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Carnelian Meaning: Healing Properties & Everyday Uses

IN THIS ARTICLE

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

collection of carnelian stones

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
  • Detoxes

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.

Metaphysical Properties

  • 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.

Zodiac Birthstone

Carnelian and other gemstones on table
  • 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.

Using Carnelian

Carnelian energy bracelet

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.

Jewelry

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

carnelian stones and candles
  • 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.

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

Carnelian FAQ's

How to charge Carnelian?

When Carnelian is charged it can work at the top of its powers. To charge Carnelian you can place it in soil to spark it's earth energy. You can also leave it in a slice of sunlight for a short while. You can charge Carnelian by leaving it in the presence of other charging crystals too like Selenite or Clear Quartz.

What is Carnelian?

Carnelian is a mineral that comes from the chalcedony family. It has a hexagonal crystal structure and a vitreous luster. It comes in shades that vary from pale orange to deepest dark reddish brown. It can be closer to a translucent shade or it can be opaque. The meaning of Carnelian is centered around energy and creativity.

What chakra is Carnelian?

Carnelian is a crystal dedicated to the lower chakras and in particular the sacral chakra. The sacral chakra is the home of our creative and sensual energies. It’s from this point that we awaken our pleasure center and tap into our place of play. Carnelian also connects to the root chakra which provides us with a steady foundation for feeling secure in life and the solar plexus chakra where we find out warrior spirit.

How to tell if Carnelian is fake?

There are a few ways to tell if your Carnelian is fake. First, look to see if there are any inclusions or blemishes in the gem. If a stone is too perfect it is normally a sign that it is not a real gem as nature doesn’t deliver a perfect hand. Carnelian is also a hard stone so it should feel heavy or dense in your hand. You can also check the coloring as anything too bright or uniform is more likely to be fake.

How to use Carnelian?

One of the best ways to use Carnelian is to wear it. Wearing Carnelian jewelry is a great way to tap into its innate powers and carry its vibrant vibrations with you wherever you go. You can also use Carnelian to clear your lower chakras so placing it on the chakra point on the body. You can also place Carnelian in the bedroom or home to rouse intimacy, invite abundance, and call on creativity.

What does Carnelian crystal do?

Carnelian is a vibrant energetic stone. It is known to be a gemstone that awakens a zest for life and taps into our power and creativity. If you want to boost your sense of self-esteem, Carnelian can help you to find your inner strength. It also helps to rekindle creativity and boosts motivation. It is believed to stimulate love and passion and brings courage to all who wear it.

What does Carnelian look like?

Carnelian has a red and brown hue and a vitreous luster. It’s color scheme can vary from a very pale orange to vibrant red and a brownish red so dark that it almost appears black. It is a dense stone and often has a solid color - although it’s not uncommon to see bands of varying shades rippling through.

How to activate Carnelian stone?

One of the best ways to activate your Carnelian stone is to carry it with you so it can sync up and connect with your energy. You can do this by wearing Carnelian jewelry or keeping Carnelian on your person. Taking your Carnelian stone into nature can also help to activate it. Carnelian likes to be in the sun and close to the earth, so leave it in a slant of sunshine or place it in the garden for a short period of time.

Can Carnelian be in the sun?

Carnelian is an orange stone which means it is generally OK to be left in the sunlight. In fact, as a fiery stone it enjoys the company of the sun and has no color pigment that can fade. As with all crystals and gemstones, it is not recommended to leave them in the sunlight for too long as intense periods of heat can affect the crystal.

Is Carnelian agate?

Yes, Carnelian is a type of Agate and is sometimes called Red Agate although there are similarities and differences between Agate and Carnelian. Carnelian is usually made up of agate and other components too. Agate is usually banded whereas Carnelian tends to be a more solid color. Both are members of the Chalcedony family.

Where is Carnelian found?

Most Carnelian that is sold on the market today comes from India although it is mined across the world. Other places where Carnelian is found include Egypt, Brazil, Uruguay, and the Amazon.

Where to buy Carnelian stone?

Many reputable gemstone dealers and crystal sellers will have Carnelian for you to buy. However, you always want to make sure that the gemstone seller you purchase from is the real deal to ensure your stones are as ethical and high quality as can be.

How to cleanse Carnelian?

Carnelian is an easy stone to clean and reacts well to a simple running water and soap cleanse. You can also cleanse Carnelian energetically by smudging it with sage or palo santo or by using sound therapies like singing bowls. You can also plant your Carnelian in soil for a little while or leave it in the sun or moonlight.

How to identify Carnelian?

