Historical Uses of Quartz

The holy water of Heavens

Historical Uses of Quartz

C rystal was a sacred substance in the mind of ancient man. The word comes from the Greek krystallos – clear ice – and it was believed to be frozen holy water that God had spilled from Heaven. It was thought that as it drifted earth-ward it became frozen into ice in outer space. This holy ice was then miraculously petrified by the guardian angels so that, furthermore, it would remain cold and would not melt and run away. Thus, the holy water was preserved in solid form for the protection and blessing of mankind. There was a universal, almost world-wide belief that the veils in the crystal (the inclusions) were the souls of guardian angels.

Crystal was believed to dispel sorcery, divert the evil eye, and bestow divine power on the wearer. In ancient lands it was the symbol of the water god: Ea in Babylon, Tet in Egypt. We find that water is associated with all the stories of man’s beginnings. It is the one thing, after air, that we cannot do without. Perhaps it is because of the association with water that crystal has always been regarded as a sacred substance.

Since time immemorial humankind has been fashioning quartz crystal into unique shapes for objects of beauty, service, magic and religious ritual. The hardness, permanence, durability, and beauty of rock crystal (along with its mystical properties) has ensured that this mineral will be reverted throughout the ages.

Urim and Thummim

The use of crystal as a tool of mind expansion has been recorded many times in history. In the King James version of the Bible, there are several references to the Urim and Thummim. Webster defines the Urim and Thummim as “certain objects mentioned in the Old Testament as being mediums for the revelation of the will of God to his people or as being placed in the breastplate by the High Priest on certain occasions.”

These two objects were believed by many Bible scholars to be quartz crystal. One was a smoky dark color, the other a light clear crystal. They represented opposites: day and night, yes and no, up and down. In this form of lot casting or drawing, the two crystals could answer any question of opposites. That is, guilty or innocent, left or right, good or bad, etc. It was an oracular device, a means by which Yahweh could be consulted.

In Exod. 28, Moses on the Mount of Sinai received the instructions for the Tabernacle, and is told that Aaron and his sons are to minister in the priest’s office. Their garments and accouterments are described, “and thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment one Urim and Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart when he goeth in before the Lord; and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually.”

In Lev. 8:9, Moses consecrates Aaron and his sons, saying: “This is the thing which the Lord commanded to be done.” They are washed and robed, and “He put the breastplate upon him; also he put in the breastplate the Urim and Thummim.” In Deut. 33:8, Moses, blessing Israel before his death: “And of Levi he said let thy Urim and Thummim be with the holy one.”

In I Sam. 5 and 6, “And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid and his heart greatly trembled. And when Saul enquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim nor by prophets.” In Ezra 2:63, a cultic problem is postponed until a priest can consult the Urim and Thummim. “And Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with the Urim and Thummim.” Neh 7:65 is identical to this.

in Num. 27, Moses asks God to appoint his successor, and the Lord said to take Joshua. Verse 21 states: “He shall stand before Eleazar the priest who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim and Thummim before the Lord.” There are other references where Yahweh was consulted in the same manner, very likely using the Urim and Thummim, but these will serve to make the point that these stones were important.

McKenzie’s Dictionary of the Bible states that later the priests wore the Urim and Thummim only as decorations, that they were an extremely primitive device for ascertaining the will of the Deity. It is easy to see that this type of judgment could have been polluted by dishonesty.

It is believed that the adepts of ancient times fully understood the mystical feedback that occurs with rock quartz crystal. The knowledge was never really lost, but was a closely guarded secret held only by a special few. It was not by chance that the [Mitchel-Hedges] Crystal Skull was fashioned from crystal.

Crystals around the World

From earliest times is found a connection between crystal and esoteric religious practices. There are examples still standing today of churches built during the Middle Ages where crystal was used to inlay the altars. There is every reason to believe this practice originated with much earlier civilizations. The most sacred part of the church, the altar, was usually inlaid with seven (the mystical number) of stones. This is repeated in church altars in many parts of the world.

The first stone was a large rock quartz crystal. It was often called a diamond, but it was a clear colorless crystal. The clear quartz represented strength. The second stone was blue sapphire for wisdom. The third stone, a green emerald, was often of green quartz crystal. This stood for adaptability. Fourth was the topaz, a yellow quartz crystal, citrine, for knowledge. The jasper was fifth, for beauty. The sixth, a red ruby, for devotion. Seventh was the amethyst, also a crystal, for adoration and prayer.

It is interesting to note that four out of the seven (more than half) were usually quartz crystal, especially if they were of any great size. A true emerald is very small, but green quartz can be found in massive chunks.

During the rule of the Emperor Tiberius, who ruled 14 A.D. to 37 A.D., a man by the name of Appolonius was born in Tyana, Cappadocia, now part of Turkey. Legend has it that he lived to be 100 years old, living until the reign of Nerva, 96 – 98 A.D. Appolonius is reported to have directed the first scientific survey of the world, sending expeditions to the coast of South America.

Historians have not dealt kindly with Appolonius. He became known as a sorcerer and a magician. However, it is a matter of a record that he went to India and studied with the holy men of Kashmir. A vegetarian, he refused to wear clothing made from animal skins, for he did not believe in animal sacrifice. He understood the teachings of Pythagoras.

