Samhain is the ancient Celtic festival welcoming the dark half of the year, which was always celebrated at the end…
July Gem Wise Class:
Magic of Persia
Stones of Paradise Gardens, the Essence of Beauty
Persians are known for the glamour and beauty with which they surround and adorn themselves. For over three thousand years, the Persian garden has been the ultimate imaginative creation of its people, and these magnificent gardens have greatly influenced Persian art and literature, and garden style and philosophy worldwide. Some of the most famous landmark gardens were inspired by the Persian pairadaeza which translates to enclosed garden and was later taken to mean “Garden of Eden” or “Paradise on Earth”. Paradise Gardens may be Persia’s greatest reflection of beauty. With an outpouring of heart and soul, they brought an oasis of heavenly solace to the desert where they lived – a manifestation of earthly paradise.
Persian gardens are designed with vertical lines and feature a focal waterway. A central structure is built on the highest point of the garden with a large pool before it, to reflect the formation. Underground water canals irrigate the gardens and waterfalls are often an added feature. The intention is always to create a close relationship with nature. Plants are selected to provide shade, nourishment, and beauty. Selected primarily for a purpose, fruit trees are most abundant, followed by shade-providing trees, and finally flowers, such as rose and jasmine, with their heavenly scent.
Paradise Gardens are said to be filled with all things fair and good that the earth can bring forth. Persian gardens were not reserved for the elite or wealthy. Every city had private and sometimes public gardens that were opened to everyone during Persian New Year celebrations. Iran (modern-day Persia) was built on the vision of a garden. In the garden, the earth, water, trees, flowers, and nature’s creatures take over the buildings – the heart of creation and life with its intoxicating fragrances and ripe fruits is protected, honored, and fully enjoyed. In these gardens, the heart is open and mind at ease.
The resting place of fourteenth-century Persian poet Hafiz is in a Paradise Garden in Shiraz, Iran. His body lies in a breathtaking place of beauty, befitting of a man whose words transport us to a timeless wellspring of the heart:
Love makes of each moment an eternity
And tends the garden of the heart’s desire
When love mocks, ruby tears fall heavy as pomegranates
And when love looks, it sees your deepest mystery.
Love seeks out the tears of hidden hearts
And turns not from the Lovers of the Dawn.
Is there a remedy for the pain of love?
Or is it too unbearable for thought?
One taste of the medicine
And you will realize just how sick you have been.
Those who plead in the defense of love
In love’s judgement shall find grace
And to that court, Hafiz
May your heart fly…
- Discussion Question: Is ancient Persia speaking to you?
Each of the stones chosen for this month’s class represents an element of the garden: the sycamore tree symbolizing eternal life, the water of reflection, fruit that holds the creation of life, flowering beauty, and spiritual solace within meditation.
Turquoise is a copper aluminum phosphate mineral. Its blue color comes from copper and the green shades are due to iron. Turquoise beads dating back to 5,000 B.C. were found in the Persian region. In both Hindu and Persian legends, seeing a new moon and turquoise at the same time was an omen of protection, good fortune, and wealth. We associate the new moon, the start of Luna’s cycle, with new intentions and wishes – the fertile ground of planted seeds, on the verge of emergence into the physical plane. And turquoise, for ages, has been known to vibrate with the energy of new beginnings.
Turquoise is the only stone for finding wholeness and truth and aids in their communication and manifestation. It is known for balancing, harmonizing, and bringing peace. Also potent with healing properties, turquoise is known to heal the emotional body and alleviate tension. As a stone of truth and communication, it has the capacity to assist the body in sending and receiving clear signals and exchanges. Wholeness is centered in the heart and emanates from this point. Turquoise has a powerful effect on communication, making it ideal for “talking to” various parts of our beings, and bringing them together, aligned with the wisdom and compassion of the heart. It brings an effortlessness to articulating and bringing forth your deepest wisdom.
