Crystals & Gems in Myths & Legends

Gems and crystals have captivated humanity for millennia, and their allure extends far beyond their beauty. Throughout history, many cultures have woven them into mythology, imbuing them with special properties and symbolic meanings. Here’s a glimpse into the fascinating world of gems and crystals in mythology:

  • Protection and Strength: Diamonds, for instance, were considered tears of the gods by the Greeks and splinters from fallen stars by the Romans. They were associated with strength and invisibility, making them popular among warriors. Similarly, sapphires were linked to Apollo, the Greek god of prophecy, and believed to grant wisdom and protection from harm.
  • Connection to the Divine: Many cultures believed gems were vessels for divine power. The Egyptians adorned their pharaohs with garnets, believing they granted passage to the afterlife. Hebrew lore associated sapphires with wisdom and piety, attributing them to figures like King Solomon.
  • Love and Harmony: Gems like aquamarine, named for its resemblance to the sea, were linked to love and tranquility. Sailors wore them for protection and to rekindle love back home. Garnets, resembling pomegranate seeds (a symbol of fertility and eternal life in Greek myth), were associated with passion and devotion.
  • Power and Status: The rarity and beauty of gems also made them symbols of wealth and status. The breastplate of Aaron, the Hebrew high priest, was adorned with twelve different gemstones, each believed to hold special significance. Royalty throughout history has been depicted wearing precious stones as a mark of their power and prestige.
  • Wealth and Wisdom: Rubies, with their fiery color, were often connected with royalty and passion. Hebrew lore associated sapphires with wisdom and believed figures like King Solomon wore them as talismans. In some cultures, specific gems were believed to attract wealth and good fortune.

These are just a few examples, and the myths and legends surrounding gems and crystals are vast and diverse. From warding off evil to fostering love, these precious stones have played a significant role in the human imagination, reflecting our hopes, fears, and desires.

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More on Crystals & Gems

  • Hawaiian Mythology: there’s a particular connection between gems and Pele, the volcanic goddess. Pele’s Tears & Peridot, a vibrant green gem found in volcanic regions of Hawaii, is considered Pele’s tears. Legends say these olivine gemstones form from the fiery tears of the goddess as they harden upon contact with the cooler earth. Peridot is seen as a gift from Pele, symbolizing healing, wealth, growth, and beauty. Some believe possessing a peridot brings good fortune and blessings from the powerful goddess. Green sand beaches in Hawaii, formed from tiny peridot fragments, are considered particularly sacred.
    • There are also tales of special stones imbued with spiritual power, but details on specific gems aren’t as prevalent as the connection with peridot. The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu: This legend speaks of healers who transferred their mana (spiritual power) into stones. While the stones themselves aren’t described as gems, they hold immense significance in Hawaiian tradition.
  • Hinduism: The nine precious stones, or Navaratnas, are believed to hold immense astrological power. Each gem is associated with a specific celestial body and is said to influence the wearer’s life. For example, the ruby, associated with the Sun, symbolizes passion, vitality, and leadership
  • Japanese Mythology: Magatama, curved comma-shaped beads often made of jade, were believed to possess spiritual and protective qualities. They were worn as talismans and were placed in tombs to protect the deceased in the afterlife. Amethysts were believed to be dwelling places for the souls of the deceased and were used in funeral rites. Crystal balls were used for divination and communication with the spirit world.
  • Celtic lore: Emeralds were seen as a connection to the spirit world and were said to hold the power of prophecy and foresight. Amethysts were highly prized by the Celts, who believed they could sharpen intellect and protect against drunkenness. They were also associated with royalty and spirituality.
  • Abrahamic religions: Some legends say that the breastplate of the High Priest Aaron bore twelve precious stones, each representing one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
  • Greek and Roman myths: Diamonds were said to be the tears of the gods and were associated with love and innocence. Rubies were believed to symbolize passion and courage and were sometimes worn by warriors in battle.
  • Norse cultures: Amber was highly valued in Norse cultures, believed to have magical properties and connections to the sun god Freyr. It was used for protection and good luck

Do you know of any other instances where gems and crystals have had significance?

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