Garnets are a group of related minerals with a wide colour range

Chemical Formula: Z3X2(SiO4)3
Where Z = calcium, ferric iron, magnesium or manganese, and X = aluminium, ferric iron, chromium, manganese , silicon, titanium, zirconium or vamadium

Primary Birthstone for: Aquarius (20th January – 18th February), Secondary Birthstone for Leo, Virgo, and Capricorn
Chakra alignment depends on colour

History: Named Carchedonius Garamanticus = Carthaginian or Garamantic Carbuncle in 77-79 by Pliny the Elder. Earlier named ΑνθραϪέ by Tyrtamus, commonly known by his honorary name, Theophraestus, possibly about 325-300 BCE, but seemingly a name also used for ruby spinel and red-pink sapphires.. The old name for the deep red varieties of almandine and pyrope garnet, now considered old-fashioned although still in use, is carbuncle. Garnet has been associated with the sun and the element fire for thousands of years. Early Greek writing, believed to have originated from ancient Egyptian texts, alludes to carbuncle’s ability to glow in the dark. The same suggestion followed later in the writings of Pliny the Elder and others through to the Middle Ages, and there are many referrences in different cultures of the use of carbuncles and rubies for lighting dark rooms with enough light to read by. Carbuncle is virtually black before polishing, after which its inner fire shines through, and so was often compared with a glowing coal. In this way, garnet represents the Soul’s Journey, and just as polishing a garnet will bring out its hidden fire, life’s trials and difficulties are seen as a polishing process for our hidden character. Traditionally, garnets were worn to bring luck, wealth and blessings, and according to Gienger, were often set into shields and the hilt of swords to protect warriors against harm. In traditional healing it was believed to be extremely powerful, and only to be used for short periods of time, primarily to heal diseases of the heart and staunch blood flow, as its deep red colour was linked to blood. In the 19th Century some Asiatic tribes used carbuncle in place of bullets, as they believed the wounds inflicted would actually increase blood loss, making them more deadly than those from conventional bullets. Hildegard von Bingen recommended laying carbuncle on the umbilicus (sacral chakra) as a cure for general illness and infection, and suggested placing it on top of the head to treat headaches, in both cases removing it as soon as it felt warm to the touch or the patient warmed up.

General properties: Garnet promotes self-confidence and encourages balance, including a balanced approach to sexuality, as it eliminates unnecessary inhibitions. It promotes and strengthens the body’s ability to regenerate and fight infection, especially in the case of fevers and upper respiratory problems, and can be helpful in heart conditions. Garnet engenders a feeling of community in periods of difficulty, and gives support in times that could be only described as the Long Dark Night of the Soul. Almandine and pyrope garnets are particularly considered to confer grounding and protection, and are highly recommended in moments of crisis.

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