By Marcia Bender
Author’s note: This is part three of a three part series on crystals, stones and gemstones. I have been involved with crystals for many years and have a collection that would rival most retail outlets. My study of crystals, their lore and legends is an ongoing one that began more than 30 years ago, but I do not consider myself an expert because this field is so vast. I have used information from two excellent sources in the writing of this series of columns: Crystal Enlightenment by Katrina Raphaell and Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystals, Gems and Metal Magic by Scott Cunningham.
Different cultures and civilizations have used the power within crystals and stones for as long as humans have inhabited the Earth. The oldest lore and legends of crystal magic come from the ancient “lost continent” of Atlantis. The inhabitants of this evolved and advanced race used crystals to channel and harness the power of the cosmos. They also used crystal power in their everyday lives for healing and other medical purposes. It is said that the survivors of Atlantis relocated to many parts of the globe and continued to use the knowledge of crystals in South America, Egypt and Tibet. As civilizations continued to rise and fall, much of the wisdom and knowledge was lost—but a significant understanding continues to be passed from generation to generation, culture to culture.
Here are just a few examples of crystals’ legacy. It is recorded in Exodus in the Bible that Aaron (brother of Moses) wore a breastplate of 12 precious jewels to enable him to communicate with God and to enhance his spiritual powers. Kings in ancient India collected the most precious of gems to wear and protect themselves from harm. Medical practices of many ancient cultures included the wearing of amulets and talismans around the neck to help in the recovery of illness. The Greeks and Romans wore stones for protection, knowledge and health. American Indians and Mayans used crystals for diagnosis and treatment of disease. Our own civilization uses quartz crystals in ultrasound devices and watches and as memory chips in computers. Metaphysical practitioners use stones and crystals in meditation and for the development of greater intuitive power for spiritual connections.
Now let’s take a closer look my top list of useful crystals and semiprecious stones and some of their many properties.
Quartz crystals. These are the most common, affordable and easily found of all crystals. There are over 30 varieties of quartz crystals, and we will talk here about clear quartz. Quartz is composed of silicon dioxide, which is one of the earth’s most common mineral compounds. Human beings are also largely composed of silicon dioxide, which is interesting to say the least. Each crystal is unique and unlike any other. They are used in healing, altering consciousness and magical rituals. I use clear quartz crystals in the storage of and reading of the Tarot Cards, as they are said to increase psychic abilities.
Quartz is used as a protective stone when placed in the home, car, carried in a pocket or worn around the neck. I always give a clear quartz crystal to my students when they begin a study with me and often to clients who are going through a difficult cycle in their life. If you are just starting to work with crystals, I suggest that you begin your collection with a clear quartz crystal to which you are drawn.
Amethyst. This is the stone of the “third eye chakra,” and it is one of the best stones to use for meditation, tranquility and connection to the higher realms of consciousness. It is a stone that teaches the lesson of humility, as we submit to allowing the Higher Forces to guide us. It is a stone of comfort, wisdom and understanding, and it gives consolation to those who are experiencing loss and change in their lives. It is often called the “soul stone,” as it allows us to tap into and understand the reasons for life’s experiences. It has a calming mental effect and is often worn by those who are overworked, over stressed, or overwhelmed mentally. It is said to ease tension, headaches and mental anxieties. Amethyst crystals are abundant and easy to find, and it is said that the clearer and darker the stone, the more valuable and powerful.
Rose quartz. This stone relates to the heart chakra, and its energy works to produce inner peace, healing and comfort for those with internal pain. It teaches that love comes from within the self and that any wound, no matter how deep or painful, can be healed. Many people who have had negative childhood experiences work with rose quartz and confirm its powerful capacity to facilitate emotional release. It is also used in love and romance rituals and is said to draw love to the wearer.
