Carnelian Meanings and Uses
Your On-Line Guide to
The Healing Energies, Metaphysical Properties,
Legendary Uses and Meaning
Introduction to the Meaning and Uses of Carnelian
Like the unexpected fire of a sunset, or the first flash of autumn brilliance, Carnelian captivates. Its bold energy brings a rush of warmth and joy that lingers, stimulating and empowering. Known as a stone of motivation and endurance, leadership and courage, Carnelians have protected and inspired throughout history.
A glassy, translucent stone, Carnelian is an orange-colored variety of Chalcedony, a mineral of the Quartz family. Its color varies from pale pinkish-orange to a deep rusty brown, though it is most known for its brilliant orange and red-orange crystals. Its name comes from a Latin word meaning "flesh."
In antiquity, as well as today, Carnelian is believed to help timid speakers become both eloquent and bold. [Simmons, 92] Ancient Warriors wore Carnelian around their neck for courage and physical power to conquer their enemies. In Egypt it was worn by master architects to show their rank of builder, and alchemists of the Middle Ages used it as a boiling stone to activate the energy of other Chalcedonies. As the first stone in the breastplate of the High Priest, it signified the blood of the martyrs [Kunz, 303, 305], and was once believed to prevent illness and the Plague. [Fernie, 138]
The ancient Egyptians called Carnelian "the setting sun." In its orange hues, they identified it with the receptive or passive female energies, and associated it with the fertile menstrual blood of the mother goddess, Isis. In its red, red-orange to reddish brown shades, they considered it the active male energy stone, recognized by its glowing vibrant color. [Eason, 72, 84] Carnelian is traditionally worn to enhance passion, love, and desire.
Carnelian Uses and Purposes - Overview
Orange stones, especially the carnelians, are excellent aids for training, coordination of physical exercise programs, and for balancing body energy levels. Carnelians boost a listless attitude and can stimulate the appetite. [Mella, 125]
Used as a professional support crystal, Carnelian aids architects, builders and construction workers in their creation of master buildings, stimulates power and stamina in athletes and military personnel, establishes form and organization in journalists, and stimulates motivation in salespersons. [Mella, 129-132]
Carnelian is said to attract prosperity, new resources and good luck. It is a talisman for success in any money-making venture. In the workplace, it is a crystal of ambition, drive and determination, and wards off undue pressures of co-workers or impersonal corporations with unrealistic expectations. [Eason, 72]
Carnelian clarifies the voice. It is the Singer's Stone. [Megemont, 46] It also promotes confidence for performances on stage or in live media. [Eason, 72]
Carnelian is traditionally known to guard against falling masonry and accidents with tools. Today it guards the home from theft, fire, storm or accident. [Eason, 72]
Carnelian lends the courage needed to help overcome difficulties and defend a cause. It promotes idealism, a sense of community and pragmatism. [Gienger, 21]
Orange and red Carnelian are important crystals to use for love, and for the consummation of love. Orange crystals, in particular, are fertility and potency symbols and are linked with conceiving a child. Carnelian of either color may help in rekindling passions that might have faded in an otherwise loving relationship. [Eason, 43]
Carnelian Healing Energy
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Carnelian Physical Healing Energy
Carnelian is full of the life force, stimulating metabolism and a good supply of blood to the organs and tissues. It influences the reproductive organs of both sexes, and increases fertility, overcoming frigidity and impotence. It aids in menstrual and menopausal symptoms, and may aid in vitro and artificial insemination. [Hall, 95][Eason, 84]
It benefits in the absorption of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals in the small intestine, and improves blood viscosity and circulation. [Gienger, 21] It helps reduce congestion, phlebitis, varicose veins and hemorrhoids, as well as boils and skin irritations. Carnelian accelerates scarification and heals nosebleeds. (However, if these recur, consult a doctor.) [Megemont, 46]
It helps heal lower back problems, rheumatism, arthritis, neuralgia, and accelerates healing in bones and ligaments. It aids the relief of depression, especially in those of advanced years. [Hall, 95][Eason, 72]
It provides excellent support for detoxifying from alcohol or other drugs, breaking bad physical habits, and for improving overall health in general. [Ahsian, 93]
Carnelian Emotional Healing Energy
Carnelian is a stabilizing crystal, perfect for anchoring in the present. Its high energy helps restore lost vitality and motivation, and stimulates creativity for new pursuits. It improves concentration and removes extraneous thoughts in daydreamers, and during meditation. This stone also protects against envy, rage, and resentment - yours, or from others, and encourages a love of life. It is useful for overcoming abuse of any kind, helping you to trust yourself and your perceptions. [Hall, 94-95]
Carnelian alleviates jealousy and possessiveness in relationships, and is helpful in overcoming sexual anxieties, and eating disorders. It is also beneficial with male mid-life crisis. [Eason, 72, 84]
Carnelian, in its beautiful shades of orange, stimulates the Sacral Chakra, or Second Chakra, located below the naval and above the pubic bone at the front of the pelvis. It controls the flow of energy and is the center of gravity of the body. It is the center of the Life Force of the body, and controls the flow of information from the body to the mind and from the mind to the body.
