Lapis Lazuli: September
Lapis Lazuli has been used in jewellery and art for thousands of years. Many ancient civilisations, including the Egyptians, Sumerians, and Greeks, highly valued it. They used it to create intricate jewellery, religious artifacts, and pigments for paintings. Lapis Lazuli is also associated with several zodiac signs, such as Sagittarius and Capricorn. It’s believed to enhance qualities like wisdom, intuition, and determination. This stone is versatile and treasured by artists and craftsmen throughout history. It’s used not only in jewellery but also in sculpture and as a crushed pigment in paintings.
Lapis Lazuli is a beautiful and highly prized gemstone known for its deep blue color and unique qualities. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, it has several notable qualities and properties:
Deep Blue Color: Lapis Lazuli is renowned for its vibrant, intense blue color. This deep blue hue is often associated with the heavens and symbolizes truth, wisdom, and royalty.
Spiritual Connection: Lapis Lazuli has a strong association with spirituality and inner wisdom. It is believed to stimulate the higher mind and enhance intellectual abilities. It's a stone that encourages self-awareness and self-expression.
Communication: This gemstone is associated with effective communication and self-expression. It's believed to help individuals articulate their thoughts and feelings with clarity and confidence.
Inner Peace: Lapis Lazuli is known for its calming and soothing properties. It can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, promoting a sense of inner peace and tranquility.
Spiritual Growth: Lapis Lazuli is often used in meditation and spiritual practices. It's believed to facilitate spiritual growth, enhance intuition, and connect the wearer to higher realms of consciousness.
Protection: Historically, Lapis Lazuli was believed to provide protection from negative energies and psychic attacks. It was often worn as an amulet or talisman for this purpose.
Creativity: This gemstone is associated with creativity and inspiration. It can help individuals tap into their creative potential and overcome creative blocks.
Physical Healing: Lapis Lazuli is believed to have various physical healing properties. It's said to support the immune system, alleviate physical pain, and improve overall well-being.
Chakra Alignment: Lapis Lazuli is often associated with the throat chakra, which governs communication and self-expression. It's also linked to the third eye chakra, responsible for intuition and insight. Wearing Lapis Lazuli jewelry is thought to align and balance these chakras.
Lapis Lazuli has a rich and fascinating history that spans thousands of years. Here is an overview of its historical significance and uses:
Ancient Mesopotamia and Sumeria (circa 4000-2500 BCE): Lapis Lazuli’s history can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) and Sumeria. It was one of the earliest gemstones to be used for jewellery, amulets, and decorative objects. The Sumerians associated Lapis Lazuli with their goddess Inanna and believed it had powerful mystical properties.
Ancient Egypt (circa 3100-332 BCE): Lapis Lazuli held great importance in ancient Egypt, where it was regarded as a symbol of royalty and divinity. It was used in jewellery, burial masks, and carved into scarabs and other amulets. Cleopatra herself was said to have used ground Lapis Lazuli as an eye shadow.
Ancient Greece and Rome (circa 6th century BCE - 5th century CE): The Greeks and Romans also admired Lapis Lazuli and used it extensively in their art and jewellery. It was associated with gods and goddesses, particularly Aphrodite (Venus), the goddess of love.
Medieval and Renaissance Europe (5th-15th centuries): Lapis Lazuli was imported to Europe from Afghanistan during the Middle Ages, and it became highly prized for use in religious art, particularly illuminated manuscripts. The blue pigment derived from Lapis Lazuli, known as “ultramarine,” was one of the most expensive and sought-after pigments for centuries.
Islamic World (8th-13th centuries): Lapis Lazuli was used in Islamic architecture and decoration, notably in the magnificent tile work and calligraphy of mosques and palaces.
Asia and the Silk Road: Lapis Lazuli was a valuable commodity along the ancient Silk Road trade routes. It was transported from its source in Afghanistan to various parts of Asia, including India, China, and Tibet. In these regions, it continued to be highly prized for religious and decorative purposes.
Modern Use: Today, Lapis Lazuli remains popular in jewellery, art, and spiritual practices. It is still used in fine jewelry and as a semi-precious gemstone. Its spiritual and healing properties continue to be explored by those interested in metaphysical practices.
Afghanistan: The Primary Source: Afghanistan is the primary source of high-quality Lapis Lazuli. The Sar-e-Sang mines in the Badakhshan province have been a major source of Lapis Lazuli for centuries. The stone is still mined there today, often by artisanal miners using traditional methods.
Its enduring popularity throughout history is due to its stunning deep blue color, its association with divinity and royalty, and its use in artistic and spiritual contexts.. Its value has transcended time and continues to be celebrated for its aesthetic and metaphysical qualities.