Monday, September 17, 2012

The Color of September

If one were asked to name the colors of September,
answers would likely include oranges, yellows, and golds,
or reds ranging from burgundy to scarlet to vermilion.
But to me, the color of September is blue.

September in the Shire brings clear blue skies:

Not turquoise, not midnight blue, nor teal, nor robin's egg blue.
No, for me, the only blues that are emblematic of September
are lapis, French ultramarine, deep sky blue, Egyptian blue, or sapphire--
any blue that is saturated and pure without influences of yellow, red, or gray.

Like a lot of people, I probably got the idea that months have colors
by reading lists of birthstones and flowers by month.
I remembered that September's birthstone is sapphire 
and its flower is an aster, likely a clear blue aster.
Some lists include forget-me-nots and morning glories--both a rich blue.

But I read an interesting article in Wikipedia about birthstones.
The wikipedia article cites several sources, including those below.
They explain that the tradition of assigning gemstones to a month 
dates back to before the tenth century.
Bruce G. Knuth, author of Gems in Myth, Legend, and Lore (Revised Edition)
writes that in the original practice, devotees owned 12 gemstones,
one symbolizing each apostle or possibly one for each sign of the zodiac,  
and wore one each month.
Somewhere that practice evolved into each month being assigned its own gem.
Knuth also cites a 19th-century Hindu text, Mani Mala,
that listed birthstones by months.
In the Hindi tradition, the gem for September was zircon, 
which can be aquamarine blue or dark gold.

But a month's birthstone has not remained the same in Western culture. 
Over the centuries, a month's corresponding gemstone has changed repeatedly.
Up until the early part of the 20th century, 
the gem for September was alternately listed as peridot or topaz.
Sapphires were the gems for April.
George F. Kunz, author of The Curious Lore of Precious Stones 
says that sapphires were assigned to September 
by the National Association of Jewelers in 1912.

The Planetary Gemologists Association at
says that sapphire is the gemstone for the planet Saturn
because Saturn transmits cosmic energy through the gem.
In this regard, a sapphire-Saturn astral talisman can deflect envy,
avert dangerous influences, and protect one during travel.
The site recommends one wear the sapphire talisman on Saturdays
for two hours and forty minutes before the sun sets
and after reciting a mantra twenty-three times.

Well, I am intrigued.
It would be great if that were effective for curing one's ills.
My personal astrology chart shows Saturn rising, 
but the PGA web site warns that in such a case,
Saturn can sometimes cause stupidity. 
So in consideration of that, I'll forestall any further risk to my intellect
and refrain from trying the talisman ritual.
Enjoying the blue skies of September from here in the Shire 
will be cosmic energy enough for me.

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