I was doing some research for a story I’m writing and in the process found all sorts of interesting tidbits about the word heliotrope.
|Bloodstone Hill, Isle of Rum|
It’s the gemstone I was interested in and the fact that one of the places it can be found is in the Hebrides of Scotland, on the Isle of Rhum or Rum.
Heliotrope also has another name—Bloodstone.
What the heck is a Bloodstone? Glad you asked. J
It’s a variety of the chalcedony, or quartz gemstones.
In the ancient world, Chalcedony was widely used for various purposes. Archaeology verifies it was a common material used in artwork, such as cameos, utensil decorations, inkstands and seals. Jewelry was another popular use for quartz gemstones, ornaments such as pins, amulets, and brooches. Heliotrope also has qualities similar to flint and was used for axe heads and tools knife blades, and for metaphysical properties in healing.
The bloodstone is unique from other quartz gemstones. It’s a deep green in color with distinctive markings of red jasper. It’s the bright red that gives it the name Bloodstone.
There was another reason is was a highly prized stone in ancient times—Heliotrope or Bloodstone is a stone of mystical power.
For ancient Christians, it represented the power of Christ through his blood—the bright red markings was thought to be as a result of Christ’s blood dripping onto the green earth at his death. But even before Christ, the bloodstone was considered special.
|Goddess Athena carved in Bloodstone|
The Greeks called it Heliotrope (Sun-turner) and felt the stone would ward off evil and wore the gemstone in amulets as well placing them on door lintels. It was also regarded as a stone of change and justice. Probably having to do with the unfortunate spilling of blood to bring forth change and justice.
Bloodstone was also considered a stone of courage. It was once believed to overcome enemies, to open locked doors and break down blockages. Soldiers carried bloodstone as protection against being wounded and to stop bleeding. In ancient times, women wore bloodstones to ensure a safe pregnancy and easy childbirth. Bloodstone was used to facilitate a communication with the spiritual realms. There is legend that says heliotrope could, in certain circumstances, render the carrier invisible.
|Bloodstone pendant from the Isle of Rum|
Today, Bloodstone is still considered a mystical stone of power and used as a health talisman to heal illnesses related to the blood and circulatory system. It is worn by athletes to increase power and strength and for victory, to secure success in physical battles, competition and on a personal level. Among the properties attributed to the stone, good luck, courage, the power of clear thinking, increases the flow of life energy, and helps to remove energy blocks. Bloodstone gems are mostly used in making pendant, necklaces, and other pieces of jewelry.
Heliotrope or Bloodstone has had an interesting history through the years. Many of its magical properties are still believed in and used. But I still haven’t found any secret military labs, in modern times, exploring it’s mystical property of invisibility.