Hematite. This stone is used for healing, grounding and divination. Hematite is a beautiful, silvery-black stone that is often found in the form of jewelry. It is mostly worn for grounding and stabilizing purposes and for situations involving the physical/material reality. It is also said to “draw illness,” both physical and mental, from the body. Hyperactive individuals often wear hematite to produce a calming effect on the body and mind.
Fluorite. This is a multidimensional stone that is said to manifest the highest aspect of the human mind, as it relates to the spirit. It is a “third eye” stone and enables one to maintain a meditative and centered space in the midst of physical activity. It is used to work with people who are experiencing mental illness, as well as with people who want to increase intellect and mental achievement. It is sometimes called the “genius stone.”
Amber. This is one of the oldest known substances used for human adornment. It is not a stone, but rather fossilized resin of coniferous trees of the Oligocene era. It often contains fragments or complete specimens of insects and plants that fell into the sticky resin millions of years ago. It is warm to the touch and is said to possess life. Amber is worn to enhance good luck, healing, strength, protection, beauty and love.
Adventurine. This is considered a good luck stone and is often carried and worn by gamblers as a talisman to attract money. It is said to strengthen the eyesight and to stimulate creativity.
Lapis Lazuli. This stone has always been associated with royalty and is most often found in the form of jewelry. It is said to aid in healing, bring joy and love into one’s life, give protection and courage to the wearer, help bring fidelity in love partnerships and enhance psychic abilities. Lapis is also used as an amulet for children. In India it is strung on gold wire and placed around a child’s neck to ensure health, growth and protection.
Moonstone. Ancient lore connects this stone to the moon and the moon goddess energy. It is used for attracting and sustaining love in one’s life, divination, enhancing psychic capabilities, promoting deep and sound sleep that is free from nightmares, gardening, protection when swimming or boating, and dieting.
Garnet. This fiery stone is worn to enhance bodily strength, endurance and vigor. It is also thought to relieve skin conditions and inflammations, and it is a regulator of the heart and blood. In the 13th century, garnets also were worn to repel insects.
Jade. This has been the sacred stone of China since the culture’s early recorded history. Jade is usually worn as jewelry or carved into images. It is considered a love-attracting stone and is often exchanged in Chinese marriage ceremonies. It is said to have the power to prolong life, both for humans and plants, and is often used in gardening in the East. Other uses for Jade include attracting money, enhancing psychic abilities, protecting from enemies and gaining wisdom.
Turquoise. This is a sacred stone to many American Indian tribes. It is an all-around good luck stone, according to our Indian forefathers, and is used for protection, courage, money, love, friendship, healing and luck. It is rare, even in modern times, to find an Indian who is not wearing turquoise, in some form, at all times. Turquoise is also prized for its beauty. Legend says that rings and jewelry with turquoise stones will always contain an odd number of stones and each stone must have a flaw, now matter how slight, as only God can make something that is perfect.
Peridot. This stone is worn for general healing purposes. It is said to promote healing of insect bites and to help in liver alignment. It is used to attract love and to calm anger, and it is said to help balance the nervous system, relieve depression and promote restful sleep.
Chrysocolla. When held in the hand, this stone, which is also popular with American Indians, is said to drive off unreasonable fear and illusions. It is also said to bring peace, wisdom and love to the bearer.
I hope that this series of articles has ignited in you an interest in crystals and other stones, and that you will seek more knowledge about these amazing gifts from Mother Nature. If nothing else, perhaps you will now look at jewelry in a new and enlightened manner.
Remember, knowledge is the greatest power, so walk in the Light.
Marcia began her career as a school teacher, working with preschool through inner city high school students. She has worked with all aspects of Metaphysics for over 40 years and specializes in Tarot and Numerology. Marcia’s clients and students are in every state and throughout Europe. Marcia has taught over 400 students to “read” the Tarot for the purpose of self-guidance and to use the powerful symbolism of the Tarot to reach higher levels of spirituality. Her column, Spiritually Speaking, originally ran for 8 years in Attitudes Magazine. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.