Lapis lazuli is a mixture of hauyne, lazurite and sodalite in a matrix of calcite, with pieces of pyrite providing the golden flecks. Its name means 'sky stone', from the Latin 'lapis' meaning 'stone and the Persian 'lazward' meaning 'blue', or 'sky'. It has been used since at least 5000BC, and was very popular with many ancient cultures.
Lapis lazuli has been used to make large decorative objects, jewellery and facings. Slabs of lapis were used to cover the tombs of the Dalai Lamas of Tibet and to create depictions of heaven in Christian churches. During the middle ages, ground lapis was used to make the best quality blur pigment available - aquamarine - mainly used in religious paintings and icons. Even today, lapis is associated with the night sky, the stars and ideas of heaven.
Beloved of the Egyptians
Lapis lazuli was one of the most favourite stones of the Egyptians. It was thought to be sacred to the star goddess Nuit of the heavens and to Maat, the goddess of truth and balance. Judges in ancient Egypt had to wear small lapis lazuli pendants of Maat on gold chains, as a sign of the responsibility of their office. If you wish to call upon one of these goddesses, place a piece of lapis lazuli as an offering on your alter.
Stone of symbols
The Egyptian Sun god Ra was also described as having lapis lazuli hair, which was symbolic of the heavens. This association may have come about due to the golden 'Sun' flecks in the stone. The stone continued to have such positive symbolic associations into Late Period Egypt becoming known as 'kheshed', which meant 'joy' or 'delight'. Protective amulets and talismans were often carved onto this precious stone.
Healing with Lapis Lazuli
Lapis lazuli has the reputation of being a truly magical stone. Its vibration is said to have a strong effect on both the throat and the Third Eye Chakra. It is thought to balance these two Chakras with the rest of the system, liberating energy so you can react less to everyday distractions, and appreciate your own wisdom.
Often thought of as a stone of spiritual rebirth, lapis lazuli is said to create perfect harmony within the body, mind and soul. It is also believed to encourage a deep cleansing process, working on the root cause of any problem at a profound level. Crystal healers use lapis to ease emotional imbalances, helping to overcome doubts and depression and restore harmony.
By activating and resonating with the vibrations of the Throat Chakra, lapis is thought to enable clear communication and encourage us to deal with emotions and events which need to be processed. The Third Eye Chakra is associated with intuition and spirituality, allowing us to view our position in a more holistic and spiritual way. Lapis lazuli can also help people who want to work on their psychic awareness or dream analysis.
Lapis lazuli is also believed to help us to learn to be at peace with ourselves. It maintains and encourages total harmony within a person, at all times and in all situations. It is said to give access to deeper knowledge, so that we can see ourselves in perspective. For these reasons it is widely used by healers, psychic readers and teachers of many ancient cultures, and remains important to this day.
Using your Lapis Lazuli
Lapis lazuli has wide-ranging uses in crystal therapy, being useful in cases of eye strain, difficult pregnancies, trouble expressing yourself and relaxation.
Ease Eye Strain
Lapis lazuli has long been associated with the eyes, since the Ancient Egyptians used it for eye shadow and for making the sacred Eye of Horus symbols.
An ancient Greek cure for eye problems was to place a piece of lapis lazuli in a bowl of warm water, leaving it under the night sky for a few minutes. The water was then used to bathe the afflicted eye.
You may try this if you suffer from sore eyes. As the lapis lazuli sits in the water say, "stone of heaven, beloved of the gods, give me clear vision". Then soak a little of the water in cotton wool and gently wipe across the eyes. If the eye strain persists bathe your eyes in this water twice daily.
To Aid Pregnancy
According to ancient records, lapis lazuli has been used to aid pregnancies throughout history. The ancient Greeks called it the 'stop stone' due to its use as an amulet for preventing miscarriages - a practice that continued through to the Middle Ages.
In the 17th century, ultramarine pigment made from crushed lapis lazuli was added to a potent medicine called Alkermes Syrup and given to women who experienced difficulties during childbirth. The relaxing and harmonising energy of the stone can help the body reduce the physical stresses caused by pregnancy.
If you are pregnant wear or carry a piece of lapis lazuli around or near the waist, to protect the unborn child.
The Voice Stone
Lapis lazuli was sacred to the Sumerian goddess of love and war, Ishtar, who was said to have worn a necklace made of it. It works particularly well on the Throat Chakra and as such it's a good stone to use if you repress your vocal energies.
This may be shown as speaking too quietly or by being reluctant to speak your mind in situations either at home or at work.
If you have trouble speaking from the heart and saying what you feel, anoint a piece of lapis lazuli with cedar oil (sacred to Ishtar) and ask for help in expressing yourself.
A wide range of uses as an aid to relaxation are connected with this stone. Lapis lazuli can be held or worn to help you with meditation, or it can be used to help you practise meditating, if you find your mind is easily distracted.
Whenever you find your attention wandering, think of the lapis lazuli for a few minutes and visualise its golden flecks in your mind's eye. This will help you to bring your focus and attention back to the subject or purpose of your meditation.
Lapis lazuli can also help if you suffer from insomnia. It can be worn as a pendant while you sleep or placed under the pillow. Also anoint your lapis lazuli with a few drops of lavender oil before retiring to bed.