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Obsidian is a beautiful and unique crystal with a large number of varieties. In ancient times, it was used for making tools, weapons, and sharp ritual objects.
Due to the way, it’s formed, obsidian is very brittle and when broken, it can become razor-like. It’s most famous for being synonymous with the Aztecs and Mayans of ancient Mexico.
Even today, obsidian is highly valued for its practicality and beauty as well as its spiritual and healing properties. In this article, we’ll take a look at what obsidian is, its history, meaning, and symbolism.
What Is Obsidian?
Obsidian is a type of volcanic glass that’s formed when molten rock cools rapidly without forming crystals.
It’s a naturally occurring material that can be found in various parts of the world, including the United States, Mexico, and Japan. It has a unique appearance, with a glossy, black, or dark-colored surface that’s smooth and glass-like.
Obsidian is a very hard and brittle material, with a hardness rating of 5-6 on the Mohs scale (compared to a diamond, which has a hardness of 10). This makes it very difficult to scratch or break, and it can be sharpened to a very fine edge, making it ideal for use as a knife or tool.
In addition to its practical uses, obsidian has also been used for decorative and spiritual purposes by many cultures throughout history. It’s believed to have powerful spiritual properties and is often used in jewelry and other decorative items. Many believe that obsidian has the ability to ward off negative energy and promote good luck.
Healing Properties of Obsidian
Obsidian is said to have healing properties and is often used in crystal healing or carried as a talisman. Some people believe that obsidian can help to protect against negative energies and provide spiritual grounding. It’s also said to help with digestion and promote healthy skin.
Obsidian is thought to have powerful grounding and protective properties, making it a popular choice for those who are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. In addition, obsidian is said to help improve circulation and reduce swelling.
Some people also use obsidian to help with decision-making, as it’s thought to help clear the mind and provide clarity.
Meaning of Obsidian Colors
Obsidian is typically black or very dark in color, but there are also several different shades of obsidian that can be found. This depends on the specific type of volcanic rock that it’s formed from and the conditions under which it cools and solidifies.
One of the most common shades of obsidian is a deep, glossy black, which is often referred to as “black obsidian.” This type is formed from molten rock that cools very quickly, forming a glass-like material with a smooth, shiny surface.
Another common shade of obsidian is a dark, almost purplish-black color, which is known as “mahogany obsidian.” This type is formed from molten rock that contains a high concentration of iron and other minerals, giving it its distinctive color.
There are also several other shades of obsidian that can be found, including “snowflake obsidian,” which has white or gray flecks throughout the black glass, and “rainbow obsidian,” which has a rainbow-like sheen on its surface.
There are also rare occurrences of iridescence or sheen due to minute mineral inclusions from light reflections. Additionally, the rapid cooling phase can trap gasses and minerals. These variables can influence the stone’s color and variety.
1. Black, Gray, and Brown Obsidian
Black obsidian is often associated with the element of water and the heart chakra. It’s thought to help with decision-making and provide clarity. Gray and brown obsidian is associated with the root chakra and is thought to help with stability and security.
2. Blue Obsidian
Blue obsidian is a rare type of obsidian that is characterized by its blue or blue-green color. It’s often associated with the element of water and is said to have calming and soothing properties. Believed to help with communication and self-expression, blue obsidian is often used in crystal healing to help with the throat chakra.
3. Electric-Blue Sheen Obsidian
For an all-inclusive spiritual stone, electric-blue sheen obsidian is king. It gets to the root of problems and difficulties while balancing all the chakras and removing outworn beliefs. It’s ideal for shamanic and/or healing arts to facilitate trance states, psychic communication, fortune-telling, astral travel, and past lives. It’s said to treat spinal alignment and circulatory disorders along with removing toxicity and strengthening vein structures.
4. Gold Sheen Obsidian
The healing powers of gold-sheen obsidian are vast. It can give insight into problems, help you to identify the cause, and release ego attachments. For those advanced in shamanism and healing, it provides communion with the source of all life, astral travel, and other ethereal experiences.
5. Green Obsidian
Sacred to the heart chakra, green obsidian cleans, removes, and heals all matters of love. The relief provides results in openness with a deep sense of well-being, and it’s said to protect from future heartbreak brought on by trauma as well. Some say it can help with heart and gallbladder conditions.
6. Mahogany Obsidian
Mahogany obsidian is a type of obsidian characterized by its reddish-brown color, similar to the color of mahogany wood, which is how it got its name. It’s believed to help with grounding and connection to the earth and is often used in crystal healing to help with the root chakra.
This stone is said to stimulate physical, spiritual, intellectual, and emotional growth. It can also provide strength during difficult times and allows for feelings of vitality and hope.
7. Purple and Purple Sheen Obsidian
Both purple and purple sheen obsidian is rare and associated with the element of air. It’s said to have spiritual and intuitive properties. It’s believed to help with spiritual growth and connection to the divine and is often used in crystal healing to help with the crown chakra.
8. Rainbow Obsidian
Rainbow obsidian is a rare and beautiful type of obsidian that’s often sought after for its unique appearance and spiritual properties. Rainbow obsidian is often associated with the element of air and is said to have spiritual and intuitive properties. It’s believed to help with spiritual growth and connection to the divine and is used to help with the crown chakra.
9. Red Obsidian
Red obsidian stimulates physical energy, balancing the masculine and feminine within the self. This, in turn, induces gentleness and awakens dormant qualities. Red obsidian is also said to treat spleen and blood disorders.
