The Magic and Science of Jewels and Stones: Chapter X

The Magic and Science of Jewels by Isidore Kozminsky - The Greatest Charms In The World

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 X: The Greatest Charms In The World

In Chapter X, ‘The Greatest Charms In The World’, Kozminsky explores the significance of the sacred Scarabaeus in ancient Egypt, highlighting its role as a powerful charm symbolizing immortality, rebirth, and protection. Revered as a representation of the sun god Khepera and associated with the eternal cycle of life, the scarab was used in various materials and forms for religious, ceremonial, and decorative purposes. The chapter also discusses the cultural and mythological interpretations of scarabs beyond Egypt, emphasizing their universal symbolism of good fortune and divine guidance.


A deceased King is said to have entered the boat of the Sun in the form of the scarab.

Dr. Wallis Budge

We will now turn to the ancient land of Egypt and dwell awhile on the sacred Scarabaeus which was, without doubt, the most popular and venerated charm of antiquity. The Scarab was a copy in steatite (soapstone), faience (ceramic, earthenware), obsidian, gold, beryl, crystal (clear quartz), haematite (hematite), cornelian (carnelian), jasper, amethyst, turquoise, lapis lazuli, granite, serpentine and other stones, of the large black beetle, scarabaeus sacer.

It was known in ancient Egypt as Khepera (he who turns), and besides symbolizing the eternal return of the Sun after the passing of the night reign, it represented the everlasting progress of life and as such was not only inserted in the position of the heart in the bodies of the dead but was placed in the tombs also. It was worn by those living on earth as a symbol of everlasting life and good luck, being specially prepared as a talisman by the priests of the various temples. The Greeks called it the Cantharus or Heliocantharus, the Latins the Scarabaeus.

Throughout Egypt this sign of immortality was ever before the people. It was used in government offices bearing the Pharaoh’s cartouche (oval case in which his name was inscribed), was carried in battle by soldiers, was worn by the people generally throughout the land. It entered into their very lives, reminding them of the power of the deathless spirit, ever progressive, active and vital, moulding dull matter to its will. Hence the scarab was the ideal luck charm, the mere sight of which reminded man of his divine origin, and it was said that the soul of Ra impressed the seemingly inert matter which made up the scarab, giving it a life which ages could not destroy.

scarab and disc - adobe stock photo

Generally strange stories connected with scarabs are explained in every way but the correct one. The ancient Egyptians were until the time of their decline essentially a religious people, and their knowledge of the continuity of life may be one reason for their existence as a nation for so many thousands of years—an existence only terminated by excess of luxury and the dominance of materialism by which so many great nations have been destroyed.

Four diverse species of the scarabaeus or Ateuchus Sacer have been identified in the hieroglyphical inscriptions, viz., 1. Ateuchus Semipunctatus; 2. Ateuchus Laticollis; 3. Ateuchus Morbillosus; 4. Ateuchus Puncticollis Professor Flinders Petrie recognizes other varieties of beetles.

Misses Brodrick and Norton, in their useful and concise “Dictionary of Egyptian Archaeology,” observe: “The Scarabaeus is remarkable for the peculiar position and shape of its hind legs which are placed very far apart and at the extreme end of the body. This is to enable the insect to roll the ball of refuse containing its eggs into some place of safety. At first these balls are soft and shapeless, but as they are pushed along by the scarab’s hind legs they become firm and round, and increase in size until they are sometimes an inch and a half in diameter. This insect is looked upon by the Arabs as an emblem of fertility.”

Dung beetles - adobe stock photo

The Egyptians saw in the number of its toes (thirty) the days of the month; and the time it took to deposit its ball was compared to a lunar month. The passage of the ball was compared to the sun and its operation on the earth. Being regarded as of the male sex only, the scarabaeus symbolized, according to Horapollo, the self-begotten, the self-created. The god Khepera is the father of all the gods, the self-created one identified with the god NEB-ER-TCHER.

A hieratic papyrus in the British Museum is thus translated by Dr. Wallis Budge: “I developed myself from the primeval matter which I made. My name is Osiris, the germ of primeval matter. I have worked my will to its full extent in this earth, I have spread abroad and filled it…. I uttered my name as a word of power from my own mouth and I straightway developed myself by evolutions. I evolved myself under the form of the evolutions of the god Khepera and I developed myself out of the primeval matter which has evolved multitudes of evolutions from the beginning of time. Nothing existed in this earth (before me). I made all things. There was none other who worked with me at that time. I made all evolutions by means of that soul which I raised up there from inertness out of the watery matter.”

