Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Article Topics
List of Articles
RSS Data Feeds
Mission Statement
Use of Our Articles
Writers' Guidelines

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

November/December 2016 / Gift Guide Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.

The Llewellyn Journal
Print this Article Print this Article

Lovely Lapis Lazuli

This article was written by Ember Grant
posted under Crystals & Gems

Many people are drawn to the mysterious deep blue of lapis lazuli, or lapis for short. It is one of the oldest “spiritual” stones, first mined six thousand years ago in Afghanistan—the finest stones still come from that area. Its name comes from the Latin word lapis, meaning “stone,” and the Arabic word azul, which means “blue.” In addition, it has been noted the Persian word lazhward means blue and could possibly be another origin of the name. But whatever its origin, lapis is a wonderful stone rich in folklore and metaphysical tradition.

Before you buy a piece of lapis, it’s useful to know something about its content to ensure you obtain a good quality specimen. Lapis is a rock consisting mostly of the mineral lazurite and commonly contains pyrite and calcite, among other minerals. It sometimes has a greenish or violet tint and the presence of pyrite often creates lovely metallic sparkles on the surface. Calcite sometimes produces white streaks in the stone. Well-formed crystals of pure lazurite are rare and valuable. Lazurite is sometimes confused with lazulite but they are different minerals; lazurite is softer and lighter. In addition, azurite is very similar in color to lapis, but is also a different mineral that is associated with malachite. Sodalite is a similar blue stone, but it lacks the occurrence of pyrite. Varieties of Chilean lapis contain more calcite; the Afghanistan variety contains pyrite and is more highly prized.

Lapis has been used in ornamental decoration for thousands of years. The Egyptians crushed it and used it to decorate their eyelids. It was also ground and used for paint. In Egypt lapis was used mainly by royalty and priests, and it is believed that the sapphire referred to in the Bible was actually lapis lazuli. Lapis is often worn as talismans and used in inlaid work and ornaments. The Romans believed it was an aphrodisiac.

Lapis is associated with the astrological signs of Sagittarius and Libra and the planets of Neptune and Venus. Reputed to be a stone for teachers, lapis has many useful magical properties. It has been referred to as a stone of awareness and wisdom and may be used to enhance creativity. Its gift of insight is useful in divination—it is useful to keep a small piece of lapis with Tarot decks—and lapis aids in understanding and psychic work. Other areas of use include the throat and brow chakras, overcoming depression and balancing yin and yang energies. Lapis is a protective stone, both from physical danger and psychic attacks.

Lapis is probably most well-known metaphysically for its use to promote psychic awareness. To aid in achieving meditative states such as trance and other altered states of consciousness, hold a piece of lapis in your hand to accompany visualization or whatever other technique you prefer. Or you can use the stone as a focal point and concentrate on its deep blue color.

Lapis Lazuli is fairly soft, so it should not be soaked in water for a long period of time. After cleansing, dry the stone immediately. Also take care if you wear lapis jewelry and remove it before swimming. Lapis is an expensive stone but good quality small pieces can be found for just a few dollars. Visit rock and gem shops or check with local geology clubs or rock and mineral organizations. With its striking beauty and metaphysical properties, lapis is an essential stone for any collection.

Ember Grant
Ember Grant (Missouri) has been collecting rocks and minerals for thirty years and practicing crystal magic for fifteen. Since 2003, she has contributed to Llewellyn's Magical Almanac, Llewellyn's Herbal Almanac, Llewellyn's Spell-A-Day Almanac, and...  Read more


Crystals for Beginners
Crystals for Beginners
A Guide to Collecting & Using Stones & Crystals
Corrine Kenner
$14.99 US,  $16.95 CAN | Add to Cart
The Seven Secrets of Crystal Talismans
The Seven Secrets of Crystal Talismans
How To Use their Power for Attraction, Protection & Transformation
Henry M. Mason
$17.95 US,  $20.95 CAN | Add to Cart

Please note that the use of Llewellyn Journal articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions

The mighty dead, divination, and portals to other worlds… there are so many places to celebrate Samhain in the northeastern United States… The cooler weather, the colorful leaves, and, as the memes say, "Pumpkin everything!" Like so many witches, autumn is my favorite season, and Samhain, my favorite Sabbat. As a child I loved... read this article
Four Mysterious Monsters of Which You've Never Heard
Four Powerful Ways to Live a Joyful Life Today
A Tarot Built for Magick: Modern Spellcaster's Tarot
Exercise: How to Feel Good
Investigating Haunted Bridges

Most recent posts:
This Samhain, Visit the Cemetery and Make a Gravestone Rubbing to Honor Your Ancestors
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Natalie Zaman, author of Magical Destinations of the Northeast. One of my favorite sections of...

The Biggest Challenge
Psychic Tarot by Nancy Antenucci and Melanie Howard In Psychic Tarot, Antenucci and Howard tell us that integrating the wisdom from a reading...

Author Michael Newton Has Passed
Today we sadly mark the passing of author Dr. Michael Newton, who authored several bestselling books, including Destiny of Souls, Journey of Souls,...

Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2017 Astrological Calendar
84th Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
Price: $14.99 US,  $18.99 CAN
Wheels of Life Wheels of Life
A User's Guide to the Chakra System

By: Anodea Judith
Price: $21.95 US,  $25.50 CAN
Easy Tarot Easy Tarot
Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All!

By: Josephine Ellershaw, Ciro Marchetti
Price: $19.95 US,  $21.95 CAN