For more than 7000 years turquoise has been valued for its beauty. People of many cultures have associated this stone with magic, spiritual, and life-giving qualities. The sources of turqouise are in USA, Egypt, China, Peru, Russia, Iran, Tibet and other countries. The color and appearance of the stone can differ depending on its origin. For instance, Tibetan turqouise is usually greenish, and has brown or black veins similar to a spider's web pattern (picture of pendant to the left). Though, Tibetan turqouise was valued for its magical and medicinal qualities, the deep blue turqouise from Iran (picture of ring to the right) was given much higher value. During the nineteenth century the Iranian turqouise was also imported through central Asia and Ladakh into Tibet. Turqouise made its way to Europe through Turkey, and hence the name of the stone - turqouise - in French.
Turqouise has been considered to be a great healing stone for body and soul. Judy Hall indicates that it is connected to throat and third eye chakra, and supports efficient communication and spiritual alignement. In addition to many other benefits, turqouise is a powerful energy conduit, and supports getting rid of a martyred attitude or self-sabotage. Also, it enables better self-expression, and understanding that it is important to make the best of the present moment.
Turqouise is a sacred stone for people of many cultures, e.g. Persians, Native Americans, Tibetans. In Iran, during the early architectural periods, the domes of Mosques were built of turqouise tile. This was because the Persians believed that Turqouise symbolized heaven on earth. Associating turqouise with sky is also common in other cultures. For instance, Native American Indians called turquoise the fallen sky stone, and they thought it was more precious than gold. According to a legend the Indians danced and rejoiced when it began to rain, their tears of joy mixed with the rain, and seeped into the earth. And thus, the fallen sky stone turquoise was born. The American Indians believed that life and everything in the nature surrounding us is sacred. To them, turquoise was a symbol of life. Most of all, it was a stone of creation representing sky, water, blessings, long life, good fortune, peace, good health, and protection. The Indians thought that if one is wearing turquoise jewelry, and a crack appeared in the stone, it meant that the stone protected its wearer and took the blow that otherwise its wearer would have received.
Similarly to Persians and American Indians, the turqouise has been very highly valued by the Tibetans. Ancient manuscripts (seventh to ninth century) discovered in central Asian oasis of Dunhuang prove that turqouise, or yu, was offered during ceremonies to deities and demons in order to avert diseases. Everything beautiful, supernatural and precious, such as lakes, flowers, bees, the hair of goddesses, the 13 turqouise heavens, etc., are all described in Tibetan folklore as turqouise. The stone is also linked to one of the most popular deities of Tibet - the Green Tara, who represents universal compassion and enlightened activity. When Green Tara is worshipped, then ideally a turqouise mala is used for that purpose. Big turqouises were occasionally engraved with magic formulas to enhance their power. The larger stones would make suitable gifts to high lamas or saints, and smaller ones were also used as currency.
"This is not a stone, it is a turqouise," the Tibetans used to say. And this is how turqouise is also described by a famous explorer and Tibetologist Alexandra David-Neel - indeed, there is nothing ordinary about this stone...
"The day came that one of the princes of the liquid depths could no longer resist the master's magic and showed himself, bowing humbly, with cupped hands, holding an object. "Take it," the naga* said.
He offered a large turqouise, as blue as the sky, unbelievably luminous.
"Listen," the naga said. "Have you heard of the jewel that grants all wishes? It has been given to the inhabitants of the divine worlds. ----- Apart from the jewel that provides desired objects," the naga said, "our palaces contain many others, each imbued with a different value. The turqouise that I bring you is a fragment of the Very Excellent Jewel, of infinite value, for it provides penetrating insight which can measure the substance of all things and discover the laws that direct them. With such knowledge your power will have no limits."
"The Power of Nothingness" by Alexandra David-Neel and Lama Yongden.
*naga - a watergod in Tibetan mythology
"The Encoclypedia of Crystals" by Judy Hall
ABOUT THIS BLOG
Welcome! :) My name is Monika. I am interested in crystals, different cultures, and good stories. As a linguist I have always been fascinated with semiotics and symbols, and how people of different cultures interpret them.