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Want To Start Using Crystals? Here's Everything You Need To Know

Interested to try them out?
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To say we've reached peak new age is inaccurate. We're beyond that now. With apps like Co-Star, Sanctuary, and The Pattern ruling our daily lives—oops! I meant "guiding" our decisions and demystifying our moods—it's easy to see why crystals are also back into the fore. These rocks, whether worn or displayed, offer a prettiness that's hard to resist. And if that's not good vibes—what is?

The obsession with these rocks are nothing new however, as any crystal healer will tell you. Perhaps that's become part of the problem for any newbie. There's a wealth of conflicting information on the internet, not to mention your oil-bulario officemate's well-intentioned advice. To help us make sense of all that, we spoke with Rodina Chua, an energy practitioner at the Healing House in Wack Wack. (Full disclosure: She is a co-owner of Accessory Lab in Power Plant. "A metaphysical shop masquerading as a fashion andbeauty store," she joked.)

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I want to try using crystals, how do I start?

First things first: To find the right crystal, one must know where to look and what to look out for. Rodina says that a good crystal shop will have a "harmonious vibe" to it. That should also manifest in the attitudes and demeanor of shopkeepers. Are they providing you the best information they can? Can they answer your questions without it feeling like mere sales talk? What does your gut say? But if that isn't enough for you—or if you're as dense as I am, Rodina suggested you "inspect closely or maybe even ask for certificates. Is the seller affiliated with any group? You may check that as well."

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"I do suggest to enjoy crystals lovingly one piece at a time. It is very tempting to hoard, but a collection will have a more meaning if there is an intimate story attached to [each one]. Let it be an engagement crystal or a 'just because I am happy' crystal," she suggests.

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Buying crystals online

Instagram is flooded with online sellers peddling imported crystals—both a blessing and a curse. As much as we hate to say it, there is no substitute to experiencing the crystals firsthand. But for those who don't have access to brick-and-mortar shops, you just have to be extra cautious. Needless to say, there are fakes and misidentified rocks out there!

Some of the shops Rodina trusts are Astro Gallery in New York because with them, "what you see is what you get," and Books Kinokuniya. The former ships worldwide.

Finding the right crystal

Some people get a physical sensation when they find the right crystal, usually warmth or a gentle vibration. For the rest of us who, don't, we're advised to wait for one to call out to you. If that still doesn't make sense to you, perhaps narrow it down to intent or aesthetic. The app Stone is free and can provide help with this step. Google images is also another powerful tool, because one crystal can look wildly different when raw and when tumbled or polished.

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As a resource for beginners, Rodina suggested browsing The Crystal Healer by Philip Permutt.

What other important details should you pay attention to when picking crystals?

Color is one of those confusing topics when it comes to crystals. Some crystal's "capabilities" differ with its color variations. Technically, this is because of how they're formed and what chemical elements make it into mix. Some will fade when continually exposed to direct sunlight. Does this mean that it loses some of its "power"? If you're worried about that, Rodina has some very reassuring advice: "[The crystal] doesn't bring you power. It reminds you of your power and what to do with it. We all have it in us." So, simply pick the color you like best, and keep it away from the sun so it doesn't change. Think of the color as a visualization of how you want it to make you feel. 

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As for places of origin and ethical mining practices, of course they matter. Is there a way to really be 100 percent sure? Address any trauma your stone has with proper cleaning. And while Rodina says there is no faking mother nature, it shouldn't be a hindrance for crystal enjoyment. "If you want your crystal a certain color or if you don't mind [that it's grown in a lab], go with it," she enthused.

What about shape? Well, Rodina suggested asking yourself when, where, and how you intend to use it. For beautifying yourself, why not get a facial roller? For carrying in your handbag, a light tumbled piece. For decorating your home, a geode, a generator (a small obelisk) or even a stool. For reminding yourself of your power, a small piece of fine jewelry you can see throughout the day. You get the idea. Make it suit your life. Make it work for you.

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Do the size and shape make a difference? Only in the way you use it. In terms of energy, not really.

Are there crystals that are "wrong" for you?

I know what you're thinking: "What if I end up with the wrong one?" and "I don't want that one. It's too common." Actually, the wrong crystal won't find its way to you. Sometimes, the one you resist may even be the one for you.

How to cleanse your cystals

The moment you find the right match, you gotta get that crystal cleansed. Physical cleaning is one thing, and it shouldn't be neglected. But metaphysical cleaning is another. Those who are sensitive can feel weighed down by a "dirty" crystal.

Easy ways to cleanse your crystals are by regularly putting them around Carnelian or on a pan with rock salt. Leaving it overnight is good enough, just make sure everything stays dry as salt water can corrode your crystals. Be sure to throw the "dirty" salt out, and not around plants! (It affects the soil chemistry and might kill them.) Never get lazy when it comes to cleansing as they may absorb imprints from others as they go through the day with you. 