Illustration from The Magic and Science of Jewels by Isidore Kozminsky - pg.106
Illustration from The Magic and Science of Jewels by Isidore Kozminsky – pg.106

Large numbers of funereal scarabs have been discovered in different substances, the best being formed from a hard green basalt or a serpentine. These were suspended on a gold wire from the neck of the mummy, or attached to a heart on which were the symbols for life, immovability, preservation.

Ornamental scarabs were very largely worn. Dr. Wallis Budge says of these: “By an easy transition the custom of placing scarabs on the bodies of the dead passed to the living, and men and women wore the scarab probably as a silent act of homage to the Creator of the world who was not only the god of the dead but of the living also.”

It has been suggested that scarabs were used for exchange or barter, but Mr. Percy E. Newbury (“Scarabs”) points out that such contention “is not supported by the inscriptions or by any of the scenes depicted in the monuments.” He continues: “But we do find that during the Hyksos period (circa 1700 B.C.) and later under Amenhetep III (circa 1400 B.C.), the Khetem or ‘seal’ is given as a measure of value, although here it is probable that it was not the seal itself that is meant but the impression of it upon another substance.

Egyptian Painting of a gods and scarab - adobe stock photo

Polyaemus relates that the Athenian general Timotheus, being in want of money to pay his troops, issued his own ‘seal’ for coin, this substitute being accepted by the traders and market people, trusting in his honour. This can only mean that impressions of his signet on clay or some other substance were put into circulation as representatives of value and were so received by the sellers. It is in the impression of a seal or stamp upon a piece of gold or other metal that we have the origin of coined money.” The inscriptions, mottoes and symbols on the Egyptian scarabs are diverse and numerous. A large number have the names of the Kings, Queens, members of the Royal Household, Public Officers, etc.

One rare specimen in the British Museum is adorned with the name of the very ancient King NEB-KA-RA; another has the name KHUFU. M. de Morgan describes one of Lapis Lazuli bearing the name NE-MAAT-RA (Amanemhat III) found at Dahshur. The Cairo Museum has a beautiful Queen’s scarab, found also at Dahshur, on which is “The Royal Wife who is joined to the Beauty of the White Crown.” Many bear the seal of the famous Thothmes III (MEN-KHEPER-RA), the Rameses, Shashanq, and all the kings of Egypt.

scarab on heiroglyphs - adobe stock photo

The Queen of Amenhetep is called on the scarabs “The Royal Wife Thyi,” and “The Great Divine Wife Thyi beloved of Isis.” Amenhetep IV is inscribed “Lord of the Sweet Wind.” The Queen of Rameses II is immortalized as “The Royal Wife UR-MAAT-NEFERU-RA, daughter of the Great Chief of the Kheta.” The horse of Amenhetep II is shown in a scarab of yellow jasper with his name “Firm of Heart”; this scarab is now in the British Museum.

Many have inscriptions denoting office, such as “The Royal Sealer and General, SA-NAB,” “The Superintendent of the Meat Department, HOR-ANKH,” “The Scribe of the Army, NEFER-IU,” “The Director of Stores, SEHETEP-AB-RA,” “The Chief Secretary of the Great Prison, SA-SEBEK,” “The Superintendent of the Labour Bureau, ANTEF,” “The Superintendent of the Royal Temple, AAHMES,” “The Mayor of Heliopolis, BEN son of MA,” “The Superintendent of the Gold Workers, HAAIU,” “The Superintendent of the Granary of Amen, AAHMES,” “The Hereditary Mayor and Priest,” “The Governor of the Royal City,” “The Vezir Paser.”

Egyptian scarabs - adobe stock photo

On some motto and charm scarabs are ANKH NEFER, Life and Beauty; NEFER MAA, Beauty and Truth; An Eye; Two Fish; A Fish and a Scorpion (perhaps astrological); The Lotus; Flowers; Monkeys; Uraei, etc. Besides these there are the famous Heart Scarabs, Mystic Scarabs, and those known as Hunting and Historical Scarabs. But whatever the Scarab has stood for, it was primarily a symbol of good fortune, long life and divine protection. Its universal popularity has made it the greatest charm in the world. So great was its fame that it travelled beyond the Egyptian borders to other lands.

Next to Egyptian, the most famous scarabs were those of Phoenicia (especially in green jasper), those of Greece, and those of the Etruscans who carved them out of hard stones such as the Sard, Agate and Carnelian, engraving them with exquisite figures, in fine intaglio style, usually of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece, sometimes accompanied by Etruscan inscriptions or words and encircled with an engrailed or guilloche margin. When we consider the Egyptian Priests’ practice of speaking “words of power” into these scarabs, we have cause for additional wonder at the recorded act of the great Law-Giver in striking the rock instead of speaking to it, as he had been commanded.

Crystal on rock - adobe stock photo - cco

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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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