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The Magic of Rocks and Stones

Emerald

Written and compiled by - Patricia Jean Martin

 

From what many say was the favorite gemstone of Cleopatra... and from what some think the Holy Grail "chalice" may have been fashioned out of... along with what Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal, had sacred texts inscribed onto... right down to the soothing green eyeglasses worn by Roman emperor Nero as he watched gladiator battles rage on... Emeralds have been, and have remained throughout the ages, a beloved stone by many.  

 

These highly-valuable beauties are the coveted green variety of Beryl - a group of minerals which also includes Aquamarine (blue-green), Heliodor (yellow), Morganite (pink), Goshenite (clear to white), and the red variety called simply Red Beryl, among others.  

 

While Beryl gets it name from the Greek "beryllos" meaning something akin to "precious blue-green sea water color", the name for our green Beryl "Emerald" takes a rather winding path along the etymology trail. (It should be noted though, that in the past, not all of what were called "Emeralds" then were the Emeralds we speak of today; the name "Emerald" was also used for several other green gems of the day.) Originally related to the Hebrew word "izmargad" or the Sanskrit word "marakata" which both translate to "emerald" or "green", and from there to the Greek "smaragdos" which then inspired the Latin "smaragdus" which, in turn, brought us to the Vulgar Latin version of "esmaralda". Lastly, another final connection comes from the Old French "esmeraude" and Middle English "emeraude", meaning simply "green gem". (phew! ..knew if we played Telephone long enough we'd get to something recognizable.) And, oh yes, what a green gem it is!  

 

Fine Emeralds are a bright vivid green whose color stems from the presence of trace Chromium and/or Vanadium (although many are of the opinion that the only true Emeralds are those containing Chromium). Interestingly, Chromium is the same component which gives a Ruby its deep red color - the difference of opposing colors on the color wheel being simply due to the amount of Chromium present and the difference in the amount of refracted light that each crystal emits and how our eyes interpret.  

 

Most Emeralds contain inclusions (other minerals or materials trapped inside a crystal during its formation). In fact, some buyers prefer to purchase Emeralds that contain what they call "jardin" (French for "garden" and refers to the inclusions) to better ensure authenticity of the stone and because fine inclusions do not in any way hinder the gemstone's value. It is not, however, uncommon for Emeralds to be oiled in order to enhance the stone's color and to mask any of its 'garden' flaws. Because this crystal's inclusions and its brittleness make it harder for the lapidary to work with, they often (but not always) shape Emeralds into a rectangular or square cut with beveled edges, known today as the "emerald cut".

 

    

 

In nature, Emerald crystals are shaped like a hexagonal (six-sided) column. They are found in pegmatites, granites, schists, and in alluvial deposits, depending on locale.  The earliest known Emerald mines were in Egypt dating back to somewhere between 2000-3000 B.C., with the most noted being now called the "Cleopatra Mines", which at this point are fairly stripped of fine specimens. But other noted localities for fine Emeralds today are: Columbia, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Australia, USA, Russia, Norway, and Austria. Though Emeralds can be found in these places and several more throughout the world, they actually are rarer than Diamonds - a factor that has kept the Emerald's value high.  

 

Some famous Emeralds include: The Mogul Emerald~a 200 carat tablet inscribed with Islamic prayers and engraved florals; the cut and polished Hooker Emerald~once owned by Sultan Hamid II of the Ottoman Empire who had it mounted into his belt buckle, but where today it resides mounted in a brooch that heiress Janet Annenberg Hooker donated to the Smithsonian in 1977; the Duke of Devonshire Emerald~a gift to William Cavendish, the 6th Duke of Devonshire, its weight being a hefty 1,383.95 grams; and the Patricia Emerald~one of the largest known uncut Emeralds and which exhibits a highly unusual (why doesn't that surprise me?) 12 sides to the crystal instead of the normal six.

 

    

 

Yes, these prized gemstones have remained highly coveted throughout history. From Alexander the Great's Emerald-encrusted girdle to the King of Ireland Henry II's large crowning day Emerald ring... from the centerpiece of the Russian crown jewels to the vast Emerald collections of both Charlemagne and Queen Elizabeth II... from the Incas and Aztecs' most beloved tribal talismans and jewelry to the hefty-carated engagement rings of both Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor... Emeralds have, and will always continue to fascinate, allure and delight us.

