Carnelian (a 16th century corruption of ‘cornelian’) is a variety of chalcedony, a mineral of the quartz family, coloured orange by impurities of iron oxide. Its name is thought to be derived from two sources, the ‘cornel cherry’ whose translucent red fruit resemble the stone, and the latin word ‘carnis’ meaning flesh.
Carnelian is best known for its translucent bright orange or red-orange colour, though it can vary in shade from a pale pink-orange through to a reddish brown. Some stones are solid in colour, some are flecked and some stones show beautiful banding. Most of the best carnelian stone is mined from India, though deposits are also found in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Britain, Iceland, and Peru.
Carnelian has a long history, and is one of the oldest known gemstones in legend. It was mentioned in the Bible as one of the twelve gemstones that featured on the breast plate of Aaron, the High Priest of the Israelites, signifying the blood of the martyrs. In Roman times it was used to make signet rings and for imprinting a seal on letters or important documents. The ancient Greeks and Babylonians saw Carnelian as a talisman of good luck. The ancient Egyptians revered Carnelian, referring to it as ‘the setting sun’. They identified orange hued stones with the fertile menstrual blood of the mother goddess Isis, and female energies. Red to brown hued versions were considered active male energy stones. It was worn by master architects to show their rank of builder and to guard against falling masonry and accidents. The Egyptians believed that Carnelian assisted the soul on its journey and had protective powers in the afterlife. In the Middle Ages, alchemists used Carnelian as a boiling stone to activate the energies of other chalcedonies, and it was once believed to prevent the Plague. Today, when carnelian is placed around the home, it is thought to protect against fire, storm, theft and accidents.
Carnelian is a stabilising stone with high energy. The vibrations of carnelian resonates with different chakras, depending on the colour of the stone. Red carnelian resonates with the base (or root) chakra, clearing blockages and healing trauma. The base chakra is the foundation of physical and spiritual energy for the body. A healthy balanced base chakra provides strength and stamina and spiritually one’s sense of purpose on earth, bringing inner security and inner power. Orange carnelian resonates with the sacral chakra and stimulates the flow of information between the body and the mind. Confusion, dependency, lack of pleasure in life, and fear of sensuality manifest when this chakra is out of balance. More pink shades of carnelian may resonate with the heart chakra.
Carnelian energizes the physical body, bringing strength, stamina and vitality. Filled with life force energy, they assist in bringing blood supply to the organs and tissues, aiding tissue regeneration, boosting circulation, encouraging the absorption of nutrients and increasing metabolism. Carnelian can be beneficial for varicose veins, phlebitis, haemorrhoids and general congestion. They may also be helpful in healing skin conditions and scarring.
Carnelian is thought to be of benefit to those suffering from arthritis, rheumatism, neuralgia and similar conditions. It also may accelerate healing of damaged ligaments and bones.
Carnelian, particularly orange hued, is influential on the reproductive organs of males and females, boosting fertility and stimulating sexuality, helping to overcome issues such as frigidity and impotence. Orange hued stones are also linked to fertility and potency and may support conceiving a child.It may be of benefit to women in easing symptoms of the menstrual cycle and menopause.
Mental and Emotional
Carnelian is a stabilising stone, grounding and anchoring in the present whilst promoting positive life choices to move forwards. It gives the courage to over come difficulties and be accepting of change. It brings trust in oneself and one’s own perceptions, giving clarity and decisiveness. Carnelian is a good stone for overcoming abuse of any kind, helping to overcome negative conditioning and imparting courage and confidence. It dispels fear and brings inner peace. Carnelian banishes emotional negativity and encourages a love of life, bringing feelings of warmth and joy.
Carnelian improves concentration, analytical skills, creativity and stimulates ambition and drive. It is useful in business, said to be a stone of prosperity. A stone of action, the high energy of this crystal brings vitality and removes mental lethargy, excellent for daydreamers.
Carnelian is an excellent crystal for loving and sexual relationships. Its help rekindle passion, overcome sexual anxieties and alleviate jealousy and possessiveness. Carnelian protects against envy, rage and resentment, calming anger.
Bestowing acceptance of the cycle of life, carnelian helps to remove the fear of death, and promotes positive life choices. In ancient civilisations, carnelian was believed to protect the dead on their journey to the afterlife, assisting the soul on its journey.
How to use
Carnelian is most of benefit to the base and sacral chakra, carrying a carnelian tumblestone in your pocket is a good way keep the stone close to these areas, though wearing carnelian in any type of jewellery will still be beneficial, as long as it is within your aura.
To protect your home, place carnelians in each room, or a specific room that you spend most of your time in if you prefer.
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