Also spelled Haematite
Chemical Formula: Fe2O3
Birthstone for Aries and Aquarius
Aligns with the Root Chakra
History: From the Greek, haimatites, “bloodlike” in allusion to the red colour of powdered Hematite. Hematite has a long history, intimately connected with life on earth as well as early humanity. Some, though not all, hematite was laid down around 3.4 billion years ago, when cyanobacteria performed the earliest photosynthesis. At that time the ocean contained a great deal of iron in suspension. As the cyanobacteria released oxygen through photosynthesis, the oxygen molecules bonded with the iron, drawing it down to the ocean floor. The oxygen was eventually released as gas, one of the most important steps in creating the Earth’s atmosphere, but this could not happen until the ocean was cleared of iron. Granular hematite (red ochre) is linked to the earliest example of symbolic behaviour in humans, and probably the earliest example of the use of minerals for medicinal purposes. Archeologists have discovered artefacts in South Africa which demonstrate deliberate carving and milling, dating to 75,000 years ago. In addition to use as pigment, glue, and in the tanning process, it is speculated that it may have been taken medicinally or used as a sunscreen. It has also been used in burial practice in various Neolithic cultures and even earlier, where bones have been disinterred, coloured with red ochre, and reburied – the earliest being carbon dated to around 65,000 years ago. The ancient Greeks associated iron with the god Aries (Mars in the Roman pantheon), the god of war, and soldiers would rub hematite over their bodies before battle. Kunz suggests this is presumably to make them invulnerable, but hematite powder would have also coloured the skin red, and so it may have been intended to startle or frighten their enemies. Traditionally, hematite was used in many cultures over thousands of years to staunch blood flow in wounds (noted by Anselmus Di Boot, court physician to Rudolph II of Germany, in 1609). Pliny the Elder sites its use (usually through ingestion) to stop excessive menstrual bleeding and treat blood disorders.
Properties: Hematite grounds and protects, and strengthens the will. In common with many iron minerals, it has a masculine “warrior” energy, thereby supporting the ability to survive and the desire for further development. Its reflective quality can be likened to highly polished armour, and is used to deflect away negative energy and “ill wishing”. This mirror-like quality works the other way, also promoting awareness of personal issues and patterns by encouraging self-reflection. Because of its high iron content (70% iron), it is used in the treatment of anaemia and circulatory problems. It clears and re-aligns lower Chakras, allowing any unwanted or unnecessary energy to drain down and out of the body. Hematite also draws off heat, and can be useful in treatment of fevers. It can be helpful when undergoing chemotherapy, as many people become extremely ungrounded, in addition to which, it gives the sufferer the will to survive, and treats the accompanying anaemia. Most people get on well with it, but not everyone finds it comfortable to wear.