Crystals 101: School of Rocks

I like to think of crystals as pet rocks with a purpose. This makes me feel less crazy talking to them, which I believe is necessary when activating their energy or setting an intention (humbly asking them to work their magic for you). This post is for those of you who have ever considered adding crystals to your spiritual repertoire, only to become discouraged or overwhelmed, not knowing where to begin. There are Lord knows how many species of crystals out there, so I'm going to keep this as basic as I can and give you the lowdown on what I consider to be the most useful stones in terms of psychic protection, and then move on to some crystals with chakra balancing properties.

A few words about size, shape and texture. Unless you are planning on making your crystals do double duty as a bookends or doorstops, this is one time in life where size does not matter. A pebble or palm-sized nugget can be just as useful as a five pound boulder. Tumbled (smooth), or raw (rough), you ask? There are varying opinions on this subject. Some say they are like most healthy foods... more potent in their natural state, than after being "processed" (which in this case means tumbled). I have also heard that the less they have been handled (this, once again, happens more if they are being tumbled after harvesting), the less random energy may have been absorbed that could potentially affect its new owner (you). I have a mix of both in my collection and, in my opinion, what matters most is simply which crystals "speak" to you personally. I have purchased most of my crystals in new age stores, but a few online as well, and am primarily attracted by color and shape. Crystals come in a myriad of natural and machine or man-cut shapes. Crystal points and wands are usually favored by those doing Reiki healing and other chakra balancing work. I have been pocketing heart-shaped rocks on my walks for years and, if I am purchasing a crystal and happen across one that is heart-ish shaped (whether raw or tumbled), I consider it a keeper. My daughter and her boyfriend are true crystal gurus. They manage to find the most amazing crystals out in the wild without even trying, so I'm also quick to use any crystal gifted to me by them.

Beth's Basic Go-To Crystals
I've mentioned some of my go-to crystals in other blog posts or on facebook and/or instagram, but here they are again in a nice little list, followed by my personal picks for each chakra.

Citrine - Golden in color and used to eliminate negative energy, citrine also attracts success and improves digestion. This magical crystal is always at the top of my list and included in every Spirit Party Favor that I give out at readings. If you are a psychic or an empath, you are an energy sponge. A lot of this energy will be retained in your solar plexus chakra which is at the center of your body, about where your stomach is. Not surprisingly, a lot of empaths suffer from upset or "nervous" stomachs, which is a sign that something is amiss with your third chakra. Using this stone daily when you ground will help to release any negative energy and keep the solar plexus chakra from getting gunked up or fully blocked.

Obsidian and Smokey Quartz - Dark brownish-grey or black in color, both of these "crust busters" absorb negative energy like no other, except maybe amber (which feels like plastic to me, so thanks but no thanks!?) I hold them to ground myself before meditating or raising my vibration, and leave them sitting out at all times for protection from any dark or dank energy that might be lurking about. They are also super low maintenance. Some claim that these stones, like my other fave, citrine, need never be cleansed. I handle mine so often, I've never even needed to dust them like I do the others occasionally.

Selenite - This opaque white-ish stone is a great energy conductor and helps to connect with the higher planes (those mysterious parts of the Universe that can only be seen with the 3rd eye). It has purifying properties as well and is often sold as a stick or wand. You can also purchase a larger flat slab of selenite and use it as a "charging dock" for your other crystals.

Rose Quartz - This light to deep pink crystal is sometimes known as the "romance stone". It helps attract love and to release any negativity associated with heartache, anger or jealousy.  I love pink, so I'd keep it around even if it didn't have so many fabulous properties. Downside: it's a bit more high maintenance than other crystals  and needs to be cleansed fairly frequently, especially if you are prone to a lot of drama in your love life.

Regular Garden Variety Rocks ("Psychic Static Busters")
These are, quite literally, rocks that you find in your yard or garden. Years ago a psychic (who later became my mentor) explained the reason that electronics constantly went hinky on me, and then told me what to do about it. Basically my spazzy energy attracts many other random energies, which then interfere with anything involving an electrical current. His invaluable quick fix? Dig up a palm-sized rock outside, keep it on my classroom desk and grab it as needed to use as a "circuit grounder". I did as directed and was amazed by the results. If my phone, laptop or projector froze up, I simply placed one hand on the rock and another on the device. Boom. Problem solved. No more macbook rainbow wheel of death. Resist the urge to clean the dirt off of them when you bring them into the house, and you can also use these basic rocks to ground (dump unwanted energy) when it's too cold or wet to go barefoot outside and connect directly with the earth.

Chakra Stones
There are several crystals or stones associated with each chakra, based on their color and healing properties. The simplest thing to do is go online to Etsy or Amazon, type in "chakra stones" and buy yourself a set. They come rough, tumbled or with pretty chakra symbols printed on them. If this cheap, mass-produced option does not appeal to you, read on and I will (hopefully) help you to narrow down your choices while choosing your own.

Clear Quartz (Crown Chakra) - Known as the "master stone" by most, I prefer "Queen of Crystals" because it blows the other peasants away by doing everything they can and more. Healing? Check. Protective? Check. Energizing? Check. Amplifying? Check. You get the picture. Buy some attached to a keychain and consider it kryptonite against any bad juju you encounter when forced to interact with the masses.

