Four Ways to Cleanse Crystals with Herbs
The stones and crystals used for healing and magic need to be cleansed and charged regularly. I think it's best to cleanse and charge a stone after any healing work. Stones I use as part of my private rituals or for meditation can go a little longer, provided my environment is reasonably harmonious and clear. There are many ways to cleanse and charge your stones. Purification is often done with incense or smoke wands, or with water and salt. The cleansed stones are then sometimes charged with moonlight, sunlight, reiki, or a witch's intentions. I frequently use some combination of these methods myself.
But over the years I've found a few other methods of cleansing and charging stones and crystals with green magic that I would like to share with you today.
1. Infusion. Salt water is a common purification tool, but some stones and crystals can be damaged by salt water. To avoid this potential damage and add a touch of green magic, I like to use herbal infusions to cleanse my crystals. Mugwort tea is an excellent wash for any tool used in divination, including stones used for scrying. Another of my favorite purifying infusions is rosemary with a pinch of salt added (if I'm confident salt won't damage the stone), or a combination of rosemary and our native western red cedar. Any purifying garden herb or weed can be used, including garden sage, hyssop, lavender, peppermint, thyme, valerian or vervain. A weak infusion is appropriate for this form of purification. Use a teaspoon of dried, crumbled herb per cup of water. Place your dried herbs in a jar and speak your intention over them. Pour boiling water over the herbs, right up to the top of the jar, and cover. Steep for five to ten minutes. Then strain the infusion and use it to sprinkle or bathe your stones and crystals. Return the spent herbs to the earth, and thank the earth for her gifts.
Once you've cleansed your crystals, you can charge them with your intention with another appropriate tea or any other method you like. For example, you could make an infusion of rose petals for love, of calendula and/or comfrey for healing, etc.
2. Burial. You'll need a few cups of loose dried herbs of purification. You can use any of the purifying herbs mentioned above, combining multiple herbs if you like. You will also need a box, paper bag, or bowl. I like to use my favorite pottery bowl, but any non-reactive container that will hold your crystal(s) and the dried herbs will work. I especially like to use this method of cleansing and charging for fragile stones like selenite which can be damaged by exposure to water.
Place a layer of dried herbs in the bottom of your container, and hold your hands over them, visualizing clear, bright energy flowing into them. Speak your intention over the herbs, and place your crystal(s) on top of them. Then cover the stones with the rest of the herbs. Be sure to cover them completely. Leave them in the herbs for at least a few hours. You could also set them out overnight during a waning moon to release any unwanted energies, or under a full or new moon for blessing and charging with intention.
When the crystals are cleansed, remove them from the container. Burn the dried herbs in your next ritual fire, or add them to the compost pile with thanks.
3. Garden Cleansing. Take your crystals to the garden and place them beneath a plant, or even on its leaves. I love to let my stones rest on or near the foliage of my comfrey when I have used them for healing magic. If there's been a lot of anxiety in my home, or if I've been working with a client suffering from trauma, I like to place the stones on the leaves of the valerian plant or beside the lavender. For general cleansing, sage and/or rosemary are ideal. Choose whatever plant seems to exude the desired energy and you can't go wrong.
You might also ask the herb you have chosen to give you a leaf, and crush it between your fingers until it releases its juices. These can be used to purify and consecrate the stone, and even to charge it with a specific intention. Always thank the plant and leave it an offering of clear water or compost when you are finished.
2. Woodland Cleansing. Pack your stones and crystals in soft pouches or wrap them in fabric and put them in a backpack, along with a small vessel of clean water. Take them into the woods and find a place where they can rest against a tree--either in a hole in the trunk or nestled among the roots. Try to choose a place where sunlight filtering through the leaves will touch them. Collect a fallen leaf from the forest floor as you walk, or ask a tree to give you a fresh one--and only take if you receive permission.
Place the stones in your chosen spot. Take a few moments to get grounded, sitting on the earth and connecting with her. Then sprinkle the stones with the clean water you brought, and use the leaf as a fan to waft air over them. Then let them rest in the light of the sun (fire energy) and the embrace of the tree (earth energy) as you focus on the purifying and blessing magic of the forest and the elements.
If you like, say a blessing over the stones. Be sure to thank the spirits of the forest and the tree before you go, and offer the remainder of your clear water to the tree.
These techniques could be used for any magical tool that needs to be cleansed. Use your creativity and intuition to find a method that is perfect for you.