While reflections and resolutions often come with the New Year, now is as good a time as any to begin setting intentions. As 2020 inches towards a close, you may feel the need to find balance, and healing crystals are here to help. This year was full of chaotic energy, especially from the global pandemic, and crystals can act as a tuning fork, cutting through the noise to help you hone in on good vibrations.
“Crystals come from the earth, so they’re our greatest connection to the planet we live on,” Amber Finney tells L’Officiel. Also known as Amber the Alchemist, Finney is a diviner who often uses crystals in her tarot readings and spiritual practices. In Finney's work — which she also does through Brown Girl Alchemy, a platform and podcast she runs together with her mother — crystals are more than just a new gentrified wellness trend: she focuses on the journey of healing through ritual, mysticism and ancestral reverence, and crystals often help in this process.
As she says, the beautiful stones are created in the earth, a result of minerals coming together uniformly, and thus, "like all things formed in earth, the source of our existence, have vibrations.” Humans have been using crystals as a tool to connect with the vibrations around them for millennia, with specific stones meant to protect, heal or help by bringing positive energy to the person.
Whether you consider it spiritual or simply self-care, anyone can learn how to use crystals for a more balanced life. Here, Finney walks us through how to tap into the healing power of crystals.
How to Choose Your Crystals
Because different crystals have different healing abilities, you must first identify what your intention is. Do you want more clarity in your relationships? Do you want more emotional clarity? Once you know what you’d like to focus on, you can choose your crystals accordingly.
If you need a place to start, Finney suggests these crystals:
Amethyst: “If you want to bring some calming energy into your space, you'd most likely use an amethyst. It's vibration is very subtle, and it’s the most beginner-friendly. It helps us connect with the Earth and with ourselves.”
Pink opal: “It’s known as the stone of revolution. This stone is for someone who is focused on deep emotional healing and settling the heart, settling stress. It’s connected to the heart chakra, and it’s a very empathetic crystal because it’s connected to the element of water. It helps with emotional understanding, giving you space to heal and to deal during times of transition, and with dissolving some of those fears that are connected to transitioning into a new way of being.”
Black obsidian: “Obsidian's vibration is a repellent for bad vibes, especially manipulative energy. It helps bring light to negative forces that are surrounding you in life and in your energetic space. Not only does it make you aware of those forces, but it also casts them away. Obsidian is also referred to as the ‘stone of truth’, so yes, it helps you to identify unseen intentions or lower vibrations. Sometimes, that lower vibration can be yourself, so it may help certain people become accountable of their actions.
Finney also notes that if you're using multiple crystals, make sure that they are compatible. “Certain crystals complement each other and work well together, but others cancel each other out,” she says. “You wouldn’t want to use a crystal that has a transformative vibration with another that is calm and collected. Those contradict each other.” Finney suggests doing a bit of research on the crystals you want to use and then formulating a “recipe” that works for you.
How to Cleanse Your Crystals
By the time you get your hands on the crystals you want to work with, they’ve touched many others along the way, from miners to wholesalers. Finney says during this process, they can pick up on the energies of others. “That’s why people might feel disconnected to crystals as a whole, because they're not really connecting with the crystal itself,” the diviner says.
To make sure you’re connecting to the crystal’s energy in its purest form, you can cleanse your crystals. Finney likes to use Florida water that she makes herself (which you can also purchase on her shop), along with cleansing them with smoke. While white sage is commonly used for smudging, it is currently at risk of being over-harvested, and thus, Finney suggests using an alternative. Cedar, rosemary, camphor, frankincense, myrrh and dragon’s blood can do the trick just as well.
As you cleanse your crystals, it's important to keep your intention in your mind.
How to Use Your Crystals
How one uses their crystals is really a personal preference. "It's just about what feels most resonant and comfortable to you," Finney shares. You can keep them close to you physically, putting them in your pocket or simply keeping one next to your bed. When the diviner first began working with crystals, she would carry them in her bra. "That was my go-to when I decided to work with rose quartz," she says. "I also wear them in my jewellery all the time, which is sacred adornment."
Even the use of crystals in beauty products can have some benefit. The Ancient Egyptian goddess Isis was said to have massaged her face with rose quartz so as to enhance her feeling of beauty. Because of this history, Finney says it's been "cool" to see crystals enter the beauty space, but that it's also "important to honour the tools we work with that come from the earth. Cyrstals and healing modalites aren't to be taken in vain for aesthetic purposes or just to monetise from them."
Moreover, while some people believe crystals may have physical healing benefits, Finney says they shouldn't be used as a replacement for medical treatment. If you're experiencing an ailment, however, crystals may be able to help you to mentally cope better with it. The most important thing to remember is to set your intention with the crystals and to take time to meditate with them.