Heliotrope or Bloodstone is a mixture of jasper (opaque) or chalcedony (translucent) with crystallized quartz and iron. Its most common color is dark green or blackish with inclusions that vary in shades of red which are due to the presence of iron oxide or red jasper. Those red spots are why this stone is called Bloodstone.
The name heliotrope comes from the Greek, "helios", the sun and "trepein", to turn or change direction referring to the way this mineral seems to leave a trail of blood when wet and turned towards the sun.
Nicknamed "stone of bravery" and "stone of the warrior", bloodstone was often used in ancient times as an amulet and sometimes it was also carved to be used as a seal, sculptures for pagan rituals or as a base for magical and/or esoteric inscriptions. It is said that in ancient times magicians used it because it could turn them invisible when combined with a plant of the same name.
Albertus Magnus who referred to several magical properties that were attributed to it since ancient times called it "stone of Babylon". It was said that it could cause rain, solar eclipses as well as being a gem with divinatory virtues that would preserve health and youth.
According to Christian tradition, the red spots seen on a heliotrope mineral come from Christ's blood spilling on jasper stones under his feet when he was on the cross and stabbed by a Roman soldier. This is why the bloodstone is sometimes also called the martyr's stone. Roman soldiers believed that this stone had the ability to slow down bleeding, which is why they used it when going to the battlefield.
Bloodstone is a gem whose virtues lie in healing, protection and rooting towards stability. It attracts good fortune and abundance while balancing and aligning energies. It is said to purify and revitalize body and spirit while being beneficial for the development of intuition and creativity. It fosters good decision-making when in times of conflict or danger.
On a physiological level, bloodstone has a major influence on the immune and lymphatic systems as it purifies and strengthens blood while detoxifying the renal and digestive systems. On an emotional level, the bloodstone calms irritability, drives away negative influences and energies, and helps develop patience.
We find it mainly in India but also in Brazil, China, Australia, the United States, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.