Crystals for Beginners: An Interview with Jessica Snow

I bought my first crystals several years ago, at a darling little boutique crystal shop in Los Angeles called Spellbound Sky. Two Black Tourmalines for protection and a big gorgeous Citrine for creativity, in a period in my life where I felt scared and stuck. 

While honest I still don't know that much about crystals, I have enjoyed building up my small collection for a variety of intentions. There are crystals for clarity and good luck and love, but I wondered: are there crystals for grief? Interested to learn more about how to use crystals for healing I was introduced to the charming Jessica Snow, who writes, creates, records and leads inventive mystical experiences that are profound, pleasurable, and visionary.

Photo courtesy of  Spellbound Sky

Photo courtesy of Spellbound Sky

Jessica has been meditating since 2002 and loves being people's 'first time' meditating - she wants everyone to experience how beautiful the inner realms can be. She specializes in beautifully modern crystal, nature, lunar and alchemical meditations that improve how you feel as well as how you experience life and show up in the world (all of which I want to try!), and has been called “the type of person who is so full of love and light that it’s impossible not to feel buoyed by her joy” by Refinery 29. Since 2011, her bright imagination, the magical quality of her voice, and her friendly demeanor have made her a popular and beloved spiritual guide in her hometown of Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband and son. 

Her main purpose is to get you back in touch with your own magic, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to share some of her magic with you.

Photo by Diana Zalucky for  THE MODERN MYSTICS  

Photo by Diana Zalucky for THE MODERN MYSTICS 

First, what are crystals? 

Crystals are more than just pretty rocks; they are allies and teachers.  They hold and embody their own signature essence and energies that resonate with and activate certain energies inside us.  They have been here longer than plants or animals and act as record-keepers for the earth.  

And how can they be used for healing? 

Crystals can be used for healing in many, many ways.  They are a physical representation of a certain intention or vibration which may be ephemeral otherwise.  Just selecting a crystal, learning about it, carrying it with you or wearing it can deliver profound help, healing and set you off in a new direction.  You can also meditate with crystals (my favorite, obviously), make grids with them, put them around your house or place crystals on or under your body as you sleep or rest quietly.  People also put certain crystals (clear quartz, rose quartz, amethyst) in water to infuse that water with their magic. 

How did you first get interested in crystals? 

When I started guiding meditations professionally, I began to collaborate with a crystal shop in Silverlake called Spellbound Sky and every Wednesday night we would do a meditation.  After a few weeks, we got the bright idea to associate a different crystal with each week’s meditation.  So when people came in, we would give them that week’s crystal and the meditation that night would match and enhance the energy of that stone.  That’s when things got super magical and I got to see first-hand how much crystals want to give us if we will just get still and listen to them.  Since then, I can’t imagine my life without crystals.  They’ve elevated and improved my existence in very obvious and also very subtle ways.  They’ve also helped me clear out a lot of old programming and evolve. They are wonderfully generous and mysterious beings.

There are a lot of different kinds of crystals, and it can be a bit daunting for someone new to crystals to know where to start. Where do you recommend someone starts?

You really don’t need to know anything about crystals to pick out a few for yourself.  A wonderful thing to do as you begin to work with crystals is go to your local crystal shop and just start touching and holding different stones.  A lot of times we are attracted to certain crystals because they are SO PRETTY, but upon further exploration it is actually the mossy green or striped brown stone next to that sparkly one that really can help us the most. 

My favorite crystal of all time is Clear Quartz, which is one of those stones that a lot of people already know about so people discount how incredibly powerful it is.  Clear Quartz amplifies the essence of any other stone you put it with and it can be programmed to hold any energetic pattern or intention.  It truly is the master crystal – if you just want one stone to work with, this is the one.

Photo courtesy of  Spellbound Sky

Photo courtesy of Spellbound Sky

Grief is commonly talked about in emotional stages (which can often come in cycles), and each stage can require very different forms of self care. Can you recommend crystals to help with:

  • Denial: When struggling with denial, I would turn to Fluorite or Optical Calcite, both of which help us to SEE clearly.
  • Anger: When anger is present I would try to get my hands on Rose Quartz or Rhodochrosite because LOVE is an excellent antidote for anger.
  • Bargaining: For the bargaining stage I would turn to Tiger’s Eye for it’s ability to balance and harmonize things and to Black Tourmaline for it’s ability to TRANSMUTE negativity.
  • Depression: For help with depression I would get a nice piece of Lepidolite which can reduce feelings of anxiety and depression and SOOTHE our soul in hard times and maybe a little Orange Calcite or Lemon Quartz to act like a little light in otherwise dark moments.
  • Acceptance: And for acceptance, I love Selenite and Scolecite – both of which ELEVATE our vibration and bathe events, thoughts and feelings with a lot of light and help us access a higher perspective. 

But again, really, these are just suggestions, a jumping off point for your own exploration.  The most skillful and powerful way to select crystals is to hold them in your hands and see how they make you feel. 

Many times I have not been ready to work with a stone that someone recommended and I just felt that when I held that crystal.  Then, a few months later I picked it up again and felt a great resonance.  I was ready to do the inner work that was a match for the crystal’s expertise.  It’s all about the chemistry between you and the stone and that specific moment in time.

When purchasing crystals, are all shops created equal, or are there certain things someone should watch out for? 

Remember that crystals are rocks so if you go into a shop where there are little tiny stones for $12 you might want to go someplace else.  I personally love a crystal shop like Spellbound Sky (which is, in my opinion, the best one in LA) where the people who work there genuinely love crystals and are super willing to share their expertise.  Over and over I have watched people walk in there and open their soul and describe their situation and then receive great recommendations from the staff.  Try to find a place like that, that has good standing in your community and above all else, pay attention to your gut instincts. 

Photo courtesy of  Spellbound Sky

Photo courtesy of Spellbound Sky

How and when should you clean your crystals? 

Certain crystals like to be cleansed under running water, but Selenite will melt away if you do that.  Certain crystals like the sun, but others, like Amethyst will fade in sunlight. 

Safe (as far as I know) ways to clean your crystals include:

  • Wafting Sage or Palo Santo smoke over them.
  • Putting them out under the moonlight, especially on a new or full moon.
  • Placing them on the earth, which is where they came from.
  • Letting them rest on a slab of Selenite (which is self-cleaning).
  • Taking them into nature and re-infusing them with intent when you bring them home.

Are crystals something an individual needs to get for themselves, or if it ever appropriate to gift someone a crystal? 

I love giving crystals as gifts and also receiving crystals as gifts.  In some ways, you become an emissary for the universe and the crystal itself when you give a crystal as a gift.  To help you pick the right stone for a friend, just hold them lightly in your awareness and let the perfect stone call out to you.  Again, use your instincts, follow your intuition, don’t overthink it and let yourself be surprised which crystal or crystals volunteer to be gifted.

What resources do you recommend for beginners interested in learning more about crystals? 

The Book of Stones by Robert Simmons and Naisha Ahsian and anything by Judy Hall

Which crystals have you found most personally helpful to you through grief, loss, or heart aches?

To regain my equilibrium from grief, loss or heartache I have turned to Rose Quartz, Black Tourmaline, Green Calcite and Amethyst.  When I am ready to rise up again - and like a phoenix transform - I look to Labradorite, Tektite, Serpentine and Carnelian.

If you'd like to learn more, you can get free private links to her full-length guided meditations, join her for live meditations, and listen to her podcast.



Let us know in the comments: what crystals have you found most helpful through your grief?