It’s been an interesting journey exploring the books and works of Professor Claude Lecouteux. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my interviews with him here on the blog. There’s still one more interview to come with him, on Household Spirits and while we wait for this interview to come to print, I’m wrapping things up with the last of his books I’m reviewing, which is A Lapidary of Sacred Stones: Their Magical and Medicinal Powers Based on the Earliest Sources.
Surprisingly, this has turned out to be my most favorite book of all written by Lecouteux, as it is an extremely comprehensive encyclopedia that covers magical gem lore since the dawn of gem and stone use on the earth plane. Reaching back into the deepest mists of history, Lecouteux shares the mythology and legends, never failing to deliver the goods on how stones and gems were later accessed and used through the Middle Ages. He draws from a deep well of information using Greek, Arabic and European sources including Pliny the Elder.
Beginning at page two of the book, he draws you in to the fascinating magical properties of stone use. Lecouteux reveals the Genesis of Stones and how medieval scholars used precious stones according to their beliefs on how they interacted with the elements in which they were formed. He also explores the theories on a category of stones (bezoars) believed to have come from the bodies of animals and the legends associated with these stones, including the story of Apollonius of Tyana.
The origins of power related to each stone is revealed, including rare stones used by practitioners. The magical gifts and properties attributed to each gem and stone are shared explaining that when the words to command the stones were known, their incantation in tandem with a connection to the stone, could provide people magical powers including: heal the sick, provide protection, grant invisibility and improve memory. Preparations in order to activate the stone varied including using the stone in energy and body work with massage treatments, turning the gem into a powder that was mixed with water or wine and wearing stones as jewelry or affixed to the body.
His very thorough dictionary describes the magical properties of gems most are aware of including diamonds, emeralds and amethyst and with over 800 stones listed in the book, it also includes those that only the most advanced practitioners are aware. Just a small sampling include: 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, whose center glows like a star, as well as “magnets” that attract materials other than iron, such as gold, cotton, or scorpions.
Most fascinating of all, Lecouteux explores the theories of stones as male and female creatures who are able to move on occasion, reproduce and have feelings. They also have presence of mind and only give up their secret knowledge to those who are deserving. He recounts many stories of how stones have been used throughout the ages, to hold power, to crown rulers, to decide the fates of men and at times, to kill.
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.
To see where my journey began with Claude Lecouteux in a dream, begin at the beginning with my first interview with him here.