Legends, Beliefs – Healing Crystals:
Ancient cultures had incredible connections with crystals. Through archeology and historical records we can gather a clear and definite picture on how crystals played an intricate part of humanity.
The first recorded reference to crystals came from the Ancient Sumerians. This included using crystals in magic formulas.
There are many cultures, such as Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Babylonians, Atlantans, Chinese and Peruvians (to name but a few), that used crystals for numerous purposes. Everything from makeup, talismans, burial items to even medicines.
Some of these legends were extraordinary, for example the Emperor Nero is said to have watched the gladiator games through a large emerald. Another legend states that royalty would place Golden Topaz beside their food or drink, believing if it contained poison the crystal would change colour!
I have listed below a handful of crystals with cultures and beliefs attached to them.
The ancient Egyptians believed that the goddess Isis used a Carnelian Amulet that she named ‘Thet’ (also known as the Isis knot or buckle of Isis, and blood of Isis) to protect the deceased soul (Ka) from any harm as they journeyed through to the afterlife.
King Tutankhamen’s sarcophagus was richly inlaid with Lapis as were many ornaments and jewellery from ancient Egyptian times, it was also frequently ground down into a powder and used as eye make up and dye.
In Native American folklore Turquoise is a revered stone.
It is said that there was once a great chief whose skin was the colour of Turquoise. On one very hot day he was running from his enemies through the desert. When he stopped to rest, beads of sweat fell from his body, collected on the rocks and became Turquoise.
The Navajo would pray to the rain Gods, they would then throw a piece of Turquoise into the river as an offering.
The Zuni believed that turquoise protected them from demons.
The Pueblos believed that the colour Turquoise was stolen from the sky.
It is said that a tribe of Apache warriors were ambushed by cavalry, rather than be taken prisoner and suffer horrific torture that would most certainly end in their deaths they decided to ride their horses off a cliff and die as they lived….as warriors.
The Apache women found their men perished at the bottom of the cliff by the waters edge, they cried tears for so long and so hard that the very earth cried with them.…..these tears solidified into droplet shaped stones and became what we know today as Apache Tears.
It is said that when a person holds or works with these crystals that they will grieve but shed only a few tears, it is believed the Apache women cried so much that day that the person that holds the stone need not cry.
To the ancient Egyptians Azurite was sacred, it was believed to be a psychic stone that would aid in connecting to spirit. The high priests and priestesses would grind it down to form a powder and then paint a symbol of a third eye on their forehead in the belief it would increase their power of spiritual connection.
Legend has it that the city of Atlantis revered Azurite, believing it to be a powerful stone for healing. It is said that as a psychic stone it had tremendous power and was shrouded in mystery so much so that its secrets were only known to the high priests.
To the ancient Chinese it was called the Stone of Heaven in the belief it would open the gateway to spiritual heaven.
Greeks used Azurite in healing ceremonies to them it was known as ‘ Caeruleum’, it was also used for visionary insights.
Native Americans would use sacred Azurite to connect to their spirit guides.
Azurite has been used as a pigment dye for paints and fabrics for thousands of years, in the middle ages it was also used as an eye shadow.
Amazonite is called The Amazon Stone, it was once thought to be found on the Amazon river but scientists now believe that this is incorrect, although it is found in other parts of Brazil and also Mozambique, Namibia, Canada, Russia and the United States.
It was carved and cut into tablets for the Egyptian Book of the Dead, an Amazonite ring in the shape of a scarab was also found amongst the treasures in the burial chambers of Tutankhamen.
It was believed to have adorned the shields of the mythical Amazonian Warrior women who were thought to have existed in the 10th century, it was further used by them to heal wounds and treat illnesses of all kinds.
In Inuit legend the Northern Lights were once imprisoned in the rocks along the coast of Labrador, until one day a great Inuit warrior discovered them and freed most of them with a mighty blow from his spear, however, some remained trapped within the stones and gave us today the beauty that is Labradorite.
In Finland Spectrolite was discovered by accident during the second world war when stone was being quarried for the purpose of anti-tank obstacles.
These pieces of Spectrolite are amongst the most impressive and are considered to be of gem quality so as to be used in jewellery.
In Greek legend it is said Adonis the lover of Aphrodite was attacked by Ares whilst he was in the form of a boar. Aphrodite in fear for her lover ran to be by his side, she caught herself on a briar bush. Her blood mingled with the blood of Adonis and stained the white quartz pink.
Zeus took pity on the lovers and decided to return Adonis to Aphrodite for six months every year, it is from this legend that Rose Quartz became known as the symbol for love renewed.
In Egyptian mythology it is said that the Goddess Isis used Rose Quartz on her face to give her eternal beauty and youth.
Archaeologists have reportedly found beauty products made from Rose Quartz in tombs that have been exhumed, it was believed by ancient Egyptians that the use of this crystal in beauty regimes would also bring them a flawless complexion.
Bloodstone holds a very in depth history through Christianity. It is believed to have come from the blood of Jesus Christ. As He was on the cross it is said there was green jasper placed at his feet. Blood fell from his wounds and splashed the stones and forever more the stone held the blood of Christ and became known as Bloodstone.
Bloodstone is also referred to as The Martyrs Stone as it was often used in carvings of scenes from the crucifixion also used in sculptures representing martyrdom and flagellation.
Bloodstone can also be called Heliotrope, the Sun Stone in Greek, it was believed that when immersed into water it could turn the reflection of the sun into blood red.
Used as a talisman, it would bring good health and a long life. The owner would incur respect, fortune and fame throughout their life.
Warriors would often bring amulets of Bloodstone into combat, believing it would help protect them and overcome enemies in battle. It would also stem bleeding from wounds they may receive during these encounters.
Malachite was a stone that was used by the ancient Pharaohs of Egypt, they adorned their headdress with the stone in the belief that Malachite would raise the vibrations of the Pharaoh and allow them to connect with higher realms to receive guidance and council.
The Egyptians also ground Malachite down to a fine powder and used it as a colourful green eye shadow.
In Greece people would often attach Malachite beads to their babies cribs as it was believed that it would protect the infant against evil entities and grant them a peaceful sleep.
In Germany workers would often wear Malachite with Turquoise to protect them from falling, miners would use Malachite to protect from accidents.
It was believed that if a piece of Malachite shattered into pieces that it was bringing warning of impending danger.
The Italians would wear a piece of Malachite with a shape that resembled an eye set in silver believing it would protect them against the Evil Eye.
The middle ages saw Malachite used to protect the wearer from black magic and evil sorcery.