Rituals and habits ground us and help to give us a sense of control in our lives. Whether you begin your morning in prayer or with an exactly made cup of coffee, there is immense comfort in these routines. Many people find this solace in metaphysical practices including the use of crystals and gem stones, a practice that can be traced back to ancient Sanskrit and Egyptian writings. Whether you’ve seen crystal alters and wands on instagram or are seeking a non-religious-specific approach to spirituality- working with crystals and stones in meditation and life can be a great way to seek balance, guidance, and focus your energy. But where to begin?
We toured a beautiful crystal shop in Toronto with the psychic Doc. E. Goreblots, who’s been working with crystals/stones for several years now to answer some questions on how to begin your exploration.
What initially drew you to crystals and stones personally? Why do they resonate with people so widely?
Goreblots- I have been drawn to them ever since I was young. I would collect them as souvenirs while on family trips, sifting through the different kinds, sometimes finding out the meanings. They just had a certain appeal. They had meaning because they were linked to the earth, and different places, and I was mainly drawn to how beautiful they were in all their variations.
I think initially crystals and stones have an appeal for people because of their beauty. The metaphysical properties become an extra layer of interest and meaning and use for the stones. They hold all these elements in them that make them unique, and they have a history of how they grew, formed and took shape. I view crystals as an enhancement to any metaphysical practice, they’re a tool or an ingredient to the whole recipe of what someone might practice.
Do you think there’s a reason this practice has become so popular lately?
Goreblots- There’s a growing sense of disconnect from nature because of our ever expanding use of technology, and there’s a scrambling for personal meaning when everyday we get flooded by the superficial. We crave meaning and grounding in something tangible, something that we can place our personal power within.
Crystal jewelry has also taken off immensely in recent years, with a focus on bringing forward this feel of ancient talismans, or personal power and protection. I think with all the digital noise, there’s a growing need to find sanctuary in the little things. It’s a returning back to belief, faith and nature, a return back to some kind of meaning.
As well with a growing awareness in mental health it seems that finding natural options for dealing with these disorders, social anxieties and so on, is more important than ever. I’m not saying this is a solution, just another theory about one of the possible factors into this crystal interest boom. And there seems to be this communal bonding over these crystal interests. It’s an ingredient to someone’s desire to feel okay, and a reflection on how we all have this need to really slow down and observe and appreciate what the Earth, this planet can offer us.
So once someone has found themselves interested in the practice what should their first steps be?
Find a local rocks and minerals shop, holistic store, or occult supply in your area (get googling for addresses closest to you). Or attend a rocks and minerals convention in your area. You can also shop for crystals online but doing so in person allows you to feel your connections to individual types, which is especially good if you are new to the practice. Once you are familiar with the crystals and their meanings it’ll become easier to source them online or by catalogue.
Goreblots- Try not to wear any jewelry that has stones or crystals so as not to distort your impression of the stones. Stones can change your entire auric field (the energy bubble that surrounds you). So being bare is a practical way to really feel what the stone can do, especially if you are sensitive to the energy.
Go with an intention of what you are seeking (what energy or aspects you’d like to cultivate or remove from your life). Knowledgeable store clerks are usually very helpful if you find you are having trouble deciding. Often good rock stores will also have descriptions of the properties of each stone available right near the rocks you are looking at. If you get overwhelmed by the energy or sheer choice in stones take breaks, go outside and breathe for a bit, there’s no hurry.
How would someone choose which stones speak to them the most?
Some shops and practitioners will recommend including a stone associated with protection in your first collection, regardless of what other types you choose. Black tourmaline (for instance) will help neutralize negative energies and allow your other crystals to have stronger effect.