In this month’s class set, turquoise was chosen to represent the Sycamore tree, a tree that has appeared in many forms throughout history, including religious texts and secular literature. Persians and ancient Greeks are said to have considered the Sycamore the most beautiful of all trees. It is a symbol of strength, protection, reliability, and clarity, which is a common thread of correspondence through all cultures over time.
- Discussion Question: What truth is turquoise encouraging you to express?
Moonstone was found in jewelry dating back to the Persian empire. It is a stone of wishing, hoping, intuition, and feeling. The High Priestess is the keeper of the feminine mysteries, and moonstone is her stone. This gem of the High Priestess will accompany you on the journey inward, pulling you to immerse yourself in your dreams and mystery. It can initiate you into the lunar landscape – the world of emotion and non-linear language of images and symbols. For centuries, people have used moonstone to connect with the moon and the lunar cycle and phases, which reflect the cycles of nature. Using moonstone can help you tune-in to and regulate the cycles in your life, and remind you how your cycles are part of larger and larger cycles that include the entire universe.
You received a piece of natural white moonstone in your set this month to symbolize reflective water that shows you the beauty within. White moonstone embodies the ultimate radiance of the full moon. The full moon is known as the light of awareness. At the full moon, we celebrate the fruition of our intentions – we see what we’ve accomplished. The culmination of the moon’s waxing phase is a metaphor for the manifestation of our effort; the birth of our “baby”. If the waxing phase was a creative project, we’d unveil the final work of art at the full moon. Use your moonstone as a mirror of reflection to help you see, receive, and appreciate the fullness of your beauty; of who you are; of how you shine.
- Discussion Question: Do you feel more beautiful when holding moonstone?
The carnelian in your set represents the fruit that holds the creation of life. In ancient days, carnelian originated from deposits in Persia, India, and Arabia. Carnelian activates the first, second, and third chakras, stimulating life force, vitality, sexuality, and creativity. If you need to pick up the pace, get things done, or make major leaps in your life, carnelian is the perfect ally. You hear me describe carnelian as the gemstone form of caffeine because it gets things going and spurs you into action. If you could use some inspiration for living, this gem will light you up and turn you on! It enhances courage and confidence, especially in overcoming fear around initiating action or taking the wrong step. Carnelian can help you manifest your heart’s desire and highest goals.
Carnelian boosts both physical stamina and promotes healthy releases of energy. It helps to facilitate a deeper connection between the physical self and the Higher Self. This is partially due to the fact that carnelian’s strong energy centers on the body, fortifying the home of your spirit. This gem reminds you to honor, value, and improve your health, fitness, and strength. Many of us focused on the spiritual path neglect the lower chakras, moving to the Heart Chakra and higher. Carnelian brings you into your body and promotes the healthy integration and use of sexual creative energy, base instincts, and natural impulses. Healthy, balanced lower chakras are the source of sensual pleasure, passion, and the vital power required to create life.
- Discussion Question: What are you excited about? When your carnelian is near, do you feel yourself warming up?
Auralite crystals are about 1.2 billion years old. Auralite 23 is primarily composed of amethyst, but analysis has shown that there are at least 23 different minerals in each specimen. Included within this crystal are titanite, cacoxenite, lepidocrosite, ajoite, hematite, magnetite, pyrite, goethite, pyrolusite, gold, silver, platinum, nickel, copper, iron, limonite, sphalerite, covellite, chalcopyrite, gialite, epidote, bornite, and rutile. Auralite 23 is known as a stone of the Divine Blueprint. It is said to vibrate to a person’s “Pattern of Perfection”. Working with this gem can promote profound healing by rebalancing and regenerating at the cellular level. It is also effective in positive emotional and spiritual transformation and renewal.
A stone of higher awareness, auralite 23 works to powerfully cleanse your spirit and aid in releasing vibrations that do not serve your Highest Good. It also serves to facilitate a powerful connection between you and your spirit guides, ancestors, and guardian spirits. Working with this gem can powerfully deepen your psychic abilities, including telepathy, clairvoyance, channeling, clairaudience, and telekinesis. Auralite 23 opens the channels to Spirit contact while simultaneously keeping you grounded and safe.
