Q: I was going through a very stressful time and had trouble sleeping so a friend gave me an amethyst crystal and said it would help me relax. I tried holding it at night, putting it in my pillow case. Nothing. I went shopping after that and came across a garnet stone that really called to me, so I got it. I decided to try it out at bedtime and it worked so well for me! I felt calmer, more relaxed, and was able to sleep. My friend was surprised, and said I must be mistaken. I looked it up and it says amethyst is supposed to be soothing and calming and garnet is supposed to be energizing, but it had the opposite effect for me. Is this possible? Or was I using the stones wrong?
A: First off, yes, that is entirely possible, and no, you are not using the stones wrong! Short of ingesting one (don’t do that!), there really isn’t a “wrong” way to work with stones and crystals. There are different ways that may be more or less beneficial, depending on what the goal or purpose is, but, as you’ve experienced firsthand, crystal energy can be worked with and may manifest differently for everyone.
When selecting stones and crystals to work with, one thing to keep in mind is that all the books and descriptions out there are based on historical or traditional information and/or the author’s experience. While they are helpful and many provide a good foundation to start from, they are not the end-all, be-all on crystals. Rather, you should view them as a guide and reference point to help you find what works best for you. Everybody is different and each stone can also have its own “personality,” so the trick is finding one that matches up with your own energy and will achieve whatever purpose you are aiming for. You can start by looking up different stones and crystals to get an idea of what may work. (I highly recommend Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem, & Metal Magic by Scott Cunningham.)
Once you have a clear vision of what you want the stones to accomplish, then I suggest going to a store that has a selection of different rocks and crystals and start “feeling” them out. Hold your intention of what energy you’re looking for, and then browse around, touch the stones, and see what you connect with. You’ll know you’ve found the one you need when you come across it. You may feel a tingle or a magnetic pull, a warmth wash over you, or just “feel” it; either way, when you find the right one, you will definitely know.
Once you’ve selected your stone, then you should look up further information on it and take some time to get to know it. Hold it in your hands, carry it with you, and see how it feels and reacts. Compare your experience with what the guide suggests for the stone. If, for example, you’ve chosen it to help with relaxation, do you feel more relaxed when holding it? If so, then keep doing what you’re doing! If not, then I would suggest starting the process over again. Sometimes stones and crystals come into our lives for a purpose other than what we were planning. If you’re drawn to it, there’s always a reason!
As for how to use the stone, I suggest a blend of referring to the guides, trusting your intuition, and a practical approach. For example, if the guide suggests carrying a propserity stone in your purse, but you don’t carry a purse, then that method won’t work for you. You’ll want to find something that works for you in your situation and that also feels right to you. Some people prefer their stones to be close to them: in a pocket, tucked in a bra, or worn as jewelry. Some like them to be near a place that aligns with their purpose, such as on their desk, by their bed, or in their car’s glovebox. Personally, I like to employ a mix of those methods. It all really depends on what I feel is right for me at the time. The key to remember is there is no “right” or “wrong” way, just the best way for you and the situation. If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, or insists that their way is the only way, then they are stuck in their own dogma. Just keep an open mind and heart and you will be successfully working with your crystal companions in no time!