The Word Foundation
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Copyright 1909 by H. W. PERCIVAL


Why are precious stones assigned to certain months of the year? Is this caused by anything else than the fancy of people?

The same stones are said by different people to belong to different months, and certain virtues are said to come from certain stones when worn in the month or during the season that these people say they should be worn in. All of these different opinions cannot be true, and most of them are most likely due to fancy. But fancy is an abnormal working of the mind or a distorted reflection of the imagination; whereas, imagination is the image making or building faculty of the mind. In the same way that the cause of a distorted reflection of an object is the object itself, so may the many fancies about the virtues of stones be due to the virtues in the stones themselves and to the knowledge which once existed concerning the virtues of stones, but of which lost knowledge remain the fancies only, or abnormal working of the mind, as the reflection of past knowledge preserved in the traditions of men. All objects are centers through which forces of nature act. Some objects offer less powerful centers for forces to act through than other objects. This is due to the arrangement of the particles of different elements in certain proportion. Copper which is prepared and wrought into a wire will offer a line along which electricity may be conducted to a given point. Electricity will not run along a silken thread, though it will run along a copper wire. In the same manner as copper is a medium or conductor of electricity, so stones may be the centers through which certain forces act, and as copper is a better conductor of electricity than other metals, such as zinc or lead, so certain stones are better centers for their respective forces than other stones. The purer the stone the better it is as a center of force.

Each month brings a certain influence to bear on the earth and all things on the earth, and, if stones have their respective values as centers of force, it would be reasonable to suppose that certain stones would be more powerful as such centers of force, during the time when the influence of the month was most powerful. It is not unreasonable to suppose that there was a knowledge of the seasons when stones possessed certain virtues and that because of this those of the ancients who did know assigned the stones to their respective months. To attach any particular value to stones is useless for this or that person who may derive his information from an almanac or fortune-telling book or some person with as little information as himself. If one feels a particular liking for a stone for itself, aside from its commercial value, the stone may have some power from or for him. But it is useless and may be harmful to attach fanciful virtues to stones or fancy that stones belong to certain months, because this creates a tendency in that person to depend on some extraneous thing to assist him in what he should be able to do for himself. To fancy and not to have some good reason for belief is injurious to a person rather than helpful, because it distracts the mind, places it on sensuous things, causes it to fear that from which it seeks protection, and makes it depend on extraneous things rather than on itself for all emergencies.


Has a diamond or other precious stone a value other than that which is represented by the standard of money? and, if so, on what does the value of a diamond or other such stone depend?

Every stone has a value other than its commercial value, but in the same way that not everyone knows its commercial value so not everyone knows the value of a stone other than its money value. A person ignorant of the value of an uncut diamond may pass it by as he would a common pebble. But the connoisseur knowing its value will preserve it, have it cut in such a way as to show its beauty, then give it a proper setting.

The value of a stone in itself depends on its being a good center for the attraction of certain elements or forces and the distributing of these. Different stones attract different forces. Not all forces are beneficial to the same people. Some forces help some and injure others. A stone which will attract a certain force may help one and injure another. One must know what is good for himself, as well as know the value of one stone as distinguished from others before he may decide intelligently which stone is good for him. It is no more unreasonable to suppose that stones have certain values aside from their money value than it is to suppose that the so-called lode stone has another value than what it is worth in money. Some stones are negative in themselves, others have forces or elements acting actively through them. So the magnet has the force of magnetism acting actively in it, but soft iron is negative and no such force is acting through it. Stones which are the centers of active forces cannot well be changed in value; but negative stones can be charged by individuals and made centers for forces to act through, in the same manner that soft iron can be magnetized by a magnet and in turn become a magnet. The stones which, like magnets, are centers through which one or more forces act are either those which are so arranged by nature or which are charged with force or connected with forces by individuals. Those who wear stones which are powerful centers may attract to them their particular forces, as a lightning rod may attract lightning. Without knowledge of such stones and their respective values, the attempt to use stones for this purpose will only lead to confusion of thought and superstitious ignorance. There is little reason in acting fancifully with stones or with anything else for occult purposes, unless one knows the laws governing the thing which is to be used and the nature of the person or forces in connection with which it is to be used or applied. The best way concerning any unknown thing is to keep an open eye and mind and be ready to accept anything which seems reasonable concerning that thing, but to refuse to receive anything else.

A Friend [H. W. Percival]