The Ancient Greeks thought blue topaz a stone that brought strength and it was believed during the middle ages that this bright blue gem could undo magic spells and sorcery. Most now associated blue topaz with calm, inner peace, and emotional stability.
Inspired by the shrill love song of the cicada, ancient poets wrote verses dedicated to the insect’s life-cycle and mysterious emergence from the ground. Revered for centuries, the cicada was at one time thought to survive only on dew and air. Socrates believed that cicadas were humans that existed before the birth of the muses and their invention of song. Hearing the beautiful music for the first time, these men and women became so charmed and entranced that they sang in an ecstasy, forgetting to eat or drink, until they died. Taking pity on the unfortunate songsters, the muses turned them into insects, granting them the pleasure of singing continuously, without the need for sustenance. Since the times of these ancient odes and fables, many cultures have linked cicadas and their fevered mating songs with love, sexuality, and eroticism, and analogies have been drawn between their cast off shells and the end of the human life span, during which some believe that a hollow form is left behind as the spirit enters the afterlife.
During the Victorian period red coral was given to children to protect them from becoming a changeling, a fairy child swapped and left in the place of a human child. For this reason you’ll often see antique Victorian rattles with red coral incorporated. Still thought to have protective powers, coral is said to guard against demonic powers, curses, the destructive forces of the Evil Eye and to ward off visitations by succubus or incubus demons. To be effective, the coral should be worn directly against the body so that it can capture and destroy any sorcery before it reaches the wearer of the amulet.
Fish are ancient symbols of good luck, wealth, and abundance. In China, fish, specifically the koi, are a symbol of longevity since that fish grows very old, and a symbol of unity and fidelity, because they often swim in pairs. Fish charms were given as wedding gifts to represent a perfect union and as a good omen for fertility because of the fish's ability to reproduce rapidly and in large volumes.
A popular amulet of the middle ages, Garnets can be placed beneath the pillow to guard against evil spirits in the night. These stones were used for general protection against malevolent spiritual forces, to guide the wearer through darkness, and even to stop bleeding and protect from poison.
Howlite has often been used as a bedside companion for children afraid of the dark. Though this could be explained as just another form of safety blanket, there are many who say that Howlite provides protection against unwanted ghosts and phantoms that roam the house in the night.
Wear on the body, place on a bedside table, or ornament the house with jade to harness this deep green stone’s energy. For centuries jade has been used as a talisman of good luck, to dispel negative energy, and to bring about increased self awareness. Also thought to bring calm to chaos, jade can be placed on a desk or in places associated with higher stress because some say stroking the stone can help to soothe frayed nerves and bring about more peaceful respiration and cardiac rhythms.
Lapis Lazuli has a long and rich history as an amulet. The Egyptian Book of the Dead, a loose collection of texts describing magical spells that the Egyptians thought would guarantee their dead safe passage into the afterlife, is the earliest recorded history of semi-precious stones being used for religious purposes and often speaks of lapis lazuli amulets being placed on various parts of the deceased’s body. Before death, lapis was used by the Egyptians to cure demonic possession. Believing that the soul was housed in the brain, they pulverized lapis lazuli, mixed it with gold, and placed the poultice on the top of the head to draw out the demons as it dried. In cases of extreme possession, a hole was drilled into the head and the mixture was poured inside.
MOTHER OF PEARL
Mother of pearl is not only beautiful and calming to the senses, but is said to protect one from negative influences and bad, wearying energy. A single pearl can grant their wearer extraordinary foresight, protecting them from imminent dangers, and is also an amulet that will guard against the dangers of the Evil Eye.
Onyx is a great stone to wear when investigating paranormal activity because it protects from harmful spirits and can prevent a spirit from draining your psychic energy. It is said to shield one against psychic attack by absorbing and transmuting negative energy, making it a particularly potent protection against black magic.
Opals were treasured and worn by ancient monarchs not only for their beauty but for their purported protective powers. Set into crowns and worn as necklaces, opals were said to ward off evil and nightmares, to protect the eyesight, and to aid in the recollection of past lives.
The pearl can grant their wearer extraordinary foresight, protecting them from imminent dangers, and is also an amulet that will guard against the dangers of the Evil Eye.
Around the world, the pistachio nut is seen as a symbol of happiness and good fortune because when a pistachio is laid on its side it looks like it’s smiling. Some even think that hearing the crack of the shell split open is good luck. A pistachio nut is often gifted at the new year as a talisman of luck, prosperity, and happiness in the new year.
