Culture and Cosmos is a peer-reviewed academic journal in the history of astrology and cultural astronomy published by the Sophia Centre Press in partnership with the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, Faculty of Humanitiies and the Performing Arts, at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David

We are currently seeking submissions for future volumes of Culture and Cosmos.

Volume 19

The God in the Stone: Gemstone Talismans in Western Magical Traditions

Liz Greene


This paper will explore the perceived connection between gemstones and celestial potencies in particular magical currents in the cultures of the West, and the ritual use of gemstone talismans, amulets, and jewellery to invoke, persuade, learn from, or merge with celestial potencies. Underpinning this magical use of precious and semiprecious stones is the idea of correspondences or sympathies between the divine and the mortal realms, most emphasised through the significance of colour - itself understood, in certain currents of thought, to reflect the importance of sight as the organ of perception of the soul and the bridge to the intermediary world of the imagination in which the forms of gods, daimones, and angels can be envisioned through the mediation of those material objects with which they bear the strongest visual resemblance.

Citation: Liz Greene, 'The God in the Stone: Gemstone Talismans in Western Magical Traditions', Celestial Magic, special issue of Culture and Cosmos, Vol. 19, nos. 1 and 2, 2015, pp. 47-85.

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