We’re back, witches! I’ve been on a long hiatus, one I admittedly didn’t plan to be as long as it was, but one that was much needed nonetheless. I thought what better way to get back into the blog than to start us right off with some Magick Monday goodness and a little look at some magickal fuckery that annoys me to no end. Fun, right?!
So let’s talk about crystal care and crystal usage. We’re specifically talking about things that we 100% should not be doing with our crystals but some things all of us have probably done at some point.
Crystal Care to Fuck Up Your Crystals
Put Them In Water
One thing that get me thinking about this topic was a book I received for review (I’ll have that up later this week). It is a spell book with most spells using crystals in some way. Almost if not every spell using crystals instructs cleansing them in water first. You might be thinking, “Yeah, that’s what I read in most of my crystal books when I got started. You’re supposed to hold them under cool running water to ‘wash away’ negative energy.” You can with some but definitely not all.
All crystals and minerals can be measured on the Mhos Hardness Scale, a grading system that determines a mineral’s hardness based on how easily it can be scratched with another substance. It has a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being represented by talc stone (the softest) and 10 being represented by diamond (the hardest).
Things that register on the Mhos Hardness Scale at a 5 or under generally shouldn’t be put in water while 6 and higher are often safe for at least short periods of exposure. The issue of safety lies in two factors, whether or not it will degrade in water and whether it contains toxic minerals that can leach out into the water.
When I was in my early 20’s I got the most beautiful hand strung amber and jet necklace from my favorite witch shop. It was pricey (especially at a time when I was only working a temp job and living with my parents) but I had to have it. After blessing it under a full moon I vowed to never take it off. About a month later after getting out of the shower a whole section of beads just fell apart. The amber had been slowly melting from the water and eventually just broke apart. Amber is about a 2.5 on the Mhos Hardness Scale and will dissolve in water with prolonged exposure, which makes sense because amber is actually fossilized tree resin and unless treated for use as jewelry it will fall apart (and even then I wouldn’t expose amber jewelry to water).
The other issue is toxins. We have a misconception that a crystal easily purchased at a shop or online must be safe “as is.” Most of that time that’s true but sometimes it isn’t. Even some stones that have a higher hardness level contain potentially dangerous and toxic minerals that we don’t want exposed to water. For instance, lapis lazuli registers between 5 and 6 on the scale, however it has copper deposits in it. When left in water it can make the water itself toxic.
Will one little wet piece of lapis lazuli kill you? Probably not. But it is easy to get in the habit of thinking that way all the time and eventually having the compounded effects manifest in some shitty ways.
So don’t put your crystals in water! (We’ll talk about making elixirs in a minute.)
Put Them In Salt
This is another one I often read about back when I got started. “Salt represents earth and cleansing your crystals with earth will ground them and ground negative energy.” Sure, but you may also cause your crystals to become pitted or even cause some stones to break or crack. This is especially true if the salt has any moisture in it (i.e. you live in a humid climate and salt clumps up on you). The salt method is especially bad for geodes and clusters. If little grains of salt get stuck in the crevices of the stone it can cause erosion over time.
Salt cleansing can be used on stones with a high hardness but I tend to be of the “why risk it” mentality. If a stone is polished with no cracks and it’s a harder stone like a quartz or ruby, you could use this method. Limit the exposure time, however. You don’t need to bury them for days or even hours; an hour or less should be both safe and effective.
And for the love of all things holy, do NOT toss your salt out on your lawn! I see this all the time; “When you’re done return the salt to the earth by pouring it on the ground with a blessing of gratitude.” Sure, if you don’t mind killing the grass and having brown patches on your lawn. Salt will draw moisture out of the ground and damage grass or plants around it. Instead use a bit of an urban magickal method of disposal by pouring the salt down your drain with some running water.
Put Them In a Sunny Window
Using the sun and the moon are popular methods for cleansing and/or charging stones. Moonlight is no problem but sunlight definitely is with many stones.
I discovered this first hand years ago while packing a piece of amethyst for a move. I kept it in my bedroom window for protection and it has been there for about two years. I noticed that the side facing out of the window turned a very pale grey while the other side was still quite purple.
Sunlight can either fade or darken the color of certain stones. Over time some naturally fade due to a loss of moisture, something the sunlight will only speed up. Remember that stones get their initial color due to the exposure to heat and pressure in the earth when they are formed. So it only stands to reason that additional heat and UV exposure could cause more changes. Some people assume a polished and treated stone is safer to keep in the sun, but this actually can make some fade, darken, or simply change color even faster depending on what chemicals were used to treat it.
Most quartz stones will fade (amethyst, citrine, ametrine, rose quartz, dark smokey quartz) as will apatite, aquamarine, beryl, calcite, celestite, chrysoprase, fluorite, sapphire, and fluorite. Agates will also fade; in fact this is a good way to know if your agates are natural or dyed. Leave an agate in a sunny window for a few days up to a week and if the color hasn’t changed, it’s dyed.
In the jewelry industry it is common to treat gemstones with heat to enhance or tone down certain color hues. Even in the metaphysical industry we find some stones are intentionally heat treated to take on the appearance of another stone. It is very common to find heat treated amethyst sold as dark, almost amber colored citrine when natural citrine is a much more pale, champagne color.
To keep your stones looking their best, keep them out of direct sunlight, especially for long periods of time.
Crystal Use to Fuck You Up
Make Elixirs With ALL THE CRYSTALS!
