Bloodstone, also known as heliotrope (HEE-lee-uh-trope), is an opaque type of chalcedony, making it a member of the quartz family. It is generally green with red spots; these red spots are usually iron oxide or jasper, and their resemblance to spots of blood is where this stone gets its name. Occasionally, the spots are yellow instead; this variety is sometimes called plasma. The alternate name, heliotrope, is Greek for “sun turner”; though the origins of this name are not well understood, it may have something to do with how light plays off this stone.

Christians gave special significance to Bloodstone as they believe that when Jesus was crucified, the dripping blood dropped on the green Jasper giving the stone its red spots. Bloodstone was known at one time as the Martyr’s Stone and was used in sculptures representing flagellation and martyrdom. Many old European churches and museums have altar vessels and furniture made with bloodstone. Egyptians made thumb rings using bloodstone with a design showing the rays of the sun as a symbol of their religion around their sun god, Ra.

It has a Mohs hardness of 6.5 to 7 and a trigonal crystal structure.

It is the alternate birthstone for March (the main one being aquamarine).

Locations: Bloodstone is mainly found in India, but can be found in Brazil, China, Australia, Scotland, and the United States.

Properties: This stone is very supportive and encouraging, especially to those who have a strong pull towards a spiritual path or give of themselves for the benefit of their communities. It gives strength and courage to face adversity of all kinds, and helps ease the sense of isolation and abandonment that can be felt when one chooses a spiritual path not well understood by family or friends. Bloodstone is useful for persevering in the face of obstacles; it encourages the wearer to trust and maintain faith in divine forces, and it helps them to feel self-sufficient and capable. These traits come from its tendency to remind the bearer of the pervasiveness of divine energies and the oneness of all things. It has the capacity to bring out sincere altruism through guiding the wearer to understand the true nature of compassion, self-sacrifice, and forgiveness. It has a strong effect on the root chakra, heightening endurance and battling sluggishness.

Bloodstone is believed to have the ability to provide positive relief and cure many disorders and problems related to the blood. Bloodstone was used to stop bleeding, especially nosebleeds, and to detoxify the kidneys, liver, and spleen. It may also be helpful in alleviating certain symptoms of menstruation and menopause, as well as possibly helping to bring balance to female hormones. Roman soldiers credited this stone the power to stop bleeding wounds, either by the direct contact with the stone or by using powdered bloodstone; today it has been suggested that this healing effect is because of the presence of iron oxide, an astringent used in surgery today.

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