Starting your crystal journey is an exciting step into the metaphysical realm, but with the wide variety of stones, it can also be a bit overwhelming in the beginning. Each crystal’s meaning is different, and each is said to aid with different goals, from regaining peace, promoting self-love, and warding off negativity. That all sounds promising, but with so many gemstones out there... where should one begin? To help you get your bearings, Bustle spoke with experts for intel on crystals for beginners.
Crystal practitioner Rae Fagin and Dr. Elizabeth Trattner, a crystal and integrative medicine expert, shared their top tips on how to get started with healing crystals along with which gems you should add to your collection first. Pro tip: Research the stores you’ll be visiting to buy your crystals and make sure that they’re ethically sourced to ensure quality stones.
It’s important to note that there hasn’t been much research on the physical or mental health benefits of crystals, and there isn’t any scientific evidence to support the claims circulating around them. Still, crystals have been said to serve a variety of spiritual purposes like boosting mental clarity, promoting peace, and easing worries and anxieties. If anything, crystals can provide a sense of security and positivity, especially during difficult times or during situations where you’re in need of guidance.
How exactly can these gemstones carry such transformative prowess? It all stems from the energy they purportedly hold. “The use of using crystals in healing is extensive in Traditional Chinese Medicine,” says Trattner. “Crystals are programmable and carry energy by their wavelengths and dominant oscillatory rates.” Dominant oscillatory rates, or DOR, are basically our vibrational frequencies. “Crystals have precision thus a stable DOR, while humans have an unstable DOR due to the fact that we are made of many different DORs in our bodies,” Trattner explains.
Trattner points to the use of certain crystals in other situations. “Take quartz for instance: It wasn’t that long ago the quartz helped moved all of our watches, radios, computers, and technology,” she explains. “The stone has a piezoelectric effect, like a small battery.” It’s this kind of force that people turn to in their spiritual practice.
Different Crystal Uses
Each crystal holds a specific superpower. For example, if you’ve been feeling out of sorts, confused about life, or struggling with making a big decision, it may help you to have crystals like amethyst or selenite, which are said to promote mental clarity and focus. If you’ve been lacking in confidence, rose quartz may help you attract self-love.
“Each stone is unique and holds a different wisdom and gift to guide us,” says Fagin. Fluorite, for instance, is great for a clear mind, while orange calcite can help you connect with a positive attitude. Smokey quartz provides a spiritual grounding, and pyrite can remind you of your own power. “Think of crystals as our allies and friends,” Fagin explains, nodding to the unique ways each can aid you.
Using crystals is actually really simple, too. You can implement their power in your mindfulness practice by holding crystals in your lap and in your palms as you meditate, or keeping them around you as you journal. Some say sleeping with them under your pillow can help prevent nightmares or gives you guidance for your dilemmas through your dreams.
Crystals are also widely accepted as being essential to a manifestation practice. As you write down your manifestations, keep your crystals near. When it’s time to speak your manifestations out loud, hold your crystals in your hands, close your eyes, and envision what it is you want to manifest — you might find your stone helps you see it more clearly.
The Best Crystals for Beginners
If you're feeling overwhelmed by the endless plethora of crystals to choose from, the experts have handpicked the best ones for your starter kit.
Black Tourmaline — This gemstone is used to promote feelings of safety and to dispel any negativity that might be lingering. “Tourmalines are the master remover of negativity,” says Trattner. Keep this black stone close to ground you and call in positive vibes.
Amethyst — If you’re looking to fend off negative energy or open up your third eye (aka your intuition), then this gorgeous purple stone is for you. “Amethyst is an excellent crystal to introduce someone to their intuitive abilities,” says Fagin. “Journal with your amethyst and see what comes up once it helps you quiet all the extra noise around you.”
Rose Quartz — Who couldn’t use more love in their life? This pale pink gemstone can help when you need to give yourself some extra TLC and compassion. “Rose quartz is for self-love, self-care, self-worth, and radical self-acceptance. Hold onto it when you need to remind yourself of your worth,” says Fagin. “Repeat an affirmation for self-love with the stone in hand.”
Selenite — This crystal can be used during times when you feel hazy or need some spiritual housekeeping. “In crystal healing, selenite is like liquid light,” says Trattner of the clear stone. “Many crystal healers will use selenite to clear a room of negative energy, much like sage.”
Carnelian — Low on confidence or passion? This fiery red crystal works to encourage tenacity and to help you stay connected with your desires. “Carnelian lights up our inner fire, giving us confidence, courage, and the ability to trust our gut and ignite our passions,” says Fagin. “It’s a great stone to carry with you when you need a confidence boost, like in a job interview or on a date.”
Groppe, D. (2014). Dominant frequencies of resting human brain activity as measured by the electrocorticogram. Neuroimage. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4269223/