Gut feelings, intuition, and other "non-linear" communication comes from this chakra. When it is out of balance the symptoms will manifest themselves as confusion, over dependency on others, repression of feelings, inability to feel joy, fear of sensuality or sex, and frustration. When it is in balance you have grace, feel pleasure in life, find you are flexible and can "go with the flow" and do so in good spirit.
Carnelian, in shades of red, is also a powerful ally in healing Base Chakra blockages and traumas, aiding one in recovering vital information about oneself and one's purpose on Earth. The Base, or Root Chakra, is located at the base of the spine, and controls the energy for kinesthetic feeling and movement. It is the foundation of physical and spiritual energy for the body. When physically out of balance the symptoms will manifest themselves as lethargy, low levels of activity, low enthusiasm, and a need for constant stimulation. When the Base Chakra is in balance, the physical body regains its strength and stamina, and spiritual energy is rekindled in the form of security and sense of one's own power. It often leads to independence and spontaneous leadership.
Carnelian Spiritual Energy
Carnelian encourages acceptance of the cycle of life and helps remove the fear of death. As an ancient stone, it was used to protect the dead on their journey to the afterlife. It gives courage and promotes positive life choices. [Hall, 94]
Carnelian is a crystal of action, overcoming procrastination or indecision. It encourages one to stop waiting for dreams to appear, and stimulates the courage to embrace change and Divine Will to begin to make one's highest goals happen. [Ahsian, 93]
Carnelian encourages an awareness of the connection between the emotional state and the inner condition of the self. It promotes a spiritual energy conducive to awakening one's talents and perceptions of surroundings, and for offering love in return for love. Carnelian in shades of pink-orange, especially encourage love between parents and children, and between parents and parents. [Melody, 183]
Carnelian may be used, with advanced training, to see into the past. It carries the stories and records of our planet, and reflects its light energy back in the color of our physical world. It stimulates a deeper love and appreciation for the beauty and gifts of the earth. [Raphael, 140]
Orange Carnelian brings joy and friendship, pleasure, and family togetherness. It is a happy and sharing stone, integrating the parts of our communal lives, bringing things and people together. It is a stone of physical pleasure and intimacy. In lighter shades, Orange Carnelian promotes companionship and affection, while the darker crystals deepen the sense of belonging and home.
Carnelian, in shades of scarlet, combines the energy of the pure red ray, and the exuberance and joy of the orange. It is the color of strength and vitality, both physical and spiritual. Scarlet crystals help overcome fear and improve self-reliance, and are the crystals of victory, success, and skill. Lighter shades of scarlet, the lightly tinted red-oranges, are excellent talismans of dedication in young relationships. They combine the pink energy of romantic love with the light orange energy of contentment with family and friends. Deep scarlet crystals are the key to the physical pleasures of maturity - in love, in life, and in relationships. Muted with brown, deep scarlet Carnelian gives us the natural sources of energy to enjoy life's pleasures that extend past the joyfulness of youth.
