In the past, garnet was commonly referred to as carbuncle, and there were all sorts of myths attached to the stone. One of the most impressive was a Medieval belief that dragon's eyes were made of garnet. In the Far East, garnet was believed to staunch the flow of blood and to be able to inflict mortal wounds when used as a missile. Garnets were fired out of guns and thrown with a sling to achieve this deadly effect.
Cross of garnet
In Christian traditions, this stone represented the passion of Christ and crucifixes were sometimes decorated with five garnets to symbolise the five wounds Christ received on the cross. Earlier biblical sources also wrote that a large garnet carbuncle was placed on a pedestal on the centre of Noah's Ark for illumination, as the stone was thought to be capable of shining throughout the night.
Two types of Garnet
There is a wide range of garnets that fall into two main types. Pyrope garnet and almandine garnet.
Pyrope types are predominantly red in colour and include: hessonite or essonite, a brownish-red garnet, also known as cinnamon stone; rhodolite garnet, a mauve-red to rose-purple stone; succinite, an amber-yellow to orange garnet; grossularite, a pale, green garnet; uvarovite, a brown or black-coloured stone; and tranvaal jade, another green variety.
Almandine varieties of garnet range from black to green to yellow stones: demantoid, an almandine type occurring in green; melanite, a black garnet; topazolite, a yellow variety of alamandine garnet.
Working with Garnet
The power of garnet can be used to work in protective charms, in talismans for good fortune, and in rituals for healing and to give energy.
Garnets have been used since Ancient Greece to protect travellers. A garnet amulet was believed to protect the bearer from perils while travelling - making it an ideal stone for modern-day commuters. Charge your garnet with positive energies before you travel.
Obtain a piece of garnet or garnet jewellery and bless it with the elements. Pass it through incense smoke, flame, water and earth, saying "powers of air, fire, water and earth, keep me safe on all my travels".
As you do this, see both the stone and yourself surrounded by a shining, red circle of protection. Now you can carry the garnet with you whenever you travel.
Garnets, especially green varieties, are often used as talismans to attract business success. If you are starting up a new project or you have been waiting for a promotion, obtain a piece of garnet to help your work.
Hold your garnet up to the Sun and say, "May my endeavours be blessed with the vigour and power of the solar fire, bringing me success and taking me higher".
As you do this, feel the garnet being charged with the Sun's rays and see it shining with a golden light.
Keep the garnet on you even when away from your work place, and on your desk when you are in the office. Try to be discreet with the positioning though, as you do not want the stone to be interfered with by someone else and have its positive energies dissipated.
To Relieve PMS
If you suffer badly with PMS, especially if you find this time of the month very draining, try using a garnet to re-energise your body, heart and mind.
Hold the garnet to your heart and say, "May my body remain in good balance and harmony with my mind and emotions".
The intone the mantra "Sa" for a few minutes and feel your body relaxing as the energies balance.
To reinforce the stone's healing effects, make a cup of mugwort tea with 1 teaspoon of the herb in a cup of boiled water.
Allow the mugwort tea to cool, strain it and put the garnet in the tea for a few minutes. Then remove the stone, drink the tea, and relax.
Garnet has a well-founded reputation as an energising stone; it's beneficial for people who are at a low ebb and need an extra boost of energy. It's also good for helping to boost a flagging libido if the sex drive is low in yourself or your partner. To gain from these benefits of the stone you should use garnet to work with the Root Chakra.
- Place a garnet at the base of your spine, or that of your partner's, at the Root Chakra
- Intone the mantra 'Ra' for a few minutes, which will help to activate the energies of the Root Chakra.
- Feel the energy of the sound being passed down your arms, being focused through the garnet as red energy, stimulating the Root Chakra and helping to clear any blockages.