Over on Facebook, I have a friend who affords almost continuous pleasure for no money at all. That’s good value isn’t it?

I have dubbed her my Cosmic Pixie. She’s a dyed in the wool conspiracy theorist, a real sucker for the ‘Apocalypse next weekend when Earth’s magnetic field reverses’ stories, and almost intolerably hippie. I’m very fond of her.

This week she has been rambling on about, among other amateur alchemical mysteries, crystal therapy. I don’t think I’ve touched on this topic before, but you can probably guess my views. I thought it was all pretty low level barminess. You know, tie a chunk of amethyst to a bit of string, dangle it over a pregnant woman’s stomach, and you can predict by the way it swings whether the foetus is a boy or a girl. Yes, you could have an ultrasound scan, but naturally the Cosmic Pixie is a bit suspicious of such things.

Anyway, it turns out that crystal therapy is not as simple as I believed it to be, and I discovered this through a link that CP kindly shared. Apparently crystals need occasional ‘cleansing.’ I thought maybe they got a bit grubby and you whacked them in a jar with some water and washing up liquid. Silly me. They have to be spiritually cleansed as a means of regenerating their powers.

Now the way you do this is expose them to the light of the full moon. I’m not making that up. Nor am I making up the fact that a quick wash and brush will destroy the powers of certain crystals. Selenite isn’t ‘safe’ in the rain, so do remember to pick a clear night. Or you can leave them on your windowsill. Whatever.

But when exactly should I put my crystals out for them to regain the spring in their step? Not surprisingly, when it gets dark. Be careful though. Some crystals are safe at dusk, but watch out. Your pregnancy-divining amethyst ‘should avoid sunlight.’

When do you bring them back in? Anytime you like pretty much, as long as the sun hasn’t hit them. They’re a bit like vampires in that respect.

Incidentally, even if it’s cloudy, ‘the energy is still there.’ And all members of the quartz family are happy as Larry even if it rains. But you may want to give them a quick rinse under running water to remove anything the rain has left behind.

And don’t panic if there’s going to be a frost. ‘Crystals are born from Mother Earth, and have been around long before there was heating or air conditioning.’ That reassuring, isn’t it? One fewer thing to fret about.