A comprehensive dictionary of sacred and magical gem lore that draws on the rarest source texts of Antiquity and the Middle Ages
• Reveals the healing and magical virtues of familiar gemstones, such as amethyst, emerald, and diamond, as well as the lore surrounding exotic stones such as astrios, a stone celebrated by ancient magicians
• Examines bezoars (stones formed in animals’ bodies) and “magnets” that attract materials other than metal
• Based on ancient Arabic, Greek, Jewish, and European sources, ranging from the observations of Pliny the Elder to extremely rare texts such as the Picatrix and Damigeron’s Virtue of Stones
Our ancestors believed stones were home to sacred beings of power, entities that if properly understood and cultivated could provide people protection from ill fortune, envy, and witchcraft; grant invisibility and other magical powers; improve memory; and heal the sick from a wide variety of diseases. These benefits could be obtained by wearing the stone on a ring, bracelet, or pendant; through massage treatments with the stone; or by reducing the gem into a powder and drinking it mixed with water or wine.
Drawing from a wealth of ancient Arabic, Greek, Jewish, and European sources--from the observations of Pliny the Elder to extremely rare texts such as the Picatrix and Damigeron’s Virtue of Stones--Claude Lecouteux provides a synthesis of all known lore for more than 800 stones. He includes such common examples as the emerald, which when engraved with the figure of a harpy holding a lamprey in its claws will banish panic and nightmares, and beryl, which when appropriately carved can summon water spirits or win its owner high renown, as well as more exotic stones such as astrios, a stone celebrated by ancient magicians and whose center glows like a star. Lecouteux also examines bezoars--stones formed in animals’ bodies--as well as “magnets” that attract materials other than iron, such as gold, flesh, cotton, or scorpions.
This comprehensive dictionary of sacred and magical gem lore, drawn from the rarest sources of Antiquity and the Middle Ages, represents a one-of-a-kind resource for gem enthusiasts and magical practitioners alike.
About the Author
Claude Lecouteux is a former professor of medieval literature and civilization at the Sorbonne. He is the author of numerous books on medieval and pagan afterlife beliefs and magic, including The Book of Grimoires, Dictionary of Ancient Magic Words and Spells, and The Tradition of Household Spirits. He lives in Paris.
"This has to be the most incredible book ever published on sacred and magical stones.The illustrations are magnificent and worth the price of the book alone. A must-have for historians and anyone interested in the sacred and magical properties of stones. This book is really a magical mystery tour!"
— John DeSalvo, Ph.D., author of Power Crystals and The Lost Art of Enochian Magic and host of Mysteri
“A Lapidary of Sacred Stones belongs on the bookshelf of every crystal lover (and every crystal author as well!). It is a fascinating and provocative resource that illuminates the history of the world of stones.”
— Metaguide, January 2013
“A Lapidary of Sacred Stones combines centuries of accumulated wisdom into a single alphabetized reference. A brief introduction, occasional black-and-white illustrations, and a bibliography round out this excellent, easy-to-use resource ideal for practical metaphysics or simple perusal.”
— Wisconsin Book Watch, January 2013
“This is a highly valuable work for magicians interested in stone and gem lore. Lecouteux has taken the time to assemble references from an impressive range of ancient lapidaries and manuscripts. Certainly this book is a must-have for every magician’s personal library. It would also be a boon companion to people wading their way through Agrippa or ancient astrological texts with references to sign-stone attributions. Highly recommended.”
— Elizabeth Hazel, Facing North, March 2013
“This beautiful hardcover treasure will work equally well as an in-store reference or a sophisticated gift item for home libraries...You and your customers will find hours of happy discoveries between these scholarly yet fun pages.”
— Anna Jedrziewski, Retailing Insight, June 2013
“This A-Z encyclopedia of sacred gems is a one of a kind publication and heralded by man in the areas of tem enthusiasts, jewelers, magic practitioners and the Goth community. Prof. Lecouteaux describes over 800 gems and minerals that have been used for medicinal therapies, religious rituals or magical workings.”
— Jennifer Hoskins, New Dawn Magazine, March 2014
“I believe to date, that this is the most extraordinary and comprehensive resource that I have found on the topic of gems and stones. I highly recommend it for every magical practitioner’s and energy worker’s home.”
— Kala, Explore your Spirit, March 2014