Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday Special Stones - Onyx

Image from GivethemHell

Onyx is a gemstone with alternating light and dark bands, which are colored in brown, red, black, white and gray. Onyx with red and white bands is sometimes referred to as "Sardonyx". Sardonyx is a type of Onyx with bands of Sard alternating with the stone’s white or black layers. The layers in these stones range from translucent to opaque for sardonyx. Sardonyx stones usually contain flat-banded, white and brownish-red bands. Onyx is a member of the Quartz family Chalcedony or microcrystalline quartz. Onyx is the black variety of agate, however some parts are more or less translucent, which is why it is often heated to accentuate the intensity of its color. Onyx is usually black, gray or brown with white bands. The bands are typically straight, which separates it from banded agate, because the lines in banded agate are usually curved. Onyx is easily dyed, so beware of the more "unnatural" looking colors, such as bright blue, etc. Black and colored onyx is always dyed. Onyx is found worldwide in large and small deposits. The chief localities are India and South America. Other important locales include Mexico in the state of Oaxaca. as well as deposits in Brazil, Madagascar, Algeria and Pakistan.

The myth of the origin of onyx says that the goddess Venus was resting on the banks of the Indus River. As she slept, Cupid used the point of one of his enchanted arrows to give her a manicure. The parings of her nails then fell into the waters of the sacred river. Since the nails were of heavenly origin, they sank to the river bottom and were metamorphosed into onyx. Centuries later, the Romans applied the term to black and dark brown chalcedony. Black Onyx was used in the memorial jewelry of England’s Victoria’s mourning period. The jewelry of this period was somber and reflected the monarch’s sadness. The dark Onyx was in high demand and worked well in cameos to create stark pieces. In the Art Deco period, it was popular as a foil for rubies and clear quartz. Genesis indicated that onyx was found in paradise, and thus it also became known as the paradise stone. The Epode and shoulder guards of the high priest of the Hebrews were decorated with onyx, and it was one of the twelve stones in the Hebrew High Priest Aaron’s breastplate. It is associated with the Gad Tribe of Israel and the guardian angel Gabriel. Onyx is also the Hebrew stone for July. Roman soldiers wore sardonyx talismans engraved with heroes such as Hercules or Mars, god of war. They believed that the stone would make the wearer as brave and daring as the figured carved on it. During the Renaissance, sardonyx was believed to bring eloquence upon the wearer and was regarded with great value by public speakers and orators. One myth says that reaming of Onyx heralds happiness in marriage. In classical ceremonial magic, the image of the head of the god Mars or a figure of the hero Hercules was engraved on onyx and carried for courage. Persians believed that wearing onyx protected them from the evil eye, and that placing onyx on the stomach of a pregnant woman in labor would reduce the labor pain and bring on earlier delivery. Onyx has long since had the reputation to ease childbirth pains. Often used to sooth thoracic oppressions, onyx permits a more rapid healing in infectious states. Also said to calm ear ringing and conquer deafness, Saint Hildegarde von Bingen recommended it to heal weakness of vision, infections of the lungs and stomach, as well as depression. In India, Gemologists recommend Onyx as a protective measure for harmonious relationships, thus keeping away any probability of disturbances or differences between the couple.

Onyx were used widely in the past as bases and handles for gold items, as well as for stone inlay work. Onyx seals were very popular with the Romans, who carved the pattern of the seal in negative relief to give a raised point. They often used stones with several layers, each of a different color, which were then individually carved to produce a different pattern each year. They originally used the onyx name for a variety of marble having white and yellow veins. The marble is still called “onyx marble,” being less valuable and softer than onyx. Onyx was also traditionally used for carving cameo brooches.

Onyx is linked to the planets Mars and Saturn, and the element of Fire. Onyx symbolizes the midnight hour. Throughout history, onyx has been thought to bring powers of protection and strengthen defensive magic. It has also been thought to reinforce the knowledge that there is no death, aiding in the understanding of the wheel of birth, death and rebirth. It brings about the knowledge that separation is an illusion and reunion will come. It aids psychic contact with those who have died, facilitates séances and mediumship, brings messages from the dead, and aids past-life and between-lives regression work. It helps future life progressions, and prevents and removes spirit possessions. This solid - feeling stone is excellent for grounding negativity and letting go of stress. Onyx is soothing and helps in focus, to banish grief and old habits, protecting the bearer and encouraging happiness and good fortune.

