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The 8 Essential Crystals

From cell phones to satellites, crystals are critical elements of practically every tech-y item in the modern world. At the same time, their extraordinary ability to store, transmit, and transform energy is equally critical in the pursuit of health, wellness, and deep spirituality. Colleen McCann, a certified shamanic energy medicine practitioner, emphasizes the importance of both the scientific and the more mystical aspects of crystals. Previously a fashion stylist (her appreciation for beautiful things is immediately apparent when you see her at work with crystals), McCann has traveled the world to research crystal traditions across cultures and history. Today, she divides her time between the coasts, conducting crystal readings, space clearing and balancing, shamanic healing, and intuitive business coaching sessions.

Here, she breaks down the major benefits (from relaxation to enhanced connection and serious empowerment) of eight significant crystals; she’s also curated them into a goop-exclusive starter kit, inspired by a shaman’s medicine bag. McCann personally clears every stone of previous energy it may have been carrying (more on a crystal’s energy, below), and puts positive intentions and blessings into each one.

A Q&A with Colleen McCann

Q

Why and how are crystals so powerful?

A

This is where science and mysticism intersect: Crystals are millions of years old and were forged during the earliest part of the earth’s formation. I think of crystals as a timeless database of knowledge, because they retain all the information they have ever been exposed to. Crystals absorb information—whether a severe weather pattern, or the experience of an ancient ceremony—and pass it to anyone that comes into contact with them.

Scientifically, crystals are the most orderly structure that exists in nature, meaning they have the lowest amount of entropy (a measurement of disorder). Crystals are structured in such a way that they respond to the inputs of all different energies around them, so they oscillate, emitting specific vibratory frequencies. The way they are balanced, the frequencies they emit, and their ability to store a tremendous amount of information makes crystals essential to modern technologies. This is why there are crystals in computers, TVs, cell phones, satellites, and so on.

People have been attracted to crystals since the dawn of time for burial rites, divination practices, healing rituals, spiritual advancement, and even simply as decoration to connote power. Our ancestors intuitively knew that when worn, the energies of the stones would interact with the human electromagnetic field to bring about energetic changes. People gravitate towards vortexes (where energy is either entering into the earth or projecting out of the earth’s plane) like Stonehenge and Sedona because these ancient and massive magical rocks sit on top of energetic ley lines—making them, in effect, an energy portal or place of power. People choose to wear diamonds as a sign of binding two people together (diamonds are the most indestructible natural substance on earth), and adorn the crowns of royals with crystals. For millennia, crystals have been used to heal, restore, and enhance physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance.

Q

How do you select good crystals?

A

Every crystal type has a different purpose, so it depends what you’re looking for. Some stones may be best used to heal the body or to tap intuition during meditation, while other stones are used in technology or as a part of building structures. (See below for the powers of eight different crystals.)

That said: Through my travels I meet vendors from all over the world, and I source my crystals from vendors I trust. Knowing the lineage of a crystal is somewhat akin to knowing where the meat you’re eating came from, or certifying that your engagement ring isn’t a blood diamond. Everything carries an energy in it; you want to have the most positive, clean, and clear energies in your crystal. I always ask crystal store owners where they get their stones, how they harvest the stones, and if they know any physical history about the stone I am choosing. Most importantly, though: If a crystal is yours, then it will speak to you. The stone may get hot in your hand, it can send tingles into your arm, or you might feel a third-eye buzz. Trust your intuition when a stone is yours. If it doesn’t feel quite right, then go with your gut—it’s not meant for you. If you feel that a crystal is yours, but it’s physically dirty or maybe just needs an energetic bath, you can follow the cleansing steps below.

Q

Is there a particular way to care for crystals?

A

Crystals that live on altars should be cleaned on average once a month. If you wear a crystal or meditate with a crystal daily, it should be cleaned once a week. (Instructions below.) Cleaning is necessary because it removes any dense or stale energy the crystal may have picked up in its environment, or from you. It’s like washing our faces to remove dirt and debris. If someone else touches your crystal—which you want to avoid—it needs to be cleaned immediately before you wear it or use it again. People automatically want to touch stones, as they are pretty, shiny—and filled with your personal, sparkly energy. A crystal becomes personally attuned to you and nobody else should put their vibration or energy on it. Look at it this way: Would you share mascara or a toothbrush?

There are a few different ways to clean stones—you can do any of the following:

  1. Bury them in dirt for a week. Returning your crystals and stones to the earth allows them to cleanse and recharge with the vibration of the earth.

