There is more to working with crystals than buying a cool gem and carrying it your pocket from time to time. And while that's totally cool if that's the relationship you want to have with your crystals, just know there is so much more they can offer you with the right care. Crystals require care and maintenance just like many of our other possessions. And oftentimes, one of the most important steps in crystal care is overlooked, and that is awakening your crystals.
Crystals need to be cleansed to purify them of the energetic buildup they acquire after being used. Even if a crystal goes untouched for a long period of time, say by sitting on a windowsill with the intention of protecting your home and its occupants, it still needs to be cleaned. Crystals absorb energy, whether they're repellers, amplifiers or something else. They absorb negative or incompatible vibrations because they are trying to emanate a particular property, such as protection or abundance (or a specific charge you have given it).
When you bring a crystal home for the first time, it's important to cleanse it. As explained above, if a crystal is sitting in a store for a few weeks, imagine all the varying energy it has absorbed just based on all the shop's occupants alone. All those different emotions and thoughts swarming through the air may have clogged your stone. And while the crystal may still "work" for you, I always think of it as its powers have been dulled.
Cleansing crystals can be as simple as running them under water (so long as it won't damage the crystal; some stones erode from water. If you're unsure, ask the person you purchased the stone from), bathing them overnight under the moon, or my favourite, wafting them through sage smoke.
Once this has been done, your crystals are ready to be awakened. Crystals only work properly once they've been awakened, and doing this practice may sincerely alter your crystal experience.
HOW TO AWAKEN YOUR CRYSTALS
Hold each individual stone in your hand and focus on the feeling the crystal gives you. That feeling may be whatever drew you to it, a memory, a particular property the crystal has, or even just the admiration of the crystal's colours or fractures. Dedicate the crystal to the highest good for all concerned, wishing well upon anyone the crystal will be working with or come into contact with. Welcome it into your life and thank it for picking you. Should you be programming your crystals for specific purposes (say, enhancing your romantic pursuits by being placed in your home's romance sector or beside your bed), do so after the initial awakening.
Always regularly cleanse your stones after working with them, though you will not need to "awaken" them again. Crystals can be cleansed and reprogrammed as many times as necessary, but your initial awakening will keep your stone roused for its entire existence with you.
If you are ever gifted a stone that belonged to someone else, or found a stone, unsure of who its previous owner was, if any, always reawaken the crystal.