If you could choose just one crystal for yourself or your home, tourmaline would by far be the obvious choice. This is because it has the ability to absorb negative energy from its environment and keep it trapped within its unique, inner structure. Unlike the shiny quartzes and colourful agates this stone doesn’t beg for attention - it simply does its job with quiet confidence.
As with most other crystals, you will find tourmaline in many forms. The most common are what are known as rough - the stone in its original form, usually cut in chunks of various sizes to suit various budgets. In this form the stone will be a soft, almost dull black colour. Equally common are the more intense black examples with striations - deep ridges - along the length with inclusions of mica that enhance the beauty and power of the stone.
While the rough examples are popular with purists, you will of course find polished versions in the form of bead bracelets, tumbles, spheres, wands, pyramids and much more. Some prefer the smoother finish for placing on the face or body.
You may also find tourmaline ‘mixed’ with other crystals. The most common is tourmalinated quartz. This is where a tourmaline would have formed through clear quartz. The quartz amplifies the protective and grounding qualities of the black stone which in turn adds strength to the quartz. The two components work together for enhanced results.
What are the best ways to work with this stone?
Keep a small tumble in your pocket or wear it in bracelet form so that it continues to work on your auric field throughout the day. This is ideal to stay protected against negative thoughts and psychic attacks when you are out in public. You can also keep a small piece next to you or under your pillow while you sleep. This is especially useful for releasing any negativity picked up from the interactions of the day.
Then there are specific applications.
All kinds of healers and therapists prefer to have a sizeable piece nearby to shield their aura from the multitude of energies emanating from their clients. This is because the majority of their clients come to them carrying stress, anxiety, feelings of helplessness and other low emotions. A therapist could easily absorb these if not careful. Astrologers of modern times are also turning to this stone to guard against unwanted energies of heavily afflicted charts.
Traditionally, astrologers would use a kalash (copper pot) filled with rice and topped with a coconut as a means of spiritual protection. However, this is not always practical for the tech savvy jyotishis of modern times. Astro software means astrologers can read charts and do consultations on the move with their laptops or mobile phones. For these practitioners, keeping a tourmaline stone with them is practical and arguably just as effective.
Your home is your sanctuary, so it’s important to maintain the sense of peace and security. In an age of online ordering of products and meals we are visited by an increasing number of couriers in addition to friends and relatives. By placing a large chunk (1kg+) of tourmaline near the front door, this stone can be your energy guard, ensuring that toxic thoughts don’t wander in. Some households like to create a protective grid by placing a stone in the four corners around the property.
Protection is better than cure, however it is good to know that methods are available when a cure is required. I have dealt with a number of cases where a property would have been disturbed by spirits. In one case the land had been in dispute between the family members from many generations back. Here again, tourmaline is the ‘go to’ stone for drawing out the unwanted energies.
You can also use these stones as vastu remedies. Urban living often means dwelling in apartments where it is virtually impossible to have ideal room placements. Tourmaline is one of the stones that can help to alleviate doshas. The most common vastu problems arise from toilets/ bathrooms. Traditionally, toilets were kept completely outside the house, but modern plumbing has allowed for a bathroom in almost every bedroom. This is far from ideal, adding to the doshas for the home. An easy remedy is to place tourmaline in each bathroom.
As it resonates with the root chakra at the base of the spine the deep black stone banishes anxiety and wavering thoughts to bring in a sense of calm and alignment. Whether it is stress from a hectic day at work, frustration from traffic or exam anxiety, tourmaline will help you. It is especially a boon for those who tend to feel scattered or drained after visiting public places. Simply sit down with the stone in your hand, breathe deeply and feel centred in your body within 5 minutes.
I have used tourmaline in numerous cases where the client was feeling ungrounded and spaced out. There can be many reasons for this. From traumatic shocks, foreign energy invasions or escapism. Spirituality is a vast subject with its own pitfalls. I have seen many cases of newcomers who suddenly become enamoured with the metaphysical world, believing that they need to go out there and connect with other worlds and dimensions. The problem is that in many cases this is simply a form of escapism. The reality of their existence as a human being on earth has too many painful associations. Instead of embracing who they are and learning their lessons they feel lured by the fantasy of distant worlds.