 

General Information:

Chemistry: Be3Al2Si6O18 - Beryllium Aluminum Silicate

Class: Silicates

Subclass: Cyclosilicates

Group: Beryl

Crystal System: Hexagonal prismatic crystals

Crystal Habit: Found mainly in granitic pegmatites, schists, or alluvial deposits.

Color: well..Emerald Green <g>, in various shades. Some may have a bluish or yellowish tint.

Luster: Vitreous (glassy) to Resinous

Transparency: Transparent to translucent.

Cleavage: One direction {0001}, imperfect.

Fracture: Brittle, Conchoidal.

Hardness: 7.5 - 8.0

Specific Gravity: 2.6 - 2.9

Streak: White

Other Characteristics: Non-fluorescent.

Notable Occurrences: Columbia; South Africa; Zimbabwe; India; Pakistan; Australia; and primarily North Carolina in the U.S.

Best Field Indicators: Color, crystal system, hardness.

Uses: Gemstone. Collector specimen.

Myth & Lore

Aside from some of the Emerald lore I've sprinkled in my text above, there is much more - quite a vast array, actually - of myth and lore attached to the Emerald. Too much to mention it all here, but below I have gathered some of the highlights.  

The Emerald is associated with the goddess Venus (Aphrodite) and, thus, is associated with love. The ancient Babylonians believed this crystal contained within it their goddess Ishtar, the goddess of love and war.  

Emeralds are also associated with Mercury (Hermes). In the noted "Emerald Tablet", which is said to be molded out of a single piece of this precious green crystal, the gifted words of Hermes Trismagistus were inscribed - words that describe the alchemical process necessary for spiritual transformation, and whose initial instruction describes our current knowledge of "as above, so below". In Egypt, Emeralds were also believed to be a gift from Thoth, and that the crystals would ensure Spring's return and bestow eternal youth, thus Emeralds were often buried with their dead.  

Emeralds are mentioned in the ancient sacred Hindu texts, the Vedas, where they are said to contain healing powers and for bringing luck. Their name for this illustrious green gem is "Panna". In Hindu astrology, Emerald is the stone associated with the planet Mercury, which of course is considered the manifestation of the god himself whose traits embody all forms of communication, wisdom, love and beauty, among many other things.  

Long has been the association of Emeralds with love, eternity, romance, hope and loyalty, making it the perfect stone for those wishing to find true love. It is also associated with abundance, fertility, harmony, courage, power and luck, while Emerald's green is associated with the season of Spring - a symbol for rebirth and new life - making it the perfect choice as the birthstone for the month of May and for the astrological sign of Taurus.  

To cleanse and charge your Emeralds, place them in a bath of cool water, pat them dry and then let them sit in the light of the Full Moon.  

Metaphysical Properties

Element's: Water

Chakras: Heart

Astrological Sign's: Taurus, Gemini, Virgo

Enhances:

Love

Renewal

Courage

Abundance

Good fortune ("luck")

Fertility

Health

Intelligence

Harmony

Creativity

Inspiration

Psychic ability

Promotes:

Compassion

Loyalty

Restored faith

Improved memory

Prophetic visions

Connection to Spirit

Understanding of eternity

Calm and refreshed feelings

*Gives physical aid in treating: Eye problems; eye strain. Skin disorders. Fever. Depression. Epilepsy. Blood disorders. Cardiovascular and Skeletal Systems. Kidney, liver and intestines. Adrenal glands.

*NOTE: Stone therapy should NOT take the place of medical evaluation and procedures, and should be used merely to enhance one's health and well-being.

Personal experience:

Well what Libran can resist a Love and Abundance Stone, eh?  

I very much like, and am very ready to use, the renewal aspect of Emerald. And I'm definitely in the market for what this crystal promotes, for I am in need of some restorative refreshment, along with being ready to accept love once again when it comes my way. Along with passion, I now go in search of compassion, ever keeping aware of my connection to Spirit. And as I suddenly re-tap into the abundance of the Universe, I am jolted by the ancient and ever-present memory of just 'Who I am'. And I now entice and solicit harmony between the intelligence, courageousness and creativity departments within my relationships, and will now accept nothing less than loyalty.  

