Legends and Symbolism of Ruby
Throughout history, ruby has been regarded as a regal gemstone by numerous cultures. Unsurprisingly, the symbolism and legends surrounding rubies often link them to power and prosperity. Owning a ruby was believed to bring advantages and safeguard one's properties, aiding in the accumulation of wealth. Notably, this precious stone was thought to facilitate the acquisition of additional gems for its owner.
A Protection Gemstone
As a protective talisman, ruby was believed to offer safeguarding qualities. When worn on the left side, closest to the heart, it was thought to grant individuals a peaceful existence, shielding them from any threats to their land or status. The crimson hue of the stone was believed to provide protection from all dangers, even shielding their homes from storms.
There were additional accounts suggesting that rubies and other red gemstones possessed healing properties, including their ability to address bleeding and inflammation while promoting warmth within the body. Interestingly, the folklore surrounding garnets, another widely recognized red gemstone, shares many similarities with the symbolism and legends surrounding rubies. Before the advent of scientific categorizations for gemstones, it was commonplace for individuals to perceive all red gemstones as belonging to the same gem type.
Ruby's Inner Light
The radiant brilliance emanating from within rubies suggests the presence of an inner flame, sparking intriguing folklore. According to some tales, placing a ruby in water could cause it to reach a boiling point, while concealing the gem in a covering allowed its luminosity to penetrate through and unveil its existence.
Legends recount extraordinary instances of rubies that possessed their own illuminating glow. One particular ruby was described as "shining like a torch," further adding to the enchantment surrounding these gems.
All variations of rubies were believed to possess comparable qualities. Alongside their protective attributes, they were reputed to aid in controlling negative thoughts, dispelling anger, and resolving conflicts. Interestingly, darker rubies were associated with a "masculine" energy, while lighter gems were associated with a "feminine" energy.
During the Middle Ages, when individuals encountered gems adorned with carved images, they believed these stones occurred naturally in such forms. Despite being crafted in ancient times, they did not attribute the workmanship to humans, instead believing that these gemstones possessed inherent special powers. For instance, in the 13th-century work called The Book of Wings, Ragiel writes:
"The beautiful and terrible figure of a dragon. If this is found on a ruby or any other stone of similar nature and virtue, it has the power to augment the goods of this world and makes the wearer joyous and healthy."
In ancient times, there was a belief held by some that rare and exquisite gemstones were inhabited by spirits. The notion of gems as sentient entities may appear peculiar, but it is not entirely dissimilar to the belief that jewelry possesses "feelings." This observation is echoed by mineralogist George Kunz, who references the writings of Mme. Catulle Mendes. She recounts wearing numerous rings because she believes her gems feel neglected if she does not adorn them.
Ruby Symbolism, the Kalpa Tree
Ruby holds immense significance in Hindu culture, being revered as "the king of precious stones" and considered more valuable than any other gem. According to the Mani Mala, a sacred text, the Kalpa Tree, which is offered symbolically to Hindu deities, is believed to be composed entirely of precious stones. Among its branches adorned with sapphires, diamonds, topazes, emeralds, and various other gems, the tree bears rubies as its fruit.
As part of ceremonial offerings at Hindu temples, devotees present gems and jewelry. The Harita Smriti states that those who offer rubies in worship to Krishna will be reborn as powerful emperors, and even a small ruby offering can lead to being born as a king.
Ruby for Dreams Symbolism
In the realm of dreams, an 8th-century Arabic book on dreams by Achametis delves into the significance of dreams involving rubies. If a king dreams of a crown embellished with red jewels like rubies, it signifies great joy and fortune, amplifying the fear of his enemies. Other sources suggest that dreams of rubies indicate success in business endeavors, while for farmers, such dreams foretell a bountiful harvest.