It is interesting that all the crystals classified as 'precious' are also the hardest stones. On the Mohs Scale of hardness diamond has a hardness of 10, ruby and sapphire score 9 and emerald scores 8. Pearl, which has only been classified as a precious stone in recent times, is not a crystal and not that hard but gains entry due to its beauty and desirability.
Since ancient times, the traditional four precious stones have also been associated with the seasons. The cold, icy beauty of diamond represents winter and so it is sometimes called 'ice'. The verdant green of emerald represents spring and the inclusions in this crystal are called 'jardin' from the French 'garden', symbolising the seeds of the earth. The blazing red of ruby symbolises the heat of summer Sun and the watery blue of sapphire represents the rains of autumn.
The Tree of Precious Gems
In Indian mythology, the precious stones were used for meditation in the Kalpa tree. The tree was made entirely of gems: the roots were sapphire; the bottom section of the trunk was diamond and the rest was topaz; the shoots were emerald, the fresh young leaves were coral, the older foliage was green zircon and the fruits were rubies.
Making your Tree
The Kalpa tree makes a very good image to meditate on for serenity and repose, but don't worry if you can't obtain all the crystals. You can create your own Kalpa tree by employing some sympathetic magic. Using an image of a real tree as a guide for placement, substitute the gems for appropriately-coloured glass beads along the roots, trunk and branches. Take time and care over this so that you'll enjoy meditating on its beauty.
Using Precious Stones
To harness the magical energies stored in your precious stones you will need to cast your energy during the appropriate season or birth month.
The icy coldness of diamond can be miraculously transformed by using its amplifying qualities to enhance relationships in the cold winter months. At the Winter Solstice the Sun starts to wax again, renewing the world with its energy.
Working with Diamond Energy
On the Winter Solstice wear a diamond and think of your love, while saying, 'May any ice within my heart, be melted so we do not part'. Feel the energy of the diamond becoming warm and suffusing your heart with love, patience and tolerance.
All the precious stones, including pearl, are birthstones, and, therefore, they are particularly appropriate for people born under their signs. The precious stones work very well with different planetary energies and this is reflected in their attributions to the different signs. Take the birthstone of Cancer, for example, Pearl is ruled by the Moon and is very watery, so it helps Cancerians keep their emotions in check rather than 'drowning' in them. It gives form to their ideas to combat indecision.
The fertile and verdant green shades of emerald make it an excellent stone to help encourage your plants to grow. The crystal is also sacred to Venus, who was a goddess of gardens as well as love, and her powers may be called upon to perform the following energy work.
Working with Emerald Energy
Fill a bucket with water and place your emerald inside it. Visualise the green energy of the emerald infusing the water with the promise of new growth, as you say, 'Venus help my garden grow, and bless the plants that I do sow'. Then water your garden with this blessed liquid. It is best to cast this emerald energy during the spring.
Ruby is a protective stone, burning with an inner fire that reflects the Sun's heat, and it makes an excellent amulet when you are travelling on your summer holidays.
Working with Ruby Energy
At midday (preferably on a Sunday, ruled by the Sun), go outdoors and place your ruby, or a ruby-coloured gem, on an ivy leaf. Anoint it with frankincense oil and visualise it being filled with the fiery, golden energy of the Sun, while saying, 'as I travel on my way, keep me safe through night and day'.
Autumn is the traditional time for scrying and the blue shades of sapphire have been used to help in divination and to promote clear vision for millennia.
Working with Sapphire Energy
On an autumn night, fill a plain bowl with water and place your sapphire in the bottom. Say, 'sapphire open my eyes to see, a vision of how my future will be', then add a few drops of wax from the top of a blue candle into the water. See what the shapes and abstract imagery inspire in your mind's eye.