A charmstone is a mineral specimen believed by adherents of certain cultural or religious traditions to have healing, mystical or paranormal powers or energy.
The mineral specimen can be either natural and complete or cleaved from a natural stone; in some cases, the article may be entirely manufactured as in the case of certain Mayan pottery finds. For example, the Miwok and Pomo tribes of Northern California have left thousands of charmstones in the bed of Tolay Lake in Sonoma County.
Charmstones are evidenced by the Shalagram and lingam in the Hindu tradition and by maban in the indigenous Australian tradition. The worship of the Black Stone as a charmstone is of particular importance to Islam. Jigme Lingpa in the Vajrayana tradition wrote a treatise on charmstone usage which Namkhai Norbu mentions. Charmstones were used in prehistoric Native American ceremonies for broad spiritual purposes including securing of productive harvests.
Today charmstones remain very popular among certain subcultures within Western society, such as the New Age movement, particularly in the form of crystal healing.
However, belief in the powers of charmstones is criticized as baseless by scientists and medical professionals who point out that there is no known scientific basis for a crystal healing effect.
Last updated: April 3, 2014 at 11:41 am
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