The Magickal Universe

Where Magick is a way of life!

Crystals, Minerals and Gemstones

Most Pagans are aware of the use of crystals in ritual, magick and healing, but what exactly are crystals, minerals and gemstones?

Crystal: A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituent atoms, molecules, or ions are arranged in an orderly repeating pattern extending in all three spatial dimensions. The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation is known as crystallography.

The word crystal is derived from the Ancient Greek word krustallos, meaning both “ice” and “rock crystal”, from kruos, “icy cold, frost”.

However since the initial discovery of crystal-like individual arrays of atoms that are not regularly repeated, made in 1982 by Dan Shechtman, the acceptance of the concept and the word quasicrystal have led the 'International Union of Crystallography' to redefine the term crystal to mean "any solid having an essentially discrete diffraction diagram".

Within the family of crystals one distinguishes between traditional crystals, which are periodic, or repeating, at the atomic scale, and aperiodic (incommensurate) crystals which are not. This broader definition adopted in 1996 reflects the current understanding that microscopic periodicity is a sufficient but not a necessary condition for crystals.

Mineral:  a naturally occurring solid chemical substance that is formed through biogeochemical processes and that has a characteristic chemical composition, a highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties. By comparison, a rock is an aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids and does not have a specific chemical composition. Minerals can range in composition from pure elements and simple salts to very complex silicates with thousands of known forms

The study of minerals is called mineralogy.

Gemstone: a piece of mineral, which, in cut and polished form, is used to make jewelry or other adornments. However certain rocks, (such as lapis lazuli) and organic materials (such as amber or jet) although not minerals, but are often considered to be gemstones as well.

The traditional classifications of gemstones used in the West, dates back to the Ancient Greeks, beginning with a distinction between precious and semi-precious stones; (similar distinctions are made in other cultures). In modern usage the 'precious' stones are considered to be diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald, with all other gemstones are considered to be semi-precious.

Stones are classified according to rarity, refractive index, dispersion, specific gravity, hardness, cleavage, fracture, and luster. They may exhibit pleochroism or double refraction. They may have luminescence and a distinctive absorption spectrum. Material or flaws within a stone are referred to as inclusions.

Choosing a Crystal or Gemstone

The easiest way to select a crystal for your own personal use, is to simply find the one that “feels” right. That is - if you pick it up & it feels like it belongs with you or it jumps out and really catches your eye, that’s the one for you.

However when searching for a crystal to use in a particular ritual or spell, or when working towards a particular goal or purpose, research the crystal(s) that best suit your goal before you go looking. Be open to what the universe is telling you though, if you walk into the store to buy a piece of obsidian but the rose quartz calls to you instead, there’s a reason. Often, when we are performing a spell or ritual, there are underlying reasons, motivations, & energies that we need to deal with but perhaps don’t realize. The universe will guide you to what you need, even if it doesn’t agree with what you have read. Always trust the universal energies first.

Just because a book says that in order to achieve your goal, you need to find a black diamond that you have to have that, substitution is fine, being an experienced practitioner means knowing that universe provides many solutions for many problems.

Also, don’t think that buying the most expensive crystal will make it work better, or even that you have to buy the crystals, sometimes the best crystal is the one you find on a cold winters day, laying on the beach.

Crystal Identification

The following chart includes some of the more readily found and used crystals, however it is not a complete list of all crystals and further information can be sought via the sources and resources section below.

Crystal Correspondences

StoneElementMeaning

Agates:



     Blue Lace Water Good for peace, happiness, helpful in stressful environments & helps to calm the area that it is in.
     Black FireEspecially good for protection, courage, and successful competitions.
     RedFireWorn to guard against insect bites, heal the blood, and to promote calm and peace.
     Green Earth

This was worn it improve the health of the eyes. Protection against sterility.

Amazonite EarthPowers: Gambling, Success
Amber

Fire,

Akasha (spirit)

Powers: Luck, Healing, Strength, Protection, Beauty, Love
AmethystWaterPowers: Dreams, Healing, Psychic Awareness, Peace, Love, Courage, Happiness, Protection Against Thieves.
Aquamarine WaterPowers: Peace, Psychic Awareness, Courage, Purification.
AventurineAirPowers: Mental Powers, Eyesight, Gambling, Money, Peace, Healing, Luck
Azurite Water

Powers: Healing, Psychic Awareness, Dreams, Divination.