Goreblots- A great place to start is with the tumbled stones, as they are often quite affordable and there you can pick and choose from a large variety and handle them with ease. Choose according to what colours draw you, pick one up and feel it in your palm. A quick way to tell if it’s for you is just to ask, in your head, is this stone for me? Draw your attention to how it feels, the weight of it, the smoothness and how it vibrates with you. If you feel a tingle, excitement, or flitter, then it is probably right for you – these feelings are often subtle, a gut reaction, so take your time. If, on the other hand, you feel heavy, or cloudy or no attachment and no vibrancy, then the stone may not be for you. Use your own discretion. If feeling it out is not your jam, or you feel you are just not getting it, then just look at the descriptions and that should tell you if it’ll work for you or not. Again, knowledgeable store clerks can be really helpful if you are having trouble!
Once you’ve purchased your first crystals what’s next? Do you need to do anything to them before beginning your practice?
Goreblots- It’s generally advised to make sure to cleanse the crystals before you use them, this will rid them of any residue that they might have collected from other people etc. Also once cleansed, setting an intention in them for their use will help bring the potential of their power forward. Cleansing methods include: setting them in salt (dry), my favorite salt to use is pink Himalayan, or holding them in some running water, under the tap or in a stream (as long as they aren’t a water eroding kind of stone), or using a Tibetan singing bowl, the vibrations of sound will cleanse them, lastly setting them outside or on a window sill during a full moon where they can bask in the moon’s glow. To set an intention in them, that can be a personal thing, just be mindful of what you wish the stone will help you with and ask for that.
How do you develop a practice involving crystals and stones?
Goreblots– There are many ways to use stones and again, it all depends on your personal intention. They can be used for meditation by holding them in your hands as you sit, this is also a great way to become acquainted with the stone’s energy. Another great way to get to know your stones and their energy is carrying them around in your pockets (small tumbled stones are excellent for this), or the best way is if they can be touching your skin – a necklace or ring is an awesome way to do that. For the ladies, bras are an excellent spot for keeping your stones as well, safe and secure and touching the skin. Putting them by your bed or in your pillow case is another way – especially for dream time stones such as amethyst or moonstone.
Is there any maintenance needed for them?
Goreblots– If you use one crystal for a while, it is good to cleanse it every once and a while. It’s just like laundry or doing the dishes, you cleanse it, and it will continue to serve you, if you don’t, it may get gummed up with energy. If this happens, the crystal won’t be as effective or it will start having a negative effect. Also sometimes you will lose them, or sometimes I find once they are finished being used, they will break! I find stones that get lost are usually ones that might not be meant for you at that time. There are some crystals that self cleanse, such as Kyanite and Citrine. In this case, all you have to do is wear it or place it in the appropriate place in your house with an intention set, as these types of stones are often used for protection.
What resources would you recommend to new practitioners?
Goreblots– My go to sources for all this information and more:
The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall – this book helps you get started, talks about cleansing and grids, making gem elixir, all the stones properties and where they come from and how easily they are obtained.
My favorite rock and mineral store here in Toronto is The Rock Store where they have very friendly, personable and helpful staff, a beautifully displayed selection of rocks, as well as offerings in healing services, workshops and classes, special ritual evenings, and counselling and guidance.
For a great source to shop online I like to peruse Etsy for jewels and gems (it’s kind of an addiction, ha!). I try to stick to Canadian, local sellers, not only for shipping costs but to support locally. One of my favourite shops is callistojewelry.
An enormous thank you to the The Rock Store for letting us photograph in their space and explore their crystals! Some of the above photos were taken in their shop and the others were snapped at the Rocks and Minerals Show in Bancroft this past summer.
Also heaps of gratitude to Doc E. Goreblots (whom I am sure you’ll hear more from on this blog in future) for walking us through developing this practice. You can connect with her work on instagram and facebook!
P.S.A.: We’re a spooky bunch here at the ‘Cult but we think any practice that doesn’t harm anyone else and makes you feel balanced is A-OK! If this isn’t your personal jam, that’s cool, but we don’t really want to hear about that so you can use that energy to email grouch at your local political party about truly important things instead please. 😉