Published September 2016 • Updated July 2022 • Read Time: 7 minutes
Lodestone is a rare variety of Magnetite that has been struck by lightening and become naturally magnetized. Thin needles of this mineral will point towards the earth’s magnetic poles and so Lodestone was used to make the earliest compasses thousands of years ago. The first compasses weren’t used for navigation, instead they were used for spiritual purposes, specifically feng shui. While Lodestone can attract metals, most specimens have a subtle magnetism that is far less obvious than a modern magnet. Lodestone help us to find our true path and to point towards our own true north. It’s energy can be used for practical purposes like charting our career, or to illuminate subtle spiritual vibrations.
Lodestone calmly guides us forward on our true spiritual path. When we feel lost or don’t understand our life purpose, Lodestone can point us in a direction that is sensible, healing and fulfilling. When we are journeying confidently, Lodestone keeps us steady and surefooted, despite any curve-balls life might throw our way. Lodestone can help us to cultivate our natural intuitive gifts. It is particularly good for anyone sensitive to energies, who needs extra protection or help staying grounded. Lodestone is perhaps the very best stone for balancing polarities – such as male and female energies, Light and Shadow, etc. It can also be used with fantastic results by a skilled student of the Law of Attraction. But be aware, Lodestone can be used to both attract or repel energy, so if used for manifestation, clear focus is essential!
Virgo and Gemini
Emotional Healing Properties
Lodestone has a very calm and practical energy. It helps us to process our emotions quickly and accurately so that we can stay well-balanced in our own heart and in our relationships. It can help mend relationships that have split apart, as well as to bring romantic couples closer together. But when a relationship needs to end, Lodestone can help us find a new direction to move forward so we can leave the past behind. Lodestone encourages us to do more of what brings us joy! To be self-confident and to listen to the stirrings of our heart. It reminds us to build habits for daily self care, and to make choices that allow us to truly thrive, rather than just survive.
Mental Healing Properties
Lodestone is a wonderful stone for anyone who is setting goals. It helps us to see the final goal, as well as the smaller milestones along the way. It reminds us to focus on actionable tasks and to give ourselves the correct amount of time to accomplish them. It magnifies the power of the mind to manifest and visualize, and encourages us to trust our own intuition. Lodestone can help us to keep a balanced perspective and see both sides of every story, and from there to ultimately see the truth of any matter. It is a fantastic stone for high achievers, both in the material world as well as in the spiritual.
Physical Healing Properties
Lodestone is commonly used by metaphysical healers to soothe hormonal fluctuations in puberty and menopause, as well as PMS symptoms. It is also said to be healing to the liver and circulatory system. Metaphysical healers also use Lodestone to locate and remove energy blocks in the body which have resulted in physical dis-ease.
Lodestone is an automagnetized form of Magneite, a major iron ore found in the Czech Republic, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States (Arizona, California, Georgia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Utah and Vermont).
Mining and Treatments
Depending on the location of the deposit, Lodestone may be mined in a variety of ways, including enormous pit mines digging through sedimentary rock. The primary purpose of most mines where Lodestone is found is to find iron.
Lodestones are fully natural, enhanced only be tumbling and polishing.
Lodestone is a rare variety of Magnetite, an Oxide mineral. The Oxide family has closely-packed Oxygen atoms with tiny bits of metal or semi-mental atoms occupying the space between. There are two forms of Oxide minerals, “simple Oxides” which only have a single type of metal or semi-metal, and “complex Oxides” which have multiple metals and/or semi-metals. Most Oxide minerals are found in igneous rocks.
Magnetite can occur in a wide range of geological environments, including igneous, sediminetary and metamorphic rocks, as well as in sulfide veins. Lodestone are typically only found in igneous stones. Because they are naturally magnetized the stones point towards the earth’s magnetic poles. Only a small amount of Magnetite becomes Lodestones, and the exact process by which this happens is an open question in the field of geology. The Earth’s magnetic field is too weak to be responsible for magnetizing Lodestones. The leading theory is that Lodestones are created by lightning bolts that strike near a Magnesite deposit. This theory is supported by observation since most Lodestones are found near the surface of the Earth, rather than buried deep below.
