Lapis Lazuli (pronounced lap-iss laz-you- lie) is one of the most ancient and revered stones on the planet. Lapis is the latin word for stone and Lazuli comes from the name of the stone in Persia, where there are also mines.
The best quality Lapis in the world comes from Afghanistan as it is the only source in the world that includes Iron Pyrite in the mix. The Pyrite provides a gorgeous flash of gold amongst the vivid Lapis blue.
Lapis has been mined in Afghanistan from as early as 7000 BC. At the end of the Middle Ages, they started to export Lapis to Europe, where it was ground up to create Ultramarine ~ the most expensive & difficult to source blue pigment.
To this day, artists still purchase raw Lapis and grind it into powder to create the specific Renaissance ‘Lapis’ blue paint. There are very clever computers today that can copy the exact colour of an item and turn it into the relevant paint……but it gets stuck on Lapis as it can’t figure out how to work the gold of the Iron Pyrite into the colour and instead, creates green.
There was a chemically identical synthetic variety of oil paint created toward the end of the 19th Century, but it still isn’t quite right. The only way to get that very famous blue paint is to create it the old fashioned way, by grinding the Lapis down and mixing it with oil 🙂
Lapis is also mined elsewhere such as Russia, Chile, Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Peru, USA, Canada, Italy & even Mongolia ~ but none of these countries has Lapis that includes Iron Pyrite. That is why it is often difficult to identify whether something is Lapis or, for example, Sodalite….because not only does Lapis have varying shades of blue depending on the country it comes from, but a lot of it is simply blue and white, with no tell tale identifying Iron Pyrite. What many people do not know is that most Lapis actually contains Sodalite and is a combination of Calcite, Sodalite and Pyrite.
The Egyptians made Lapis extremely famous by important great slabs of it from Afghanistan and having it layered into Sarcophagus, the most famous of those being Tutankhamun. They had great halls lined with the stone, furniture was created from it and very expensive jewellery pieces. Cleopatra’s famous eye make up was coal used to line her eyelids and powdered Lapis to create blue eye shadow. Even though Egypt has a few of its own Lapis sources, it still imported it from Afghanistan as everyone wanted a piece that contained, what to them, looked like Gold.
Lapis Lazuli, to me, is one of the best stones available for dealing with issues of the mind. Whether it be stress, anxiety, over analysing (Oooo, hands up who has that issue……me…me…MEEEEE!!) or incessant thoughts going round and round in our head….Lapis is the stone to use! It also eases migraines and headaches (probably because its easing the stress thats causing them in the first place).
I sell a lot of Lapis to businessmen and it makes me smile every time. A lady customer will usually approach the stand when I’m exhibiting at an event, leaving the hubby/boyfriend stood behind her looking bored…or patient…. I can tell straight away if the man works in an office or has a lot of business stress on his mind, as I can literally ‘see’ a little electric stress cloud over his head. On many occasions, as the lady is looking at the stand, I’ll start talking to the hubby (coz I feel sorry for them!). I’ll usually natter about Moldavite or Lapis and encourage them to hold a piece and have a look. Now most sales people focus in on the person who is most likely to buy, but anyone whom has met me knows am a fairly rubbish sales person. I believe folk are drawn to what they need, so there is no point my trying to sell them something. Share information, natter, educate maybe…but not sell…. so it has often surprised and delighted me when the lady walks off having bought nothing…but the man then asks her to wait as he can’t put the Lapis down and has to buy it!
Another attribute to Lapis, which many people don’t realise, its that it is incredibly good when we’re going through a difficult patch in a relationship. Stress in a relationship between two people usually boils down to a lack of communication or understanding of each other. Lapis can clear our heads really well and also give us the strength to speak our truth in a clear way, from the heart, without ego. Next time you’re having a row with your other half, try reaching for a combination of Lapis and whatever soothes emotions and see what happens.
Lapis as a palm stone or pendant is a wonderful gift for any man. Its a stone with a very masculine, solid, rational energy. Even if they may not normally carry a stone or wear a pendant, there is something about the blue of Lapis that men are really drawn to. Women love it too, but lets face it, most of us lady folk will wear or try most things, whereas its harder to convince a lot of men to do so 😉
It is perfectly safe to sleep with Lapis as it eases the chatter in our head, which is always good for sleep. It can be worn as jewellery or carried on our person and this should be over an extended period of time if possible. Please do not make tinctures or elixirs or put Lapis in water however. Any crystals with a metal component to them are not safe in water as the toxin in the metals leaks into the water (think of Iron and how it rusts!).