While garnet comes from the word gernet, meaning ‘dark red’ in middle english, it is also derived from the latin, granatum, referencing the pomegranate. These aluminum silicate stones form in many colors and varieties. Here I am focusing on the seeds of the fruit of Persephone, or the deep red garnets that bring to mind those mythical seeds.
Tricked into eating a few seeds of the pomegranate, Persephone is forced to return to the underworld for several months during the year. During the months she remains in Hades, her mother Demeter, in mourning, forces the world to turn cold as well.
The dark winter months, while plants and animals retreat under ground, restore life force for the next season. It is appropriate that in the cold of winter here in the North, that the stone of Persephone, the granatum, the garnet, is the symbol for those born during the month of January. While the earth meanders back towards the sun that the days grow longer. It is the red garnet birthstone that symbolizes the depth of winter, and maybe a promise of spring.
The chemical structure of these stones varies considerably. From what I understand, there are varieties that have a large concentration of alumina, including a magnesium alumina silicate and iron lumina silicate. Others varieties have a larger concentration of other chemicals including calcium and iron.
Ancient wisdom associates deep red carbuncles, or “red stone” to tonify blood and help promote good circulation. It is said to activate the heart chakra as well as help magnetize vision into form. This is also a perfect stone to consider for your Valentine.
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