I Gotta Charge my Crystals!

I hear this all the time during the full moon and every single time it drives me crazy! I have a feeling this expression came from a misunderstanding about how old witches would save energy in pebbles and rocks to use later.  The use of crystals was big in ancient times (Egypt, Mesopotamia, etc), and even then it wasn’t nearly as popular or as big as it has become today.  This really happened during the new age movement in the 70’s and early 80’s.  And as we moved into the new millennium, it has really exploded.

The market for crystals has become so vast and has grown so quickly that some are predicting that a bubble like effect, as we saw with the housing crisis, will happen (I really hope not!).  I do however think that some of the new “information” on crystals is doing a disservice to crystals users in general or even to modern metaphysics.

I have so many issues with a lot of “new information” that is being presented today – some of which has no basis in reality, plus the creation of trade names (some of which I would liken to snake oil sales techniques), but that is another post altogether.  In this post we will talk about the basics.  So you got a crystal, now what in the world are you going to do with it?



The first step when you get a crystal is to cleanse the crap out of it.  Crystals are like little energy batteries, they pick up everything around them.  Now granted some crystals hold more energy than others, and some are more sensitive than others to different types of energy, but it doesn’t change the fact that you must cleanse it before you put it to use.  If the crystal was at a shop, chances are it was handled by a multitude of people and has absorbed a lot of personal energy.  You want to cleanse that before you begin to work with it

Some ideas on cleansing:

  • Bury the stone in the earth for a period of 24-72 hours. Feel the vibrations when you take it out – if it needs more time, bury it again. This is great in theory, however, I have lost many a crystal this way.  Even if you mark it you may not be able to find it again.  A client once told me that she added some dirt to a pot and then buried her crystal in it to cleanse. This did exactly nothing.  It is not the dirt that cleanses it, it is the connection with mother earth.  It acts as a reset for a crystal.
  • Let the stone sit outside exposed to sunlight for one full day (sun up to sun down). Or if you prefer, let it sit in the full moonlight for one night (sundown to sun up). This is a 50/50 method in my opinion.  Some crystals may need more time than others.  Sunlight can discolor your crystals a great deal (there is a reason why most of them form away from the sun).  I have tried this method and it works well if the crystal is not saturated with energy.  If it is, you will need to extend the time.  I do not recommend this method if you are just starting out.
  • Use a sage smudge stick and pass the stones through the smoke. This is probably my favorite method! It works every time regardless.  If you cannot use smoke cleansing you can get a sage spray that will in essence do the same for you.
  • Let the stone soak in salt-water overnight (do not use this method for any soft stones,  natural stones or any calcite). I have used this method in a pinch, and it works fairly well.  However, be sure that your stone is not water soluble, or it can begin to dissolve.

Now that you have cleansed your crystal we move on to the next step!


What is programming? I sometimes refer to it as imprinting as well.  This basically means thay you ask the crystal to work with you on something.  You need to be specific in your ask.  “I need some abundance” is too broad.  You can have an abundance of onions or cats and that would probably not meet your goals. You want to be specific in your ask but not too specific in the HOW  to make it happen. Leave that up to the crystal and the Universe.

  • “I need money and I want to win the lottery” doesn’t work – if it did we would have a great deal of very rich witches out there!
  • “I want to find new love and I want them to be stable and self sufficient” is a great ask for a crystal!

Be sure what you ask is in line with what the crystal can do for you.  Going to a crystal that has great energy for communicating with spirits is not a great choice for balancing your root chakra.  Be aware of what you need and select crystals appropriately. This step is important because it does two things:

  1. It asks the crystal to work with you
  2. It changes a crystals energy from passive to active.

A crystal that works with your third eye chakra may balance the third eye chakra with no programming – it’s passive energy already does that. Now if you are looking to increase your psychic ability, that is an active process, and you to ask for help.  It is similar to being around people you really like.  You can approach them and stare at them for a while. But all that Will do is allow you to bask in their personal energy (which can be a little creepy!).  Instead you need to walk up to them and say, “Let’s grab some coffee?”. Or “Can you help me with something?” Those are  active processes and it requires your active participation along with your friend.

A simple process of imprinting or programming a crystal is listed below.

  1. Decide what you want to ask that Crystal to do for you.
  2. Have the intent clear in your mind
  3. Hold the crystal in your hand and try to connect with the energy of the crystal.  Ask the crystal if it will work with you, and wait patiently for the answer.  It may come as a feeling, as a stray thought or you may get an image or a sensation of heat or cold in your hand.  If you received a positive answer, then proceed.  If you did not, then respect it and do not proceed.  A crystal can give a no answer for many reasons, including some that may be for your own good.  Everything has its own spirit, and spirits often see much further than we do. Honor the answer no matter what it is.
  4. If you received a positive answer, visualize what you are asking for.  Some visualize better, some speak it better.  I myself do a combination of envisioning what I want and then whispering it to the crystal.  I generally hold it a little longer to make sure the message was received.  For me it generally feels like the crystal warmed up in my hands a little.  For you it may feel differently.
  5. Give thanks to the crystal and carry the crystal with you until your task is finished.
  6. After 1 moon cycle, cleanse your crystal and program it again for the same intent or for moon cycle.
  7. Always work with one crystal at a time!


So what about charging? This is a personal pet peeve of mine.  Crystals are created by the massive processes within the earth, over thousands (even over a million) years. Those processes happen on a planetary scale depositing an unimaginable amount of energy into each crystal.  This is where the crystal’s energy comes from.  This energy is so massive that it is able to re-structure molecules and minerals to create different crystals.  Putting your crystals out on a full moon, will do absolutely zero!

So where does this idea of charging crystals come from? Honestly I am at a loss.  The only remotely logical answer to me is that witches have always used stones and pebbles to store energy.  Got a full moon going on but have nothing you really need to do during this full moon? No worries – take a crystal (remember they are batteries), imprint it with the goal of holding full moon energy to be released later.  So the following month someone needs help on a waning moon but you need full moon energy? No worries! You have it!

I myself use this technique to create full moon and new moon blessed water.  I also have all kinds of crystals holding energies such as “New Moon in Capricorn” or “Full Moon in Leo”.  It you do a lot of work for others, or if you create infused items for friends and clients on a regular basis, this helps you to always have the vibrations and energies your need ar your fingertips.  The best crystals to use for energy storage is generally clear quartz or white quartz.  I myself only use quartz that I find on my property as I have a strong connection to my land and therefore the crystal itself.

Some people just enjoy the ritual of charging their crystals themselves.  That is perfectly fine – it is a ceremony that gives you something back, then by all means go with it.  However it is not necessary.  Your crystals cannot ever be depleted of energy (that energy is practically infused in it on an molecular level), and there is nothing that you or the Moon (unless it decides to crash into your crystal, which would then infuse a lot more energy into it, but let’s not go there…) can do to enhance the energy in any crystal.

Working with crystals is a fantastic way to learn more about energy and to understand energy dynamics.  Crystals really work best for mental and emotional healing, for self care or even for inspiration and stamina. The fact is that crystals definitely work and you should experiment and see how it works for you!