As one of the most ancient healing stones known to man, Lapis Lazuli has fascinated many peoples and cultures for thousands of years as it dates back to the 7th millennium BC. This stone of wonder and mystery is beneficial to the physical, mental, and spiritual bodies in many more ways than a few. In previous articles, we’ve discussed the healing properties of lapis lazuli and how it permeates the veil of what we know about healing crystals today. As we dug through the history of this aluminum silicate mineral with its metamorphic inclusions, we found some pretty interesting stuff… and then we found some more. Here are five more things you didn’t know about lapis lazuli.
Planet: Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune
Zodiac: Sagittarius, Aquarius, Pisces
Chakras: throat, third eye
Vibration Number: 3
Properties: dreams, intuition, balance, expansion, clarity, communication, good luck, inspiration.
1. Lapis Lazuli in Buddhism
Not surprisingly, Buddhism and lapis sit hand in hand while they share tales of the great beyond. In Buddhism, both light and dark aspects of the color blue hold special significance, one represented by the famous lapis lazuli stone which is seen as a symbol of the sea and the sky. The infinite reaches of the sky suggests the limitless heights in spiritual ascension. Although the stone is opaque like the earth it lifts the spirit high, lending all wisdom of both the earth and the sky combined. Illustrating the spectacular influence of the Buddhist aesthetic, the Medicine Buddha (or “Blue Buddha”) is said to be made entirely of lapis lazuli.
2. Lapis Lazuli in China
In Chinese culture, the use of lapis lazuli was limited inside the mortal world. As it was rare and an imported luxury to own, this privilege was reserved for the “son of heaven” – the emperor – as well as the royal court. The emperor would wear this stone as a plaque on the belt used in worship ceremonies. Its uses are also mentioned in writings of the sixth and eighth centuries BC. Because of its softness, lapis lazuli was favored by carvers. To this day, there are fewer than 100 pieces of lapis lazuli in the Forbidden City (a treasure trove of art within the Mainland of China).
3. Lapis Lazuli and Healing in Ancient Culture
In ancient history, many writings tell of more practical and medicinal uses for lapis lazuli. In the book of Exodus, it is said that lapis lazuli could prevent miscarriages as well as cure epilepsy and dementia. In the Chinese text Yongchang Governing Records, one could ease obstructed or difficult labor by drinking out of cups made of lapis lazuli. Most likely because of its color, this blue stone is associated with a “coolness”, making it ideal for treating inflammation, internal bleeding, or issues with the nervous system. The Lapis Healing Master remains one of the most honored figures in Buddhist Pantheon – in one of the main sutras concerning Medicine Buddha, Shakyamuni says to his closest disciple Ananda, “I beseech you, Blessed Medicine Guru, Whose sky-colored, holy body of Lapis Lazuli signifies omniscient wisdom and compassion as vast as limitless space. Please grant me your blessings.”
4. Lapis Lazuli in Ancient Egypt
Some would say Egypt is the homeland of lapis lazuli, as this is where its many uses were first implemented, for anything from cosmetic to spiritual purposes. The Egyptians believed it would lead the soul into immortality and open the heart to love. As a royal stone, it was said to contain the soul of the gods. It is also the stone of Innana, the ancient Sumerian goddess of beauty, sex, and war.
5. Lapis Lazuli of the Purest Quality
Lapis Lazuli can be found in many parts of the world, including Russia, Chile, Burma, Canada, and the United states, but the highest quality is very difficult to come by. The purest lapis lazuli can be found in the Sar-e-Sand deposit in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan’s Kocha River Valley. Interesting note: unlike other minerals, lapis is found in caves and not traditional mines. Because it is such a prized stone, the market is saturated with imitation lapis lazuli. Check out our article on How to Identify Healing Stones: Lapis Lazuli.