Ever wonder where crystals started? Ancient cultures are something that absolutely fascinate me, and learning about the different lore, and uses behind stones is right up my ally! I am excited to start sharing these ancient civilizations and their love of crystals with you.
Today we are diving into Ancient Egypt, crystals were used in Egypt as early as 3000BCE. From using them in medicine, to makeup Egyptians had everyday uses for these stones.
Lapis Lazuli is a stunning deep blue stone with flecks of golden pyrite throughout it. Ancient Egyptians believed Lapis Lazuli could lead a soul into the afterlife. They also believed this stone to be a stone of love, and had the ability to open one's heart to the love of others and towards oneself. Considered a stone of royalty, Lapis Lazuli was thought to be sent from the Egyptians gods themselves. When King Tut's tomb was discovered, they found many items inlaid with Lapis Lazuli, the Golden Death Mask of King Tut himself being one of them. The Death Mask used Lapis Lazuli to outline the King's eyes, to show how make-up would have been worn by the King in life. Crushed up Lapis Lazuli was work as eye makeup on royalty.
The first known reference to the healing powers of crystals comes from an Egyptian medical papyrus dated around 1600 BCE, which gives directions for their use.Beads of Lapis lazuli, Malachite and Red Jasper were worn around a sick person's neck so that the disease could pass through them and dissipate. Lapis Lazuli was recommended for restricted circulation, as well as in elixirs. We know not to use Lapis Lazuli directly in elixirs due to its metal content.
The Egyptians buried their dead with quartz upon the forehead. This was believed to help guide the departed safely into the afterlife, you will notice the afterlife is mentioned quite a bit as it was a very important part of Egyptian culture and belief. Pharaohs toted cylinders filled with quartz to balance the Ba and Ka energies of the body. At Abu Gorab, a monument that was constructed by the Ancient Egyptians, it is thought that quartz crystals lie inside the monuments walls. The monument was built as a temple to honour the Sun God, Ra.
The oldest Emerald mine dates back to 3000 BCE in Ancient Egypt. This gorgeous green stone was considered the stone of new life, symbolizing rebirth and fertility. Egyptians would wear emeralds to promote fertility and to promote a new pregnancy. It was also thought to ward off evil spirits and negativity, it has been found around the necks of mummies to also ease them into the afterlife.
Azurite was so sacred to the Egyptians that only priests were allowed to handle it. Known as the stone of the Heavens, this blue copper mineral was ground down into a fine powder to use as pigment or dye for clothing and other garments. Azurite was also thought to increase spiritual and magical powers, acting as an enhancer of sorts.
In the present day you may come across Carnelian being sold as the Blood of Isis, that was actually what first peaked my interest in ancient civilizations use of stones. Carnelian was utilized in jewelry and artwork mostly, usually in conjunction with two other stones; Turquoise and Lapis Lazuli. This combo of stones can be seen in the jewelry of the mummified Queen Hetepheres. Turquoise and Lapis Lazuli were inlaid to represent the sky and water, while Carnelian was a representation of the Sun. Sun disks were inlayed with Carnelian, Carnelian is even written in correlation to the sun in the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
It is mentioned to be not only the Eye of Ra but also the "violent" or "angered" Red Eye of Horus. Because carnelian was connected to the rising sun, it was also directly correlated to lions, lions being the protectors of the rising sun.
How neat is that! Of course there was more stones than listed used, this is just the few I chose to cover. Thank you so much for reading, where do you want to see next?