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What is Carnelian?
Carnelian is a member of the Chalcedony family. It is a silica mineral that takes its color from iron oxide. Carnelian has a hexagonal crystal system and has a vitreous luster. It comes in colors that are reddish brown. The meaning of Carnelian is energy and creativity.
Take a look at our essential guide to healing gemstones and find a crystal that captures you.
The History of Carnelian
- Known as the sunset stone
- An ancient stone of fertility
- Warriors would wear Carnelian during battle
- Known for building personal power and confidence
The Sunset Stone of Carnelian was named so by the Ancient Egyptians who marveled at the collection of fiery hues simmering in shades of burnt orange and pale pink. Just like a killer sunset, the Carnelian Stone is something of a soul stirrer, ever ready to cleanse away the day and re-invigorate your strength with the promise of something new.
In ancient times, the orange Carnelian stone has taken up the mantle of many roles. The Egyptians considered the Orange Carnelian to be blessed with feminine energy and the menstrual cycle, it was a stone of fertility and linked to the power of Isis. The masculine Red Carnelian was said to be more active in its power and less about shedding the old and embracing the fiery energy of the new. It was there to stimulate love and passion. Warriors would string Carnelian around their neck to give them courage in battle.
Out of Ancient Egypt and into the Middle Ages and Carnelian became a stone of alchemy. The wizened ones would boil up the bright autumnal energy to kickstart the powers of other chalcedony stones. It was also beloved by architects and worn to symbolize status in society. With its protective fires, Carnelian was also used as a preventative against sickness and the plague. Further cementing its lore as a stone that brings out the longevity of life and the fighting spirit. The name of Carnelian comes from the Latin word meaning ‘flesh’ which perhaps speaks to its reminder that we are flesh and blood and we should make the most of the here and now.
Carnelian has been found on the shores of Brazil, India, Egypt, Uruguay, and the Amazon. In its earthly shades, it has captured desert storms, jungle sunsets, and golden stone. It is here with its fire to breathe life back into those who are lagging and to ensure that your confidence and personal power has the space to soar. Let’s delve a little deeper into the kiss of Carnelian.
If Carnelian doesn’t connect with you, take a look at our Essential Crystal Guide, and find a stone that suits your internal style.
Carnelian Healing Properties
Carnelian has many names – The Singers Stone, The Sunset Stone, and The Artists Stone. It has a vivacious creative edge in everything it does. The warm hues of autumn are a reminder to let go of the seasons that don’t serve you, to store warmth and light within the body, and to travel forth – no matter how dim the path. As a potent healing crystal, Carnelian heals the body, mind, and soul in one swoop. Let’s look a little closer and see how Carnelian can help you out.
Physical Healing Properties
- Stimulates the tissues and organs
- Boosts libido
Like all fire stones, Carnelian infuses the body with life and light calling on the powers of physical energy. It’s all about stimulating the muscles, helping oxygen to find its free flow, and keeping your tissues and organs flushed with the finest health. For anyone out there who may be in a bind when it comes to their sexual energy, Carnelian may be able to help. This stone stirs up fertility and even for those not wanting to go down that path, it can be an amazing aid in giving your libido a boost and helping you to fully step into the fire of your own sexual identity and power.
Those who suffer from lower back problems or rheumatism will also find Carnelian properties a kiss of relief. The warm vibrations seep through, bringing healing to bones and ligaments and helping you to feel loose and limber rather than stiff and cold. Carnelian also brings a detoxifying flush to those who may be in a battle with alcohol, drugs, and other stimulants that don’t serve your overall health and wondrous wellbeing.
Mental & Emotional Healing Properties
- Boosts vitality
- Stimulates warmth and heat
- Encourages creativity
For those who need a few more flames in their fire, Carnelian is always keen to bring out your power. The Carnelian crystal is all about gifting a glut of vitality to those who are feeling a little lost and sluggish. This bright burst of energy will get you back on your feet and feeling the drive to go forth and conquer, especially when it comes to creative projects. It isn’t called The Artist’s Stone for no reason, Carnelian invites you to write, paint, dance and sing and it does so, by stimulating warmth and heat, loosening the limbs, letting energy flow, and encouraging you to embrace your inner child and say a sweet yes to spontaneity.
When you let our creative juices go wild, this gives you a whole new lease of life and keeps you feeling motivated and confident now that you have been able to step out of the shadows. If you have been holding on tight to anger or reigning yourself in, this is the time to let it all go. New fires are burning so leave those bitter embers well alone. Forever and a day, Carnelian was considered to be a stone that helped timid speakers to raise their vocals. This is where it also earns its name as The Singers Stone. Even if you cannot hold a note, bringing Carnelian into your life will ensure that your voice always rings true and you never have to bite your tongue again. When we are able to lift up our voice, the soul follows.
- Connected to the lower chakras
- Awakens your warrior spirit
Like many orange healing stones, Carnelian is connected to the three lower chakras. The Root Chakra is the foundation of all our chakras, it's where our safety sits and keeps us grounded to the world that holds us. If the Root Chakra is blocked, it may feel like you are totally off balance and that you live life constantly feeling on edge and in a place of insecurity. When this chakra is in flow you know you can take emotional risks in life because the center will always hold.
