How Jewels Can Light Up Your Life

Wednesday October 12th 2011
The late Liz Taylor loved a bit of bling
– but did she know  how much
 energy those little rocks contained?

I’m very pleased to introduce a new guest, my colleague Peter Stockinger, an expert on Renaissance and Early Modern astrology. Peter’s special subject is the correspondence between planets and those little blobs of light we wear so causally – crystals and gemstones.

Since time immemorial, humans have longed to possess shiny, sparkling rocks. Gems and crystals have always stirred the human imagination.

It was not only their indestructibility, the vivid colours or the mysteriously regular geometrical patterns that attracted people to them; people wearing gemstone jewellery intuitively recognised that these precious stones held a powerful key to their wellbeing. It is likely that, over time, these healing qualities were systematically explored.

An Indian amulet
studded with carnelians.

Today, Vedic astrology makes use of this collected and preserved wisdom about the healing qualities of planetary gemstones. 

But this knowledge ceased to be part of Western astrology centuries ago.  Western European astrologers were once familiar with the lore of planetary gemstones and celestial magic, too, but the onset of rationalism in the middle of the 17th century put an end to this practice. 

An Ancient Egyptian scarab
made of lapis lazuli.

The transmission of traditional astrological lore, alchemy and celestial magic from the Arab world into Europe,  from the 12th century onwards, included knowledge about gems and crystals. Some of the earliest mentions of the correspondences between planets and gemstones are to be found in Picatrix, a grimoire from the 11th century, translated into Spanish and Latin in the thirteenth century. Later on authors and practitioners like Agrippa von Nettesheim, Marsilio Ficino and Giordano Bruno wrote extensively on the subject, producing a workable system, based on the philosophy of neo-Platonism.

To understand how astrological gemstones work, we have to take a close look at one of the first principles of astrology itself – light. 

Genesis 1: And God said, “Let there be light,”
and there was light. God saw that the light
was good, and he separated
the light from the darkness.

Light is the most important factor in many creation myths. The first act of creation is division; we are immediately confronted with a separation between darkness and light. 

Further divisions of the cosmos, resulting in the four elements (Fire, Air, Earth and Water), the three modes (moveable, fixed and mutable signs), and the 12 zodiac signs (3×4), provide a perfect reflection of nature itself. 

The Koh-i-Noor Diamond –
like all diamonds it has an
octahedronal crystal structure.

Having recognised the basic patterns symbolised by the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4, we find that the following number, five, corresponds with the planets Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Mercury. Adding the lights (Sun and Moon) brings us up to number seven.

The basic idea taken from the above is the fact that the perfectly pure unit, being the source of everything, constantly creates by dividing, adding and multiplying. When manifestation takes place, the essence splits into several different parts. This can be compared to light, splitting into the colours of the rainbow when shining through a prism. 

Our seven planets, or their corresponding gemstones, being in a more manifest stage on the path of creation, symbolise these seven parts of divine light or essence. As these planets can be in different positions in the astrological chart, the astrologer can find out how well their essential natures are expressed at any given point. This is known as essential dignity or debility. 

The practical application of all that has been said above is as follows. 

Once the astrologer has established which planet in the client’s chart is essentially debilitated or afflicted by a transiting planet, a progression or other events, the appropriate gemstone or crystal in the shape or form of a ring, pendant or any other suitable piece of jewellery should be worn during the time of affliction. 

Because gemstones are more essentially pure than human beings, the application of a chosen crystal or stone can have a positive, uplifting or transforming effect on the person wearing it.

Some of the most important gemstones and their planetary correspondences are:
Why be discreet when
you could have GLAMOUR?
These are from a recent auction at Christie’s.

Ruby, Amber – Sun
Opal – Mercury
Hematite, Garnet – Mars
Amethyst, Hyacinth – Jupiter
Jet, Onyx – Saturn
Emerald, Beryl – Venus
Moonstone, Pearl – Moon

If you’d like to find out more about Peter, click here to go to his fascinating website.

Here are a couple of previous OA posts on gems.
What is the point of your astrology?
Royal Wedding: The Bling of Power

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  1. Christina says:

    Thanks for writing this super piece Peter. I realise now of course that there’s really nothing more Venus in Scorpio than precious metal and jewellery. So glad to publish at the right moment.

