Birthstone meanings and powers are an interesting topic. The custom of wearing birthstones originated in 16th century Poland, and has become a worldwide phenomenon. Back then, the upper crust would wear corresponding stones during each month, as they believed it would help them gain favor with celestial spirits.
The tradition changed over time (possibly because of the peasant's inability to buy a different set of jewelry for each month) and today birthstones are almost exclusively worn according to the month in which a person was born. Almost everyone knows their zodiac sign whether or not they put any investment into it, and birthstones are an equally popular notion.
Whether or not you believe in birthstone meanings and powers, it can certainly offer an exciting look into the past and even initiate a bit of self-reflection. While I don't believe my birthstone can actually protect me from harm or ward off evil, I do feel fortunate and successful in my personal life.
Is this a case of a birthstones meanings and powers springing into reality? Or am I simply taking notice of things that have always been present? Either way, I've found that birthstone meanings and powers can at least allow me to look at things and people from a different perspective. That can be a fairly valuable power in and of itself!
January Birthstone: Garnet Meanings and Powers
A beautiful stone to start the year. Strongly tied to the element of fire and the goddess Persephone, garnet is generally a very deep red color. Its shade can vary widely into yellows, oranges, and even green or purple! Garnet represents faith, purity, and truth. Garnet birthstone powers include protecting travelers and unveiling things which are being searched for. Next time I lose my keys, I'll whip out a garnet.
February Birthstone: Amethyst Meanings and Powers
February is the month of amethyst. Amethyst is tied to the water element and the water signs Pisces and Aquarius. Colors can range from pale lilac to a deep reddish purple. The deeper the color is, the more the gem is generally worth. Amethyst meanings include courage, sincerity, and stability. Amethyst birthstone powers include reducing stress, depression, and anxiety. The ancient Greeks also believed it could be placed in goblets of wine to prevent intoxication and addiction. The Greek word amethystos translates as "not drunk".
March Birthstone: Aquamarine Meanings and Powers
The March birthstone is contested. Some will argue that it is bloodstone, but my research has concluded that the traditional stone is aquamarine. From the name alone, you can probably guess the color. You can also deduce that we're dealing with another stone tied to the element of water. It is often connected with gods such as Poseidon and Neptune. Aquamarine meanings include clarity, faithfulness, and friendship. Aquamarine birthstone powers include enhancing communication, and curing diseases of the heart, liver, and stomach. Sailors once believed seasickness could be prevented by drinking water in which an aquamarine had been sitting.
April Birthstone: Diamond Meanings and Powers
There are probably a fair amount of people that get jealous about this one. Diamonds are adored the world over, and for good reason. Diamonds can appear in almost any color, but these are the result of impurities or structural defects. Real, pure diamonds are always perfectly transparent. Diamonds are tied to fire and air elements, with a strong link to the sun. With that comes relation to Greek sun gods Apollo and/or Helios. Diamond birthstone meanings are courage, eternity, and strength. Diamond birthstone powers are largely related to fertility and reproduction, but can also be used to facilitate reconciliation and forgiveness. I'd forgive someone for quite a lot if they handed me a diamond, wouldn't you?
May Birthstone: Emerald Meanings and Powers
This beauty was one of the legendary Cleopatra's favorite gems. Emeralds are amazing stones that come in a variety of lush green tones. Made of the mineral beryl, emerald is an extremely close relative of the aquamarine. Emeralds are tied to the water element and can represent eternal life. Emerald meanings include fidelity, faithfulness, and loyalty. Emerald birthstone powers can boost almost anything, from lost passion to sales during an economic downturn.
June Birthstone: Pearl Meanings and Powers
My personal favorite gem, pearls have a long history in magic and folklore. It is also the only organically-made gemstone. Pearls are tied to the water element (obviously), and are said to be the tears of Aphrodite herself. Pearl meanings include chastity, loyalty, and purity. Pearl birthstone powers aren't all about modesty, these jewels are said to absorb emotions. If you wear a pearl when you're angry, you will feel angry the next time you wear that pearl. Of course, this can also be used to try and harness some good vibes as well. Wear a pearl during happy events to recall the feeling later on!
