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The Alchemy of Garnet

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite fruits was the pomegranate. This was back before it was a “superfood” before you could get pomegranate juice any given day of the week, and definitely, before you could find out-of-season, poorly ripened pomegranates at the grocery store. I was pretty sure that the fruit was named after garnet stones. I was a smart enough cookie- I knew “pomme” was “apple”, and the fruit DOES look like little polished garnet chips… so obviously "pomegranate” meant “Apple full of garnets”.

Yeah… no. Not even close. A wiki walk enlightened me to the source of the word garnet, from the Old English word for “dark red” (gernet), which itself was borrowed from the Latin granatus (seed), which was the base for the word pomegranate. In short, I had it entirely backward.

Humanity's love affair with garnet goes all the way back to the Bronze Age, and it was a commonly used gemstone in the ancient world. It was also one of the most extensively traded gems, with trade routes being traced from ancient India to Anglo-Saxon England! While the stone is currently found worldwide, its specific compositions (tsavorite, almandine, etc) are only found in specific regions.

Garnet is technically a species of neosilicates that have nearly identical chemical structures, and they aren't just red! Garnets come in all the colors of the rainbow, from our classic red garnets (almandine and pyrope) to gorgeous greens (tsavorite and uvarovite), and even a rare color-shifting variety (pyrope–spessartine)!

Garnet in Metaphysics and Magic

Garnet is highly valued in the metaphysical communities as a stone of protection and passion. Its protective properties go all the way back to the Middle Ages when it was used as a talisman against demons. In modern times its protective properties are more attuned to times of crisis - Garnet is purported to ignite a survival instinct in times of extreme turbulence. It is also believed to help strip away behaviors and self-images imposed by others. As a stone of passion, garnet is used both for passions of the heart and of life. Garnet is widely believed to draw love to the user, as well as enhance the libido. It is also purported to increase creativity and bolster a sense of determination when focusing on goals.

Garnet is one of the navaratna, a talisman of health and prosperity, based on Hindu astrology. The talisman is created of nine stones, standing for the nine celestial gods. Garnet symbolizes Rahu, the king of meteorites, who is believed to represent the ascension of the moon as it orbits the Earth. Rahu is also considered a "dark planet", causing solar eclipses. He is also believed to rule the Aquarius zodiac sign.

Garnet is also considered to be a birthstone for Aquarius and Capricorn, as both star signs occur in January. in Western beliefs, garnet is a stone tied to the planet Mars and is widely associated with fire, due to its color.

Garnet is associated with two chakras- the heart chakra and the root chakra. The heart chakra (or Anahata) is associated with the color green, and with balance. Garnet is believed to be beneficial for finding a balance within yourself, and for upholding boundaries to maintain your peace. The root chakra (or Muladhara) is a source of vital energy, as well as grounding the self. Garnet restores that vitality and energy, as well as bolsters a sense of self-empowerment, to keep moving forward during difficult times.

Much like the Amber and Lapis Lazuli products, my Garnet range is famed for the crimson hues of the products and the sensual inclusion of pink lotus. I use the garnet stone exclusively in the Passion Lavaliere, together with powerful ruby, energetic carnelian, compassionate rhodonite, and wise coral.

Be sure to check back later this week for a monograph on one of our favorite warm-weather botanicals- Hibiscus!

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