BEGINNERS: Crystals – How to Cleanse, Charge & Program


how to cleanse and charge crystalsSo you have finally done it, taken the plunge, succumbed to the allure and calling of the Crystal Kingdom. In a moment of surrender you gave in an bought one, or two, or three…..or more! Or perhaps someone had gifted you a crystal baby and now you have to look after it. It could even be that you just discovered that pendant that Great Aunt Mable left you years ago is actually a crystal and your friend has told you “You know you have to clean and charge those?”…..”of course” you say shrugging your shoulders, and then quickly Google how to do it, discover the quagmire of the internet with conflicting advice, and somehow stumble across Celtic Healing……the answers are all here!


One of the essential basics of crystals for beginners, is the importance of crystal cleansing. The majority of crystals do need cleaning in some way. If you don’t cleanse your crystals, eventually their energy becomes overloaded and diminished, a bit like trying to see through a dirty window, it just wont work as well as if it was clean and pure. You should do it on a regular basis, or whenever your crystal begins to feel like it’s not vibrating with the same energy as it once was. If you can’t feel your crystal’s vibration yet, don’t panic just do it on a regular basis, say once a month or so.

The way you choose to do it will really depend on your personal style, the time you have and the trouble you want to go to. Let me say upfront, if you are attuned to Reiki (ie have done at least a Reiki I Course and been attuned by a Reiki Master in person (NOT ON THE INTERNET), then this is by far the simplest and most efficient and effective way to Cleanse, Charge and Program your crystals. However, not everyone is attuned, so I’m presuming that you are not, here’s some options……

Here are some of the ways to cleanse your crystals:

Californian White Sage or Palo Santo Smoke— simply immerse it in the traditional smoke of White Sage or Palo Santo. In Australia you can also use dried gum leaves – the smoke has been used in Aboriginal ceremonies to cleanse, purify and protect for centuries and works just as well on crystals, especially Australian Jaspers such as Mookaite.

Salt Water or Clear Water – whilst putting most crystals under clear running water will be fine, be careful if you are using salt or sea water, some crystals can be structurally damaged by salt water. If your crystals are gathering dust running under tap, or washing gently with plain water is fine, you can even use a gentle tooth brush to help remove dirt and grime if needed.

Sun or Moon Light—You can leave your crystal out in the sunlight or moonlight, however this takes time (at least 4 hours). You need to be careful as some crystals can change colour or be damaged this way especially in our harsh Australian sun.

Soil—Bury your crystals in the soil of the Earth, or even a potted plant for up to 24 hours. Don’t forget to leave a marker so that you can remember where you buried it! But also do be aware that crystals come from the Earth and many a tale is told of them returning there forever! So be prepared to loose a few.

Apophyllite or Selenite Crystals —These are two of the best crystals for beginners because they are both cleansing crystals. Cleansing crystals are very high-vibrating purifiers that don’t need to be cleansed or charged themselves. Because their energy remains pure, clear and amplified, you can use them charge and cleanse your other crystals. Simply place the crystal to want to cleanse onto your cleansing crystal to purify and enhance its energy. Use your intuition about how long to leave it there – times will vary for different crystals and how much cleaning individual crystals require. This is totally safe for all crystals.

If you are attuned to Reiki, this is by far the quickest, easiest, and in my opinion, the “purest” way to cleanse and charge your crystals. It’s my main method, clean, clear, pure and efficient!

Charging a crystal is really just connecting your energy with it once it has been cleansed, but your intent or goal can also be an influencing factor as to the best choice of how to do this. Think of the properties of the method and the associated factors in your intent to help you choose. Often the “Charging” and “Programing” of your crystal will occur together. (Charging a Crystal Grid is slightly different and not covered here). As you gain confidence and experience you will find your own way to charge your crystals, there are many, many ways to do it, whilst not prescriptive….. here are a few for you to try for yourself.

As already discussed, Reiki is convenient and ideal for charging and programing your crystals for any intention. However, you need to be attuned to at least Reiki I and preferably Reiki II for this – so it’s not for everyone. As I am an Usui Reiki Master, it’s my number 1 method. Each individual Crystal offered for sale by Celtic Healing are hand picked by myself and come already cleansed, charged and programed for your highest healing with Reiki.

Sunlight (Yang Male Energy)
If you want to program the crystal with a purpose or goal that is strong, light enhancing, restorative, positive or life giving then put it indoors in direct window light or put it outdoors in the sunlight for 4 hours or more.

Moonlight (Yin Female Energy)
If your intention or goal is more mystical, magical, spiritual, cyclic or towards inward fulfillment then use moonlight. If it relates to increasing something or new beginnings try and time it with the waxing moon (moving to a full moon) and for decreasing something, time it with the waning moon (after the full moon). Remember to allow enough time – it needs to be overnight at least.

Soil (Earth)
Soil is good to charge crystals if your intent is strength, resilience, attraction, new life, magnetism, banishing negativity or to do with nature, such as fertility, abundance, reproduction etc.

Use the charging energy of the negative ions from Thunder and Lightening in a storm if your intent needs real power, such as breaking stubborn energies, behavioural patterns or addictions. Of course there is not always a convenient thunderstorm available.

This is for heat, passion, action, purification, rebirth type intentions. Briefly pass your crystal through a gentle flame, such as a candle. I would not recommend actually putting your crystal directly into a fire or leaving it in a candle flame for too long.

