Whether you purchased your new baby in the Moonpine shop, dug it out of the ground yourself or received it as a gift, it require a certain level of care in order for it to offer you energy and support. 

Gemstone Hardness

Different stones have different levels of hardness. Some are soft and crumble easily. Others, like diamonds, are very hard and are difficult to break or scratch. It is important to determine the hardness of your gemstone in order to find out the best way to cleanse, charge and program it. 

Image taken from http://www.gildedlab.com/mohs

The Mohs Hardness Scale was created in 1812 by German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs. He used the above ten stones that are readily available and range from the softest known mineral (talc) to the hardest (diamond) to create a scale to test the hardness of all other specimens. The test is based on the ability of one mineral to scratch the surface of another mineral.

For general use, the above scale lets us know how careful we need to be when bringing stones into contact with one another, other hard surfaces, and water. 

Cleansing 

Cleansing in terms of crystals means the purification of the stone's energy. Over time, gems can absorb negative energy or become stale. As a result, crystals should be cleansed at least once a month. The most common way to cleanse a new crystal is by rinsing it in cold and warm water, alternating (one minute of each) and visualizing impurities and negative energy being washed down the drain. While this is a good method, the closer your stone lands to the Talc category on the Mohs scale above, the more unsafe it is for the crystal to be cleansed with water. 

'Soft' Stones

Talc and Mica fall at the softest end of the spectrum, two compounds that often give blushes and bronzer their shimmer. Selenite and Desert Rose would also fall into the soft category and require special care. Try keeping these sensitive babies out of direct sunlight. They should stay dry and away from harder stones that can damage them. To physically clean them, just use a dry cloth and polish with small circles, buffing out any impurities like dirt or fingerprints. 

To cleanse, try using methods like smudging or full moon energy, rather than rinsing with water or using direct sunlight. 

'Hard' Stones 

Anything over a 6 on the Mohs scale is considered to be 'hard', and is safe to be cleaned with water. As long as you're working with a hard stone, it is even safe to use salt water or garden techniques to cleanse. 

Charging

Once a crystal has been cleansed, it's time to charge. Those who work with crystals as healing and manifestation tools believe that charging crystals boosts the stones abilities. Some harder stones, like Quartz, do well cleansing and charging in direct sunlight. I would urge you to use caution here, however. Some brightly colored stones, like Amethyst and Citrine, can bleach in direct sunlight if exposed too long. Set them out for a day to charge, and then return them to a safe place out of direct sunlight to preserve their bright, beautiful colors. 

'Garden' Technique

Stones like moldavite can be charged using this method. It is believed that Moldavite is an extraterrestrial stone, that was lodged into the surface of the earth after an explosion outside of our atmosphere. Having been born from a chemical reaction in the earth, it only makes sense that the most powerful way to charge this magnificent stone and ones like it would be to plant them in the earth overnight. 

*Bonus points if this can be done during a full moon. 

'Full Moon' Technique

Most stones are safe to be placed on a moon-facing windowsill or harder stones can be scattered in your yard if you live in a warmer climate during the full moon, exposing them to the intense, cleansing energy of Luna. The beauty of this method is, while the crystals cleanse, they're also charging. 

It's important to cleanse stones when you first get them. Especially if many people have touched them, like the ones you'd pick up at a market or in a crystal shop. Tens, maybe hundreds, of people may have touched these stones in a quest to find one that is suitable for them. Not only could they be a breeding ground for germs as a result, but  as I mentioned earlier, crystals also function on energy, soaking it in constantly. 

Quartz or Selenite Technique

Clear Quartz or Selenite can also be used to charge other stones. It is possible to find slabs of either material, of any size, that acts as a sort of wireless charging station for other stones. 

Programming 

This is where the real work begins. Programming is extremely important if you sincerely want to work with the crystal, and you want the crystal to work with you. 

The easiest way to program your intentions into the stone, is to sit with your crystal and tell it what you want it to do. Yes, that means talking to your rock. Now, before you roll your eyes and hit the little 'X' on this post, hear me out! 

You don't have to yell at it, you don't have to sing to it, you don't even really need to speak out loud at all if you don't want to, but you do need to tell it what you need help with. Crystals will not miraculously heal your ailments, bring back your ex, or land you the job. Crystals are tools we use to keep us aligned with our goals and dreams. The crystal and the energy it immits are intended only be talismen, to keep us on track to obtaining the things we want. So, holding your rose quartz and telling it, 

"Please help me to love more unconditionally"

every time you pick up that stone, or even look at it, you're reminded of that desire and you will realign with it. 

So once you've cleansed your new baby, set some time aside where you can be quiet, still and present. Light a candle and fill up your diffuser. Set yourself up as if you're going to do a meditation, which is essentially what you are going to do. Hold the crystal in your right hand, bring it close to you and whisper your intention to it. Or, repeat it silently in your head. 

Repeat your mantra until you feel like you've been heard. For example, Rose Quartz again, perhaps you're looking for self love. Hold the crystal near your mouth, and repeat 

"Bring me peace, understanding, and love for myself" 

Remember that gemstones should be cleansed and charged regularly, and can be reprogrammed any time. Do your research. There is a lot of information out there. Education and intuition are your best friends, so use them. 

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