I have said before that my experience of my daimon, that Spirit Guide, linked soul, Muse, Inspirer, whatever he is and no after all these years I still don't really know, everything and nothing, dead and alive, here and not here all at the same time, is both present, immediate, and profound. By which I mean (for example) that when I go to bed at night and close my eyes there he is.
And lately, when I see him, he has taken to hanging emerald on me, both the color and the gem. He has, night after night, been holding dresses up to me, dresses in blue-green silk shot through with gold, green as Tara, green as the mantle of Our Lady Brighid, and judging them against me, seeing if the color suits. It is very strange. He has never done anything like this before.
But mostly it is emerald jewellery.
I have also said before that these visions, I guess, are very detailed and very precise. And so I can describe, and I'm quite sure I could draw, very accurately, necklace after necklace after necklace. Like:
A collar set with emeralds an inch round, surrounded by diamonds, extravagant and thick, like something found about the neck of Liz Taylor;
An old Roman number, of beads made from the raw six-sided emerald crystals, strung together with gold wire twisted into little knotwork loops;
One of innumerable emerald drops, thick as leaves;
An Art Deco set with square emeralds in-a-row and two rows of smaller square diamonds above; in the front the two ends meet and join with a medallion just below the breasts, to end in a tassel of diamonds and emeralds, with, a pair of earrings of emerald and diamond long enough to splash on my shoulders, and a bracelet worn over elbow-length gloves with a little chain, or string of diamonds hanging, plus, a little barrette to wear with a 20s bob, with a square emerald in the center and parallel rows of diamonds to either side;
A wide gold band from which a fringe of gold and emerald beads depend; this one goes with a sleeveless dress with a wide scoop-neck, this straight almost shift thing but in the most incredible fabric—overlapping rectangles of many different greens, some shot with gold, like something Klimt would have designed;
An articulated silver necklace shaped like a snake, clasped in front, with the snake biting its own tail, every scale of which is set with an emerald.
I do not know why he is so obsessed with emeralds. I really don't. When I ask him he just says It's a good colour on you. While this may be true, I know that is not the real reason he is doing this.
So. There's something about emeralds that I should know, I guess. So let's see what I can find.
It's a kind of beryl, emerald is, namely beryllium aluminum silicate. They are almost never perfect, and so are often oiled to hide cracks and flaws, and to make the color brighter. And yet, even with the imperfections, they are one of the most highly prized of all gemstones. I like that; that the imperfections and flaws do not diminish their worth.
In the west they are commonly associated with the month of May, and with the Goddess, or planet, Venus; the green color also makes them symbolic of youth and springtime, of green and growing things, of increase, wealth, and happiness. They are also a symbol of faithfulness and marital happiness, which is more properly June; let's say they have something to do with love, then. One could, I suppose, also connect them with the heart chakra (to switch to another system), given the connection with love and their green color.
The emerald is also strongly associated with sight, of both the first and second kind. It was believed to have great powers to heal problems with the eyes and vision. It was also thought to sharpen the wit and intellect, to make people more honest, and to improve the memory and bring eloquence.
Emeralds were also thought to reveal the truth. On the mundane side of things, this meant they were believed to be able to reveal whether one's lover was cheating, usually by dramatically cracking or breaking in their presence. This affinity for the truth also meant that emeralds were thought to be able to neutralize curses and cancel spells, which, if I'm remembering correctly, is also an attribute of the plant cinquefoil, which I wrote about a few weeks back. And like cinquefoil, emerald is associated with the number five.
Emerald was also known for giving or enhancing the powers of prophecy; to cultivate this it was recommended to place one under the tongue.
So, what have we got, then. We've got marriage, love, youth, springtime, truth, honesty, breaking curses, sharpening the wits, the memory, and the Sight, which I'm going to assume includes the intuition. The emeralds my daimon has been draping on me have for the most part been necklaces, things about the neck, the throat. So that's probably something to do with the voice, or the heart, as that's the general area. That's interesting.
I keep coming back to how the flaws do not diminish their worth. Emeralds are still prized, highly so, and the imperfections are a natural, and expected, part of them. That is a good thing to be reminded of.
Gemstones (an Eyewitness Handbook), by Caroline Hall, 1994
An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols, by J.C. Cooper, 1978
From the Curious Lore of Precious Stones: Being a Description of Their Sentiments, George Frederick Kunz, 1913, accessed through Google Books