Gems and metals are significant parts of many people’s magickal toolbox, and for good reason.  They are ancient, have been used for that exact purpose for thousands and thousands of years, and if nothing else, are simply very beautiful.  Because of this, many books have been written on the subject, and most of them are encyclopedia style.  In actuality, I think that one of my first books was Cunningham’s take on the subject.  After looking at many of these books and feeling disgusted by the lack of creativity and/or new material, I decided that more than likely most of these authors have done almost no actual work with 90% of the stones in their books.  They have simply plagiarized the ideas from elsewhere and repackaged them into a new prettier package, and that’s pretty much worthless to me.

So, in response to this massive plagiarism realization, I decided to start working on my own encyclopedia from experience rather than from other sources.  I’m starting with stones and metals that I’m familiar with and then am going to expand on that.  My process will include such experiences as doing true meditations (not visualizations, and this is a topic for another post), visualizations, researching the stone’s lore mostly through mythology, and examining the physical properties of the stone.  After doing all of this, I will report back and hope to get some thoughts and criticisms.

My first attempt at that is with my most familiar stone, Amethyst.  This stone most commonly is considered to be a soothing stone that is connected with psychism, dreams, good night’s sleep, enhancing magickal pursuits, and fertility.  These seem like an extremely broad description, and that’s basically what it is.  Most people regularly use color alone to describe the effects of most stones and this is where these descriptors come from.  Purple is associated with the Brow or Third Eye chakra in the Indian traditions (and more modernly, with New Age stuff in general), and the Brow chakra is associated with the above-mentioned attributes.

My experience has shown that many of these are true, but in differing degrees.  I have an extremely strong connection with my Amethyst and if I hold it I almost immediately get sleepy.  I have used this trait on many occasions during finals or if I have trouble sleeping.  On the other hand, I rarely have any dreams after doing this.  I also sleep for extremely long periods of time and have a hard day functioning the next day because I’m still tired.  In truth, I feel like this is an extreme effect of the calming influence of the stone and as with most extremes, is not nearly as useful as a more moderate effect would be.

On the other hand, I sense energy much more easily while holding the stone and whenever any important or difficult to accomplish magickal efforts are attempted, I immediately go to my Amethyst for the extra power boost.

Now as far as meditations go, I always feel slightly cloudy whenever I meditate with this stone.  I also can definitely feel a “heart beat” that is different from mine.  I believe the cloudy feeling has to do with the fact that the stone is a very cloudy stone as well as the fact that it is a calming stone, and that the heart beat is the energetic signature of the stone.

The physical attributes of the stone would probably be that the stone is hard, purple, transparent with a large amount of cloudiness, that the stone has 6-sided cleavage, and that the stone comes to a point.

Amethyst is a type of quartz with a trace mineral within the crystal lattice which produces the purple coloring, and quartz has a hardness of around 6 out of 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.  This means that it is at the cusp of being considered a hard mineral.  Glass (which is made of quartz grains that are melted and cooled extremely quickly) has a hardness of 6, Talc has a hardness of 1, Diamond has a hardness of 10, and Sapphires and Rubies have a hardness of 9 for reference sake.  In my experience, hardness is a good way to estimate how dependable a gemstone will be and how strong the influence will be.  I’ve had my Amethyst for 7 years and my sense of it is much stronger than my sense of a random Ruby that I come across, but my sense for a random Ruby is much stronger than my sense of a random piece of Quartz.

I’ve already covered the color aspect.

I believe that the fact that the stone is transparent naturally lends itself to being a more astral stone.  Because mine is cloudy, this could be why I don’t remember any dreams.  I meditate much more quickly with it than without but I rarely remember much of the meditation.  Metals are not commonly known for being good conductors of astral work, and many sources recommend removing all metal (which includes almost all jewelry) before trying to do any astral work.

Cleavage is a description of the natural faults within a stone’s crystal lattice structure as well as how the stone naturally grows.  Pyrite and halite (table salt) are stones with natural cubic cleavage which is easy to see because the stones grow in cubes (which is really strange to see for the first time), and Mica has perfect cleavage in sheets (the mineral can be split into sheets like paper).  Everything that I’ve seen has shown that this hexagonal cleavage of the stone explains how it holds energy so well and how it is easily accessed.  Six is a very balanced number and is the number most associated with following the life path that will lead you to happiness.  This may or may not be success or love, it is simply the path that makes you happy every day of your life.  I personally have found this to be one of the most prominent aspects I see change when I work with my Amethyst regularly.  Many parts of literature will say that it helps depression and to help your happiness, and this is more than likely a result of simply being lead in the right direction to your own personal happiness.

The fact that the stone comes to a point is a very good reason behind the increased ability to focus energy while using it.  The simple idea that energy is focused through a point or edge (whether that be strength behind a knife or light being focused through a magnifying glass), the energy becomes far more useful in a practical sense.  This is absolutely true of focused energy through crystals.