Serpentine is cleansing, balancing and detoxifying. It serves as an earthing stone, keeping one present and grounded.
Alternative Names: Various, see below
Mineral Species: Serpentine Group
Mineral Group: Silicates
Chemical Formula: (Mg,Fe,Ni)3Si2O5(OH)4
Crystal System: Monoclinic
Colour: White, grey, yellow, green, greenish blue, rarely red
General Information: Serpentine is a group of at least 16 different related hydrous sliicate minerals, which are divided into 4 structural subgroups:
Chrysotile, which is fibrous and used to produce asbestos.
Antigorite, which occurs in corrugated plates or fibres.
Lizardite (named after the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall), a fine-grained variety.
Amesite, which forms platy or pseudohexagonal columnar crystals.
Rich, transluscent apple-green varieties are sometimes called "precious serpentine" or "noble serpentine", and marketed as "new jade"
Birthstone: Secondary birthstone for Gemini and Libra
Chakra Alignment: Heart & Base
Element: Earth & Water
Origin of Name & Mythology: The name is in reference to its usually mottled appearance, resembling the skin of a snake. The Venus of Gallenburg, a dancing figure discovered in Austria, dating from about 30,000 years ago, is carved in serpentine, and it was widely used in Minoan carvings between 3,000 and 1,100 BC. Traditionally, Italian peasants believed it would prevent snakebite, and draw off poison once bitten.
Serpentine has very few traditions associated with it, and in the past was primarily used for the prevention and treatment of snakebite, when it was worn, or placed directly against the skin to draw off the poison. However, this gives a clue to some of its current uses – particularly detoxification and support of the immune system.
Serpentine's energy is subtle, but it is worth persevering with it. It calms, balances on many levels, and (with the exception of precious serpentine), has a very earthy, grounding quality, making it a good choice for holding in meditation, especially when the user finds it difficult to calm the mind. It is recommended for peaceful conflict resolution as it definitely soothes ruffled feathers.
It is used widely in the treatment of some heart complaints, such as arrhythmia, and also irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and abdominal cramps. Most serpentine leaves the user feeling lighter and more balanced.