Mineral Species: Garnet Group: garnets have a wide colour range, each due to a slightly different chemical formula, and there are 15 species of garnet
Mineral Group: Silicates - nesosilicates
Chemical Formula: See individual garnets below
Crystal System: Cubic (Isometric)
Colour: Wide colour range
Typical Appearance: Usually dodecahedral or trapezoidal crystals, or a combination of the two.
Birthstone: Aquarius, secondary birthstone for Leo, Virgo, and Capricorn
Chakra Alignment: Depends on colour
Origin of Name & Mythology: Since the Middle Ages, garnet has represented the journey of the soul, and just as polishing a garnet will bring out its inner fire, life's trials and difficulties are seen as a polishing process for the character.
In the Middle Ages, garnet was the same as carbuncle, which was reputed to "glow in the dark". Even then this was considered to be on a spiritual level, and meant that the stone gave one hope in times that could be only described as the Long Dark Night of the Soul. Garnets were worn to bring luck, wealth and blessings, and were often set into shields and the hilt of swords to protect warriors against harm. It is still considered to be the crisis stone, and engenders a feeling of community in difficult times. It promotes self-confidence and eliminates unnecessary inhibitions, and encourages a balanced approach to sexuality. It fortifies the powers of regeneration in the body. It is also known as the Hero Stone, as it often looks ordinary until polishing brings out its fire and colour, just as life's trials and difficulties are seen as a polishing process for the character.
There are many different varieties of garnet, each with their own esoteric attributes and associations. To find out more about some special varieties of garnet please click below: