The Enduring Wisdom of Crystals

Part 1
By Judy Hall

"Of mighty force my mystic science shows… this potent stone, by sages old extolled. Restless Adamant [Quartz] is right called, for that it bends the powers who rule the sky…with influence bland, it soothes the soul to rest. And rouses pleasant thoughts in the human breast."


Orpheus on Gems: The Lithica

Crystals have been used as oracles since time immemorial and many crystal divinatory meanings go way back into antiquity. Their reflective qualities act as mirrors to reveal the pathway of your soul and they link you to that part of yourself that is all-seeing and all-knowing. Once you are aligned to this, crystal wisdom enhances every aspect of your life.


The art of scrying

I was delighted to be asked to create a crystal oracle pack. I wanted the pack to be something special that would access soul guidance as well as answer more mundane questions and give healing. I was fortunate to have a young photographer, Michael Ilias, working with me who encapsulated their essence in his shots. The stunning photographs in The Crystal Wisdom Healing Oracle help you develop your own intuition, expanding and anchoring your awareness. 

Crystals have frequencies ranging from earthy and dense to the highest, finest vibration. To reflect this, the Crystal Wisdom cards are divided into five Vibrations: Earthy, Healing, Cosmic, Integration and Interactive. Earthy crystals tend to work well at the material level of being: the physical body and the world around you while exceptionally high vibration. Cosmic ones work at the level of the soul and open your intuition. Healing Vibrations assist you in understanding the effect of your mind and your soul’s needs on your body, showing how to return to a state of well-being. The Interactive Vibrations also offer you healing and rebalancing. There are also crystals that bridge the material and subtle multidimensional worlds. These are the Integration cards and their job is to step down higher frequencies so that downloads of celestial wisdom are received here on Earth and to step up your vibrations so that you can integrate the guidance and the healing. 

This wide spectrum gives subtle layers of healing and meaning to the answers you receive so when assessing a crystal card consider where in your life it functions best. It is possible to select only cards that operate in one dimension by choosing an appropriate suite, but using all cards accesses all factors surrounding your questions and offers a multitude of healing possibilities. Each card has a self understanding insight and a divinatory meaning to assist you in navigating your life following your soul’s path as well as a healing application. In a sense, they are a crystal initiation. 


The source

I researched the history of birthstones for my Masters degree in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology. In the course of that, I’d tracked the practice of scrying back over seven thousand yearsbut it is probably much older as the pouches of stones, polished crystal mirrors and spheres buried with their owners in prehistory attest. When you gaze into a crystal your rational mind no longer operates and intuition kicks in. When you cast crystals, random chance apparently takes over, but synchronicity is at work. The easiest way of all is to use a crystal card pack. This means that you can tune into some of the newer – and more expensive - high vibration crystals as well as tried and tested old favourites. As an extra benefitcyou can lay the cards on your body for healing.


The magical crystal past

Eight and a half thousand years ago a young shaman was laid to rest on a bed of red hematite at Bad Dürrenberg, her magical grave goods beside her. They included numerous bones, thirty one tiny Flint blades which she kept in a crane’s bone box, and a carefully fashioned stone ball that could be rolled rather like a dice. 

Five thousand years ago in Mesopotamia a woman was respectfully interred with twelve pebbles beside her, her only grave goods. In a land where pebbles are extremely rare these were collected from two hundred miles away. It is tempting to think, along with the professor who uncovered the grave, that these pebbles had a specific purpose: divination. Many similar discoveries have been made[,] but most archaeologists tend to overlook ‘mere pebbles’ so their significance has not been realised.

Early Mesopotamian sources mention an ‘elmeshu stone’ (often translated as Diamond, which quite possibly could be clear Quartz) that functioned as an oracle, which makes the following few lines in an ancient Assyrian private letter rather intriguing:

To my father say, thus saith Elmeshu: Shamash and Marduk fill with well-being the days of my father perpetually. My father, be thou well, flourish; the God that preserves my father direct my father’s source of grace.

