Saturday, July 5, 2008

Saturday Special Stones - Carnelian

The name carnelian, which is derived from carne, Latin for flesh, may be related to its color, which is similar to the color of flesh. It is translucent, ranges in color from a clear orange red to a dark orange brown, and is enhanced by exposure to the sun. It has been known throughout history as sadoine, mecca stone and pigeon’s blood agate. Having the same chemical make up as agate, when carnelian grades into brown it is known as sard. When it contains bands of white, it is known as sardonyx. In addition, some very dark brown carnelian can be classified as jasper. The distinction between these is very fine and relies more on visual appearance than scientific analysis. As a result, it is very possible that one man's carnelian may be another man's sard, agate or jasper. Carnelian is a form of quartz composed of silica, the most common form of rock in the Earth’s crust. Specifically, geologists classify carnelian as a chalcedony, a member of the crypto-crystalline or micro-crystalline group within the quartz. Occurring in the cavities of many forms of rock, carnelian most often develops from silica-rich soils which solidified at low temperatures - the deposits are usually found in the lower temperature and lower pressure zones near the Earth’s surface. It typically forms in nodules, cone-shaped masses or groups of stalactites which radiate outward from a central axis. Chemically, carnelian gets its red color from hematite impurities. Many carnelians available today are agates which are dyed and then heat treated. Natural carnelian will usually exhibit a cloudy distribution of color. In ancient days carnelian’s color was enhanced by baking and dyeing with iron salts, and most carnelian is heat treated today to enhance the reddish brown color.

Because quartz is the most common crystal on Earth, deposits of carnelian are found throughout the world. It is the national gemstone for Norway-Sweden. The most famous sites are in India, Brazil, Uruguay, Japan, India and South America. India has some of the oldest carnelian deposits, especially around Bengal, Deccan and Ratnapur. Indian carnelian is most often a very strong reddish-brown color. In the United States, deposits are located in Texas, Maryland, Florida, Colorado and North Carolina.

Carnelian has long held a presence in world history and the beliefs and customs of ancient civilizations. From Europe, to Asia, to the Middle East, archaeologists have found examples of carnelian use. Carnelian was highly valued and used in rings and signets by the Greeks and Romans, who called it sardius, 2,000 years before the present era. Hot wax does not stick to carnelian, and some of their intaglios have retained their high polish better than many harder stones. Carnelian was also known to be engraved with the head of a lion or a great leader. Carnelians were used in Ancient Egyptian magic as protection for both the living and the dead. Ancient Egyptian tombs are full of examples of carnelian jewels. The Egyptian goddess Isis protected the dead with a carnelian amulet named Thet. A carnelian in the form of the "thet," symbol of Mother Isis, was placed on the neck of a mummy to ensure the protection, safe passage, and rebirth of the spirit in the afterlife. Another carnelian amulet was the Eye of Horus, which is still believed to offer protection against the evil eye. Elsewhere in the middle East, carnelian represents the Hebrew tribe of Reuben and appears in Hebrew Mythology; Aaron’s breastplate included a carnelian stone. It also represents the Apostle Phillip and some Muslims call it the Mecca stone. Buddhists in China and India created amulets inlaid with carnelian and other semi-precious stones, ascribing to them powers of protection and utilizing them for many rituals. In Asia, Tibetans created amulets of silver with generous applications, much as the Egyptians used these same stones. Some of the oldest examples of human jewelry contained carnelian.

