The Spirituality of Jade

Jade is the national gemstone of China and has been known to the Chinese since prehistoric times. There are two varieties of jade known as nephrite jade and jadeite (sometimes known as imperial jade). Interestingly, nephrite jade has a structure similar to quartz crystals. Both nephrite jade and jadeite come in green, although other natural colors of jade exist, including red, black, white, and lavender. Jadeite tends to be harder on the mineral scale, while nephrite jade is a bit softer. Both types of jade have been worked into many beautiful objects from dragons to jewelry, statues, and other home and wearable decorations. In China, jade has deep culture, religious overtones and even a mystical appreciation. Jade, in fact, permeates almost every aspect of Chinese culture because it is considered very sacred and desirable to own by the Chinese.

Green nephrite jade contains high levels of chromium, is abundant, and is best known in the western world. The highest quality jade is translucent emerald green in color and is very rare. Pure, translucent green jade is considered more valuable than gold. Jade in other colors belongs to the jadeite group, which was originally introduced to China from Burma. No matter what the color, however, jade is a highly prized gemstone, especially among Asians, for its beauty, spiritual connections. To own high quality jade jewelry, or to display it in one’s home or office, is thought to strength of mind and spirit.

jade In Chinese, the word for jade is "yu". The word "yu" is used in a number of proverbs and sayings that refer to the highest moral value. Many Chinese women’s names include the word for jade, such as Yuhuan, which means "jade ring", or Yubi, which means "jade wall." Parents who give there daughters names like these signifies the love they have for their girls. In short, the pictogram for "yu" is jade, and the word "yu" also means high moral value. This is how closely tied jade is to the concept of morality/spirituality.

Jade is tied to the core of Chinese philosophy and is believed to help strengthen the individual and in cementing the bond between people. Jade is thought to assist in success in this life. The qualities jade can enhance include dignity, grace, morality, and luck. When carved into distinct animals, spiritual figures, plants and so forth, jade this thought to support certain qualities. Jade carved into a lotus flower is thought to possess the quality of holiness. In Buddhism, the lotus symbolizes mental and spiritual purity. Nephrite jade was generally used for both carvings and jewelry that dates back to prehistoric times. In ancient China (and even today) the value of jade art has not only a financial worth but also each piece of art has a sanctity, a spiritual value. Jade in various forms was used in ritual and prayer. Jade was thought to contain a special life force that would help an individual remain healthy, strong, mentally capable, and able to overcome any obstacle that might be encountered during one’s life.

As far back as the Neolithic Period (6000 B.C.E.) in China jade was highly valued for the qualities it was believed to possess. By having physical contact with jade, one might be able to connect to the more powerful spirit world (in pre-Buddhist Chinese religions jade was thought to help one connect with not just spirits, but highly enlightened beings, what might be called angels in Western society). During this time jade art and the uses of jade is considered the"classic period" of jade. It was during this period that the artists and spiritual leaders set the tone for how jade would be understood in China in all future eras from the arrival of Buddhist to today’s modern China.

When Buddhism was introduced to China new applications of jade carved began to evolve. Jade formed into discs with a hole in the center were used by ancient monks. These discs were hung up in homes and temples to ensure protection and remained a special symbol of veneration. As with western cultures, the symbol of the circle was a sign of eternity, with no beginning and no end, and thus immortality. The cycle of the seasons and the earth were commonly viewed as a sign of immortality and that humans were part of that cycle. Jade as a gemstone had that power to unite humans with nature and eventually unite all life with the highest spiritual beings.

Jade eventually would be carved into innumerable forms, each with it’s special power and meaning. One can find jade carved into lotus flowers, dragons, Chinese characters, bats, and other flowers – each holding a special significance. Jade bats are thought to bring good fortune, while a jade ax is used for protection. A jade disc (like the ones used by ancient monks) was given to newborn babies to keep them safe and healthy (and many people today in China and elsewhere still place the jade disk in a child’s bedroom). Jade dragons and tigers offer protection from negative forces and bad luck. A carved butterfly pendant can brings its wearer love, especially if worn by a woman.

You may be inclined to think that the spiritual significance of jade is more of an Asian tradition, but that is not really true. It is just that the recorded history of jade has been preserved best in Asia, particularly China. For example, geologists and archaeologists have discovered large, quality jade deposits in Guatemala (imperial jade). It turns out that the Maya’s believed jade could confer immortality. Mayan rulers would be buried, their bodies covered in jade, including exquisite jade death masks. To the Mayans, jade was more valuable than gold. Sadly, much of the Mayan history and spiritual understanding of jade (including the artistic skills of working with jade) was destroyed by the invading Spanish who were solely interested in gold and the mining of gold, using the indigenous population as slave labor to accomplished their task of finding, extracting and transporting gold.

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The Ancient Egyptians revered jade. Jade was thought to create inner balance, bring forth love, generated harmony and even promote inner peace. There are, in fact, many cultures who shared Chinese belief that jade can bring strength of mind, soul and body to those who possess it. In the West, many feel there is a power with jade that can assist in health and healing. Using jade stones for massage has started to become popular. Others in the new age community claim that different colors of jade can be used for different applications in mental, spiritual and physical health. It should not be surprising that many people seem to be re-discovering how the energy of jade can dispel anxiety, preoccupation, and fearfulness just as the ancient Chinese once claimed. Jade is thought to welcome all positive flows of energy into one’s life.

Like other gemstones and crystals, Jade has claimed many admirers. Jade is today considered as valuable as gold, if not more valuable. The reason many lie as much in jade’s spiritual, mystical aspects as in it’s beauty and rarity. If you would like to check out some affordable jade jewelry, go HERE. If you enjoyed this article check out the Power of Amethyst.

If you would like to work with a psychic who has an appreciation for crystals, give Psychic Kay a call at 1-866-407-7164. Kay also provides wonderful tarot love readings.