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12 Things You Always Wanted To Know About Crystals

You asked, she answered.

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Any way you slice it, crystals are having a moment. So when we asked the BuzzFeed Community what they wanted to know about these seemingly mystical rocks, they answered with questions that ranged from “How the heck do they work?” to “How can crystals help me from being stressed out?” Clearly we needed someone with some kind of authority on the topic, and that’s where Heather Askinosie, crystal expert, co-founder of Energy Muse, and co-author of Crystal Muse: Everyday Rituals to Tune into the Real You comes in. She took the time to go through the questions you sent in and was kind enough to share her ~sage~ advice for you below.

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1. How do crystals help heal? — alanab474fd6e9b

Heather Askinosie: First of all, we will be the first to tell you: if anyone thinks that just buying a crystal is going to magically change their life, they’re going to be disappointed. Trust me, I wish that were true, but we’re the first to tell you it’s not. Working with crystals is like any new diet or fitness regime: you have to put in the work! Like any new program, it takes time and consistency to get results. The magic is not the crystal; it’s you. It’s not doing the work, you’re doing the work. It’s an ally on your journey. A tool to help you get where you want to go.

Crystals have been part of the Earth since the beginning of time, so even if they’re new to  your  world, you’re not new to theirs. If I could take my 25-plus years of connecting with crystals and interpret their message, it would be this: As a society, humans are continuously looking forward. It’s always about bigger, better, faster, and more. Maybe it’s time to slow down and notice that many of the answers we seek are just below our feet, nestled into the Earth that we share. To feel is to heal. 

At the end of the day, they’re really just a tool that reminds you that you can find peace even in the midst of chaos. A touchstone to get grounded, balanced and centered. And when we are in this state, we can make better decisions. Crystals can help you do that; it’s really as simple as that.

2. How do we know crystals work? — danielleh4ac017433

HA: I have been working with crystals for over 25 years. In that time, I have seen lives transformed. I have watched finances and health improve. I’ve witnessed new romances, the healing of old wounds, and the release of negative belief systems. I’ve even observed women conceiving after years of struggle.

“Do crystals really work?” I am asked that a lot. My answer is always the same: “They do for me!” When I first got into working with crystals, I would go to a party, and I seemed to always attract the skeptics. But the truth is, I am also a skeptic by nature. BUT I am open. I will try things and if it doesn’t work for me, I will let it go, and if it does, I keep it. Crystals have been in my “tool chest” for over 25 years now. They make me happy when I look at them. I place them all around my house to remind me to always be grateful for Mother Nature’s beauty. As soon as I hold a crystal in my hand, I feel grounded. I remember to breathe. It isn’t a placebo effect. It isn’t in my head. Crystals act as a tool to create a tangible shift in my energy—an overwhelmingly good one.

If you believe that crystals will help you on an energetic and vibrational level, they most certainly will. If instead you’re thinking, They won’t work since science hasn’t proven they will, you’re still correct—they probably won’t work for you. For crystals to work, you have to approach them with an open mind and a willingness to work with them to accomplish your goals. Look at it this way: while science still has yet to prove that crystals can affect our mental and physical being, neither has it proven that they can’t.

3. Should you start out with crystals you need, based on what you need them for or is there a basic ''starter kit'' that's good for most everyday needs? — Harlei

HA: When you’re beginning to get into the world of crystals, start with one. Get to know it and really carry it. Spend time with it. It’s like a relationship with a person, you have to put in the time. Once you know that crystal, you can add to your collection and expand from there.

Whether you’re headed to your local crystal shop or browsing online, the first step to choosing a crystal is to get out of your head and into your heart. Trust yourself. You’ll know which crystal is right for you, because you know yourself better than anyone else. Some will feel light, some will feel heavy. Some will draw you in, and others you will pass by. It’s your intuition’s way of talking to you. (To put this theory to the test, take our crystal test!)

4. How do you “charge” a crystal? How can I cleanse my crystals and how often should I cleanse them? — CatherineCraving

HA: The reason that crystals are so effective in energy work is the same reason that cleansing them is essential — crystals pick up energy. Cleansing your crystals resets their energy, so that every time you work with them, you are starting from an energetically clean slate. If you never clean your crystals, they will continue to store energy they’ve picked up from their environment or people they’ve come into contact with. Think of it like this: a towel can wipe a mess clean, but if you never wash the towel, it will begin to add to the mess; crystals are similar. There a few different ways that you can set about purifying the energy of your crystals: 

Moonlight Spa: Let your crystals bathe outside in light of the sun or full moon for at least 4 hours.

