LAZURITE (LAPIS LAZULI)
SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION: Lazurite is a silicate of sodium calcium and aluminum, with some sulfur. It is a member of the sodalite group. It’s chemistry is (Na, Ca)8(Al,Si)12O24(S,SO)4. The color ranges in shades of blue from violet blue and azure blue thru greenish-blue. Lazurite is distinguished from sodalite by its deeper color and fine grain. It is also softer and lighter in weight than lazulite. It is dull to greasy and the streak is pale blue. The hardness ranges between 5 and 5-1/2.
ENVIRONMENT: Crystals are rare. It is usually granular, compact, massive. It forms in association with pyrite, calcite, and diopside in hornfels of contact metamorphic rocks. The opaque, vivid blue, light blue, greenish-blue, or violet-blue stone, consisting largely of lazurite but with appreciable amounts of calcite, diopside, and pyrite, is a rock called [lapis lazuli.] The stone is usually veined or spotted. Its value depends largely upon excellence and uniformity of color and absence of pyrite, although some purchasers prefer lapis with pyrite.
OCCURRENCE: Lazurite is a rare mineral in North America, but it does occur on Italian Mt. in the Sawatch Mts. of Colorado; on Ontario Peak in the San Gabriel Mts., Los Angeles Co., and in Cascade Canyon in the San Bernardino Mts., San Bernardino Co., California. The finest lapis lazuli has come from Badakshan in Afghanistan, and less valuable material has come from Russia and Chile.
NAME: The name is from the Arabic [lazaward], “heaven,” which was also applied to sky-blue lapis lazuli.
LEGEND and LORE: Lapis Lazuli was a favorite stone of the ancient Egyptians. In the past Lazurite has been burned and ground to form the pigment “ultramarine.” It was consider an aid to childbirth, and has long been associated with altered states of consciousness and trance work. Lapis is sometimes designated as a birthstone for December, although turquoise is most common.
MAGICAL PROPERTIES: To quote Cunningham: “This stone is used in rituals designed to attract spiritual love. Take an untumbled piece of lapis with a sharp edge. Empower the stone and a pink candle with your need for love. Then, using the lapis lazuli, carve a heart onto the candle. Place the stone near the candleholder and burn the candle while visualizing a love coming into your life.” Actually, the most important magical aspect of lapis is it’s ability to strengthen psychic awareness. Cunningham says “Despite its somewhat high price, lapis lazuli is one stone every stone magician should own and utilize.”(2)
HEALING: This stone is used at the Ajina, the Brow Chakra. It’s related gland is the pituitary. The pituitary gland is also referred to as the “master gland” because it regulates all of the others. This location is also the center for the eyes, ears, nose and brain.
1. Scientific, Environment, Occurrence and Name are from (or paraphrased from) “The Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals”.
2. Legends and Lore, Magical Properties are from “Cunningham’s En- cyclopedia of Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic”, by Scott Cunningham.
3. Some of the healing information may come from “Color and Crystals, A Journey Through the Chakras” by Joy Gardner.