Chemical Formula: HgS
Birthstone for Leo
Aligns with the Root and Sacral Chakras
History and Tradition: From the Persian zinjirfrah and the Arabic zinjafra, both of which mean “dragon’s blood”, but not to be confused with the plant resin “dragon’s blood” used in Chinese medicine. Cinnabar is the main source of mercury. There is archeological evidence (although not proof) that it was mined from the second millennium BC in ancient Egypt, and it has been mined continuously for at least 2,000 years in Almadén, Spain. In addition to the production of mercury, cinnabar was widely used until recently to create the pigment vermillion, and the red pigment in Chinese and Japanese lacquer ware. Cinnabar was prised in many ancient cultures worldwide for ornamentation, and mercury was believed to prolong life or even bestow immortality, so was rubbed on the skin and taken internally in India, China and Europe (recommended by Paracelsus), before it was realised it was toxic. Because of its erratic behaviour, the element mercury was named for the Greek god Mercury, messenger of the gods, flitting swiftly from place to place on his winged sandals. Mercury (the god) was also associated with trade, so cinnabar is sometimes referred to as a “merchant’s stone”, and considered beneficial in commerce and negotiation.
Properties: At its heart, cinnabar is beyond doubt mercurial, the energy flitting from one place to another, without appearing to connect with a specific energy centre or emotion. Because of its association with commerce and negotiation, plus the Chinese link of good luck and abundance with the colour red, cinnabar can be an effective aid in improving career, negotiating a better salary, or starting a new enterprise. Cinnabar is transformational, and can be used to instigate a new spiritual process, giving us the opportunity to transform our “base metal” into “gold”.
Cinnabar is mercury ore, and highly toxic, so please use care when handling and wash your hands after. Please use a secondary (non-contact) method to create a gem essence.