Carnelian (also spelled cornelian) is a brownish-red mineral which is commonly used as a semi-precious gemstone. Similar to carnelian is sard, which is generally harder and darker. (The difference is not rigidly defined, and the two names are often used interchangeably.) Both carnelian and sard are varieties of the silica mineral chalcedony colored by impurities of iron oxide. The color can vary greatly, ranging from pale orange to an intense almost-black coloration.
The bow drill was used to drill holes into carnelian in Mehrgarh between 4th-5th millennium BC. Carnelian was recovered from Bronze Age Minoan layers at Knossos on Crete in a form that demonstrated its use in decorative arts; this use dates to approximately 1800 BC. Carnelian was used widely during Roman times to make engraved gems for signet or seal rings for imprinting a seal with wax on correspondence or other important documents. Hot wax does not stick to carnelian. Sard was used for Assyrian cylinder seals, Egyptian and Phoenician scarabs, and early Greek and Etruscan gems. The Hebrew odem (translated sardius), the first stone in the High Priest’s breastplate, was a red stone, probably sard but perhaps red jasper.
Carnelian (also sometimes referred to as cornelian) is found primarily in India, as well as various sites in South America. It is a variety of chalcedony. The most favorable pieces are a deep red to red-orange hue. Carnelian has a long and storied past, and was once considered strictly the property of the noble class. People holding a high social status were often buried with this gem stone.
Ancient Egyptians carried it on and about their bodies as a source of constant renewal and vitality. It was also told in the Egyptian Book of the Deadto be placed in tombs as “magic armor” for life after death.
A Carnelian in the form of the “tjet,” symbol of Mother Isis, was placed on the neck of a mummy to ensure the protection, safe passage, and rebirth of the spirit in the afterlife.
Another Carnelian amulet was the Eye of Horus, which is still believed to offer protection against the evil eye.
Carnelian is an energy booster. It helps the insecure person to find strength within them so they can come into their own. It is said to increase the appetite.
In Renaissance magic, the carnelian was usually engraved with a sword or images of warriors. Then this as a magical amulet was place in the home to guard it from lighting and storms or carried as protection against enchantment.
Carnelian is a great grounding stone and helping one to be more present in their life. This, of course, can make it much easier to help you find direction within your life. Carnelian helps you to feel in control of life.
Magickal uses of Carnelian include using it as a focus for past life work and for finding a “twin soul” or family.
In Roman times, Carnelian was engraved with the head of a lion or a great leader.
- Carnelian applied physically, can promote balanced digestion. For lower abdominal pain, especially in woman and in pregnancy, this stone placed on the pubic bone each day for twenty minutes will reduce the pain.
- Carnelian encourages the formation of new blood cells, and bleeding will respond favorably to treatment with this stone.
- Physically, carnelian has been used to encourage healing of open sores, rheumatism, kidney stones and other kidney problems.
- It is said that this stone will help cleanse and purify the blood, thus giving more physical energy.
- Carnelian can be used to stimulate the first 4 chakras and to increase personal power, creativity and compassion.
- Carnelian enhances analytical abilities, perceptiveness and awakens hidden talents and gifts
- Some believe that carnelian can be worn for protection especially against those who would read your thoughts or those who would work magick against you.
- Carnelian can be used to enhance astral vision and to end nightmares. It is also believed to enhance and stimulate sexual activity.
- Carnelian aids in understanding the inner self and strengthens concentration.
- It helps one to overcome the ear of public speaking, increases the self worth, and is a fast acting stone to succeed in one’s career.
- Carnelian is useful for overcoming abuse of any kind.
- It helps in trusting yourself and your perceptions.
- It overcomes negative conditioning and encourages steadfastness.
- Carnelian is associated with the sacral or navel chakra, it is also sometimes associated with the Root and solar plexus chakra as well but it most commonly associated with the sacral or second chakra.