Stones are very powerful magical tools because they are so good at absorbing and emitting energy. However, this very quality means that they can easily absorb negative energy or become saturated. Because of this, it is important that any stone you use for magic is regularly cleansed.You should always cleanse a stone when you buy it because there is no way to tell who has handled it, when it was mined, shipped or on display in the shop. Some crystal suppliers cleanse the stones they sell but you should still try to cleanse them for yourself. Firstly, it is not good magical practise to rely on others to do all the work for you, and secondly, you have no way of telling who might have handled the stone after it was cleansed or even how effective at cleansing the supplier was. Crystals or stone jewellery should always be cleansed before being used in magic so that they do not bring any unwanted influences into the spell. They should also be cleansed if for any reason they have been psychically 'dirtied' ~ this could be from your wearing a stone when you were in a bad mood or depressed, from someone's touching it without permission, or from its being exposed to arguments, negativity or a bad atmosphere. Remember that stones and crystals are very good at absorbing energy; they will absorb whatever energy with which they come into contact, whether it is positive or negative. There are many ways of cleansing stones, and like all crystal magic, there is no right or wrong way. It is best to experiment with several different methods and find out which work best for you.
The simplest way to cleanse is to wash the crystal under running water. You can use river water, tap water or a prepared Gem Water. While you are washing the stone, try to imagine all the energy it holds as thick, dirty, grey smoke that clings to it. The water washes this smoke away and leaves the crystal clean and bright. In the beginning, it should take you two or three minutes to thoroughly cleanse a stone this way but with time and experience you will find that the task becomes quicker. Magic should never be rushed, so be as thorough as you can when cleansing your stones. A cleansed stone or crystal shines with spiritual light - try to visualise this brilliance as clearly as you can in your mind's eye while you are cleansing your stone.
For a more thorough cleansing, place the crystal in a dish of water and leave it there for a certain amount of time. This could be overnight under the Full Moon, three days, seven days, or even a month depending on how 'dirty' the stone feels. Try to choose a magically significant number of hours or days such as 3, 7, 13 or 21. Change the water once a day. If you want, you can add a pinch of salt, some cleansing herbs, a couple of drops of essential oil, or a small charm to the water.
Elemental cleansing is very thorough and any of these ideas can be developed into a complete ritual worked within your magic circle. You will need symbols for the elements, such as a candle for Fire, a bowl of Water, salt for Earth and incense for Air. Pass the crystal through the incense smoke, asking elemental Air to cleanse it of any unwanted thoughts and impressions. Pass it quickly through the candle flame, asking that elemental Fire will cleanse it of any unwanted energy and anger. Bathe it in the water, asking that elemental Water will cleanse it of any unwanted memories and emotions. Finally bury it in the salt, and ask that elemental Earth will cleanse it of any disruptive power and energy. If you feel that the stone needs further cleansing, place it in the bowl of water. Add three small pinches of the salt and three small pinches of the incense ash. To add the power of Fire, either dribble a few drops of wax into the bowl or extinguish the candle in the water. Leave the stone in this bowl, preferably outside, for three days (you can leave it longer if you feel it is necessary). On the evening of the third day, bring the bowl indoors and repeat the elemental cleansing ritual again with fresh ingredients.
If a stone or crystal needs very deep cleansing, you can give it to one of the four elements so that it can transform the energy in the stone and purify it. It is best if you can work with the element most closely associated with the stone that needs cleansing, and you will need to leave the stone for at least three days. To give it to Earth, bury it in soil. Either use some garden dirt in a plant pot, or if you bury it outside, be sure to make a map of where you left the stone as they have been known to go off wandering! To give it to Water, leave it outside in the rain, under the stars in a bowl of water or in a pond or stream. Be careful -- even gentle Water moves with great force and your stone could be swept downstream before you come to reclaim it. To give it to Air, leave it in a high place, on a fence or in a tree where the breeze can blow over it. To be safe, you can put the stone in a net or pouch and tie it to a tree branch. To give it to Fire is more difficult. Like all the elements, Fire can be dangerous and in our modern world Fire must be controlled for our own safety. Either leave the stone outside in the blazing sun or create a shrine where you can safely leave the stone surrounded by burning candles.
After you have cleansed a crystal, it should be left to dry naturally if possible. Place it on a clean white cloth, a towel or a fresh leaf from the garden and leave it in the sunlight or under the stars until it is dry.