Before buying crystals and gemstones, it's a good idea to plan how you are going to use them. Over time, you may want to build up a collection with sets of stones for different purposes because the particular energies that are intended for one use may not be relevant in another use. Write up a "shopping list" for your stone collecting before heading out the door. If you are like me, you'll find that it is easy to get sidetracked like a kid in a candy stone when confronted with an array of beautiful crystals and gemstones.
People have been attracted to gemstones since prehistoric times. While beauty plays a part in their appeal, it is their energy that has a powerful impact on us. If you like to wear crystals or place gemstones around your house, you are aware of their power. The practice of gemstone feng shui combines the wisdom of gemstones and crystals with the ancient art of feng shui to invite positive change into your life.
At its core, feng shui is a method to balance the dynamic, ever-changes forces of the natural world. Gemstones are perfect for feng shui work because they are formed through the powerful dynamic processes of nature. As a result, gemstones personify the energy of the elemental cycles that are utilized in feng shui.
The ancient Chinese divided the universe into five elements: water, fire, wood, metal, and earth. These elements embody the archetypal energies that shape all things and processes. Because of the manner in which certain gemstones are created, they invoke specific elemental energy. For example, peridot or obsidian invoke fire because both are born from volcanic action. In the case of peridot, it could also come from a fiery meteor. For the element metal, malachite or azurite can be used because they contain more than 50% of the metal copper.
In traditional feng shui, balancing elemental energy is accomplished by positioning an element or an object that represents it in a particular location. In gemstone feng shui, gemstones and crystals are used in place of other objects. The feng shui tool used to apply gemstone energy to your environment is the Lo Shu grid, also called the Magic Square, which looks like a tic-tac-toe grid.
The Magic Square divides space into nine sectors/directions that form a matrix of attributes and associations:
North—Career and personal journey; Element, water; Gemstone, opal or pearl;
Northeast—Wisdom and self-cultivation; Element; earth; Gemstone, andalusite or tourmaline;
East—Family and community; Element, wood; Gemstone, jet or amber;
Southeast—Prosperity and self/net-worth; Element, wood; Gemstone, jet or amber;
South—Success and reputation; Element, fire; Gemstone, peridot or obsidian;
Southwest—Relationships and partnership; Element, earth; Gemstone, andalusite or tourmaline;
West—Creativity and children; Element, metal; Gemstone, malachite or azurite;
Northwest—Achievement and benefactors; Element, metal; Gemstone, malachite or azurite;
Center—Harmony and spirit; Element, earth; Gemstone, andalusite or tourmaline.
To use the Magic Square, create a drawing of the floor plan of your home or just one room where you want to perform feng shui. With a magnetic compass determine the direction of north and orient your floor plan in the correct direction. Next, draw a Magic Square (tic-tac-toe grid) over your floor plan with the middle row of squares oriented north and south, and with the center square in the center of your floor plan. This will show you in what area of a room (or your house) to invoke particular elemental energy. Simply place one of your gemstones in the corresponding sector.
The Magic Square also shows the basic proportions of elemental energy needed for balance. For example the earth element, which is vital for overall well-being (both physical and spiritual) occupies three of the nine sectors/directions. After all, it is the earth's cycles that we follow, and we are most healthy and strong when we are "grounded."
There are many sources for crystals and gemstones. New Age bookshops frequently carry them, as well as museum gift shops and earth science stores. Rock and fossil shops are great sources and you can count on them to correctly identify the less popular types of stones. Ask and look for notices of upcoming mineral shows or swaps, which are excellent venues for finding a stunning range of crystals and gemstones, as well as learning more about them.
Once you have found a place to buy your crystals and gemstones, and have located one that is on your shopping list, take a few moments to hold it in the palm of your hand. Close your fingers over it or hold it between both palms to get a sense of its energy. Think of how you are planning to use it. If you are going to use it to represent the element water, think of water. If the stone still feels good as you think of an element, then it's the right stone. Don't expect a thunderbolt or choir of angels to let you know you've chosen the right one. Clues tend to be subtle. Or you just might "know" it's the right stone for you.
Also listen to yourself if something doesn't "feel" right. You may not be able to pinpoint what it is about a particular stone, but if this happens it's just not the right one with which you should do energy work. Don't take it personally, just listen to your heart-of-hearts.
Stones that you trade or receive from friends can be very special. Ones that you find yourself are gifts directly to you from Mother Earth. If you are not sure about the identification of a stone you find, take it to a rock shop and ask for advice. Don't be shy, most rock hounds are happy to share their knowledge. Whatever way a stone comes into your life be sure to clean and prepare it for energy work. Even one that comes from your best friend should be prepared in order for it to react more richly and fully with your own energy.
Your own energy is the most important ingredient in gemstone feng shui. Open yourself to the wisdom of gemstones and they will help you transform the energy around you. Go with the flow and enjoy their magic.