L Which Gemstones to Wear Basic Rules

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To determine which gemstones are best for a particular birth chart, we must first understand how to determine the status of planets in Vedic astrology as both 'natural' and 'temporal', benefics or malefics. Natural benefics are the Moon, Jupiter, Venus and Mercury. Natural malefics are the Sun, Mars, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu - as explained earlier in the book.

'Temporal benefics' are planets that rule good and helpful houses from the Ascendant like houses one, five and nine. 'Temporal malefics' are those that rule bad and challenging houses in the chart like houses six, eight and twelve. All planets work to strengthen the effects of houses that they rule, but not all houses are good for the chart overall. We generally do not want to strengthen the power of malefic houses.

Temporal status is a complex matter for which I have provided a simple table below.39 It's logic follows the division into two planetary camps with the Sun, Moon, Mars and Jupiter forming one group of friends, and Mercury, Venus and Saturn forming the other, with some minor variations. Because all planets, except the Sun and Moon, rule two houses from the Ascendant - which may include both a good house and a bad house, determining the overall effect of a planet can sometimes in the end be a judgment call. The table is general and may require some modification as per individual chart.40

Table of Temporal Rulership

ASCENDANT

Generally Benefic

Neutral or Mixed

Generally Malefic

ARIES

Mars, Sun, Moon, Jupiter

None

Mercury, Venus, Saturn

TAURUS

Venus, Mercury, Saturn

Sun

Moon, Mars, Jupiter

GEMINI

Mercury, Venus

Saturn

Sun, Moon, Mars, Jupiter

CANCER

Moon, Mars, Jupiter

Sun

Mercury, Venus Saturn

LEO

Sun, Mars, Jupiter

Moon

Mercury, Venus, Saturn

VIRGO

Mercury, Venus

Saturn

Sun, Moon, Mars, Jupiter

LIBRA

Mercury, Venus, Saturn

None

Sun, Moon, Mars, Jupiter

SCORPIO

Mars, Sun, Moon, Jupiter

None

Mercury, Venus, Saturn

Table of Temporal Rulership (cont'd)

ASCENDANT

Generally Benefic

Neutral or Mixed

Generally Malefic

SAGITTARIUS

Jupitei; Sun, Mars

Moon

Mercury, Venus, Saturn

CAPRICORN

Saturn, Venus

Mercury

Sun, Moon, Mars, Jupiter

AQUARIUS

Saturn, Venus

Mercury

Sun, Moon, Mars, Jupiter

PISCES '

Jupitei; Moon, Mars

Sun

Mercury, Venus, Saturn'

Several conflicting opinions exist among Vedic astrologers regarding the prescribing of gemstones. These mainly fall into two opposing camps. The first group consists of those astrologers who recommend gem-stones for weak planets in the chart in order to make them stronger. Their theory is that gems work primarily to increase the power of the planet that they relate to. This is the 'safe school', which I usually follow and will primarily examine in this book. According to it, the weakest benefics (figured both naturally and temporally) should be strengthened with the appropriate gemstones.

The second group consists of astrologers who recommend gemstones for the planets causing trouble in the chart, which are usually the malefics. Their logic is that it is best to propitiate the planet causing the problem, even if it is a malefic like Saturn or a lord of difficult houses like the eighth house. By removing the cause, the problem will be corrected. However, strengthening malefic planets increases their influence upon us and can cause dangers. Because of this, I recommend not to wear the gemstone of malefic planets unless you are really prepared to work with their energy on an inner level, doing extensive mantra and meditation practices. It is also best to have the ongoing help of a good astrologer or spiritual guide, if you want to follow this approach.

I will explain the rules for the first school of thought (the 'safe school'):

Rule 1 for Prescribing Gemstones

Use gemstones to strengthen the influence of weak benefics in the chart, particularly rulers of prime benefic houses 1,5, and 9.

This is an important rule to consider for the lord of the Ascendant, the ruler of the chart as a whole, and for the lords of the fifth and ninth houses, the houses of grace and fortune. Gems for the planets ruling these houses are usually safe to wear, particularly if their lord is weakly placed in the chart. Such conditions include the planet located in its sign of debility, in difficult houses like 6,8 and 12, under strong malefic influences like Mars, Saturn, Rahu, Ketu or the sixth or eighth house lords, or if the planet is combust or retrograde. If the planet is also a natural benefic, it is even safer to wear its gem.

If the house itself (1, 5 or 9) is under the influence of natural malefic planets (Saturn, Mars, Rahu, Ketu, Sun), that is another factor for strengthening its lord, even if the particular planet ruling that house is not itself afflicted. For example, if the Ascendant is under double malefic influences of Mars and Saturn it can be good to wear the gem-stone for the planet ruling it, even if that planet itself is free of such afflictions. The same rule can be extended for temporal malefic influences on good houses. Aspects of the sixth, eighth or twelfth lord on such good houses can be similarly weakening.

The gem of the lord of the ninth house, the best house in the chart, is usually the safest to wear (with the possible exception of Gemini, where Saturn also rules the difficult eighth house). Many astrologers consider that the gem of the ruler of the Ascendant is also good for everyone to wear because it represents the 'self' of the person. But some caution should be taken if the Ascendant ruler is a temporal malefic (also ruling difficult houses like 6 and 8 apart from its rulership of the Ascendant, like Mars for Aries and Scorpio Ascendants).

