‘Laying on Stones’
There has long been a practice of placing stones on specific areas of the body or in the mouth, including references in Medieval Lapidaries. The practice is more recently documented by Melody in Laying on of Stones, in which she describes complex layouts or clear quartz points around and crossing the body, similar to what I refer to as gridding.
Katrina Raphael, in her book Crystal Healing: The Therapeutic Application of Crystals and Stones (volume 2 of her trilogy) illustrates highly complex and remarkably beautiful individual layouts of a variety of gemstones around each chakra. I have counted 87 crystals in use in a full body layout, 22 on and around the root chakra alone. I have no doubt that a crystal healing treatment from Katrina must be truly profound, but it raises some dilemmas in current approach. In 1987, when her book was originally published, many of the gemstones she used were much more readily available than now. Some of the crystals are now virtually mined out, or prohibitively expensive. In addition to this, I believe there has been a general increase in sensitivity over the past decade, meaning that this number of powerful stones, or a similar number of clear quartz points, in the case of Melody, would prove too powerful for most clients.
I take a simpler approach. My own method utilizes single crystals on each chakra, occasionally bringing in one or two for secondary chakras. Apart from that, I work intuitively.
Simple Chakra Balance
This is a nice way to begin a treatment. The crystals do most of the work, and any minor imbalances are resolved, so deeper healing can take place. For more information on the Chakra System, refer to the Chakra section and the Chakra Chart.
I prefer tumble stones for this treatment, rather than rough crystals. Select crystals that are flat-ish, or at least have one flat side, so they are less inclined to slide off the client, and they should not be too large. You should keep a dedicated Chakra Set, and not use these crystals for any other purpose. Always cleanse them after use, and when using them with clients, wash any that have come in contact with the skin.
Which crystals you choose for your Chakra Set is up to you, depending on the Chakra System you are used to working with and the crystals that are available to you. There are some suggestions in the Chakra Crystal Chart.
My personal set consists of:
Prehnite and …
… Rose Quartz (used alternately or together for the Heart Chakra)
The client should be lying, face-up and fully clothed, on the treatment table. Some practitioners advocate placing the crystals directly on the skin. In my experience, placing them on top of clothing has the same efficacy, and from a practice point of view, leaves you less open misunderstanding or even litigation.
Scan the client first and make a mental note of any imbalances you might pick up, or write them in your client notes.
Place the crystals in order, starting with the Root Chakra (you may wish to ask your client to place the first crystal, as this is a sensitive area, and definitely ask them to remove it for you at the end of the treatment). Warn them verbally before you start, and also when you are placing the Throat Chakra and Third Eye crystals, which will normally be directly on the skin. The throat is very sensitive energetically, and your client may find it quite uncomfortable initially. The clear quartz should be on the pillow, a few inches above the crown of the head.
The crystals will work without any further input, but you can enhance the treatment by channelling white light through your hands, from a few inches above, into each crystal, again starting from the Root and working your way up. You can also activate the crystal layout with a control crystal or wand, by pointing it at each chakra, spiralling it around in a clockwise direction, and lifting it away from the body before bringing it to the next chakra.
Leave the crystals in place for at least five minutes, but probably no more than ten, until you are able to discern the process. Don’t leave them too long if you are unsure, but if you are able to scan from a distance, ‘tune in’ to your client and observe any energetic changes taking place. Holding the ankles can give you information as well. The process can last more than thirty minutes in some cases. Check in with your client from time to time, as occasionally they may experience some discomfort from the crystals, especially if they have a long-term blockage in one or more of their Chakras. As with other balancing exercises, if the blockage is deep-seated, don’t force it to shift, but bear in mind that it may need some long-term support.
When the time you have allotted has elapsed, or you feel the balance has gone as far as it can, remove the crystals one by one, starting with the Crown, and working down. It isn’t necessary to deactivate the crystals or ‘quiet’ the Chakras afterwards, but if the treatment you are giving finishes at this point, make certain your client is grounded before allowing them to get off the table. Scan the client again, to see if you pick up on any changes.
Intuitive Stone Placement
After the initial balance and removal of the chakra crystals, if I sense that there is still blockage or imbalance, I will continue placing stones on or around the body, often combined with another therapy. I prefer not to use prescribed layouts beyond this point. Our clients are individuals, with individual needs, emotions, immune systems and reactions to trauma. I believe we serve them best by adopting an approach that is tailored to suit them, rather than fitting them into an already existing programme.
I confess that some of my choices are intellectual, rather than intuitive. For example, if I know my client is suffering from a sore throat, I might choose to place a chrysocolla tumble stone on or near the throat chakra, and if an extra push is necessary, I may place three chrysocolla pieces around the throat, rather than actually on the chakra itself, for example, one on either side of the base of the neck, and another on or slightly above the upper heart chakra, to stimulate the immune system. If I know a client has just been through an emotional trauma, I might choose to place rhodonite or kunzite directly on the heart. In the case of a broken bone, I might place a calcite crystal on or near the fracture, and when there is damage to connective tissue, I will probably select kyanite.
Because of my academic background (and probably also because I am Capricorn – earth signs always desire evidence), I often seek explanations for the way I work, and try to pass these explanations on to my students. However, there is also a true magic, or alchemy, in what we do, and this is the hardest thing of all to describe and teach to others. Each of us has a different “language”, or way of working, which includes how we gather information, and how we interpret that information. I know people who get clear words from their spirit guides, including which crystals to use and where, while I see everything in pictures and symbols. I also feel emotions, and sense the client’s illness within my own body.
Often, when working with a client, I will see a picture of a crystal on them. Usually I will have a clear idea of which crystal it is from my collection, and where it needs to be placed. Sometimes it will be one I don’t normally use in healing, but is included in the collection rather as a specimen or teaching aid. A few times I have simply had a representation of a crystal, for example a bright green flower, which I then had to identify. I can’t explain to you how I do this or why it happens. You will probably find that your information comes to you in a different way. What I do know is that the clearer your energy, the more you communicate with your guides, and the more you practice, the easier it becomes to trust what you are getting. An intellectual understanding of the crystals and techniques is there to fall back on when you’re having a bad day, or you are working with a client who is so closed down or blocked that it is almost impossible to sense their energy.