It’s easy to feel that these beautiful stones contain something special. Of course, you don’t need crystals to practise meditation, mindfulness and concentrated attention; a stone from a park could do the same job, if it holds your focus, but it wouldn’t be nearly as beautiful.


The science of crystals, and in particular crystal healing, is controversial and much debated. Luckily, that isn’t our problem: we don’t have to worry about why crystals work, as long as we can make them work for us. My book, is all about using the tools of witchcraft to make the lives of busy, modern people easier – not about digging down into whether magic is real. You believe, or you don’t. You’re willing to try, or you’re not. It’s as simple as that. So leave your scepticism at the door. Allow yourself to enter a world of shimmering colours and lights, and discover a very real connection with the Earth.

How do crystals work?

Over the years, people have attributed all kinds of powers to crystals. In modern parlance, though, it’s often said that crystals “vibrate” at different frequencies, giving each stone a different energy. There’s some scientific truth to this, but for our purposes, what matters is the way that crystals give you a solid connection to the world around you and a tangible focus for your energies. You can’t look at a crystal and not feel a little awe and gratitude to live in a world where such things exist – and gratitude has a profound effect on our brains.

Being consciously grateful for things can make a huge difference to depression and anxiety, and it can lift our moods, too. Having a token of our gratitude to the Earth and for our existence can only help us. It’s said that different kinds of stone have different properties, and that crystals with different shapes have different properties, too. Is this true? Well, it’s scientifically documented that certain colours can become associated in our minds with particular emotions; and we know that different patterns of light can have interesting and profound effects on the brain. For example, a highly polished heart-shaped rose quartz is bound to make us think of romance, and that, in turn, helps us to focus our energies on what we might want from romance, or what we might need from it, or what we might hope for.

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As with a candle flame, crystals are a locus for meditation: a centre of our energy and power. There’s a power in owning something beautiful that’s just for you, or choosing the right symbol for a friend.

There is a power in owning exactly the right token for the person you want to be. I wear a labradorite necklace, for instance, as part of my quest to become more aware of what’s magic in the world around me; and a pyramid-shaped chunk of peacock ore (or bornite) sits on my bookshelf to remind me that happiness is always possible. Is there some inherent magical quality in these stones that makes a difference? Or are they significant because thoughtful friends picked them out for me and I get to look at tangible and present reminders of my friends’ love, my aspirations and how lucky I’ve been? Does it even matter which?

Woman holding crystals
Unsplash/Sara Johnson

What to do with your crystals

Once your crystals are cleansed, you can use them to create talismans of your intentions. There are many ways to do this, and really it’s up to each individual witch to work out what works for her. Here are some ideas:

  • Write a list of your goals and keep the list under a crystal as a visual reminder of where you’re hoping to go.
  • Place a crystal on your bedside table to remind you to fall into better sleeping habits. (Some people believe that the stones can help soothe our subconsciousness for better sleep overall.)
  • Make a crystal grid. Arranging your crystals in patterns and formations can be simultaneously creatively satisfying and immensely meditative.
  • Keep a crystal on your desk to remind you that you’re so much more than just your work, and to help you get through the day.
  • Carry a crystal with you to act as a talismanic reminder of the person you’re hoping to become.

Looking for more articles about witchcraft? Magick yourself up some happiness and success with these simple spells. If you want more mindful rituals, celebrate the solstice with a midwinter ritual or try these new year rituals from Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Philips.

The Little Book of Witchcraft cover

This extract is from The Little Book of Witchcraft: Explore the ancient practice of natural magic and daily ritual by Kitty Guilsborough and is published by Gaia, £7.99, Illustrations: Octopus Publishing Group. Featured image by Dan Farrell/Unsplash.