Rule 2 for Prescribing Gemstones

Avoid gemstones of planets that are already strong in the chart, particularly if they rule malefic houses. To wear the gemstone of a strong malefic may only increase its power to do harm.

If planets are already strongly placed in the chart we ordinarily do not need to wear gems for them. If they rule malefic houses like 2,3,6, 7, 8, 11 and 12, we may only increase their capacity to cause harm. If the planet is also a natural malefic one should be doubly careful.

For example, if Saturn is located in Capricorn for a Cancer Ascendant, a strong position in an angle and in its own sign, we usually would not recommend a gem for it. This would increase the power of Saturn, which is both a natural and temporal malefic for Cancer.

If a temporal benefic is already strong in the chart, like a planet ruling houses 1, 5 and 9, its gem can usually be safely used but it may ' not be necessary or may not be the best gem to wear, if there are other temporal benefics in the chart that are more weakly placed.

Rule 3 for Prescribing Gemstones

Gemstones of natural malefic planets (like Saturn) should only be worn if the planet is a temporal benefic (ruler of good houses) and also weakly placed in the chart.

For example, if Saturn is located in its debility in Aries for a Libra Ascendant, its gemstone can be worn because it is a Raja Yoga Karaka (a ruler of good angular and trine houses that gives power and success in life). On the other hand, if Saturn is positioned in Aries for a Leo Ascendant, it would be better to wear a gemstone for Mars (the ruler of Aries) instead if one wanted to compensate for the weak Saturn because Saturn is not a good planet for Leo.

Rule 4 for Prescribing Gemstones

Gemstones of temporal malefic planets (lords of malefic houses like 3, 6, 8 and 11) are not usually worn.

This is a clarification of the previous rules. Rulers of these houses cause harm in the chart. If a planet is a natural benefic but a temporal malefic, like Jupiter for Libra Ascendant ruling houses 3 and 6, we would usually not recommend a gemstone for it, even if it is weak in the chart. If a planet is both a natural and a temporal malefic, like Mars for Gemini Ascendant ruling houses 6 and 11, its gemstone could be quite harmful.

Possible exceptions are the Moon and perhaps the Sun if they are especially weak in a chart because they represent Ascendants in their own right.

Rule 5 for Prescribing Gemstones

If using the gem is warranted by other factors, it becomes more favorable to wear it if its major or minor period is transpiring.

Some Vedic astrologers recommend wearing the gem of whatever planet is ruling the current planetary period (dasha). I would not go that far, but if there are several planets whose gem would be good to wear, one should give preference to the planet running the period in volved.

Such a temporary use of gems can be done for planets that one might not normally want to use to strengthen the chart as a whole. For example, one might wear the gemstone of the ruler of the tenth house of career during its period, if it is weak and finding a good job is a problem.

Rule 6 for Prescribing Gemstones

If using a gem is warranted by other factors, one should grant special protection to a planet undergoing difficult transits.

This is particularly true for the Moon, which can bring a lot of suffering when transited by Saturn or Rahu. If the Moon is an important benefic in the chart, like for Cancer Ascendant, even if it is not otherwise very weak, we might want to recommend its gemstone during the period of Saturn's transit as a protective measure.

Rule 7 for Prescribing Gemstones

For gems, as for all affairs in the chart, examine houses from the Moon as well as houses from the Ascendant.

If both the Ascendant and the Moon are ruled by friendly planets (Saturn, Mercury and Venus are one camp; Jupiter, Sun, Moon and Mars are the other), the prescription of gems is easier. For example, if the Ascendant is Taurus and the Moon is located in Capricorn, since both Venus, the ruler of Taurus, and Saturn, the ruler of Capricorn, are natural friends and Mercury is a friend of both, should any of these three planets be weak either from the Ascendant or the Moon, its gem would usually be appropriate.

Conversely, we should be careful if planets belonging to unfriendly groups rule the Ascendant and the Moon. For example, if Gemini is rising but the Moon is in Sagittarius, the planets that will rule good houses from the Ascendant will rule difficult houses from the Moon. To deal with this, an important method is to see which is stronger, the Ascendant or the Moon, and prescribe the gems according to the stronger. To determine this, however, one must examine the chart carefully.

Rule 8 for Prescribing Gemstones

The positions of planets in divisional charts, particularly the navamsha, should be examined in a secondary way.

In determining whether to use the gem for a planet we should look at the navamsha chart as well and other divisional charts.41 This helps us fine tune our prescription because the navamsha represents the fruit of the rashi or basic birth chart.

Rule 9 for Prescribing Gemstones

Another factor to bear in mind, though a secondary consideration, is that masculine gems - those for the Sun, Mars and Jupiter - are generally better for men and feminine gems - those for Venus and the Moon - are better for women. Here Mercury is considered to be androgynous.

For example, gemstones for the Moon may be helpful for women, if the Moon is afflicted in the chart, even if it rules difficult houses from the Ascendant.

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    How to wear gemstones for healing?
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