Just holding this stone makes me feel fortunate, "lucky" if you will; it has that 'luck of the Irish from the Emerald Isle' feeling. And with it, along with my restored faith, I am ready to dance to the tune of true love.  

Thank you, Emerald. You rock!

Sources:

http://webmineral.com/data/Beryl.shtml
http://www.indianastrologyhoroscope.com/Green_Emerald.html
http://gemfields.co.uk
Source for cut Emerald photo:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/52/Beryl.jpg Author: Vzb83
Source for raw Emerald photo:
http://gemology.knoji.com/about-emeralds-and-where-to-find-them-in-north-america\
/

Source for raw Emerald in matrix: my personal collection
The Book of Stones, Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian
Smithsonian Rock and Gem
Emerald, itself.


 
© Patricia J. Martin, September 2012

Best wishes and Blessed Be

 

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Traditions Part 2 Gardnerian Wicca /  Georgian Tradition /  Henge of Keltria /  Hereditary Witchcraft /  Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) /  Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) /  Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition /  Nordic Paganism /  Pagan Federation /  Pectic-Wita /  Seax-Wica /  Shamanism /  Solitary /  Strega /  Sylvan Tradition /  Vodoun or Voodoo /  Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /

 

Other things of interest:

 

Gods and Goddesses (Greek Mythology) /  Esbats & Full Moons Links to Personal Friends & Resources Wicca/Witchcraft Resources What's a spell? Circle Casting and Sacred Space  Pentagram - Pentacle Marks of a Witch The Witches Power The Witches Hat An esoteric guide to visiting London SatanismPow-wowThe Unitarian Universalist Association /  Numerology:  Part 1  Part 2  /  Part 3A history of the Malleus Maleficarum:  includes:  Pope Innocent VIII  /  The papal Bull  /   The Malleus Maleficarum  /  An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum  /  The letter of approbation  /  Johann Nider’s Formicarius  /  Jacob Sprenger  /  Heinrich Kramer  /  Stefano Infessura  /  Montague Summers  /  The Waldenses  /  The Albigenses  /  The Hussites /  The Native American Sun DanceShielding (Occult and Psychic Protection)  The History of ThanksgivingAuras  - Part 1 and Part 2 /

 

Sabbats and Festivals:

 

The Sabbats in History and Mythology /  Samhain (October 31st)  /  Yule (December 21st)  /  Imbolc (February 2nd)  /  Ostara (March 21st)  /  Beltane (April 30th)  /  Litha (June 21st)  /  Lammas/Lughnasadh (August 1st)  /  Mabon (September 21st)

 

Rituals contributed by Crone:

 

Samhain / Yule Imbolc Ostara /  Beltane Litha Lammas Mabon

 

Tools:

 

Tools of a Witch  /  The Besom (Broom) /  Poppets and DollsPendulums / Cauldron Magick Mirror Gazing

 

Animals:

 

Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) /  AntelopeBatsCrow Fox Frog and Toads Goat / HoneybeeKangarooLion OwlPhoenix Rabbits and HaresRaven Robin RedbreastSheep Spider SquirrelSwansWild Boar Wolf /  Serpent /  Pig /  Stag /  Horse /  Mouse /  Cat

 

Trees:

 

In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar.  For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following:  Birch /  Rowan / Ash /  Alder /  Willow Hawthorn /  Oak /  Holly /  Hazel /  Vine /  Ivy /  Reed /  Elder

 

Sacred Sites:

 

Mystical Sacred Sites  -  Stonehenge /  Glastonbury Tor /  Malta - The Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni /  Avebury /  Cerne Abbas - The Chalk Giant /  Ireland - Newgrange /

 

Rocks and Stones:

 

Stones - History, Myths and Lore

 

Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:

 

Apophyllite  / Amber Amethyst Aquamarine Aragonite Aventurine Black Tourmaline Bloodstone Calcite Carnelian Celestite Citrine Chrysanthemum StoneDiamond  /  Emerald / Fluorite Garnet /  Hematite Herkimer Diamond Labradorite Lapis Lazuli Malachite Moonstone Obsidian Opal Pyrite Quartz (Rock Crystal) Rose Quartz Ruby Selenite Seraphinite  /  Silver and GoldSmoky QuartzSodalite Sunstone ThundereggTree AgateZebra Marble

