Australian Aboriginal ‘Dreamtime’ Legend

on . Posted in Literary History & Mythology


Dreamtime mythology handed down by elder storytellers forms the basis of Aboriginal culture.

Australia's native culture spans 60,000 years of civilization and encompasses 250 nations. 
A tribe’s creative ancestors, those who lived in ‘the beginning’, included heroes and villains who shaped the landscape and natural patterns of life.

Classical Connections

on . Posted in Literary History & Mythology

250px-parthenon-2008.jpg

In Greek mythology Zeus became king of the gods when he defeated the Titans.

Legend has it, having defeated the Titans, Zeus wept joyous tears that turned into Opals upon hitting the ground. 

Opal was a favourite gem amongst the ancient Greeks and Romans, many writers of the classical period refer to it.

The source of Precious Opal was long thought to be India, however this now seems unlikely and there are various known occurences of common opal in the Near East and Europe.

The Middle Ages

on . Posted in Literary History & Mythology

In Medieval times the mendicant orders, particularly Dominican and Franciscan monks were enthusiastic about 'lithotherapy' or the healing power of gemstones.

Vincent de Beauvais (1184-1264) a Dominican monk who served as head of the Royal school of Louis IX of France. De Beauvais was interested in the use of minerals as building materials and helped advance the knowledge of ancient, early medieval and Arabic writers. He cites Opal as having a healing effect on eye diseases.

Renaissance

on . Posted in Literary History & Mythology

ol-sun-jewelDuring the reign of Queen Elizabeth I it was written:

"Optallio is called Oppalus also, and this stone bredeth in Inde and is deemed to have as many virtues as hiews and colors."

The Elizabethan era, famous for the flourishing of the arts, is now looked upon as a golden age. The English, who set the fashions in the 16th century, were indeed fond and avid users of opal in the formal ceremonial style jewellery of the day.

Modernity

on . Posted in Literary History & Mythology

Lucky not Unlucky!

The ownership of so fair an object as a fine Opal must certainly be a source of pleasure and hence add to the good fortune of the owner.

Straight the sons of light prepar'd The nuptial feast, heav'n's opal gates unfolding, Which th' empyreal army shar'd ; And sage Hima'laya shed blissful tears ... - Sir William Jones, 1807.

thumbnailcai0jde4.jpganne_of_geiersteinSir Walter Scott (1771-1832), chivalrous Scottish author of 'Rob Roy' & 'Ivanhoe', who in 1829 published his novel ‘Anne of Geierstein’, in which opal was used brilliantly to reflect the changing fortunes of the heroine. Anne, a socerers daughter, died and her Opal turned ashey grey at once. The subtlety of this metaphor was lost on the literary flunkeys of the time whose careless reading led to a proliferation of damaging reports that opal was possessed of evil influence and an unlucky stone.

Individual stones have been accursed before: the Koh-i-noor, the Hope Diamond, the Arabian Curse - but the whole Opal family was for a time damned out of hand.

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Opalminded recommend opalsinformation6 June 2010
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