If you are open, this crystal is a portal to the “New Consciousness” – a new way of living that is filled with peace, acceptance, and the joy of being present and at one with your Higher Self and the entire universe. For this set, we chose Auralite 23 to represent the flowering beauty of what you can become. But truly, it will simply provide an energetic link to the Divine within that is constantly emanating your inherent beauty. All you need to do is open your heart and choose this sacred union or Divine Marriage.
- Discussion Question: When you hold auralite 23, do you feel a new presence or new frequency running through you?
In your gem set, rainbow hematite represents the spiritual solace one finds within meditation in the gardens. Rainbow hematite is a mixture of hematite and goethite which are both iron compounds. Iron is directly associated with blood and this stone activates crystal ordering and enhances the crystalline coherence of the blood which can restore balance, strength, and energy to the entire body. Much of our bodies are made up of liquid crystal, including our blood and connective tissues. With increased coherence, we have easier access to psychic gifts and subtle energies. We might describe this increased coherence as “being in the flow”. Meditation and similar activities are also known to increase crystalline coherence.
Rainbow hematite is a powerful Third Eye and Crown Chakra activator. Combined with its supreme spiritual protection properties, this stone will facilitate connection and communication with angels, guides, and beings and energies of unlimited realms while deflecting and clearing negative entities and energies. Well known for its grounding capacity, Rainbow hematite is a powerful Root Chakra healer and can ground high vibrational states to facilitate healing. It also grounds you in your deep connection with the earth and equally with the higher realms. It will hold you, infusing you with assurance, peace, and love from Root to Crown, while helping to balance your entire self for overall well-being and empowerment.
- Discussion Question: Have you tried using your rainbow hematite in meditation? Did you receive a message?
To channel Paradise Gardens, the Essence of Beauty and the magic of these stones, this acrylic grid was designed with special symbols of the Persian garden. The center and each corner are engraved with symbols that correspond with the gems in your set. May it open an oasis for your mind, body, and soul – your very own paradise on earth.
Place your turquoise at the center of the grid, on the symbol of the World Tree. For the ancient Persians, the symbol of eternal life was a tree with a stream at its roots. The sacred miracle tree contains the seeds of all within itself. The World Tree is a universal symbol throughout all history and cultures. With its roots, trunk, branches, leaves, flowers, and sap, the World Tree is analogous with humankind and the universe. It is grounded below and reaches above – said to bridge earth and the divine.
Place your auralite 23 on the symbol for flowering beauty at the upper left corner. Exemplifying the beauty of flowers, your grid depicts a Sogdian (ancient Iranian) peony from a seventh-century Sogdian mural excavated from the ancient site of Afrasiab, near Samarkand.
Place your carnelian on the symbol for the fruit of life at the upper right corner. Fruit is a delicious source of nourishment and ripe with the sweetness of creation. We chose pomegranate for this corner of the grid. Pomegranate is known as an aphrodisiac, has incredible health benefits, and originated in a region that includes ancient Persia.
Place your rainbow hematite on the symbol for spiritual solace within meditation at the lower right corner. The image on your grid was inspired by Persian art portraying the peace and Divine connection experienced by people meditating in the gardens.
Place your moonstone on the symbol for reflective water at the lower left corner. Anahita, ancient Persian Water Goddess adorns this corner of the grid. She is associated with lakes, rivers, and waters of birth. She is also known as the Fertility Goddess, Lady of the Beasts, and the Goddess of Sacred Dance. Perceived with wings and accompanied by mighty lions, Anahita dominates the waters and rules the stars and fate. She is the patroness of women, depicted as both mother and warrior, and embodies the feminine creative principle.
- Discussion Question: Describe your personal paradise garden? What type of tree is at its center?