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4. Mineral Healing: Gemstone Remedies in Astrological and Medical Traditions

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1. Title Title of document 4. Mineral Healing: Gemstone Remedies in Astrological and Medical Traditions - Soulless Matter, Seats of Energy
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Anthony Cerulli; Hobart & William Smith Colleges;
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Caterina Guenzi; École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales;
3. Subject Discipline(s) Religious Studies; South Asian Studies; Anthropology
4. Subject Keyword(s) gemstones in healing; amulets in healing; Indian preventative therapies; Indian medicine; astrological medicine; external and internal body
5. Subject Subject classification South Asian religion; vernacular religion
6. Description Abstract In this chapter we explore the science of “external” remedies in India. What are some of the ways that people in India treat the body and mind and seek overall wellbeing through ornamentation and surface application of gemstones (maṇi) and amulets (bhadrikā and rakṣikā) (vis-à-vis, for example, “internal” treatments involving botanical decoctions, oils and powders that are assimilated by the body)? Drawing on textual references and ethnographic examples, we discuss how gemstones (e.g., rubies, pearls and sapphires) and amulets (constructed from such things as devil tree, wild asparagus, seashells, and other substances) have been used in India as preventative therapies in a person’s daily regimen and as specific remedies for disorders during pregnancy, planetary-based afflictions, and madness, among other things. The preparations, testing, and practices of minerals and amulets that are used to treat the body and mind reveal a worldview in which the human person is entwined within multiple and intersecting ecosystems. It is a worldview, furthermore, in which notions of bodily externality and internality are blurred. A distinctive and wide-ranging notion of wellbeing emerges, we suggest, that connects the mineral, botanical, and astral domains with the human body’s functioning and a person’s course of life.

7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 15-Aug-2016
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.29653
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; Soulless Matter, Seats of Energy
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.) South Asia
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd