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Home > Ring Symbolism

Ring Symbolism
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Ring SymbolismThe Ring is a traditional symbol of infinity or eternity, the transposition of the magickal circle into the real world of tangible, functional objects.

In a magical sense, wearing a ring binds you with power, with energy. The materials of which the ring is constructed, plus your visualization, determine the nature of this energy. The appearance or attractiveness of a ring, or its material value, are of little importance in magic. The ring's design, the metals and stones used are the only factors involved in selecting rings for magic. All rings were once magical or sacred. Even goddesses and gods wore rings; Babylonian mythology is replete with stories of the rings of Shamas and Marduk.

While the Greeks and Romans did not usually wear rings on the middle finger, the Gauls and Britons adorned it in this way. In the sixteenth century it was customary to assign rings as follows, according to the quality of the wearer:

  • To the thumb for doctors.
  • To the index finger for merchants.
  • To the middle finger for fools.
  • To the annular finger for students.
  • To the auricular finger for lovers.

Historically, there have been archers' thumb rings made by the Chinese, Manchus, Turks, and Persians. They were worn on the thumb of the left hand to protect it from injury by the bowstring after the discharge of the arrow. In China, they eventually became the insignia of military rank, and were of jade or a glass imitation of jade.

The finger on which a ring is worn has some significance. The index or ring finger was once thought to be especially powerful. Herbal medicines were applied to the body with the ring finger to strengthen the effectiveness of the cure. Thus, rings containing stones which speed the body's healing are best worn on this finger.

Thumb: The willpower finger. The Venus Mount at the base of the thumb symbolizes vitality and sexuality. The separation of the thumb from the rest of the fingers represents mankind surrounded by the cosmos. Wearing a thumb ring emphasizes the insistance of freedom of thought and action. The more prominently the thumbs are displayed, the more important is independence and freedom. Insisting upon standing as a unique individual, such a person will not allow any outside factors to influence personal opinions.

Index: The authority (index or pointing) finger. The Jupiter finger represents ego, leadership qualities, and one's position or standing in the world. (Jupiter was the chief god and ruler of the world.) A ring on the index finger emphasizes your assertiveness and ambition, and your ability to make up your own mind.

Middle: The identity finger. The Saturn finger is associated with wisdom and dealing with responsibility and our role in life. (Saturn was the father of Jupiter.) This is the finger with the most strength and balance. Wearing a ring on this finger announces "I am" and governs the way we see ourselves, our potentials, and our limitations. It is an effort to enhance willpower with the support of total ego.

Ring: The creativity (annular) finger. The Apollo finger reflects your creativity and sense of well-being. (Apollo was the sun god, and is traditionally associated with music and poetry.) This is the finger for most rings, and is associated with affections, optimism, and artistic appreciation. The ring finger on the left hand is the only one with a direct connection to the heart, which is why it has become the traditional finger for wedding rings. It is a self-imposed restriction on the subconscious desires to share the self with others. A wedding, friendship, or engagement ring announces that the person's creative fantasies are limited to the donor of that ring.

Little: The relationship (pinky or auricular) finger. The Mercury finger reveals your powers of self-expression and communication. (Mercury was the messenger of the gods.) This finger expresses attitudes toward personal and sexual relationships. Wearing a ring on this finger tells others how appealing you consider yourself, and how well and easily you can express yourself to others.

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