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Article, Gemstones-Carnelian

What it is

Carnelian is a form of chalcedony, which is the microcrystalline form of quartz. It occurs in uniform shades of red, orange or red-brown. Most Carnelian sold today is heat treated to enhance its color.

Because quartz is the most common crystal in the world, deposits of Carnelian are found around the globe. The most famous sites are in India, Brazil, Uruguay and Japan. Deposits are usually found in the lower temperature and lower pressure zones near the Earth’s surface. In the United States, deposits are located in Texas, MD, Florida Colorado and North Carolina.

Many gem scholars agree that the tradition of birthstones arose from the Breastplate of Aaron described in the Bible (Exodus 28, 15-30). The breastplate was a ceremonial garment set with twelve gemstones and the design called for the twelve stones of the Twelve Tribes of Israel to be set in four rows. These gemstones corresponded to the zodiac signs of the time; our present calendar with its month system had not yet been developed. Today, birthstones have come to be more commonly associated with the calendar month of birth, although some prefer aligning the stones with astrological charts to divine their birth or natal stone.

In Western society, astrologers recognize this crystal as a primary birthstone of Virgo (Aug. 22 to Sept. 22). Hindu astrologers name it a secondary stone for Aries (Mar. 21 to April 20) and Scorpio (Oct. 24 to Nov. 22). Carnelian is associated with Thursday and Friday. The Arabs associated it with the month of July. It is a sun stone and associated with the Fire Elemental. Carnelian is connected with the #1 and #3 vibrations.

Some of the oldest examples of human jewelry contain Carnelian. At an excavation site in Ur, archaeologists uncovered the tomb of Pu-Abi, a Sumerian Queen from the third millennium, B.C. She wore a robe that contained Carnelian, along with other precious and semi-precious materials.

The greatest myths surrounding Carnelian come from Egypt. Ancient Egyptians so revered the power of the stone that it was one of three used most often in their jewelry, along with turquoise and lapis lazuli. The goddess Isis protected the dead with a Carnelian Amulet she named Thet. After being soaked in Ankhami flower water, on a sycamore tile and placed on the body of the deceased, this gift of Isis would grant the Ka, or soul, protection from harm while moving through the afterlife.

In Europe, Carnelian has also been an important symbol in history. Ancient Greeks and Romans called it Sardius and used the stone for signet rings, cameos and intaglios.

In Asia, Tibetans created amulets of silver with generous applications of Carnelian, Turquoise and Lapis Lazuli, much as the Egyptians used these same stones.

In India, Hindu astrology names Carnelian as the secondary stone of Scorpios.

Buddhists in China and India created amulets inlaid with Carnelian and other semi-precious stones, ascribing to them powers of protection and utilizing them in many rituals.

Mystical Properties
Since the times of ancient Egypt, when Carnelian was believed to protect the dead in the afterlife, Carnelian has represented great magical powers among spiritualists. 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.

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. Crystal healers prescribe Carnelian for individuals who are timid, for the stone’s power to spur motivation and increase self-confidence. Crystal healers also 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.

Carnelian provides energy conducive to stabilizing the energy in the home. As with all forms of Chalcedony, it is used to balance the energy of the body, mind, emotions and spirit. It symbolizes benevolence and good will, and enhances generosity, responsiveness and receptivity.

Carnelian's healing properties are thought to help purify the blood, relieve menstrual cramps and back pain. It is also thought to be beneficial in the treatment of infertility and is worn to enhance passion and desire. Pink carnelian can be used to encourage love between parents and children, and between parents and parents.

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