10. Snowflake Obsidian
As mentioned earlier, snowflake obsidian has white or grayish-white flecks on its surface, giving it a snowflake-like appearance. It’s associated with the element of earth and the root chakra. It’s also believed that snowflake obsidian has to heal certain unique properties.
Is Obsidian Associated with A Zodiac Sign?
All types of obsidian are associated with Sagittarius. However, some varieties have additional associations:
- Apache Tear: Aries
- Blue: Aquarius
- Blue/Green: Scorpio
- Green: Gemini
- Mahogany: Libra
- Purple: Virgo
- Rainbow: Libra
- Red: Leo
- Red and Black: Leo
- Snowflake: Capricorn and Virgo
Where is Obsidian Found?
Obsidian is found wherever volcanic activity is solidified above the earth’s surface. These are extrusive jetting outcrops, resting along the edges of lava flows, volcanic domes, dikes, or sills. Additionally, it can be found anywhere where lava comes into direct contact with cold water, ice, or cool air.
One of the most famous places where obsidian can be found is in the state of Oregon, in the United States. It can be found in many different parts of Oregon, including the Cascade Range and the High Desert region. This type of obsidian is known for its high quality and clarity, and it’s commonly used for making jewelry and other decorative items.
Obsidian is also found in Mexico, where it’s been used by the indigenous people for thousands of years. It’s found in the states of Hidalgo and Puebla, where it’s known for its distinctive black and purple colors.
This natural rock is also found in many other parts of the world, including Turkey, Japan, and New Zealand. Regardless of where it’s found, obsidian is a unique and beautiful natural material that has been prized for its many uses and its spiritual significance.
History and Lore of Obsidian
The use of obsidian dates back to the Stone Age when it was used by early humans for making tools and weapons.
Throughout history, obsidian has been used by many different cultures and civilizations. In ancient Egypt, it was used for making jewelry and other decorative accessories while in ancient Mesoamerica, obsidian was used for making knives and other tools, as well as for decorative purposes.
Today, obsidian is still valued for its beauty and practical uses, and it’s often used for making jewelry, knives, tools, and other items. It’s also considered to have spiritual significance by many people, and it’s used in a variety of cultural and religious practices.
The Apache Tears Legend
The Apache people value obsidian highly and there is even a legend about the ‘Apache tears’. According to legend, the Apache tears were obsidian stones formed from the tears of Apache women who cried for their fallen warriors. The legend goes that during a battle with the US Cavalry, a group of Apache warriors was trapped on a rocky hilltop and eventually killed.
The women of the tribe, who had been watching the battle from afar, were overcome with grief and wept profusely. Their tears fell to the ground and were turned into the small, rounded obsidian rocks known as Apache tears. These stones are said to have healing properties and are often used in jewelry or carried as talismans.
Apache tear stones are used to help deal with loss and develop acceptance. They can stimulate analytical capabilities and mental precision during difficult times. An Apache stone can also promote forgiveness, remove self-limiting barriers, expel snake venom, and alleviate muscle spasms.
How the Aztecs & Mayans Used Obsidian
Obsidian was a highly prized material for the Aztecs and Mayans because of its sharp edges and ability to be easily shaped into a variety of tools and weapons.
The Aztecs used it to make knives, spearheads, and other weapons for hunting and warfare. They also used it to create intricate and delicate jewelry, such as earrings and necklaces.
The Mayans, on the other hand, used obsidian to make mirrors, which were considered to be objects of great power and were often used in religious ceremonies. They also used it to make sacrificial knives and other ritual objects. Obsidian played an important role in both Aztec and Mayan society and was highly valued for its beauty and practical uses.
How to Clean Obsidian
Although obsidian is a hard stone, it needs to be handled and cleaned with care. To clean obsidian, you can use a soft, damp cloth to gently wipe away any dirt or debris. Avoid using abrasive cleaning materials, as these can scratch the surface of the obsidian. After wiping the obsidian with a damp cloth, use a soft, dry cloth to pat it dry.
Avoid using harsh chemicals or soaking the obsidian in water, as this can damage the surface of the stone. To maintain the shine and luster of the obsidian, you can also use a polishing cloth or a jewelry polishing compound.
If you need to remove any stubborn dirt or stains from the obsidian, you can try using a soft-bristled toothbrush or a soft-bristled scrub brush. Be sure to use gentle strokes and avoid applying too much pressure, as obsidian is brittle and can easily break or chip. Once it’s clean, be sure to handle it carefully and store it in a safe place to prevent it from being damaged.
Obsidian is not necessarily rare, but it is not as common as other types of rocks and minerals. From a geological perspective, it’s relatively unstable and it’s extremely rare to find obsidian that is older than 20 million years in comparison to most of the rocks that make up the Earth’s crust.
It’s said that black obsidian jewelry should not be worn by people over the age of 70 or under the age of 16, people who have high blood pressure, or those who have anxiety, as it can intensify these issues. According to Feng Shui practitioners, pregnant women should NEVER wear black obsidian bracelets.
The value of obsidian differs according to the variety of the stone. Of all the varieties, rainbow obsidian is the most expensive from $20 to $150 per 5×5 cm tumbled stone.
Yes, obsidian can be easily broken or worn down by the weather. Therefore, it’s not used to build indestructible structures, but it’s used instead for making surgical tools.
Prized for its unique appearance and spiritual properties, obsidian is a powerful healing crystal that’s been used for centuries by many different cultures for its unique properties. It’s believed to be a versatile healing crystal that can help cleanse the mind and body of negative energies, making it ideal for those seeking to improve their physical and emotional well-being.