The Twelve Foundation Stones of the Holy City — Jasper

The Twelve Foundation Stones of the Holy City: Jasper

Have you noticed that the popularity of crystals and gemstones has skyrocketed in the past few years? Crystal healing has been trending on TikTok and on social media platforms, and several major celebrities have been publicly talking about and showcasing their special crystals.

Perhaps in chaotic times, people become open to new sources of comfort, stability, and healing. However, crystal healing is more than just a fleeting trend. There is a rich history of the use of gemstones that spans all continents and cultures, with the earliest discovery of gemstone jewelry dating all the way back to 25,000 years ago.

The power of gemstones has been recognized in many religions, and Christianity is no exception. You can find references in the Bible to the use of stones, and perhaps the most interesting one is found in the Book of Revelation.

The Book of Revelation is an enigmatic read, filled with visionary accounts of the end of the world and the second coming of Christ. The final two chapters, 21 and 22, are said to metaphorically describe the heavenly realm, and it is where we find mention of a future holy city. This city made of gold was described as having twelve stones in the foundation.

What are the Twelve Foundation Stones?

Revelation 21:19–20 reads, "The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every jewel; the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst."

There’s debate among experts today about the accuracy of this list of foundation stones.

This is because the ancient names of gemstones don’t correspond with our modern mineral classifications. Instead of categorizing gemstones based on their crystalline forms and composition, like we do today, in ancient times stones were named based on their color, place of origin, or how they were used.

The International Gem Society published this list of the twelve foundation stones as the one they believe is the most accurate and correct version: Garnet, Amethyst, Jasper, Diamond, Emerald, Agate, Turquoise, Carnelian, Chrysolite (Peridot), Beryl, Topaz, and Ruby.

Each article in this year-long series will cover the geological properties, historical uses, and metaphysical qualities of one foundation stone. This month, it’s all about the first foundation stone, Jasper.

Jasper: Jasper, a fine-grain member of the chalcedony family, is a common mineral found across the world that is mainly composed of silica. Impurities and other trace minerals give it a wide array of colors and distinctive patterns. Jaspers come in all colors of the rainbow and beyond—red, orange, yellow, green, brown, black, blue, purple, pink, and gray. Some have stunning patterns, such as spots, orbs, stripes, banding, waves, and even earthy-looking landscapes and scenery.

Jaspers are usually opaque, but some varieties have translucence. In general, Jasper is formed over time by a complex process of accumulation and replacement of silica in sedimentary rocks.

There are over 50 varieties of Jasper. Each has its own host of unique properties, yet they all maintain an overarching frequency of stability, grounding, healing, and nurturing.

Here is a list of some of the most popular types of Jasper favored today by gem collectors and the metaphysically minded: Red Jasper, Bloodstone, Ocean Jasper, Mookaite, Leopardskin Jasper, Rainforest Jasper, Kambaba Jasper, Bumblebee Jasper, Picture Jasper, Spiderweb Jasper, Polychrome Jasper, Dalmatian Jasper, Brecciated Jasper, Imperial Jasper, Fancy Jasper, Royal Plume Jasper, Basanite, Poppy Jasper, and Orbicular Jasper.

Historical Uses:

Since Jasper is a plentiful material found all over the world, it is not surprising that archeological evidence and ancient writings point to a rich history of magical and practical use of it. As far back as 7,000 years ago, Green Jasper was used to make bow drills in the Indus Valley. Jasper was used to carve seals in the Minoan Civilization (2700–1100 BC). In fact, many cultures carved astrological glyphs, spiritual symbols, and religious imagery onto cylinder seals, signets, amulets, and charms made of Jasper.

The Ancient Egyptians created Jasper amulets with carvings of symbols and words from the Book of the Dead. These were placed with mummified remains to ensure a safe transition into the afterlife. Nechepsus, an Egyptian king, wore a Green Jasper dragon over his abdomen due to the belief that it strengthened his digestive organs. To the Egyptians, Red Jasper represented the blood and power of the goddess Isis.

Japanese graves dating back to the Iron Age contain amulets called magatama. Some were made of Jasper and incorporated into beaded necklaces to decorate statues of the gods.

Also treasured in China, the seal of the emperor is made of Jasper. In the Viking and German legends, there was a dragon slayer named Siegfried who carried a magic sword with a Red Jasper inlay, which bestowed courage and strength during his battles.

Jasper was sacred to the Native Americans, which they used for protection during their spiritual rituals. Yellow Jasper was believed to protect during physical or spiritual travel, while Blue Jasper facilitated connection with the afterlife. Red Jasper brought health, renewal, and rain. Spiderweb Jasper was known to hold the power and energy of Grandmother Spider, a goddess of wisdom, education, and creation.

In Christianity, Jasper was the first foundation stone of the holy city. In a vision of the end times, St. John perceived a throne made of Jasper, which represented rebirth and eternal youth. Jasper was also attributed to the apostle Peter and seen as the stable rock whereupon Christ would construct his church.

There are several accounts of the medical uses of Jasper by physicians from many centuries ago. There was a belief that engraving images on Jasper amplified and directed the power. Galen, a famous Roman physician in the first century A.D., was known to wear a Jasper ring that featured a carving of a man with a bundle of herbs. It symbolized the power to cure and protect against disease and to stanch the flow of blood. He believed wearing Green Jasper in pendant form would fortify the chest and abdomen.

Alexander Trallianos, a sixth-century Greek physician, believed that the cure for colic was a Jasper ring set in gold and engraved with Hercules strangling the Nemean Lion. Here are some other medical conditions that Jasper could treat, according to early physicians: metabolism, fever, hemorrhages, racing pulse, complications with childbirth, and digestive problems.

Metaphysical Properties:

Today, Jasper is a highly sought-after stone for mineral enthusiasts and crystal healers. With all the beautiful varieties, a well-rounded collection of Jasper provides a kaleidoscope of colors and patterns—and a whole toolkit of distinct energetic remedies. While each type of Jasper has its own unique healing properties based on the colors and trace minerals, there are some properties that are universal among all Jaspers.

Jasper has an earthy quality, a slow and steady vibration that assists you in coming into harmony with the life-sustaining rhythms of nature and the planet. It is an exceptional grounding stone, perfect for bringing scattered attention back to the present and providing a deeper sense of anchoring and steadiness. Jasper can plug you into the Earth's grid and energy, allowing you to gradually recharge and strengthen yourself. Meditating with Jasper can help you access the wisdom and healing power found in nature, and it can unlock planetary records of times past.

Jasper is known as the supreme nurturer. It helps you to honor yourself more and take care of your physical body and life. It absorbs stress and negativity, clears the chakras and aura, and increases your stamina. Jasper boosts your self-worth and encourages you to prioritize time for yourself and your needs. It helps you to set clear boundaries and to say no to obligations and requests that would negatively affect you. When you need help to calm down and relax, Jasper can soothe your emotions and spirit.

Jasper helps you get real with yourself, enabling you to clearly see your problems and to find and enact the best solutions. It sharpens your mind so that you become more organized and capable of completing the tasks on your plate.

Jasper is still regarded as a stone that supports physical healing—especially for the circulatory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It is known to help with mineral absorption and balance, and it helps you regain strength when recovering from an illness. Jasper is still a popular stone for protection against negative energy.

With its solid, steady, and stable energy, it’s no wonder Jasper was included as one of the twelve foundation stones of the heavenly city. Working with it can help you establish a stronger foundation in your own life. Stay tuned for the next article in this series, which will dive into the history and properties of the fascinating foundation stone, Sapphire.