Gemstone History and Properties
The Cat’s-Eye Chrysoberyl, also known as Cymophane, is one of the gem varieties of the mineral Chrysoberyl which is distinguished by the chemical formula BeAl2O4. Chrysoberyl is often confused with Beryl, the mineral Aquamarines and Emeralds are made of, yet it has an orthorhombic crystal structure, doesn’t contain silicates and is harder than its cousin at 8.5 on the Mohs scale, making it the third hardest natural mineral after diamonds and sapphires, together with. While not as famous as diamonds, emeralds or sapphires, Chrysoberyls, especially the Cat’s-Eye and Alexandrite varieties, are among the most expensive gemstones in the world due to their hardness, rarity and unique appearance.
While most gemstones get their appearance from their chemical composition, cat’s-eye gemstones result from parallel ‘needles’ of Rutile embedded in their matrix which reflect the light entering the crystal. In most cases, such inclusions ruin the appearance of the gem, yet in certain cases they produce light reflections in the form of a line running across the surface of the stone, hence the name ‘cat’s-eye’.
These inclusions also present a unique exception to the Gem Therapy rule of eye clean stones, as here too the cat’s eye stones are prized far above the crystal clear ones. Even so, other types of inclusions or fractures are still not tolerated and will render the gem unsuitable for Gem Therapy purposes.
The cat’s-eye effect seen in the Chrysoberyl was considered magical in antiquity, and served to produce many myths and legends about this unique gem. This aura of mysticism was even more pronounced in green and olive colored stones that look just like reptilian eyes, and these were highly prized as talismans by mystics, healers, snake catchers and snake charmers.
Legendary properties and historical uses
Cat’s-Eye gemstones were available in the west at least since Roman times, yet did not gain widespread popularity due to various superstitions. They did however gain quite a following among both eastern and western mystics, who believed them to be valuable aids in the pursuit of wisdom.
The most common non-mystical use for the Cat’s-Eye Chrysoberyl was as an amulet against the evil eye, bites from snakes and insects, and general protection against wild animals and evil forces. They did however become more popular during the Victorian era, when their unique appearance was often harnessed to produce exquisite pieces of fine jewelry.
A far more surprising use for the Cat’s-Eye can be found in certain Jewish and Kabbalistic circles, who believe it to be able to bring financial prosperity and restore lost wealth. In addition, it is also believed to aid in gambling, due to its ability to increase a person’s intuition.
The stone according to Hindu belief
In Hindu belief certain gemstones are connected to certain planetary deities, and these gemstones are able to transmit the energies associated with these deities to a person wearing them, allowing him to enjoy the benefits of those energies in the process.
According to Hindu belief, the Cat’s-Eye Chrysoberyl is a representation of the energy of the South Node, the antigod Ketu, on earth. The antigod Ketu, physically manifests as the lunar eclipse, and is considered to be the apathetic and disillusioned recluse of the Hindu pantheon and the god of spirituality and liberation.
According to vedic astrology, a Cat’s-Eye Chrysoberyl is suitable for a person if Ketu is well positioned in his natal chart, and is especially recommend if its placement is weak as that is an indicator for various mental and physical problems. If Ketu’s position is harmful however, the use of a Cat’s-Eye is considered very dangerous and is highly discouraged.
Among the properties ascribed to a Cat’s-Eye when it suits a person, are the ability to significantly improve intuition and decision making, aid in emotional stability and clarity of mind, and help control cravings and addictions. In addition, it is said that the Cat’s-Eye can help with congenital and autoimmune diseases. It is however said that it will never bring a sense of satisfaction.
If however, the Cat’s-Eye proves unsuitable it is said to cause health problems, dehydration, heartburns and migraines, weaken the immune system and create various mental issues.
According to Hindu belief, if one wishes to gain the blessing of Ketu, he should wear an eye clean Cat’s-Eye Chrysoberyl that is set in jewelry made of one of the following metals: multiple metals alloy, silver or gold. The jewelry has to be made in such a way that the stone will be in contact with the skin, hence earrings are unsuitable. If the stone is set in a ring, the ring must be worn on the little finger of the right hand for right handed people or the left for left handed people and women.
Before wearing such a talisman for the first time, it must be washed in fresh milk and afterwards washed again in Ganges water (or any other holy water). The talisman must be worn for the first time on a Tuesday falling close to the full moon, close to midnight.
Aside from the Chrysoberyl, several secondary gemstones are also associated with Rahu: Cat’s-Eye Quartz, Cat’s-Eye Aquamarine and Nephrite Jade.
Personal experience – Cat’s-Eye Chrysoberyl
After years of experience with gemstones both as a therapist and a patient, it became clear that every gemstone type has certain effects typical of this stone which can both assist in selecting the right gemstone and in identifying side effects due to unsuitable gemstone type or size.
In my experience the Cat’s-Eye Chrysoberyl has a strong stimulating and heating effect. Among the positive effects observed were increased strength and endurance, increase in appetite and blood pressure, improved function of the immune system, and a notable improvement in concentration and productivity.
In cases of incompatibility and excess, the side effects observed included increased aggression, severe weakness, dizziness and nausea, high blood pressure, joint pain and migraines, nightmares and anxiety.
Please note that the more profound effects mentioned were only observed after prolonged use of the stone.