My interest in understanding gemology from a Vedic Astrology perspective and learning about the empowering properties of gemstones came quite late in life. To be honest, I wasn’t really interested in jewelry as a child but I did have my eyes on a particular set of gold earrings designed as a flower with a pearl centre that my mother had from her childhood but to assert my rights as the first born daughter and to wear them, I had to have my ears pierced.
In those days, buying jewelry was based on trust rather than branding and so, at the age of 8, I insisted that it had to be done when we went to my mother’s home town and the family jeweler did the needful. I acquired my first silver earring which was actually a silver loop but I had pierced ears now and the world became my oyster as did my mother’s earrings which are still a prized possession now safely kept in the bank locker.
As I grew older, I bought jewelry that caught my eye and unlike my peers who went for gold, I preferred silver and gems. I was attracted to amethysts and red garnets. I eventually did acquire diamonds but that was because I’m an Aries and I understand that no Aries girl worth her salt would not have something in her collection.
When I came to live in India in the late 90s, I noticed that men and women often wore particular rings on different fingers and I was told that they were meant to help with problems from an astrological perspective as guided by their astrologer. My curiosity was aroused and I had to learn more.
What I am sharing from this point is based on what I have discovered over the last 15 years and should be read for information and knowledge about a different concept to gemology compared to the West.
Mythology about the Origin of Gems
There are many myths and legends about the origination of gemstones but one thing that is quite clear is that even in ancient times, when there was no gemology or research available, people all over the world, whether in India, Turkey, Egypt or even in Germany were aware of the power of gems and wore them for strengthening various planets and for propitiation purposes.
Even today, there are beliefs about using certain gemstones and crystals for specific purposes. For example, I learned that Amber is believed to cure rheumatism in one instance and in Germany, hanging a garland of ambers around the neck of an infant can make their teething less troublesome while the Romans would hang chains of Coral to the cradle of infants to ward off evil spirits. In India, lockets made of silver and studded with Pearls are hung around the necks of the infants to ward off evils.
Whether or not we believe in the healing and curative effects of wearing gems or crystals, there are many who claim to have experienced the benefit for their problem and I suppose, one has to try it to form their own opinion.
Gemstones according to Hindu Mythology
In Hindu mythology, Demons too could worship the Gods especially Vishnu and Shiva and get boon following severe penance that made them even more powerful. Many demon kings were actually good rulers until they became too powerful and misused their power and then the Gods would have devised a plan for their downfall. One such demon king was Bali whose story is associated with the birth of gems.
According to legend, it is said that the King of the Demons, Bali, came to Heaven to conquer it. The God Indra, who is also the King of Heaven, escorted Bali in the guise of a Brahmin who was seeking an animal to perform a sacrifice. He pleaded with Bali to help him as he was unable to find an animal that day and the yagna (prayer) could not be completed without the sacrifice.
Bali accepted it knowing that his body was invincible. This was known to Indra too and he did not hurt the body of Demon King but hurled his Thunderbolt Weapon (Vajra) at the weakest part of Bali’s body – his head. The demon king was shattered into pieces of gems because he was a unique creature himself, immensely powerful and armed with arduous karma (good effects) too.
It is said in mythology that the various parts of Bali’s body transformed into the different gems. So, from the bones of demon king Bali, Diamonds were found; from his teeth the Pearls; from his blood drops Ruby; from the gall bladder Emerald; from his eyes came out Blue Sapphires; from the juice of his heart came Lapis Lazuli; from his bone marrow appeared Karketan; from his nails appeared Cat’s Eye; from his body fat came Rock Crystal; from flesh came Coral; from skin came out Yellow Sapphire; and from his semen appeared a gem called Bheesham.
The legend further goes that from these gems, Sun took away Ruby, Moon picked up Pearls, Mars took away Coral, Mercury took Emeralds, Jupiter picked up Yellow Sapphire, Venus took Diamonds, Saturn took Blue Sapphires, Rahu took away Zircon and Ketu lifted Lapis Lazuli. This is the reason why these stones are worn by humans to enhance the strength of these planets.
According to mythology, all these gems had been grown by nature inside the body of Demon King Bali as he was a unique creature and when these gems came out of the shattered body, it was a symbol of victory of Gods over the demons.
How to Determine Your Gemstone
Vedic Astrology uses various methods to determine your gemstone and the main difference with Western astrology is that the zodiac sign is based on the position of the Moon at the time of birth.
So depending upon your Moon Sign Ascendant, your gem would be:
You can wear your gem on your person in the form of necklaces, bracelets, earrings and even rings. The difference with wearing jewelry from the Vedic perspective is that the stone must touch your body and hence, in the case of a pendant or ring, must be mounted in such a way that the gem touches your skin and allows the rays of light to allow the gem to give you its full benefit.