Quartz crystal can amplify the properties of other stones when they are used together but also has a long list of protective powers when used alone. Like other stones, it can be used to counter black magic, demonic possession and the Evil Eye, but interestingly also acts as a strong channel for bonding with the spirit realm and communing with higher spirits.
Rabbits have been considered a symbol of luck and good fortune for centuries. The rabbits foot is thought to be particularly lucky, probably through an association with a macabre old European custom called The Hand of Glory, wherein the pickled left hand of a hanged criminal was prepared with a candle and "would render motionless all persons to whom it was presented."
The reindeer’s association with Santa’s sleigh began with Clement C. Moore's famous poem, Twas the Night before Christmas, written in late 1824. Rudolph became a fixture in American culture and a member of Santa’s herd in 1939 when ad copywriter Robert L. May wrote a children’s poem for US retailer Montgomery Ward entitled Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Later in 1947 May’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, adapted the poem and wrote accompanying music. The song reached the top of the charts at Christmas 1949, when it was performed by US cowboy singer Gene Autry. But the reindeer's story begins far earlier than those fanciful American poems and songs. There are many prehistoric references to the reindeer or caribou, as it is sometimes known, in cave art throughout Europe and Asia. Many of these paintings show the reindeer soaring through the air and anthropologists theorize that the animal was seen as something of a spirit guide or guide of the soul to the heavens.
As time went on the reindeer became more generally associated with travel and more specifically, life changing journeys. As the furthest travelers in the deer clan, reindeer can migrate as far as 3000 miles in one season. They battle terrific adversity throughout their journeys – brutal climates, the constant attack of fleas and pests, and near starvation. For this reason they've become associated with triumph over adversity and the perseverance of the spirit.
Rose quartz can range in color from pale pink to deep blushing pink and owes its rosy hue to the presence of manganese, iron and titanium within the stone. One of the most popular crystals in healing, rose quartz is often referred to as the “heart stone,” extolled for its power to attract love and intimacy, as well as its capacity to ease heartbreak and heal emotional wounds. It is thought to facilitate connection, encourage compassion and tenderness, and enhance sensuality. It has been used as a token of love for centuries.
A symbol of powerful emotions and ardent passions, rubies are said to increase sexual energy and are associated with love and commitment. Legend has it that rubies also have magical powers of protection but only when worn by their rightful owner. Donned by royalty as a talisman against evil, the rich red stone was said to be a gem of prophecy – it would grow darker when danger was imminent and return to its original color when the peril had passed.
Sapphires have long been purported to protect the wearer from misfortune, fraud, enemies, violence, the Evil Eye, and psychic attacks. According to Buddhist tradition, sapphires also have special powers to induce trances.
Scarab amulets were commonly used to protect the deceased in the afterlife. “Heart Scarabs” with inscriptions from the Book of the Dead were placed on the chest of the mummy and were supposed to prevent the heart from revealing any offenses against the gods during the final judgement. For the living, a scarab amulet provided the wearer with protection and confidence in the certain knowledge of reincarnation. This belief sprang from the Egyptians understanding of the ways of the scarab or dung-beetle – a large insect that after laying its eggs in a ball of dung, rolls the ball before it wherever it goes. When the young beetles hatch they appear, seemingly miraculously, from the dung. For the ancient Egyptians, this behavior came to represent the actions of the sun god Khepri who was thought to push the sun through the sky. The beetle’s life cycle then came to symbolize spontaneous creation, rebirth, and resurrection – like the soul rising from the dead.
Shells are symbols of birth, good fortune for life, and resurrection. For centuries they have played an important role in burial ceremonies around the world. One theory goes that the shell, being from the seashore, is not fully of the land and is also not fully of the sea, an idea that corresponds to what many believe death is – that the deceased person is no longer fully of the world, but is also not fully gone. And much as the beautiful shell persists after the animal inside is gone, many believe some form of spirit may persist after the earthly form has perished. The shell and the soul as eternal reminders that we did indeed exist.
Prized by many cultures throughout the millennia, topaz has been used in a myriad of healing and protective ways including as a treatment for madness, for restful, nightmare free sleep, and to protect the wearer from poisoning by losing its color when in the presence of a fatal venom.
For centuries snakes have been regarded as symbols of protection and guardianship because when threatened, they tend to stand their ground and fight rather than retreat. Many ancient sites have used symbols of snakes at their entryways as symbolic defenders and having a snake talisman is a potent reminder of strength and courage in the face of fear and adversity. Snakes are also ancient symbols of immortality, renewal, and rebirth because of their own rejuvenation through the shedding of the outer layer of skin.