“It’s an honor to be a caretaker for crystals. Treat them as you would dear friends; in other words nurture and respect them. Their support strengthens your ability to realize the essence of universal wisdom.” Virtue & Lukomski, Crystal Therapy
What’s a Crystal Ally?
When it comes to energy medicine, everything alive is medicine. We can equally learn from members of the animal kingdom, as we can from the plant or mineral kingdom. A crystal ally, therefore, is an umbrella term used to denote any crystal, mineral, rock or gemstone spirit guide. For the purpose of this article, I will use the terms “crystal ally” and “gemstones” interchangeably to speak to guides from this larger mineral kingdom (likely much to the chagrin of geologists everywhere, ha!).
Why work with gemstones?
As I mentioned in the first of this short series on spirit guides, working with any guide is about learning a new quality of being. And nothing grows quite like a crystal! When folks wonder why one might work with gemstones as opposed to animals or plant medicine, that is my answer. Think about it: How long does it take for a stone to form? What tremendous strain does it endure – pressure and heat – to come into being? If you’re looking for unique resilience, stability, strength, power, and beauty – stones are your answer. Stones are your medicine.
A Personal Story of Doubt
I first started working with gemstones in about 2004. My Reiki teacher at the time, Shoshannah Beck, introduced me to idea of working with ‘pocket stones.’ I remember feeling weird about it – like, “This is going to do something?” Quickly I learned, however, through meditation that crystal allies are quite alive, have much to share, and do love to share. My direct experience has shown me you don’t have to be confident about what to expect for these guides to share with you their wisdom. All that’s necessary is a willingness to pay attention and to listen.
Let’s look at an example: Obsidian
Beautiful Volcanic Glass: Obsidian
Obsidian is one of my favorite stones for helping give people the sense of spaciousness when dealing with intimidating or fearful experience. To better understand why this might be the case, we can start by reflecting on the rock’s life experience. How did it form? What did it have to endure and master?
Technically, obsidian is a type of volcanic glass. It’s formed when hot lava cools too quickly to form a crystalline structure. As a result, obsidian’s texture is smooth; and the rock typically forms above the earth’s surface. To give you a more palpable sense of its ‘nurturing’ environment, let’s remember what a volcanic eruption looks like (see: photo).
Yea. So, that happened. 😉 Seriously, though — can you imagine what quality of being one would have to possess in order to feel calm under that level of pressure, heat, and smoke? Looking at these conditions of growth, we also start to understand why obsidian might also be helpful for clearing ‘psychic smog’ in addition to helping ground one’s fear and anger.
How to Choose Your Crystal Ally?
In my experience, many times, stones choose us. We’ll catch it out of the corner of our eye and simply feel drawn to it. We may not know why at first; but we feel interested. In those cases, I’ve found it’s best to just say “yes!” and learn about the stone later. But certainly, you can also go backwards and look up properties of stones or which stones resonate with a particular chakra’s energy. In those cases, however, I’d suggest you try holding the stone before committing to working with it to see if it resonates with you. Even within a container of many polished stones of the same gemstone, there may be one individual piece that resonates with you more than another. Allow yourself to explore and feel.
How do I know if a stone is resonating with me?
When you come into contact with a resonant ally, it might feel like things sliding into place– like the feeling of being with an old and good friend. Or maybe you might feel excited in a positive way– like finally starting the adventure you’d been waiting for. If your extrasensory perception is more developed, you might notice the stone telling you quite directly it’s been waiting and is (happily) ready to work with you. They can also be quite direct in letting you know when they’re waiting to work with someone else. In this case, we can express our gratitude for its coming to our attention, its beauty and wisdom; and move on confidently that our ally is waiting for us elsewhere.
My Favorite References
When it comes to learning about the energetic medicine of gemstones and other crystal allies, I tend to refer to:
What’s the best way to work with gemstones?
There is no right way to work with gemstones; but there are certainly many options! Regardless of what method you choose, you’ll always want to clear your stone of any lower vibrational energy before using it. Remember that part of your stone’s history may have been its traveling through the hands of many other people before getting to you. Cleansing your stone helps to clear it of any energetic residue left from those individuals’ experience. Think of it like an energetic dusting. (You’ll also want to cleanse your stone regularly based on how much you use it.)
When you’re ready to work with your crystal ally, you might consider working with your ally in any one or more of the following methods:
Carry your Stone
This is how I got started. This is largely an subconscious way to work with a crystal ally. You just clean your stone, set your intention to receive the stone’s assistance with [xyz], carry it on your person [either in your pocket or as jewelry] and simply invite its wisdom.
This is great if you need more physical support or if you’d like more active, ongoing support. For example, you might carry hematite in your pocket throughout the day if you had trouble staying grounded. Or, you might consider wearing an aquamarine necklace if you wanted ongoing support for the throat chakra in building trust, ease, and the courage to speak your truth. If you’ve been working on an affirmation using a gemstone mala, continuing to wear your beads throughout the day is a great way to extend the benefit of your practice. Any stone is a good candidate for carrying on your person.
Sleep with Your Crystal
This would be another largely subconscious practice of working with gemstones, but no less effective! Just as you would carrying a stone, you’d always start by clearing your stone energetically, setting your intention for working with the ally, and welcoming its support. Reasons to sleep with your stone may include to reduce nightmares, to protect your energetic space while you [astrally] travel, to deepen sleep, or to invite lessons through dreamwork. (It’s helpful to keep a journal next to your bed if you’re inviting dreamwork!)
Some examples of stones that are helpful to sleep with include moonstone, rose quartz, prehnite, labradorite, and danburite. I remember when I was going through a particularly stress time in my life, I found sleeping with a huge chunk of rose quartz was the only thing that could get me to calm down enough to fall asleep. What a gift!
Meditate on Your Ally
All stones make for a great meditation partner! We can consciously meditate on stones to better under their way of being and medicine. We can also meditate with our crystal spirit guide in order to see our experience more clearly in times of doubt or confusion. Lastly, some meditate with stones simply to improve their psychic and mental activity. Remember to always clean your stones and set your intention before meditating. You can connect with eyes open or closed, gazing into the stone or simply holding the stone in your hands as you slip into the astral plane for guidance.
This method of working with stones, I’d say, is better for folks whose extrasensory perception is more developed. In my experience, working with stones in this manner is not unlike lucid dreaming in which even inanimate matter can speak and point to insight. You do not need a physical stone to meditate on a crystal ally; however, I have found a direct physical connection does deepen meditation and learning. Stones that aid with insight are particularly great to meditate with, such as clear quartz, labradorite, dumortierite, or fluorite.
Take an Elixir
This would be an internal method of stimulating change, by using a gem essence or elixir. This is essentially a ‘decoction’ of the stone, either directly or indirectly. I don’t recommend folks try making their own without proper training as some gemstones are toxic. Even when elixirs are made indirectly (e.g. placing a toxic stone in a glass container that is then placed in the water that will later be consumed), the medicine is quite strong. For this reason, I’d suggest sticking to very few remedies from a reliable source or asking a qualified professional for their recommendation.
Thank Your Crystal Ally
Love propels the universe. If you’ve benefited from working with a stone, let it know. In the world of energy work, appreciation goes a long way!
Has there been a stone whose wisdom has been particularly meaningful for you? How did it find you? I welcome your story in the comments section!