Alternative Names: Bog iron, bog ore, brown hematite, brown ochre, brown umber
Mineral Species: Various Species of Iron
Mineral Group: N/A
Chemical Formula: Fe,O,OH,H2O
Crystal System: N/A
Colour: Light brown to brown, may be yellowish-brown
Typical Appearance: While 'limonite' is poorly crystallized, a number of minerals are noted for decomposing to it without losing their crystal shape - particularly pyrite and siderite crystals. Any crystals of limonite are actually pseudomorphs of other minerals which have decomposed in this fashion.
Birthstone: Secondary birthstone for Virgo
Chakra Alignment: Solar Plexus and Sacral
Element: Earth and Fire
Origin of Name & Mythology: Named in 1813 by Johann Friedrich Ludwig Hausmann from the greek λειμωυ for meadow alluding to its common occurrences in bogs.
Limonite’s colour and appearance imply earthiness, but its energy focusses almost entirely on the Solar Plexus. It is quite vibrant and can be surprisingly clearing, allowing you to gently release any tension or unwanted energy you are holding and “lighten the load” – especially from the Heart.
Limonite is in the process of changing from one state to another. It may retain the structure of pyrite but has lost its heaviness and solidity, meaning limonite can instigate transformation - not a seismic shift of consciousness, rather a subtle change from one state to another. It thereby motivates you to move forward instead of holding you still and centred on the spot, as pyrite does. When you feel your personality has fragmented after a stressful period or difficult ordeal, limonite also has the ability to gather the scattered facets of yourself and put them back together in a beautiful mosaic. Not, perhaps, identical to what you started with, but something new and still beautiful, helping you to see things from a different perspective – another element of subtle transformation.
As with all iron minerals, Limonite is useful in the treatment of anaemia. It also soothes respiratory irritation due to infection, allergies and hay fever. It has been suggested for use in the treatment of liver disorders.