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Do I need to cleanse my new crystal when I receive it?
Usually, yes, cleansing your new crystal is a good idea. Most crystals are sold in stores where they get handled by numerous people. Crystals that come from me are sitting in a true Crystal Cave with 35 tons of Calcite, a Master Healing Stone, surrounding them. They really come alive here, and wait to move on to their destiny. So these stones are ready to work for you, without the need to be cleansed first.
How do I cleanse my stones if I want to?
There are a number of methods to cleanse your stone. Smudging it with sage works well; light the sage and pass the stone through the smoke or, for a very large stone, wave the smoke around the stone. For most stones, I prefer to hold the stone under cool running water for one minute, asking the Water Elementals to purify the stone. Crystals love baths! The exception to this would be a stone like Halite (salt) or other high-salt content stones, which would partially dissolve in water. At this time I believe I do not have any of these stones available for purchase.
Does size matter?
That depends on what you need your stone to do. If you need the stone to build energy (chi), offer psychic protection, cleanse your space or support your home environment, then yes, size does matter. We canít expect a tiny Stone Person to do a lot of heavy lifting, energetically speaking.
On the other hand, some stones are used as amplifiers for other stones and just are not found larger than a few grams in weight. Moldavite is a good example of this. My rule of thumb is to ask this: what do you need the stone to do for you as an ally? The bigger the job or the faster you need it done should help you determine the size of the stone. And, of course, let your budget be the final determiner. Use common sense about what you are comfortable paying.
How can I tell if a stone has been artificially enhanced?
Since crystals have become more popular, there are always those looking to make more money from them. The economies of some countries depend on the export of mineral specimens, so some sellers have found ways to alter stones, using heat or radiation to change the appearance of the stone. Citrine is a good example of this. Brazil has a large amount of beautiful Amethyst which grows in clusters, geodes and cathedral cave formations. Prices for this material are very reasonable. People have found that if you heat Amethyst in an oven to about 900*, it turns yellow or orangebrown. It is then sold as Citrine, a less-abundant and more expensive stone. However, it is not Citrine. It is heat-treated Amethyst, without the healing properties of Citrine. The other major scam is irradiating Clear Quartz, turning it black, and selling it as Smokey Quartz. This is terrible because the forced irradiation damages the stone, causing it to need years of healing and love.
Natural Citrine is pale yellow to dark golden yellow, sometimes verging on Smokey colored. The mineral that gives Citrine its golden color is Iron. Since all Citrine and Smokey Quartz contain varying amounts of Iron, the final determining factor is color. Rest assured, I have never, and will never, represent heat-treated Amethyst as Citrine, or irradiated Quartz as Smokey Quartz. To see a picture of man-made Citrine, see The Book of Stones by Robert Simmons and Naisha Ahsian. Great example.
What books do you recommend on crystals?
There are a number of very good books on stones available. Some of my personal favorites are The Book of Stones by Robert Simmons and Naisha Ahsian, all the crystal books by Katrina Raphael, The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall and, for the scientifically inclined, Crystal Power, Crystal Healing by Michael Gienger. There are many others; these are just my personal favorites, especially the Michael Gienger book for learning which minerals, metals and elements give birth to specific types of stones. Fascinating.
Are the properties of a stone changed when it is cut and polished?
No. I believe it is part of the destiny of the stone to become, for example, a sphere. Crystal balls have been used for centuries in many cultures and, according to Merlin, are one of the most powerful metaphysical allies we can have. Since I communicate directly with the Stone People, I can assure you that I have never met one that felt negatively about its shape. Cutting and polishing a stone does not alter it in any way, unlike irradiating it, as mentioned before. Cutting and polishing the crystal helps channel more light through the stone, helping it to evolve. Irregardless of whether a stone is naturally formed into a shape (like a generator, Isis face or Dow) or polished into that form, the properties are identical.
When I display my crystals, what should I be aware of?
First of all, some stones, such as Amethyst, Fluorite and Ametrine, cannot be put into direct sunlight, as it will leach the color out of the stone. Also, sunlight can be amplified through Clear Quartz, creating dangerous hot spots.
Secondly, some stones do not wish to be handled by anyone other than you, so keep those in your Sacred Space. People are often drawn to crystals because of their Light and loving energy and will want to touch them or pounce on them! If that happens, sage smoke will clear any energy transfer
What is an altar?
An altar is a dedicated space in your home that represents your connection to source. A bookshelf, a bureau, a side table, any surface can become an altar. It may have photographs of people or things you love, crystals, an aromatherapy diffuser, an athame, inspirational artwork, an incense burner, a smudge wand...whatever inspires you or speaks to your heart.
I have many. Each captures a different feeling throughout my home. Some represent my love for Native American tradition, some have Kwan Yin or Buddha statues, one has a large crystal cluster with the rosary beads I used when I was in the convent in my childhood to become a nun. All uplift me and feed my soul.
Create Sacred Space for yourself.
Why do prices of stones vary so much from store to store?
Generally speaking, brick and mortar shops need to factor certain things into the prices they charge: rent for the space, employees, utilities, insurance ... all these things add up and need to be added on to the final charge for anything sold in those shops. Webstores such as mine donít have that overhead to factor in.
Since stones are sold by weight, the larger the stone the more expensive it is. If a stone is rare or hard to find, or if the mines are either shut down or are decreasing production, the price goes up. No two stones are exactly alike. So what may seem to be the exact same thing sold elsewhere may in fact be entirely different, considering inclusions, rainbows, color, clarity, the presence of record keepers or windows, etc.
Finally, ethics do come into play, also. All stores buy crystals from a number of wholesale dealers around the country. It is up to the individual store owner to decide what profit margin is fair after all of the costs are totaled up. Since I view my stones as living healers, I try to move them on to their destiny while respecting everyoneís budget at the same time.