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Bloodstone Properties, Facts and Photos

rough piece of the mineral bloodstone

1. What is Bloodstone?
2. History of Bloodstone
3. Bloodstone in Ancient Egypt
4. More About Bloodstone
5. Bloodstone Healing Properties
6. Article Pictures
7. Shop Bloodstone

What is Bloodstone?

Bloodstone is a dark green variety of the mineral chalcedony.  Chalcedony is a cryptocrystalline variety of quartz.

Bloodstone is an opaque stone that takes on a high polish.  When used as a gemstone, it tends to be cut as a cabochon.

The red markings in bloodstone inclusions of iron oxides, usually hematite.

The History of Bloodstone

Historically, bloodstone has been associated with many supernatural powers. One of its most important uses was to control bleeding and heal wounds.

In powdered form, it has long been used as a medicine, particularly for blood-related issues. 

Bloodstone was also believed to control the weather and turn the sun's rays.  It was used to banish evil spirits, direct spiritual energies and protect against the evil eye.

Warriors and athletes also carried it as a talisman because they believed it could enhance physical strength and endurance. 

The dark red inclusions were once likened to drops of blood. Legend says bloodstone was created at the foot of the cross during Christ's crucifixion.  This made it popular with the church.

Bloodstone is known to have been used for carving scenes of the crucifixion.

During the Middle Ages, it's believed to have been used for sculptures depicting flogging, whipping, lashing and martyrdom.  Little tangible evidence exists to support this. 

London's British Museum houses many artefacts of Christ carved in bloodstone. The red spots on the carvings depict bloodcarvings depict blood.

One of the earliest depictions of the crucifixion is an intaglio dating back to the late 2nd or 3rd century. The stone, described as a reddish-brown jasper, is believed to be bloodstone.

In ancient Rome, bloodstone was used to preserve health and protect against deception.  It was also widely used as a seal for letters and documents.

Pliny the Elder, ancient Roman author and naturalist (23-79 AD) wrote;

"Heliotropium is found in Æthiopia, Africa, and Cyprus: it is of a leek-green colour, streaked with blood-red veins.  From the circumstance that, if placed in a vessel of water and exposed to the full light of the sun, it changes to a reflected colour like that of blood; this being the case with the stone of Æthiopia more particularly.

Out of the water, too, it reflects the figure of the sun like a mirror, and it discovers eclipses of that luminary by showing the moon passing over its disk.

In the use of this stone, also, we have a most glaring illustration of the impudent effrontery of the adepts in magic, for they say that, if it is combined with the plant heliotropium, and certain incantations are then repeated over it, it will render the person invisible who carries it about him

(Chapter 60, Pliny the Elder - Naturalis Historia)

Heliotropium is a genus of flowering plant with similar colours to bloodstone.  The name came about because the flowers were understood to turn to face the sun.  The Greek word 'helios' means 'sun' while 'trepein' means 'to turn'.

The name 'heliotrope' an alternative for bloodstone, is believed to have come about because the stone was believed to reflect light.  For reasons not fully understood, it was also believed to change colour after being submerged in water.

the mineral bloodstone

Bloodstone in Ancient Egypt

Reference to bloodstone being used for its healing properties in ancient Egypt can be found in the Ebers Papyrus.

One of the oldest surviving medical texts, the Ebers Papyrus is believed to have been written in 1536 BC, during the ninth year of the reign of Pharaoh Amenophis I (aka Amenhotep).

The Ebers Papyrus has been translated from hieratic script, a cursive form of hieroglyphs. It contains information on medical conditions, including diseases of the eye, skin, blood, and digestive system. It also references gynaecological problems and surgical procedures.

It includes remedies using herbs, minerals and animal products and describes the use of enemas, cupping and bloodletting as treatments.

In reference to bloodstone it says;

If you examine someone mortally ill (and) his body is shrunken with disease in extremis; if you examine him (and) you do not find disease in his body except for the surface of the ribs, the members of which protrude like pills; you should then recite (a spell against) this disease in your house; you should (also) then prepare for him ingredients for treating it: blood stone of Elephantine, ground; red grain; carob; cook in oil (and) honey; it should be eaten by him over four mornings for the suppression of his thirst and for curing his mortal illness.

(source - Ebers Papyrus page 6) 

blood stone depicted in hieroglyphs

More About Bloodstone

The colour in bloodstone is always natural because when heated, the green turns grey, and the inclusions of iron oxide turn black.

Bloodstone is mined predominantly in India, Australia, Siberia, Scotland, Brazil and the United States.

According to the traditional and Ayurvedic birthstone chart, bloodstone is the birthstone for March.  Aquamarine and Jasper are listed as alternatives.

On the mystical chart, bloodstone is the birthstone for February.  It's associated with the zodiac sign of Aries.

Bloodstone grades 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness.

Healing Properties of Bloodstone

Bloodstone is widely known for its association with the blood, and the belief that it strengthens the immune system.

Its grounding and protective abilities can help keep undesirable influences out. When carried as an amulet, bloodstone offers strength and support in dangerous situations.

It's perfect for those who find it difficult to relax and think about things for longer than they should.  

Bloodstone is associated with the base chakra also known as the root chakra.  The location of this energy field is close to the base of the spine.

The base chakra has been likened to the roots that secure body, and soul to Earth.  It focuses on survival, instinct and stability.

When the root chakra is aligned you should feel safe, secure and firmly grounded in yourself and in relation to what's happening around you.

Bloodstone can improve focus and strengthen decision-making.  It heightens intuition and increases creativity. It stimulates dreaming and revitalises the mind, and body.

On an emotional level, bloodstone reduces irritability, aggressiveness and impatience. It assists in connecting one's inner self with the spiritual realm hence provides a sense of harmony and inner peace in daily life.

Bloodstone is prized for its grounding energy and ability to provide clarity and focus during times of stress or emotional turmoil.

tumbled bloodstone crystals

Article Pictures

The bloodstone at the top of our article is courtesy of James St. John. The tumbled stones and the rough piece are from our collection.

Images are clickable and redirect to the original photo.

The last image is from the Ebers Papyrus. 

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