Crystals for Beginners
Crystals for beginners can be a bit overwhelming, trust me I know! If you're new to the world of crystals it can seem totally confusing at first. There's the terminology, the hundreds of different types of crystals with names you've never heard of, and then of course, healing properties, and how to use them! And trust me, even 'crystal experts' can almost cause more confusion because they are so entrenched they can't explain crystals for beginners in simple terms. When I first started exploring, I kept asking a friend who CLAIMED to know crystals 'why crystals' and every time she just said 'because they come from the Earth.' I'm like cool thanks, not helpful HAHAHA. So I've been there.
But don’t worry, once you’ve reached the end of this page, you’ll know everything you need to get started at least. But if not, take a look around the site for tons of other helpful crystal beginners info! Each of the 'collection' pages has more info as well.
A Brief History of Crystals
- Where are they found?
- Specific countries they are found.
What Exactly Is A Crystal?
- Crystal Terminology
- Mining Crystals
- Crystals in Modern Products
- Why do people use crystals?
- Crystal Healing
- How to Choose A Crystal
- Best Crystals for Beginners
- Ways To Use Crystals
- Caring For Crystals
Read on to find out more!
A (very) Brief History of Crystals
The first records of crystals being used for healing and magic are from ancient Sumer, in modern-day Iraq. This civilization flourished between 4500 and 2000 BC.
The philosopher Plato, writing in the 4th century BC, describes their legendary use in the lost city of Atlantis where they were employed, among other things, for healing and telepathic communication.
The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all used crystal healing and magic, and writers such as Galen and Pliny the Elder advised that crystals should be worn as a form of medicine for specific ailments.
The rise of science caused belief in the power of crystals to decrease. In the 19th century, however, a rebirth in interest among writers and artists made the subject popular again.
There are even mentions of several crystals and stones in the Bible, so you do not need to fear crystals if you are religious!
Where are Crystals Found?
The majority of crystals are found in the earth’s crust, this is where they are formed through being exposed to a variety of conditions - heating, cooling, pressure and moisture are the main contributing factor in the formation of crystals. These factors in the environment surrounding a growing crystal will have an impact of the shape in which it grows.
Some crystals are formed inside bubbles of gas, but these grow inward - from the outside to the inside of the bubble. Others are formed between layers of rock.
Certain countries are renowned for their crystal mines and some even have their own unique crystal offerings. Russia is actually known for it’s rare alexandrite - a type of chrysoberyl which actually colour shifts under different lights. In natural light this crystal appears green and then under artificial light, it appears red!
In addition to Russia, there are lots of other countries which are rich with gemstones:
Those are just a few of the most popular countries, there are plenty more across the globe. A cool website where you can check out crystal info and localities is Mindat.org it's fun to look around and see the differences based on their specific areas even within the same country. Just check out the differences of the Mangano Calcite above from two different countries.
What Are Crystals?
So let's get into the real goods of this crystals for beginners page. Apart from being a stunningly beautiful natural phenomena, crystals are geological formations that occur in nature and have a ‘periodic arrangement’ (the elements that make it up) of their constituent atoms. This arrangement is often evident in the macroscopic shape as an object with flat surfaces and sharp angles, although this is not always the case.
The value of using a crystal as a healing or magical tool is that its structure allows it to absorb energy, kind of like a battery. This energy can then be used to enhance your energy work or give your home a better atmosphere.
Each crystal has a different vibration or frequency that you can easily see in its color. This makes it very easy to choose which crystal is best for the specific purpose you have in mind.
The crystal captures the light that you don't see and reflects the light you do. In this sense, we can say that the stone will be a source of light visible to the naked eye.
White light contains all the colors, but a yellow stone filters out the other colors and 'distills' the light into a pure yellow. The 'energy' radiated by the crystal then manifests as yellow light.
A dark crystal absorbs most of the light it receives. This kind of gem draws in negative energy protects the wearer from its bad influence. We've all had the experience of entering a space where the light gives you an uncomfortable feeling. This energy will be absorbed by wearing a dark stone, instead of it entering into your personal energy field.
- Energy Field
This is a body of energy that surrounds you and can be seen by psychically sensitive people and even photographed using a technique called Kirlian photography. The human energy field responds to the presence and influence of crystals in specific ways.
Another term for energy field.
- Energy Healing
Any healing that exclusively involves the use of unseen energy, particularly psychic healing or healing with crystals.
One of seven main energy centers in the body each of which has corresponding crystals. These can also be healed with the help of crystals.
A technique to quiet and calm the mind which can be deepened with the use of crystals.
A feeling given off by a crystal that can be energizing, calming, healing, or any other human emotion.
The speed or level at which a crystal vibrates. A higher frequency is suitable for spiritual work, a lower frequency for protection in the physical or psychic world.
There are lots of crystal mines and caves across the world and some even offer the public a chance to go and dig for their own beautiful gemstones - of course there is a fee to dig there, but you get to keep what you find. The majority of these “dig your own” mines are in the US too - here are just a few:
- Emerald Hollow Mine, North Carolina
- Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine, North Carolina
- Graves Mountain, Georgia
- Craters of Diamonds State Park, Arkansas
- Jade Cove, California
Many of the large mines are excavated with heavy machinery before workers will do more of the delicate work to extract the crystals. These are not open to the public and are often owned by large trade companies.
A lot of the times too, especially in the larger mining situations, crystals are actually just a bi-product of other types of commercial mining. Actually one of the most famous, the Elmwood Mine which has some of the most beautiful crystals is not even a crystal mine.
True crystal mining is actually far less destructive than most people may think. Mining for crystals specifically is done with hand tools, and is nothing compared to the mining that is done for things like lithium or metals that we use in almost everything like car batteries and electronics.
