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What are Projective and Receptive Energies?

Traditionally we have been taught about ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ energy. For example, boys wear blue, they play with cars and are hunters. Girls wear pink, they play with dolls and are the gatherers.

We have essentially categorised these colours and objects into an energy type. Projective and receptive energies are similar in concept, but without linking it to a gender.

Projective energy would typically be associated with what we would know as ‘masculine’ energy and receptive energy would typically be associated with what we would know as ‘feminine’ energy. You may have also heard of the ‘yin and yang’ concept in Chinese philosophy which has similar principles.

This is more so that these are not opposing forces, but rather, two interconnected forces that work together to achieve balance.

Here are some examples:

Projective Receptive
Electric Magnetic
Hot Cold
Day Night
Physical Spiritual
Active Inert
Summer Winter
Sun Moon
Dominant hand Non-dominant hand
Knife Cup


How does Projective and Receptive energy apply to Crystals?

Understanding these two types of energy is a great way to learn about crystals and their properties.

It’s also a great way to figure out what kind of energy we want to channel. We can also enhance and layer our intentions by expanding through elements, celestial bodies and astrology.

The easiest way for us to start is with colour. Generally crystals that are white or clear (contain all colours), red, orange, yellow or gold are projective stones. Crystals that are black (absent of all colour), purple, blue, green, pink and silver are receptive stones.

Multi-coloured crystals become a little more tricky to work with so it's best to start with single coloured crystals first. 

Projective stones are usually used for things like strength, courage, motion, luck and success.
Receptive stones are usually used for things like soothing, calming, spirituality, love and healing. 

Are There Exceptions?

Of course there is! As with anything there are exceptions and this serves only as a guide.

For example, Selenite is white and clear so would at first fit into the projective category. Selenite however is associated with the moon, water and the astrological sign of Cancer - all receptive qualities. It is therefore a receptive stone.

Working with Multi-coloured Crystals.

Crystals like Lapis Lazuli, Cinabrite and Unakite contain a complex blend of minerals. Lapis Lazuli on first glance would fit into the receptive box but it contains Pyrite which is projective, so which one is it?

Well, considering the Pyrite content is minimal and only makes up a small percentage of the overall stone’s content, we would not use this as its defining factor. If you said Lapis was receptive, then you’d be correct as it’s blue, calming effects are its predominant energy. 

How to Tell Which Crystal is Projective or Receptive?

Once you start to work with crystals and get to know them better, you’ll get familiar with knowing which ones do what. Like a person, the more time you spend with them, the more you learn about them and you may even become good friends!

Our relationships with crystals are personal. As a crystal provider, we can share knowledge and basic guidance on the properties and meanings of crystals. It is, however, up to you to put the work in and build those personal connections and understandings of how each crystal works best for you.

A great way to do this is to do a little crystal mediation. For this meditation I’d suggest starting with single colour crystals as multi-coloured ones can be a little more complex to decipher.

  1. Take three to five tumbled crystals and wrap each one in some paper so that you can't tell which one is which (make sure you know the names of the crystals though!).
  2. Find a moment where you can sit undisturbed for a few minutes.
  3. Grab a pen and paper and your phone and choose one of the crystals.
  4. Set and start a timer on your phone for 5 minutes.
  5. Take a crystal into one of your hands and observe (you can do this with your eyes open or closed). Observe physical sensations, thoughts including colours or symbols, sounds, quite literally ANYTHING. Write all of these observations down as you observe and acknowledge them.
  6. You can also switch hands throughout and see if you get something different from your other hand.

Once the time is up, read through what you have written. Can you connect this stone to being either projective or receptive? Can you guess which crystal you picked? Can you start to connect meaning to what you observed and the meaning of the crystal you picked? 

I’d also recommend keeping a crystal journal for these observations. Record which crystal you picked, which one you thought it was along with your observations. 

This is a great way to build up your own personal symbol dictionary that you can use for dreams and messages from your guides too.

Expanding on Energies and Layering Intentions.

A great way to enhance and layer your intentions is to connect your crystals and intentions together with other energies like celestial bodies, colours, elements and astrology.

These can go a long way to boost and supercharge your manifesting.

Projective Receptive
Colours White, red, orange, yellow, gold Black, purple, blue, green, pink silver
Elements Fire and Air Earth and Water
Celestial Bodies Sun, Mars, Mercury, Uranus Moon, Venus, Neptune, Saturn, Jupiter
Zodiac Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Gemini, Libra, Aquarius Capricorn, Virgo, Taurus, Cancer, Pisces, Scorpio


Appendix I : List of Crystals with Projective and Receptive Energy.

I've listed out a few crystals and their energy type for reference.

Crystal Energy 
Amazonite Receptive
Aventurine Projective
Black Tourmaline
Clear Quartz Both
Rose Quartz
Tiger's Eye Projective




  1. Cunningham, Scott. Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic (Cunningham's Encyclopedia Series). Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
  2. Lee, Azalea. The Crystal Workshop: A Journey Into the Healing Power of Crystals. Artisan.
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