Red Carnelian brings a self-confidence built on fearlessness. It reflects the color of passion, energy, and life. It motivates. It is a very strong color - the color of fire and blood. Dark Red crystals embody strong, deep feelings, durable energy and quiet passion. It is a masculine color, particularly useful for increasing devotion and seeing the seriousness of life.
When used in meditation, Carnelian assists in the understanding of how to bring a concept into being, and how to manifest it into action. [Ahsian, 93]
The Divinatory meaning of orange Carnelian: You may get the chance to breathe new life into a relationship. [Eason, 84]
The Divinatory meaning of red Carnelian: Not a time to back down. Ask for what you need and do not settle for second best. [Eason, 72]
Dreaming of Carnelian signifies impending misfortunes. [Kunz, 358]
If your birthday falls in any of the following periods, a Carnelian of the color listed can be a valuable conduit to your Guardian Angel. The table also provides the name of the Guardian Angel of those born in the time period.
There are other Angels that are partial to Carnelian. The table below gives you the information about them.
Carnelian honors Isis, the Egyptian Goddess of Life, the most important goddess of Egyptian mythology. She is widely honored as a Goddess that brings the power of the divine feminine.
There are several ways to find an appropriate birthstone. The traditional one is listed first. These are from the popular lists that most people are familiar with. The second way is to find your natural birthstone by the color wheel of life. You can click on the Natural Birthstone graphic below to learn more. Finally many people use the traditional stones of the Zodiac.
In this section you will find information on all three approaches.
Carnelian, also called Sardius, was historically the birthstone for August.
Carnelian which is orange in color is the true birthstone of those born at the end of summer (August 22-September 22). Orange crystals bring you joy, friendship, pleasure, and family togetherness.
Carnelian which is scarlet in color is one of the natural birthstones of those born in the first month of autumn (September 23 - October 21). Scarlet crystals bring you strength, vitality, willpower, and dedication.
Carnelian which is red in color is the natural birthstone of those born in mid-autumn (October 22-November 20). Red crystals bring you energy, courage, passion, and love.
Carnelian is the traditional zodiac stone for those born under the sign Virgo, between August 23 and September 22, at the end of summer and the beginning of harvest. Virgo's star sign is The Virgin, depicted as a woman carrying a sheaf of wheat and symbolizing wisdom. This is the only sign represented by a female. Those born under this sign are very reliable, have an excellent memory and are straight thinkers. They have good manners, and are extremely faithful once they find their true love.
Carnelian Amulets and Talismans
In ancient Egypt, hieroglyphic texts from the Book of the Dead were engraved on amulets made from Carnelian to procure a safe passage in the afterlife. Early Babylonian cylinder amulets were also made from this stone. [Kunz, 290]
Carnelian was favored in Greek and Roman times for engraving signet rings as amulets. Many bore the figures of Serapis and Isis, signifying Time and Earth, while others were engraved with zodiacal signs as birthstones of the wearer. [Kunz, 124]
Carnelian is a Seeker Transfomer crystal. Seekers contain the crystal energy structure that aligns the natural energy of the crystal to the natural power of the human mind to find the way to new horizons and new capabilities. They're pointers, directors, and compasses; the fresh start crystals. These are talismans of the scientist, the adventurer, the hunter, wanderer, and explorer. They're also crystals of the student and the researcher. Transformer crystals enhance efforts to change our situations, prospects, health, outlook or relationships. By transforming ourselves we transform our lives. We learn to dance, speak a new language, grow stronger, or become a better spouse or child. Seeker crystals with the earth power of the Transformer are excellent talismans to aid our efforts to grow, develop new capabilities and change our lives.
