You might have heard that crystals can help you heal and maintain positive energy levels. Or perhaps you’ve caught a glimpse of an artful arrangement of crystals on your Instagram feed. (There are currently more than seven million posts tagged #crystals.) While some call crystal healing a pseudoscience, others swear by it.
To learn more about working with crystals, we consulted expert Heather Askinosie. Askinosie, who has been working with crystals for decades, owns Energy Muse with her business partner Timmi Jandro. The two childhood friends are on a mission to make the crystal world a little less overwhelming and more accessible for the everyday person.
“Our intention is to teach people about how crystals are tools to help you on your path of getting grounded and feeling more connected,” Askinosie says. To be clear, crystals alone won’t change your life, but “they’re earth energy that can help you connect with yourself.”
Because we’re focused on achieving that elusive work-life balance right now, we asked Askinosie how to use crystals to establish positive boundaries. Here’s what she had to say.*
What are some common uses for crystals?
Right now, people are definitely using crystals to help with stress. A lot of people are talking about having more anxiety than ever and feeling overwhelmed. They want to know how to use the energy of the earth so that they can get back in their body again. It’s all about protection.
What should we know about using crystals for protection?
An important component is considering what you want to be protected from, because sometimes the person we need to be protected from is ourselves—our mind, our own thoughts, and how we show up to our lives. When we take ownership of that first, that clears up a lot.
What are the best crystals for protection?
There are three really cool ones that you can get at almost any online or crystal store.
A lot of people will wear black tourmaline when they feel like they want to have an extra shield of protection when they’re out in public or traveling on a train. Or they’ll wear it in business meetings.
Sometimes people will put a piece of black tourmaline at their front door to shield what comes into their house in terms of people or energy. Or they’ll put a bowl of salt with a piece of black tourmaline on top of it as more of a protective shield.
Black kyanite protects you from negative energy and sends back whatever has come to you with love and light. You’re cutting that energy away from you so that you can just show up to your own self which, to many of us, is a full-time job. We don’t need to add other people’s stuff on top of ours.
Pyrite is a very cool stone that’s great for protection and for attracting money. But I like pyrite because it has a very long history as a shielding stone. It has this energy where it can mirror back whatever’s coming at you.
In terms of setting boundaries, what should we keep in mind about working with crystals and stones?
Boundaries are gonna be different for everybody. You have to ask, “Hey, who am I? What and who am I going to allow in? What kind of relationships do I want?” Then when something shows up, you’ll be really clear on what to do with it.
Are there crystals or stones that will help you set a boundary around yourself to protect your energy?
The first stone for setting boundaries I like is lapis lazuli.
Lapis lazuli is a blue stone with gold specks in it. It’s one of the oldest stones and minerals on the planet, so it has this wisdom energy to it. When you hold a lapis lazuli stone and you start asking yourself the right questions, it helps you get really clear. That’s the real power of the crystal world, in my opinion.
Malachite is a green stone with all these swirling shapes in it. It’s about movement. When it comes to boundaries, we’re always moving through different things in our lives and sometimes we reach at a point where we say, “Hey look, I don’t want this toxic relationship.” We need to move through our own state of being. Malachite helps you do that.
Black tourmalinated quartz
This stone has black tourmaline, which as we discussed is good for protection, but it’s also clear quartz. So it helps you to get really clear with yourself on what you wanna let go of. It has this duality of clarity.
Could you break down the process for someone who has a crystal and wants to tune into its energy?
When people first pick up a crystal, some feel it and some don’t. There’s no right or wrong experience. It takes some people longer to trust their intuition, to get grounded, to settle in. For some people, it might take them five minutes, while some people might take 10 minutes. For some people, it might take a month. That’s the journey.
Here’s how to start your crystal journey:
I’d keep it really simple and work with one crystal for 30 days. I personally think that when you start working with too many crystals and you’re new to all this, it can become overwhelming and too much. For example, I might pick malachite because I love the way it looks. The visual aspect is important to me when I’m first working with a crystal.
If you’re new to this, pick a tumbled stone. Pick one that you could carry in your hand, that you could put in your pocket, that you could put on your nightstand. During your day, you can pick it up and just hold it and rub it. And say,
“I need to get back into my heart. I need to connect. What’s going on with me? What am I projecting?” Even sitting there for one minute can shift a lot.
I believe if you work with one crystal for 30 days and you have a single intention such as protection or boundary, you will see a shift.
And how do I know that? I’ve been doing this for more than 27 years and it works. Is it the crystal itself? I think it helps. But it’s also about taking the time to empower ourselves.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Every ancient civilization since the beginning of time has worked with crystals. Crystals are making an emergence again because we know innately that our earth is the thing that connects us. It’s been here long before us and, if we take care of it, it’ll be here long after us.
*This Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.