Onyx is a protective stone worn when facing adversaries in battles or conflicts of all kinds, or while hurrying down a dark street late at night. Onyx is not only used for protection, but also as defense against negativity consciously directed towards you. It has also been used to reduce uncontrollable sexual impulses. The close union and yet strong contrast between the layers of black and white in some varieties of onyx may suggest its connection with romance. It can help you be the master of your destiny and strengthen your confidence. It provides support in difficult times and centers your energy in times of mental or physical stress. It also offers the gift of wise decisions. Black Onyx is invaluable when it comes to helping one change habits - these habits can be physical, emotional or mental. Onyx is said to help one sleep.

Onyx is a two-sided coin, an excellent example of a paradox when it comes to associations & uses...In contrast, it is one of the few stones to which many sleeping and dreaming myths refer. Spiritualists believe that when worn by people with exceptional Extra Sensory Perception (ESP), their dreams will be frightful but if the wearer is able to keep himself or herself from becoming too frightened, the dreams will reveal secrets of the future. These nightmares can lead to a deep melancholy in weak individuals. The stone is also reputed to have bad mental consequences that can include depression, nightmares and losses in legal matters. Also used in Necromancy to evoke the dead and communicate with them, onyx is considered a stone of mourning and received a negative symbolism because of it. It also gained the reputation of causing discord within the lives of couples. Some ancients claimed that an onyx on which was carved the image of a camel or two goats provokes horrible depression hence the Arabic name for it is the sadness stone, or `el jaza'.

Medicinal applications include the treatment of bone marrow diseases, teeth, foot, blood and bone problems, and soft tissue disorders. It is also believed to aid in ailments such as epilepsy or glaucoma and is known to have powers to rectify damage done to cells. New Agers use Onyx for treating hearing problems, heart trouble, and ulcers. They also recommend it for athletes, who should wear it on a necklace that reaches the Solar Plexus to increase vigor, strength and stamina. It is said to relieve stress, balances male/female polarities, aid detachment, enhances emotional balance and self control. The "paradise stone" also stabilizes, heals and strengthens your root chakra so that you may become more grounded and productive in the physical world. It will assist in gaining higher inspiration, and it works with chakras and attitudes according to color of stone. As onyx's energy rises to your brow, it releases whichever color rays are needed for each chakra. Good for opening all Chakras. The following colors work best with relieving ailments associated with the Chakras indicated:

Black Onyx-Root/Base Chakra
Green Onyx-Heart Chakra
Yellow Onyx -Solar Plexus Chakra
Blue Onyx-Throat Chakra

With its powers effective in all Chakras, Onyx is a very spiritual stone.

This gemstone helps to eliminate apathy, stress and neurological disorders. Onyx eliminates negative thinking and is also believed to sharpen the wits of the wearer, as well as bring spiritual inspiration. It is a great assistance in holding emotions and passions under control. Black Onyx is used to help one change habits.

Its primary function for spiritualists is as a grounding stone that strengthens the connection of the person with the earth during meditation and astral travel to provide guidance. They also say that it can make powerful memorial jewelry that can heal the spirit during mourning. It is in tune with the Earth’s energies, balances Yin and Yang, but does not respond well to energy programming. The spiritualists believe it can protect against venomous snake and insect bites, divine the future through dreams and offer general protection in times of conflict. Onyx has served as a worry stone and material for rosary beads for centuries. Crystal healers believe that it has the ability to soothe fears and worries, to control to overwhelming emotions. They say it can help a person maintain a positive outlook while awaiting the result of a source of anxiety. They also recommend it for improving concentration and devotion, calming sexual tension and ending marital disputes. It is said to return negativity to the sender. Indeed onyx as a healing aide allows us to perform multiple tasks and greater ease and manifests our creative visions within the world. Onyx is the birthstone for Leos and the anniversary gemstone for the 7th year of marriage.

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