The Magic and Science of Jewels and Stones: Chapter III

The-Magic-and-Science-of-Jewels-by-Isidore-Kozminsky-The Ephod of the High Priest

The Magic and Science of Jewels and Stones by Isidore Kozminsky

“The Magic and Science of Jewels” by Isidore Kozminsky is a captivating exploration of the mystical properties and profound symbolism associated with gemstones. Published in 1922, this book bridges the realms of magic and science, shedding light on how these precious stones have fascinated and influenced humanity for centuries.

Kozminsky’s work delves into the metaphysical aspects of gemstones, exploring their healing powers, astrological connections, and spiritual significance. Each gemstone is presented as a unique repository of energy, offering readers a deeper understanding of their potential impact on the human experience.

The book also explores the esoteric and symbolic meanings of gemstones, unveiling the hidden wisdom embedded in their colors, shapes, and historical contexts. “The Magic and Science of Jewels” serves as a timeless resource for those seeking to harness the mystical qualities of gemstones and integrate them into their spiritual and practical lives, making it a valuable addition to the literature on gemstone lore and metaphysical studies.

Chapter III: The Ephod of the High Priest

In Chapter III, ‘The Ephod of the High Priest’, Kozminsky draws from the Book of Exodus to explore the creation of sacred garments, including the ephod, for the High Priest Aaron. This ephod, intricately designed with divine colors and fine twined linen, held two onyx stones engraved with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. Kozminsky highlights the symbolic significance of these stones, connecting them to astrology and the eternal journey of the soul. The chapter delves into the ancient wisdom of the Ephod and its representation of the soul’s descent and ascent through the gates of the heavens, shedding light on its profound mystical teachings.

The Magic and Science of Jewels by Isidore Kozminsky Chapter 3


And yet, as angels in some brighter dreams
Call to the soul when men doth sleep,
So may some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes
And into glory peep.

Henry Vaughan

In the 28th chapter of Exodus we learn that those that are “wise hearted” and “filled with the spirit of wisdom” were selected to make for Aaron consecrated garments—a breastplate and an ephod, a broidered coat, a mitre and a girdle. On the shoulders of the Ephod (Hebrew, Hepod) which was to be made “of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet”—these being the colours of divinity—“and fine twined linen, with cunning work” were to be placed two stones, each to be engraved after the manner of a signet, with six names of the children of Israel.

Authorities generally agree with the translations in classifying these two stones as Onyx, and there are very important reasons from an occult point of view why they should be so identified even though Josephus accounts them Sardonyx which, he says, represents the sun and the moon. These onyx stones were to be worn “for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel.” 

The ephod was similar to an upper body-garment of the Greeks (Josephus says it resembled the Epomis) and may be described as a kind of waistcoat held by straps which passed over the shoulders and were twined round the waist with the cunningly woven band. The two large onyx stones were set on the shoulder-straps, and on each stone were engraved the names of the children of Israel—“Six of their names on one stone, and the other six names of the rest on the other stone, according to their birth.” 

In astrology, to which science perhaps on its more esoteric side we are impelled, we can quickly recognize the twelve signs of the Zodiac—six Northern and six Southern—in the twelve tribes of the children of Israel, more distinctly emphasized on the breastplate of the High Priest. The engraving on the two onyx stones, one of which would necessarily be somewhat lighter in colour than the other, can never be explained in our prosaic terms for they were attuned to the whisperings of the Heavenly Hosts and typified the eternal wanderings of the Soul.

Onyx Slice via Adobe Stock Photo
Onyx Slice via Adobe Stock Photo

In my later remarks on the Onyx I have noted the ancient philosophy regarding the descent of the Soul through the Gate of Cancer and its ascent through the Gate of Capricorn. Peter symbolically represented at the Gate of Heaven, is a veiled allusion to the stone (Petros) gateway through which the departing spirits of Earth pass on their everlasting pilgrimage in search of the pearl above price—the hidden knowledge of perfect truth—a stone so gloriously brilliant that mortal eyes can never gaze on it.

In earlier Egyptian symbolic lore it is assumed that the Heavens were of stone, the goddess Hathor being the Lady of the Turquoise Stones and other deities being represented by stones cut to forms and in their natural state. In rabbinical allegory the Creator, vibrating through the rays of sunrise, is reverenced as “The Opener of the Gates,” and frequent allusions are made to the gates of tears, of prayer, of praise, and of repentance. 


There is an old Hebrew tradition that one Messiah will come through the Gate of Capricorn and another through the Gate of Cancer. Plato writes of the two gateways—one through which the Soul descends, the other through which the soul ascends, and Porphyry says that on this account the Egyptians did not begin the year like the Romans with Aquarius but with the Moon Sign Cancer.

The Quabalistic Books say that the soul of man passed through the four celestial worlds in its descent, receiving from Aziluth, the Chaiah, spiritual animation: from Briah, Neshamah, understanding: from Jezirah, Ruach, the passions: from Nephesch, material desires. He enters the world by the Gate of Generation (the Moon), the watery sign, the colour of which is indicated as green, and he leaves the world of Matter for the land of the Immortals by the Gate of Material Death (Saturn), the Earth sign Capricorn, the colour of which is black. The Sun’s passage through the tribal signs expressed on the onyx stones of the Ephod symbolizes eternally the descent and ascent of immortal man.

Crystal on rock - adobe stock photo - cco

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The Magic and Science of Jewels and Stones PDF

A scanned copy of the 1922 printing of The Magic and Science of Jewels and Stones can be read here

Bring The Magic and Science of Jewels and Stones Into Your Life

Create A Crystal Grid

A crystal grid is an act of creation and a form of artful meditation. Ancient cultures have long called on the power of crystals and stones to amplify cosmic energy. Throughout history, sacred geometry has been used to create a magical framework in which to shape this energy. A crystal grid is a marriage of these two elements, creating a beautiful method of manifesting dreams, goals, and desires. This ritual art form allows you to focus, amplify your intention, and consciously direct the flow of energy that runs through all things. Crystal grids can be used in healing, meditation, ritual work, and manifesting. Learn how to create your own crystal grid here.

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In this timeless masterpiece, Isodore Kozminsky, a renowned author in the field of Jewish occultism and esotericism, reveals the hidden secrets of gemstones, semi-precious stones, and ordinary stones. Kozminsky skillfully navigates the philosophy of sympathy and antipathy found throughout nature, unveiling the interconnectedness of stone to stone, and person to person. As a member of a family of jewelers and associated with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Kozminsky was perfectly positioned to synthesize scientific data, ancient folklore, and the occult and beneficial use of stones.

Unlike more modern stone guides that limit themselves to the psychic and physical aspects of lithotherapy, this book provides a much more comprehensive and holistic understanding of the subject. Special emphasis is placed on the connection between the various gemstones and semi-precious stones discussed and the signs of the zodiac. The author offers a profound philosophy of lucky stones, planetary gems, and the mystical “stones of power,” which form an integral part of talismanic magic. Unique to this book are the inclusion of magical sigils and invocation formulas, providing readers with the means to establish contact with the stone spirits, presented as an embedded grimoire.

The Magic and Science of Jewels and Stones was previously available only as a rare antiquarian find. VAMzzz Publishing presents a new, carefully revised edition, complete with additional information about the author.

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