Bloodstone FirePowers: Healing, Victory, Courage, Wealth, Strength, Power, Business, Agriculture
Carnelian FirePowers: Protection, Peace, Eloquence, Healing, Courage, Sexual Energy
Citrine FirePowers: Communication, Anti-nightmare, Protection, Psychic Awareness
Clear Calcite WaterPowers: Spirituality, Centering, Peace
Fluorite 

Powers: Mental Abilities. It can help when learning, problem solving, reducing emotional involvement, & adds its energies to other stones to magnify them.

Garnet FirePowers: Healing, Protection, Strength.
Green Tourmaline EarthPowers: Prosperity, Success, Creativity. Powers: Healing, Grounding, Divination.
Hematite Fire
Kunzite Earth

Powers (in general): Relaxing, Peace, Grounding, Love, Removing Obstacles Alignment of the first three chakras, purification

     Pink
is better for its ability to help one attain love of any variety and healing.
     Green
is good for prosperity, & channeling energy.
     Violet  
is good for deep meditation, spellwork, peace, & stimulating psychic ability.
Lapis Lazuli  Water

Powers: Protective, Healing, Psychic Awareness, Joy, Love, Courage, Fidelity.

Malachite  EarthPowers: Power, Protection, Love, Peace, Business Success
Marble WaterPowers: Protection, Success
Moonstone WaterPowers: Love, Divination, Psychic Awareness, Sleep, Gardening, Protection, Dieting
Obsidian FirePowers: Protection, Grounding, Divination, Peace
Onyx FirePowers: Protection, Defensive Magic, Reducing Sexual Energy
Quartz Water, FirePowers: Protective, Healing, Psychic Awareness, Power, Adds Strength to any purpose as well as other stones
Rose Quartz WaterPowers: Peace, Love, Happiness
Sodalite  WaterPowers: Healing, Peace, Meditation, Wisdom.
Sunstone FirePowers: Protection, Energy, Health, Sexual Energy.
Tiger’s Eye FirePowers: Money, Protection, Courage, Energy, Luck, Divination.
Turquoise  EarthPowers: Protection, Courage, Money, Love, Friendship, Healing, Luck.

Stone

Element

Meaning

Diamond  FireSpirituality, Sexual Dysfunction, Protection, Courage in Battle, Peace, Reconciliation, Healing, Strength, Fidelity, Fertility.
RubyFireWealth, Protection (against enemies, evil spirits, magickal manipulations, negativity, storms & plague), Strengthens will power,  Brings joy, Anti-Nightmare
Pearl

Water,

Akasha

Love (Women of India believe wearing them will insure a happy marriage), Money, Protection, Luck (Though the Chinese believe that pearls are thought to bring sadness, sickness, and fear). 
AquamarineWaterPsychic Powers, Peace, Courage to Overcome Fear, Purification, Alertness of the Mind.
EmeraldEarthLove, Money, Strengthen Mental Powers, Enhance Memory,  Psychic Powers, Protection, Exorcism, Eyesight, Success in Business.  
GarnetFireHealing, Protection, Physical Strength.  Garnets were often exchanged between friends to ensure that they would meet again.
Jade
Attracting Love (a traditional Chinese engagement gift from a woman to a man), Healing, Longevity, Wisdom, Protection, Gardening (worn while gardening it will help improve the health of the plants), Prosperity, Money.
OpalAllAstral Projection, Psychic Powers, Inner Beauty, Money (specifically Fire Opals), Luck, Any Magickal Need,  Enhancement of Magickal Powers (especially Black Opals).  Element: 
SapphireWaterExpansion of Psychic Awareness, Promotes fidelity and attunes feelings of love between couples,  Attracting Love (specifically the star sapphires),  Meditation and contemplation centered on wisdom, Peace, Defensive Magic, Healing the physical body, Strengthens the ability to use magickal power (especially star sapphires), Money. 
TopazFireProtection (in general), Healing of the physical body, Weight Loss, Money, Attracting Love, Relieves negative emotions.  
Alexandrite
Draws luck and good fortune. 

Preparing your Crystal for Use

There are several ways to cleanse your new crystal of any unwanted influence or energies.

