Last time, I went over how to create your altar and what tools or objects you could place there. This week, let's go further into detail on something that even some non-practitioners collect: crystals and gemstones.
Crystals and gemstones can be found all over the place nowadays, from local street markets to shops in the mall. They can be incorporated in jewelry, turned into other household items (like coasters or candle holders), or even given shape purely for display, such as a pyramid. Some people prefer them in their raw form, meaning how they appeared once taken from the earth. Natural conditions can mean those stones are in odd little shapes or clusters, a popular form for stones like amethyst. They can be tumbled as well, giving them a smooth and polished appearance. Shaping stones is also popular. This way, you can have wands made from fluorite, malachite animal figures, or the classic crystal ball.
With so many varieties out there, it can be daunting to figure out what you need to know about crystals.
“Is this good for grounding or does it draw luck?”
“Is this honey calcite or a raw chunk of citrine?”
“Do I want labradorite in a heart shape or a worry stone?”
The most important thing is that you won't need or feel a connection with every stone. The demands of your practice are unique to you, and the way you feel about a crystal and its use matters more than simple completionism. Pay attention to your gut. If you feel an immediate attraction when you lay eyes on one, that's a very good sign. It could be the stone drawing you towards it because it knows you need its assistance and energy. But even if you realize you’re pulled towards tiger’s eye because of its hypnotic and beautiful appearance, listen to that! Your connection with an individual stone will build over time.
The shape a stone is presented in has an impact as well. I have a large rose quartz pillar that I like to use as a focus when I need a moment to clear my head and remember self-love or find patience. I also have a smaller piece of rose quartz in its raw form which I like to toss into my cauldron when I’m working on a spell to enhance love for others or myself.
Because there are entire books written on crystals and gemstones, I’m going to start small, with the stones that are seen and heard of more frequently. These are stones that if you go to any sort of metaphysical or witch’s supply shop should be easily found in many forms. Due to the ease of access, these are a good place to begin building your own collection.
The first variety of stones we're going to look at are those useful in grounding. Grounding is the process of connecting with the earth, either to ask for energy if you need that boost or to offer up your own if you feel anxious or too energetic. It’s something I recommend doing before any spellwork or other practices, as it allows you to clear your mind and get to the energy level you work best at. It’s also a good idea to ground yourself before going to bed after a stressful or lackluster day.
Agate is a grounding stone that comes in many variations, like fire, blue lace, and moss agate. This stone is supportive in building confidence and has the ability to harmonize positive and negative forces that may be throwing you off.
Jasper is a wonderfully healing and nurturing stone and can absorb negative energies. After a stressful week, this stone can help you ground yourself and let go of that stress and upset.
Onyx is typically known as a dark and rich stone. It offers strength, stability, and emotional grounding.
Tiger’s eye is a beautiful stone made of black, dark browns, and bright golden yellows. It’s incredibly grounding and offers a helping hand in transformation.
How about when you need a helping hand with inner turmoil? Grounding can act as a first step to soothing your mental state, but sometimes you need an extra kick to get through it.
Amber is known for its golden glow, so it’s no surprise that this stone can promote feelings of warmth and protection. Keep it close for its healing properties and creative energies.
Calcite is transparent, with a waxy look, and comes in a wide variety of colors. It can clean negative energies while helping you work through emotional stress and turmoil.
Chrysocolla, which is similar in appearance to turquoise, can encourage a better understanding and self-awareness. It can reveal the truth and help you with tackling guilt.
Citrine is energizing and a powerful cleanser. This bright golden stone can protect your aura and help to increase self-confidence and creativity.
Lapis lazuli is often worn in jewelry and can act as spiritual armor. Not only is the vibrant blue a beautiful shade, but this stone will also help untangle your thoughts and guide you to the root of them.
Pyrite, also known as fool's good, is energizing and offers a boost in confidence.
Rose quartz is a widely loved pink stone, usually drawn to romantic souls. It can be seen as love in the form of a rock. It’s supportive and can allow openings to richer self-love.
Rutilated quartz, sometimes known as the ‘angel hair’ stone due to its appearance, is a high energy healer. It can sift through negative energies to help you heal and release emotional tension.
Smoky quartz looks incredibly similar to clear quartz but with an inner smoky shadow. It offers clarity and guidance when dealing with difficulties.
Larimar is bright and light blue, and an eye-catching stone. It can help alleviate negative feelings and calm your mind.
Some stones are gifted in enhancing your inner magical abilities and other traits or characteristics. These can guide you to become familiar with yourself and your own strengths.
Labradorite is iridescent and rainbow, which truly expresses its ability to enhance magic and character. It can be used as protection as you adventure out into the unknown.
Moonstone speaks to many witches, who find themselves drawn to this mysterious stone. No wonder then that it’s linked to protection and empathy, and can boost intuition.
Fluorite is known for its unique coloring, with green, purple, and blue stripes within the transparent stone. It's useful for studying and concentration, boosting your focus.