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Minerals and their curative properties in the Lapidary of Alfonso X


1. Alfonso X “the Wise” (1221-1284). 5 pesetas bill.

The properties of stones have been studied by men since ancient times. Their physical, chemical and magical qualities were carefully collected by the wise men in various manuscripts. The Lapidary of King Alfonso X “the Wise” is a compilation of treatises in which the properties of stones, precious and not so precious, are collected. Don Alfonso, the driving force behind the Toledo School of Translators, made its translation into Spanish possible from its original languages in the second half of the 13th century.

Only the first part of the eleven parts of the original Lapidary is preserved, which contains the work of the master and nature scholar Abolays and a treatise attributed to another scholar of the subject, Mohamad-Aben-Quich.

Abolays, who was the owner of a treatise on stones written by Chaldean wise men, studied and experienced what was explained there and translated it into the Arabic language. It is structured in three parts, which respectively describe the properties of 360 stones (30 for each of the 12 signs of the zodiac), the influence of the stars on them and the influence of the planets also on them.

Mohamad-Aben-Quich composed a manuscript also referring to the stones and their relationship with stars and planets, based on the knowledge of the wise men and their own experience, making an exhibition in alphabetical order.

We will focus on the following points in the curiosities of some of the stones mentioned in the Lapidary, mainly those of mineral origin. The Lapidary also refers to the properties of other stones of animal or vegetable origin, fossils or rocks. Some of the stones have not yet been identified.


2. Curative and medicinal properties.

We will refer in particular to the healing and medicinal properties that were attributed to the stones that we have selected from all those mentioned in the Lapidary. However, it is not recommended to put into practice what is contained in the Lapidary that, from here, we transfer. It is possible to make interpretations of the text of the Lapidary with slight variations with respect to the one collected here.

We are going to begin by seeing what the Lapidary teaches us about some of the 30 stones that correspond to the 30 degrees of the sign of GEMINI and then we will comment on other stones of the rest of the zodiacal signs.


3. Gold nugget.

GOLD (2nd degree of the sign of Gemini):

Description: Yellow, it is the most noble metal, it is very heavy and it is found in small pieces (nuggets) in the sands of seas and rivers. The more it is burnished, the more it clears up, so that one can look into it, as if it were a mirror.
Healing/medicinal properties: Its filings mixed with food and drink help the one who has heart tremor (palpitations) and weakness, as well as the one who has fears due to melancholy. Also, it heals or gets great benefit the one who has ringworm and the one who suffers from alopecia. Gold is also used in a burning state to seal wounds, as they do not blister and heal more quickly.
Gold belongs to the Class called Elements and its chemical symbol is Au (from Latin “Aurum”).


4. Malachite.

ADEHENICH (1st -5th degree of the sign of Cancer):

Description: It is found in Copper mines and has 5 varieties: green (the colour of the stone called Prasma), peacock feather colour, green (similar to Verdigris used by painters), painted and three colours. It is made up of crusts, some layers on top of others, the product of the petrification of mist on the Copper inside the mine. The layers are of one, two or several colours, depending on the nature of the place and the cleanliness of the air inside the mine, depending on whether it is cloudy or lighter.
Healing/medicinal properties: If when it is polished, the poisoned dust is given to drink, it heals; and if it is the healthy one who drinks it, it does him great harm, because it is in itself a mortal poison; therefore, so great an effort is made to expel the other poison from the body, that it loses its virtue and, therefore, does not harm, but benefits. The poison in the stone is received during the process of formation in the Copper mine.

The first type, in green, is soft and light to break, darkening with dark time and lightening with light time. Every figure that is made of it falls apart; in some places it is worked on the lathe and made into boxes and other things. It is distinguished from the stone called Prasma (also green) because it is soft and always found in large pieces, while the Prasma is hard and is found in large and small pieces.
The one who has it in his mouth and swallows saliva is bad for him, especially for the respiratory ducts. If it is mixed with vinegar and spread with the mixture what is affected by the disease called rose (in Castile), the patient heals.

★ This stone seems to match the Malachite.

