Long before gems were prized for their monetary value, they were worn for magickal purposes. The ancients believed gems could heal, protect, inspire fertility, indicate the outcome of battles, and stimulate crop growth. Today, a growing number of witches and other metaphysicians are rediscovering the magick inherent in stones. They realize that crystals and gemstones can be important tools for healing, spellworking, divination, shamanic journeying, meditation, and dowsing.
Gemstones are believed to have their own distinct personalities. 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.”
Each stone has its own, unique properties and energies that can be tapped for magickal purposes. As a general rule, clear stones are best for working with mental and spiritual issues; translucent or cloudy stones, such as pearls and moonstones, can aid emotional situations; and opaque stones have an affinity with physical matters. Stones of all kinds may be used alone or in combination with other ingredients in spellworking.
Magickal Uses for Gemstones
Witches utilize gemstones in myriad ways, and value them not only for their monetary worth but for their magickal possibilities as well. Here are some of their uses:
As pendulums, runes, and other divination tools
For healing and aligning the body's energy centers
As amulets, talismans, and fetishes
As ceremonial jewelry
As components in spells and rituals
As aids to visualization and meditation
To adorn magickal tools and augment their powers
To define sacred space and honor its energies
As gifts to deities
Some witches believe that dreams about gemstones are significant and can be considered messages from the Divine. Because dreams are symbolic and individualistic, your own interpretation should be given priority. However, in many cases the meaning of a gem in a dream is similar to its magickal correspondences (see the list further on in this chapter).
Dreams of diamonds may mean different things in different cultures. In Europe and the United States, diamonds represent devotion or faithfulness in love. In the Middle East, Persia, and Egypt, they signify good luck. In India, they symbolize victory, success, and zeal.
As you work with gemstones, you'll undoubtedly discover other uses for them, according to your particular intentions and personal style. Trust your intuition and allow the stones themselves to speak to you — they may suggest some unique applications.
Spellworking with Gemstones
Before using gemstones in spells or rituals, it's a good idea to wash them to remove any unwanted vibrations and to prepare them to receive your intentions. Cleanse them in running water with mild soap. Visualize white light permeating the stones and clearing them.
You can combine several stones in a spell to customize it. Let's say, for instance, you are fashioning a talisman to attract wealth. You might include aventurine or tiger-eye, stones typically associated with abundance. But if the person for whom the talisman is being made tends to have trouble holding on to money, you could add a piece of hematite to stabilize finances. Refer to the list of correspondences further on in this chapter to determine which gems are most appropriate for your purposes.
Gems don't necessarily mean the same things in every culture. Therefore, when doing mineral magick, it could be important to consider the nationality or heritage of a person for whom you are working a spell. The person's birth date might also be relevant — it's usually best to work with stones that support his astrological energies.
Once you've chosen a stone to use in your spell, communicate your intentions to it. You can do this by holding the stone to your “third eye” and projecting into it an image of what you want it to do. Or hold the gem to your lips and whisper your objective to it.
If you wish to use gemstones to mark the four directions that define sacred space, place an “air” stone, such as aquamarine, in the east. Choose a “fire” stone, perhaps a carnelian or ruby, for the south. In the west, put a “water” stone, such as pearl or moonstone, and in the north set an onyx, turquoise, or other “earth” stone.
Witches often use gemstones to augment healing. Although this is an art that requires skill and practice to perfect, the properties of some stones are widely accepted and can safely be utilized as subtle healing aids even by novice witches. The gentle vibrations of rose quartz can calm stress; amethysts have been used since ancient times to induce sleep. Remember, however, that gemstones are not a substitute for professional medical care.