Gemstones have fascinated humans for centuries, with their unique beauty and alleged mystical properties.
The Origins of Bloodstone
Bloodstone derived its name from Greek words meaning “sun-turning,” as it was believed to reflect the color of blood when exposed to the setting sun or immersed in water.
In ancient times, it was regarded as a stone possessing extraordinary properties. Legends associated with Bloodstone claimed that it had the ability to make water boil and cause disturbances in utensils.
Bloodstone in Ancient Beliefs
According to the accounts of the historian Pliny the Elder, Bloodstone acted as a mirror for the sun and could even reveal solar eclipses.
Over time, the legends surrounding Bloodstone expanded, suggesting that it had the power to turn the sun blood-red and influence natural phenomena like thunderstorms, lightning, rain, and tempests.
The Roman magician Damigeron further reinforced these beliefs in the 2nd century, claiming that the stone could predict the future through rain and “Audible Oracles.”
Symbols and Engravings
Damigeron proclaimed Heliotrope as the Sunstone and its symbolism extended to how it was worn. Freemen engraved it with a radiant sun, while freed slaves wore it with the head of a sun.
Slaves’ Heliotropes bore the image of an altar with a torch on top. These engravings were believed to carry significant meaning and distinguish the wearer’s status.
Bloodstone and the Crucifixion
During the Middle Ages, a widely known legend associated Bloodstone with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
One version claimed that the blood from His wounds dripped onto the dark green earth, transforming into stone and giving rise to Bloodstone.
Another variation suggested that Christ’s sacred blood flowed from the fatal spear thrust and landed on a dark green Jasper at the foot of the cross, thus creating Bloodstone as a variety of Jasper.
The Blood Of Christ
Ancient and medieval writers held Bloodstone in high regard, believing it preserved the wearer’s mental and physical health.
It was even referred to as “Christ’s Stone,” with the red spots on the Bloodstone seen as representations of Christ’s blood.
Gems cut from this stone were intricately engraved to depict drops of blood trickling down the Savior’s hair and face.
Fine examples of such carvings can be found in the French Royal Collection and the Field Museum in Chicago, USA.
The 3rd Century A.D.
Bloodstone’s esteemed reputation extended beyond its healing properties. It was believed to protect the wearer’s mind and body, ensuring longevity, respect, fame, and safeguarding against deception.
The Leyden Papyrus from the 3rd century A.D. praised the Bloodstone amulet, claiming that it granted the wearer’s every request, pacified the anger of kings and despots, and ensured that whatever the wearer said would be believed.
It further asserted that anyone carrying this stone and uttering the name engraved upon it would witness doors opening and bonds and stone walls crumbling.
Bloodstone in Magical Practices
Ancient magical experts believed that combining Heliotrope, both the stone and the herb of the same name, with specific incantations could render the bearer invisible.
The famous ring of Gyges was said to possess the abilities associated with this stone. Furthermore, engraving the image of a bat on a Heliotrope or Bloodstone was believed to grant the wearer authority over demons and assist with incantations.
Healing and Medicinal Uses
Bloodstone’s reputation for its healing properties extended to its alleged ability to stop nosebleeds, control bleeding from wounds, and halt various hemorrhages. Its coagulant effect can be attributed to the presence of iron oxide in the stone.
Ancient civilizations, including Mesopotamia, recognized its connection to purifying the blood and kidneys, a belief that dates back five thousand years.
Bloodstone Remedies in History
Throughout history, Bloodstone was utilized in various remedies. In the ancient Near East and Medieval Europe, it was powdered and mixed with honey and egg white to draw out snake venom, reduce tumors, and stop hemorrhages.
The Alfonso lapidary mentioned hanging Bloodstone over an abscess to clear putrefaction within a day. It was believed that merely gazing at Bloodstone could prevent eye diseases.
When powdered, it possessed drying properties, helping alleviate watery secretions due to its heat and dryness.
Bloodstone in the16th Century
In the 16th century, Monardes documented the use of Bloodstone by Spaniards and the Indians of New Spain. They often shaped the gemstone into heart forms and used it as a remedy for wounds and bleeding of various kinds.
The best results were achieved by first dipping the stone in cold water and then placing it in the right hand of the patient. Touching the stone to any area where bleeding occurred also had a staunching effect.
Bernardino de Sahagun, a Franciscan friar, recorded instances where he cured native individuals from hemorrhages by having them hold a piece of Bloodstone in their hands.
Bloodstone, with its fascinating history and mystical allure, has captivated civilizations throughout the ages.
From its associations with the sun and its alleged powers over natural phenomena to its healing properties and use in various remedies, Bloodstone continues to intrigue both gemstone enthusiasts and those interested in the mystical realm.
Whether cherished for its symbolism, protective attributes, or potential medicinal benefits, Bloodstone remains a gemstone shrouded in ancient legends and timeless fascination.
Chermaine’s journey into the world of gemstones and crystals began as a child, collecting shimmering stones on family vacations. Today, she’s a certified gemologist and spiritual healer, intertwining the physical beauty of jewels with their metaphysical properties.
Chermaine has traveled to mines in Africa, marketplaces in India, and spiritual retreats in Bali, always seeking to deepen her understanding.