January Caps, Garnets, and Goddesses of War...
Geeking Out on Garnets
Garnets, the traditional January birthstone, have so much history and power. Many of us are familiar with the brownish-red garnet, known as Almandine, but garnets have so much more going on.
Garnets often mimic rubies in their color and clarity and come in all colors but blue. There are over 6 varieties of garnet in addition to Almandine: Pyrope, Spessartine, Grossular, Andradite, Rhodolite, and Malaya (Swahili for 'outcast'). Tsavorite and Hessonite are subgroups of Grossular garnets. Most are mined in Kenya, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Brazil, and India but Pyrope garnets are mined in Arizona. Pyrope garnets are brownish red to wine-red, much like Almandine garnets.
Tsavorite garnets were named after the Tsaver National Park in Africa, on the border of Kenya and Tanzania. Tsavorite garnets are green, resembling emeralds, are rare and highly valued.
According to Indian astrology, garnets are said to help with negative feelings, boost self-confidence, promote clear thinking, creativity and inner peace. Garnets were also used in Roman signet rings, bearing the mark of the owner to seal important documents.
The Capricorn sign is represented by the Goat and is associated with Earth,Saturn, and the color brown.
Capricorn is the 10th sign of the zodiac. Those born under this sign are generally pragmatic, ambitious, and disciplined, although they can also be somewhat stoic and pessimistic.
The Body of a Woman, the Head of a Lion…
The garnet stone honors Sekhmet, the ancient Egyptian Goddess of War. Sekhmet possessed the head of a lion and the body of a women. Let's say it together: I am woman! Hear me roar!
Although I don’t do a lot of birthstone stuff, there are a number of Caps in my life I cherish dearly. So, to celebrate the power and beauty of the Month of Capricorn, please welcome the Wrap of Sekhmet.
The Wrap of Sekhmet has 260 lovely little almandine garnets---each glowing from within with its own special beauty when held up to the light. This wrap is full of power, as almandine garnet is a talisman stone, nourishing strength and will.
Sekhmet means: “She who is powerful” or “the One who loves Ma’at.” She was the goddess of the hot desert sun, plague, chaos, war, and healing. A pretty powerful combination.
Sekhmet was created from the fire of the sun god Ra’s eye when he looked upon Earth. Ra created her as a weapon to destroy humans for their disobedience to him and for not living in accordance with the principles of Ma’at. Sometimes she is seen as the daughter of Geb (earth), and Nut (the sky).
Sekhmet was seen as the protector of the pharaohs and led them in warfare. When she was in a calmer state, she would take the form of the household cat goddess, Bastet. (I think I need to name my next cat Bastet!)
Sekhmet was a terrifying goddess, however for her friends, she could avert plague and cure disease. She was the patron of physicians and healers.
The ancient Egyptians believed that Sekhmet had a cure for every problem. In order to stay on her good side, they offered her food, drink, played music for her, and burned incense. They would whisper their prayers into the ears of cat mummies and offer them to Sekhmet. They believed that this was a direct connection to the deities and their prayers would be answered.
Sekhmet sounds like a pretty fierce and awesome lady to me. She was much of what many of us are in our daily lives: healer, protector, enforcer. I think we all embody a little Goddess Sekhmet…with a dose of roar on the side. Now, we just need to get someone to burn incense in our honor…