If your intention is more related to communication, intellect and understanding then use smoke to charge it. You can also combine this with other earth energy such as Sandalwood or Lavender, or any incense stick smoke to ensure it’s grounded, gentle or loving communication outcomes.

Essential Oils
If your intent relates to the properties of a magical herb you can use the pure essential oil (eg DoTERRA) of that herb to charge the crystal. Some porous crystals, especially if in raw form, can be darkened or damaged in this way so be careful.

Elements and 4 Directions
If you are feeling a bit more confident and adventurous, and you want to have a more general purpose universally charged type of crystal you can have a go and perform more complicated charging and programing rituals as part of a sacred circle grid. One example might be to have representatives of the 5 elements and incorporating the 4 directions. In my case, as I am Celtic from the Northern Hemisphere, my North is Earth (in the Southern Hemisphere North is Fire and South is Earth. East and West are the same). So, I have Large Crystals representing Earth in the North of my Healing Room (but you could simply have a pot plant with soil in it), to the East (Air) I have an Essential Oil Air Diffuser (but you could use an Incense Stick), to the South I have Candles for Fire, to the West I have a water feature for Water, (You could just have a bowl or glass of water). For the 5th element of Ether (Spirit) I use an Apophyllite Cluster, but you could have a figure or picture of something you associate with Ether (eg Angel, Unicorn, Dragon, Wings, Universe etc). You could say some invocation of your intent, like “I charge you with the power of…..” then put the crystal through each element in turn. You may or may not want to put certain crystals into water or through fire, as these can both damage some crystals. Whilst it’s not necessary to go to all this trouble and effort to be able to use crystals, if you feel drawn to do so you should go with it, remember to always trust your own intuition.


Setting your intention is called “programing” your crystal, it sounds complicated but it is actually very simple. It’s all about getting in touch with your physical, emotional and spiritual needs, and being true to yourself. When you invest time into setting your intentions and goals with crystals, you’re really investing in your own future health and wellbeing, your own highest good. Making the time to mentally set your intention and get very clear about what you want to bring into your life can be very empowering and healing. You can have different intentions for different crystals or even different crystal layouts for different purposes such as manifestation, personal growth, healing and protection.

As discussed earlier, Reiki is a very quick and efficient way to program any crystal for any purpose. This is what I would encourage people to use in the first instance if they can, because of it’s ease, simplicity and purity. But obviously, not everyone is attuned to Reiki so it may or may not be an option for you. So, I’ll cover what to do, if you are just starting off without Reiki.

To start programing your crystal, find a quiet area to sit and reflect where you wont be distracted or interrupted. You might just have a single crystal, or you might have a few you want to have working together. Hold your main crystal (sometimes called an anchor crystal) in your hand to get connected with its energy. Sit quietly with any other crystals that you wish to use nearby. Close your eyes and calm your mind, relax your physical body, focusing your attention on your breathing. Take big deep belly breaths. Pick up the crystals nearby now and hold them comfortably in your hands. Imagine your awareness spiraling down into the crystals, feeling the energy of your crystals let it merge and connect with your own energy. Visualize, imagine, picture or pretend you can see you achieving your intention or goal. When you feel ready, say the intention out loud three times. Always try to frame your words positively. The Law of Attraction tells us what we send out comes back, often ten fold. So, for example rather than saying “I don’t want any more bills to come in” instead put out “I have all the finances I need to meet all my bills, with money left over to have a comfortable life”. You get the idea?

Basic Steps to Start Programing a Crystal:
o Find a quiet area to sit and reflect.
o Decide on Purpose, Intent or Goal
o Select Crystal
• single crystal
• multiple – anchor crystal
o Hold in non dominant hand and connect with crystal energy
o Close eyes, calm mind, relax physical body
o Focus on breathing
o Imagine awareness spiraling down into crystals
o Feel energy connecting
o Visualise achieving your purpose, intent or goal
o Say intention out loud three times
o Frame Positively – Law of Attraction

Repeat your crystal programing as often as needed to keep your energy focused on your goals. Place the crystal in your sacred space or altar (if you have one), or somewhere that it can be easily viewed as a reminder of what you’re working towards. Some people say you should wrap it in silk or a velvet pouch, but I don’t do this unless I’m transporting crystals – as I feel they need to breathe and share the energetic space rather than being wrapped up. But you do what feels right for you! Many people use crystal grids or sacred geometry to program their intentions and goals, but this is a huge topic on it’s own, and wont be covered here.

A last word on programing. Once you have done all this, it is best not to let others handle your crystal or crystals. They can look but don’t touch! This is because the crystal will connect with energies of others and sometimes take those on. So to keep your crystals in tip-top condition and working with your best interests at heart, keep them for yourself and your own personal use. Otherwise you have to do the cleanse, charge, program stuff all over again! This can sometimes be a lot of work, especially if your crystal collection starts to grow – as they often do!

I have many teaching crystals I use in my classes and these get cleaned, charged and programmed each time they are used and sometimes even between students (if we are doing an actual healing practice on someone). I also have specific healing crystal sets that I use in my healing treatments on clients and these also get cleaned, charged and programmed after each time they are used. But this is different, as a beginner you are using your crystals for personal use, so keep them special just for you. I have my own personal crystals that I don’t let anyone, and I mean ANYONE touch.


If you would like to learn more Celtic Healing run Crystals Courses, including a Crystals for Beginners 1 day course. Call Karen to find out more……0412 562 832