If you follow any spiritual people on social media in 2021, it is inevitable that you will come across photos of beautiful crystals laid out under a full moon, or instagram stories reminding you to cleanse your crystals. The number one question I'm asked is "what's the difference between cleansing and charging crystals? and how can I do it?".
Let's quickly break it down.
It is important to cleanse crystals as they attract energy. For example, black obsidian is a powerful crystal to protect against negative energy and environmental stress. If you're carrying or wearing a piece of black obsidian for those reasons, it is important to cleanse it to rid the crystal of the energies it has absorbed in an effort to protect your own energy.
There is a myriad of ways to cleanse your crystals. One popular way is with water. However, it's a risky game if you're unsure if your crystal will dissolve or become damaged. I always reference The Mohs Scale of Hardness, which measures a minerals hardness, to know how to best cleanse a crystal. There are different ways to cleanse crystals, depending on the type of crystal you're working with. For example, you can cleanse crystals such as amethyst or quartz (which fall at about a 7 on the Hardness Scale) in water and have no problems. But if you use water on a crystal like selenite (a 2 on the scale), it will dissolve. If in doubt, google!
My personal favourite way to cleanse crystals is by smoke cleansing with dried herbs, usually dried rosemary. Alternatively, placing crystals on a piece of selenite can cleanse them as selenite is a crystal that never has to be cleansed itself (I keep a piece of selenite on my Tarot cards for example, so they're cleansed anytime I pick them up without having to go to the effort of burning herbs, the same can be done for other crystals).
Charging crystals has many benefits. Not only does it allow you to set clear intentions in your head but allows you to physically assign that intention to an object which can encourage you to actively pursue the intention when you come into contact with the crystal.
When it comes to charging crystals, I think about what my intentions are, or what I am looking to emphasize. For example, if I am looking for a push to write an essay for college, I will take a lapis lazuli crystal and sit with it and meditate, focusing on what I want; effective communication, to be able to express my thoughts and promote a flow of ideas. These properties are associated with lapis lazuli as that particular crystal is associated with the throat chakra. So when it comes to writing the essay, I just pick up the crystal and slip it into my pocket, or around my neck if it's a necklace. It has been charged with my intention and I'm good to go. So when it comes to charging crystals, I sit with a crystal that reflects my intention and then go back to it when I need it. When I'm finished with the crystal, I'll cleanse it and have it ready for the next time I need to charge it with another intention.
I hope this short blog post has cleared up any confusion on the topic and has inspired you to cleanse and charge crystals in whatever way you feel will work best for you!