The Myths and Magic of Moonstone

Moonstone, with its ethereal glow and luminosity, has long held an allure. Named for its resemblance to the moon’s soft radiance, it has a rich history of mythology, spirituality, and cultural significance to this day.

Famous for its opalescent sheen (known as ‘adularescence’), it’s graced jewellery and artefacts for centuries. The play of light across its surface has an otherworldly beauty, and it seems to glow from within. Moonstone has been a symbol of femininity, intuition, enchantment, and protection.

Cultural Significance in Different Societies

Moonstone’s allure has woven its way throughout the world. In ancient Rome, it was believed moonstone was frozen drops of moonlight carrying divine power from the heavens. Meanwhile, in India, it’s the stone sitting upon the proud forehead of Ganesh. Across Asia, particularly in Sri Lanka, it’s a talisman for good fortune and protection. In some Arab cultures, moonstone’s believed to bring luck by capturing the moon’s essence.

These varied cultural perspectives highlight the gem’s universal appeal and its the ability to transcend borders, just like the moon itself.

The Mythical Origins

Moonstone’s steeped in myth and legend. One myth suggests the gem is formed from the tears of moon goddesses, solidifying as it falls to Earth. Others speak of a beach where the stones are washed ashore every 21 years.

The Ancient Greeks believed wearing moonstone during a full moon granted the wearer the ability to foresee the future. Hindu traditions associate moonstone with the divine feminine and soothing energy, making it a popular choice for spiritual adornment. It’s also been called the ‘traveller’s stone’ because it protects the wearer who travels at night, especially if by sea.

In Norse mythology, it’s linked to the moon god Mani, and symbolises the cyclical nature of life. Native American folklore speaks of moonstone as a powerful talisman for connecting with the spiritual realm, while in Chinese culture, it is considered a symbol of yin and yang – the balance of opposing forces.

Mystical Properties

In mediaeval Europe, it was thought moonstone could reveal hidden truths, making it a favourite among mystics and seers. Some believed gazing (or ‘scrying’) into a moonstone during a full moon would unlock secrets of the future. Others thought it could enhance intuitive abilities. In ancient Asia, the moving light within the stone was revered as a living spirit.

In folklore, sailors carried moonstone to ensure safe journeys, relying on its power to harness the moon’s calm energy and protect against the sea’s unpredictable nature. Wearing moonstone could bring love, harmony, and prophetic dreams.

Magically, moonstone works best as feminine energy and as a tool for enhancing emotional intelligence. It connects the wearer with the cycles of the moon, promoting inner balance and emotional well-being. In spellwork, moonstone amplifies an intention, making it a popular choice for manifestation spells, and even dream work.

Moonstone holds the gentle, soothing energy of the lunar cycle. Crystal healers use moonstone to alleviate stress, enhance intuition, and foster its famed sense of calm. Some use moonstone to open and activate the crown chakra, building a connection to higher consciousness.

Moonstone in Jewellery, Art, and Literature

In ancient Rome, moonstone was often carved into amulets and cameos to bring protection and guidance. Indian jewellery featured moonstone prominently as a symbol of divine femininity and, of course, Ganesh.

Cabochon-cut moonstones, with their smooth, rounded surfaces, are commonly set in rings, earrings, and pendants to best show off its play of light. The Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods especially had surges in moonstone popularity, and crafted characteristic designs of intricate angles and floral motifs.

Many Moons and Meanings

Moonstone actually comes in a few varieties, each with its own unique characteristics. 

The most well-known is the classical adularescent moonstone, named for its milky white or blue sheen and is usually associated with intuition and spiritual insight.

Rainbow moonstone has additional colours reminiscent of a rainbow, and promotes happiness. 

Black moonstone is a fierce protector of auras and energy fields.

Peach moonstone has warmer, peachy hues, and helps with emotional healing and love.

Grey moonstone tends to have a smoky, more subdued appearance. It’s great for enhancing emotional stability.

Green moonstone is known for bringing joy and happiness to the wearer and, like rainbow moonstone, it powers the mind with positive energy.