5. Peacock feathers.

The Malachite whose colour is similar to that of peacock feathers is soft in nature, like the rest of the Malachites. It clears up in the clear morning air.
If it is put on the scorpion wound, it helps. If 5 or 7 flies with their heads cut off are crushed with this stone and it is placed on a wasp’s wound, it heals and the pain disappears. If when the stone breaks, the Copper found inside is ground and given to drink to the one who has drunk poison from some animal, it heals.
★ The colour of peacock feathers is green and blue. Therefore it can be understood that it is a stone composed of Malachite and Azurite, which are minerals that have a similar chemical structure.

6. Azurite-Malachite.

The variety whose green colour resembles the Verdigris that painters use, if it is ground with linseed oil it is finer and lighter than the Verdigris.
Physicists put it in poultices because it has the property of cutting away the pains of hot abscesses and the redness in them, especially the abscess they call alhambra. If it is ground and tempered with water and applied to ringworm, it heals in one or two applications.
The painted variety (of many colours) is a very strong poison, so if two or more drachmas are given to drink from it, it breaks the guts and stomach of the drinker, killing him later. The only antidote is the stone called Bezaar, which acts against deadly poisons. Whoever brings this stone with him, helps him against the sadness that comes from melancholy humor.
The three-coloured variety (always green and white) is the most valuable of all the others. If it is covered with wine for two days and two nights, it melts and blends with it. If afterwards it is mixed with henna and the hair is washed with it, it is dyed with black dye that does not go away unless new hair is born. It dyes equally any member of the man on whom it is placed.

😉 You can visit our shop and get more information about Malachite.

7. Silver ingots.

SILVER or ARGENT or FEDA (12th degree of the sign of Cancer)

Description: White, it is a well known noble metal, found in many places and used for many things. The more it is polished, the more it shines, but it does not allow you to see through it. As a metal, it allows forging and smelting, it is lighter than Gold and less than Iron or Copper. It is not as soft to work with as Gold but more so than Iron or Copper. Salt lightens Silver.
Healing/medicinal properties: Its filings mixed with the medicines used against phlegm called vitreum, help. The same is true for all phlegm-related diseases.
Silver belongs to the Class called Elements and its chemical symbol is Ag (from latin “Argentum”).

LEAD or PLUMB or ARRAGAZ (13th degree of the sign of Cancer)

Description: It’s a known metal, found in many places.
Healing/Medicinal Properties: Burnt and applied to the eyes, it wipes away moisture and heals sores, both in animals and men. Sores heal faster.
Lead belongs to the Class called Elements and its chemical symbol is Pb (from latin “Plumbum”).


8. Sulphur.

SULPHUR mixed colors (30th degree of the sign of Leo)

Description: stone lighter than other types of Sulphur, with a mixture of colours.
Healing/Medicinal Properties: Crushed and mixed with oil it heals scabies, itchiness, nasal mucosa catarrh and cough. It helps in the treatment of pulmonary phthisis.
Sulphur belongs to the Class called Elements and its chemical symbol is S (from latin “Sulphur”).
😉 Visit our shop and find out more about Sulphur.


9. Lead containers.
LEAD (18th degree of the sign of Virgo)

Description: dark stone, brown colored that throws to green and dripping with yellow and black drops. It is difficult to break. They are big pieces, of which they become glasses and bowls in which the scents of what is poured in them are preserved and strengthened. However, it is harmful to eat in them, as they make you sick with melancholy.
Healing/medicinal properties: It undoes the thick dandruff and heals the split ends, washing the head with water mixed with mother’s milk in which the Lead stone has been previously introduced.

10. Carrara marble quarry.

MARBLE or FARAZTAZ (20th degree of the sign of Virgo)

Description: the best is white, with green, yellow and red streaks.
Healing / medicinal properties: Burnt and mixed with Ammonia Salt and then ground, applied to yellow or black teeth and turns them white and tightens the gums. By applying the powder of the ground and burned stone to the fire burns, it improves them. If these powders are given to the person who wants to vomit, it dissuades him, pressing the mouth of the stomach. The ground stone mixed with oil and wax helps the pain of the foundation (anus).
Marble is a metamorphic rock that is derived from Limestone and is composed mainly of Calcite.
😉 In our shop you can see a sample of different types of Calcite and more information about it.