Like Rhodonite, Rhodochrosite is an ore of manganese. Although they are similar in color, you can usually tell rhodochrosite because it often forms as a stalactite, showing distinctive circular banding. But it can also take a gemmy, semi-translucent form. In whatever form, it’s an excellent stone for dismissing negativity, releasing our emotions from “the dark side” and restoring light to the soul.
Lore: Another name for rhodochrosite is “Inca rose,” and it’s said that the Inca believed it to be the petrified blood of their former kings and queens. They used this stone for funerary jewelry and items. It grows as a stalactite, often forming interesting bullseye, zigzag and circular patterns, and is found near silver ore. Great quantities of it were left behind in Inca silver mines — mines abandoned many centuries ago — untouched by the silver miners. This is perhaps not too surprising, since the elements in it can interfere with silver mining. In the US and Europe, rhodochrosite used to simply get tossed on the slag heap, until modern rock hounds started picking it out for collector specimens, jewelry and other decorative uses. Rhodochrosite’s association with the heart chakra comes from India, and it’s still valued nowadays as a crystal for love and for strengthening the heart. It’s also helpful for finding balance, and for regulating many inner organs. And rhodochrosite can also be beneficial for memory — which seems most appropriate for royal blood turned to stone! Rhodochrosite is the national stone of Argentina. In South America, it’s even said that somewhere under the Andes mountains lies a giant, heart-shaped piece of rhodochrosite, which “beats” once every two hundred years.
Properties: Use at the 4th Chakra (Heart Chakra) to stimulate the memory, to encourage empathy and a compassionate attitude, to instill confidence, and for emotional balance. Rhodochrosite is a good companion stone to Rhodonite. When used together, the two stones will enhance each other’s energetic qualities.
One way to use this crystal: You can use rhodochrosite in a drumming meditation to release negativity. Set the crystal in front of you, close your eyes, and drum to the beat of your own heart. (If you don’t have a “real” drum, it’s fine to use a box or piece of furniture as a substitute.) Gradually, drum louder and with more intensity, until you feel the negativity detaching from you, ready to be released. Slowly decrease the intensity of your drumming as you watch the negativity recede, until it is so faint you can no longer hear it. Open your eyes and thank the stone and the drum for helping you in this work.