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Ruby: Birthstone for July

Ruby is the name used for a red corundum. All the other colour ways of corundum are termed sapphires. This is a very hard and durable stone scoring 9 on Mohs scale of hardness. The name ruby comes from the Latin 'ruber' which means 'red'. Perhaps it is their colour, like drops of blood from the Earth, which first inspired healers. Aristotle said, "One is red as pure blood and is called rubinus. That is the best of all."

Rubies have a solar, yang, masculine energy. This is an ideal birthstone for those born under the sign of Leo as the Sun is their ruler. In Sanskrit ruby is known as 'ratnaraj' which translates as 'king of precious stones'. As Leos are the most regal of all the signs it most befitting that they should wear ruby. The famous Black Prince's Ruby in the British Imperial State Crown is not, however, a true ruby. It is a huge, very beautiful, uncut red spinel. Spinels were not classified separately from rubies until 1783.

In healing ruby lends a strengthening energy when we are feeling weak, whether that is following an illness or an emotional blow. It helps us ground strongly through our base chakra into the Earth. Gem quality rubies are expensive; in general the redder the shade the better quality the ruby, however purplish-red rubies are lovely to work with and pinkish rubies are still of use in healing. A ruby layout can provide a sense of empowerment. Lying or sitting in a Sun net with ruby can boost your confidence and motivation. Use six rubies arranged around you in a Star of David on a yellow cloth.

Star rubies are a rare and special form; the best quality reflect a six rayed star of light, but cheaper polished rubies may still reflect a silky shine. These magical stones help us to anchor the Light of pure Spirit down into our physical selves. Record Keeper rubies have raised triangles on their main face. These rubies are excellent for past life work and in particular for looking at where we have given away our power to authority figures in the past and reclaiming that power.

Rubies have a long association with courage. In history Burmese warriors actually inserted rubies into their flesh in the belief it would make them fearless and invincible in battle. Ruby is still an excellent ally for those who need courage to stand up for their beliefs, although I'd recommend you just wear the ruby! Its energy helps us to speak out for what is right and good, especially at those times when our core values are being threatened.

There are some people who see voicing opposition as somehow unspiritual or even 'dark'. We only have to look to the most inspiring figures in history to know that it is sometimes necessary to challenge injustice. Jesus was the embodiment of the Ruby Ray and he was certainly not afraid to make waves! Ask ruby to bestow its courageous light upon you when you need to stand up and be counted.

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