When such people experiment with astral travel and journeying, they don’t want to come back to their harsh reality. So when they appear to wake up and come back from their ‘travels’ a part of their consciousness gets left behind. The result is someone who has very little alertness, simply going through the motions. The lights are on but no one’s home! It is at times like these that tourmaline can help to bring the person back to reality and pull their consciousness back.
Once the person has come back to reality, it is important to follow up with more work to prevent the need to escape. This is where tourmaline’s ability to balance the brain functions and ‘rewire’ neural pathways is extremely useful. It allows the person to embrace their ground reality and to realise that there is a reason they have taken this birth in this form and under these circumstances.
The stone can use its unique structure to draw out old, negative thoughts from the mind. We often acquire beliefs through our experiences that may not actually be true. Facts are different from perception. Once cleared, space is created for positive, empowering thoughts.
Similarly, people can have a tendency to hold on to emotions from the past. Guilt, regret, fear and the like act as self created obstacles to realising one’s potential. Furthermore, these emotions act as magnets for attracting more experiences that resonate with those emotions. Left unchecked, a few stressful experiences can soon spiral into dark episodes of depression. Tourmaline can work wonders for the mind by extracting these trapped emotions, thereby enabling you to feel better and attract more meaningful interactions.
I have seen remarkable results in sessions for people feeling stressed out or anxious. The usual method would be to have the person lie down and to place these black stones on and around the body. You then link the stones energetically to create a healing grid. Let the person relax for 15 to 20 minutes either through some guided meditation or gentle music. It is amazing to see how quickly one can feel calm and almost forget about their daily grind. The same method can work for releasing foreign energies, though this is best combined with other healing methods such as Reiki or hypnotherapy.
Over the long term, continuing to work with tourmaline can help you to overcome the roots of stress, anxiety and psychosomatic body issues. After all, most diseases of the body actually stem from unresolved issues in the mind.
On a physical level, tourmaline can work on the brain, spine and immune system. In my experience I have seen clients feel relieved of migraines, back pain and fevers.
The best thing about working with stones for healing is that there are no hard and fast rules. Allow the intuition to guide you and will see yourself applying crystals in the most creative ways. I have used tourmaline for spine issues by having the client lie down and placing the stones along their back. Usually I would use an array of small stones but at times I may feel the person needs just one or two larger chunks.
Though healers may use crystals for a variety of mental and physical disorders, these should not replace appropriate medical advice. Think of them as your helpers on an energy level.
These stones are also fundamental in chakra healing. In such cases we use a specially made wand but any long piece can do the job. Again, the client is lying down and the wand is moved in a series of strokes above the body to open up the aura. This enables the healer to scan the chakras for diagnosis and healing.
While crystals of various forms have been in use since ancient times, they are efficient in dealing with modern phenomena. For example, we now live among increasing electromagnetic radiation, radio waves and WiFi. This electric ‘smog’ can be especially disturbing for sensitive people. Tourmaline is your ally in helping to transmute the external frequencies into earth energy.
Even after years of working with these stones, I still get surprised with their novel applications. I recently discovered from a friend how tourmaline can be effective in purifying the water of small ponds and aquariums.
Looking after your tourmaline is easy. Simply keep it in sunlight and it will be as good as new. The solar rays will cleanse the stone of all the energies it absorbed. The best thing is you can leave it in the sun for as long as you like. Once a week is fine, but if you are using it actively for energy work or sessions then it’s best to cleanse it more frequently. A rinse with water is ideal for small tumbles and bracelets.
Beware of fakes!
Demand for crystals has been rising over the years, causing pressure on suppliers. Unfortunately, this also attracts unscrupulous practices. At times black agate is sold as tourmaline since it is more readily available and cheaper to source. It can be more difficult to distinguish when polished. The key is to remember that genuine tourmaline will feel softer to the touch. Also, even when polished it has more of a matte appearance in contrast to the shiny finish of agates and obsidians.
In some cases you may find completely synthetic materials being sold as crystals. With some experience you will be able to identify the fakes just by the feel in your hand. Those who work with energy such as Reiki or Pranic healers will find this easier to do.
People who work with crystals often like to create grids. These are arrangements of stones placed in patterns for various objectives such as distant healing or manifesting. While clear quartz are popular for their directional abilities, tourmalines are often used to add stability and grounding to the grid. I often use tourmaline in grids for distant healing of all kinds of problems from depression to surgeries.