  2. Wash them in salt water: Salt purifies and absorbs negative energy. (Note: Some crystals disintegrate when wet. Common stones that can’t get wet include: amber, turquoise, red coral, fire opal, moonstone, calcite, kyanite, kunzite, angelite, azurite, selenite. A good rule of thumb: Many stones that end in “ite” are not water-friendly.)

  3. Leave the crystals out in the moonlight for three days prior and three days after the full moon (or for at least 24 hours). Lunar energy helps cleanse and charge the stones, and the moon’s light is brightest and energetically strongest during the full moon.

  4. Wipe them with a soft cloth and isopropyl alcohol to remove fingerprints and to sanitize.

  5. Burn sage and run the stone through the smoke because it is purifying.

Q

What are the crystals to know?

A

BLACK OBSIDIAN

Superpowers

This first chakra (the root) stone helps you feel more grounded.

Mystical Homework

Put black obsidian in your pillowcase, on your nightstand, or fall asleep with it in your hand to help decompress and ground yourself at the end of the day.

Where It’s Sourced

Anywhere there are high amounts of volcanic activity, in places like the United States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Iceland, Russia, New Zealand, Japan, and Kenya.

CARNELIAN

Superpowers

Carnelian, second (sacral) chakra stone, provides emotional support for all female reproductive issues: It eases period cramps, tempers PMS, regulates menstrual cycles, treats infertility, and addresses shame around female body parts and sexual trauma. It stimulates, balances, and heals the reproductive system, helping girls at menarche and women of all ages to value and respect their life-making ability.

Mystical Homework

Pack your carnelian with your tampons! Menstruation is governed by the cycles of the moon, hence the phrase moontime, and the reason women used to sit in moon lodges and bleed together. When you feel PMS coming, hold the carnelian in your hand as much as you can. It is also helpful to lie down and put carnelian on your abdomen during that time of the month.

Where It’s Sourced

Brazil, Uruguay, India, Madagascar, United States.

CITRINE

Superpowers

A stone of the third chakra, which is the energetic power center of the body, citrine catapults a woman into embracing a leadership role, making things happen in business. It is associated with creativity and wealth. Not only can citrine assist with asking for and getting, say, a long overdue raise, it can aid in standing firmly within your personal power, self-confidence, and establishing healthy boundaries in every area of your life.

Mystical Homework

Citrine is great for a thirty-day Abundance Altar: Place the piece of citrine on top of a stack of clean, crisp $1-bills on your desk. (I do one hundred $1-bills.) The new bills symbolize that money coming in has fresh energy on it. (This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “dirty money.”) In addition to the citrine, add other items to your altar that symbolize power and abundance to you. It could be a small statue of Goddess Lakshmi (the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity); or perhaps a picture of someone you really admire in business; or in the Chinese Buddhist Feng Shui tradition, you could add a small money tree to your altar as green represents money, prosperity, and growth. After you’re done decorating your Abundance Altar, it is ready to be activated. Make a ceremony out of this occasion. Burn some sage or palo santo to clear the air and take some time in front of your altar for positive visualizations of what you would like to call into your career. Thoughts are very powerful, and if we put positive energy behind our thoughts than we can more quickly manifest what we want. You can also hold the money and citrine in your hands as you visualize. Repeat this ritual for thirty days. (If you really want to go whole hog: Within Feng Shui, everyone has a “success direction” in their Bagua Chart. Locate your success direction here before beginning the thirty-day ritual and put your Abundance Altar in that corner of your home.)

Where It’s Sourced

Brazil, Madagascar, Russia, Argentina, Bolivia, France, Myanmar, Namibia, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Uruguay, Zambia.

ROSE QUARTZ

Superpowers

Rose Quartz activates the heart (fourth) chakra and promotes positive energy. It enhances all types of love: self-love, love for others, and unconditional love. This tiny but mighty baby-pink wonder raises self esteem, restores confidence, helps with emotional balance, releases stress/tension/anger, and helps curb jealousy.

Mystical Homework

You can make a mystical love spray with rose quartz: First, clean your rose quartz crystal using sage, sunlight, moonlight, or salt water as mentioned above. Place your rose quartz in a glass bowl of filtered water, in direct sunlight from sunup to sundown. Then, pour the crystal-charged water into a glass mister bottle, and add 22 drops of argan oil (jojoba and almond oil also work well), and 11 drops of rose oil. Give it a shake, and mist yourself whenever you feel like you need a little pick-me-up in the love department. In addition to the positive vibes of rose quartz, you’ll also benefit from the rose oil, which is super good for your skin: antimicrobial, combats acne, reduces inflammation and redness, tones and tightens skin, fades scars, and refines skin texture. [You don’t have to make your own; Sandoval makes an amazing, beautifully aromatic rose-quartz love spray.]

