The Alchemy of Stones

Co-creating with Crystls, Minerals, and Gemstones for Healing and Transformation
Book by Robert Simmons

Reviewed by Lalia Wilson, who received a review copy from the publisher.


ISBN print 978-1-64411-309-7

ISBN ebook: 978-1-64411-310-3

496 Pages, perfect bound, 7 inches X 10.88 inches

Published by Destiny Books, an imprint of Inner Traditions, Bear & Company

This attractive book is the result of a lifetime of working with various stones and minerals and their energies. The cover itself is a mandala, whose meaning you will find halfway through the book. All the numerous illustrations are full color. The book follows Simmons’s adventures learning about and using the stones. He speaks about the subtle realm, different from physical reality, in which the stones have individual and familial healing properties. Three-hundred and seventy-five different stones, gemstones and minerals are discussed and itemized in the glossary following the last chapter. In addition, two separate indexes follow, one with stones that impact the healing of physical ailments, and the other that addresses emotional ailments. Simmons indicates the properties of each of the nearly 400 stones and its healing powers and the chakras with which it resonates. From other sources you can find tarot correspondences to the stones, and astrological correspondences. 

Clearly this book is a fantastic reference for anyone who uses stones in any way. It is also a history of alchemy and a how-to guide for alchemy. Spiritual alchemy happens when we intentionally work to evolve our consciousness. This can be done with the stones as indicated in Simmons’s book, or using poetry or music, or other means. As Simmons says, “When you begin paying attention to alchemy, alchemy begins paying attention to you.” You will begin acquiring an alchemical worldview. Alchemists in the middle ages had to protect themselves from religious persecution. Their means to do this was through symbolic and metaphoric language. For example, the metal gold was a tie to the astrological Sun and thus symbolic of leadership, fame, and glory. 

Simmons gives four stones a chapter apiece; these are his four cornerstones of Moldavite, Phenacite, Azetulite, and Rosophia. You might want to think of them as the keys to the mineral kingdom, or the Lords of the mineral kingdom. Each is worthy of particular study, according to Simmons. Each holds a piece of mankind’s connection to the mineral kingdom.

Even for those who have little interest in the stones themselves, this book is a guide for exploring the subtle (also called the imaginal) realm. For those familiar with the works of Ken Wilber, this is the subtle state, as opposed to the physical state so many of us limit ourselves to.

While the book is a fabulous reference to the stones, the author’s advice is to let our intuitions and our hands guide us to the right stones for our current purposes. Having consulted this book, you are best served being able to browse through a store in person, letting your intuition guide you to the kind of stone, and the particular stone, that is for you at this time. That said, Robert Simmons is the proprietor, along with his wife Kathy Helen Warner, of a shop in Vermont and online that sells most of these stones. They are available as raw stones, polished stones, shaped stones, and as jewelry. You can find these at

I recommend this book for all who are curious about the stones, or wish to have the protection and healing power of the stones.

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