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Wits + Weapons

- Courtney Goe -

At long last, we are coming to the end of this Mars retrograde period. The themes of the coming weeks will be power and rebirth. Where do you draw your power from, and are you afraid of it? While this is an undeniably positive shift in energy, the first week a planet stations direct can be trying. This is a time when, if you let them, others may try to use your own power against you. If the retrograde period is like wrapping yourself up in a cocoon to rest, think, and transform; the week Mars stations direct is like breaking out of it. This is the time to start making those plans you dreamed up a reality, but also an incredibly vulnerable moment. You must shed what is old and no longer works for you. Couple this astrological climate with a Summer Solstice full moon in Sagittarius, and you’re bound to embark on some wonderful new quests; if you’re willing to fight for them. Mars direct will help you with that, as Mars is the planet of passion and unrestrained vigor. Another layer of this regenerative, but somewhat chaotic, energy is Mars’ position in Scorpio. This is the very sign of rebirth through hard work; it is also a sign that loves wielding power. Scorpio is the most resilient of the signs, meaning your fighting spirit make take you even further now than usual. Mars in Scorpio is a dark, passionate energy. What motivates you? What is it that your heart desires? How do you truly claim your power? You had the retrograde to think about it; now is the time take the flaming sword of Mars into battle to get it.

All these fiery, warrior vibes brought our thoughts to ruby. Ancient Burmese legends say that warriors would insert rubies beneath their skin before battle; their presence was thought to make the warriors invulnerable. This stone is heavily associated with abundance, protection, power, and sometimes its blood red color led ancient cultures to believe it possessed the power of life itself. In India, one of the first places where the nature of gemstones started to be understood, it was thought that possession of a ruby would allow you to live in harmony with your enemies. Medieval European tradition told that a ruby would get darker in the presence of danger, and lighten up again once the danger was gone.

 Ruby, like other highly prized gemstones such as emerald, gets its fantastic color from chromium. Chromium’s rarity in the earth’s crust (0.014%), as well as the fact that rubies cannot form where there is an abundance of silica or iron (some of the most abundant elements) make its formation seem like a minor miracle. We shouldn’t have rubies; we got lucky. We still aren’t quite sure how they formed. Unfortunately, political factors mean scientists do not have access to the huge, high quality Mogok ruby crystals from Myanmar. These crystals do not fit with our current theoretical models of ruby formation. One day the study of these crystals may shed light on the mystery. What we do know is that chromium can cause strong fluorescence in rubies. This means that they appear to glow when exposed to UV light. The more chromium, the stronger the fluorescence. Some have so much chromium that they will even glow like an ember in the sun.

Ruby is an excellent stone to wear as Mars turns direct. It is a stone that is said to draw positive energy, motivation, abundance, and courage. Ruby can help you set realistic goals, and reach them. It gives you strength to get through any conflict, and can give you a much needed boost of energy if you’re feeling lethargic. In honor of our favorite Targaryen heading home, we suggest the Hydra Maximus Dragon Skull pendant with three rubies. A reminder that the dragon has three heads, and you may take what is yours with fiery Mars power and blood-red rubies.

Astrology Gemology

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