Ruby Meaning: Healing Properties & Symbolism

A Precious & Protective Stone: This King of Gems, This Stone of Warriors

Of all the precious gemstones and birthstones, Ruby has, perhaps, the most wild nature. This deep red stone has been a symbol of good fortune, vitality, a warrior's bravery, and passion. Ruby is a variety of the mineral, Corundum. In fact, Ruby and Sapphire are essentially from the same mineral. From a geological standpoint, the only difference is the color. Ruby is the red variety and Sapphire is the blue variety of Corundum. Ruby's color can range from a deep blood red to a darker pink color. Ruby is the traditional birthstone of July and Sapphire is the traditional birthstone of September. It is associated with both the sign of Cancer and the sign of Leo, as well as Aries.

Ruby has a life force all its own, the brilliant red color of this gem make it seem that this was forged of sacred fires. Its name derives from the latin word ruber or rubeus, meaning "red." In Hindi, it is ratnaraj or “the king of precious stones.” Some say that it is a stone of the sun and that in its red facets, is the bloodline of humanity. Indeed, we can understand this idea due to the "blood red" color in many rubies. In the lore of ancient cultures, it was believed that that a heat source lived inside the gemstone. When Ruby is placed into water, it will boil. If it is placed into wax, it will melt the wax. Whether or not it actually will do that is another story, but this demonstrates the belief in the power of Ruby.

The wearer of rubies is believed to be given a boost of courage and determination. For this reason, it has been known as a stone for warriors. It is also associated with the planet Mars (in Roman mythology, he was the god of war). The red of rubies was connected to blood spilled on the battlefield, and warriors throughout history have brought this gem with them to ensure success in battle. In Burma, rubies were believed to make a warrior invincible. Warriors took this belief seriously and even went so far as to insert rubies deep in their skin or flesh (while this is an interesting fact, and we honor this idea, we do not recommend this).

When You're Feeling Blue, Ignite The Fires of the Soul: Ruby brings Bravery, Adventure, & Passion

It is said that Ruby awakens desires of the heart and of the body. It can be called on when you need assistance with achieving goals. The reason is because the fires of ruby inspire the kind of courage that involves leaps of great faith. Goals are easy to set, but the difficulty comes in the commitment to seeing the goal into fruition. Ruby's deep red will help you to root down and fuel your determination. When you've hit the "plateau" stage of achieving a goal, sometimes you need an extra push. It would be a good idea to wear it on your body, whether in a necklace or ring. Rubies are also known to be magnets for adventure, novelty, and enthusiasm. If you’ve been feeling stagnant and sluggish, feeling no desire to get out into the world, Ruby's red passion will lend you its heart’s fire, which will also assist with self confidence. 

It is believed in many cultures that rubies will kindle passion, desires, and dreams. This stone will get the creative energy and blood moving, making you want to take on just about anything. If you have come to a place in your life where you are bored with the mundane, rubies could assist with shaking things up a bit (in a good way). Afraid to make a fool of yourself on the dance floor? Ruby will help you move in a way that you'll leave your cares behind. If you have wanted to try extreme sports, ballet (in your 30s or 40s), or take on a new career that is out of your field, Ruby is the stone to bring along. Ruby's strength will bring a healthy optimism and a lust for life (in a way that is not self destructive). Many birthstones are also symbols of wealth. Ruby is no exception. This valuable stone is also known to help you attract good things in life. Ruby promotes prosperity and abundance. Throughout history, Ruby has been worn as a protective amulet called on to manifest wealth and prevent the wearer from falling into financial troubles. Whether or not it actually does this can be debated, but it should be noted that wealth does not always pertain to monetary and material things in life. It could also assist with seeing the things that are beautiful where they once were dull, giving a new shine and perspective to what you have and are blessed with in your current circumstance.

Uplifting & Shielding: Especially When You Feel You Cannot Move Another Step

Another form of Ruby's power is that it's a “shielding” stone. Since ancient times, Ruby has been called on to protect its wearer from psychic attacks, negative energy, and ill fortune. During stressful situations, our energy field can become open or torn, which can let it unwanted, negative energy from other places or people. Ruby has a quality that allows us to use it as a shield. Imagine the red heat of Ruby surrounding you, so fiery that it will keep the unwanted energy at bay, while giving you time to heal. We all have those moments in life that we feel burdened and trapped, when we feel like we will be stuck in our situation forever, when all our energy seems to be siphoned from us, and that the world will never get any better. Ruby is said to help temper this negative thinking. It stokes the ashes of those who are burned out, and finds that one small burning ember…that with just a little kindling will once again become a warming fire that heals and brings comfort and joy. Call on Ruby when you need that kind of rekindling.

The Value of a Backbone: Ruby Assists in Standing Up for What is Right

As we have discussed, Ruby ignites the fires of the soul, brings courage, and helps fears to subside. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you or someone else was treated in a certain way that was wrong and uncalled for....but you didn't say anything....you just looked the other way? It can be scary to stand up for others, because it means putting ourselves out there in a way that makes us vulnerable. Ruby can assist with daring to be outspoken. All of its fiery attributes can help us stand up for ourselves and for others. When others are being wronged, Ruby can help us dare to step forward and speak truths. It will assist if you need help speaking up or are nervous about rocking the boat. Another property of ruby is that it helps with sharpening our mental abilities and focus. It can strengthen us in a way that helps us keep going during disputes or controversy.

With so much going on in the world today, it can help you find your active voice to stand up against injustice in many ways, not just when it comes to having difficult conversations about difficult topics with those around you, but also being active in your community and uplifting others. Ruby helps us do what is right, for the good of the world. It is important to remember that within the deep red of Ruby, there is a warm light that is said to contain the bloodline of humanity, reminding us that we are all living beings and that we are all connected. So when, so to speak, you take up your "sword", you're not going out there looking for a fight or a foe to defeat. You're calling on Ruby so that you can be a defender of humanity, all beings, and the planet. We are all in this together. Please remember to honor that connection should you choose to use Ruby in this way.

How to Work with Ruby

One of the most enjoyable ways to work with Ruby is to wear it. Self-decoration is a time honored practice that includes intention and love. It is available in necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings. When you wear this stone, you carry courage, passion, activism, and creativity with you. Simply touch the piece that you are wearing if you need a moment to pause and “tap in”.

An efficient way to work with Ruby is simply to carry it in your pocket. The point is to have it accessible. Just having it near you is enough to feel and call on its energy. You can also keep it by your bedside. If you are feeling stagnant, ungrounded, or sluggish, take some time to meditate with it. You can do this while holding it in your hand or placing it on your body near your root chakra. 

Another way you can work with Ruby (or any gemstone) is to research the stone. Not just the properties or the healing aspects, but the lore of the gem from different cultures throughout history and the world. Looking up geological and mineralogical information is useful as well. There is power in understanding. Once you have learned what others have discovered, you can observe how Ruby is showing up in your path, then compare and contrast. As you do this, you will begin to make your own connections, meanings, and discoveries about the properties of Ruby.

It should be noted that those who are already fiery by nature, should take care when working with Ruby. Too much of any element can create an imbalance. Please work with this stone wisely.

Ruby Care and Cleaning

For free form Ruby stones, use warm and soapy water with a soft toothbrush. If you have it in a jewelry setting, and it is fracture filled, use only a damp cloth. If you are unsure if it is fracture filled, then still only use a damp cloth. Once thoroughly dry, keep in a soft cloth box or bag.

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July 14, 2022 — Denise Welling