July Birthstone: Ruby Meanings and Powers
Rubies have an extremely long history, and are actually more valuable than diamonds. They are called the king of gems in the Hindu religion. Soldiers in Burma would use rubies to become invincible in battle. It wasn't enough to just wear them though, they had to implant them directly into their bodies. Rubies are tied closely to the fire element. Ruby meanings include nobility, devotion, and prosperity. Ruby birthstone powers are related to power and strength and can allow you to overcome fears and personal challenges. In ancient Europe they were thought to stanch bleeding, and in the Hindu religion they are said to ward off negative energy and evil magic.
August Birthstone: Peridot Meanings and Powers
Peridot is sometimes called the evening emerald due to its light green coloring. While not as deeply colored as an emerald, it has still forged its way into folklore and mysticism. Peridot is tied to the air element and the goddess Pele. It is said that peridots found in volcanic ash were the tears of the this temperamental deity. Peridot meanings include fame, love, and truth. Peridot birthstone powers are focused on balance. If you are feeling off-kilter a peridot might be helpful. It can also prevent restless sleep and even nightmares.
September Birthstone: Sapphire Meanings and Powers
This blue stone has a very long history and is a favorite of ancient kings. The color of sapphires can range from white, pink, yellow, to the most recognizable; blue. Sapphires were loved by royalty not just for their color, but because they could supposedly be used to prevent poisoning. It was thought that if a poisonous snake was placed in a container made of sapphire that it would die within the week. Sapphires are tied to air and water, and relate closely to the Libra sign of the zodiac. Sapphire meanings are constancy, intuition, and serenity. Sapphire birthstone powers include strengthening love and fidelity. Sapphires are also said to increase the potential of psychic powers, both for divining the future and protecting against mental attacks. They might also prevent poisoning and kill snakes, though I think the science has already come back on that one.
October Birthstone: Opal Meanings and Powers
Opal is very unique in this list. It comes in almost every color you can imagine, and some actually consider the opal bad luck. Sir Walter Scott's book Anne of Geierstein features an opal talisman that strikes its owner dead when doused with holy water. Of course, the book is a work of fiction but sadly the gorgeous opal still carries baggage from a novel released in 1829. The strange journey doesn't end there for the opal. These mysterious gems are tied to all of the four elements, and often connected with Zeus. Opal meanings are purity, hope, and innocence. Opal birthstone powers are largely similar to the pearl. They absorb and amplify the energy around them... If that's not your thing it's also said that the opal can protect your eyesight. Toss out those brand new Ray-Bans, because I've got an opal in my pocket.
November Birthstone: Topaz Meanings and Powers
Topaz is another stone that can come in almost any color, including no color at all. In the past it was thought that all yellow gems were topaz, and all topaz were yellow. Yellow topaz are known as 'imperial topaz', these are the most expensive and sought after. Topaz are tied to the air element and are most loved by sun gods, Ra in Egypt and Apollo in Greece. Topaz meanings include courage, faithfulness, and friendship. Topaz birthstone powers are related to strength and intellect. Topaz can prevent others from lying or gossiping about you, or used to discover someone else's secrets. Topaz is also believed to increase creativity, and even bring wealth to the wearer.
December Birthstone: Turquoise Meanings and Powers
The final stone, and the stone of my birth month. I'm very pleased to be able to wear turquoise. Turquoise has a very unique look, coming in all shades of blue and often speckled or banded with white or black. Turquoise had a large significance for many Native American tribes. Apaches thought that it improved their hunting prowess, while Navajo believed that they were magical gifts that fell from the sky. Turquoise is tied to the water element and many deities such as Hathor, the Egyptian goddess of joy and fertility, Whope the Lakota Sioux goddess of peace, and Yemoja, the African goddess of the oceans and protector of pregnant women. Turquoise meanings include happiness, prosperity, and wisdom. Turquoise birthstone powers enhance luck and creativity. Carrying a turquoise stone can also assist with public speaking and communication.