of the best ways to become familiar with healing energy is to rub your hands quickly together. When you have built up a charge and your hands feel warm than cup them close to each other palms in but not touching. You will be able to feel heat. You may feel a pulse. This is your own energy that you feel and this is the healing life force energy that can be channeled through crystals thereby focusing and amplifying the energy for healing to take place.
Quartz crystals have the unique ability to focus and amplify energy. Their internal structure is a double helix, which is almost identical to our own DNA spiral. I believe that this is one of the reasons that we have been drawn to quartz crystals through the ages. Almost every ancient culture has used quartz crystals as power objects, totems or healing tools. Merlin was rumored to have a secret crystal cave. The Northwest Coast First Nation People used large crystals to show their power by smashing them together on the shore creating sparks and light. The ancient Egyptians carried quartz spheres to cool their hands and rejuvenate them in the hot climate. The Greeks believed that quartz was ice somehow frozen forever by the gods. The Japanese prized it believing it was a reflection of the purist spirit possible in human kind.
Reflection of Perfection
It is possible to see a reflection of your own wholeness and beauty in a quartz crystal. These amazing formations are the product of very special circumstance just as our own bodies are formed through the miracle of nature. When gazing into a crystal you can let your mind wander through the perfection of clarity, the precision lines, the interesting internal flaws and rainbows. If we reflect on the beauty and uniqueness of each crystal we are reminded of our own individuality and perfection as individuals. It is the flaws that cause the rainbows, the sharp edges that cause the light to reflect, the changes and stresses in the surrounding that influenced the distinction s in each piece just as we humans are molded by our past, these crystals are enhanced by theirs. We can learn form the mineral kingdom to go with the flow and absorb and grow around blockages that we meet up against. The most exquisite crystals are those that encountered disturbances, abrupt changes or harsh influences. One of the more interesting and beautiful formations are called self-healed crystals. These are formed when a crystal is broken off of its root from which it is forming and floats for a time allowing the broken end to become crystallized. Usually resulting in multiple terminations that are full of sparkle and light. These crystals are most helpful for use in personal healing as they themselves have had to re-heal. Reflecting on this process can help us remember that we are responsible for our own healing and no -one outside of ourselves can help until we take responsibility for our own well- being.
In order for a crystal to form there has to be a special set of circumstances in place. First there has to be super heated solution of silica and oxygen. Then there has to be extreme pressure and time. No one really knows how long it took to form natural quartz crystals but most formed between 250 million to 750 million years ago. The Arkansas quartz is said to be some of the youngest having formed in underground streambeds in the Wichita Mountains some 250 to 500 million years ago. There are many different mines and so there are a wide variety of crystal shapes and sizes form that region. There is also several different inclusions found in Arkansas quartz. One of the rarest is Mc Earl quartz named after the original mine owner Minnie Mac Earl. Jimmy Coleman discovered the fine quartz nearly 20 years ago and in doing so uncovered the most amazing blue/white quartz ever discovered. Some of the crystals display blue needle inclusions, which have yet to be identified. Arkansas also produces solution quartz, which is quartz that forms in steam vents rather that underground streams. Each mine has its own distinct characteristics. Some experienced disturbances while forming causing etched patterns. Some quartz formed around calcite causing cast clusters or inclusions of calcite phantoms. Some mines produce extraordinarily large clusters – up to 12 feet across with points 3 feet tall. Some mines produce the particularly sought after needle -point cluster and single crystals used for jewelry. What all of the quartz found in Arkansas has in common is that that it has a particularly high silica content and so it is prized as seed crystal for use in growing man-made crystals for the computer industry.
Rarely quartz with Chloride is found in Arkansas but it is much more common in Brazil.
Quartz is also particularly abundant in Brazil. Much of the quartz found in Brazil is discovered in pockets that are lined with feldspar called vugs. Inside, lining the pocket are crystals of quartz, tourmaline and beryl. Sometimes extremely large single crystals are found. Silica is the second most common mineral in the earth’s crust, which is why so many different cultures worldwide have used these special minerals.
Focus and intention these are the 2 most important things to remember when programming your crystals. A crystal on its own is a rare occurrence in nature. Alone it has its own intrinsic beauty and potency but combined with human life life force energy and intention it can become an amazing tool. When you pick up your crystal and declare it to be a tool for specific purpose you are, by declaration activating the crystal. The second step is to work in a focused way with your stone. Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit. Hold your crystal in your hands. If it is more comfortable to hold it in your right hand than do so. Usually the right hand is the sending hand while the left is the receiving however this is not always the case especially if you are left-handed. Feel the crystal grow warm with your energy. Some people may even experience a pulse in the stone. Focus only on the stone and your job for the crystal. It is best to program the stone with one intention at a time. Stay present with our stone and your intention. If your mind wanders bring it back to your crystal and breath in the most relaxed manner possible. If you use a certain kind of breathing technique than use it. Hold your crystal in this way until you feel a sense of completion. You may find that your crystal begins to cool or stop pulsing or just that you feel it is done.
Other simple techniques for programming your crystals:
- Write your intention for the crystal and rest it under the crystal.
- Hold the crystal and touch each face while breathing in through your nose to the count of 7, out through your mouth to the count of 8. Keep your tongue on the top of your mouth for the in breath.
- Important note. Crystals that are used for personal healing should not be touched by other people unless you are really comfortable with them doing so.
Grid for Crystal Healing
To design a grid for crystal healing you will need at least 6 crystals. It is a good idea to have a set that matches in the same general size. The set can be all small or all large but in the same size range is a good idea because then they already have a sense of unity. If you feel strongly connected to a certain number than use that number in your grid. Trust your intuition in this matter.
This is one simple grid that can be used by one or 2 people at a time. This 6-sided star pattern can be multiplied and used as a 12 pointed star. Additional shapes, stars or other patterns can be experimented with. Follow your own intuition and see where it leads.
The Star of David is an ancient symbol and has been used for thousand s of years to symbolize the union of heaven and earth. It is also a symbol of protection which is useful when initiating any healing practice. Before you set up your grid set the intention. With this intention in mind, arrange the star pattern on the floor with the points facing out leaving enough room to sit. You can also try the same arrangement with the points facing in. Generally when the points are facing you the result will be more internalized and more invigorating than when you set the crystals with the points facing out which will result in a more drawing out or radiating energy. If you are trying to accelerate your own healing process I would suggest facing the crystals towards you in this grid. To facilitate removing blockages or expanding ones awareness, I would suggest pointing the star away.
Another way to set a grid is to set the crystals up right in a plant pot filled with sand or rock salt. Arrange the crystals in the star pattern and set it with the intention for generating a healing, balancing energy to your room. This star pattern will generate whatever intention you set it with. Take a 7 crystal and draw the six sided star pattern with it and place it in the center. This crystal will become highly charged and will be excellent for personal healing, mediation or any other purpose you may have in mind for it.