Smoke It Out: Not only will burning Sage and Palo Santo clear the energy of your space, they’ll have your crystals feeling great, too. Immerse your crystal with the sacred smoke until you feel its energy and vibrancy return.

Return to Nature: We could all use the energetic reset that comes with a return to nature. To give your crystal that revitalizing pleasure, place it on the Earth or in the branches/soil of a healthy houseplant for 24 hours.

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5. Where is a good, reputable place to buy crystals? — Harlei

HA: When you’re looking to find your go-to crystal spot, try to find a place that is ethically sourcing their crystals. This simply means that the miners are mindful about how they are taking the crystals from the Earth and not just ripping them from the ground. When you are getting your crystals from people who respect the Earth, the crystals are of better quality and vibration.

6. Why are people so devoted and even obsessed with crystals? — gsd615

HA: Because they’re pretty and make you happy! Many people feel better when they have them around. And our innate nature is to want to feel good. It’s really that simple!

7. I am under so much stress all the time that I am facing health issues. Can a crystal help me? — geetikap

HA: First of all, when dealing with health issues, always see your doctor or health practitioner first. Second of all, I think that where crystals can be really helpful is in the emotional realm. Many times disease stems from suppressed emotions, a part of ourselves that we don’t want to see. For anyone that is facing health issues, I love the crystal Selenite. It’s just pure, high vibrational light. Just laying there with it on your chest for 11 minutes will give you the time and space to check in with yourself and gather some additional data. Once those emotions are brought to the surface, they can be addressed and cleared instead of continuing to store them within the body.

For stress, if you feel like spinning out of control, you want to ground your energy with a darker stone like Black Tourmaline or Obsidian. If you feel like you’re too in your head, reach for a crystal like Blue Lace Agate or Aura Quartz. The look and appearance of crystals will give you insight into what the crystal can do for you.

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8. What crystals can I use to help with anxiety? — ReeseBalt

HA: I love Blue Lace Agate and Fluorite for anxiety. When you see their light, beautiful color, you can just breathe a little easier and a sense of peace fills your body.

9. What's a good beginner crystal to work with?

HA: When it comes to working with crystals, I can’t tell you what the best crystal is for you to begin with. Every person is different, and what they “need” will be different. You know yourself better than I’m ever going to know you; trust that. The whole message with crystals is for you to trust yourself; for you to be your own shaman and for you to say to yourself, okay this is the right crystal for me because it just feels right.

10. What crystals are best for meditation, and how do you use them during it? — christinab42a0051de

HA: Personally, right now my favorite is Selenite. I think of Selenite as liquid light. When you meditate with it in each hand, it’s a crystal that helps you to expand upwards into the universe, but also to ground downwards into the Earth. This duality is rare, and that’s what I like most about meditating with Selenite.

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11. What caused the recent popularity of crystals? — gsd615

HA: Crystals have been around for a long, long time. Almost every ancient civilization since the beginning of time has used crystals in a variety of ways —from healings to offerings to protective talismans. Queen Cleopatra and the ancient Egyptians used ground Malachite and Lapis Lazuli to create a rainbow of eye shadows and cosmetics. The Romans embedded crystals into their armor and shields to provide protection and strength while in battle. In India, Ayurvedic medicine has used crystal energy to correct physical, emotional, and metaphysical imbalances within the body.

Energy Muse has been in business 17 years, and we wouldn’t have stayed in business if people weren’t buying crystals! The difference is now people are talking about it; sharing it with other people. More than ever, having the energy of the Earth around you — whether it’s to see it in your space or to wear it on your body — reminds you that we are here on this planet to reconnect with it and reconnect with each other. As a society, humans are continuously looking forward. It’s always about bigger, better, faster, and more. Maybe it’s time to slow down and notice that many of the answers we seek are just below our feet, nestled into the Earth that we share. And I think that people are looking more to crystals to remind ourselves of that.

12. What do you say to the naysayers and others who don't believe that crystals can help people?

HA: That they’re all missing out! A lot of people will say science hasn’t proven that crystals work; but, science hasn’t proven that they don’t work either. Can science prove that when I put my bare feet on soil or grass I feel something? That’s not just in my head. And I’m not going to wait around for science to prove that to me! We need to feel. When we feel, we heal. There will always be people who don’t understand or “believe” that crystals can help people. And we can just agree to disagree, but still respect one another.

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