Every gemstone has its own unique Crystal Power that can be used in magic. This is also true for metals and other minerals. As such, the terms crystal and stone are generally used interchangeably. Crystal healing and the energetic vibrations of crystals are frequently discussed in new age circles. I prefer to think of it simply as the power of crystals.
Identifying and classifying crystals and minerals is a complex subject worthy of its own website. Briefly, crystals are classified based on their hardness, color, transparency, chemical make-up and crystal structure. Clear quartz, for example, is a hardness 7, colorless, transparent, Type 3 (hexagonal) crystal. Yellow quartz is called citrine; purple quartz is amethyst. Unless you plan on harvesting your own stones, identifying stones in this way is unimportant. You need only to learn to tell your own stones apart.
Often times stones will have more than one name attached to them, or varieties of a stone will be names differently. Quartz, for example, can be clear, white (snowy quartz), pink (rose quartz), gray (smokey quartz), yellow (citrine), purple (amethyst), yellow and purple (ametrine), or green (aventurine). These are just the most common quartz colors on the market; there can easily be others. Crystals may also have inclusions: other minerals or items trapped inside of them amber is valued partly for its prehistoric fossil inclusions). Quartz commonly occurs with four inclusions: tourmaline, rutile, lithium and water. This can occur in almost any color of quartz.
There are several gemstones and minerals that do not form crystals. These are called amorphous gemstones. Opal and pearls in particular are amorphous. These gemstones and other non-crystal structures still have power. For convenience, I have grouped all of these minerals into the category of "crystal power".
The way a crystal comes out of the ground is called its raw form. Raw hematite, for example, is often globular. It looks like several small balls of metal partially melted together and is dull gray in color. Stones can be sold raw, or they can be tumbled, polished or cut to make it look nicer. Often stones have sharp edges in their raw form, so most stones are treated in some way before being sold. The least expensive method to treat stone is tumbling. Several stones are placed in rotating or vibrating barrels with abrasives and polish to round off edges and shine them.
For decorative purposes, many stones are cut and polished. These can be slabs (thin, polished plates of stone), geometric shapes like spheres and pyramids, sculptures, or faceted crystals like those used in jewelry. The method of cutting can sometimes add to the power of a crystal, but unless purposefully done, shape generally doesn't effect crystal power much.
As with everything else in magic, it is important that you choose a crystal that works for you. After you have determined a selection of stone types that will fulfill your needs, you will need to pick out a particular stone that is "yours". Here are a few methods of choosing crystals that are right for you:
If for some reason no stone calls to you, you might need to look elsewhere. If several stones call equally to you, pick any of them (or all of them, if you budget supports it). As long as the stone "speaks" to you, it will work. You should not use any tool that doesn't "speak" to you; the power of magic has as much to do with you as with the items you use. When choosing stones, symbols, or other magical enhancements, you should always trust your own intuition about whether or not it will work.
Crystals used for magic or ritual should be cleansed regularly. If they are not, the crystal power will begin to be overwhelmed by conflicting energies. Cleansing can be done in a several different ways.
Please note that some crystals should not be cleansed in salt water or sun, as this can altar the crystal's appearance Examples of crystals effected by salt water and/or sunlight include Labradorite, opal, calcite and amethyst.
When discussing how to use a particular crystal (or other magical tool), you will often hear about its correspondences. A correspondence is simply what something is used for. You would say, for example "Amethyst corresponds to spirituality" or "Obsidian corresponds with grounding". Most magical tools (colors, herbs, crystals, symbols, etc) have more that one correspondence, so it is still important to use your will and visualizations no matter how many extra tools you have. The following are just a few of the dozens of crystals and their magical powers.
Quartz is a programmable stone. In its clear from (the most common), quartz is a channel for power that can be directed toward any purpose.
Amethyst (purple quartz) helps increase psychic awareness. It also acts as a balancing force between the mind, body and spirit.
Rose quartz attracts positive energy and loving vibrations.
Citrine (yellow quartz) is the most powerful crystals for enhancing happiness and banishing depression.
Labradorite (also called spectrolite) assists meditation and increases psychic ability. It is also a strong emotional balancer for those that are drawn to it.
Sodalite aids in communication. It can also be a useful pain management tool. The stone seems to absorb or disperse some of the holder's pain.
Hematite and obsidian are both powerful stones, used for both grounding and protection. They both absorb negative energy, keeping it away from you while you wear or carry them. It is important to cleanse your hematite nightly by storing it in salt or under running water. It is rare that someone will be equally drawn to both hematite and obsidian; you should probably try "feeling" both to decide which is best for you.
There are so many different crystals readily available that I cannot possibly include them on just on page. I hope this page has given you a little insight into the magic of crystal power.The Urban Pagan › Using Magic › Crystal Power