The Birthstone of Healing and Peace: Garnet
January is the month of rebirth and renewal. Those who are lucky enough to be born this month also enjoy the privilege of having a birthstone that represents healing and peace—two fitting themes for this time of year as you set your intentions for the next 12 months. Learn why the January birthstone, Garnet, is special. Revered for centuries, it is a particularly interesting stone that carries a long history and extensive folklore.
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The January Birthstone has s Symbolic Name
The word, garnet, has a significant meaning. It comes from the 14th Century Middle English word, gernet, which means dark red. That word is a derivative of the Latin word for seed, granatum. Why the seed association? Well, it’s because the stone resembles red pomegranate seeds. However, while garnets are mostly seen as red jewels, they actually come in other colors as well, including black and green.
The January Birthstone is Healing
For those wondering about the garnet’s more mystic properties, the birthstone was once a medicinal tool. It’s was a protector against poisons, depression, and even bad dreams. In ancient times, healers would use it to try to heal wounds, fevers, and inflammatory conditions. While we may not actually stick gemstones in literal wounds these days (Thanks, modern medicine!) garnets can still symbolize the detoxing, calming, and cooling of the body too.
A Mark of Victory
Centuries ago, great warriors wore—and used—garnets in times of conflict to bring them success in battle. It allegedly had the ability to repair wounds (very helpful on the battlefield), but fighters believed garnets would bring them luck and victory in war. The January birthstone was even made into bullets in some cultures, in an attempt to bedazzle enemies.
A Gem of Peace
On the flip side, the January birthstone is also a symbol of life, peace, and prosperity. Some cultures believe that wearing garnets brings good luck to those who wear the stone and who do good deeds, like helping others and being kind. But if you were to wear garnet and act with impropriety or rudeness, then the opposite would happen—you were bringing yourself a healthy dose of very bad luck.
A Sign of Friendship
Another significant meaning for this stone is that of powerful friendship and camaraderie. This makes garnet not just a wonderful stone to symbolize your birth month, but also one that can memorialize a special relationship. Not a bad addition to a friendship bracelet, right?
An Association With Water
Garnet is unique to other birthstones because you can find it in water, while stones like diamonds come from a mine. In fact, streams, rivers and other bodies of water in Australia, North and South America, and India may hold these January birthstones. So, the next time you find yourself barefoot in a rocky riverbed, keep an eye out for one of these amazing and beautiful stones.
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