Again, even stones that are “water safe” and can still leach out toxic minerals. It’s important to do your research before using any stones in water, especially if you plan to ingest or bathe in that water, don’t just assume that because you saw someone else do it on Instagram that it’s OK. I have seen some shady AF “gemstone water bottles” for sale with stones that I would NOT have soaking in my drinking water, like one I saw with malachite chips lining the bottle of the INSIDE of the bottle. (hello, copper sulphate poisoning!)
That brings us to the idea of indirect contact, which is 100% safe for making elixirs or gem water for ritual baths using any stones. This method infuses water with the vibrations of a stone without it actually touching the water. You can do this by placing your stones in an airtight container and then pouring water over it or placing the stones on top of a jar filled with water and letting it sit for 24 hours. Gemstone water bottles that have the stones kept out of direct contact with the water, like in a sealed off section in the bottom of the bottle, are perfectly fine.
And while some might say, “Well, how harmful is it really? It’s tiny amounts of a toxin and we eat plants and meat exposed to toxins all the time and we’re OK, so what’s the harm?” First I would say, “Are you though?” Then I would suggest that if you’re using that bottle or elixir water every day all the time you’re not talking “tiny amounts” anymore.
Stick Your Stones Right Up Into Your Vajayjay!
Yoni eggs have been allllll the rage in the last handful of years as the new age wellness movement has grown in popularity. But as with a lot of things in the natural wellness community you have some people who know what they’re doing and a lot of people who don’t, many who are hocking whatever it is that they know nothing about because it’s popular and profitable.
Sadly, there are people who follow the natural and new age wellness trends who actively avoid science and facts because they believe it’s all smoke and mirrors to get you to fall in line with traditional medicine. I’m not kidding when I say I’ve read fucking horror stories about women getting sick from using yoni eggs either because they weren’t fully informed in how to use them safely, bought one from someone who gave ill-informed instructions, or they bought an egg shaped stone assuming it was safe to use only to find out the hard way that it wasn’t.
Now, let’s just start with not all egg shaped stones are meant to be used as yoni eggs! There are people that sell yoni eggs, especially online, who are just buying egg shaped stones and selling them erroneously because either A) they don’t give a fuck or B) they don’t give a fuck and are also totally ignorant to anything regarding the safe use of gemstones in general, never mind yoni eggs specifically.
If you’re going to use yoni eggs, aside from being sure that your lady cave is healthy and accepting of such a thing (because, yes, it’s possible to NOT have a vagina that should be carrying around crystals inside it), you need to keep the Mhos Hardness Scale in mind. If a stone is under a 6.5 hardness it’s probably not a good idea to use it. Moisture, body heat, the amount of usage it gets (especially prolonged periods of time), and how it is cleansed will all factor into the safety of a yoni egg. Naturally that means a yoni egg made of something like selenite is just bad news (it has a 2 – 2.5 hardness). Others I’ve seen being sold as yoni eggs, like rhodochrosite, labradorite, and tiger’s eye, all contain toxic minerals like lead and copper.
The yoni eggs deemed as safe generally fall into the quartz family like rose quartz, amethyst, and natural clear quartz as well as jade and obsidian. The egg should be polished and completely smooth with no cracks, pits, or jagged cuts no matter how tiny they may seem. And, most importantly, do your own research! Don’t just trust some pretty, smiling, Instagram influencer who says she’s “living her best life” because she uses yoni eggs…and oh here’s my discount code to get 10% off your very own! And when in doubt, talk to your doctor even if she or he isn’t an ex-hippie or current boho princess.
P.S. all the same above applies to crystal dildos too; again it should go without saying but I’m saying it anyway.
P.S.S. I do not use and therefore cannot recommend yoni eggs or anything specific about their use, so head to Google if you have questions about them.
So how can you keep your crystal care and use safe?[list style=”style1″] [li]Cleanse your stones using sound (my favorite and preferred method) or smoke from cleansing herbs, like sage, palo santo, or lavender. [/li] [li]Keep your stones stored out of sunlight. If you choose to keep pieces out, particularly in windows or sunny spots, accept that things like color change will be part and parcel with your choice. [/li] [li]When using your stones for anything like elixirs or baths be sure to do your research first to make sure it is safe to use in water both in regard to its hardness and toxicity. When it doubt, take the indirect route! [/li] [li]When using stones for healing do the same research, making sure it is safe to use directly on the skin, especially considering where it will be on the body. It’s not going to be safe under almost any circumstance to put any stone directly on an open cut or wound; again better safe than sorry, especially when there are so many ways to use crystals for healing.[/li] [li]When using your stones for any of the above, be sure you’re using polished stones that are free of cracks, rough spots, or pits in the surface. Not only can moisture get in your stones and ruin them, but these open areas can contain germs and bacteria that can ruin you! [/li] [li]NEVER use raw or rough stones in water or on the body, and be careful when handling them. ! If you’ve never had a sliver shard of selenite give you a splinter, take it from me from personal experience, you’re better off avoiding the experience.[/li] [/list]
So be open to all information when using crystals, even if it ends up bursting your sparkly magickal bubble of an idea you have about using them. No magickal practice, ritual, or healing technique is worth potentially hurting yourself over. And I’m not an expert! I’m also not a doctor or a geologist but I’m always learning, researching, and growing my knowledge. The more you know and all that jazz…an informed witch is a safe witch.