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Author Topic: Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic  (Read 7440 times) Average Rating: 4
RandallS
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« Topic Start: February 15, 2010, 05:23:33 pm »

Title: Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic
Author(s): Scott Cunningham
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
Publication Date: 1998
ISBN: 0875421261
ISBN-13: 978-0875421261
Current Price and More Info from Amazon

Description:
Practice an ancient magic that is both natural and powerful—the elemental Earth magic of rock, stone, and metal. This comprehensive and clear guidebook by Scott Cunningham has introduced over 200,000 readers to the secrets of over 100 gems and metals.

Learn how to find and cleanse stones and use them in divinations, spells, and tarot readings. Discover how to determine the energies and stories contained within each stone, and the symbolic meanings of a stone's color and shape. Also included in this classic guide are:  

* A 16-page full-color insert, new with this edition

* Birthstone and jewelry magic lore

* Tables listing both planetary and elementary rulers of stones, magical intentions, and magical substitutions

Special Notes:
none

Legal Notes: Some description text and item pictures in this post may come from Amazon.com and are used by permission. The Cauldron is an Amazon Affiliate and purchases made through the Amazon links in this message help support The Cauldron.



Discussion and reviews of this book are welcome in this thread. If you've read the book, please tell us what you think of it and why.
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« Reply #1: February 16, 2010, 12:12:09 am »


Very well written book. A good starting point for those with no practical knowledge of working with stones and crystals. The color inserts are clear and vibrant, with emphasis on the grades of stones most likely to be encountered by the metaphysical practitioner. The tables (and there are many!) of correspondences and substitutions are good to have handy when shopping or choosing which stones to use for which purpose. The entries also list folk names of the stones, and many have examples of associative use. The sections are well delineated, the glossary is written in English, and the index is exhaustive.

I kept my copy for quite some time, but eventually gave it to the local library. I found myself "feeling" the stones differently (in some cases, opposite!) than Cunningham's entries described them to be. At that point, I realized I had outgrown the book.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, BUT, to someone that is at Stones 101 or 102 stage, with encouragement to explore how the reader relates to the stones. Good beginner book. (I feel I'm enrolled in Stones 203 class, I don't know them extensively, but I know enough to work with what I have.)
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« Reply #2: June 18, 2011, 12:49:26 pm »



I just got this book and have read through most of it already, It's a good starting point for getting into crystals, gems and metals, like CrinklyBlue said once upon a time.

I'm not sure about the stones 101/102 idea, but I'll see as time moves on.

I would recommend this book.
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« Reply #3: June 19, 2011, 01:00:20 am »

I kept my copy for quite some time, but eventually gave it to the local library. I found myself "feeling" the stones differently (in some cases, opposite!) than Cunningham's entries described them to be. At that point, I realized I had outgrown the book.

I don't think this is a matter of experience.  I think people just "feel" stones differently.

I have a bunch of books on the metaphysical properties of stones, and they all conflict at least to some extent.  And my own experiences also conflict with much of the published material.

IMO, everyone reacts differently to different stones.  And stones also react differently to different people.

The books can be helpful as a starting point, but anyone who is really interested in working with stones will do much better to learn by experiment and experience.  And, frankly, Cunningham's book is probably the least comprehensive of this kind of book.  There have been several published more recently that include a lot more stones.

Also, IMO, anyone working with stones would be better served by learning about the *physical* properties of stones, like hardness (so you know if it's too fragile to be worn as jewelry, f'ex) or whether the stone will be dissolved by water or damaged by salt (so you know how NOT to cleanse it, f'ex), etc.  And being familiar with the physical properties of stones will help you spot the fakes and scams.

YMMV, of course.   Cheesy

~ Aster
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« Reply #4: June 19, 2011, 03:56:06 am »

I don't think this is a matter of experience.  I think people just "feel" stones differently.

I have a bunch of books on the metaphysical properties of stones, and they all conflict at least to some extent.  And my own experiences also conflict with much of the published material.

IMO, everyone reacts differently to different stones.  And stones also react differently to different people.

Cunningham mentions that multiple times in his book.

Quote
The books can be helpful as a starting point, but anyone who is really interested in working with stones will do much better to learn by experiment and experience.  And, frankly, Cunningham's book is probably the least comprehensive of this kind of book.  There have been several published more recently that include a lot more stones.

Also, IMO, anyone working with stones would be better served by learning about the *physical* properties of stones, like hardness (so you know if it's too fragile to be worn as jewelry, f'ex) or whether the stone will be dissolved by water or damaged by salt (so you know how NOT to cleanse it, f'ex), etc.  And being familiar with the physical properties of stones will help you spot the fakes and scams.

YMMV, of course.   Cheesy

~ Aster

Experiment and experience in my case wouldn't be a good starting point without some kind of initial guide to begin with because up until recently I've just considered a rock to be a rock with no properties beyond what you'd find in a geology text book.

I agree that learning about the physical properties of stones is a good thing to do, I have a good collection of geology books which I use for that kind of learning.
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« Reply #5: June 19, 2011, 04:47:00 am »

Experiment and experience in my case wouldn't be a good starting point without some kind of initial guide to begin with because up until recently I've just considered a rock to be a rock with no properties beyond what you'd find in a geology text book.