  2. Peter says:

    I have to thank you, Christina, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to your exquisite web log. Thank you as well for your splendid work concerning the addition of illustrations and the layout.
    You are of course right, it is the perfect time to publish an article about shiny things, in the way that Venus is in Scorpio, but it might also be seen as an incentive to put a nice little gemstone on the wish list to Santa!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Many years ago on a trip to India I was prescribed a moonstone by a Vedic astrologer. I can’t quite remember what the guy said. I think he said I was too hot. I wore it for years. I’ve never been quite sure if it worked the wonders I attribute to it, but I did marry the man I loved soon after I started wearing it.

    I realise that Indian astrologers are using a slightly adjusted Zodiac. What difference do you think that makes?

  4. P)eter says:

    @Anonymous – yes, indeed Vedic astrology uses the Siderial zodiac unlike us here using the Tropical one. I am not an expert in Vedic astrology and without a look at your chart I can’t say much at all.

  5. Christina says:

    I think the difference is about 23° back, so if you’re an Aries, you’ll suddenly a Pisces – which can be a bit of a shock.

    There’s a very good book on Indian Astrology called Light on Life. Many years ago – back in the last century – I decided to prescribe myself a ring using the book as a guide. I’d had rather a disastrous time so really things couldn’t have gotten much worse.

    I don’t know if it was the rings or what, but my life did turn around after I started wearing them. However, a few years ago I felt it was time to take them off. And that did happen to be the end of a particular Vedic period.

    The reason I’m so interested in what Peter does is that it’s chimed in with Western astrology with which I’m much more familiar.

  6. Peter, this is really interesting. Thanks for this post. With Jupiter in Gemini, I’ve had Jupiter in its detriment all my life. I guess maybe I should be wearing amethyst more often. By progression, Jupiter will move into Cancer in a couple of years, so I’m very much looking forward to that.

    My birth chart has Mars in Aries, but it’s progressed into Taurus. I also have Venus in Aquarius, but it’s progressed into Pisces, which happened many years ago. I will have Venus progress into Aries just around the time Jupiter progresses into Cancer. This will put my progressed Mars and Venus both in their detriment signs, but they’ll be mutually receptive. What’s your opinion about this mutual reception in detrimental signs? Does the mutual reception somewhat counter the detrimental effects of the signs? Would gem stones be more effective?

  7. Christina says:

    Oo – Laura. I have to chip in here. I’ll let Peter get back to you about the stones – but I can tell you that mutual reception does alleviate detriment and fall in my opinion.

    As an example I have natal Jupiter in Gemini and Mercury in Pisces. I am scatty and an autodidact but I can also write up a storm. The two planets actually expand each other’s awareness and fields of operation.

    How do you think Jupiter in Gemini has worked for you?

  8. Peter says:

    @ Laura – Christina has already written about mutual reception and essential debility and I agree with her. Problem with MR is that it is such a complex theme. Nearly every astrologer in the past had a slightly different way of using it.
    It is interesting as well to note that the idea of MR in debility seems to have divided astrologers from the beginning. Lilly did not use it at all, Morinus saw it as harmful and Ramesey allowed it. What is important for proper judgment is that one has to look at possible aspects, triplicity rulers, and so forth, as well and take it all into account.

    Talking about Jupiter stones, I would say that you can’t go much wrong with your amethyst. Other Jupiter stones you could take into consideration would be topaz or sapphire.
    Depending on the natal placement of Mars and Venus, you might consider to get a couple of other gems though, just in case.

  9. NR says:

    Loved this post, thank you for sharing.

    Love gems, too. Haven’t studied them but I wear my favorite garnet ring on days when I am feeling tired and need energy. Love the red fire in its dark heart.

  10. @Christina – I think Jupiter in Gemini tends to dissipate my energy and my intellectual focus. I am interested in a lot of different things, but not particularly passionate or driven by any of them. I prefer to think of myself as a Renaissance woman, but I’ve been accused of being a jack of all trades. Perhaps it’s the Venus in Aquarius, but I am also hard wired for novelty, and by that, I mean I get bored easily if I have to focus on one thing for too long, and I am always looking for change. This has all made dedicating myself to a traditional career path very difficult. I’m sure that there is a benefit to being so open to ideas and trying new things, but I haven’t figured out how to harness it yet. Perhaps that will come when Jupiter progresses into Cancer.

    @Peter – Is there any particular benefit to wearing gems next to the skin or on specific parts of the body, or is it just enough to carry them with you?

  11. Peter says:

    @Laura – I always recommend that stones should be in contact with the skin as much as possible. Best of all, if the stone is exposed to (sun)light as well at the same time.