In ancient Greece and Rome, the natural world was entirely supernatural with many layers (both seen and unseen). Every tree had a dryad, every pool had a nymph, and every place had a genius spirit. And ‘magic’ was simply the use of these mysterious forces to create a desired outcome. Of course, a little help from the gods never hurt.
More so, magic was used by everyone from oracles and Titan gods to ordinary folk. And one didn’t need to mentor Circe or the Oracle at Delphi to live an enchanting life. The ancients approached the world with a healthy dose of wonder, creative imagination, and meaning.
In fact, the American author, Michael Pollan, points out that the word for “cook,” “butcher,” and “priest” was the same – mageiros. And the word shares an etymological root with “magic.” Whether they were cooking a meal, butchering a goat, or praying to the gods, it was all magic. Because every act was done with sacred intention.
So are you ready to create some real-life magic? Bring an enchanting glow to your space with these eight crystals used by the ancient Greeks and Romans:
Shungite is a miracle stone with powerful healing, cleansing and anti-aging properties. Originating in Russia, scientists discovered that shungite contains fullerenes, a type of carbon nanostructure, which breaks down the walls of viruses and bacteria before they can ravage the human body. More so, shungite is antibacterial, antimicrobial and antioxidant. And the ancient Romans were well aware of its purification properties. In fact, Roman aqueducts were lined with the rare black stone. An ancient water filter, perhaps? Make your own shungite elixir by setting your water bottle on a shungite coaster. As an alternative, you may place a piece of shungite directly in your water. Both methods diminish signs of aging.
Power and protection — the two words that came to mind in ancient Rome when thinking of amber. Sourced in the northern Baltic regions, the golden fossilized resin was believed to ward off evil and cure strange diseases. In fact, amber beads speckle ancient Roman burial sites of children to protect souls on their journey to a safe resting place. Superstition or fact? Perhaps amber does indeed bring protection. Today, we know that amber contains succinic acid, a powerful natural antibiotic. Some believe that amber can also cure grief. As the Roman story of goes, amber is the golden tears of Clymene and her daughters after the death of Clymene’s son. An incredible loss for any mother. Till this day, amber brings psychic protection and healing.
Amethyst is a powerful crystal for enhancing your intuitive powers and divine connection to the cosmos. Despite its calming aura, this purple quartz was a regular at wild Roman parties in honor of Dionysus, the god of agriculture and wine. The ancient Romans knew how to have a good time! At these wild festivals, wine flowed freely and abundantly. And can you guess their secret to prevent the ancient version of drunk dialing exes? They would drink from sparkly amethyst goblets. Thus, the Romans would get the benefit of wine’s truth serum, while staying put together enough to not reveal their deepest, darkest secrets. And so, the purple beauty became known as amethyst, which means “not drunk” in Greek.
According to legend, the strapping god of war, Ares, had a fiery relationship with the radiant goddess Aphrodite. Sadly, their love ended in blood after Ares found out about her affair with Adonis. Let’s just say that Ares responded how any god of war would. Bursting with fury and rage at the news, he transformed into a mighty boar, and set off to kill Adonis. In the heat of battle, both Aphrodite and Adonis bled over a quartz, coloring the stone a soft pink hue. The quartz, now called rose quartz, was forever tainted pink, symbolizing eternal love. Use rose quartz to promote unconditional love, forgiveness and compassion.
Named after the Latin word for cherry, carnelian is the gemstone version of a shot of Italian espresso. This sunset colored stone was a talisman of bravery and protection in ancient Greece. Referred to as sard, carnelian was used to craft many of the prized signet rings of ancient Rome. Use carnelian to boost energy, motivation, and stamina, while promoting creativity.
Imagine walking on the mythic Mount Olympus. The home of Olympian gods in Greek mythology was believed to be covered with heavenly opals. Wherever the gods stepped foot, the Greeks believed an iridescent footprint of opal formed. The angelic imprints are known to incite psychic visions, release inhibitions, and bring faithfulness. As a mood ring, opal reflects the mood of the wearer. Perhaps Mark Anthony so dearly wanted to buy a rare opal ring for his lover Cleopatra for its metaphysical properties. In any case, this massive opal ring became the most famous piece of jewelry in Roman lore.
Your gran’s favorite embellishment was a treasure in ancient Rome. At the height of the Roman Empire, one general allegedly financed an entire war by selling a large pearl taken from his mother’s earring. Yes, only the wealthiest and most powerful people in ancient Rome owned pearls. Fabulously luminescent and rare, they became a symbol for power and prosperity. During a date with Mark Antony, Cleopatra allegedly dropped a pearl from her earring in her glass, and drank the wine—pearl included. Why? To prove that she could indeed host the most lavish dinner of all time. Mark Anthoy’s jaw must have dropped, as the value of the pearl was approximately 60 million sesterces, or $6 million today. Today this watery treasure is believed to balance the body’s natural rhythms with the lunar cycles while bringing tranquility, purity, and sincerity.
Truth serum, anyone? In ancient Rome, topaz was believed to illuminate even the most obscure situations. It was also believed to make you darker in the presence of deception, nasty poisons, and even enemies. Naturally, it was a handy gem for warriors in battle, offering not only protection, but also physical strength. Associated with Jupiter (the Roman god of the Sun), topaz was symbolic of solar and fire energies. Add topaz to your toolkit to promote creativity, confidence, honesty, and good fortune.
Which crystal do you feel most drawn towards? Share in the comments!
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- “Opal Healing Properties: Opal Meaning: Benefits Of Opal: Metaphysical Properties Of Opal: Charms Of Light – Healing.” Charms Of Light.
- “Pearl – Metaphysical Healing Properties.” CRYSTALS & HOLISTIC HEALING.
- “Pearl Healing Properties: Pearl Meaning: Benefits Of Pearl: Metaphysical Properties Of Pearl: Charms Of Light – Healing.” Charms Of Light.
- Perrakis, Athena. Crystal Lore, Legends & Myths: the Fascinating History of the World’s Most Powerful Gems and Stones. Fair Winds Press, 2019.
- Soul Shift, Sage Goddess.
- “Topaz Healing Properties: Topaz Meaning: Benefits Of Topaz: Metaphysical Properties Of Topaz: Charms Of Light – Healing.” Charms Of Light.
Photos by Irina, Gabriele Grassl, MadKruben, IGraDesign and rep0rter on iStock, and Coral Antler Creative