The Sacral Chakra is where our passion, intimacy, and the inner fire sits. If yours is blocked you may feel that you struggle to connect and that joy almost seems impossible to find. Carnelian awakens this zest for life, letting the energy flow through from the ground to the naval. The final chakra connected to Carnelian is the Solar Plexus Chakra, the place where our personal power burns. This is the center of our self-esteem and where our warrior spirit sits in wait. If your Solar Plexus isn’t flowing then you may feel as though there’s no fight left in you. Fear not, Carnelian is here to call that warrior into action.
- The birthstone of Virgo
- Good for Leos
Carnelian is connected to the birthstone months that fall at the end of the summer and seep into Autumn. August and September, this is the time when the leaves start to fall, the end of the old cycle, and the harvest of all that has come before is able to be reaped and to keep you comforted over the colder months. The zodiac sign of Virgo falls hard for the healing powers of Carnelian. Virgos are already creative and passionate and the Carnelian serves to keep them in this space. But sometimes, the Virgo can be a little tough on themselves and can also second guess themselves. Carnelian helps them to kick out the imposter syndrome and to keep the faith that what they make is magic.
Leo’s too, tend to fall hard for the fiery spirit of Carnelian. Kissed by fire also, Leo is already a warrior and Carnelian helps the ego-heavy Leo to stay true to themselves and on track, without letting quick passion and anger lead the way. If you are a Taurus you will also find some comfort in Carnelian.
Check out our healing Carnelian Bracelet!
- Wear for warrior protection
- Place beside the bed for sexual power
- Keep close for self-confidence
Bringing Carnelian into your life is like standing in front of a fire after a windy walk. You start to feel your skin tingle and every inch of your being bloom into consciousness. Whether you choose Carnelian in the form of beautiful gemstone jewelry or if you choose a worry stone to slip inside your pocket or a tumbled crystal piece for your altar, Carnelian will warm you tip to toe.
Home & Office
Bring Carnelian into your home and boost the harmony and balance that can be found in the center. If you want to invite abundance in, then turn instead to place your crystal in a spot on the south side of the house. If you are looking to kickstart your creative heart then find a place facing west for your Carnelian, and for those seeking the healing glow of self-worth, the stone sits in the south-east.
Worn as amulets by warriors and priests to gift courage and a fiery inner strength, Carnelian makes for an amazing jewel when it comes to crystal healing. Worn directly against the skin, a Carnelian Bracelet, pendant or ring can bring its bright vibrations straight into the body, ensuring you get the highest level of healing power.
If you are looking for stones that complement Carnelian jewelry then look to Agate for its aura cleansing powers. Combine with Amethyst to temper the spirit of Carnelian with some serene vibes. Bring in Lapis Lazuli to release those deep-held blockages, and to make space for the warmth of Carnelian to pass right through. Carnelian's orange color also looks amazing when placed next to the darker hues of Onyx or when combined with the sunny nature of Citrine.
How to Cleanse Your Carnelian Stone
- Clean with water
- Charge with sun and other stones
Keeping your Carnelian talisman cleansed and charged is the best way to bring out its inner light and make the most of its power. Carnelian likes to be cleaned in the simplest fashion with just a little warm and soapy water. Washing your crystals regularly ensures that they are able to shake off any negative energy they may be holding and leaves them wide open and clear so they are able to transmute all they have to give without being blocked. Carnelian is also known for helping to cleanse other stones in your collection, so you can use it as a stacker to soak up the negative energy of your other crystals.
|Chemical Classification||Chalcedony variety|
|Color||Orange to reddish-brown|
|Luster||Waxy to vitreous|
|Transparency||Translucent to opaque|
|Occurrence||Found in volcanic rocks, as well as in hydrothermal veins and geodes|
|Formation||Forms as a result of the precipitation of silica in cavities and fissures in rocks, often in association with agate|
|Diaphaneity||Translucent to opaque|
|Diagnostic Properties||Reddish-brown color, translucency, conchoidal fracture|
|Chemical Composition||Silicon dioxide (SiO2) with traces of iron|
|Optical Properties||Uniaxial negative|
|Other characteristics||Agate-like banding patterns, commonly used in jewelry-making|
Summary & Conclusion
Carnelian is a glorious gemstone for those who want to bring out the life force side of their soul. If you have been waiting for a creative kick, looking to reconnect with your inner child, or simply seeking to bask in the light of the endless summer, then Carnelian has got you covered.
This gorgeous red-orange stone resonates with strong passionate energy and is all about self-confidence, but not in a way that leaves you at a loss or spinning out of control. As mentioned, this stone is known for its close connection to all three of the root chakras and the base chakras, those which hold you securely in place and grant you the stability you need to walk with confidence through the world.
When you commit to bringing Carnelian into your life, you can overcome negative preconceptions, and instead of basking in uncertainty, silence, and fear, you can learn to let go, to laugh loudly, and to live in willpower and warmth instead of shutting yourself out in the cold.
What do you think of the Carnelian meaning? Does it light a fire in your soul? Share your thoughts in the comments