Ruby is the most powerful of the red stones (which also include garnet, red jasper, and carnelian). In India, it was considered an especially important gift with which to honor Krishna. According to Hindu belief, the source of the gem's glow was an internal flame that no mortal could extinguish. Its Sanskrit name is Ratnaraj, The King Of Gems.
The Second Chakra: Going with the Flow
The color red, though sometimes associated with the first chakra, is the natural partner of the second partner, which relates to sexuality, blood circulation, and flow in general.
This chakra relates to the natural flow of sensation. Because sensation is associated with sensory pleasure, those who've learned that physical enjoyment is wrong try to suppress it. The need for sensation occurs, however, in all those with the ability to feel, thus it is a part of being alive. Often those who have denied themselves its natural expression seek artificial stimulation by abusing food, drugs, or alcohol.
We are helped along the road to denial by a range of popular beliefs. Some orthodox religions take a dubious view of desire, viewing it as the fuel that blocks the road to heaven. We're taught that the heart (fourth) chakra, representing love, represents a superior, refined, and pure energy, in contrast to the crude and dangerous passions (including sexuality) of the second chakra.
Ruby and the Second Chakra
To some degree, these social repressions may be working in any of us. Ruby, however, may not be the first choice of stone to achieve rebalance. Like opal, it amplifies all emotions, which can be overwhelming for those seeking to open a tightly closed door. Depending on the strength of the blockage, I would recommend in descending degree of severity:
Red Jasper: The most grounding red stone, it helps to bridge the energies of the first and second energy, connecting us to the deep flow of earth energies.
Carnelian: Helps to ground us in the present and awakens creativity.
Garnet: In many ways, this crystal has energies like ruby, but they are much softer and more diffused.
Ruby is also not for people who have a predominance of fire in their astrological or emotional makeup. If you are an Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius, and especially if you have many planets in fire signs, Ruby may be too much of a good thing. This is especially true if you tend to be quick-tempered, easily irritated, or nervous. Being an astrologically fiery person, I have little to do with rubies in their pure form.
However, ruby comes in two combinations that even the fieriest person can use. These are ruby in zoisite and ruby in fuschsite.
Ruby in Zoisite: Grounding Passion
Ruby in zoisite is the union of opposites. Zoisite's green cools and stabilizes the fiery passion of ruby. Thus, it is excellent for healing the heart after an ended love affair and also for helping to dissolve obsessive feelings about someone. It is equally useful for grounding creative energies. For those whose ideas are always in their heads, never quite reaching the earth plane, it can provide a stabilizing medium.
Ruby in Fuschsite
Most of us have worked with fuschite without perhaps knowing it. A chromium mica, it gives aventurine its color. In conjunction with other crystals, fuschsite helps to speed up physical or emotional healing. It can return one to a state of wellbeing after an emotional confrontation. It also helps emotions travel from an unconscious to a conscious level and takes them further to psychic and intuitive awareness. It can also activate a lighthearted spirit and a feeling of compassion.
If you're looking for a crystal to help bring up stubborn negative emotional states and to release them with minimum suffering, consider ruby in fuschite. I would recommend either holding it or placing it on the heart chakra.
The Benefits of Ruby
Having gone through the disclaimers and having named replacement stones, I believe that ruby can benefit many people. Whether you are strongly grounded or earthbound, ruby can add some dance to your walk on the earth plane. If your second chakra is relatively balanced, if you are basically comfortable with physical sensation, and if you want to enhance certain aspects, such as creativity, sensuality, or the ability to express anger in a constructive way, it is an ideal stone. It's a stone that helps to make the good better.
An example of how to work with it is with anger. To bring long-held anger to the surface, meditate with a ruby in one hand and a clear quartz in the other or place ruby and clear quartz on the pelvic area. Consciously allow the anger to arise. The clear quartz will accelerate the process of releasing and dissolving the anger.
Ruby can also awaken passion -- not only sexual passion, but passion for living, for experiencing, for creating. It can stimulate motivating energy and the power of creative visualization. It also helps people to be realistic and honest about their goals and intentions.
Thus, if you are experiencing inertia, feel unimaginative, or feel that your imagination is creating dreams which are unrealizable, a ruby may help you to move forward in a positive way.
Ruby Miscellany and History
Technical stuff: Ruby is a form of corundum, aluminum oxide silicate colored by chromium.
Inhabitants of the former Burma, now Myanmar, have mines and mining tools dating back to the Stone Age. Some mines in India and Sri Lanka are nearly as old.
In former times specimens worth more than 1,000 rupees had to be turned over to the king. However, clever miners figured out how to ignore this restriction.
Due to its rarity, a clear and flawless ruby has a value ten times more than a diamond of equivalent quality. Lab-grown rubies are often substituted for the hard-to-find and hard-to-ford real thing. According to crystal practitioners, their properties are strong and powerful.
New deposits of rubies continue to be found. In 1992 a deposit was found in North Vietnam.
Those fond of Tudor and Elizabethan history will be interested that a ruby Catherine of Aragon wore turned dark and dull the day before Henry the Eighth announced he was divorcing her.
Beyond the Rainbow