Cleansing, Energising and Programming Crystals

Crystals absorb negative energy from those who have touched them and the surroundings.  From the mining process to awaiting sale, crystals will have been touched and handled by many people and will have absorbed their energy which could then be passed onto you.
Therefore it is necessary to cleanse your crystals before you use them.  It is also necessary to cleanse your crystals regularly to keep them functioning in your best interest.  No matter who may have given it to you or where you got your crystal, always cleanse your crystal to remove any negative vibrations and physical dirt. 
When using them in a Crystal Healing session, it is especially important that they are thoroughly cleansed before use and also cleansed at the end of the session too.  This will ensure that any residual disharmonies are removed from the stones. 
How to Cleanse Crystals
There are several ways to cleanse a crystal, including smudging, burying them in the earth, using salt/salt water, asking the light/angelic realm to cleanse the crystals.  Again, be guided by your own inner knowledge.  Only use a technique that truly resonates with you and your energy field.
Natural Water Cleansing (this is particularly suited to those born under a water sign)
First find a source of pure, clean fresh water.  This may be a stream, waterfall, river or spring.  Hold your crystal under the flowing water until you feel all the dirt or stored negative vibrations have left it.  When this process is complete you will feel your crystal is pure and vibrant.  It is now ready to be used, programmed, charged or dedicated.  Please check that your crystal is safe in water.  Some crystals, such as Selenite or Halite, are water-soluble.

Saltwater Cleansing
Purely from a scientific angle, it is advised not to use saltwater on a crystal, as this process will, in a short time, damage the crystalline structure and split the crystal or make it appear cloudy, dull or changes colour.  Salt will get into any crystalline structure, causing irreparable structural damage.  Remember, salt is also a crystal.  
If you do want to try cleansing with the salt vibration.  It is recommend you place the crystal in a large bowl of sea salt, allowing enough salt to completely cover the crystal.  Leave it buried for as long as your intuition tells you.  You could also dowse for the correct amount of time.  Wash your crystal with plenty of fresh, clear, clean pure water after its salt immersion. 
Note: Laying an Opal in salt will damage it by extracting the water.  You can lay the Opal or any crystal that might react negatively to salt – in a small glass dish that is embedded in a larger glass dish full of salt.
Smudge Cleansing (this technique is particularly suited to those born under an air sign)
The burning of herbs or incense is a sacred practice held in common by many traditions.  In American Indian tradition the practice is called “smudging” or sometimes “smoking” even though the herbs may not be inhaled.  Smudging, practised traditionally, takes many forms.  Sometimes the herbs are tied in a bundle and called a “smudge stick”.
Earth Cleansing this technique is particularly suited to those born under an earth sign)
Bury crystals to be cleansed in the earth and allow Mother Earth to remove any negativity.  Wash crystals when cleansed.
The method I use is as follows: –
Holding the crystal under running water whilst visualising all the negative energy leaving the crystal. (N.B. do not leave Selenite wet).
It is worth reading up and experimenting with different cleansing methods, as what is right for one person, isn’t always best for another.
The crystal then needs to be either put in sunlight or moonlight in order to charged or energised.  A note of caution, some crystals such as amethyst and Celestite must not be left in sunlight permanently otherwise the sun will lighten its colour.
Programming Crystals
Once the crystal has been washed and energised, you need to programme your crystal.  It is like a computer without a program it will not work.   Programming crystals is a way of focusing the crystal’s abilities for a specific need (e.g. the needs of your patient).   I suggest you hold the crystals whilst programming them.
Crystals can be programmed for many purposes.  You may want your crystal for protection, prosperity, peace or love for a treatment room.
In a Healing session, you would programme the crystal for your patient’s benefit by asking the crystals to help the patient in whatever way is needed for the patients higher good e.g. for pain relief or to energise them etc. 

You may feel drawn to add something else at this point, e.g. to ask that the crystal work in truth, love and light.