Wearing that Carnelian brooch to dinner simply wishes everyone ‘Good Luck’. This according to both the Acrostic method of gem placement favoured in the 18th century French and English courts, as well as to the much more ancient mythologies arising from the dim pasts of human superstition and ritual.
Favoured by the Arabic peoples, the Carnelian is one of the stones of Kings. The rich, warm colour of the stone has often linked it to the energies associated with fire. Projective, proactive energy, the beast of fire being the Lion, the King. It is also a stone to lend courage to those in need, and very helpful to wear whilst speaking publicly (roaring).
The Prophet Mohammed was said to have worn a carnelian seal set in silver on the little finger of his right hand. This helps to explain part of the Carnelian’s appeal as a talismanic stone for his followers. Often Carnelians will be engraved with small prayers for luck, or to turn away envy, a powerful force in the minds of many Easterners. The carnelian was worn extensively in Egypt to avert the powers of the Evil Eye and to instill peace.
Napolean I, Napolean III and the Prince Imperial all wore the same type of seal as Mohammed, also carved in Carnelian. This piece is said to have been liberated from Egypt during a campaign fought there. This talisman was held in high regard by the respective Napoleans, however the Prince Imperial merely followed orders when wearing this article. His faith in his talisman obviously didn’t run as deep as the faith the Zulus put into their weapons when they slew him in South Africa and took it from him.
Like Lapis, Carnelian was one of the earliest favoured stones. Being easy to work with and of such vivid colours, both of these stones where found throughout the ancient world in jewelry, seals, and as an offshoot of that, as talismans. That Kings would come to be associated with the warmer red stone seems quite logical when the placement of the more spiritual blue stone with the clergy is considered.
Being the colour of blood, Carnelian was often prescribed to correct problems related to the blood such as nosebleeds, skin diseases and the like. It was also carried as a general invigorator of the blood and to help stimulate sexual impulses.
A book by Ragiel in the 13th century called the “Book of Wings” gives these traits to Carnelian, “A man with a sword in his hand, on a carnelian, preserves the place where it may be from lightning and tempest, and guards the wearer from vices and enchantments.”p
Ragiel was reiterating the mistaken notion of medievel scholars that the stones where to be FOUND with these divine inscriptions on them. Earlier magicians and alchemists spoke of the power given to stones when certain designs were engraved on them, and would often go into great detail on how to go about placing the appropriate image on the correct stone so as to obtain maximum results from the endeavour.
That this practice should go by the wayside and be taken so literally by practitioners later on is rather humorous, especially with some of the results of improper translations which also occurred.
A 15th century French translation boondoggle yields the following gem: “If you find a dromedary (one humped camel) engraved on a stone with hair flowing over its shoulders, this stone will bring peace and concord between man and wife.” The original Latin text actually read, “If you find Andromeda on a stone with hair flowing over her shoulders.”
So as you can see, be you Prince Imperial, hairy camel, or alchemist extraordinaire, you have to believe in ’em before they’ll work. The proper wearing of an engraved stone such as Carnelian can have very deep meaning for those inclined to study them. They certainly have a rich history, one that you may wish to take seriously, or simply wish your host and hostess ‘Good Luck’ by gracing them with it at their dinner table.
I leave you with a poem on Carnelian by Goethe Westosterlicher Divan I, Segenspfander.
Carnelian is a Talisman,
It brings good luck to child and man;
If resting on an onyx ground,
A sacred kiss imprint when found.
It drives away all evil things;
To thee and thine protection brings.
The Name of Allah, king of kings,
If graven on this stone, indeed,
will move to love and doughty deed.
From such a gem a woman gains
Sweet hope and comfort in her pains.
PS, Onyx is said to be the balancer of the sex drive when paired with a stone of sexuality, and I guess that last bit is a pointer on helping out with the pains of PMS.