We are all drawn to gemstones for many reasons. We marvel at their colours, their optical qualities, or the stories they tell. We value them. We are entranced by them. But what about the idea that gemstones can protect us or calm us down?
For our ancestors, a belief that gemstones held mystical powers was probably never in question. Stop for a moment and imagine just how amazing it must have been to find or own a gemstone in ancient times. Imagine unearthing a stone that flashed with inner fire like labradorite or opal, that sparkled like diamond, or dazzled with vibrant colour like the purple of amethyst? All of these amazing gemstone qualities entrance us today, so it is not hard to understand the joy and wonder our ancestors must have felt. Digging in the ground and finding a gemstone – any gemstone - must have been truly wonderous. Gemstones were literally treasure.
Powers to Protect
The link between gemstones and protective powers has a long history. Since most Ancient civilizations believed that gemstones, formed deep inside Mother Earth, held great energies and powers, they frequently used them to fashion and adorn amulets and talismans. From protection against evil spirits, warding off the evil eye, guarding against the devil, and keeping your family safe from disease, amulets and talismans were far more than simple good luck charms. They held immense significance for many cultures, from Ancient Egypt and Rome to the Far East, and cemented the link between gemstones and the power to protect
Gemstones and Healing
The protection offered by gemstone amulets and talisman, included warding off ill health, and helping you to heal if you did have the misfortune to get sick. For our ancestors staying safe and healthy was not just a good idea, it was could literally be a matter of life or death. It is not surprising then that many cultures have explored the specific healing properties of gemstones. In India for example the 3,000 year old holistic healing practise Ayurveda includes the use of gemstones. In 12th century Germany, the book Physica, written by the Abbess Hildegaard von Bingen, detailed the healing properties of over twenty four gemstones from a Christian perspective. Today, there are many people who continue these beliefs and traditions and practice crystal healing.
The belief in the healing properties of gemstones, is intrinsically linked with the belief in their powerful energies. Crystal healers believe that gemstones channel positive energy and drive out negativity. A crystal healer works to stimulate the body's energy flow to restore balance, and help the body heal itself. So, whilst gemstones may not be able to cure an illness, their energies and powers can have a positive effect. How much of this is real, and how much is down to the placebo effect, is still up for discussion. In a way, does that really matter? Positivity is certainly the most powerful energy of all.
One of the ways in which positive energy works best is when it has a calming effect. When we feel calm, our anxiety and stress levels fall. So, taking time out, and a deep breath is always a good thing. Anything that can help us to feel calm can only be good - from a soothing colour to a walk in the park.
Blues and greens, pastel shades and neutral colours are all known to have a restful effect themselves. We react to them as we do the natural landscape. Our heart rate slows a little and we feel less anxious. I certainly feel better when I am walking on the shore and I know that even the sight of the hills and sea can inspire my creativity.
And guess what? Many of the gemstones associated with calming energies are blue or green, recalling the natural world - the hills and the sea.
The Gift of Positive Calm
Green Aventurine, Prasiolite (Green Amethyst), Blue Lace Agate or pastel Aquamarine are all gemstones believed to support calming energies. So, if you know someone who is stressed and might just appreciate a little calm, these would make a great gift choice.
It's not just the natural blues, greens and pastel coloured gemstones that are thought to have calming energies. Amethyst has a reputation for being a great stress reliever - but that could just be the power of purple!
The calming energies of gemstones are also believed to help focus the mind, clearing it of negativity. A great example, is the gemstone Smokey Quartz. Scotland's national gemstone is believed to aid meditation and mindfulness.
So whether its down to their colours or their perceived energies, the link between gemstones and their ability to help us stay calm and safe continues. Positivity is a wonderful thing, isn't it?