There are many varieties of jasper that have been used throughout human history. This mineral has been used to decorate and ornament sculptures, vases, pavements, fireplaces, and many other objects. Once polished or cut, it is used as a gem to decorate jewellery such as bracelets or necklaces. Over the centuries, jasper has always had great symbolic value. It has been used by men since the dawn of time. During archaeological excavations, palaeontologists and archaeologists have discovered many traces of uses of this mineral, dating back to Prehistoric times. It was already used by prehistoric man to make tools. In France, particularly in Brittany, archaeological excavations have brought to light the use of jasper in the Palaeolithic period.
Jasper is a fairly widespread and easily found mineral, so it has been used by a very large number of civilizations. In ancient Egypt, red jasper stone was directly related to fertilization and the goddess Isis. The Egyptian peoples used jasper extensively, especially in the carving of statues and objects. Amulets were carved using these minerals, for example in the shape of scarabs, an insect that symbolized eternal life. Other amulets representing animals were also carved from red jasper, such as those in the shape of snake heads, which were to be used as protection from bites. These talismans could be placed around the necks of the deceased to facilitate their journey to the world of the dead. This use of jasper is described in chapter 156 of the Book of the Dead. A very large number of ancient Egyptian sculptures made from this mineral have been found, such as the bust of Queen Tiyi, wife of Amenhotep III, which was carved from yellow jasper.
In ancient Greece, this mineral was considered to be related to Gaia, the earth’s prime goddess. It was also used as an offering to please the moon goddess, Callisto. In Rome, jasper was closely related to Bona Dea, the goddess of fertility and chastity. In the myths and legends of the Nordic peoples, it is said that the pommel of the sword of Siegfried, the invincible dragon-slayer hero, was inlaid with red jasper stone, a symbol of courage.
For the American Indians, jasper symbolized the blood of Mother Earth and was used to make numerous jewels such as bracelets, talismans and amulets. These artefacts could be used as protection against night-time dangers. Red jasper was also believed to have an affinity to water and could be used in rituals to attract rain. Jasper necklaces were also worn to help keep people physically and mentally healthy.
In Japan, jasper was already used over 10,000 years ago to make sacred comma-shaped pendants or fangs called magatamas. They were said to contain the souls of great warriors. These ornaments were worn by priests and nobles as a sign of their high social rank. Some Chinese imperial seals were also made of jasper, and it was also used as an ornament in palaces and royal residences, as well as for mosaics and statues.
According to the Bible, it is one of the 12 stones that make up Aaron’s breastplate, although jasper has often been misidentified over the centuries. In Christian culture, legends tell that red jasper stone came from the drops of blood shed by Christ at the time of his crucifixion. As a result of these stories, jasper became very symbolic during the Middle Ages, and was used to make engravings depicting the passion of Christ in churches. Jasper was also the symbol of the rock on which Christ built his Church. It directly represents the apostle Peter. Saint John even evokes in the Apocalypse a throne made of jasper that would welcome Jesus, representing eternity and revelation.
Jasper is a sedimentary mineral ubiquitous in nature. Nowadays, we find many different varieties of it and each deposit has its own particularity. The countries where it is found most abundantly are Brazil, the United States, India, Mexico, Madagascar and Russia.
Jasper is a sedimentary rock composed mostly of silica. Sometimes it can also be of volcanic origin. In nature, it is a mineral that is found in abundance and comes in a very large number of varieties and colours. It is composed of an intermingled network of quartz crystals, and is generally identified by its opacity and the presence of coloured striations that come from the compact aggregation of different materials. It is an impure variety of microcrystalline quartz.
Jasper takes its name from the ancient Greek “Iaspis”, which itself comes from the Hebrew “Yashepheh”. Its meaning could be agate, but it is impossible to be certain. This name was that of one of the gems of Aaron’s breastplate, which would be green jasper, a very rare and much sought-after variety. However, Pliny the Elder, a Roman naturalist of the first century, refers to the transparency of the green rock in his description. Since jasper is considered opaque, it is possible that this is a misidentification. The names of the different varieties of jasper often derive from the name of the mine or the region where they come from, or their colours or patterns.
In lithotherapy, red jasper stone is very common and has many uses. It is known for its stimulating benefits linked to its bright red hue. It is a natural symbol of stability and strength. It is a mineral that helps to consolidate the relationship with the body and to achieve reconciliation with it. Jasper is directly connected to the telluric energies and provides the vital energy necessary for daily work. On the spiritual level, jasper is an element of water that allows the purification and strengthening of the aura. Its use can gently stimulate the production of energy, providing strength to people suffering from fatigue. It is also able to give courage during difficult situations in life. It helps to have a more alert and lively mind, and stimulates the will to restore self-confidence, as well as the strength and courage to face the hardship of life.
In Feng shui, jasper is also recognized for its ability to attract success and abundance. It offers the clarity of mind that allows us to anticipate problems before they get worse, and to avoid certain situations that could have become complicated. Jasper acts directly on psychology. It regulates emotionality, fights negative vibrations and offers protection against bad influences. It provides a window on the world. It allows you to move more slowly in life, feeling more secure in your body, and helps you to enjoy the present moment. Jasper is perfect for stimulating the root chakra and facilitating rebirth.
Red jasper is a symbol of the feminine lunar principle. It is directly related to childbirth. Physically, it brings a strengthening effect and is used to accompany pregnant women during pregnancy. It calms nausea and helps healing during the postpartum period. Jasper stimulates and regulates the reproductive organs, which promotes fertility. In case of pregnancy termination or miscarriage, it also helps to stabilize women’s hormonal system. Sexually, jasper has a natural energizing power. It promotes well-being and has an aphrodisiac effect that increases desire and pleasure.
Jasper is used in the treatment of belly aches and pains. Placed on the chakra of the solar plexus, it promotes healthy bowels and soothes pain related to the liver, spleen and stomach. Jasper is very suitable for getting out of difficult periods. It stimulates desire and imagination and brings a great dose of vitality and self-confidence. It pushes the wearer forward, motivating him/her to accomplish new projects and allowing him/her to continue in a positive way.