Garnet, January's Birthstone
It’s January 1st of 2019!!! This is the first official post of the year, so I have decided to start with a post about Garnet, the first of the birthstones. There is so much information about this gemstone, I could write a book on this stone alone. I promise though, this post can be read much faster. Well, without further ado, here is the first post.
Garnet, the birthstone for those who where born in the month of January. The gem is found almost all over the world, with red garnet being the most common of the many colors and varieties. Legends and folklore place garnet among the most ancient of talismans. Garnet can be found in many legends, such as being among the 12 stones in Aaron’s breast plate(Biblical Writtings) to being used as a lantern by Noah in his ark. The stone can be found in other stories and legends from around the world.
The word “garnet” comes from the 14th Century Middle English word “gernet” meaning dark red. The word is derived from Latin “granatum” which means seed, and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to the beautifully red seeds of the pomegranate. The pomegranate and garnet became associated with the Greek goddess, Persephone, her story is one of my favorites.
In Greek mythology garnets where associated with the pomegranate and the goddess of springtime Persephone. Legend says that Hades, god of the underworld, fell in love with Persephone, who was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. He abducts Persephone and takes her to the underworld to make her his wife. Demeter, goddess of Agriculture, while searching for her daughter neglects the earth and in the depth of her despair causes nothing to grow.
Hades is forced, by Zeus, to return Persephone back to Demeter. With the help of Hermes, god of trade, Persephone is rescued from the underworld. Hades was eager to ensure her return. Before leaving, Hades gave, as a gift to Persephone, a pomegranate. She willingly accepted it and Hades knew that once she experienced the sweetness of the ripened seeds that she would return to him. In fact Persephone did return to Hades for three months of every year forever. Persephone's return caused the winter to arrive for the three months for which she remained with Hades.
Both the pomegranate and garnet came to be associated with eternity in many Greek myths. It's meaning has given symbolism to garnet as a gift of love's attraction, a gift of quick return or as a gift of estranged love. This myth gave partial rise to the belief that garnet is a stone for loved ones who travel and a crystal that can heal the broken bonds between lovers.
The garnet family is one of the most complex in the gem world. It's not a single species but rather consists of several species and varieties. Which is why you can find many colors such as green, orange, black and there is even colorless varieties. Some varieties of course are more rare than others, making them more valuable, such as Uvarovite, which is green in hue. The most common is the red variety known as Almandine and Pyrope being the darkest of the reds.
Garnet is associated with the First Chakra, it is a stone of physical love and relationships, and a spiritual stone of psychic protection. Along with all that, it also said to be a stone for abundance and prosperity. I can keep going on about this stone, but I think this will do. So January babies congrats on having such an amazing stone that is filled with so much meaning and history.