If you’ve ever held a crystal and looked at it closely from several angles, turning it over and over, you’ve most likely felt the mysterious sense of wonder these special stones evoke. They seem to speak silently of the infinite, creative, living power of the Earth. Crystals have been revered for millennia, used as talismans and in jewelry since ancient times. Today, crystals and other mineral stones are also used in alternative healing, for enhancing the energy of physical spaces, and for a wide variety of magical purposes. In this article, you will learn the basic principles of crystal magic.
What are crystals, exactly?
The term “crystal” in Wiccan and other “New Age” circles often refers to a wide variety of solid minerals, not all of which are technically true crystals. However, they all fall under the crystal magic umbrella.
A mineral is defined as any inorganic substance that is formed naturally in the Earth’s underground geological processes. Every mineral has its own specific chemical composition, along with—as Witches, shamans and other healers are aware—its own energy signature.
Many minerals have a molecular structure that forms a regular pattern, creating the flat surfaces and interesting geometric forms we tend to think of when we hear the word crystal. The most commonly known crystal mineral is probably clear quartz, which is what true “crystal balls” are made of, followed by rose quartz and amethyst. Other popular stones used in magic such as lapis lazuli, jade and bloodstone, are actually combinations of more than one mineral and are not considered true crystals. And some “crystals” such as amber and jet are actually fossilized organic substances rather than stones. To keep things simple, most people who work with these gifts of the Earth tend to use “crystals” and “stones” interchangeably.
Crystal energies in science and beyond: the power of crystal magic
Though they may be classified as “inorganic,” crystals are nonetheless understood by many Witches and healers to be “alive,” as they impart healing energy to people, animals, and even plants. Certain crystals, such as quartz and tourmaline, actually exhibit one aspect of their power through what scientists call the piezoelectric effect. When mechanical pressure is applied to these stones, such as through squeezing them or tapping them with a hammer, the stones give off an observable electric charge. Quartz and certain other crystals also exhibit pyroelectricity, meaning that they release an electric charge when exposed to a change in temperature.
In reality only a few of the crystals popularly used in healing and magic have demonstrated these effects in scientific studies. But conventional science has yet to discover what alternative healing modalities have always understood—that every crystal emits its own subtle energy that then interacts with the energy fields of everything around it.
Wiccans and other Witches understand that the power of crystals and stones is also in essence the same power inherent in other natural phenomena, such as the wind or a flowing river. All matter, visible and invisible, is essentially energy, and all energy is interconnected. And since thought—or intention—is also energy, it can be harnessed and sent out into the Universe through the energy field of the crystals we choose to work with. In this way, crystals and stones are conduits of energy. They can both bring healing energy to us, and send our positive energy to the spiritual realm to manifest real change in our lives.
Common uses for crystals in ritual and magic
In Wiccan practice, one common use for crystals and stones is to mark the sacred circle before ritual begins. They are also used to honor deities, with specific stones sacred to particular gods and goddesses. Some magical tools, such as wands and pentacles, are decorated with crystals, and they are often featured in magical jewelry of all kinds.
In magic, crystals and stones are used for everything from healing to divination to manifesting wealth and love. In keeping with centuries of tradition, they are still used in amulets, talismans, and other “good luck” charms, as well as for scrying and protection. Crystals can be powerful components of spellwork, whether as adjunct ingredients or the main focus of the spell.
For example, amethyst is often used as a “power boost” for spells of all kinds, and clear quartz is kept on the altar to sharpen focus, especially for more complex spells. But you can also simply charge a specific crystal for a specific purpose and then carry it with you, like red jasper for courage or citrine for attracting money. (Click for a brief table of correspondence featuring the magical properties of some of the most popular crystals.)
Crystal magic is also uniquely suited to take advantage of color correspondences in a thoroughly natural way. In other words, they don’t have to be dyed like candles or cloth. Colors, as vibrations of light, resonate with different aspects of our existence (such as love, health, and money matters) according to their specific vibrations. Pink, the color of rose quartz, is a color with a harmonizing, loving vibration, making it a powerful force for drawing love into your life. Likewise, the color green has a vibrational resonance with abundance, making green stones such as jade and bloodstone particularly good for spellwork involving matters of prosperity.
Bringing crystals into your life
Crystals and stones can be found in most Wiccan and other New Age shops, and there are even stores that specifically focus on these amazing natural phenomena. However, many who work crystal magic will say that the stones choose you, rather than the other way around. You may be gifted with a polished stone from a friend or acquaintance, or even stumble upon one in raw form when out on a hike. You can also always purchase stones through a trusted online retailer, setting the intention that the right ones will come to you.
When you buy from a shop, you’re likely to be drawn to particular stones without necessarily “thinking” about it. You may feel pulled strongly toward a certain color, or type of crystal. As you investigate your possible choices, take a moment to scan your physical body and your emotional energy. If you have a positive feeling, this may be the stone for you. If you have any kind of negative feeling, then it is not. (Stones aren’t harmful in and of themselves and don’t give off “negative” energy, but if it’s really not a good fit, they may let you know it rather strongly.)
No matter where or how you acquire your crystals, be sure to cleanse them thoroughly of any unwanted energy. Charge them with your intentions for magic before using them in spellwork, and enjoy exploring the wonderful and wide world of crystal magic!
You can try crystal magic for yourself with this crystal magic spell for beginners. If you want to learn more about other types of magic, check out Lisa's articles on Herbal, Candle, and Essential Oils magic.