Lodestone’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment. Try it in combination with Chalcopyrite, Epidote, Pyrite
What’s the difference between Hematite and Lodestone?
Hematite and Magnetite look very similar, but Hematite has a red streak, while Magnetite has a black streak.
Colorless, may have a faint orange hue Black to brownish black, may appear silver when polished
Conchoidal to uneven
Hardness – Mohs Scale
Metallatic to semi-metallic
Metallatic to semi-metallic
History of Lodestone
Lodestone is a rare type of Magnetite and the most strongly magnetic stone found in nature. Regular Magnetite will be attracted to a magnet, but only Lodestone has the ability to attract small pieces of iron and other magnetic objects. Lodestone introduced mankind to the principles of magnetism, documented as early as 600 BCE in Greece and 300 BCE in China. In its simplest form, a piece of Lodestone would be tied to a string and then left to dangle, where it will then align itself and “point” to the Earth’s magnetic poles.
The oldest known Compass dates back to the Chinese Han Dynasty (200 BCE to 200CE). It was a spoon shaped instrument made of Lodestone on top of a cast bronze plate known as a “heaven plate”. The heaven plate shows the eight trigrams of the I Ching, the 24 directions (based on constellations) and the 28 lunar mansions. This compass wasn’t used for physical navigation, but rather for geomancy, the guiding principle of Feng Shui. This compass would have been used to help determine where was the best location would be for a building, burials, or other important questions. Later on, the Chinese were the first to discover that when they could magnetize iron needles, by rubbing the needles with Lodestones, to make compasses for navigational purposes. The magnetized needles could then be suspending in water (a wet compass) or suspended from a silk thread (dry compass).
The oldest known name for Lodestone was Heraclean Stone, which is most likely a reference to Herakleia, a city in western Greece where the natural magnet can be found. But by at least 400 BC it was more commonly known as magnetis, in reference to another deposit in Manesia, in modern Turkey. The Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder, offered a different origin story. According to his lapidary, Magnetite (and the origin of the word “magnet”) are named after a young Italian shepherd boy named Magnus, who discovered that the iron in his staff and the nails on his shoes, were attracted to the magnetic-bearing rocks where he tended his herd on Mount Ida. However, it is more likely that it is a node to Magnesia, in modern Turkey, which also produce Lodestones in the ancient world. The Romans were fascinated by Lodestones and used them both as primitive compasses, as well as for other purposes. Purportedly, there were once two Roman statues, an Iron Statue of the War God Mars, and a Lodestone Statue of the Goddess of Love. At a special festival, these two statues were literally drawn to one another in a sacred wedding. From this union was born “Cupid” the son of Venus and Mars who deftly wields his bow and arrow to make people fall in love.
The name Lodestone itself, comes from the Medieval English word lode, meaning “journey” or “way”. Other cultures interpreted the natural magnetism more romantically. In French the stone is called Aimant, from the verb aimer, or “to love”. In Sanksrit it is called Chumbaka, meaning “the kisser”, while in Chinese it is T’su Shi, meaning “the loving stone”.
There are several other stories associated with Lodestone. Supposedly, Alexander the Great gave his soldiers pieces of Lodestones to carry to protect them from jinns and other desert spirits while they were campaigning. While in the Far East, rulers placed a Lodestone on or under their thrones, to attract power and enforce their royal will. In medieval England, Lodestones was said to keep a wife chaste and loyal, while in medieval Italy it was said to cure cramps, ease childbirth and even cure baldness.
Julie Abouzelof is the owner of Moonrise Crystals and an advocate for responsibly sourced gems and minerals. Her first career was in education teaching history, geology and anthropology, as well as working with special-needs students. She is now a heart-centered entrepreneur who encourages mindfulness and positive action to heal ourselves and the world. Julie lives in Hawaii with her lover and a little parrot named Darwin.