Where It’s Sourced

United States, Germany, Brazil, Madagascar, India.

LAPIS LAZULI

Superpowers

The fifth chakra (throat) stone promotes speaking one’s truth with grace, ease, and confidence; and eases communication issues.

Mystical Homework

Have a fear of public speaking? Use lapis lazuli as your worry stone: Hold the stone in your left hand when practicing your speech, the day of your speech, and when it’s your turn to get up to the mic. Let your anxieties release into the stone.

Where It’s Sourced

Brazil, Uruguay, India, Madagascar, United States.

CLEAR QUARTZ

Superpowers

The seventh chakra stone (the crown of the head), clear quartz is known as the master healer. It amplifies the energy, thoughts, and vibrations of other crystals. It’s used for connecting you with your higher self, intuition, and spirit guides.

Mystical Homework

The beautiful thing about clear quartz is that is has a very powerful, yet neutral vibe. I like to call it the black skinny jean of the crystal world, while all the other crystals are the tops that go with them. Every top you own can be paired with your skinnies. So let’s do exactly that: An eight-day mini-meditation using all the stones in your new medicine bag. On day one, hold your clear quartz in your left hand (energy comes in through the left hand, the divine feminine side of the body), and one of the seven other stones in your right hand. By holding the stones, you are getting to know them and activating them. Close your eyes, get still, and take big, deep breaths for 10 minutes, visualizing what each individual crystal can help you accomplish in your life. Each day for the next week, pick one of the seven other crystals from your bag, and hold the colored stone in your right hand (the divine masculine side of the body that releases energy out into the world), while holding the clear quartz crystal in your left hand. The clear quartz will amplify the other stone you are holding that day. Just don’t forget to breathe!

Where It’s Sourced

Brazil, United States, Swiss Alps, Himalayas, Peru, Madagascar.

AMETHYST

Superpowers

Ever wonder why crystal stores often have a giant purple amethyst geode in the corner of the room? Amethyst rids negative energy within a room, and also keeps “energy vampires” out of your personal space. Amethyst is used in crystal prescriptions to treat addiction—and addictions show up in our lives in all sorts of ways: alcohol, shoe shopping, negative self-talk. Amethyst is a stone of the sixth (third eye) and seventh (crown) chakras: It is super high-vibration (in addition to being super pretty); it helps us tap into our intuition and connect us to the higher planes of existence.

Mystical Homework

Drop amethyst into your water filter pitcher or bottle and just drink the water. As you hydrate, you’ll be helping to curb bad habits. Amethyst is absolutely safe to drink (some crystals are NOT so please check a reliable source before ingesting gem water). Make sure to clean your amethyst before putting it into water, though (see details above).

Where It’s Sourced

Brazil, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, Siberia, Canada, India, Bolivia, Argentina, Zambia, United States.

CHRYSOCOLLA

Superpowers

Also known as the Goddess Stone, chrysocolla is associated with the fourth (heart) and fifth (throat) chakras. It aids women in embracing their divine feminine power through strong communication, self-expression, empowerment, and education. While it stimulates the mind, calming effects allow truth and inner wisdom to surface and be heard. It emphasizes the power that our words and actions have on those around us, and encourages compassion and strengthening of character. It brings forth prosperity and eagle-eye discernment in business by enhancing analytical and intuitive abilities. As it is the stone of goddesses, high priestesses, and medicine women everywhere, those who resonate with chrysocolla will feel its ancient energies and connection with indigenous wisdom traditions.

Mystical Homework

It’s time to put that goddess voice to work, and help raise our collective vibration by showing some love. Every day for the next thirty days, tell another woman how much you respect who she is, or what she does—or make a long overdue apology if you need to. Once you have spoken to that woman (be it mom, best friend, colleague, or stranger), find a quiet place to sit and hold your crystal in your right hand (again, we send energy out of our right side). Visualize sending that woman some extra good vibes for a few minutes. According to universal law, what you put out is what will come back to you, so if you need a little love in your life, the best thing you can do is pay it forward to others.

Where It’s Sourced

Israel, Zaire, Chile, England, Mexico, Peru, Russia, United States.

Shop the crystal set

Colleen McCann, fashion stylist turned energy practitioner, has traveled the world in her studies of deeply rooted spiritual traditions and rituals, and beauty in many forms. She is a certified shamanic energy medicine practitioner and now lives and practices bi-coastally, with posts in LA and NYC. Her work with clients focuses on achieving a sense of balance, wellness, and fullness, and utilizes a combination of crystals, color theory, chakra systems, astrology, naturopathy, and Feng Shui principles.

The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of goop, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

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