When you’re interested in taking your spiritual practice to the next level or connect with your intuition, iolite gemstones may be what you’re looking for.
Iolite stones are linked with the astrological signs of Taurus, Libra, and Sagittarius in the zodiac. This violet-blue healing crystal can aid in discovering long-forgotten ties to the past, help you be in the present moment, and strengthen your intuition.
In this article, you’ll learn about the geology of iolite gemstones. You’ll also read about how iolite played a role in Viking history, and how you can tap into its metaphysical properties for spiritual growth and renewal.
What Is Iolite?
In “The Book of Stones: Who They Are and What They Teach,” authors Robert Simmons and Naisha Ahsian share how iolite gemstones are part of the orthorhombic crystal system and rank a seven on the Mohs hardness scale. Iolite’s specific gravity, which measures its density, is between 2.58 and 2.66. Its refractive index ranges from 1.542 to 1.628. The refractive index influences a gemstone’s brilliance; for comparison, a diamond’s refractive index is 2.42. Iolite stones have a vitreous or glassy luster.
The name iolite comes from the Greek word “ios,” meaning violet, and refers to the gem-quality form of the mineral. Iolite is also called cordierite, dichroite, and water sapphire, due in part to the pleochroism (array of different colors) iolite displays. Depending on how the gemstone is cut and which angle you’re looking at, iolite can appear to be a vibrant and dazzling dark blue, blue-violet, or violet reminiscent of sapphires. Alternatively, it can also seem crystal clear, and even honey yellow from other angles.
Sometimes it’s a challenge to find larger healing crystals, but this isn’t the case with iolite. You can easily find pieces of iolite up to four or five carats in size. Some of the most famous deposits of iolite are found in Brazil, India, Madagascar, Myanmar (Burma), and Sri Lanka. Iolite is also mined in Canada, Brazil, England, Finland, Namibia, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, the United States, and Venezuela.
Iolite Throughout History
Many gemstones have connections to ancient cultures and civilizations, and iolite has played a unique part in the historical record. There's evidence to suggest Vikings may have used iolite gems as a sort of compass on the high seas.
Viking lore mentions "sunstones" (not to be confused with the crystal) as a useful tool for navigating the North Atlantic, even under cloudy skies. Researchers have discovered crystals in a 16th-century shipwreck, and suspect the English may have learned new ways to explore the open ocean from Viking seafarers who regularly raided the British Isles.
Vikings may have used an iolite gem because it can split a beam of light and be observed at different angles and different directions. Vikings likely rotated the crystal until the rays of light were equally bright, allowing them to see polarized rings around the sun. By checking on the sun's location at regular intervals, Vikings could gauge if they were on course or not.
Interestingly, researchers tried to duplicate this navigation trick and discovered ships made landfall between 92% and 100% of the time when using sunstones to navigate.
Iolite and Its Healing Properties
Like many deep blue stones, iolite is an excellent choice for working with your third eye chakra. Another benefit of working with iolite crystals? It aligns and balances your entire chakra system.
This gemstone's healing properties can hone your intuition, give you the ability to revisit past lives, and more. If you're ready to delve into your inner world and balance your energy, iolite makes a beautiful addition to any healing crystal collection.
Here are three ways to start using iolite in your spiritual work.
1. Connect With Your Intuition
All of us can access our intuition, but sometimes we may need more than a few tries tapping into it. This is where iolite can lend a hand as its energy clears any blockages in your third eye chakra. Simmons and Ahsian note how it merges conscious thinking with intuitive knowledge. This allows you to more easily receive information from spirit guides and your higher or true self.
Iolite is also supportive of awakening or stirring psychic abilities. If you offer astrology and tarot readings or work with the Akashic Records, it would be wise to add iolite to your gemstone collection. Keep a piece handy in your workspace so you can have it’s healing properties at the ready.
Other stones that work well with iolite's energy include tanzanite to enhance spiritual guidance and communication, and amethyst for its tendency to help the wearer link up with universal energy. Learning about chakra colors is another way to understand how iolite's coloring can impact your spiritual practice.
2. Let Go of What No Longer Serves You
Besides helping you sharpen your intuition, iolite is excellent for showing you what's holding you back from being who you've always wanted to be. In "The Encyclopedia of Crystals," Judy Hall shares how iolite can work with your energy to release underlying issues that keep you from expressing yourself.
If you worry about the expectations of others, iolite can work to release those bonds. Or maybe you’re not concerned with what others think, but you hold yourself back because you fear the unknown or feel compelled to maintain a sense of control in your life.
Iolite's blue color and energetic vibration can encourage you to let go and find more ease in the unfolding of life. By loosening your grip, you'll experience less stress and be able to go with the flow
Think about getting started with a consistent meditation routine if you haven't already. An easy way to mediate with iolite is to wear a chakra bracelet with iolite beads or hold a palm stone. Keep a journal handy for jotting down any insights you receive.
3. Embrace Deep Spirituality
Simmons and Ahsian detail how iolite is often used in shamanic journeying and can be an especially helpful stone to work with if you believe in past lives or astral travel. Crystal healers credit iolite with accessing information from historical eras relevant to the Knights Templar, Arthurian legends, and the Cathars. Some say by using iolite to obtain information from a past life, you'll be able to more easily integrate spiritual lessons in the present day.
Whether or not you believe in past lives, iolite can play an essential part in any spiritual discipline. This gemstone works with your energy to calm your mind, find focus during meditation, and separate yourself from your emotions so you can take appropriate action in your life. Keep iolite nearby by tucking a tumbled stone in your pocket or on a home altar.
Use Iolite to Explore Your Spiritual Side
Healing crystals are a tool we can use to enhance our spiritual work, and iolite stones are perfect for exploring your inner world. Whether you're craving a connection to something greater than yourself or hoping to cultivate trust in the messages you receive, iolite gemstones may provide the energetic support you're looking for.
Make the time to check in with yourself every day and listen for any intuitive nudges you receive. With a bit of repetition, you'll feel more confident following your own guidance and stepping into your personal power.