 

Wisdom and Inspiration:

 

Knowledge vs Wisdom by Ardriana Cahill I Talk to the TreesAwakening The Witch in YouA Tale of the Woods I have a Dream by Martin Luther King /

 

Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:

 

Murdered by Witchcraft The Fairy Witch of Clonmel A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) /  Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife /  The Story of Jack-O-Lantern The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) /  The Two Brothers - Light and Dark

 

Old Masters of Academia:

 

Pliny the ElderHesiodPythagoras

 

 

Biographies

 

Witches, Pagans and other associated People

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Remembered at Samhain

(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)

 

Abramelin the Mage /  Agrippa Aidan A KellyAlbertus Magnus - “Albert the Great” Aleister Crowley - “The Great Beast” /  Alex Sanders - “King of the Witches” /  Alison Harlow /  Amber KAnna FranklinAnodea JudithAnton Szandor LaVey /  Arnold CrowtherArthur Edward Waite /  Austin Osman Spare /  Biddy Early /  Bridget Cleary - The Fairy Witch of Clonmel /  Carl " Llewellyn" Weschcke Cecil Hugh WilliamsonCharles Godfrey Leland /   Charles WaltonChristina Oakley Harrington Damh the Bard - "Dave Smith" /  Dion Fortune /  Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki Doreen ValienteDorothy MorrisonDr. John Dee & Edward Kelly /  Dr. Leo Louis Martello /  Edward FitchEleanor Ray Bone - “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” Eliphas Levi /  Ernest Thompson Seton /  Ernest Westlake /  Fiona Horne Friedrich von Spee /  Francis Barrett /  Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca /  Gerald B. Gardner - The father of contemporary Witchcraft /  Gwydion Pendderwen Hans HolzerHelen Duncan /   Herman Slater - Horrible Herman /  Isaac Bonewits Israel RegardieJames "Cunning" Murrell - The Master of Witches /  Janet Farrar and Gavin BoneJessie Wicker Bell - “Lady Sheba” /  Johannes Junius - "The Burgomaster of Bamberg" /  John Belham-Payne John George Hohman - "Pow-wow" /  John Gerard /  John Gordon Hargrave and the Kibbo Kith Kindred /  John Michael Greer /  John ScoreJoseph John Campbell /  Karl von Eckartshausen /  Laurie Cabot  - "the Official Witch of Salem" /  Lewis SpenceMargaret Alice MurrayMargot AdlerMarie Laveau - " the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" /  Marion WeinsteinMatthew Hopkins - “The Witch-Finder General” /   Max Ehrmann and the "Desiderata" /  Monique WilsonMontague Summers /  Nicholas CulpeperNicholas RemyM. R. SellarsMrs. Maud Grieve - "A Modern Herbal" /  Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning GloryOld Dorothy Clutterbuck /  Old George PickingillPaddy SladePamela Colman-SmithParacelsus /  Patricia CrowtherPatricia Monaghan /  Patricia “Trish” TelescoPhilip HeseltonRaymond Buckland /  Reginald Scot /  Robert CochraneRobert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and the "The White Goddess" /  Rosaleen Norton - “The Witch of Kings Cross” /  Ross Nichols and the " Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids" (OBOD) /  Rudolf SteinerSabrina Underwood - "The Ink Witch" /  Scott CunninghamSelena Fox - founder of "Circle Sanctuary" /  Silver RavenwolfSir Francis Dashwood /  Sir James George Frazer and the " The Golden Bough"S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” /  Starhawk /  Stewart Farrar /  Sybil LeekTed Andrews The Mather Family - (includes:  Richard Mather, Increase Mather and Cotton Mather ) /   Thomas AdyT. Thorn CoyleVera ChapmanVictor & Cora Anderson and the " Feri Tradition" /  Vivianne CrowleyWalter Brown GibsonWilliam Butler YeatsZsuzsanna Budapest /  

 

 

Many of the above biographies are briefs and far from complete.  If you know about any of these individuals and can help with additional information, please contact me privately at my email address below.  Many thanks for reading  :-)

 

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