As pretty as they might be, few stones are as visually striking as bloodstone. With its bright red spots against a green background, it really lives up to its name.
Also called heliotrope, this mineral is relatively common in metaphysical and crystal shops. Don’t let that fool you — its abundance and reasonable price don’t make it any less powerful when it comes to healing or magic.
Bloodstone is a mineral aggregate, meaning that it’s a combination of several distinct minerals. It’s primarily cryptocrystalline quartz that may be either translucent or opaque.
The majority of bloodstone on the market comprises an opaque green stone (courtesy of inclusions of chlorite or hornblende) with bright red spots or streaks of oxidized hematite. This is the type that gives bloodstone its name, since the hematite very closely resembles drops of blood.
The name heliotrope comes from helios, meaning “the sun,” and trepein, “to turn.” This name comes from the way that various observers, including Pliny the Elder, thought that the stone reflected light.
Interestingly, the word “bloodstone” doesn’t always refer to this gem. In the past, it was a synonym for hematite, which was believed to slow bleeding and enhance the clotting of blood.
See also: Check out Bloodstone stones here.
Bloodstone Healing Properties & Benefits
Emotionally, this stone helps ground the user in their physical body, and enhances feelings of strength and courage. It’s an excellent tool during stressful times, since it helps the user navigate chaos with dignity and determination. These properties make it pretty much ideal for anyone suffering from bullying, a toxic work environment, abuse, or major upheavals.
Physically, bloodstone is said to help cleanse the blood and internal organs, improve circulation, and bolster the immune system. Crystal healers often turn to this stone to aid those dealing with disorders of the blood, like anemia.
This gem is also considered helpful for menstruation, pregnancy, labor, and menopause. An elixir made by soaking this stone in water — either directly or indirectly — may help reduce the appearance of bruises and varicose veins.
Be cautious when consulting historic references about bloodstone’s healing properties — they may be referring to hematite, not heliotrope.
See also: Check out Bloodstone jewelry here.
Bloodstone Magical Properties
Bloodstone is chiefly considered a healer more than a strictly magical stone. Even though it has a long history of use, most of its magical properties overlap with its purported ability to cleanse, purify, and nourish the blood.
This gem is sometimes used to increase intuition. There are many stunning rune sets, pendulums, and other divination tools shaped from polished pieces of bloodstone, and larger specimens make stunning (and powerful) decorations for divination tables.
Historically, this stone was strongly tied to the weather. It was purported to enable the user to call down rain or stir up wind. Elemental witches who work with storms sometimes use bloodstone in order to tap into their weather energy.
Though bloodstones are primarily green, they can come in a variety of colors due to varying inclusions in their base crystal. Bear this in mind when you’re choosing how to work with your particular stone.
Green stones are suitable for magic relating to plants, growth, beauty, fertility, and prosperity. Brown stones are best for Earth magic, grounding, and working with animals. Red stones are good for vitality, strength, and passion. A green stone with red spots, therefore, would be ideal for improving the user’s vitality to help facilitate conception.
For those who work with chakras, bloodstone is said to correspond the most closely with the root chakra, Muladhara. This energy center governs survival, and is the most closely tied with the physical body. A weak or blocked chakra can lead to difficulties with fear, insecurity, and a host of problems related to insufficient energy flow to the other chakras.
Some use this stone to work with the heart chakra, Anahata. Rather than balancing or unblocking Anahata itself, bloodstone is used to align the lower chakras with the heart, allowing for a free and easy flow of energy up toward the higher chakras.
Bloodstone History & Folklore
In Christian mythology, the bloodstone was said to get its spots when a Roman soldier pierced Jesus’ side with a spear during the crucifixion. Jesus’ blood fell on the stones, permanently staining them.
According to Pliny the Elder, this stone could make the user invisible. It was also believed to help guide those who were lost, and ensure victory in court battles.
Various Gnostic sects wore the stones as a charm for longevity, wealth, and as an antidote to melancholy.
This stone was prized by virtually every ancient culture fortunate enough to discover it. In ancient Greece and Rome, the stone was believed to bring fame, improve endurance, and prevent against bites from venomous creatures.
In Babylon, bloodstone was a popular material for making seals and carvings. Ancient Egyptian warriors used it in the belief that it would help them defeat their enemies.
How to Cleanse Bloodstone
As a cryptocrystalline quartz, bloodstone is fairly durable. It can handle a variety of cleansing methods, so feel free to choose the one that you’re drawn to the most.
Some methods for cleansing Bloodstone include:
- Bathing it in fresh, running water. Natural water is best for this, not tap water. According to some sources, you should only do this for a brief period of time.
- Bathing or spritzing it with an infusion of cleansing herbs.
- Fumigating it with incense or cleansing herbs.
- Sprinkling the stone with sea salt, dried herbs, or both.
- Playing music, chimes, bells, or singing bowls to your bloodstone.
- Burying it in the soil. If you do this outside, mark the area well. If you don’t have an outdoor space, or want to be extra cautious, a potted plant works just as well.
- Placing your stone at the base of a plant.
- Setting it in sunlight for a few minutes.
- Setting it in the light of the full moon.
Some sources suggest that, since it’s a green stone with very physical, grounding energy, bloodstone benefits the most from cleansing using soil or plants. If you use water instead, you may wish to avoid allowing your bloodstone to soak in water for long periods of time. This can alter the hematite inclusions and allow them to leach iron into the surrounding liquid.
Getting Started With Bloodstone
Bloodstone is found all over the world, so it’s neither rare nor expensive in your average crystal or metaphysical shop. Like any crystal, you should make sure your supplier can vouch for the source of their stones — avoid purchasing any you don’t know the origin of.
Some crystals are harvested using methods that contribute to environmental destruction and human rights abuses, so it’s important to make sure that your money doesn’t accidentally go toward supporting these endeavors.
If you can, choose your bloodstone in person. Pick a stone up and hold it in your left hand. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Try to identify any feelings that come up. They may be purely mental, like a sense of calm, or even feelings of sadness or anger. They may even be physical, like a tingling or buzzing sensation. These feelings can tell you how well a certain stone will react to your energy. Stones that feel pleasant will be helpful, while those that don’t will not.
Once you have your new bloodstone, cleanse it thoroughly. It’s gone through a lot to get to you, and every stop its made on the way from the mine to your home was an opportunity for its energy to be affected. Cleansing it removes these influences, bringing the stone back to its most natural energetic form.
With your stone cleansed, you can begin work. If your stone is intended to be a healing ally, you may wish to wear or keep it near the body part you wish to heal. If that’s not possible, try laying down, placing the stone on the affected part, and meditating for several minutes every day. Note how you feel both before and after the meditation.
If you’d like to use your stone as a magical tool, you have a lot of options. Carry it in a pocket or sewn into the lining of your coat if you need it to be a protective or strength-giving charm.
If it’s a divination tool, use it in whichever way is most appropriate for your specific divination style — try asking a pendulum simple question, do a small, basic rune casting, and so forth. Take small steps at first, to help you and your stone become acclimated to each other.
Bloodstones are beautiful gems inextricably tied to human strength and vitality. Their outward appearance resembles drops of blood, they contain the same minerals as our blood, and much of their folklore revolves around it.
If you have any need for a charm to help you feel stronger, stand up to bullies, improve your intuition, or call down the weather, this gem has much to offer you.
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