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Other ways include burning palo santo, putting it under moonlight, washing it under running water (emphasis on running, not stagnant), using a singing bowl, and vibrational sprays. While running the tap does seem like the simplest option, some crystals gradually dissolve in water. Be sure to research before trying it out.

Lastly, intent matters when cleansing, so be very mentally present for that. Words like "programming," "dedication," or "intention-setting" can sound confusing, daunting, or very woo-woo, but they all mean the same thing as prayer. Again, Rodina advised, "Don't give reverence to the crystals. They're the vessels [for your intentions]. You do not pray to them."

What if I don't clean my crystals "enough"?

For those of us who constantly disinfect our phones, there's always going to be this nagging sensation of "Have I cleansed my crystals thoroughly enough?" And while there is no direct answer, the best way to safeguard against negative energy is by being responsible in cleansing them.

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Rodina also explains that energy is neutral. It only gets its charge from its environment and from us. And if you let fear enter your space—including the fear of obtaining the wrong crystal or using a crystal that hasn't been cleansed enough, all very understandable fears—it debilitates, which is the opposite of crystal healing. If you find yourself feeling such things, ask yourself "Why am I letting fear into my life?" Sometimes it has a purpose, like a stimulus or a warning. But other times, we simply must move past it in order to remove these limiting behaviors.

Are there strict rules to follow when using crystals?

Now we've heard that no one else must touch your crystals. Rodina said that this rule is not set in stone. Rodina goes on to further explain that it's more about setting boundaries. "If a stranger suddenly touches your bag, how would you feel?" she asked, putting things in perspective. Reiki practitioner Gem Ong put it as "sharing energies," which might be just what you need at that moment. It just depends on who you allow into your space. That said, protection in this sense means mastering your space and the ability to move freely but still being in control of who or what you allow in. That way you'll know what energies you need to remove or keep out.

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While there are ~*hard rules*~ when it comes to mixing crystals, a beginner must not worry about them yet. "What looks good to you?" Rodina suggested going with your senses. Generally speaking, pastels go well with other pastels, and jewel tones work well with other jewel tones. She gave the example of rose quartz with aquamarine. The former for transmuting grief and the latter for simplification.

An example of a no-no: A calming stone with an energizing stone, like lapiz lazuli with rutilated quartz. They cancel each other out.

What are good crystals for beginners?

If you're still clueless about what to get, here are some of Rodina's notes:

  • Clear Quartz is a natural amplifier and can represent all other stones.
  • Citrine brings infinite joy of mind, body, and soul! When paired with clear quartz, they aid detoxification.
  • Amethyst automatically opens intuitive pathways to the self, giving us the humility to accept more blessings in life.
  • Forgiveness is the gift of the rose quartz. This leads us to be able to love again.
  • Fluorite infuses relationships with lightness and flow. It's also a favorite for mental mastery!
  • Carnelian exudes sensual creative energy and cleanses other crystals.
  • Black Tourmaline is a reminder to feel safe and protected.

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"Powering up" your crystals

All those popular toners or spritzes you've seen on your favorite beauty sites are elixirs, which you can DIY. Water amplifies the power of the crystal, but be warned. Some are toxic to ingest! Again, be sure to do your research beforehand. If the crystal is non-toxic and non-soluble in water, you can directly submerge it overnight and use the charged water as you please. If it is not, keep the crystal in a separate container directly beside the water you will use for your elixir.

Another way—and this one is great since the Christmas season is coming up—is gifting a crystal. "It makes it at least three times more the powerful," Rodina said. It has something to do with the frequency of gratitude. But always remember not to let your ego in the way. "Sometimes what they need is not always what you want for them. So ask the universe," Gem shared.

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What do I do if I lose a crystal?

Just like life—it happens. Healers believe in synchronicity, which is that nothing is random. Everything happens when it's supposed to, even loss. "[The crystal] has served its purpose. Give it your gratitude, then get another crystal," Rodina advised.

How to enjoy your crystals

To wrap it all up: Trust your intuition and never overcomplicate things. If a "rule" isn't working for you, let it go. Make it fit your lifestyle. We understand that this freedom is daunting and overwhelming. But if you let yourself see past the hype or curiosity, it'll make so much sense. You're doing this for you, after all. So what's the inner you trying to say?

Browse the crystal selection at Accessory Lab.
R2 level, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City
Tel. no. 890-9011

Book a session at The Healing House.
18 Magnolia, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila
Tel. no. 477-8823

Book a session at Palma House.
5th floor, Holism Center, 6047 R. Palma St., Makati City

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