A good way to begin is to simply start paying attention to stones, whether you find them outside or buy them in a lapidary store or a metaphysical store.  Hold them, really look at them, carry them in your pocket for a while.  And while you're doing that, pay attention to things like your health, your mood, interactions with other people, etc.  If you do that kind of thing for a while with different kinds of stones, you'll start to connect specific stones to specific feelings, moods, etc.  After all, that's how somebody must have started the whole concept of stones having properties that can physically and emotionally affect people.  There's no reason to think your observations are any less valid than anyone else's observations.

F'ex, say you find yourself drawn to hematite, so you get a piece and carry it around with you.  Many of the metaphysical stone books will tell you that hematite helps with grounding and lessens anxiety.  You might find that you do feel more grounded when you are carrying/wearing a piece of hematite.  Or, you might be like me, and discover that you get agitated, anxious, and scattered far more easily and quickly if you have a piece of hematite on you.

Starting with one of the books is fine, of course.  Just know going into it that your experiences with stones are very likely to be different from what's described in the book at least some of the time.  It's very easy to get something like tunnel vision, expecting a rock to do what the book says it should.  That can make it much more difficult to evaluate your reaction objectively.

If you work/play with stones long enough, and collect enough books, you might find that your reactions are most similar to a particular author's descriptions.  In that case, his/her book probably will be helpful for you, while a different author's book might be completely irrelevant to you. 

~ Aster
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« Reply #6: June 19, 2011, 05:15:09 am »

A good way to begin is to simply start paying attention to stones, whether you find them outside or buy them in a lapidary store or a metaphysical store.  Hold them, really look at them, carry them in your pocket for a while.  And while you're doing that, pay attention to things like your health, your mood, interactions with other people, etc.  If you do that kind of thing for a while with different kinds of stones, you'll start to connect specific stones to specific feelings, moods, etc.  After all, that's how somebody must have started the whole concept of stones having properties that can physically and emotionally affect people.  There's no reason to think your observations are any less valid than anyone else's observations.

F'ex, say you find yourself drawn to hematite, so you get a piece and carry it around with you.  Many of the metaphysical stone books will tell you that hematite helps with grounding and lessens anxiety.  You might find that you do feel more grounded when you are carrying/wearing a piece of hematite.  Or, you might be like me, and discover that you get agitated, anxious, and scattered far more easily and quickly if you have a piece of hematite on you.

Starting with one of the books is fine, of course.  Just know going into it that your experiences with stones are very likely to be different from what's described in the book at least some of the time.  It's very easy to get something like tunnel vision, expecting a rock to do what the book says it should.  That can make it much more difficult to evaluate your reaction objectively.

If you work/play with stones long enough, and collect enough books, you might find that your reactions are most similar to a particular author's descriptions.  In that case, his/her book probably will be helpful for you, while a different author's book might be completely irrelevant to you. 

~ Aster

Just picking up stones and playing with them doesn't really sound like a good way to go about things to me. I like to know how's and why's and all that before hand...

And Cunningham's book says that very thing you said, they don't all work the same for each person. Which is why I didn't get the book for his list of stones and what each one does. I got it for the more beginners look at the methodology behind it all.
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« Reply #7: June 19, 2011, 02:19:07 pm »

Just picking up stones and playing with them doesn't really sound like a good way to go about things to me. I like to know how's and why's and all that before hand...

And Cunningham's book says that very thing you said, they don't all work the same for each person. Which is why I didn't get the book for his list of stones and what each one does. I got it for the more beginners look at the methodology behind it all.

Sure, everyone learns differently, so what works for one person might not work for another.  But, for something like the metaphysical properties of stones, I'm not sure you're going to find any source that can actually explain the hows and whys.  Beyond very basic correspondences based on colors and very occasionally mineral content (e.g., citrine is bright and sunny, so it's good for when you need energy), I don't think anyone knows how or why stones might do what they seem (to some people) to do.

If you find a book with that kind of info, and it's anything more than a theory, let us know.   Wink
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« Reply #8: June 19, 2011, 02:31:11 pm »

Sure, everyone learns differently, so what works for one person might not work for another.  But, for something like the metaphysical properties of stones, I'm not sure you're going to find any source that can actually explain the hows and whys.  Beyond very basic correspondences based on colors and very occasionally mineral content (e.g., citrine is bright and sunny, so it's good for when you need energy), I don't think anyone knows how or why stones might do what they seem (to some people) to do.

If you find a book with that kind of info, and it's anything more than a theory, let us know.   Wink

I'm thinking that every person has their own energy frequency and no two people are the same, sort of like DNA, fingerprints and retinas.
And in addition to that every other thing with energy has a unique frequency as well...
And you're reaction to a specific stone will depend on how the two frequencies interact with each other.

Of course that's just a theory... maybe  I should write a book on it.
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« Reply #9: June 19, 2011, 06:15:07 pm »

I'm thinking that every person has their own energy frequency and no two people are the same, sort of like DNA, fingerprints and retinas.
And in addition to that every other thing with energy has a unique frequency as well...
And you're reaction to a specific stone will depend on how the two frequencies interact with each other.

I suspect it's something like that, too.  But I don't think this theory is provable with current scientific equipment and techniques.
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« Reply #10: June 19, 2011, 07:09:47 pm »

I suspect it's something like that, too.  But I don't think this theory is provable with current scientific equipment and techniques.

Maybe I'll have to research that after I start school.
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