Friday, February 5, 2016

Carnelian (Sard); Healing and Metaphysical Properties

Image: A red-brown carnelian crystal.

What is Carnelian?

Carnelian is most typically an orangey brown-red color. The depth of hue can range from a subtle light orange to just short of black. Due to its commonly bright tones, it enhances energy as well as endurance and strength. When orange, carnelian's color ensures that it is always chock full of an energy akin to that of the sun, and therefore it improves one's mood as well as perspective. Carnelian is also beneficial as it has grounding and stabilizing properties.

Hardness and Coloring of Carnelian and Sard are Correlated

Carnelian bears a great resemblance in many ways to the mineral sard. They are both chalcedony quartz, and the color of both minerals is determined by iron oxide content. Although carnelian is typically not as hard as sard, there is no significant difference between them. That said, technically carnelian can be used to describe the lighter end of their range of hues; sard will be used to describe the darker tones from red-brown to blackish. In other words, carnelian is paler and less hard than sard. When carnelian displays bands of white it is named sardonyx.


It has been said that carnelian gets its name from the Latin term "cornum" which refers to the cornel cherry, a red and translucent fruit. An alternative claim is that the name is derived from the Latin words "caro" and "carnis", meaning flesh. There is also some debate on the etymology of the word sard. Some say it refers to the city Sardis, Lydia; another theory states that it came from the Persian word "sered", which means yellowish-red.

Genuine Carnelian or Dyed Agate?

Much of the "carnelian" available today is actually dyed agate. It's easy to tell if you are purchasing genuine carnelian or colorized agate. Holding them up to bright light, the color within agate is stripey. The color in carnelian is spread out in a vaporous manner.

History and Usages

Paraphrased from Cassandra Eason: "In ancient Egypt carnelian was seen as being symbolic of the the setting sun. When displaying an orange coloration it was identified with passive female energies, this in connection with the fertile menstrual blood of their Goddess Isis. Carnelian was understood to hold a male energy when displaying either red-orange or brown-like coloration."

Relative to the above energy associations, carnelian is commonly worn to remove blockages within relationships, thus enabling healthy love and and passions to flourish.


Carnelian Prepared Warriors for Battle

In ancient times, warriors believed that they were enhancing their bravery and strength by wearing accessories made from carnelian. Romans wore rings of this mineral, they were carved with images of deities and ferocious animals. Such rings were worn as a form of protection, and as well they were believed to draw good fortune.

For Cylinder Seals

Heated then re-cooled wax is easily removed from this stone completely intact; for this reason carnelian was used to fashion cylindrical seals for use with wax in ancient Rome. The same type of cylinder seal was used in ancient Egypt.

Disclaimer: You should consult your health and/or mental health professional before using any alternative healing methods. This article does not suggest otherwise.

Carnelian Healing Properties

  • Sense of humor is increased.
  • Aids with temper issues.
  • Helps to relax and calm.
  • Can protect you from negative vibrations.
  • Helps one to move away from the constraints of poverty.
  • Enhances energy.
  • Attracts good luck and prosperity.
  • Protects against unwanted pressures from coworkers.
  • Helps singers deal with voice issues.
  • Increases confidence for those who must perform live in public.
  • Various life obstacles can be overcome by virtue of the boost in courage that it provides.
  • Orange crystals help with conception of a child and overall fertility.
  • Both red and orange stones can be used to recover passions when they have faded.
  • Offers greater stamina and power to those in occupations and sports requiring such.
  • Enhances motivation.
  • Boosts mental clarity and focus.
  • Helps all workers from architects to construction workers when producing buildings.
  • Is known to aid writers in creating an effective overall structure.
  • Can aid in the healing of chronic pain, lower back pains, and kidney stones; as well as arthritis and various other joint conditions.
  • Aids an individual in detoxification as drugs and alcohol exit the body.
  • Helps one to break away from poor habits.
  • Stimulates the sacral chakra when orange, and the root chakra when red.
  • Helps promote a healthy balance within the digestive system.
  • Detoxifies the blood, leading to increased physical energy.
  • Being a type of quartz, it has the property of amplifying energy.

Where is it Found?

Amongst the most common areas that carnelian can be found are India, Brazil, and Australia. India is considered to produce the best carnelian. There it is often placed in the sun, thus changing the coloring from brownish to red.

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