You’re no doubt familiar with the clear, brilliant sparkle of crystal. From vintage punch bowls to fragile champagne flutes, crystal is part of our lifestyle, a staple on modern-day wedding registries. In its raw, uncut, unpolished form, clear quartz has served as a protective charm and peace offering since ancient civilizations first discovered it.
Increasingly, crystal is gaining popularity for its abstract, more spiritual characteristics, and those who want to tap into their intuition in search of balance and contentment are turning to crystal healing.
Susan Stroup Current, owner of Presence of Essence and a well-being consultant based in Austin, TX, has been exploring crystal healing since 2014, after her best friend introduced her to the practice. In addition to working with private and corporate clients, she leads a crystal meditation class at Miraval Austin.
Current’s healing technique focuses on meditating with crystals, relying on them as “supportive companions” that “keep us grounded and connected to the earth” while “reminding us of our own strength and potential.”
“I share methods and techniques for using the crystals for your own healing. The properties of crystals represent something that actually exists within us, and sometimes we need a physical reminder of what that is,” Current explains.
For instance, Current has been wearing a bracelet made of carnelian, said to inspire creativity, motivation and leadership.
“The intention was set in this bracelet. It felt good to me to wear something that reminded me of these qualities I have within. It feels grounding to me and like it’s helping me,” she says. “Everyone has as a different way of using and understanding the crystals. They can just be helpful ways to get through a certain period in our lives.”
The approach you take to crystal healing is up to you, Current says. But if you’re hoping to have your fortune told or unlock a secret health remedy, you’re out of luck.
In 2001, Christopher French, head of the anomalistic psychology research unit at the University of London, conducted one of the only studies on the efficacy of crystal healing. His findings suggest crystal healing may induce a placebo effect but nothing more. In other words, you may feel more relaxed after crystal healing, but there’s no scientific proof that your enhanced sense of well-being is due to the crystals used.
Whether you place crystals around your home, wear them around your neck or hold them near your heart while meditating, Current encourages those who are curious about crystals to explore their properties at their own pace, letting their intuition guide them to do “what feels good and right in the moment.”
Crystal healing 101
During one of Current’s crystal meditation sessions, she displays several types of crystals on the floor. Her clients then randomly choose the crystal they feel drawn to or simply like the appearance of. After selecting a stone, Current discusses the qualities it symbolizes, known as its “properties.”
For instance, amethyst is symbolic of peace and is said to inspire a sense of calm. A form of quartz, amethyst “works to balance extremes, leaving you feeling at peace,” according to Current. “The energy within this stone provides a sense of calm for the body, mind and spirit. A heightened sense of intuition is activated when you approach amethyst with this intention in mind.”
During a crystal meditation session, Current encourages those who choose amethyst to visualize purple energy waves flowing through their body and to repeat the mantra “I am peace.”
Regardless of the crystal selected, Current says the main role of crystals in meditation is to assist in grounding.
“As you hold the stone in your hands, it serves as a type of anchor to the earth itself. It is your physical reminder of your connection to the earth. If you feel your mind wandering and disconnecting from the present moment, feel the physical anchor of the crystal and let this bring you back to focus and concentration,” she explains.
She recommends taking 5 to 10 minutes out of each day to make crystal meditation a healing ritual. Set an intention for your meditation session based on the crystal you’ve chosen. For example, if you select rose quartz, focus on bringing love for yourself and others into your life as you close your eyes, bring attention to your breath and concentrate on the sensation of inhaling and exhaling.
“The crystal’s energy or properties are part of your personal intention that exists within you. The stone is a reminder of its existence,” Current says.
Fall in love with crystals
Curious about crystals? Don’t be shy. According to Current, there’s no one correct way to use crystals. She prefers to meditate with them but says regardless of how you incorporate them into your life, “you can’t go wrong” with crystals.
Her starter kit offers an intro to learning to meditate with crystals. Each kit contains a rose quartz, a smoky quartz, an amethyst and a clear quartz along with a small bag, instructions and description cards for each crystal.
In her book, “Whole Beauty,” Shiva Rose, actress and blogger at The Local Rose, says she places crystals on her altars, lays them on herself during body work and adds them to baths for balancing and healing.
“Aside from just their sheer beauty, crystals help us bring the desired energy and vibrations into our lives,” she writes.
Rose even carries crystals with her for “extra grounding and support during hard times.” Her advice for getting started with crystals? “Shopping for crystals is like falling in love. You are drawn to certain crystals for a specific reason, so go with your gut and don’t overthink it,” she writes.
If you prefer to get to know the stones’ properties better before seeking them out, “The Crystal Wisdom Oracle” by Judy Hall provides an introduction to 50 types of crystals. The accompanying handbook features in-depth profiles of each one’s properties.
Getting to know crystals
These crystals made Rose’s top 10 list in “Whole Beauty”:
- Amethyst: promotes a sense of calm
- Black tourmaline: releases negative energy and provides protection
- Citrine: promotes abundance and financial stability
- Jade: balances energy and promotes prosperity
- Labradorite: inspires intuition and helps overcome emotional blocks
- Moonstone: enhances intuition
- Morganite: helps to heal and release old wounds
- Rose quartz: inspires beauty and brings love into your life
- Smoky quartz: brings clarity and releases negativity
- Tiger’s eye: aids in decision-making