Your Instagram is filled with ethereal snaps of your sweeping, Stevie Nicks-inspired outfits, your #covengoals are on point, your Samhain ritual soirée last month was a smash hit, and don’t even get us started on how flawlessly you pull off a black lip. In short, you’re killing the power-witch game, one spell at a time. But what’s a rare, magically inclined bird such as yourself to do when your energy—either within yourself or your physical space—feels out of whack? Sticky situations such as these call for something shiny and—dare we say—sparkly, like natural crystals and minerals. Whether you’re a seasoned rock hound who’s well-versed in the basics of harnessing the healing power of crystals, a complete novice, or even a skeptic, here are some of the best crystals, gems, and minerals to add to your collection—and decor—for every situation.
Crystals 101: Crystals for Every Situation
for when you’re between a rock and a hard place.
Illustrated by Liz Riccardi
Cleansing + Charging Crystals
First things first: Crystals and minerals, like all objects employed in energy work, tend to pick up outside energy. Before your crystal was yours, it was touched by many hands and likely came into contact with some unsavory energies you wouldn’t necessarily invite into your home or space. Similar to a new gadget, crystals and stones need to be calibrated and aligned with your own personal brand of energy, and require intermittent “tuneups” approximately once a month or after encountering negative or intense energies (think: breakups or moving into a new home).
Brush the cosmic dust off your new crystal with a sea-salt bath. Simply immerse your stones into water mixed with sea salt (with a one tablespoon to one cup of water ratio) for 24 hours. Next, you’ll want to charge them, either with the lunar phases or solar energy. Bathing crystals in moonlight during full or waxing moon phases is commonly known to be the most powerful method, but you can get just as strong an energy surge from sunlight, too. New moons, lunar phases when the moon is dark and can’t be seen, are also excellent for charging crystals used for protection and banishment.
Alternatively, smoke from sage smudging can be used to cleanse stagnant energies, and is especially handy for soluble stones like selenite, which will disintegrate over time with moisture. You can also use plain, dry sea salt; just fill a bowl with run-of-the-mill sea salt and immerse your crystals for 24 hours.
One of the most common—and cheapest—minerals on the planet, clear quartz is an essential for any crystal collection. Ranging in color from super-crystaline to milky or opaque, quartz is beloved for its powerful properties in amplifying positive energy while filtering out negative energies. Snag a clear quartz crystal point or cluster to accompany your other crystals, place on top of your tarot deck when it’s not in use, or really, for anywhere in your home that could use jazzing up.
Pro tip: Nestle crystal points and clusters in the soil around your potted house plants, succulents, and cacti for maximum otherworldly nesting.
This beautiful gem can be found in grayish, transparent hues, smokey browns, and near-black opaque colors. Corresponding to the base or root chakra, smoky quartz has powerful grounding properties, and is said to be especially helpful in enhancing primal survival instincts and accomplishing personal and professional goals, as well as banishing jealousy, fear, and negativity. Like its colorless cousin, smoky quartz is easy to find and typically inexpensive, and makes for an excellent addition to any collection, but is especially powerful when placed in your workspace or office.
A bold stone found in a spectrum of fiery, sunset hues and red-browns, carnelian embodies warmth, leadership, and courage, and stimulates the second or “sacral” chakra associated with creativity and sexuality. This mineral is said to sharpen analytical skills, and protects against fear, anger, and envy. Carnelian is a popular gem in jewelry, but also can be found as smooth, tumbled stones. Wear this stone or keep it handy for an edge in important professional challenges or for upping your confidence during an interview or first date.
A cult favorite, this bright, sunny stone gets its namesake from its gorgeous range of citrus-like hues, from lemony yellows to burnt-amber shades and topaz-like golden browns. Citrine stimulates mental focus and intellectual agility, making it brilliant choice for students and anyone in a creative field. An optimistic gem, citrine corresponds to the solar plexus chakra and promotes inner happiness and wild creativity. This stone is said to never need cleansing, as it doesn’t hold onto negative vibes, but rather dissipates and transmutes bad energy so that it works itself out subtly. Pair it with a chunk of clear quartz and add it to your desk decor, or to any room that needs brightening.
