Monday, January 16, 2017

Book of Revelations Gemstones- Beryl

Beryl, facing lapis lazuli in the ring, is really in many ways is opposite. It is a very hard (harder than quartz), totally transparent, hexagonal columnar crystal with often a greenish hue which however disappears when the crystal is heated. Chemically it is a beryllium aluminium silicate. Beryllium is one of the most resistant elements. It plays a major role in nuclear power plants.

Beryl’s hardness and transparency, its upright columnar form (in North America crystals of more than eight meters have been found), its sunlike hexagonal symmetry, give a beautiful image of high intelligence. In the story of the Holy Grail (the ancestor of the Grail family is called Beryllus) we are told that devil cannot stay for even a moment if this stone is present: there is nothing adversary forces fear more than being seen through.
The very diverse qualities of lapis lazuli and beryl are highly in need of each other in human life. Devotion in the will forces should be guided by clear, high intelligence. On the other hand, intelligence badly needs devotion. And what is between the two extremes? It is the right way, that way which is called righteousness in the Bible. In fact, it is the way of inner development as described in Rudolf Steiner’s book “Knowledge of the Higher Worlds”: starting with the path of devotion and reverence and leading to the highest levels of knowledge.

- Dr. Simon van der Heide

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Book of Revelations Gemstones- Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli
takes the second place in the ring of gemstones. In the text of the Apocalypse it is called sapphire, but there are some good reasons to surmise that in the old days lapis lazuli was called sapphire whereas the gemstone to which now the name of sapphire is applied, was still relatively unknown in the Mediterranean area of that time.

The first reason in fact is that Roman and Greek authors of the first centuries A.D. describe sapphire as heavenly blue with gold specks. That is an exact characterization of lapis lazuli and has nothing to do with what we now call sapphire. The second reason is that sapphire in the present sense would be the only gemstone in the ring which is not a silicate or a form of silicic acid. Finally, if we introduce normal sapphire in the circle, it would present an exception to the general order in which there is always a totally transparent gemstone facing an opaque or hardly translucent one.

The most conspicuous property of lapis lazuli indeed is the heavenly blue color with the golden specks of very small pyrite crystals, often compared with the blue sky and golden stars. It is the kind of blue which expresses devotion, that form of reverence which goes deep into the will forces. True and pure devotion should be rooted in firm ground and should be borne by ego force. Both these aspects appear in lapis lazuli. In its very complicated chemical composition normal salt plays a part, and on the other hand we find in the golden pyrite an expression of the ego force of iron which has conquered the sulfur process, a true Michaelic impulse.

-Dr. Simon van der Heide

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Book of Revelations Gemstones- Chrysolite

Chrysolite, opposite to jasper, is the seventh gemstone of the apocalyptic circle. Jewelers call it peridot. It has a high transparency and a beautiful golden green color. According to a jeweler’s book on gems (Mab Wilson) “ there is no blue in the green, even in the darkest version of itself. Place it in the shade and it still remains sun-touched”.

Chemically it is an iron magnesium silicate. Where do we find the combination of iron and magnesium playing a major role in nature? In chlorophyll, the green substance of the leaves in which the sun produces oxygen out of carbon dioxide.
Evidently, this gemstone has a close relation to sun, to light in general.

Magnesium in fact is an element with an enormous light potential. We experience the relation, as indicated by Rudolf Steiner, between chrysolite and the sense of sight.

The qualities of jasper and chrysolite are clearly complementary. Unbiased sensorial obversation is in urgent need of ego-conscious unselfishness, the result in between the two poles being the way to truth.

-Dr. Simon van der Heide

Friday, January 13, 2017

Book of Revelations Gemstones- Jasper

the first of the twelve gemstones, consists mainly of silicic acid. In fact, the whole circle of apocalyptic gemstones is, chemically, composed either of silicic acid or silicates, i.e. combinations of silicic acid. What is the character of silicic acid? It is the main component (60%) of the earth’s rocks, especially of the continents. That means that it provides, unselfishly, the foundation on which we stand, walk and live. On the other hand the purest form of silicic acid, rock-crystal, is of such a high transparency that even ultraviolet rays pass through. In the technical sense, mankind has learnt to use this unselfish transparency of silicic acid to produce glass from quartz sands.

It is significant that unselfishness is the basic feature of the twelve gemstones. In jasper the pure silicic acid is colored by extremely fine grained particles of iron oxide. Iron is the bearer of the ego force in human blood, oxygen is the life substance. It might be concluded that in jasper we have that kind of unselfishness which is permeated with and borne by ego-force, the kind of unselfishness which is found in the life and work of the greatest artists. It is the unwavering condition of creative work. Strikingly, jasper is one of the two gemstones which characterize the highest divine being in chapter four of the apocalypse: “A throne stood there in heaven and one who sat on the throne. His appearance blazed like jasper and carnelian. And a rainbow shining like emerald encircled the throne.”

Jasper is totally opaque. In the circle of the twelve gemstones there are six opaque, or nearly untransparent, and six totally translucent rocks, the opaque always facing a translucent one. The translucent gemstones are, in a sense are more connected with thinking, the opaque with the forces of the will. Each two opposite gemstones are, in a sense, complementary in their qualities. Between the two may arise for our inner eye a congenial quality which is connected with realm of feeling.

- Dr. Simon van der Heide

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Clothed with the Sun, a Crown of Twelve Stars upon her Head

The great vision in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation where the woman appears clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars upon her head, is a prelude of a coming event: the celestial Jerusalem descending from heaven. The New Jerusalem consists of gold (“clothed with the sun”), each of its entrances is made out of one pearl (“the moon under her feet”), its surrounding wall rest on twelve foundation stones adorned with the twelve gemstones (“a crown of twelve stars upon her head”).

The correlation between stars and gemstones is an indication of the high spiritual level we are confronted with when dealing with gemstones. It is the level which may appear before our inner eye when we look at the essential differences between human beings, animals, plants and rocks. The human being has its ego on earth. In animals we may observe a wisdom far greater than ours, but there is a complete lack of personal responsibility: the ego of the animals, their wise group soul, is in the astral world. In the plants we have before us pure life forces, gently touched by astrality in the flowering processes. The astral body of the plants is in the astral world. The plants’ ego is in a still higher world, the lower Devachan. Finally, in the crystal we may have the feeling that a shade of life processes is around it at the moment of crystallization. The etheric part of the crystals is in the astral word, the astral “body” in the lower Devachan, the ego in the higher Devachan.

The feeling that the physical appearance of crystals is connected with spiritual beings of a very high level, may account for the magical attraction which gemstones have had throughout human history. Modern spiritual approach should bear this in mind.

- Dr. Simon van der Heide