The common name “carnelian” is thought to a corruption of the word cornelian, which some think comes from the Latin word cornum and can be traced to the cornel cherry, whose translucent red fruit resemble the carnelian (www.wikipedia.org). Carnelian itself is thought to come from the Latin word for “flesh”.
The names carnelian and sard seem to be used interchangeably, but carnelians are usually lighter shades and softer in structure.
We all know the quartz family is nothing short of diverse, within this family are what is known as chalcedony minerals, and silica minerals. This is where we find the warm fiery reds, oranges, browns and ambers of carnelian. Mostly found as translucent and glassy in appearance, carnelian according to www.crystalvaults.com is “…a stone of motivation and endurance, leadership and courage…”
The most important carnelian deposits are found in Brazil, Uruguay, India and Madagascar, but they can be found all over the world even in Australia, USA, the UK and many European countries. It’s one of the oldest known gemstones, and therefore natural deposits are now rare. I’ve heard that a lot of the carnelians now are actually agate gemstones which have been dyed and then heat treated. One way to figure this out is to hold your gemstone against a light; a dyed agate will display striping, whereas a natural carnelian will show a cloudy distribution of colour.
Like a stunning autumn display or the striking fire of a sunset carnelian inspires warmth and joy it’s no wonder people have been drawn to this stones for centuries.
The Egyptians believed carnelian could aid the soul in its perilous journey after death, protecting from all that was evil. The famous pyramids master architects were said to have worn them to show their rank of builder. They called it “the setting sun”. In its more orange hues they identified it with female energies, menstrual blood, and fertility. In its red, red/orange and reddish to brown shades, they considered it more of a male energy. (Eason, 72, 84) Emperor Napoleon jealously guarded a carnelian seal that he found on an Egyptian campaign and often wore it as a watch charm.
It was widely used in ancient Rome to make insignia and seals for imprinting on letters or important documents because hot wax does not stick to it. It’s believed to help timid speakers become both eloquent and bold (Simmons, 92). Ancient warriors as far back as the Greeks and Babylonians would use carnelian as a talisman around their necks for courage and physical power to conquer their enemies.
A proverb states that “No man who wore a carnelian was ever found in a collapsed house or beneath a wall.” It’s one of the twelve gemstones mentioned in the Bible as appearing on the breastplate of Aaron to signify the blood of the martyrs (Kunz, 303, 305). Many Muslims believe that carnelian brings peace and happiness to its owner, this belief is attributed to the teachings that Mohammed wore a ring set with a carnelian seal.
Alchemists of the Middle Ages document that carnelian was used as a boiling stone to activate the energy of other Chalcedonies, and even believed to prevent illness and the plague (Fernie, 138).
Recently a beautiful carnelian bracelet found its way in to my life and I have already noticed a difference…
I found myself being ground and anchored to reality. Honestly, there have been certain events in my life that have thrown me in the last couple of years, the protective energies I feel from this fiery piece of jewellery has had stabilising effects. I’ve been busy and chaotic, and my energies have flagged. Since this stone came along, I’ve been brimming with energy and vitality; feelings of apathy and indolence have been washed away, meaning I’m getting back to being more optimistic, curious and accomplishing.
My motivation has come back, I have a demanding career where I’m required to churn out creative ideas on a regular basis to help people in need, I’ve noticed my inspiration has been boosted, I’m thinking out of the box again.
In my personal life I’m writing and singing more, two things I LOVE to do. I heard somewhere that the multi-hit singer Adele has carnelian as part of her confidence and courage boosting arsenal. I think it would be perfect for those that work in the arts, and people with a passion for dance, music and drama.
Carnelian is the stone of truth, love, and faith a bit like rose quartz and blue lace agate, with a healthy dose of passion given its fiery nature and connection to the solar plexus and sacral chakras. Carnelian promotes responsible sex; it can increase fertility and help with issues of impotence and frigidity. It can restore love and romance in your relationships, and bring luck in finding a partner. It will help restore self-confidence and belief in the power of love.
I’m not suggesting that a gemstone will cure mental health issues, replace therapy or medication, but with its grounding, confidence, motivation, inspiration, and physical energy boosting characteristics if you have an affinity for crystal healing, it might help. Some believe carnelian can help heal emotional trauma, aiding in the process of understanding and challenging unwanted thoughts and unwelcome feelings. Some hold on to pain and sadness for many years developing behavioural patterns which are deemed destructive, alcohol and drug abuse comes to mind. Does carnelian help this? Well with an accredited crystal healer, it might help.
Ever wanted to raise the trust you have in yourself? Ever wondered what opening your perspective and seeing the world from a different point of view would do? It’s been said that carnelian stones will help in accepting the natural cycles of life, within ourselves and the world around us. It can be used to keep you safe through your journey as a stone of protection.
Remember that no one will see just how amazing you are if you do not think you are amazing. Love and happiness should begin with you! Carnelian has brought me peace and serenity. It’s so easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of life, it’s important to find whatever it is that can give you peace and serenity. You will need to disconnect from the world for just a moment and enjoy the silence to hear yourself think (not taking those thoughts too seriously), to listen to your heart, ground and centre yourself, aligning to your intuition. A clear head can do wonders for your whole body. When we’re not caught up in emotion, choosing to anchor ourselves the world around us instead we raise our awareness and the rest… that will follow.
Carnelians are not just pretty decorative stones, or emotional backups, they can also help with physical health and wellbeing. For instance, it’s thought they’re helpful with women’s reproductive issues, regulation issues, lessening the pain of menstrual cramps and other discomforts brought about by our monthly cycles. Health problems that concern the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries are said to be eased by the energy of the carnelian. It’s thought it can ease the fear of being a new parent and help with the symptoms of pregnancy.
It can relieve non-inflammatory arthritis and rheumatism and help with lower back problems. It’s been used as a blood purifier, helping to ensure good circulation for centuries. Putting carnelian on open wounds was thought to stop the bleeding and make it heal faster, when worn as a ring in ancient times it was noted in early medicine to slow heart palpitations.
With all of its mentally strengthening and energy boosting properties it could inspire weight loss and healthy keep fit regimes. It’s thought to increase metabolism and stimulate the appetite.
Carnelian stones attract good luck, abundance, and prosperity. If you want to have more success in your money dealings and business ventures, having carnelian stones close can attract good fortune. There’s nothing wrong with a little lady luck visiting you once in a while. Carnelian will keep you motivated toward your goals, keeping your mind sharp, it will fill you with passion and excitement for what you’re doing. It will boost your commitment to both personal and business success, the simple mental clarity that comes with carnelian stones give the gift of achievement and anticipation of whatever will come your way.
I believe the energy of carnelian warms and energises. It’s removed a lot of sluggishness from me, invigorating my mind and body especially useful since as I write this the Winter Solstice has just passed. It will encourage boldness and assertiveness, and the use of initiative, especially with things concerning wellbeing.
Carnelian stones turn negatives to positives, lessening to weight of negative thoughts and emotions. It’s amazing for the body and soul, for personal and professional relationships. There’s more appreciation for nature, more emotional warmth and more time to be sociable. Memory can be enhanced. Individuality and confidence can be strengthened, leading to more opportunities for self-realisation.
Whenever you feel like giving up, and whenever you feel like you’re not the right person for the task, just remember that carnelian is a stone of power, ambition, courage, and inspiration!
Image from Wikipedia