Amethyst (Crown Chakra) - Some people associate this crystal with the Third Eye Chakra, but that leaves out another stone entirely and, as a former teacher, I always try to be as inclusive as possible. Amethyst is light to dark purple and is used to heal any issue or disorder associated with your head or "crown". Put a chunk next to your bed if you are prone to nightmares and ask Violet (why not name this purple pet?) to banish the dark lords of dreamland.

Lapis Lazuli (Third Eye Chakra) - This mysterious stone is dark blue, often with specks or veins of gold running through it. It's more expensive than sodalite, so you won't find it any of the "chakra stone starter sets", but why skimp on a rock that may open you up to knowledge and visions from other realms? Cleopatra used to grind it up and use it as eyeshadow. If it was good enough for the Cardi B of ancient Egypt, I'm sold!

Angelite (Throat Chakra) - This is the light blue stone that is "skipped" by those who don't put her majesty clear quartz on a throne above the rest of the crystals where she belongs. As the name suggests, it is basically the guardian angel of crystals, offering spiritual protection, healing and inspiration. Open your throat chakra with this stone and, in my humble opinion, you've got a better shot of communicating with the Angels and your Spirit Guides.

Green Aventurine (Heart Chakra) - Just like that other green harbinger of good luck, the four leaf clover, this stone is said to bring fortune's blessings. It is sometimes called the gambling stone for this reason, and is is also useful for opening a blocked heart chakra or lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. I recently considered buying an overpriced ($300) chunk of this stone on a silver chain from Tiffany's... but I was pretty sure that doing so would have the opposite effect on my husband's blood pressure.

Citrine (Solar Plexus Chakra) - I already touted this gem above, so here I'll just remind you that if you are reading this, chances are you are an empath (or know one) and NEED to get some for yourself... or to arm yourself against that moody bff you've been dealing with for so long.

Carnelian (Sacral Chakra) - The sacral chakra is linked to, among other things, the reproductive organs. I read somewhere that this orange-red stone is able to "stimulate the metabolism, improve fertility and reduce frigidity and impotence". It may or may not also help ease the symptoms of menstruation and menopause. I'm seriously considering tucking a pebble of carnelian into the waistband of my underwear. It wouldn't be the first time I was embarrassed by a random rock falling out of my pant leg (doesn't everyone shove a protective crystal in their bra on bad days?)

Red Jasper (Root Chakra) - The root chakra keeps your soul grounded and secure during its journey here on the earthly plane. Red jasper is calming and balances your emotional energy. If you are going through a rough patch or feeling scattered, this might be the spiritual chill pill you've been looking for. Hold some and meditate and you might not need to pop that extra Xanax.

Caring for your New Pet Rocks
As noted above, certain crystals need to be cleansed or recharged more than others. If you are OCD and must know that you are caring for them as specified by the crystal police, please go directly to Mr. Google and take copious notes on each. Generally speaking, the more you use a crystal, the more frequently it needs a "bath" of some sort. There are several methods for cleansing or "recharging" crystals. I will share three below. Read them and choose the one that suits you and your pet rocks best.

Full Moon Recharge 
This is exactly what it sounds like. Rinse your crystals and then take them outside (or arrange them on a windowsill) overnight to bask in the glow of the full moon. I fall asleep early and can barely manage to brush my teeth, so this happens a few times a year at most for my gems.

Dirt Bath
Go outside, dig a hole and bury your crystals for at least 24 hours. Extra time in the ground won't hurt them, just be sure to remember where you buried them before Fido goes digging and chokes on one. Rinse off the dirt and you're good to go.

Salt Spa Treatment
Grab a bowl and enough sea salt or (my fave) pink himalayan salt to cover your crystals. Bury them and let them relax and recharge for at least 24 hours. Rinse the salt off and voilà... your stone servants are rejuvenated and ready to serve you once more. Be sure to chuck used salt. This may seem wasteful to you thrifty types, but consuming the salt that just absorbed all that negative energy kinda defeats the purpose, no?

A final note on the magic of crystals. In the words of George Michael, "You gotta have faith, faith, faith." In other words, they are only as powerful as you believe them to be, so try to suspend any doubt that you might be harboring and they might just rock your world (pun intended).

To learn more about the Spirit World, crystals and other tools of the psychic trade, read my book, Madame Medium: Unleash Your Inner Psychic with a French Teacher Turned Psychic Medium .

Before becoming a professional psychic medium, Beth taught high school French, Spanish, Italian and ESOL. In addition to conducting mediumship and general psychic readings across the country and abroad, she is also conducts paranormal investigations and offers psychic development mentoring for adults and children. Her book,
Madame Medium: Unleash Your Inner Psychic with a French Teacher Turned Psychic Medium , was written to help others uncover and hone their own intuitive abilities. Beth lives just outside of Baltimore, Maryland with her husband, Scott, their dog, Waffle, and their resident house spirit.

To learn more about Beth, her book, and the other services that she offers, visit


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