If you decide to wear rings for problem solving or therapeutic purposes then there are procedures which are outside the scope of this post but which require setting in a particular metal, cleaning the gems with mantras and putting them on specific fingers at specific times and days of the week. Your astrologer would also prescribe the karat of the gem based on your weight!
The best way to determine the right gemstones for use under Vedic Astrology is to seek the help of a qualified astrologer as it is believed that using the wrong gemstone or wearing it in the wrong manner can actually give adverse results. So for example, not everyone can wear Blue Sapphire in olden times, the jeweler would give the stone to the prospective buyer wrapped in delicate cloth to keep on their person for a week to see if it suited them before selling it. I’ve heard of stories where the sapphire was returned very quickly!
Seek Guidance through a Professional Vedic Astrologer
There are many online sites that claim that they can tell you about the gems that you need to use based on your Vedic Astrological sign and while this is at a basic level (the zodiac sign would be computed based on your Moon sign as the Ascendant) if you are looking to use gemstones to help with specific solutions, then you need to seek out a qualified Vedic Astrologer with proven credentials.
The reason being that under the Vedic Astrology system, a number of factors are taken into account to find the right gem for you. In brief, the astrologer would look at your Moon Sign and at the ruling planet with reference to your birth charts as a starting point. Then he would look at the Major Planetary Period at the time of your birth and the position of the planet ruling that period. It doesn’t stop there. The astrologer would also examine all 9 planets and their location in your birth chart as well as their strengths. There is another chart called Navamsa which would also be examined to pinpoint any hidden facts that are overlooked in your Zodiac Chart as well as any change of position of a planet house-wise.
Only then will the astrologer give clear indications about the type of gemstone that has to be prescribed for the person.
Normally the stones are prescribed for strengthening the planets which results in beneficial effects. In fact, the astrologer can prescribe specific gemstones for specific periods of one’s life and even ask you to abstain from wearing specific gems or crystals as they may act counter-intuitively.
For example, my Vedic sign is that of a Scorpion and I am supposed to benefit from wearing Coral. However, around the time that I faced a redundancy, it was determined that my Sun was very strong and I had to refrain from wearing Coral as my Mars was also strong and instead of helping me, it would make me angrier and more agitated!
I was advised to wear more of pearls to help keep me calm and the Yellow Topaz to help strengthen Jupiter who looks after careers and business success. This was indeed a dynamic prescription and quite possibly helped me to ride out the storm in a global recession until I could find my way back into a better employment. It worked.
Pure Vedic Astrology also talks about conflicting gemstones and should you intend to use gemology under Vedic Astrology without enabling the aid of an astrologer, to find cures and solutions, it helps to have an idea about the conflict of different gemstones.
Vedic Astrology Gemstones and their Semi-precious substitutes
Some of the gemstones that I mentioned are quite expensive and you may not wish to wear them on a daily basis. So here are some semi-precious substitutes that work equally well.
Ruby is the precious stone for Sun. The semi precious substitute for Ruby is Red Garnet.
Pearl is the precious stone for Moon. The semi precious substitute for this is Moon Stone and Opal.
Red coral is the precious stone for Mars. The semi precious substitute for this is Carnelian.
The Hessonite is the precious stone for Rahu. Its semi precious substitute is Zircon and Amber.
Yellow sapphire is also known as Oriental Topaz and is the precious stone for Jupiter. The semi precious substitute is Golden Topaz.
Blue sapphire is the precious stone for Saturn. The semi precious substitute is Turquoise and Lapis lazuli.
Green Emerald is precious stone for Mercury. The semi Precious substitute for this is Peridot.
Cat’s eye is the precious stone for Ketu. The semi precious substitute for this is Alexandrite.
Diamond is the precious stone for Venus. The semi precious substitute for this is Tourmaline and Rock Crystal.
Empower Yourself with Gemstones
Hopefully, I have not frightened you with all the information about gemology under Vedic Astrology!
My personal view is that we are often attracted to a gem because our body needs the energy of that gem which is also the basis of Chakra healing using the energy of specific gems.
If one listens to one’s intuition and gut feeling, one can hear the gems calling out to us to wear them whether we seek the guidance of an astrologer or not!
Think about it, have there ever been times when you have wanted to put on a particular necklace which was not going with your attire so you changed your outfit? That is your Higher Self telling you to use the benefit of a particular gem to help you with a problem or to help you with the healing process. So trust yourself and if you feel like wearing garnets, pearls or your favorite amber bracelet today, listen to your intuition and wear it – even if you have to change your attire to do it!
Note from Roz:
This wonderful post was written by Vatsala Shukla, an amazing coach who can be found at her website: www.karmicallycoaching.com. She invites you to download your special copy of her ebook, Self-Improvement Strategies – The Karmic Ally Coaching Way. This is a special workbook designed for the professional who prefers self-help as a first option to finding solutions to problems, as well as individuals who are focused on getting results and willing to embrace the change they want become.
Items in our Collections which Include Vedic Astrology Gemstones: