Crystals 101

crystals for beginners

I think it was around the time I’m getting more “sensitive” to the energies around me and becoming conscious of energy vampires, especially when I’m out in public places, that I first heard about crystals.

Intrigued, it was as if by synchronicity that I found this small boutique in a local mall selling crystals. The good thing is all their products come with a description and their uses. So, we got one each for my mom, my sister, and myself.

And since the label says “for energy protection” — exactly what I was looking for at the time, here’s what I ended up with — a smoky quartz pendant necklace:

smoky quartz

Before that, the only crystal I knew of was kryptonite, thanks to Superman.

But that fiction was based on a fact. Because just as kryptonite is a natural derivative of the planet Krypton, thus affecting Kryptonians, crystals are natural elements that come from our planet, Earth, and thus affecting humans.

No worries, there are no harmful “green kryptonite” types of crystals. The crystals we’ll be talking about are all here to benefit you.

The Crystal for Beginners book by Karen Frazier is a comprehensive manual on how to get started working with crystals.

Crystals 101

Let’s begin with the definition of some terms:

CRYSTAL: A mineral that has a crystalline interior structure.

GEM: A cut and polished crystal, mineral, or rock.

MINERAL: A naturally occurring substance with a specific chemical composition and a highly ordered structure that may or may not be crystalline.

ROCK: A combination, or aggregate, of minerals.

What makes one a crystal is its organized cell structure that forms a unique lattice pattern called a “crystal system.” There are 6 crystal systems and each lattice pattern has a different property:

  • HEXAGONAL crystal help with manifestation.
  • ISOMETRIC crystals can improve situations and amplify energies.
  • MONOCLINIC crystals are protective.
  • ORTHORHOMBIC crystals cleanse, clear, and remove blockages.
  • TETRAGONAL crystals are attractors; they help you attract things to you.
  • TRICLINIC crystals ward off unwanted energies or help retain energies you’d like to keep.

crystal lattice pattern system

Types of Crystals

There are four types of crystals to choose from: raw or rough crystals, clusters and geodes, slices, and points or wands.

  • Raw or rough crystals are crystals that come straight from the earth. They are rough and rocky and crystals such as rose quartz or amethyst are often found in this form. When left in their natural state, some people believe you can connect with them more deeply. They give off a gentle and diffused energy that can have a positive effect around.

raw rough crystals

  • Clusters and geodes are visually stunning stones. They usually feature a hollow formation that is filled with crystals. These types of crystals have powerful frequencies and can send out a wonderful calming and purifying energy in a space. This is a popular choice for both its power and beauty.

geodes crystals

  • Slices are when a gemstone is cut into a thin piece that is then polished. With this type of crystal, you can really enjoy the inner beauty of the crystal. These types of crystals are perfect for decoration and adding a peaceful energy to the space.

slices crystals

  • Wands or points are often used as a healing tool. They are excellent energy transmitters. Quartz is one of the crystals often found as a wand or point and is known for its purifying and cleansing qualities.

wands points crystals

There is no right or wrong choice when choosing which type of crystal to add to your collection. More than anything, the most important thing is your connection to the stone.

If possible hold the crystal in your hand and close your eyes to tap into intuitive feelings about the stone. If you are choosing the crystal online you can always close your eyes and envision the stone in your mind’s eye and note what feelings and sensations come to you. As long as you always trust your intuition, the right crystal will find you.

How Do Crystals Work

Crystals work on the same premise that everything is energy — we live in a vibrational Universe. Therefore, crystals have their own vibration, too, which is relatively higher than the baseline of human consciousness.

So, when we’re working with crystals, they tend to raise our vibration and elevate our consciousness through a process that Karen refers to as entrainment. Entrainment, meaning “training” us to align with the vibration of the crystal.

Think of a tuning fork that’s resonating with another tuning fork to bring them into “attunement.”

In the same manner, crystals help us in attuning ourselves to a specific frequency. It could be the frequency (vibration) of love, healing, abundance, peace, or whatever state of being we wish to put ourselves in.

Realize though that it’s still us who’s doing the work. Crystals are only tools — powerful tools that we can use to meet our objectives.

How to Use Crystals

Cleansing Crystals

Because a crystal’s energy is affected by everything around it, it’s important that we cleanse them regularly.

Karen doesn’t recommend salt or water cleansing for that could damage certain kinds of crystals. So here are her alternative suggestions:

  • Leave them in the moonlight. Moonlight is cleansing for crystals. Set your crystals on a windowsill or outdoors overnight, especially during a full moon.
  • Cleanse them in a bed of quartz. If you have a large quartz geode, place smaller crystals inside the geode for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Use sound. If you have singing bowls, bring them to ringing and then hold the crystals within the sound field. If you don’t have one, those streaming on YouTube can do the trick.
  • Use smoking sage. Light a sage bundle or smudge stick and allow the smoke to drift over the crystals. This is an excellent way to cleanse a bunch of crystals at once.

Programming Crystals

The most important part of working with crystals is setting the intention.

As mentioned earlier, crystals are only tools. Setting an intention is like telling the crystals what are you using them for, so they can function as intended.

Here’s how:

  • Hold it in your giving (dominant) hand. Close your eyes and focus your intent. For example, if your intent is healing, repeat the affirmation, “I am healed and whole” as you hold your crystal.
  • Imagine your intent turning into light and traveling through your arm, into your hand, and into your crystal. Do this for three to five minutes.

Maintaining and Storing Crystals

If you’re displaying the crystals, dust them with a soft cloth or a microfiber. Avoid using anything abrasive as it might damage the crystal.

For storage, you can use a multicompartment container to separate the crystals. If you’re storing them together, wrap each crystal in tissue paper or soft cloth, and keep them away from humidity.

What Crystal to Use

Trust your intuition and choose what you feel is right for you.

But in case you want to know for certain, perform muscle testing. Ask, “Is this the crystal I need for <your intention>?” Then, go with what your body responds YES to.

10 Crystals for Beginners

If you’re still clueless about what to start with, Karen suggests going for what she calls “the crystal workhorses,” the crystal starter kit that works virtually for everyone.

  1. CLEAR QUARTZ – for amplifying the properties of all other crystals, connection to the Divine and higher consciousness, working through all conditions (master healer), protection, cleansing and purification, amplifying energy and thought, clarifying thoughts and beliefs, balancing body-mind-spirit, improving concentrationclear quartz
  2. SMOKY QUARTZ – for transmuting negative energy to positive energy, amplifying positive energy, grounding, detoxifying, connecting all the chakras to balance energies, connection to higher guidance and the Divinesmoky quartz
  3. CITRINE – for prosperity, self-esteem and self-image, creativity, encouraging generosity, promoting clarity of thinking, manifestation, asserting personal will, facilitating new beginningscitrine
  4. ROSE QUARTZ – for compassion, kindness, unconditional love, self-love, emotional healing, joy, peace, playfulnessrose quartz
  5. AMETHYST – for intuition and insight, insomnia, safe travel, connecting to higher self and the Divine, creativity, manifestation, stress and anxiety, nightmares, addictionamethyst
  6. BLACK TOURMALINE – for psychic protection, protection against negativity, grounding, stress release, cleansing negative emotionsblack tourmaline
  7. FLUORITE – for balancing and stabilizing energies, body-mind-spirit connection, facilitating intuition and communication with higher planes, calming, enhancing creativity, harmonizing, connection to the Divinefluorite
  8. CARNELIAN – for courage, security and safety, willpower, determination, returning passion to relationships, developing a healthy sense of self, focusing on the present moment, overcoming abuse, protection against envy, boosting energycarnelian
  9. HEMATITE – for balancing energies, relieving stress and anxiety, grounding, detoxifyinghematite
  10. TURQUOISE – for personal power, luck and prosperity, safe travel, speaking personal truth, giving voice to creative ideas, protection against theft, promoting ambition and empowerment, calming, absorbing excessive energy, harmonizingturquoise

In the book, she goes into more detail such as the crystal’s origin, its lattice, the associated chakra, and usage tips.

She also lists 40 more crystals for reference should you wish to add them to your collection.

Healing Crystals

What’s more, Karen also prescribes what crystal to use for a particular case, which comes with a meditation practice and grid formation for each one. Here’s a summary list:

Crystal for Abuse: carnelian, yellow tiger’s eye

Crystal for Addiction: hematite, amethyst

Crystal for Anger: malachite, red or black jasper

Crystal for Anxiety: amber, sodalite, amethyst and lavender oil

Crystal for Balance: rainbow fluorite, turquoise, black tourmaline and clear quartz

Crystal for Boundary Setting: yellow kyanite, turquoise, labradorite

Crystal for Compassion: rose quartz, aquamarine, peridot

Crystal for Courage: citrine, aquamarine

Crystal for Decision-Making: amethyst, ametrine

Crystal for Envy: green aventurine, malachite, carnelian and apatite

Crystal for Forgiveness: apache tears, rhodochrosite

Crystal for Gratitude: rose quartz, aquamarine

Crystal for Grief: apache tears, ruby

Crystal for Happiness: amber, smoky quartz, citrine

Crystal for Inner Peace: larimar, blue calcite

Crystal for Love: rose quartz, peridot, pink tourmaline

Crystal for Motivation: yellow tiger’s eye, rainbow fluorite, citrine

Crystal for Negativity: smoky quartz, hematite, pink Himalayan salt lamp

Crystal for Patience: howlite, amazonite, labradorite

Crystal for Prosperity: citrine, aventurine

Crystal for Regret: rose quartz, smoky quartz

Crystal for Rejection: rose quartz, hematite, yellow tiger’s eye

Crystal for Self-Confidence: yellow tiger’s eye, citrine, amber

Crystal for Sleep: amethyst, howlite, rhodochrosite

Crystal for Stress: yellow tiger’s eye, smoky quartz, hematite

Crystal for Trust: garnet, carnelian, amethyst

Check out the crystal collections arranged by intention at Conscious Items. They also have ones by zodiac signs, accessories, and other means to use crystals.

Here’s what I recently got for myself — my new set of “kryptonite” — for becoming super, being human:

crystal collection set
(L-R) Aventurine, Obsidian, Green Fluorite, Rose Quartz, Citrine, Black Tourmaline, Amethyst, Labradorite


So, tell me, what crystals are in your collection? How’s your experience using crystals? If you’re only starting out, what crystals are you strongly resonating with?

Let me know by leaving a comment below.


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments