Science & Origin of Realgar

Realgar, also known as Ruby Sulphur or Ruby of Arsenic, is a toxic arsenic sulfide mineral that crystallizes in the form of grains, tabular crystals, and masses. The color can range from a bright red, to a soft yellow. Over time, when exposed to light, Realgar loses its pigment and changes form into another mineral known as Pararealgar. You will almost always find Orpiment growing with Realgar. It can also be found alongside Quartz, Calcite, Barite, and Galena. The name Realgar comes from the Arabic word “rahj al-gahr” meaning “powder of the mine” and was first recorded in the 1390s. Realgar can be found in gold, silver, and lead deposits in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Germany, Peru, and the U.S.A.

Realgar vs Pararealgar

Realgar and Pararealgar are chemically identical and only differ in how strong their atomic bonds are. Pararealgar is created when Realgar is exposed to light for a long period of time. This results in the physical structure being broken down into a powdery form. This new granular formation is chemically still Realgar, however, it is categorized as its own specific crystal (Pararealgar) for scientific purposes.

Historical Uses

Realgar has been used for centuries as a poisoning agent and as paint pigment. In ancient European and Chinese civilizations, this crystal was used as a pesticide agent for vermin, reptiles, and insects. It is also believed that the famous Greek figures Midas & Themistocles drank a serum of Realgar known as “Bull’s Blood” to commit suicide.


Dragon Boat Festival

During a Chinese tradition known as the Dragon Boat Festival, communities would gather and drink a Realgar elixir known as Realgar Wine (Xiónghuáng Jiǔ). Children too young to drink the wine would wear an amulet containing Realgar or would have the pigment rubbed into their forehead and body. This was a protective ritual believed to ward off diseases and evil spirits. This tradition is still carried on today, although it is not as popular as it once was.

Meaning & Energy

Realgar has energies capable of igniting your drive, passion, and creativity. It is the perfect stone for any artist or musician that tends to struggle with writer's block or creative fatigue. Adding this stone into your workplace or meditation routine can directly result in a newfound inspiration towards what you love. This empowers you to live a pure life of fulfillment and maintain a day-to-day routine that benefits your soul's desires. You will notice a slow transformational process beginning that opens you up to new energies and opportunities.

Realgar is able to transform into a brand-new mineral while staying true to its chemical self. This is a mirror of your own growth and what you are truly capable of. As you change over time you must always stay true to yourself and what you believe in. Trust your instincts and remind yourself of the personal strength you have within. Realgar assists with these thoughts as it is a great activator of the lower three chakras, a place where our most sacred and intuitive thoughts are housed.

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