Baryte’s primary gift is expansion (as in inner expansion), often followed by release. Most of us will hold stress, old trauma, or even over-thinking ‘monkey mind’, as tight little bundles of tension within the body or mind. Baryte can relax the over-wound mechanism. The colour will have a direct bearing on where this expansion takes place, so each variety of baryte has its own unique qualities.
Baryte Rose’s energy is soft, gentle, and friendly – I’ve heard it described as like a small, friendly animal. Its terracotta colouring aligns with the Sacral and Root Chakras, and as expansion takes place in these centres, any release flows down the legs and is discharged into the Earth. It has a playful quality, and can be used to attract and communicate with nature spirits. Desert Rose also occurs in gypsum, which has different qualities. Gypsum is much lighter than baryte, and Mexican baryte rose is a terracotta red (as opposed to the whitish gypsum desert rose), which can aid recognition.
- Chemical Formula: BaSO4
- Group: Sulphates
- Crystal System: Orthorhombic
- Hardness: 3-3½
- Birthstone: Secondary birthstone for Aquarius
- Chakra: Sacral
- Element: Earth and Fire
Baryte is a common accessory mineral in lead and zinc veins, and is also found in limestone, marine deposits, and cavities in igneous rocks. It is the primary ore for barium, making it economically important, as it is used as drilling mud in oil and gas production, a filler in paper and cloth, an inert body in coloured and white paints, and in medicine for imaging the gastrointestinal tract (barium meal).
Baryte occurs in a wide variety of habits, including tabular and prismatic crystals, and cockscomb aggregate. It is typically found as thick to thin tabular crystals, usually in clusters with the crystals growing parallel to one another, or nearly so, and also as bladed, white masses. It is surprisingly heavy for a non-metal, and would make a beautiful gemstone if it wasn’t so fragile. For the same reason, it is never polished or fashioned.
History and Tradition:
Named in 1800 by Dietrich Ludwig Gustav Karsten from the Greek βάρυζ, “heavy”, due to its unusual heaviness for a non-metallic mineral. There are no traditions associated with this mineral.