Gemstones and Crystals

Long before people began prizing gems for their monetary value, they used them as magic charms. In early societies, only rulers, members of royal families, priests, and religious leaders wore gems. According to Nancy Schiffer, author of The Power of Jewelry, our ancestors believed gemstones were “capable of human feelings and passions so that they could express jealousy and shock.” Today, adornment is the primary reason for wearing precious and semiprecious gems; however, a growing number of people (especially magicians) realize that crystals and gemstones can also be used for healing, spell-working, divination, shamanic journeying, meditation, and dowsing.

Each stone has its own unique properties and energies that can be tapped for doing spells. As a rule, clear stones are best suited for mental and spiritual issues, translucent or cloudy stones for emotional situations, and opaque stones for physical matters. Gems may be used alone or in combination with other stones or crystals to facilitate the results you desire.

Birthstones, which resonate with the qualities of the zodiac signs to which they correspond, were originally worn to enhance, balance, or modulate a person's own innate characteristics.

Quartz crystals, which frequently play roles in magical work, are a combination of silica and water formed under certain conditions of pressure, temperature, and energy. These crystals possess amazing abilities to retain information, amplify energy, and transmit vibrations. As a result, they're often used in watches, computers, laser tools, television and radio equipment, and many other practical implements. In metaphysical applications, the properties of these crystals make them ideal for healing, storing knowledge, sending energy and thought patterns, and increasing the power of any substance with which they come into contact. People who work with crystals believe they are actually unique life forms that possess innate intelligence and many diverse powers. Hold one in your hand and see if you can feel it resonate.

It's a good idea to cleanse your gemstones and crystals periodically. Wash them in running water, with mild soap if you like, then let them sit in the sun. This removes any unwanted vibrations as well as dust. You can also purify crystals energetically by gently rubbing them with a piece of citrine. It's a good idea to clean your crystals before using them in a magic spell or ritual. You also should wash them if they've been exposed to any strong emotions or unsettling events.

Some of the best lapis lazuli comes from Chile, where it's inexpensive and often carved into animal figures. Shamans there use it in their spiritual practices. The most coveted lapis is a deep bluish hue, with almost no white flecks in it.

The relationship you establish with your stones and crystals will be unique to you. In time, they'll become your good friends. You may choose to designate certain stones for certain purposes. Treat them with respect and they'll speak to you. The guidelines provided below will give you a starting point for working with the magical properties of stones. With time and practice, you'll develop your own ideas about which stones are best to use in which spells.

Stones and Their Magical Properties

Amber

For physical and psychic protection

Amethyst

For meditation, enhancing and remembering dreams, calming emotions, increasing psychic ability

Aquamarine

For clarity and mental awareness, encouraging spiritual insight, stimulating creativity

Aventurine

To attract wealth or abundance

Bloodstone

For healing, strength, and physical protection

Carnelian

To stimulate passion, sexual energy, courage, and initiative

Citrine

For clearing vibrations from other stones and crystals

Coral

To attract love or increase affectionate feelings, to enhance self-esteem, to calm emotions

Diamond

To deepen commitment and trust, especially in a love relationship, to absorb and retain energies and vibrations, for strength and victory

Emerald

To aid clairvoyance and divination, to promote healing, growth, mental and emotional balance

Hematite

For grounding, to help stabilize emotions

Jade

For prosperity, to enhance beauty and health

Jasper

Red jasper is good in love spells to stir up passions; brown jasper is excellent for healing purposes; poppy jasper breaks up blockages that prevent energy from circulating through the body

Lapis lazuli

For opening psychic channels, dealing with children, to stimulate the upper chakras; ancient Egyptians used it to charge power meridians on the planet

Moldavite

To energize psychic talent, to quicken spiritual evolution, to open the upper chakras; moldavite is regarded as an extraterrestrial stone because it resulted from a meteor collision with the earth nearly 15 million years ago

Moonstone

To enhance the vividness of dreams and dream recall, to calm emotions

Onyx

For banishing and absorbing negative energy, grounding and stabilizing, to help break deeply ingrained habits

Opal

For protection, to encourage psychic ability and visions, to attract love

Pearl

To strengthen self-esteem, for balance in love relationships, to increase femininity

Quartz (clear)

To retain information, to amplify the energy of other stones, to transmit ideas and energy, for psychic awareness

Rose quartz

To attract love and friendship, for emotional healing and balance, to amplify psychic energy

Ruby

To stimulate the emotions, passion, love, to open your heart to divine love

Sapphire

To increase spiritual knowledge and connection with the Divine, for wisdom, insight, and prophetic vision; star sapphires provide hope and clarity of purpose

Smoky quartz

For endurance, to hold problems until you are ready to deal with them

Tiger's eye

For abundance, self-confidence, the freedom to follow your own path

Tourmaline

Green and black tourmaline are good for cleansing, healing, and absorbing negative vibrations; pink and watermelon tourmaline attract friendship, love, and fulfillment; use them to transmit messages and energy

Turquoise

For protection, healing, prosperity, to ease mental tension and emotional anxiety

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