He was summoned before Caeser Dominicus to stand trial for sorcery and meddling with the spirits. Although he was a great distance away, he materialized in front of the Emperor. He was tried and found guilty, but he dematerialized and reappeared again shortly afterward near distant Mt. Vesuvius. Appolonius understood and used a quartz crystal. Apparently this famous first-century mystic held the secret of the remarkable property of quartz crystal to make opaque objects invisible.

A modern Viennese scientist maintained that the secret lay in the manner in which the stone was cut. He believed that when cut to a certain angle, exposed to sunlight, than placed in the mouth, the intoning of a certain magical incantation would  cause the body to become invisible.

Unfortunately, the magical formula has been lost. Possibly Appolonius held the key to the knowledge of how the huge stones were moved to build the pyramids and Stonehenge.

Esoterically it is said that Stonehenge was designed to be build of crystal. Unfortunately only crystal-bearing rock was used. The standing stones in England and Scotland, the menhires, are crystalline and were cut to certain proportions to effect a certain resonance. This understanding, too, has been lost.

In Celtic literature, Merlin was said to have full command of the power generated in the Crystal Cave and to have used power to put Arthur on the throne of England. The Druids carried a crystal as a symbol of their spiritual power. The Chinese called the quartz crystal the living stone. The Vikings used crystal as an aid in navigation. The Minoans watched their captives from Crete perform with the bulls in the ring through quartz crystal magnifying lens. The crystal would give them a close-up view of the arena, while they sat safely in box seats.

The Egyptians had smoky quartz sunglasses. Though at times referred to as emeralds, these were undoubtedly green quartz, as emeralds have never been found in large sizes. They also used crystal in their sacred ceremony to open the third eye of the dead.

In one of the last steps in mummification, a quartz crystal was placed on the brow of the deceased before the mummy was wrapped in the ceremonial cloths, which were dipped in spices and waxes and asphaltum. The crystal was placed in the position of the third eye, so the person could then look into the wonders and splendors of the heavens as they journeyed in the spirit world.

A rock quartz crystal was always placed in the west wall of a pyramid for protection (where, it was believed, all evil came).

From one of the Vedas of ancient India, writings some 7,000 years old, comes this poem:

There is an endless net of threads throughout the Universe.
The horizontal threads are in space; the vertical threads – in time.
At every crossing of threads there is an individual, and every individual is a crystal bead.
The great light of Absolute Being illuminates and penetrates every crystal bead.
 And also, every crystal bead reflects not only the light from every other crystal in the net,
But also every reflection of every reflection throughout the Universe.

A Latin epic poet, named Claudianus (365 A.D – 408 A.D.), wrote an illuminating and very revealing impression of crystal:

Pass not the shapeless lump of crystal by,
Nor view the icy mass with careless eye.
All royal pomp its value far exceeds, 
And all the pearls the Red Sea’s bosom breeds.
This rough and unformed stone, without a grace,
Mid’st rarest treasures, holds the chiefest place.

Obviously, from the above lines, Claudianus was aware that there existed a deeper spiritual and mental value to crystal than that expressed in the marketplace.

The goddess Asteria (for whom the asterisk is named) was the protectoress of crystal. Mother Earth and Father Sky mated and their offspring were called Titans. Asteria was the daughter of Koios and Phoibe. Titan means “nature power” and Phoibe means “bright and of the moon.” The ancient sages worked only under certain signs of the Moon, using crystal and silver, both of which are symbols of the Moon. The goddess Asteria married Perseus and produced a child, Hekate. Asteria, the benevolent goddess of all the mysteries, taught her daughter all that she knew. The goddess Hekate used the knowledge for her own power and became the Queen of Hell, patron saint of witches.

However, this Hell was not the place of everlasting fire, as the Christian version is. Hekate presided over a place where souls, too out of harmony to advance to higher realsms, could go to be healed. Since no soul is ever lost, or refused another chance to remake its life, the Hell of Hekate provided a resting place. The soul was cleansed, revitalized, reconditioned, and made to forget all the terrible things that had happened to it. Hekate’s Hell was a training ground where souls could be cared for until they were ready to return to the world, either through reincarnation or in spirit form.

Asteria directs and channels crystal energies into higher levels of consciousness and higher astral levels of awareness for those who work for the betterment of their fellow man. Her message for mankind is that the bounty of the universe is man’s rightful heritage. To confuse poverty with spirituality is wrong. Abundance is humankind’s right, but it must be in a flow-through pattern. Hoarding is a wrong equal to poverty. The greatest blessing man can receive is to work with natural flow of energies throughout the world, both receiving and giving, in prodigious amounts. This is true of any wealth, be it food, precious jewels, money, land, or whatever.

Asteria! Starry One!
Bestow wisdom on daughter and son.
Holy water turned to stone
The power of crystal now is known.

All hail, Mother of Hekate!
As given to her, bequeath to me:
Knowledge, love, generosity.
Initiate me in the mysteries!

by A. Bryant

Excerpt taken from the book
“The Message of the Crystal Skull”
authors: Alice Bryant,
Phyllis Galde


All kinds of Crystals for sale at the Crystal Shop of John Armitage

Discover the Awe and the Mystery of the Crystal Skull Becoming Keepers of the Crystals, a journey to share
Discover the Awe and the Mystery of the Crystal Skull
Becoming Keepers of the Crystals, a journey to share