Rochester: Inner Traditions, 2012. Hardback with Dustjacket, vii+357 pages. New.
Claude Lecouteux’s A Lapidary of Sacred Stones: Their Magical and Medicinal Powers Based on the Earliest Sources is a comprehensive and wide-ranging exploration of the power of magical stones. Drawing on a wealth of Arabic, Greek, Jewish and European Sources—from the observations of Pliny to rare texts such as the Picatrix and Damigeron’s Virtue of Stones, Lecouteux provides a synthesis of known lore for over 800 stones, including the emerald, which can banish nightmares; the beryl, which can be used to summon water spirits; to more exotic stones such as astrios, a stone celebrated by ancient magicians. He also examines bezoars and stones which have magnetic properties for attracting materials other than iron, such as gold, flesh, or scorpions. Illustrated throughout with black and white illustrations and eight colour plates, A Lapidary of Sacred Stones is an essential dictionary of ancient gem and stone lore for anyone interested in exploring and tapping their powers for magical or medicinal purposes.