Selecting the Right Crystal
In this section, we’re going to talk about selecting the right crystal for your purpose.
This basically comes down to choosing the appropriate size and shape for the job.
Before we get started, though, let’s go over a few fundamentals.
Size: I hear this question all the time; “When working with crystals, does size matter?” Let me answer this way: Maybe, but bigger is not always better. Larger crystals, generally (there are many exceptions) broadcast more loudly than their
smaller counterparts. But louder doesn’t necessarily mean better.
When working with crystals, it is much more important to harmonize the
vibration with what you’re doing as well as being crystal clear (pun intended) about
your intent. Being really loud all the time will not usually get you better results, especially
if the message being shouted is muddled, chaotic or unintelligible (as would likely be
the case with a poor quality crystal).
The universe doesn’t have a hearing problem. It doesn’t need you to shout. What
it needs is clarity of purpose, and all the vibrations involved (this includes your thoughts and emotions) synchronized to that purpose. The clearer the message,
the more powerful it is. It’s not about volume.
Speaking of clear: The better quality a crystal is, the more clear the vibration will be. Quality does not equate to size or to the fact that the crystal is blemish-free. Crystals
“in the wild” are full of cracks and nicks and holes and broken pieces. Those things
do not affect the power of the crystal. That is the crystal’s normal state.
When I say quality, I’m talking about the amount of “other things” (impurities, other chemicals/elements) that may be combined within the stone that are not a “usual”
part of that particular type of crystal. When you go out to websites that sell crystals,
you’ll often see them list stones by grade. “A” being the best quality, “B” the next
best quality and so forth. (Some sites start with “AAA” quality, and then go down
from there. The "AAA" would be the highest quality for them.) Again, we’ll get into
this more in the other section.
In the image below, all of these pyramids were listed by the seller as red jasper.
The one on the left is a good solid red jasper color with very little matrix (matrix refers
to lines or puddles of other minerals that run through the main stone). Great quality!
The one in the middle is a good red jasper color, but has a fair amount of matrix.
Decent quality. I would definitely use it.
The one on the right is a mix of other things; it has a lilac hue to it (red jasper does
not typically have any lilac in it) and only a small piece in the lower left) that looks like
red jasper. Not a very good quality.
An example of when a larger crystal might be needed would be if you and a group of people wanted to do some healing for the planet, or for a hurricane-damaged area in
your city, etc. Using a larger crystal in this instance would be appropriate.
You will see that many of the crystals I sell on this website are not that large at all.
The reason is because the difference between a 3 inch and a 6 inch tower on a crystal
grid, power-wise, is just not that significant (and may knock the harmony of the
combined pieces out of whack). But the price difference between those two sizes
can be exorbitant.
Having said that, you do need to have something larger than a tumbled stone as your focus crystal. I see pictures of this all the time out on the web (see below) and think,
“No wonder things are not working for them”. More on this in the later section about picking the right stone for the job and in the section on grids.
To reiterate, the quality is a much bigger factor than size (which is why I carry mostly
grade “A” stones in the store). In my opinion, if someone is telling you that you must
use a larger crystal, it’s because they’re trying to sell you a larger crystal (which,
of course, costs more).
Shape: After having spent years viewing and reading websites on the topic
of crystals, being in countless brick-and-mortar crystal shops, taking crystal classes, watching You Tube videos about crystals, and reading dozens and dozens of books
on crystals, it seems to me that most people don’t think much about the shape of the crystal, other than their personal preference/aesthetic.
And that continues to amaze me. Shape absolutely matters. The shape you choose
should match the purpose or intent as much as anything else. When you look at the structure of crystals and how different shapes funnel or send out energy (or don’t send
out energy), you start to realize just how important the shape is. In addition, there are practical issues that must be considered in some cases.
Let’s take a brief look at some of the more common crystal shapes you can find,
and how they disseminate energy. Then in the next section, we’ll look at
specific activities and the crystals that are most suited to them.
Clusters: Crystal clusters are groupings of the same kind of crystal (or some-
times 2 or 3 kinds as is the case with Apophyllite clusters) all joined
together into one mass. Some clusters, like geodes, have a base of rock or
agate that the crystals are growing out of, while others are just all the crystal.
Clusters are typically uncut and unpolished, meaning they came out of the ground
this way (although there are instances where the vendor polishes and sometimes cuts some of the points to make broken pieces more pointy and shiny).
Clusters can be pretty powerful because all the individual crystals are part of a larger community working together towards the same goal. However, the crystals tend
to point in all different directions. With geodes, some of the crystals may be pointing
to the other side of the geode rather than “out”. Thus the energy is being sent out
in all different directions (or not “out” at all). For some activities where direction is
not an issue, that is perfectly fine. But it can hinder the process if, for example,
you need a single straight beam of energy.
Towers, obelisks, and *generators: All of these types of crystals are usually cut and polished to the desired shape. While some crystals like Clear Quartz may grow more
or less in this shape, they almost never have a flat bottom. So they must be ground
or cut so they stand on their own. In other instances, the points may have been damaged or are not perfect points, so they will be cut and polished to make the
point more pronounced. And in yet other cases, such as with Rose Quartz,
it is rare to find the stone growing in crystal-shaped (pointy) formations.
In these shapes, the energy moves along the length of the crystal and out through
the point in a straight, focused beam.
Towers and generators are usually 6 sided, while obelisks are 4 sided.