You can identify Carnelian by its color, luster, and how dense it feels to hold. Carnelian comes in sunset shades of orange and red although (as with all real gemstones) the color won’t be distributed evenly. Hold it to the light and see if there are bands or stripes beneath the surface - if so, your stone could be a dyed agate. Carnelian can also be translucent and have a slight sparkle to it. In the hand it will feel dense and heavier than glass.

How much is Carnelian worth?

The price of Carnelian can vary greatly depending on the quality and size of the gemstone in question. However, as Carnelian is quite a common stone that is easily obtainable it is also very affordable. Its worth varies from between $3 per carat to over $20.

How is Carnelian formed?

Like many precious stones, Carnelian is formed when molten rock rises to the surface and starts to cool. As the magma hardens and gases escape, it leaves little pockets stashed in the volcanic or igneous rock surface where silica and quartz rich liquids can settle. With time and changes in pressure - not to mention other minerals and components getting through, crystals start to form. Carnelian is often formed through the presence of quartz and morganite and the presence of iron adds to its color.

Does Carnelian cleanse other stones?

Carnelian can be used to cleanse other stones. This highly energetic and loving gemstone is all about sharing the energy. If you want to cleanse your other stones using Carnelian you can place the other stone in a tumbled bag with Carnelian and let it work its magic. Remember, Carnelian isn’t a self cleaning stone, so you will need to charge and cleanse it regularly.

Is Carnelian a quartz?

Yes, Carnelian is a variety of quartz. It is a member of the Chalcedony family which in turn is a mineral of the quartz family.

What are the metaphysical properties of Carnelian?

Carnelian is a stone that connects to the lower chakras. This means that it brings the metaphysical properties of being a gem that offers stability, grounding, a zest for life, and helps to improve confidence and creativity.

How to spot fake Carnelian?

You can spot a fake Carnelian by looking at the color, the light, and the weight of the stone. A true Carnelian will have its color dispersed in a cloudy manner and won’t be a uniform shade. A faux Carnelian may look too bright or uniform and may also have stripes of color when you hold it to the light. A true Carnelian will also feel dense or heavier in hand.

Is Carnelian translucent?

Carnelian is a translucent stone although because of its luster and coloring it may appear more opaque in certain stones than others.

What hand do you wear a Carnelian bracelet on?

Depending on what you want from your Carnelian bracelet will depend what hand you wear your bracelet on. Your left hand is your receiving hand and is the hand that absorbs energy from the outside world. This is a good place for your Carnelian bracelet as you can absorb its energy giving and life boosting benefits.

What is Carnelian stone called in hindi?

In Hindi, the name Carnelian looks like कारेलियन स्टोन. This refers to the beautiful warm red and brown gemstone that carries a vibrant energy rich in vitality.

Where to place Carnelian in the home?

Carnelian is a great stone for bringing energy and power into the home. You can place it on the south side of the house if you want to invite abundance in. You can also leave it in the office or studio if you want to boost your creative thinking. As Carnelian is a stone known to be connected with the lower chakras it can also stimulate fertility and intimacy when left in the bedroom.

Is Carnelian expensive?

Carnelian is a very affordable stone and isn’t too expensive as it can be mined in abundance. While the cost of individual stones and pieces will vary depending on quality and size, you can pick up Carnelian for around $3 per carat.

Is red agate the same as Carnelian?

While Red Agate and Carnelian share similar properties and are both members of the Chalcedony family, they do have remarkable differences too. The main difference is that any kind of Agate is usually banded and Red Agate is no different whereas Carnelian won’t be banded. Carnelian may also have more variety in its tones and boast more orange and yellow than Red Agate. Carnelian is also linked more to the sacral chakra whereas Red Agate is linked closer to the root chakra.

Can you sleep with Carnelian?

Carnelian is an energetic and vibrant stone and therefore may not be the best choice for those looking to lull themselves into a deeper sleep. However, it is a stone that is all about sensuality, passion, and play so it definitely has its time and place in the bedroom.

How to program Carnelian?

If you want to program Carnelian for a specific intention you should hold the stone in your hand. Clear your mind as best you can and be really clear on your intentions. Ask the crystal for its assistance with what you want and be very specific. Focus and imagine how you would feel or what your reality would be if your intentions came to be. Hold the crystal to your heart and give thanks. The wheels will now be in motion.

Is Carnelian a fire stone?

Yes, Carnelian is an orange red stone that is associated with the energy of fire. Also named the sunset stone, this gem is rich in a vibrant energy that can awaken your own dormant energy and kickstart your creative heart and zest for life.

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