Crystals, Ancestor Altars, Magic & More With Leslie McAllister

Do you love crystals? Are you curious about ancestor altars? If so, you’ll enjoy this episode of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast with my guest Leslie McAllister, owner of the Ceremonial Shop in Pittsburgh, PA.

Crystal Enthusiast, Witch, and Tarot Reader

ancestor altars and crystal gridsLeslie shied away from being called a crystal expert and insisted she is still a student. Yet, she certainly knows a lot about rocks – like a ton of knowledge!

I started by asking her about her favorite stone and she responded immediately – selenite! Here’s why. First its named after and connected to the Greek Goddess Selene, who is the personification of the moon. She’s the triple Goddess of the full moon and divine Mother. Leslie feels like the moon is her home base.

Intensely programmable due to all of it’s layers, the structure is delicate but strong.  The stone works great for clearing energy and works like a phone cord to speak to your celestial friends above.

For Leslie, it’s calming, energizing, clearing, and great for charging. You can get lost in it’s many faceted formation. The natural shape is long bars but it can be cut, shaped and polished. Selenite is a self-clearing stone, but no matter what you do, never put it in water – it melts!

Personally, I use it like a wand to clear my energy field, running down my body held a couple inches away. In addition, I sit my jewelry and other crystals on top of it, so they get cleared.

(We’ll touch on crystal grids and ancestor altars soon, so hang in there.)

Tanzanite, Merlinite, & Kyanite with Ruby

Merlinite and Ruby KyaniteFor me, tanzanite is my favorite gem. That blueish purple color that’s sort of periwinkle just sends me. Tanzanite is a facilitator of higher consciousness and stimulates your intuition and perception. The stone also helps to detoxify the body, never mind that it’s stunning!

Of course, I have several other favorites such as Merlinite which seems to come as two different stones. The one I like best is dendritic opal but there is also indigo gabbro.

Leslie considers this stone like a deep stormy force. Think of Merlin and other grand wizards like Gandalf or Dumbledore and the idea of light, dark, and balance.

Other stones we mentioned are kyanite and ruby blended which we both love. It’s gorgeous and the combination helps you connect to your higher self and speak your truth from the heart.

Herkimer Diamonds, Bumblebee Jasper, & Labradorite

Labradorite bumblebee jasperThen there’s Herkimer diamonds which are high grade clear quartz.  I have one that is palm-size and Leslie mentioned desert diamonds are similar. This stone is a power ally to increase spiritual energy and open your third eye.

Also, a huge favorite of mine is bumblebee jasper with it’s orange, yellow, white and black bands helping you connect with joy and happiness. Next up in the fave’s is labradorite – can’t have too much of that stone filled with bright blue/green flashes of color. Beautiful!

Leslie said moonstone and larvikite are like labradorite, as they are all part of the feldspar family. These stones create a sense of magic and cause you to look within. Labradorite is a gentle opener for your journey to spiritual awareness, helping you see the seen and unseen.

Clearing and Working with Crystals

Leslie talked about working with pointed crystals and how the energy flows out of the point. She might point it to something she wants to manifest or at a part of her body for healing.

Spheres are amazing because they radiate energy in 360 degrees. Palm stones are soothing and calming fitting snuggly into your hand.

She does a lot of altar work in the bath and creates a crystal grid which is a formation using several stones. (Information on the ancestor altars is coming up next!)

She also keeps similar stones together like blue stones for communication. Working with crystals, you want to be in the right relationship with them, saying this is the work we are going to do together.

You under utilize a stone if you just treat it like artwork, leave it on a shelf, and don’t work with it. That’s a shame! Crystals can be cleared and programmed like computer chips – they like to hold information.

Leslie advises that you bond with your stone and keep it with you. Sleep with it, carry it in your pocket, put it in your bath. Put it on your bedside table. Take it in the car wherever you go. This is practical magic. You’re making an agreement with the stone to work together.

Communicate with Your Stones

Leslie McAllister Ceremonial ShopAsk your stone, what do you want to do? Listen and let it inform you. Next take it to your working altar and create a grid with it.

For example, working with pyrite or citrine which are high manifestation stones good for financial growth and stability, prosperity and joy. Write your intention and sit your stone on top of it. Place 1/2″ clear quartz points which amplify the energy all around it in a circle – there you go crystals grids made easy.

Leslie allows the stones, her intuition, ancestors, and guides speak to her about what steps she needs to take. Trusting the crystal and her intuition is how she does it which is really organic and maybe not that traditional. But she loves doing this and gets great results.

Ancestor Altars & Crystal Altars

Ancestor AltarOkay, here’s how to set up your ancestor altar. Start with framed photos of your ancestors on the altar. However, make sure there are no pictures of people still living since that messes with the energy.

Next include items representing each of the four elements and directions. A goblet of water (west) is an offering and represents the element of water. Crystals stand in for the element of earth (north). A feather works for the element of air (east) and a candle for fire (south).

Placement is important for the ancestor altar. Find a spot in the living room or kitchen because your ancestors want to be in the middle of things. That’s why your public living spaces are perfect – the natural places you would gather.

I also have a heart for love and card I wrote. And this is the place where I give thanks. I literally stand before the photos and look at each ancestor going back to my great grandparents and thank them for their DNA, their wit, problem solving ability and intelligence. I’m grateful for their love, support and guidance too.

Leslie suggested asking at your ancestor altar, what do you need me to heal? I am at service for you. That sounded amazing to me – great idea! It can be joyful, gratitude, healing, or you might do shadow work and so much more.

This magical woman is also careful to call out to ancestors who have healed themselves, opening the gate to those who are already healed and truly ascending. This is how you do work for the highest good of all concerned.

We also talked about crystal altars, charging and clearing your crystals during different moon phases, how to trust your intuition about the stones, and so much more.

You’ll have to listen to the episode to hear the rest of this sparkling crystal discussion. Last but not least, Leslie thanked Vanessa who is a fabulous Soul Guide and Business Coach for connecting us. You can listen to Vanessa’s fantastic interview here – its one of my favorites!

BIO – Leslie McAllister

Ancestor altars and crystal gridsLeslie McAllister is the owner of Ceremonial in Pittsburgh, PA.

A long time witch and tarot reader, Leslie opened the shop in March 2016 with the vision to build connection through ritual and intention. As a reader, teacher and facilitator, Leslie continues to grow, expand and learn through community in the new ritual studio, Ceremonial Treehouse.

As an intuitive and guide, Leslie has grown a clientele worldwide and earned the trust of many via transparency, warmth, and kindness. An ethical practitioner, she works to create a grounded space of intention while working to cultivate lasting bonds. By honoring her ancestral path and lineage of readers, she continues to move along her path with dedication and devotion.

Website and Social Media


Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. She put her skills from personal development and her spiritual path to work, dating 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to manifesting and midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late to help smart, successful women find love or live an empowered and magical life. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC, is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000s of midlife women with her Love & Magical Life Coach services. She’s the host of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast and has been featured on NBC, ABC, & Fox News, NPR, BBC, eHarmony,, and Connecticut Magazine among others. Also, Ronnie is the author of 6 books which are available on Amazon.

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