Alternative Names: Cornelian
Origin: Notably Brazil, India
Mineral Species: Quartz
Mineral Group: Oxides
Chemical Formula: SiO2
Crystal System: Trigonal
Colour: Brown to red-brown, to bright orange, often banded
Typical Appearance: Carnelian is red-brown to bright orange chalcedony (a compact variety of microcrystalline quartz).
Birthstone: Aries, Secondary birthstone for Taurus, Cancer, Leo and Virgo
Chakra Alignment: Sacral
Origin of Name & Mythology: Traditionally, it was believed to staunch blood flow, and was said to ‘calm the blood’. Ancient Egyptians frequently used carnelian for amulets representing the heart, which was considered the seat of life. Amulets of carnelian have also been found in Iron Age graves in Japan.
Carnelian has a dual nature, being both dynamic, fiery, and passionate, while also having the ability to calm, ground and protect. It bestows optimism, courage and inner strength. Carnelian, especially when used in combination with orange calcite, provides an amazing antidepressant, through either carrying the stones or drinking an essence, and can alleviate depression and Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD). It is also useful in the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other issues affecting the bowel. With IBS it works in two ways, as not only can it help to sooth the irritation, but it also helps us to centre ourselves and to ground spiritual energy, allowing us to be more contained and less open and vulnerable to outside influences, a major cause of IBS. Carnelian improves the libido, and can be used with the female reproductive system issues and illness, including infertility. One of my teachers was so taken with carnelian that he referred to it as the "thinking stone", and insisted on using it whenever he used crystals in combination, whether in layouts or essences, as he believed it helped the other crystals to communicate with one another and work together. Some crystal healing practices say that carnelian is self-cleansing. This has not been my experience, and I recommend you cleanse it as you would any other crystal. Traditionally, it was believed to staunch blood flow, and was said to ‘calm the blood’. Ancient Egyptians frequently used carnelian for amulets representing the heart, which was considered the seat of life. Amulets of carnelian have also been found in Iron Age graves in Japan.