Although pyrite is infamous for its nickname "fool’s gold," it is a mineral with a rich history and intriguing metaphysical properties. If you find yourself attracted to, or interested in this exceptional stone, it might be a sign you need it in your life. Learn more about it, to know how to use it in your life!
Physical Properties of Pyrite
Pyrite is an iron sulfide, which is also considered to be one of the most common, naturally occurring sulfide minerals. Pyrite forms in cubes and clusters, as well as in octahedrons and pyritohedrons - which are irregularly-shaped dodecahedrons. It has also been known to form in flat, disk-like shapes, known as pyrite suns, in one particular location in Illinois (U.S.). Its hardness on the Mohs scale ranges from 6 to 6.5.
As you can see in these photos, pyrite is a darker, greyish yellow and a metallic luster. Because of its appearance, one name for pyrite is fool's gold - if we found it in nature, we might mistake it for gold. Distinguishing the two is possible, though, if we know that pyrite is less heavy - but also much more common than gold. Moreover, while gold is a perfect conductor, pyrite has only some of that characteristic.
The word pyrite originated from the Greek word for fire, pyr. This is because of its ability to give off a spark, when struck against metal.
Pyrite is naturally found in a variety of countries, including Austria, Italy, Russia, China, Peru, and within several states in the U.S. It accompanies other sulfides in both sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. It's also present (together with oxides) in quartz veins, as well. But what's really surprising is, pyrite can be found in organic matter, too: especially in the fossils and sclerites of some gastropods. This is how you sometimes see pyritized ammonite fossils - which occurs when the organic matter is replaced by pyrite (similar to how, with petrified wood, the organic matter has been replaced with quartz or agate).
All that Glitters
Newer research (in the last ~40 years) shows that pyrite actually does contain very small amounts of gold. And a recent study suggests that it actually may be more common - and more available to extract - than previously believed.
If you want to read more about this cool discovery, check out this article.
History and Uses of Pyrite
In the past, pyrite was frequently left in burial mounds, and historians believe that this is because of its ability to start fire.
Ancient Greeks knew about pyrite, too, and used it to craft elegant jewelry and mysterious amulets.
In a different type of use, the Incas learned to take advantage of this shiny stone’s nature, and polished it into mirrors. Native Americans used pyrite, too, and they trusted it helped shamans gain necessary insight and power. They also believed that pyrite could benefit the whole cardiovascular system by removing toxins.
Pyrite was also popular in Victorian Britain. It was commonly used in wheel-lock guns until the invention of the flintlock (the ignition system).
Energetic and Metaphysical Properties of Pyrite
Pyrite is a fire stone, and hence, it will work perfectly for the fire signs Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. It’s also known as a healing stone for the two lower chakras: svadhishthana (the sacral chakra) and manipura (the solar plexus chakra). When these chakras are not in balance (either underactive or overactive), one way to help bring them back into balance is with with a warm-colored stone, such as pyrite.
Our emotions go in pair with our relationships; so often, when the solar plexus chakra is not balanced, the sacral chakra suffers, too – and vice versa. Pyrite is likely to help with both.
If any of your relationships aren't healthy, pyrite is said to be helpful in either healing them, or in letting them go. Pyrite is said to create a shield against manipulative behavior, destructive criticism, and controlling attitudes. It may even help you remain calm and resolve difficult situations. This stone is said to be helpful in stabilizing your energy, as well as the energy of people around you.
Pyrite - which as been called the "stone of perfection," may also make everything around you more harmonious. If you are in need of some balance and structure, you may want to try incorporating some pyrite into your decor.
Pyrite represents the intelligence and order present in our vast universe. For this reason, pyrite would make an excellent gift for anyone working with symmetry and rhythm: mathematicians, architects, artists, and musicians. Another group that may find pyrite helpful are those dealing with cognitive disorders: pyrite is said to support learning abilities and create an openness to the knowledge of the world.
Pyrite is also associated with luck, wealth, and abundance, because of its similarity in appearance to gold.
Finally, if you know someone working in dangerous conditions, such as in a mine or at a construction site, you might want to recommend that they wear a pyrite amulet. It is said to be a shield not only from spiritual dangers, but also from the physical ones.
Astrological: Leo, Aries, Sagittarius
Chakra: Solar Plexus
Keywords: Creativity, Energy, Perfection