Many sources report that carnelian is a powerful activator to the second Chakra, called the Sacral Chakra, which relates to a sense of Self... along with the five senses, creativity, reproduction, sexuality and self-gratification. Chakra healers regard carnelian highly for its connection to the 2nd Chakra or the Spleen Chakra. This area is the body’s center for creative, sexual, and pure emotional energies, but healers also associate it with the five physical senses. Carnelian is believed to be instrumental in maintaining health in the lower abdomen. It is used to treat impotence, menstrual cramps, and infertility associated with this region. The six petaled Lotus, deep orange colors and Aries are all connected to this region. When this Chakra is unblocked by carnelian and the energy flows freely, one feels a deeper appreciation of his or her body, a greater connection with friends and lovers and a reduction of guilty feelings. These effects result in a more spontaneous, energetic and giving individual. Its power for healing neuralgia, rheumatism, asthma, skin conditions, blood conditions and insomnia are also utilized. It is considered so effective in healing dermatological ailments such as acne and psoriasis, that some even recommend carnelian for the treatment of skin disorders of pets.

This gem does good things to the body just by wearing it, as it feeds energy molecules directly through the skin. It gives physical aid in treating blood disorders, kidney disorders, kidney stones, emotional dysfunction, sexuality, physical energy, the reproductive system, infertility, menstrual problems, arthritis, gall bladder, gall stones, pancreas, asthma, allergies, and also helps relieve lower back pain. It helps cleanse the liver if you hold the stone over the liver and massage the area. Among Crystal healers, carnelian is frequently known as a stone of great spirituality. It has been said to be a healing gem with a wondrous capacity for mental and physical healing properties. They also prescribe carnelian for individuals who are timid and assign great powers of spurring motivation, increasing self confidence and infusing eloquence. Believers revere carnelian’s mental grounding power and believe this is the source of its greatest mental effects. Overall, many hold carnelian dear as a stone with the ability to protect the individual, bolster confidence and generally enhance and expand the experiences of life. It is also worn to enhance passion and desire.

Since the times of ancient Egypt, when carnelian was believed to protect the dead in the afterlife, it has represented great magical powers among spiritualists. Crystal healers prescribe the use of carnelian as a sleep aid because of its ability to calm and ease anxiety - a calm mind will be able to overcome insomnia - and its ability to bring dreams as answers to one's questions. Dreaming of carnelian has been interpreted to signal the approach of a significant problem in a person's life. Known for its ability to soothe and calm, carnelian has the power to ease fears about rebirth and death. It initiates transition and brings peace in matters of change. It is also credited with magnifying and bringing to light personal talents. Some have said it has the power to protect against telepathic invasion or the evil of envious people, others have said that it has the power to see into past lives and resurrect the dead. As a wish stone, carnelian is said to have the power to grant all the wearer’s wishes when worn near the heart. For those born on the Virgo sign, some say wearing this crystal guarantees success in any task. The crystal provides energy to help with creativity – clearing negative energy and replacing it with positive energy. Carnelian assists with motivation to bring about new directions. It brings balance and harmony to life. In ancient times carnelian was thought to still the blood and soften anger. It is good for people who are absent minded, confused or unfocused, as it can improve analytical abilities and can clarify perception. It removes extraneous thoughts during meditation and sharpens concentration. Emotionally, this stone is a powerful protector against envy, rage and resentment...yours or other people's. It calms anger and banishes negativity, replacing it with a love of life. To many carnelian is a powerful motivation stone and some have called it the "Self-Esteem Stone." It strengthens the voice and helps one become more eloquent and charitable. It symbolizes good luck and contentment. Magical uses of carnelian include using it as a focus for past life work and for finding a "twin soul" or family. It is good for all love and sex rites, especially to rekindle or increase passion that has begun to fade. Fire magic is also more effective if you circle a red candle with several carnelians. Carnelian is one of the few gems that harmonizes effectively with the elements of fire and earth today. Cleanse and charge Carnelian with sunlight. Carnelians, it is said, can be used to dispel negativity from other crystals and stones. The carnelian crystal helps to keep you anchored and grounded. It is frequently known as a stone of great spirituality, and has been said to be a healing gem with a wondrous capacity for mental and physical healing properties.

Carnelian is a gem of the Earth, a symbol of the strength and beauty of our planet. It is said carnelian carries the stories and records of our Earth and can be used to see into the past.


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