coral symbolism

Coral Symbolism

Coral has been used as protective symbol since throughout history and in many different cultures.

This gorgeous creation is also known as the “Tree of Life of the Ocean”. It is used in its natural form and also in amulets and jewelry. 

Red coral definitely has the greatest impact when it comes to what it symbolizes. It is known to attract prosperity, love and inner peace.

It has been used throughout history to protect against threats of all sorts and as a talisman to overcome fear.

Greek Legend about the origin of coral

In Greek mythology there is the well-known story of the hero Perseus. His mission was the obtain the head of Medusa.

Medusa had at one time been a beautiful young woman who had an affaire with the Sea god named Poseidon. The mistake they made was to make love on sacred a ground belonging to the goddess Athena.

Athena in a fury, transformed Medusa to the ugliest woman alive. Medusa became so hideous that anyone who looked directly at her turned into stone. Perseus managed to cut her head off by looking at her only by the reflection of his shield.

He quickly put her head in a sack. The blood gushed from Medusa´s body.

Eventually the blood reached the ocean. As the blood hit the salt water it was magically transformed into beautiful red coral.

The red coral would always be a reminder of the once beautiful Medusa, the lover of the sea god named Poseidon. (In Roman mythology Poseidon is named Neptune.)

Seafarers and the Coral Amulet

Seafarers had strong belief in the protective powers of red coral. It was not uncommon to fasten red coral to the mast of the ship before they set sail. This was to protect the ship in storms that may arise and safeguard against shipwreck.

Many fishermen and sailors to this day bring a piece of red coral for protection at sea. This is especially a phenomenon in Italy and surrounding countries in the Mediterranean.

It is no wonder why sailors believed coral was the ultimate protection at sea. It was after all a magical creation formed of the blood of the woman the god of the Sea once loved.

Red Coral for Protection of Babies

Red coral has a long history of being used as an amulet to protect babies and small children. Some would hang the coral in the room where the small ones slept.

Others took no chances and would fasten a piece of coral on the child´s clothes or make them wear a necklace consisting of red coral.

As a protection amulet for mother and child the coral was (and still is by many) considered a most powerful tool.

A baby is vulnerable. There are all sorts of threats lurking about, as envious people who may cast an evil eye, sickness and poverty.

The painting “The Madonna delta Vittoria” by the Italian painter Andrea Mantegna illustrates this belief.

Madonna delta Vittoria
Madonna delta Vittoria

Here we see a large piece of red coral hanging over the Virgin Mary and her child Jesus. They are under ultimate protection.

The painting reflects the strong hold superstitions had on the population during the Renaissance. 

Non-superstitious people argue that the red coral is simply a symbol of the passion of Christ.

It was painted in 1496. You may see it in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Another painting from Renaissance called “Madonna di Senigallia” shows Jesus wearing a coral necklace.

Madonna di Senigallia
Madonna di Senigallia

This painting is from 1474. The artist from Italy is Piero della Francesca. The painting is on display at Ducal Palace in Urbino, Italy.

Red Coral (as mentioned earlier) has also been considered a symbol of the blood of Jesus Christ.

In this context the symbolism in the paintings may be interpreted quite differently depending on whether you tend to be a superstitious person or deeply religious person.

The Navaratna – The Nine-Gem Jewel

Navaratna Nine gem jewel

The Navaratna is the nine-gem jewel which is believed to have great powers is accepted in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Coral is one of the gems found in the nine-gem jewel. It is located in the South position of the jewel. The red coral is connected to the planet Mars. This connection to Mars relieves immense energy. Mars is the planet associated with the warrior.

The Navaratna always places the ruby in the center position of the jewel. The ruby represents the sun.

In the East the diamond is located which symbolizes Venus.

The pearl which is connected to the moon is in the South-East.

Hessonite or garnet is in the South-West position connected to the ascending lunar node (Rahu).

To the West is blue sapphire bursting with Saturn’s energy.

In the North topaz or the yellow sapphire sends out the powers of Jupiter.

The North-West position is reserved for the cat’s eye linked to the descending lunar node (Ketu).

And finally, we have the emerald holding the energy of Mercury in the North-East

As you can imagine the Nine-Gem jewel is expensive and worn to show off wealth and success. As an extra bonus the wearer gains the powerful energies the stones represent.

Now wearing rings with the Nine-Gems (Navaratna) is very popular. Lots of people believe in the mystical powers of these rings.

If this is something you want to try, make sure you wear the ring so that the blue sapphire is facing your body for the best effect.

Coral Superstitions in India

Coral has a long tradition as a very power gem in India. There it is known as “Moonga” and releases powers of Mars.

Red Coral comes with a long range of benefit. It is believed to help people overcome depression and increase their self-esteem. The result may be that the wearer would get enough courage to overcome fear and go after their dream.

It will give an increase of energy. Some believe it will attract love into your life. As that isn’t enough many also believe the coral with help overcome any financial troubles you might encounter.

In India they say the best time to wear red coral is on a Tuesday morning. You should then wear a ring with a coral gem. The coral ring must be worn on the ring finger on your right hand if you’re are a man. Women may wear this ring on her left hand.

Red Coral Only fit for the Emperor

Xuanye red coral symbol

In China red coral is associated with longevity. It was so highly praised that only the Emperor was good enough to wear it.

The picture shows the fourth Emperor of the Qing dynasty wearing a red coral necklace. His given name was Xuanye (5 February 1654 – 20 December 1722).

He was the longest reigning emperor in the history of China.

Maybe the fact that he became emperor when he was only seven years old had something to do with it.

He reached the age of 68. I am not convinced this is a very old age. On the other hand, he secured China prosperity and stability.

Red Coral Warning

red coral meaning

More and more people, among them astrologers are requesting us not to pursue red coral. As we know coral is organic in the ocean.

Corals in the ocean are essentially living animals, which we kill for their beauty. It’s presence there is vital to the health and the ecosystem of the waters.

Corals are now considered endangered.

Genuine and good quality red corals are very expensive. Lots of people are fooled by fake corals which flood the markets. If you do want to own a real coral you better make sure it comes with proof of authenticity.

An alternative to the coral would be the bloodstone. Many astrologers recommend the bloodstone as a great substitute for the red coral. 

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