The Lotus expresses the idea of superhuman origin, as it grows from the body of the water without contact with the solid earth, and no matter how muddy the water may become still preserves its purity undefiled. It is one of the symbols of Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, who is the goddess of Fortune and of Beauty; it is worn as a Talisman of Good Luck and Good Fortune, and as Lakshmi is particularly favourable for children it is worn to avert all childish diseases and accidents, as well as to protect from the Evil Eye.
The subject of Talismans and Gems of the Zodiac covers a wide area, and the difficulty of arriving at a definite conclusion is increased because of the varying opinions between writers on these subjects as to the stones referred to, or intended by the Ancients, complicated still further by the different languages from which these records have been translated, and where Month or Zodiacal gems are referred to many of the writers are obviously unacquainted with Astrology or Astronomy.
The present volume, being the result of many years of study and research, it is not easy in all cases to specify the original source of our information, which has been collected, not only from ancient and modern writings, but also from personal experience and experiments, noted at the time they occurred, long before this book was contemplated. Again, we find that many, and more especially modern authors, quote from one another in places, and the original source of the information is obscure; we have, therefore, endeavoured to give as far as possible our authorities, although, owing to the antiquity of the subject, much is necessarily left to deduction and conjecture; and it is more than probable there may be unintentional omissions, to remedy which we give a list of books that we have at different times consulted and studied with advantage.