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History & Usage of Rubies

Rubies & Jyotisha

Rubies & Vedic Astrology

For many centuries, cultures of the Indian subcontinent have studied different aspects and properties of gemstones. From Ancient Sanskrit texts, there is a copious amount of information on the power of rubies to influence the cosmos. This type of practice, Jyotisha, refers to an ancient Indian system of the interplay between astronomy and astrology. Also known as Vedic Astrology, it is practiced by millions worldwide.

astrological signs alternative
Vedic astrology relies on a detailed understanding of natal charts like these.

As a form of predictive astrology, Jyotisha centers on an evaluation of the natal horoscope as it relates to the moment and subject of inquiry on an individualized basis. Whereas Western astrology is based on the tropical zodiac, Jyotisha is based on the sidereal zodiac.

Jyotisha In Practice

Jyotisha is primarily concerned with the sun, moon, five visible planets, and two lunar nodes (called Rahu and Ketu). All of these elements are collectively called “planets” and can have a strong impact on daily life, contributing to one’s mental, physical, spiritual, and material well being.

In the practice of Jyotisha, the basic premise establishes that each of the planets emits colored rays of light: the rays of the Sun are red, Moon orange, Mars yellow, Mercury green, Jupiter blue, Venus indigo, Saturn violet, Rahu ultraviolet, and Ketu infrared. When the rays are out of balance or “afflicted,” physical or emotional sickness occurs. These afflictions result when the planetary rays are distorted or improperly received by an individual.  

jyotisha chart calendar
A chart representing the fundamental understandings of Jyotisha.

During their crystalline growth process, gemstones are imbued with energies from astral influences of the sun, moon, and planets. It is a basic tenet of crystal therapy that because gemstones have the ability to absorb, reflect, and radiate at different frequencies of light, their proper placement and presence in one’s direct environment serves to correct or enhance planetary influences. Different gemstones will either provide relief from the effects of unfavorable birth planets, or enhance the positive effects of favorable birth planets.

For this practice of Vedic astrology, the primary gemstones include:  ruby, associated with red light; pearl as orange light; red coral as yellow light; emerald as green light; yellow sapphire as blue light; diamond as indigo light; and blue sapphire as violet light.  As an extension, vibrational wavelengths of hessonite garnet are associated with ultraviolet light, and cat’s eye chrysoberyl is associated with infrared light.  

visible light spectrum
The visible light spectrum as the human eye is able to see and experience.

As an important and universally revered amulet , the Navaratna, or “nine gems,” have ancient and modern interpretations. As the translation implies, Navaratnas are set with the nine gemstones of Jyotisha, which are believed to influence the health and destiny of the wearer.  Because ruby is associated with the sun, and because red light rays are considered essential to the vitality of all physical and mental functions, it is found in the center of every Navaratna.  

Rubies will strengthen a weak or afflicted Sun in the natal chart of an individual, especially when considered in conjunction with an individual’s ascendant, or rising sign.  Symptoms of a weak Sun include a propensity for ill health, incorrect choices, sorrow, humiliation, and poverty. The Sun also rules the heart, liver, lungs, head, nerves, and bones.  Rubies are believed to effectively treat impotence, heart and blood conditions, problems associated with mental or emotional stability, diabetes, indigestion, and dysentery.

modern navaratna pendant ruby
A modern interpretation of a navaratna pendant.

To harness the healing powers of gems, practitioners will make elixirs or tinctures to be taken internally. However, most experts agree that the most effective means of receiving the benefits of the gemstones’ power is to wear them so that they touch the skin.

It is also important to note that Jyotisha benefits the wearer of cut gemstones; crystals do not have the same effect.  Jyotish gemstones must be natural , untreated gemstones.  Synthetic rubies have not been exposed to planetary rays over countless eons and therefore cannot be used in Jyotisha.  Heat treatment also negates a ruby’s inherent energy, rendering it useless for therapeutic applications.  

natural untreated ruby gemstone
A beautiful, natural and untreated ruby gemstone, perfect for a naratna piece.

To harness the power of rubies, they should be eye clean and at least 1.77 carats in size.  Experts agree that rubies are most effective if they are over 2.5 carats in size. Wearing flawed rubies, even in ignorance, can have dire effects, the opposite of what was intended – grief, anxiety, sickness, death, and loss of wealth may occur.   

Since severe adverse results can occur, experienced Jyotisha practitioners should be consulted for the wearing of rubies and other gemstones.  These experts will prescribe the correct gems or combination of gems for the wearer’s personal condition, and they will also be able to prescribe the correct location to wear the gems based on the seven body tissues and three body humors.  An experienced Vedic astrologer should also inform the wearer of the means to purify the gemstones, the best time of day to wear the gemstones, and the length of time they should be worn to have the greatest effect.

Much that we know and believe about these stones stems from the cultures that find their presence buried deep within the earth and come to treasure special things about these stones. That’s why they have made their way into great pieces of jewelry. In our next section, we jump into why rubies make such beautiful stones for jewelry, and we start that by discussing the role of Brilliance in Rubies.

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