It seems to me there is a great deal of confusion out there on ways to cleanse and care for our gems. Much of what I have come across combines five basic ideas into a general one, but each one has its own purpose. In the end though, again, it always comes down to what feels right.
When crystals come in direct contact with our body they become statically charged. I have found this to be most noticeable in Amber Flourite and a few others.
After holding them for a few minutes, most stones become quite warm to the touch. This is desireable when performing healing and can be undone when you are finished by simply holding the stone under running water and releasing the charge.
The heat we feel in the stone is from the energy in it trying to harmonize with us. It's not uncommon that after a bit it seems to cool.
The amount of intensity that will come from a crystal directly relates to what it has absorbed. The stone's effects can be increased through charging.
I have found the best effects result from laying the stone in sunlight at sunrise. If you can look into the sun without damaging your eyes, then it is in a optimum charging range. This is the time that sunlight has its best charging qualities. During the midday, the suns' energies start to discharge. It will suck the color right out of Amethyst, Flourite and many other stones. If it hurts my eyes to look at it, I certainly won't subject my crystal to it.
Actual physical cleaning should just be limited to dusting. If you need to wash one, use distilled water to avoid getting calcium deposits on your crystal. Strong or abrasive cleaners need to be avoided. Many crystals may not be affected by cleaners, but many are very sensitive to them and by the time you can notice the difference it will already be too late.
The information a stone has received will remain stored even after a stone has been discharged and it will recharge itself again. Another action is required to clear the old information. This can be achieved by laying the crystal on an amethyst druse or by laying it in salt. Using an Amethyst to do this is a much kinder treatment of the crystal. Due to the energy concentration of the iron and quartz that make amethyst so powerful, I find a day is generally all it takes to clear old information, less if the crystal had been used for a short period of time.
If you choose to use salt, be very careful. Chemical reactions with some crystals will result in the stone losing its polished finish and I have even had them change color. Putting an opal into a salt bath will kill it and can transform it into chalcedony because it will extract the water held in the opal (it takes a while, but will happen). While chalcedony is also a healing stone, it is just not the opal you may have started with.
It is possible to achieve cleansing using salt in a safer manner. Place the crystal you wish to cleanse in a small glass bowl and set that on salt held in a larger glass bowl. The cleansing process is still in tact, but the stone itself won't become damaged from direct contact. If you add water to the bowl the crystal is in, the process seems to work quicker. The salt can be used over and over, but if you add water, be sure to change it each time this process is used. And, take note: calcites, selenite, etc. will dissolve in water, so be careful with this method.
It is very natural to want to display beautiful crystals so they can be seen and enjoyed. Regular dusting is still one of my main hobbies because I have them sitting out everywhere.
Window sills are always another favorite place to want to display our crystals. I can not recommend doing this, even though they look really cool. Many will fade their beautiful colors among other things. I once placed a quartz sphere on a window sill and thought how beautifully it reflected the sun's light. Well, they are also good 'magnifier lenses'. I wound up with a nice burn mark in the wood on my sill. So take heed to a word of caution about what is placed in your window.
Someone had recommended cleaning a large amethyst cathedral I had with a simple vinegar and water solution to really make the crystals sparkle. Well, they certainly did sparkle. As we sat and admired our handywork, we then witnessed the cathedral explode into many pieces. You see, vinegar is acid and it dissolved the calcium present in the outer layers holding the cathedral together. This caused the cathedral to collapse from its own weight.
While I have to say the rush of energy released was pretty cool, the loss of my beautiful cathedral was not!
I use a purifying mix of herbs that is blended on a New Moon. It is made up of Peppermint, Sage, Lemon Verbena, Red Sandalwood, Lavender, Red Rose Buds and a bit of 'magick'. For me, it is the kindest way to handle the cleansing/clearing/charging process. Most of my personal stones also sit on a bed of this mix in their baskets while they wait to be used.
The creation process of the blend took several months as I experimented with different proportions until I was happy with the results. I then gifted the new blend to friends and asked them to give it a try. We agreed that the results were great and all found that the herbs seemed to add a nice earthy charge to our gems.
The use process is simple. Place some of the mix in a bowl, basket or shell, add your crystal and set in moonlight over night. If you don't have a window to set it by, not to worry, the moons' energy will still come through. When the sun rises, your little gem will be refreshed and ready to go. You can find it HERE in the Herbs Area of the store.
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