Any of the following methods can be used for any crystal, however some may work better than others with certain crystals.

The first method is to cleanse the crystal in a bowl of water mixed with sea salt. Wash the crystal & dry it thoroughly. You may also try leaving the crystal in the water overnight in the light of the full moon (best for quartz, moonstone, etc).

 

The second method is smudging (cleansing with smoke). This can be accomplished by passing the crystal through the smoke of sage, frankincense, myrrh, or other herb/resin/blend that is good for purification.

The third method is purification by flame. This is generally only for crystals that are fire element crystals (obsidian, etc). Carefully & quickly pass the crystal through the flame of a candle two or three times.

 

It is important that you understand the nature of the crystal as some crystal can be damaged by these methods, so make sure you know which method to use BEFORE subjecting your crystal to any method.

 

Using Crystal in your Practices

Now that you have selected the crystal that’s right for you & cleansed it, how do you utilize its power? First, it must be made clear that any crystal is a TOOL, it will not make you rich, beautiful, healthy, etc. It can assist you in making your goals a reality, but you have to be working towards it. Each crystal is like a battery—storing & releasing energy at a specific frequency. When you need energy, it will give it. When you need to have energies removed, it will take them away. With that in mind, here are the basics in crystal magick:

Crystal Healing : an alternative medicine technique that employs stones and crystals as healing tools. The practitioner places crystals on different parts of the body, often corresponding to the chakras, or places crystals around the body in an attempt to construct an energy grid, which is believed to surround the client with healing energy. The healing is supposed to remove blockages in the aura or the body's electromagnetic field

Crystal healing has been used in many different cultures throughout history, including the Hopi Native Americans of Arizona and the Hawaiian islanders, some of whom still use them to this day.

In Egypt, jade amulets were found in the tombs and burial chambers because of their supposed power to guide souls in the afterworld.

The Chinese still attribute extensive healing powers to jade, and some other eastern cultures believe that emerald will strengthen the memory and increase intelligence.

Meditation:  Using crystals in mediation is easy. Simply hold the crystal in your hand, wear it around your neck or place it close to you while you meditate. It can add its energies to yours, open new doorways, etc. You can also create a 'crystal grid' to surround you as you meditate.

Ritual/Spell Working: Within ritual crystals can be used to represent the elements, the Deities, your intentions/goals, and many other things (only limited by your imagination). They can also be used to add energy to spell workings, placed at various points around your circle to protect, or used to remove negative energies, to represent someone who is unable to be present physically and many other uses.

Everyday: The easiest way to utilize the power of crystals every day is to wear them. Whether it be in a necklace, a ring, or a bracelet, keeping the crystal close to your skin will allow it to work with you all day long.

Crystals also make excellent amulets & can be charged with very specific purposes (such as protection).

Another way to use them is to keep them close to areas that you frequent. Place crystals by your bed, under your pillow, in your office, in your car, in your purse, where ever you may need them.

Crystals placed around electrical items such as computers can lessen the effects of electromagnetic energies. 

Crystal Life Expectancy

As with most of our ritual tools, practitioners may ‘outgrow’ their crystals or feel that they have need to give it to a specific person. This is normal. When a crystal has fulfilled its purpose, it may ‘send the signal’ that it needs to be released. Sometimes you won't be aware of this and you may be wandering through daily life and suddenly realize that your pendant is no longer with you, or come home to find the crystal by your bed has somehow vanished. Don’t get upset about it, sure have a good look but remember If it needs to come back it will & if not, the crystal was no longer needed.

The second issue with crystal life expectancy is energy drain - a crystal may become lackluster, feel heavy and flat, or 'dead', this is a sign that the crystal has become 'ill' , either from abusive over use without cleansing and proper care, or simply because it has used all its inherent energy achieving it's goal. The simply response to this is not to abuse your crystals but to care for them as you would any ritual tool, the second is to release the stone. This can be done by burial, or by simply leaving it somewhere in nature o recharge and replenish it's natural energies - just remember if it is no longer meant to stay with you, it may not be where you leave it if you come back to look for it later!

Sources and Resources

  • Lady Rohanna Ravenswing BOS (1981)
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemstone
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mineral
  • http://www.thatcrystalsite.com/
  • http://www.crystalcaves.com.au/
  • http://www.paganspath.com/healing/crystal.htm