Wondering what to do with that healing gemstone you bought? Here’s how to cleanse your new crystal and imprint your own energy on it.

crystal care

Have you ever visited a crystal store, bought a beautiful stone, and then wondered how to use it once you get it home?

The first thing to consider is that your beautiful amethyst geode or chunk of sparkling quartz is not just a paperweight. It is an ancient gift from Mother Earth, and once you understand its properties and powers, you can allow it to enhance your life, your health, your home.

Donna Marie Hallessey has filled her Pointe-Claire home with crystals. As an intuitive medium who channels the spirit world, Ms. Hallessey uses crystals for everything from divination and personal protection to clearing negative energies and attracting financial prosperity. “People often buy crystals without knowing what they do,” she says. “They tend to be drawn to particular stones but may not be aware that each has its own energy signature.”

While the popularity of crystals may seem like a modern trend, in fact, “this information has been around for thousands of years,” Ms. Hallessey says.

crystal care

Once you’ve adopted a crystal, it’s important to clean it, she advises. Crystals absorb energy, which means that they carry the energy of the people who touch them, including the shoppers who may have handled your crystal at the store.

One way of cleansing a crystal’s energy is to place it in course salt or the pink Himalayan variety, she says. “I soak my new stones in salted water for seven days and seven nights. The water should be in a bowl made of clay or glass—a natural material. Never aluminum. The salt acts as a purifier.”

Some soft stones (desert rose—a form of gypsum, lapis lazuli, malachite and turquoise, for instance) may disintegrate or degrade in salt water, so a bowl of dry salt is preferable for them as a purification medium.

crystal care

If you’re using water, drain the bowl and rinse the stones, without soap. Place them atop a red towel to air-dry. “The red towel dates back to ancient Egyptian times,” Ms. Hallessey says.

The energy in crystals can also be cleansed by bathing the stones in sunlight or moonlight. “When I want to imprint stones, I place them on a window sill during a new moon or full moon,” she says.

“After cleansing the stone, hold it in your hands so it becomes yours. You imprint your energy on it.”

crystal care

Selenite—a form of gypsum that is often sold as a rod—is a master cleansing stone that purifies other stones. It’s also one of the rare stones that is self-purifying and doesn’t need to be cleansed. “You can place your stones on top of a selenite rod and it will neutralize the crystal’s energy,” Ms. Hallessey says. “And you can infuse the energy of the moon or the sun into the stone; the sun recharges a stone while the moon amplifies its vibration.”

Ms. Hallessey cleanses her jewelry atop a rod of selenite, often placing a written intention under it. “This infuses and imprints my intention on the stone,” she says. “Stones can be pretty things or much more than just pretty.” Hard-working black tourmaline, for instance, protects the human body from electro-magnetic fields, emitted by cellular phones or computers. Smoky quartz is protective of material objects. Hematite forms a protective shield. Amethyst opens the pineal gland, known as the third eye. Citrine is used to generate prosperity. Clear quartz encourages clarity of thought. Shungite (which originates in Karelia, Russia) is known to purify water. Rose quartz encourages love.

For crystal novices, Ms. Hallessey recommends a visit to a crystal shop. “If you’ve never bought crystals, buy whatever you’re drawn to,” she says. “Start with your zodiac sign. What is your birth stone? Let the crystals pick you. There are people who can hold a crystal, and the crystal tells them a story, the stored information that is in it.”

There are plenty of books on the market that demystify the characteristics of crystals. “A book will educate you on the value of the crystals you’ve bought,” Ms. Hallessey says. “Crystals are another form of communication if we’re open to receiving it. They take us into another world of understanding. Ideally, a crystal should pique your curiosity, in the same way that cooking with spices you’ve never used before will do.”

But caveat emptor. “One crystal is never enough,” she adds, laughing. “There’s something about them that you can’t stop after just one. They’re like potato chips.”

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