You don’t have to be a specialist in mineralogy, petrology, or gemology to appreciate the countless benefits of working with stones. I think I was first introduced to them by my Reiki Master/Teacher in 2003? 2004? We’d go down to the shop in San Francisco and try holding the different tumbled rocks in our hands, feeling out which felt most appropriate for what we needed at the time. There’s a lot of intuitive connection people can find with stones. Not only can one feel drawn to a particular type of stone, but even to a particular one within a collection of that stone (e.g. one specific piece moonstone within a bin of moonstone pieces). You might consider feeling out and choosing the piece that is particularly appropriate for you and what you’re going through.
Why we cleanse stones
Once you’ve decided on a stone, there are a number of ways you can work with it (I’ll leave that for a later post). As a precaution before working with it, it’s always best to cleanse your stone energetically. You might think of this as an energetic dusting, dusting off any attachments people have had to the piece, or any anger, fear or grief that had inadvertently accumulated on the stone. Your intention in cleansing the piece is to refresh its natural vibration, welcoming its wisdom and inviting its participation in supporting your efforts towards manifesting that which is in the greatest and highest good for all.
Depending on the method used, cleansing your stones can be as fast as 15 seconds to one week.
When to cleanse stones
In addition to clearing the stones when you first get them, you will likely want to ‘refresh’ their energy as you continue to work with them. Some examples:
- Daily: For pocket stones that are carried with you throughout the day, gemstone jewelry, or stones you sleep with under your pillow.
- After a healing session: For stones used in healing work or pendulums after use.
- Monthly: For gridding stones or those kept on one’s altar.
I might also mention here certain stones, like selenite or kyanite, never accumulate so-called ‘negative energy’; for this reason these stones do not need to be cleansed.
How to cleanse stones energetically
You might choose to work with a particular element’s assistance; alternatively, you can couple or double or more your efforts with combining multiple techniques. No matter what you choose to do, it’s important to include your firm intention to cleanse the stone of any energy that no longer serves its greatest and highest good. You might hold your stone in your non-dominant hand before and after the cleansing and ask yourself, “How if all does this stone feel different?” It’s fine if nothing comes to you; but it’s always worth inviting to mind what you notice.
- Smudge (sage is ideal). This method is safe and beneficial for all stones.
- Sunlight: Leave your stone in direct sunlight for one day (best done outdoors, as opposed to through a window). Note: This method is not appropriate for all stones, such as opals.
- White and/or gold light: This is a largely intentional method, in which you are using your intention and concentration to direct white light and/or gold light directly from the universe (or via your third-eye) to the stone. Imagine the light surrounding and penetrating the stone, transmuting any lower-vibrational energies. This method is safe and beneficial for all stones.
- ‘Dirt bath’: Bury your stone in earth, leaving it to rest and purify over about a week. Obviously, one would want to clean off the dirt before using, which makes this method less ideal for stones in jewelry, etc.
- Quartz: Use a tumbled quartz bed to rest your stone upon for cleansing. Retrieve after 12-24 hours. This method is safe and beneficial for all stones.
- Selenite: Use a selenite wand to transmute the lower-vibrational energy accumulated on your stone to higher-vibrational energy. You can also lie your stone on top of the selenite as you would do with quartz. This is my favorite technique, using the wand to draw and embed Reiki symbols into the stone. This method is safe and beneficial for all stones.
- Running water: You can place your stone in a running stream or river to cleanse it, retrieving it after one to two days. Certain stones may benefit from energizing in the sun after this kind of treatment.
- Salt/water: You can either bury your stone in sea salt for up to 24 hours, rinsing with pure water and charging it afterwards. Alternatively, you can soak the stone in saltwater placed in a glass bowl/jar and let it cleanse and charge over 24 hours by the full moon and sunlight. This method is not recommended for softer stones, which can dissolve and/or be marred by the salt crystals.
- Level one practitioners: You can hold the stone between your hands and direct Reiki to clear and charge the stone in the name of its greatest and highest good. Channel Reiki until you feel a shift, and/or for three to five minutes.
- Level two+ practitioners: Open the Reiki channel, directing Symbol 2 followed by 1 into the stone, intending to clear it of any lower-vibrational energy and to charge the stone for its greatest and highest good. As I mentioned above, I love coupling this with my selenite wand, clearing my Reiki stones in between treatments.
Thank your stone
The more we connect with life, the more we find it in all things. After you’ve taken the time and care to clear and charge your stone, you might express gratitude for its being and its age-old wisdom; you might welcome its willingness to work with you in the name of your greatest and highest good. The more you connect with your stone out of love and appreciation, the more it beams back these qualities to you in your work together. Remember, they’ve been around a lot longer than you — they have so much to offer to those who ask respectfully!
This week, for fun, look at pictures of rocks online or visit your local rock shop. Do any call to you? What catches your eye? Feel free to share in the comments!