*Let’s side track for a moment: The word generator is often used interchangeably
with tower, or is meant to mean a smaller version of a tower. However, that is
not really correct. Generators have a very specific structure.
Like a tower, they are six sided. However, the six faces of the point, ALL touch
at the point. Most natural crystals do not have this structure. If you can find a natural (not cut and polished) generator, it will be pretty powerful. You typically can
only find generators in the cut and polished variety. In either case, they tend
to be very expensive.
Points: Points are basically a smaller version of a tower or generator. However,
a point may or may not have a flat bottom; may be natural or cut and polished;
and may be what we call double terminated (again, possibly natural, possibly
cut and polished) which means there is a point at both ends.
The points in the picture below are natural (not cut and polished).
Single terminated points will send energy along the length and out the point just
like towers and generators. Double terminated points (points at both ends) can send energy in both directions.
Spheres and eggs: There are very few crystals that naturally occur in a smooth,
circular or egg shape. Most of the crystals you see or purchase in these shapes are
cut and polished.
Polished spheres and eggs send out energy evenly from the entire surface. Think of throwing a stone into water. The energy radiates outward from the center in perfect, slow circles. This is exactly how the energy disseminates from these shapes.
Spheres also have an added boost of energy, if you will, because they are a
perfect (prime) geometric shape (a circle).
This can work great if you need a soft, steady field of energy emanating in all directions. Again, not great if you need a more focused beam type of energy.
Pyramids: Pyramids are also cut and polished. Like towers, generators, and obelisks, pyramids send energy out of their top point in a steady, focused beam.
Interestingly, pyramids also contain additional power because they are a perfect (prime) geometric shape. Two sacred geometric shapes actually; the square and the triangle. We now know that the Great Pyramids of Giza were built in this
shape and with specific angles because of the power that can be
generated from it.
In addition, the wider, flat base (as compared to a tower, for example) can gather
more energy into itself to then funnel out of the point.
Cubes: You can occasionally find a stone that naturally occurs in a cube shape
(like pyrite). But most are cut and polished.
I’m fascinated that cubes seem to be a “thing” lately. When I first started working
with crystals, you almost never saw them with the exception of pyrite. Now, many
of the crystal sites I go to have cubes.
Cubes have a very grounding energy. They are also a perfect (prime) geometric
shape (a square) which gives them that added boost. The energy of a cube is like
the deep sound of a cello. It almost hums a deep low note of energy. Meaning,
the energy is moving out along five surfaces, but in a slow, held-back way.
This shape is less about sending energy out and more about keeping things grounded and close (to keep from losing something).
Tumbled stones: (a.k.a. tumblies) These are the shiny, polished stones you find at
many crystal shops; both on the web and brick-and-mortar stores. They come in
a variety of shapes and sizes (but are seldom more than a couple of inches
These stones can be any shape, and usually have soft edges due to the
Tumbled stones tend to emit energy from all sides like a sphere or egg, but
with less consistency (because of the irregular shape).
Larger tumbled stones are called palm stones or gallets because they are the
perfect size to be carried or held in your hand.
Rough stones: Rough stones are just that; rough, uncut, unpolished, and
often with sharp edges. These are how many types of stones come out of the
ground. The smaller versions of these are what you put into the stone tumbler
to get tumblies. Like tumbled stones, these also come in a variety of
shapes and sizes.
How the energy disseminates from a rough stone really depends on its shape
and points. If it’s fairly smooth and round, the energy will behave
similarly to a sphere or egg or a tumbled stone. However, if there are points,
the energy is probably going out of those points, but in differing quantities
An additional factor to consider when working with rough stones is the edges and points. They can be quite sharp, and capable of cutting skin and clothing. Not the
safest thing to carry around on your person.
Side-track soap box: There are a lot of people who feel that rough stones
are somehow "better" then say tumbled stones since they are natural and
haven’t been messed with by humans.
First, all stones have been “messed with” by mother nature before humans
ever entered the picture. In the process of forming, all crystals are heated (we’re
talking ridiculous temperatures here), put under pressure (again, unbelievable pressure), may be thrown violently out of a volcano or be brought violently to
the surface in an earthquake, etc. Sometimes a mineral starts off as one thing,
but something else invades it and turns it into something else (fossils, trees
and sap that become stones, for example).
The journey to becoming a crystal is not for sissies.
Second, all stones have been “messed with” by humans in the act of mining
them; and some worse than others depending on the mining methods.
There’s also packing, shipping, cleaning, and so forth.
No crystal is born in a (beautiful floaty cloud) vacuum or doesn’t undergo
extreme conditions to get into your hands. The cutting and polishing or
tumbling that is done to some crystals is no different than what happens to
most of them “naturally” and most certainly does not affect their energy
or power and in some cases, actually enhances it.
Off the soapbox.
Free Form: Free form shapes include anything I haven’t covered yet: Hearts,
animal shapes, palm stones (flat ovals), flames, spiral wands, abstract, and so forth.
Like with rough stones, you must look at the actual shape of your stone to
figure out how the energy moves through it. Be aware that shapes with lots of
points or protrusions (like animal shapes or the fish shapes above) are probably sending out very irregular energy in various directions. And that may be just fine, depending on what you’re using it for. I find these types of stones work best as
home décor items.
Now that we’ve discussed size and shape, let’s move on to the specific activities
one might engage in with crystals and the stones best suited to each activity.