‘Elmeshu’ is usually interpreted by archaeologists as a ‘woman,’ but as Shamash (the Sun) and Marduk (Jupiter) are gods of good fortune, perhaps they, through the stone, have been consulted as to the future of the letter writer’s father?

adamant elmeshu stone

An Adamant ‘elmeshu stone’ c. Judy Hall

Divine beings

In the ancient world, crystals were regarded not just as a receptacle for the gods[,] but as the gods themselves. In the ancient Egyptian Songs of Isis and Nephthys, the two goddesses address their brother Osiris: ‘your hair is of lapis lazuli… your vertebrae are made of turquoise.’ The ancient Egyptians, whilst poetic in utterance, were also literal.  In their view, the god in the heavens is made of lapis lazuli, and the stone carries the qualities of the god on earth. 


The Crystal Wisdom Healing Oracle: Turquoise and Lapis Lazuli images c. Michael Illas/Watkins Publishing.

It is no wonder, therefore, that crystals such as Lapis Lazuli and Turquoise have traditionally been used to ascertain the will of the gods. That is, they were used for divination. Crystals have always been a part of magic and transformation. Oral tradition tells us that crystal talismans were used not only ascertain[,] but also to influence the future. From Babylonian times many crystals were astrological in nature, intrinsically linked to the planets and zodiac. They were part of a complex system of forecasting and petitioning favour from the gods which passed down through the ages. Crystal divination is found throughout the Old Testament and in many other sources.


Ancient divinatory meanings:

Agate: worldly success
Amber: Good health
Carnelian: a new friend
Diamond: enduring love
Hematite: success in lawsuits
Lapis Lazuli: divine favour
Sapphire: the past will catch up with you
Tiger’s Eye: all is not as it seems
Turquoise: travel safely

In the wonderful crystal Odyssey that is the Lithica, a fourth century Orphic poem describing in great detail the properties of crystals and the initiation steps needed to become a crystal worker. A magical black stone sphere is described, according to Helenus, a Trojan soothsayer, this sphere foretold the downfall of his city. The tale describes in graphic detail how he fasts for twenty-one days, tenderly wraps the sphere in soft garments and makes offerings to it until through the magic of his prayers ‘a living soul warmed the precious substance.’ Sadly the news that the communicator had to offer was not good and the city fell.


Egyptian wisdom

2 - Flint copy

Crystal Wisdom Healing Oracle: Flint c. Michael Illas/Watkins Publishing

In the ancient Egyptian story King Cheops and the Magicians, the king, builder of the Great Pyramid, had long sought for hidden chambers in a temple of the wisdom god Thoth – keeper of the Akashic Record. Cheop’s son suggested he seek out a magician named Djedi. Asked if he knew the location of the chambers, the magician replied, “no, but the answer will be found in a basket of Flint in a room named ‘investigator’ in Heliopolis.” Heliopolis is the sun or the self. This is profound piece of oracular wisdom that could be interpreted as the answer having to be sought in the inner, not the outer, world.


The virtue of stones

As far back as the 6th century BCE the Ratnapariksa of Buddhabhatta tells us that the Emerald gives knowledge of the future. He set out the virtues of stones, many of which have remained unchanged since that time. Diamond then, as now, indicated enduring love. His list was reproduced in the eighth century C.E. Achametis which shows the enduring nature of the tradition. 

The latter includes interpretations of a  king’s dream of crystal crowns. Such a dream usually portended increased power and success, but the colour and character of the crystal were significant. If the gems were red carbuncles or rubies, it portended great joy and good fortune and indicating that the king would be even more feared by his enemies. Blue crystals however were a bad omen, foreshadowing the loss of part of the kingdom. Leek green stones indicated that the king would gain a reputation throughout the world, ‘both by his good faith and by the greatness of his kingdom’. 


Editor’s Note: Look for Part 2 of this article in the next issue of Tarot Reflections.



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