Cleansing, Activating & Programming

Polished large sceptre quartz with multiple phantoms


Regular cleansing of your crystal needs to be performed before you work with it, and at regular intervals whilst working with it. Additionally, clean it when you have finished working with it and when it first arrives in your life.  Don’t forget to regularly cleanse the stones and crystals in your jewellery, especially rings, as your hands pick up many different energies throughout the day. 


Regular cleansing can be performed with water, a smudge, or by visualised and focused intent.  Water is generally the best medium for regular cleansing of crystals, because of its powerful properties (see the section on Water). 


Some stones may not be suitable for using water, if they are fragile, friable, likely to come apart or be otherwise adversely affected.  For example, magnetite may gain a yellow-brown rust coating if washed and not dried well, and loose filings would be washed away.  Magnetite may be utilised by the Shamanic practitioner for attracting intended energies.


Hold the stone you are cleansing (in your already cleansed hand) under running water, such as a river, natural spring or tap, the latter being the case for most of us most of the time. 
Ask the element of Water, in your mind, to remove the negative energies from the stone. Water will naturally neutralise the negative influences when doing this. ‘See’ the dark energy running off into the water, and when you ‘feel’ it is clean, stop. 
Thank Water for doing this.  


Alternatively, use a smoke smudge of sage. Burn some dried sage smudge and hold the crystal over the smoke, with the focused intention of asking the smoke to take away the unhelpful negative energies. 
Ask the element of Air to help you and thank Air for doing so. If you are doing this indoors, make sure you keep a window or door open, so that the smoke can remove the energies from your environment.


Finally, the ‘anywhere, anytime’ method. Hold the crystal in your hand and close your eyes. Visualise that you are holding the stone in pure, running water, and that the water is washing away the negative energies, leaving the crystal pure.  Why use physical water if this works just as well?  No reason, except that when we work with physical water, we are working with it on all possible levels, so an opportunity to work with an element through physical interaction is an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with it.   Remember, you are also interacting with its psychic/emotional/astral energy, its noetic or mental energy and its spirit energy.


When choosing which of the above methods a stone may prefer, ask the stone and see which method pops into your mind. Alternately, use a pendulum to ask. Cleansing in these ways will not wipe the programme from the stone, but simply remove the daily detritus of unwanted, heavy psychic energies that the stone picks up, because as you cleanse the stone, you are focussing your intent and asking only to clear the negative energies.  Healing is achieved by burying the stone in the earth for some time, or sometimes can be achieved by asking the Over-lighting Beings who work with crystal energy to heal the stone. You can use a pendulum to check that the stone is healed.

Double terminated Tibetan black quartz sceptre


Once the crystal is cleansed and healed, it needs to be dedicated to ensure no negative energetic entities can interact with it.  Dedicate the stone to Divine White Light, or the Goddess, or the Over-lighting Being of all crystals, or any good and positive entity who you feel drawn to work with.  In this way, the stone will be dedicated for the use of their energetic influence and theirs alone.  Do this by holding it in your hand and sending your intent and energy into the crystal through your solar plexus, stating your dedication.  I also like to dedicate each crystal to be used for the good of all and to bring harm to no-one.


When your crystal is cleansed, healed and dedicated to a positive energy, it is time to activate and programme it.

Raising Energy and Connecting to Spirit and the Divine Light

After cleansing your hands and the crystal, and having dedicated the crystal to the Divine White Light or similar, light a candle which you have also dedicated to higher positive energy. You may want to light more than one candle. Here are some possibilities:-

  • Light a candle dedicated to the Four Elements, Air, Fire, Earth and Water, and inviting the Over-lighting Beings of these elements to work with you. Be aware that each is represented in the candle itself, Air as the flicker of the flame, Fire as the flame, Earth as the body of the candle and Water as the pool of wax that forms at the base of the wick.
  • Light a candle to the Over-lighting Being of All Crystals who can help you when working with stones and crystals.
  • Light a candle to the Crystal-Being who is connected to the specific stone you are working with.
  • Light a candle to the Divine White Light and all Beings who work within the Light, for a more general approach.


If you are a Shamanic practitioner, you may want to create sacred space by calling on the Wheel of the Year. 
This is not necessary, and I would not do this for everyday crystal work, but if setting up one or more crystal for the healing of others, I would do this, to help connect to their spirit guides and helpers, and get some extra help with the energy. 


Creating and working in Sacred Space will greatly enhance your work by improving the vibrational frequency in which you work and attracting positive help from Spirit.  Part of this may involve using your drum and/or rattle to increase the energy through sound.


Now you are ready to activate, energise and programme your crystal.

Large Besednice moldavite

Activating, Awakening & Energising

Some crystals are asleep energetically speaking, and need to be woken in order to work with them. Sound is a great way to awaken, activate and energise your crystal. I like to use a singing bowl, which awakens and energises my stones. A bell may also be good.  As with other parts of the process, you can use a pendulum to ascertain if the crystal is awake.


Programming and working with your stone can be complicated or simple.


As you will probably know, there are many books that explain the emotional, mental, spiritual and physical areas that each stone can affect and benefit.  If you are looking for something specific, to improve a recurring headache, or break a bad habit, then looking in the books and selecting a suitable stone makes sense. 


Usually, there are a number of different stones you could use for each problem, and you can select the one you feel drawn to.  You will notice that the stone itself will carry the ability to work with numerous problems that you may not be focussed on at the time.  You will want to programme the stone to work specifically with the outcome you are seeking.


I would recommend that when you write down or speak the specific purpose you want the stone to focus on, that you state the outcome using positive language.  So it would not be “I will not have a headache anymore,” rather say “ My head is clear and serene at all times.” Psychologically, this will get you thinking about the solution rather than the problem, and this strengthens and elevates the energetic response to your request. Use the present tense, even though it is something you want to happen in the future.  


Fix the programme into the crystal in one of these ways:

Hold the stone in your hand and repeat your statement several times by focussing your intent and directing it at the stone (see the section on manifestation for more help).


Or place the crystal in a glass container, if appropriate for the crystal, and cover it with water.  Stick a piece of paper with the written statement on the side of the container, facing the water and stone, and leave it for 12 hours. This technique utilises the amazing properties of Water to ‘soak’ up information and transfer it into the crystal, Water can even read! (See the research of Masaru Emoto and read the section on Water.)


There are numerous other methods for programming, I sometimes use other crystals (such as Isis quartz crystals and a Master crystal, a large moldavite) that are permanently programmed to fix the intended purpose into stones.  Also, requesting the help of the Over-lighting Being of All Crystals to help, and utilising multiple methods at one time.  


When you are programming a crystal, remember, you are communicating with at least one conscious energy through the physical stone, if not more. 


Another way of working with stones invloves selecting a stone that you feel attracted to, and without reading in the books about its metaphysical properties, cleanse, dedicate, awaken and energise it.  Then programme it to interact with your energy as required according to its special abilities; say to the crystal, "Your special and unique properties are now activated for my greater benefit, according to my needs at this time."  This way, the crystal will influence you for the better in a variety of ways within its potential, responding to what its energy perceives your energy to need. 

You may receive ‘impressions’ and gut instincts of the way it is focussing your energy, and become aware of differences in yourself or your perceptions.  


Always remember, there are no hard and fast rules about working with crystals, no absolute rights and wrongs.  Over time, you will find your own ways once you understand the basic principles, and they may be quite different to mine. 

Clear quartz 'hedgehog' with pyrite and chalcopyrite