Navaratna is a Sanskrit word. The word itself means "nine gems." The same word is used in Hindi, Burmese, Indonesian, and Nepalese. In Asia, regardless of theological or cultural differences, ALL recognize navaratna as a mystical combination of gems where each of the nine gems correspond with planetarey bodies or movements in our solar system, including the sun, and that the gems themselves have an influence in a person's lifetime. Navatrana is important in Vedic Astrology or Hindu Astrology (also called Jyotisa in Sanskrit) and is based on sidereal time. The word "sidereal" comes from the Latin "sidereus" and first came into usage in the early to mid-seventeenth century (thanks to Galileo). Sidereal means pertaining to the stars or constellations. The Latin word sidereus means constellation. Sidereal time is not measured by the sun, but by fixed stars or constellations. Jyotish astrologers make their predictions based on sidereal time.
Galileo Galilei, the father of physics (and science, in many ways), wrote the Sidereus Nuncius in 1610. Sidereus Nuncius was written in Latin and essentially means "starry messenger." Galileo's treatise was a collection of his observations of the stars through the use of a telescope.
Navaratna is the connection between the macrocosm of the universe, and the microcosm of human existence. By wearing the nine gem-representations, a person is always connected to the universe. The ruby gemstone (corundum family) is always the center of any navatrana and represents the sun. This may make sense within the framework of western astrology, which places the Leo constellation in July--when the sun is strongest--and correlates the ruby as the birthstone for the month of July. A flawless pearl represents the moon--tying in the sea with the moon as the moon controls the ocean tides. Red coral typically represents the red planet, Mars. Emerald (beryl family) represents Mercury; yellow sapphire (corundum) represents Jupiter; a diamond represents Venus; blue sapphire (corundum) represents Saturn; hessonite (a cinammon colored stone from the garnet family found in Sri Lanka) is for "rahu" the ascending node of the moon; and cymophane or cat's eye (from the chrysoberyl family), also found in Sri Lanka) is for "ketu," the descending node of the moon.
To make a navaratna talisman, you should use clean, top-quality and totally natural gems; the belief is if you use good stones, yo will be protected from all kinds of evils, including disease. However, using stones that are colluded or faux are though to have the opposite effect. The stones would set in a circular pattern surrounding the ruby. Beginning from the twelve o'clock position, and moving clockwise, you would start with a diamond, then pearl, then red coral, hessonite, blue sapphire, cat's eye, yellow sapphire, and finally emerald. Interestingly, all the gemstones used are considered "precious gemstones," except for the cat's eye and hessonite, considered "semi-precious," and the pear and red coral--both of which are part of the organic gemstone family. Emerald, sapphire, ruby and diamond are the only gemstones on earth considered "precious." Pearl and coral are the only organic gemstones that come from the ocean. Cat's eye contains traces of beryllium, one of the rarest elements in the universe. Beryllium is a key element in the beryl family--so though the emerald is considered a precious gem and cat's eye is not, both contain the element beryllium, which has no none applications to either animal or plant life (when all other elements do).
Queen Sirikit of Thailand (1932-present) has a navaratna necklace created by Richard Shaw Brown (1947-present), an American expatriot who was originally part of The Misunderstood, a psychedelic rock band. Brown now lives and works in Bangkok, where he is a gemologist and jewelry designer known for his navaratna talisman jewelry. In 1993, Brown presented Queen Sirikit with "The Queen Sirikit Navaratna," a necklace featuring the nine sacred stones, set in gold.
So what does all this mean??? Not much if you have no interest in planetary patterns or the shared cultural history of the Asian continent. But as you can see, the navaratna is connected to the western world in a myriad of ways as well. And what's perhaps even more interesting is the human history evident in the navaratna concept. Literally spanning at least ten-thousand years and an entire continent, a belief in the mystical importance of the cosmos still persists. And it's not just in a belief about the mysticism of the planets, it's about taking earth-related representations of those planets as a method of physical connection. It always boils down to connections, doesn't it?
Humans flail around, lost in ourselves, lost in our limited perceptions, feeling our way in the brightest darkness ever known to our planet. All we really want is to feel connected. Bottomline. So you have to ask yourself why there are SO many humans who attempt to isolate themselves and others? My job isn't to provide all the answers--it's just to report the truth, a point from which YOU can reach for the stars yourself.
Have a WONDERFUL new week, dearest readers! Until next time...namaste.