Think about the crystals you see out there... most of those wouldn't survive being 'dug' by an excavator or being blown up. There is a lotttttt of hand digging done!
Crystals in Modern Products
Crystals are essential in the production of a vast array of modern products. Without them, we would struggle to create precision modern watches, computer microprocessors (computer chips are composed of melted crystals), fiber optic cables, and more.
There is a magic in crystals, that allows them to contribute not only to our world in the form of jewelry, ornamentation, healing, and meditation, but also to the basic functioning of some of the most sophisticated technology.
Why Do People Use Crystals?
While crystals have been used for a huge variety of purposes throughout history, here are some of the most important ones and probably the ones you will find the most useful.
- Anxiety and Stress Relief
Many crystals radiate a feeling of calm, particularly those with smooth and rounded exteriors. Jade is widely used in Asia for its calming green and emerald tones. Having some jade ornaments or stones in your home can help to keep you calm and centered.
- Alleviation of Aches and Pains
Stones and crystals have been used for centuries for healing work. Amethyst, for example, was used in ancient Egypt as a healing stone and is still used today for everyday aches, pains, headaches, and other common ailments. Although I don't specifically recommend any crystals for physical healing throughout this entire website as they are not a replacement for medical advice.
- Energy and Motivation
Brightly colored crystals such as Citrine can lift your energy levels and turn negative thoughts into positive inspiration and happiness.
- Enhance Intuition
If you are seeking to connect with higher spiritual realms some stones, such as Lapis Lazuli or Angelite can be extremely effective in expanding your consciousness and allowing you to reach out with your intuition to ask for guidance or help.
- Inspiration and Creativity
Some crystals are naturally inspiring and having one near while painting, composing or writing can clear the mind and allow creative thoughts to come through.
Crystals are used to align the body’s energies and are frequently associated with the Chakras and will more than likely be used during a crystal Reiki session. For aligning the Chakras and healing, crystals are placed on the body in various places, while the person being healed lays still and calm with their eyes closed in a meditative state.
Each of the Chakras is associated with a different color and part of the body:
- Root Chakra - Red - The base of the spine, the coccyx
- Sacral Chakra - Orange - Lower abdomen, below navel
- Solar Plexus Chakra - Yellow - Stomach, above navel
- Heart Chakra - Green - The heart, center of the chest
- Throat Chakra - Blue - Center of the throat
- Third Eye Chakra - Indigo - Over the third eye, in the center of the forehead
- Crown Chakra - Violet - Top of the head
The crystals used for each Chakra usually stick to the coloring of the chakra and their vibrations link with the area of the body. We’ll look at Chakras in a little more depth later in our beginner’s series - keep your sparkly eyes peeled!
You can head to the color collections to learn more about crystal colors and chakras. For example the 'orange crystals' collection will cover the color meanings, the Sacral Chakra, and common orange crystals.
How To Choose A Crystal
This is way easier than you might think. In fact, most healers and crystal enthusiasts agree that it is the crystal that chooses you and not the other way around!
Here are a few ways to get started.
- Pick out the stone that looks the prettiest or seems to be speaking to you in some way. Don't overthink it. Keep it beside you the next time you are meditating or healing. Try it for a day or two and see how it feels.
- Look up the healing properties of a crystal and then pick the one you need.
- If you know something about Chakras, look for a crystal that is known to resonate with the particular energy center you want to work with.
Best Crystals for Beginners
Here are our top seven personal favorites for crystal beginners, in no particular order.
This amazing crystal, used for centuries, will bring calm and peace to your spiritual work as well as promote healing and regeneration. Corresponds to your Third Eye and Crown Chakra. Assists with relaxation and sleep. Keep by your bed for a restful night and sweet dreams.
- Clear Quartz
Perfect for meditation and clearing your thoughts. Also a healing crystal. Hold or gaze at the crystal while setting your healing intention. Corresponds to the Crown Chakra.
- Rose Quartz
Looking for love or to rekindle an existing relationship? Rose Quartz is the crystal of love and romance and corresponds to your Heart Chakra. Wear it as a necklace close to your heart or use it in your meditation as you set your positive intentions.
- Black Tourmaline
Most dark stones offer protection by absorbing negative energy. Black Tourmaline excels at this and corresponds to your Root Chakra. Carry it with you always or when you are entering a negative place or situation. Place next to electronics in your home to absorb electromagnetic forces.
This bright crystal gives confidence and focus to your creative and professional endeavors. It corresponds to your Solar Plexus Chakra.
This extremely powerful crystal is perfect for meditating and corresponds to your highest, or Crown Chakra.
This wonderful stone gives you the courage to speak your truth and empowers your communication on every level. Aquamarine crystals correspond to your Throat Chakra.
How to Look After Your Crystals
It’s important to take proper care of your crystals, particularly if you are using them a lot.
To clean them and purify them of old negative energies simply leave them in the sunshine for a day or wash them gently in lightly salted water. You can charge them with renewed positive energy in the same way and by holding them while projecting positive thoughts into them.
Learn more about how to cleanse crystals on this post!
Of course, not everyone likes to believe in the healing effects of crystals, but even they can’t deny the sheer beauty of a lovely semi-precious gemstone. And simply the fact of how amazing it is that something so beautiful can come naturally out of the Earth! If crystals can bring joy to you, then isn’t that a form of healing?
QUICK FACT: Crystals have actually been used to transmit radio waves and quartz powers many watches, so they have a very physical use as well as metaphysical!
If you are curious how people use crystals in practice or their daily life, check out this other post as well.
If you want to know more about crystals, check out our blog. We hope this has piqued your interest and made you want to learn more. You can also check out our crystal shop.
If you'd like to learn even more about crystals (even beyond the blog here), be sure to visit our crystal book recommendation page!
In the meantime, if you need any help with crystal identification check out my photo identifier page!