Clearing a Crystal for Re-Programming; Why, When and How to Clear

CLEARING CRYSTAL why, when and howI’ve had a few questions recently about clearing crystals; why to clear them, when, and how. Even though I have covered this topic, it hasn’t had a post all its own, so we’ll just revisit this extremely easy but very important topic.


I would compare clearing a crystal to the deleting of erasable files on your computer. It still works just as it did, anything saved to memory (such as Record Keepers) stays in place, you are just erasing the temporary files that were added. When you’re done with this particular file (which in crystal-speak is a program), then you erase and start anew. Clearing is asking the crystal to release any prior programming.

Remember, crystals are still sentient beings; cleansing, clearing and programming don’t affect this aspect of your crystal. What I’m attempting to do with these computer file and memory comparisons is to better help you understand crystals and how they function regarding programming and memory. Crystals compare to humans in many ways, not least of which are their sentience and personality. They also store memories, senses, feelings and factual information just like we do. However, they are more like computers than we are in that they are able to hold information for an indefinite period of time; so, too, is the information more accurate than when compared to the subjectivity of humans.


Even if you know you haven’t personally programmed this crystal, someone might have in the past, or if it is a crystal you have had for a while, you might have programmed it and forgotten. It is also possible that a crystal may have picked up a program inadvertently just living in your space. Because of this, it is always good to erase the blackboard and ensure that you are starting with a clean slate. As an example, I had this happen when I was first starting on my journey with the Crystal People. If you have read my book, you may have already read this story. It is when I was beginning to visit the crystal mines frequently and my cancer had just returned. Sit back and I will tell you the story.

clearing a crystalA dear old friend of my grandparents died. He had been in his 90’s. I really hadn’t known him for a long time, but he was an artist and we made an instant heart connection when we met. We shared laughter, stories and favorite painting techniques. Needless to say, I was very sad when he passed.

I had a wonderful masculine point that was nearly optically clear. I loved this point. It fit well in my hand and I carried it in my pocket. When I went to my friend’s funeral, this crystal, as always, was with me. We attended the service at his graveside and when I walked by, I touched the top of his coffin with my crystal. To be honest, it had become my intention to leave my crystal there with him, to maintain a connection of sorts. However, when it came time to let go, while I wanted to share my crystal with my friend, at the same time, I couldn’t bear to part with it. At the last minute, I changed my mind and put my crystal friend back in my pocket. 

Fast forward several months. I had continued to carry that crystal everywhere with me. I was just learning about programming and I decided I wanted to try programming a crystal. I was also learning how to meditate and use crystals for assistance with focus. Remember this was before I really knew anything about crystals. When I was deciding which crystal to begin with, I thought to myself, “who better than this special crystal friend who has been everywhere with me?” 

When I was ready, I put my special crystal in my hand, I got very quiet and still, and focused my intent (the program). As I was sending my intent out my arm and into the crystal, in the quiet stillness, coming back up my arm and into my consciousness, I heard and felt a voice say three words very clearly “I. AM. DEAD.” Oh! Holy cow! I dropped my crystal like a hot potato. I’m telling you, this scared the holy bohonkus out of me! I don’t usually hear things; remember I am a “feeler.” So when I heard, as well as felt, this, I was completely freaked out! I put my crystal away and decided not to finish programming it that day! Of course, the experience didn’t harm me in any way, but it did slow my progress with programming crystals in the immediate future. 

On looking back, it didn’t take me long to figure out what had happened. My intent all through the funeral service had been to leave my crystal to maintain a connection with my friend. (My intent became a program.) My emotions were so intense when I was at the funeral that when I touched my crystal to my artist friend’s coffin, I believe they connected and the program was set. Obviously, since my emotions were intense, even without the unintended programming, my crystal should have been cleansed as soon as I got home from the funeral. When the crystal and my (now-deceased) friend connected, the crystal was programmed. Even though I assumed it was clear of any prior programming (after all, I dug the crystal myself, I had been the only human it had been in contact with and I certainly hadn’t (intentionally) programmed it), I still should have cleared it before programming.

This story should serve as a gentle, but necessary, reminder on why you should always, always clear a crystal with focused intent before programming it. Never make assumptions. 


Intent is important when clearing because it is a focused mental endeavor. When you clear a crystal, it is comparable to focused, intense erasing. You are intending that any prior programming be erased while asking the crystal to please clear itself. Doing this also lets it know that your intent is to work with a new program. The clearing process doesn’t have to be fancy or detailed and it can be done in as many ways as one might imagine, providing you are communicating to the crystal that you are ready to work on a new program and to release the old. Certainly, as sentient beings, crystals can clear themselves, but it isn’t their place to assume that you want the prior program released. As with everything, if we want help, we must ask. In asking, it requires that we get specific about what we are doing and to clarify our intent. This clarification is important for the crystal but more importantly, to ourselves.

Other than establishing a connection with your crystal friend before beginning, there are only two requirements in the method you choose: focus, and the intent that you are clearing. For example, one might choose to clear a crystal by holding it under running water, passing it over sage smoke or incense, directing Reiki energy or other energy or thought-based vibrations, while holding the focused intent to clear. [An important side note: if you choose running water, be sure to match the temperature of the crystal to the temperature of the water to prevent damaging your crystal!] Basically, any way that you can convey to the crystal that your intention is for clearing to prepare for programming will work. The sky’s the limit.

Some reminders: Be thankful and respectful. Always keep in mind the sentience of your crystal friend, knowing that this is a shared endeavor. It is not an employer/employee relationship in which you tell the crystal what to do and it does it. Many books and how-to articles imply that crystals are simply tools here for our use. They are tools, yes, but so, too, are our friends and teachers, tools. We enter into a co-creative contract with these people every time we interact. It is the same with our crystal friends and teachers. It seems to me, that as humans, we are taught to view… well… really anything non-human… as somehow “less than” we are; as tools for our exploitation. The truth is the only difference between the Crystal People and our human friends is that we need to remember that the crystals are ancient beings. I have said this before but it bears repeating; they deserve our infinite respect, love and gratitude.

Just as it isn’t a requirement that our human friends or teachers help us, it isn’t a requirement that the Crystal People help us. They choose to help us; that needs to remain in the forefront of our minds.

In summary, clearing a crystal is easy and doesn’t have to be complex or involve a long ritual. It may even be combined with cleansing at the same time. To do this, it is as simple as holding the crystal, asking it that it release any prior energies which it may have picked up (this is the cleansing), and then asking it to release any prior programs it may be holding (this is the clearing). If you are big into ritual, feel free to make these two steps as flowery or involved as you would like, and if you are not, it can be as simple as a thought. It’s all up to you.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this discussion on clearing crystals. Do you have a favorite way to clear your crystals before programming? Feel free to share in the comments below!

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About Genn

Genn John has been acting as the legs for the Crystal People as the Keeper at Arkansas Crystal Works, an internet-based source for crystals and crystal knowledge, since 1995. Having accepted the honor to be their voice as well, she is the author of Understanding The Crystal People: A Handbook for Lightworkers; a crystal reference book for people who desire to fully understand their connection to the crystal kingdom and who wish to enhance their working knowledge of these majestic beings. Genn has also published a 4 part series of coloring books which are a useful tool for anyone with an interest in learning the anatomical structures of quartz crystals. It features precise, extraordinary hand-drawn designs crafted especially for easy coloring and interactive study. Find the store and more at, or her blog at To connect: email -, facebook -, Instagram - gennjohn or Twitter @GennJohn.

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