Though found in a spectrum of hues, the most common color of aventurine is a serpentine green. This gem is aligned with the heart chakra, and is a known aid in mending broken hearts and heartsickness, as well as protecting the heart from energy vampires (read: exes). Its green hues also correspond to wealth and prosperity, making this a top choice for drumming up financial opportunities and stuffing your piggy bank.
One of the loveliest stones out there, rose quartz ranges in color from milky, soft rose tones to golden-white, opaque shades, and emits cool, calm energies that remove negativity and establish gentle self-love. Rose quartz is associated with the heart chakra, and can be used to bring peace to relationships, opening yourself to love energy, and healing emotional wounds. Another relative of clear and smoky quartz, rose quartz is unbelievably easy to find and is affordable in its many forms.
This ethereal stone is forms naturally in twisted, dagger-like formations in colors ranging from grey and black to brilliant cerulean and Prussian blues. Sometimes called the “meditation stone,” kyanite ushers in tranquility and blocks frustration and confusion, opening doors to psychic consciousness and compassion. And because kyanite stimulates the throat chakra, this stone also fine-tunes communication. Kyanite is said to promote lucid dreaming, and like citrine, is self-cleansing.
Ranging from deep, royal purples to milky, pinkish-lavender shades, amethyst is regarded as the “stone of spirituality and contentment,” bestowing peace and tranquility while stabilizing emotional and physical dysfunctions. These qualities have garnered amethyst a reputation for being especially effective for those overcoming addiction, anxiety disorders, and insomnia. The amethyst’s serene energy makes it a perfect choice for bedrooms, chill-out spots, or anywhere you want to get a little R&R.
Pro tip: Traveling with amethyst cancels out anxiety and promotes restful, calm sleep, no matter where you are. Score a couple of small crystal chunks or a killer piece of amethyst jewelry to have them on your person during your trip. You can hold onto amethyst during a bumpy flight and even set it on your bedstand to ensure a good night’s sleep in a strange bed.
The super-popular, ghostly luminescence of moonstone is having a moment right now, and is even a top pick for bridal and engagement jewelry. Usually found in lunar-white or grey hues, moonstone’s true claim to fame is in its opalescent “fire,” or iridescent flashes that can fall anywhere from fuchsia to teal. A member of the feldspar mineral family, its connotations are connected to true love, but the moonstone’s properties are also highly attuned to psychic development and intuition. Often called the “feeling stone,” moonstone helps its user feel out situations, further developing your intuitive sight. Available in an array of forms, moonstone makes for a striking gemstone for jewelry for on-the-fly guidance.
Another member of the otherworldly feldspar mineral family, labradorite is almost like an inversion of moonstone. Murky and alienesque, labradorite ranges from iridescent, mossy army green to celestial grey, all with flashes of feldspar fire that can appear golden, teal, deep purple, and royal blue. A magical stone, labradorite is poised to enhance third-eye vision, clairvoyance, intuition, and psychic abilities. Labradorite is said to also bring out the best parts of a personality, tempering the darker sides of ourselves. Equally as popular as its sister moonstone, labradorite can be found in many different forms, especially in jewelry.
A hybrid mix of amethyst and citrine, ametrine’s most common form is a blend of lavender purples and golden yellows, either with milky inclusions or completely translucent. When shopping for crystals, it’s easy to confuse an ametrine with an amethyst or citrine crystal. Ametrine fuses amethyst’s soothing properties with citrine’s sunny disposition and happy vibes, making this a standout gem for enhancing cozy feelings of well-being and intellectual flexibility. Ametrine is also known as the “inspiration stone,” and is said to promote swift decision-making and creative clarity. If you’re in the midst of a big decision, have ametrine on hand. Even better, include it in your workspace or on your desk.
Brittle and opaque, selenite’s most common form is a glowing white or cream color, usually very milky and dense in appearance. Simply holding this crystal in the palm of your hand is said to clear and cleanse your aura, draining out negativity from your physical body. Selenite is a very tranquil, soothing crystal highly regarded for bringing (and maintaining) peace, especially in domestic life. Adding a larger piece—like a polished crystal selenite orb or a raw selenite tower—filters out negativity and harmful energy from the atmosphere. Because of its high salt content, selenite does not do well with moisture and will disintegrate over time with water, so keep this one away from the bathroom and kitchen.