December 29, 2020 4 min read

The deep red hue of garnet makes it a popular gemstone, and it is the traditional birthstone of January. Many are instinctively drawn in by garnet's beauty, but the stone is interesting for far more than its appearance.

Garnet has more history and healing qualities than can be claimed by a single month alone! Read on to learn more about the powers of glorious garnet.

Garnet's Glorious History

Garnet is one of the oldest known stones used as a gem, found worn as a necklace by a young man in a tomb dating from 3000 B.C.E. The very name we use for garnet today stems from antiquity.

"Garnet" comes from the Latin term for a seed--"granatus." This is likely to do with the fact that chunks of red garnet look like the flesh-covered seeds of the sweet pomegranate.

Pomegranate seeds look like garnets

In fact, some believe that the name for garnet might have also been inspired the Greek myth of Persephone. Before Hades would release Persephone, the goddess of sunshine, from the underworld, he gave her pomegranate seeds to ensure her return. For this reason, shiny garnet became thought of as having the illuminating properties of the sun. It is also known as the "Traveler's Stone," given to those leaving on journeys to protect them and ensure their safe return. 

 

 

 

 

 

Red and gray stained glass window of Noah's Ark

Red stones like garnet were also thought to represent light and were called "carbuncles" as a group (Latin for "burning coal").  While we might think of carbuncles now as inflamed sores, earlier people saw garnets (and other red, cabochon-cut stones) as imparting light in the darkness. There is a Jewish tradition that Noah took a garnet lantern on the ark as a source of light during the 40-day deluge. 

 

 

 

In history, garnet was used by many people for many reason. Two major categories of use were to ensure victory (and personal protection) in battle and to harness the vivacious properties of the stone enhance health and life-force.

Victorious

Since garnet has the color of blood, it was often used to both protect and prosper those in battle. Many cultures used the stone as a protective talisman. King Solomon in the Judeo-Christian tradition is said to have worn garnet into battle.  Some Native American peoples believed that garnet protected their warriors from injury. 

Some cultures also believed that garnet could assist with victory in battle, and it has been recorded that some native groups in India shot arrows made of the stone to make wounded enemies bleed more. Anglo-Saxons and Vikings used garnet as decoration for their weapons, as evidenced by the Staffordshire Hoard.

European royals of the Middle Ages were known to have worn garnet for protection, and would even drop a garnet in a drinking vessel to protect against poisoning! Protection from harm went a long way towards ensuring victory for nobles and fighters of all cultures.

 

Sword with gold and garnet hilt.

 

Vivacious

The blood-red color of garnet also easily make it a stone that represents life-force and vitality to this day. Christians in the Middle Ages prized garnets to represent the life-blood of Christ, and it is still used in religious jewelry. 

Garnet is also associated with the feminine life-force, uterine blood, and generative creativity. Since the color red represents the root (muladhara) chakra, garnets can symbolize and fortify the very basis of life and security. Garnets are thought to strengthen and balance the root chakra.

 

red root chakra symbol

 

Garnet's Metaphysical Properties 

From it's deep, blood-red color and illuminating shine, garnet was and is a symbolic as well as decorative stone for cultures around the world. Today, garnet is thought of not only as a Warrior's Stone, but it is also considered a Healer's Stone for all its valuable properties, noted below.

Physical Healing

Just as garnet was believed by the royals to purify poisoned wine, it is considered today to be purifying to the body, aiding in the removal of toxins.

Garnet is thought to stimulate metabolism and help in the digestion and assimilation of important vitamins and minerals.

Garnet is thought to help heal acne, increase libido, and even help relieve arthritis pain. This could be due to its power to detoxify the system and awaken the body's natural healing capacity.

What wonderful physical assistance from one crystal!

Emotional and Spiritual Healing

As a stone representing the root chakra, the deep red color of garnet can help ground and center, leading to a feeling of calm and peace.

It is also a stone of courage and well as protection, and useful in situations of uncertainty to increase bravery and safety. 

Garnet is an energy stone that is particularly good for women to help with success in business and personal power.

You can even use a piece of garnet under your pillow to ward against bad dreams!

Garnet has so many healing uses wrapped up in one beautiful package.

Garnet from Prana Heart

Protection, power, strength, life-force, energy, purification. If you want to try the many powers of garnet, Prana Heart has you covered.

Our Natural Garnet Stone Lotus Mala Bracelet/Necklace is a meditation piece that you can also wear as a necklace or bracelet. Composed of 108 beads of elegant, deep-crimson garnet, this design is a perfect gift for any January birthdays on your list, or the perfect self-care gift. Use it for grounding, empowerment, and detoxification as your become your most glorious self.

Natural Garnet Stone Lotus Mala Bracelet/Necklace

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Subscribe