Monday, August 3, 2015

Symbolism of Peridot

Peridot is a form of silicate of magnesia characterized by its yellow-green color. As the birthstone for August, peridot signifies growth, renewal, vitality, and hope. In some religious circles, peridot represents divine counsel.{1} It implies a relationship with the divine, a give-and-take discussion in which opinions are shared freely, and understanding grows as the fruit of friendship with God. Peridot brings assurance that each person has a divine purpose, a destiny to which they were called.{2}

In the Jewish tradition called Kabbalah, the color green is associated with Binah, the nurturing mother aspect of Yahweh God. Binah represents the knowing and understanding that come from relationship with divine knowledge. Binah is not an informational knowledge or understanding. Rather, it represents a pursuit of heart knowledge - contemplation of intuition, inspiration, and insight.{3}

As the feminine form of God, Binah is not complete without the masculine form called Chochmah. Chochmah is energy, concept, force; Binah is germination, maturation, and fruition of the given concepts, forms, or essences establish by Chochmah, realized by Binah.{4}

Another way to perceive the relationship between Binah and Chochmah is by contemplating the terms understanding and wisdom. According to Perle Besserman, author of The Shambalah Guide to Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism, wisdom (represented by Chochmah) is the flash of divine insight, while understanding (represented by Binah) is the rumination upon that flash of insight which leads to assimilation. By these definitions wisdom represents potential, and understanding represents manifestation of that potential.{5}

According to Gabriella Samuel, author if The Kabbalah Handbook, Binah presents herself in the human ability to "develop a concept in depth, thereby making possible its practical and complex realization in the material realm."{6}

For those interested in the application of the power of Binah in their own lives, it is possible to draw upon the strength of Binah and Chochmah on a personal, individual level. For example, I might one day conceive of the idea that I could become a world-class jewelry designer. This is Chochmah granting me the great idea of my individual potential.

As I reflect on this idea, I commune with Binah. She inspires me as I consider the logistics of becoming said jewelry designer. How will I learn about gemstones? Who will teach me metallurgy? Where must I go to learn bench techniques? Where will I turn for business know-how?

I must also consider the ramifications of failure and success. Both require a conversation with Binah, who inspires me to be honest with myself about the process and my own limitations. This type of rumination will help me determine the obstacles I will face along my path. One day, if I find myself sparked to passion by the ins and outs of jewelry design, and if I overcome all the obstacles in my way, these conversations with Divine Understanding will have transformed that initial gift of potential into a thriving jewelry design business.

Perhaps you'd like a daily reminder of the importance of contemplation, consideration, and rumination on the divine sparks of potential and insight that come your way. May we recommend purchasing a ring, brooch, or necklace made with peridot?

August's sacred yellow-green birthstone will remind you to take the time to consider those lofty ideas that sometimes enter your thoughts as random, crazy ideas. Perhaps one of those ideas, as you contemplate it in communion with Binah, will take form and manifest itself beautifully in your life.

~Angela Magnotti Andrews, Staff Writer


  1. "Chrysolite - The Golden Green Counsel of God," God's Chemistry Set Blog, July 23, 2012.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Kunzl, Hannelore. "Jewish Artists and the Representation of God." Representation in Religion: Studies in Honour of Moshe Barasch, ed. by Barash, Moshe, Jan Assmann, and Albert I. Baumgarten. Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill NV, 2001, pp. 149-160.
  4. Swart, Jabus G. The Book of Self-Creation, Volume 1. Gauteng, South Africa: The Sangreal Sodality Press, 2009.
  5. Besserman, Perle. The Shambalah Guide to Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism. Boston, MA: Shambalah Publications, Inc., 1997.
  6. Samuel, Gabriella. The Kabbalah Handbook. New York: Penguin, 2007, p. 54.

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