Ancient Egyptians and Healing Crystals
There are a number of different types of crystals, each filled with their own healing abilities for the mind, body, and soul. They’re thought to promote the flow of good energy and help rid the body and mind of negative energy for physical and emotional benefits.
The Ancient Egyptians used stones primarily for protection and health. Chrysolite (later translated as both topaz and peridot) was used to combat night terrors and purge evil spirits. Egyptians also used crystals cosmetically. Galena (lead ore) was ground to a powder and used as the eye shadow known as kohl.
The Ancient Egyptians used Lapis, Lazuli, turquoise, Carnelian, emerald and clear quartz in their jewellery.
The word 'crystal' comes from the Greek word for ice, as it was believed that clear quartz was water that had frozen so deeply that it would always remain solid. The word Amethyst means 'not drunken' and was worn as an amulet to prevent both drunkenness and hangovers. Hematite comes from the word for blood, because of the red colouration produced when it oxidises. Hematite is an iron ore and the ancient Greeks associated iron with Aries, the god of war. Greek soldiers would rub hematite over their bodies before battle, purportedly to make themselves invulnerable. Greek sailors also wore a variety of amulets to keep them safe at sea.
Jade was highly valued in ancient China and some Chinese written characters represent jade beads. Musical instruments in the form of chimes were made from jade and around 1000 years ago Chinese emperors were sometimes buried in jade armour. There are burials with jade masks from around the same period in Mexico. Jade was recognised as a kidney healing stone both in China and South America. More recently - dating from around 250 years ago - the Maoris of New Zealand wore jade pendants representing the ancestor spirits, which were passed down many generations through the male line. The tradition of green stones being lucky continues in parts of New Zealand to this day.
The Beginning of Crystal Healing
In 1609 Anselmus de Boot, court physician to Rudolf II of Germany, suggested that any virtue a gemstone has is due to the presence of good or bad angels. The good angels would confer a special grace to the gems, but the bad angels would tempt people into believing in the stone itself, and not in God's gifts bestowed on it. He goes on to name certain stones as helpful, and put other's qualities down simply to superstition. Later in the same century, Thomas Nicols expressed in his 'Faithful Lapidary' that gems, as inanimate objects, could not possess the effects claimed in the past. Thus, in the Age of Enlightenment, the use of precious stones for healing and protection began to fall from favour in Europe.
In the early part of the 19th century, a number of interesting experiments were conducted to demonstrate the effects of stones on subjects who believed themselves to be clairvoyant. In one case, the subject claimed to feel not only physical and emotional changes when touched with various stones, but also to experience smells and tastes.