The Basics of Living With Crystals

I believe crystals choose us just as much as we choose them. When you work with a crystal, it is a partnership – a collaboration of your consciousness with the conscious energy of the crystal being. It’s why when I write or speak about crystals, I talk in terms of adopting, partnering, or working with crystals instead of buying, owning, or using them.

Reason, Season, Lifetime

Just as people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime, so do crystals. Some crystals are meant to be lifelong partners, working beside you on the core karmic issues you return to in this lifetime over and over again. Other crystals find you to help fulfill a specific purpose; when their purpose is fulfilled, then it’s time to pass them on. Others come to help you with longer-term issues or lessons. Not all crystals are meant to stay with you forever.

A Lesson in Impermanence

Many years ago when I first started working with crystals, I had a small pouch of stones I took with me everywhere. Those crystals became very important to me; I felt I needed them at all times. This was back in the days when I was first coming to terms with my empathic nature, and the crystals I carried helped me navigate difficult waters and left me feeling protected against the often overwhelming emotions of others.

One day I was getting ready to speak at an event in Seattle. It was a conference I’d attended before, and it was always so crowded I found the energy overwhelming. Just a few hours there exhausted me, and I’d come home and need to sleep for hours and hibernate for days just to recover.

That day, I had my crystal pouch with me as I got ready at home for the conference. I set my crystals down on a counter, turned around and grabbed something from another counter, and immediately turned back around. In the 10 seconds my back was turned, the pouch of crystals disappeared. I was alone in the house at the time.

Bag of Crystals
Bag of Crystals

I searched high and low, but I could not find those crystals. I was forced to attend the conference without them, and I was surprised to discover I was just fine. I no longer needed them to get through events such as that, but the only way I knew this was because the disappeared.

I always wondered what happened to that pouch of crystals. A few years ago, I started finding the stones from the pouch one by one in different locations around my house. I took it as a sign I no longer needed the energy of those specific crystals in my life, and I gave them away to others I felt needed them. It was a valuable lesson for me, and it’s one I keep in mind. It helped me to recognize the difference between using crystals as a crutch and working with crystals in ways that served the greatest good. It was the start of my philosophy that we don’t own crystals; we live with them and partner with their consciousness.

Choosing Crystals

When you begin to approach crystals in this manner, it changes how you choose the crystals you work with. Choosing stones becomes about finding the best energetic fit as opposed to acquisition and ownership.

So how do you choose a crystal that serves the greatest good?

Choosing Crystals - Amethyst
Choosing Crystals – Amethyst
  • Ask for help: Before you enter a crystal shop, gem fair, or somewhere else where crystals might be, take a moment, close your eyes, and ask to be guided to the crystal or stones you need to partner with right now given your intention.
  • Listen for Divine guidance: Once you enter the shop, pause a moment, close your eyes, and move in the direction you’re drawn until you feel guided to stop.
  • Hold the crystals in your hands: Pick up crystals one at a time. Hold them in your non-dominant hand, which is your receiving hand, and pay attention to the energy. If you feel some type of an internal click, you’re holding the right crystal.


As soon as you bring your crystals home, cleanse them. Every crystal you work with has been somewhere before it’s gotten to you. On its journey to reach you, that stone has collected the energy of everywhere it has been and everyone it has encountered. This means it’s unlikely the crystal is vibrating at its optimal frequency. Cleansing the crystal can return it to its original high frequency.

Cleansing Crystals
Cleansing Crystals with Sage

How to Cleanse Crystals

You’ll find many methods for cleansing crystals. Some of my favorite include the following:

  • Use the smoke from sage, sweetgrass, or palo santo. Hold each crystal in the smoke for 5 to 10 seconds, turning it so all parts of the crystal are in contact with the smoke.
  • Cleanse with sound; place the crystals a few at a time in a singing bowl and ring the singing bowl. Allow the tone to decay naturally before removing the crystals.
  • Place them outside in the moonlight overnight (it doesn’t need to be a full moon) or in the sunlight during the day for about 8 hours.

When to Cleanse

At minimum, I recommend cleansing all of your crystals at least once a week. I do this every Sunday morning with palo santo smoke, walking through my house and fanning the smoke over and around every crystal. You may need to cleanse crystals more often under certain circumstances:

  • Cleanse crystals you wear every two or three days.
  • Cleanse crystals used in grids every time you reset the grid.
  • During particularly difficult periods, such as when you are ill or grieving, cleanse crystals daily.
  • Cleanse crystals after upheaval, such as having a fight with your significant other, experiencing the death of a pet, or losing your job.
Crystal Grid
Crystal Grid

Programming Crystals

Crystals record and hold energy, so you can program them with intention as well. I like to program my crystals with the frequency of unconditional love, but you can program any crystal to any intention using the same method.

  • Hold the crystal in your dominant hand, which is your giving hand.
  • Close your eyes and focus on your heart chakra in the center of your chest.
  • Visualize something or someone you love and allow yourself to feel the love and joy that brings you building in your chest.
  • If you’re programming for a specific intention, while you’re in the space of love, visualize your intention as if you have already reached it. Feel the emotions attached with achieving that intention.
  • Now, allow the energy of love and your intention to flow from your heart, through your arm and hand, and into the crystal. Hold the emotion for as long as you can. Your crystal is now programmed.

Expressing Gratitude

Finally, as you work with your crystals, always express gratitude for their partnership in your life. You can send gratitude to your crystal using the same technique you do for programming, or you can simply take a few moments after you work with them each time to send them the energy of gratitude.

Let Intuition Guide You

Finally, listen to your crystals. They have much to share if you are open to their messages. If you feel drawn to place a crystal somewhere, do it. If you feel compelled to give a crystal away to someone, listen to this message. If you intuitively know it’s time to return a crystal to the universe, do that. Your crystals are in constant communication with you. Once you tune into their energy, you can hear the messages they send via your thoughts and intuition. In doing so, you accept crystals into your life as partners on your spiritual journey.

Karen Frazier
Karen Frazier
Karen Frazier is the author of books about metaphysics, crystal healing, energy healing, and dream interpretation including Crystals for Healing, Crystals for Beginners, The Crystal Alchemist, The Little Book of Energy Healing Techniques, Reiki Healing for Beginners, and The Higher Vibes Toolbox.
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