Most stones have a very active life of being handled, traded, shipped and packed before they end up in their final homes. If you buy a stone from a store, or receive one from someone, it’s a good idea to cleanse all the energy that the stone may have picked up on its journey. In cleansing its energy, you prepare it for a new life and purpose in its new home.

Let us begin by differentiating between the cleansing and charging of stones. To cleanse a stone is to remove the energy that a stone has absorbed and return it to a clean, pure energy. To charge a stone is to replenish its energy after it has been depleted. Though some use these words interchangeably, a stone must often be cleansed before it can be charged.

The first (and some say easiest) way to cleanse a stone is to smudge it with sage. Start by lighting a stick of sage and blow it out so that it continues to smolder, producing a steady stream of smoke (think incense). Hold your crystal directly in the plume of smoke and let the smoke rise around all sides of the crystal. Continue to do this until you feel like it has been cleansed enough. (Five minutes is more than ample time). This is a great method to use for cleansing stones if you are pressed for time.

With this method, there is no risk of discoloring or damaging your stones in the process. However, you will smell of smoke afterward, so be conscious not to do it before you have to go anywhere. It is also helpful to sage yourself and cleanse your own energy with this process on the front and back side of your body while your sage is lit.

Another way to cleanse a stone is to soak it in salt water. If you do not have access to ocean water, mix a ratio of 3 tbsp. of salt to a half gallon of water. Place your stone in this mixture and let soak for 12 hours. This method requires time and patience. Also keep in mind that some stones will dissolve in water, such as Selenite and Halite. Check your favorite stone book such as Love Is In The Earth by Melody for stones that are appropriate to put in water.

In addition to soaking in salt water, you can also leave your stones out in the rain. The power of clean rain water can wash negativity out of your stones. Depending on how much it rains, use your intuition for how long they should be left out. Twelve hours is a good default. Letting them soak in river water is also effective; just be careful not to lose them! Burying your stone in the earth for 12 hours can also cleanse and rejuvenate it. Just make sure to put a little twig as a marker of where you buried it, or you may lose it!

The double-duty method is to leave your stones in sunlight. Some stones may fade via this method. However, 6-12 hours in the sun not only clears out any negative energy it might have picked up, but also recharges it with positive energy.

Besides charging with sunlight, you can also charge stones by the light of the full moon. In this case, it may take more than 6-12 hours to recharge. With this method, again it is important to listen to your intuition. (Some people like to use the light of the full moon for cleansing as well. In my personal experience, moonlight is more effective when used only for charging in congruence with one of the cleansing methods mentioned above).

To charge your stones with other stones, you can place them on an Amethyst or Citrine cluster. As Amethyst and Citrine are naturally replenishing stones, it is a good idea to keep your stones on them often (especially if the stones are jewelry that is worn daily, stones that are carried daily, or stones used daily for healing purposes).

Once a stone has been cleansed and charged, the next step is to set a clear intention for what the stone is to be used for. Despite our best intentions, we are usually out of balance and may have incorrect intentions for our stones. To make sure that your stone is always used for the highest good and in service to humanity, it is important to dedicate the stone.

To begin your dedication, hold your cleansed and charged stone in both hands in a quiet place. Focus your thoughts to the stone and declare that it be used “In light, in love, and for the good of all.” After that, you can add whatever it is that you desire, such as protection, abundance, romantic love, etc. You can end your dedication with “And so it is,” sealing your intention.

Once you have finished cleansing, charging, and setting the intention for your stones, they will be ready to be used for healing.