Have you ever come across a stunning crystal that you would have loved to add to your collection, but when you picked it up it felt strange? Or have you ever worn your favorite crystal as a pendant but, after a while, it started feeling heavy and tight around your neck?
Due to their energetic nature, crystals store information from energy patterns with which they come into contact. This phenomenon has been discussed since ancient times. The process of storing and eliminating information in sensitive substances has been thoroughly studied. For example, a study from 2008 claimed that healing crystals that had been applied to ill people, when tested by healthy, sensitive persons, usually caused unpleasant sensations. “Unused” crystals, though, were perceived as neutral by these same subjects. (Gienger, 2008)
It has also been shown that these undesirable effects can be reduced, improving the further application of crystals. As you may already know, this process is known as cleansing, and It consists of removing the “invisible ballast” of crystals.
But what is the “invisible ballast”? Well, crystals are information carriers. Such information might be part of the crystal itself (coming from its color, composition, or structure), or it may be simply attached by coming into contact with it. This happens with daily use and is neither positive nor negative. But our own value judgment will make us perceive this attached information as “good” or “bad”. Healing crystal expert Michael Gienger defines the “invisible ballast” as that information accumulated in crystals that affects us negatively.
Information -ballast or not- can change how we perceive crystals. For example, it is what makes us feel either attraction or repulsion when we pick up a piece of quartz. We, of course, feel attracted to the information we perceive as pleasant, and repelled by that which we find unpleasant. Therefore, at first, the ballast may come across as a crystal’s lack of beauty. This can explain why we stop feeling drawn to one of our favorite or most used crystals from time to time.
Incense cleanse: the safest method
As long as it is not inherent to the crystals themselves, we can eliminate this unpleasant information by cleansing them. An effective cleanse of your crystals will be that which eliminates attached foreign information.
Several methods can be used for this. All of them work by transmitting information regarding transience, i.e., that nothing is permanent. In other words, a cleanse is performed so that the attachment of previous information to the crystal is dissolved.
But many cleansing methods are not safe for all crystals. For example, water cleansing is extremely dangerous for water-soluble crystals like alum and may damage other sensitive crystals like pyrite or galenite. In the same way, salt chemically attacks many crystals. However, a safe, effective method is incense cleansing.
Certain herbs, woods, and resins have a special purifying power. Therefore, their burning results in the energy of transience. Some examples of widely-used herbs and resins are:
- Indian myrrh
This method is ideal for any occasion, but especially before using a crystal for the first time – But you can use it whenever you feel it is necessary. It is very powerful and only takes two to three minutes. The best part: it can be applied to all crystals!
The cleansing ritual
The ritual itself may be different for every person. It consists of only holding the crystals in the rising smoke of burning incense for a few minutes. However, a small ceremony conducted with full awareness and attention is ideal. It does not have to be complicated. The only requirement is doing it with intention. Here is an idea of how you can carry out your ritual:
- The first step is to tidy the space where the ceremony will take place and set a nice ambiance for your cleansing work.
- Now, it is time to cleanse yourself. Wash your hands or take a shower. Change into light-colored clothes. If possible, wear clothes made of natural fabrics. Take off any metal accessories and gadgets. If you feel comfortable, go barefoot and roll up your sleeves. Finally, ensure there are no external disturbances such as your phone, TV, or smartwatch. This ceremony will require your undivided attention.
- Pre-cleanse the crystals by rubbing them with a damp cloth (or a dry one, if your crystals are sensitive to water, or you’re unsure if they are). After this point, avoid touching your crystals. If you need to move them, you can lay them on a cloth.
- Prepare the items for your ritual. You can set out incense sticks, singing bowls, a candle, and matches to light it. You can also pick up some flowers as an offering. Arrange these items pleasingly and prepare to start the cleanse. While doing so, take time to meditate and try to achieve a state of calm and concentration.
- Light the candle with a short prayer to yourself. Then, start burning your incense sticks. Allow the aroma to fill up the space and lift its energetic level.
- The essential factor of the ceremony is your intention. Remember that it will be released to the Universe when you light the candle. While doing so, be sure to ask for support with the cleansing process and ask for the release of the attached information.
- Now light a piece of charcoal in a fire-proof vessel. Once it stops glowing and turns ashy, sprinkle it with some incense. The equivalent to the size of a pea is enough. Or, if you don’t have access to loose incense, light your incense stick. When the smoke begins to rise, slowly move the crystals through it. If they are too big to handle appropriately, you can also fan the smoke across the crystals with a feather.
- Close the ceremony with thankfulness. Again, use your intention to release all the attached information. Once finished, respectfully give the flowers used in the ritual back to Nature.
- After the ceremony, remember to air the room and you are ready to redirect your attention to something else and go about your day with fresh crystals.
Incense and bowls: a perfect combination
Burning incense is often used in combination with singing bowls for crystal cleansing, as they have similar effects. In fact, this combination is quite traditional. The intense vibrations from the bowls can cleanse a crystal in a few minutes when placed inside them.
If you have singing bowls and would like to include them in your cleansing ritual, the moment to do so is right before closing the ceremony. Bowls are used to rinse the crystals with sound. This is achieved by placing the crystals inside them and producing a constant note with the bowls for a few minutes. If your crystals are too big, you can move the vibrating bowls around them instead.
Cleanse. Use. Heal. Repeat.
Remember that a cleanse is effective when you can perceive a sense of liberation. The energy of your crystals should feel fresh or neutral right after.
Some crystals, like amber, can be more difficult to cleanse due to their structure or how they are formed. Also, sometimes, energy can be stubborn or harder to detach. Check how your crystals feel after the ritual and do not hesitate to repeat it if you feel it is necessary.
Did you know that cleansing crystals regularly improves their effect significantly? How do you take care of yours? Let us know in the comments!
- Purifying Crystals. How to Clear, Charge and Purify Your Healing Crystals, by Michael Gienger
- Crystals for Healing, by Karen Frazier