Carnelian utilizes Fire energy. Fire energy is the energy of enthusiasm, warmth, brightness, illumination and activity. It is Yang in nature. It is the energy of heat, action, emotion and passion - of ideas, of concepts, and sex. It is traditionally associated with the south area of a home or room, and with the fame and reputation area of your dwelling. Use its energy to give your life the boost it needs to enhance your standing in the community and within your family. Red and scarlet Carnelian should be used sparingly, to bring the sun's power and the fire element's energy to your space. Use orange Carnelian as an accent and as an accessory in rooms where high energy is needed.
Carnelian in Ancient Lore and Legend
Roman Carnelian rings, or seals, engraved with deity images or fierce animals were considered both protective and lucky. [Eason, 72]
A man richly dressed with a beautiful object in his hand, engraved on a Carnelian, checked the flow of blood and conferred honors. [Kunz, 133]
A man with a sword in his hand, on a Carnelian, preserved the place where the stone might have been from, from lightning and tempest, and guarded the wearer from vices and enchantments. [Kunz, 133]
In ancient times, Carnelian was believed to give the wearer courage in battle and to help timid speakers become both eloquent and bold. [Simmons, 92]
In ancient Egypt, Carnelian was thought to be the stone of form and design worn by master architects, to show their rank of builder. [Mella, 77] The 29th chapter of the Book of the Dead was engraved on Carnelian, as were many of the body amulets, asking for Isis and other gods to assure safe passage in their afterlife. [Kunz, 229]
Ancient warriors wore Carnelian around their neck for courage and physical power to conquer their enemies. Alchemists of the Middle Ages used it as a boiling stone to activate the energy of other Chalcedonies to transform their energy into useful form. [Mella, 77]
Carnelian is said to be the first stone in the breastplate of the High Priest, engraved with the name Reuben; it also garnished the sixth foundation wall for the New Jerusalem. Its significance, according to the Archbishop of Mainz in the first century, is the venerable blood of the martyrs. [Kunz, 303, 305] Red Carnelian is also associated with St. Bartholomew, signifying his martyrdom. [Fernie, 44]
Carnelian, also called Sardius or Odem, was considered important among the Hebrews and Arabs to prevent illness. The Hebrews believed it kept them from dangers of the Plague, while the Arabs employed it as an agent to stop bleeding. John Schroder wrote in 1669, "It is a gem half transparent, like the water wherein flesh is washed; or like bloody flesh; hence it is called, Carneolus, or Cornelian - genitive flesh." He declared its powder good to drink against all fluxes, and when carried it made cheerful minds, expelled fear, created courage and protected against all poisons. [Fernie, 138]
The symbols [ ] enclose the author's name and a page number for a reference cited from the following books:
[Ahsian, pp.] Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian, The Book of Stones (Berkley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2007).
[Eason, pp. ]Cassandra Eason, The New Crystal Bible (London: Carlton Books Ltd., 2010).
[Fernie, pp.] William T. Fernie, The Occult and Curative Powers of Precious Stones (Blauvelt, NY: Rudolph Steiner Publications, 1973).
[Gienger, pp.] Michael Gienger, Healing Crystals (Scotland: Earthdancer Books, 2009).
[Hall, pp.] Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible (Cincinnati, OH: Walking Stick Press, 2003).
[Hall 2, pp.]Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible 2 (Cincinnati, OH: Walking Stick Press, 2009).
[Kunz, pp.] George Frederick Kunz, The Curious Lore of Precious Stones (New York: Dover Publications, 1971).
[Megemont, pp.] Florence Megemont, The Metaphysical Book of Gems and Crystals (Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2008).
[Mella, pp.] Dorothee L. Mella, Stone Power II (Albuquerque, NM: Brotherhood of Life, Inc., 1986).
[Melody, pp.] Melody, Love Is In The Earth (Wheat Ridge, CO: Earth-Love Publishing House, 1995).
[Raphaell, pp.] Katrina Raphaell, Crystal Enlightenment (Santa Fe, NM: Aurora Press, 1985)
[Simmons, pp.] Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian, The Book of Stones (Berkley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2007).