The Prehispanic Crystals & Gemstones

 

From time immemorial these minerals have been a symbol of Strength, Beauty and Wisdom, sought after for their beauty and value, used as ornament and symbol of power, status and prestige.

Throughout the centuries, diverse cultures have contributed to the legends and beliefs that surround these minerals. These strange creations of nature have inspired philosophers and mystics to attribute unusual powers and beneficial properties to the human being.

Since ancient times, people of different cultures have also attributed to these minerals spiritual and healing powers, virtues to harmonize, stimulate or soothe our environment by emitting vibrations that can alleviate physical, emotional and mental disorders.

Very few of the jewels that adorned deities, dignitaries and the ruling class of pre-Hispanic Mexico managed to reach our days; the ignorance and greed of the conquerors destroyed most of those ornaments; nevertheless, the Nahuatl language preserved the way in which the raw materials were used, in what we might call the Mexican sumptuary.

The following are a number of beliefs that have been attributed to these types of minerals.

 
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CHALCHIHUITL

The symbolism of jade for the Maya and other peoples of Mesoamerica is little known. However, it has been the subject of countless discussions among academics and scholars of these civilizations, who have shown – and expressed – special interest in the singular meaning that the Maya, the Toltecs, the Olmecs, the Aztecs, among others, gave to this stone.

Jade is formed by large underground pressures and it rises to the surface due to the movement of tectonic plates. The presence of different minerals provides the variety of colors that it is known. However, the most common and appreciated by the Maya was the semi transparent water green known as imperial jade.

For this reason, the Maya had the monopoly of the jade and all their leaders and members of the elite used it. For the Mayas, jade was more valuable than gold. Its extreme hardness allows it to remain unchangeable in time. That is why it was associated with eternity and immortality. And although they took years, even generations, to work the stone, they did so with great detail because the pieces were dedicated to their deities.

Because of its characteristic green color, it was associated with life, fertility and power. In addition, it symbolized the most valuable resources in agriculture: water and corn. For this reason, it was related to agricultural fertility. However, the Maya used jade in various ways: for therapeutic purposes, as it was considered to be able to cure any disease; in making utensils for daily life such as knives, bowls, among others; in ornaments, and in funerals and rituals. Regarding the funeral, nobles and royals were buried with multiple accessories fashioned from jade as bracelets, necklaces, statues and tools, besides covering their faces with masks carved in the stone and placing a piece of the gem in the mouth to ensure their way to heaven and that their hierarchy was recognized even after death. The Mayan civilization linked jade with the origin of the universe or everything that exists, because according to their mythology, the god of corn placed three jade stones during the foundation of the world, so in the royal burials it is also common to find ceramics with three jade stones.

Energy: Projective. Planet: Sol. Element: Fire. Sign: Aries. Metals: Platinum, silver, steel. Attributes: Spirituality, protection, clarity, courage,.

 
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CUACOCOZTIC

The ruby, known as Cuacocoztic by the Aztecs, was worn by warriors in order to demonstrate their courage and valor, and was also used as an expression of eternal love with properties such as strengthening the heart and balances blood pressure, it is also very effective in eliminating stress. It also increases self-esteem by avoiding self-destructive tendencies. Finally he provides the creative potential and willpower of the individual.

Energy: Projective. Element: Fire. Sign: Taurus. Deities: Butla, Krisna. Attributes: Love, vitality, loyalty, wealth, creativity.

 
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MATLALXIHUITL

THere it will be about the war between King Moctezuma and those of Guaxaca, the causes and reasons, and how they were subject to the Mexican crown. A few days had passed from the events on the shores of Orizaba, Cuetlaxtlan, when the news of Mocteçuma came that on the Coacacualco and Tabasco coasts, passing through Tehuantepec, islands, ports, many natives live there, that their treatment and grangery was gold, brought by the currents of rivers and coxied, and small stones called matlalxihuitl, belonging to the miter or crown of the king Moctezuma, and sow it stuck in the bracelets of plumeria (machoncotl), of gold and rodelas and snails, way of tiguere the look and a color of vermilion (Oçeloteccoztli), to paint rodelas and other things, everything qual I went to ask four principal Mexicans and twenty-eight merchants, merchants gathered with them.

Energy: Receptive. Planet: Luna. Element: Water. Sign: Libra. Deity: Apollo. Attributes: Psychism, love, meditation, peace, defensive magic, healing, power, money.

 
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QUETZALXOQUIYAC

The magnificence of the emerald lives in the amount of inclusions or internal details that it contains, these elements attribute a high value to the stone. They were used in religious rituals and, in addition, they were considered a symbol of hierarchy and the strength of the quetzal plumage, represented in the dominant green of the emerald.

Energy: Receptive. Planet: Venus. Element: Earth. Sign: Cancer. Deities: Isis, Venus, Ceres, Visnú. Metals: Copper, silver. Attributes: Love, money, mental powers, psychism, protection, exorcism, sense of sight.

ArtistryPatricia Benfield