Picture from dkimagesDiscovered by Obsius in Ethiopia, obsidian is named after him. With its glassy luster, obsidian is a distinctive stone, formed as lava from volcanic eruptions cools within the earth. The speed at which it cools prevents crystallization and the rock forms as solid volcanic glass. Obsidian can be found anywhere that volcanic activity has occurred. Some of its important sources today are South America, Japan, Mexico, Afghanistan, Italy, Scotland, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Texas, Utah and Idaho. It can also be found in the Cascade Volcanic Mountain range and its associated lava beds, which stretch from Northern California into Washington state. The San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona produces an interesting banded variety of obsidian known as "Apache Tears". The obsidians of Mount Hekla in Iceland, the Eolie Islands off the coast of Italy, and Obsidian Cliff in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming are all well-known occurrences. Obsidian is a volcanic rock with vitreous luster, found most commonly in black, but can also be found in light brown, brown mottled with black, and black with a beautiful golden or silvery sheen. Snowflake obsidian is dotted with white patches where parts of the rock have begun to crystallize. The most prized obsidian by gemologists is the rainbow obsidian variety with purple, green and gold bands of sheen.
Obsidian was revered by ancient cultures. It was one of the major barter materials, and prized for its ability to be worked to razor-sharp edges for arrows and spears. It has been used since prehistoric times for making tools, masks, weapons, mirrors and jewelry. Obsidian has been used for thousands of years for tool making. In 1967 archaeologists working at the site of Tlapacoya, southeast of Mexico City, uncovered a well-made blade of obsidian associated with a radiocarbon date of about 21,000 BC. Sharp shards of obsidian were formed into arrowheads by Indians, who obtained large quantities of obsidian from Obsidian Cliff in Yellowstone National park. Legend goes that it is the hardened tears of the Apache women who watched their brave warriors escape capture by leaping off the buttes of a mountain now called “Apache Leap”. The Aztecs used a great deal of obsidian for tools, including sacrificial knives, the eyes of their gods (in carvings), and even mirrors. Obsidian is used for dating of other artifacts. Obsidian weathers slowly at a uniform rate, and the thickness of the weathered layer is measured microscopically and gauged against known standards to give a date in years. Obsidian has also been used for jewelry for centuries.
Obsidian is said to beneficially influence stomach and intestines, as well as to connect the mind to the emotions. It's slightly masculine energy helps grounds spiritual energy into the physical plane. It absorbs and disperses negativity, reduces stress, and helps clear subconscious blocks. Obsidian can brings and understanding of silence and "the void." It can also bring one detachment, but with wisdom and love. This stone will cleanse toxins from the liver and so it is also good for people who are exposed to environmental pollutants.
Because of its protective qualities, Obsidian is a good stone for those who are soft-hearted and gentle. It will help to guard them against abuse as well as prevent emotional draining by others. Obsidian helps to protect the very sensitive against depression and is used to help block negativity of any kind. As a black gemstone, it symbolizes self control and resilience. Black stones have protective energies in the sense that black is the absence of light, and therefore, can be used to create invisibility - as a very powerful protective stone, it creates a great shield of protection around the wearer. Obsidian arrowheads are very strong protection. It is associated with the inner mysteries of the Goddess, symbolizing entrance to the labyrinth, the womb or the subconscious self, and as such strengthens prophesy - obsidian is often used for gaining clear insight into problems. Do not exchange obsidians with another, the stone absorbs the being of the wearer and can serve as a link for manipulation or negativity. Used in protective rituals, it helps ground the wearer. It will also help you let go of past loves and old ways. It is said to stimulate the desire to travel. A small black obsidian in each corner of your house will bring protection to it.
Polished pieces of black obsidian have been used for scrying and can be used for divination, as it reflects changes that need to take place, providing also a clear course of action for that change to occur. It also teaches that challenges are necessary to growth and allows us to see more clearly into our very essence, creating a doorway to the inner-self. Obsidian also teaches perfection through liberation, by developing responsibility for ourselves, the Earth and the Universe. It creates harmony by balancing emotional and mental aspects of our lives, and it is nurturing, helping us to accept life changes.
Rainbow Obsidian: karmic healing, past life regressions, illuminates darkened self, grounds negativity, releases joy and energy.
Snowflake Obsidian: restful and serene energy, peace, balance. Helps us recognize negative patterns of thought and change them.
Amethyst Galleries' Mineral Gallery
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