I tried to come up with a snappy, clickbait-y title for this one, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.
Everyone already knows that you can use crystals in spells as catalysts or energy sources. That's basically standard in the witchcraft community on Tumblr (Witchblr): if you don't use plants, you use crystals, and vice-versa. Or you use both if you don't care about mixing tools, which is a good approach.
Broadly, there are two categories of non-spell uses for crystals: magical and mundane. Just like things normally get broken down into when it comes to witchcraft and its tools, who would have thought? Let's start with the mundane options.
First and foremost, there's always aesthetic! Some minimalists throw a fit about people owning anything at all; not all minimalists will be like this, I promise. There are some that understand that minimalism is a lifestyle choice that not everyone can do. Back to the crystals, it's totally okay to get crystals for aesthetic reasons, that's why a lot of crystals are carved into pretty shapes. As someone who collects pyramids, eggs, and spheres, I love the aesthetic look of crystals as much as the magical use of them.
In addition, some crystals (like selenite) are made into lamps. And that is PEAK aesthetic if you ask me. It just looks so magical and pleasing.
They also work as gifts for your cool relatives and cool friends.
But that's basically it for mundane uses. Let's talk about magical uses!
First and foremost, know that crystals can enhance other things: divination, meditation, wards, stuff like that. They can aid in energy slurping and can even act as magic batteries.
Meditating with crystals is so common now that it's hard to find information about meditation that doesn't also include references to crystals.
Crystals can also be used for protection and warding. My mother told me that amethyst at the bottom corners of the room's doors and windows would keep bad things out, which is cool.
There's also astral traveling and astral projection. Crystals can be used as protection for the body left behind, or you can straight up project into a crystal. It's not a very common thing, but it's still cool to research.
In addition to enhancing divination, they can be used as stand-alone divination methods! There are three main types: scrying, throwing, and the three-stone method.
Crystal scrying is the typical crystal ball staring, but you don't have to use a freakishly-clear crystal to scry.
Crystal throwing needs a grid and a bag of stones (preferably tumbled) for you to toss onto that grid. Each crystal has its own meanings and it impacts the part of your life that the grid portion indicates.
The three-stone method requires a black stone, a white stone, and a third stone (often red, but the color or type can depend on the question). The black stone means no, the white stone means yes, and the third stone will land closer to the one that's right. This gets tiring after a while, but throwing them can be used for discerning yes/no questions.
Finally, there's everyone's FAVORITE (sarcasm) topic: healing with crystals. I know, I know, that brings to mind the anti-vaxxers. But there are ways you can add crystal healing to your normal medication.
Each and every crystal has its own individual strengths and things it targets. For instance, tiger's eye is good for soothing emotional and mental states, soothing congestion, stabilizing yourself in reality, increasing healing strength, focusing a scattered mind, and even more. Many a post and many a book have been written on crystal healing.
Personally, I recommend Judy Hall's books, even though she misuses the term "smudging" (which makes me rage) and uses the Western idea of chakras (which is taken out of its original context and not at all like it's supposed to work, aka appropriated just like the term "smudging"). She really breaks down how each crystal can help with healing certain things, along with general meanings of crystals in a few of her books. I recommend the Crystal Bible and The Encyclopedia of Crystals because they help with both identification and information. Just buy them second-hand.