Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jeudi: Curios

The beautiful, red-orange semiprecious stone called carnelian always reminds me of summer.  Its fiery color also inspired our ancestors, who used this red form of chalcedony as a ward against fear, a help with depression and a source of virility.

In ancient times, carnelian was usually worn in rings.  The Ancient Egyptians believed that carnelian set in gold could conquer feelings of jealousy, hatred and anger in one's self and others.  The Greeks and Romans believed carnelian was a promoter of health and could, in particular, keep diseases of the skin, body parasites and insanity at bay.

In the late Medieval period and Renaissance in Europe, Scott Cunningham tells us that large carnelians were engraved with the image of a sword or, to even better effect, a warrior in full armor and worn a an amulet against harm, including the psychic intrusion of someone trying to read your mind.  These amulets were also hung in homes and churches to keep away lightening and the evil workings of witches.

Now, carnelian is particularly prized for its ability to keep doubt, fear and depression at bay.  Carnelian is considered the go-to curio for people who fear public speaking but have no way of avoiding it.  For this purpose, Cunningham advises wearing the stone in a ring or necklace although I have a pair of carnelian earrings that have served me well in such situations.

Carnelian is thought to give shy people a boost of self-confidence and impart eloquence of speech.  It is also considered a psychic stone, improving second-sight while quelling nightmares.

In all eras, carnelian has been worn to encourage the sex drive and fertility, particularly in men.  Remember, too, that if you cannot afford carnelian - which is admittedly rather pricey - red jasper is a perfect substitute.  And, as always, cleanse your stone(s) with holy water, salt or sunshine before using them.

One last note, if you will indulge me.  This post is dedicated to two of my favorite guys named Scott.  First the incomparable Scott Cunningham, the anniversary of whose birthday was yesterday; may he know eternal happiness in the Summerland.  Second my dear - and very much alive - friend Scott Rose who recently had to abandon a labor of love; I have no doubt that the future holds so much more for you!

Happy Summer to all in the Northern latitudes, and - as always - Bonne chance ~

Header: Jeanne d'Arc and Saint Michael by Spencer Baird Nichols c 1925


Timmy! said...

I keep a carnelian in my mojo bag, thanks to you, Pauline...

Huzzah for both Scott's...

And I really like that painting, too.

Pauline said...

You do indeed.

And I am fond of any well done piece of art in tribute to St. Jeanne. To me, she represents true courage - not bravery, which is often thoughtless to the point of stupidity - but mindful courage in the face of impossible odds.

A motto for such: "Whether I win or lose, I have done the right thing."