Obsidian is a type of volcanic glass that forms from lava flows. Like silica glass, it can be fashioned into sharp blades or carved into beautiful sculptures, but the hardness is only about 5 on the Mohs scale (so it isn’t durable). If not polished properly, it may be hazardous to handle obsidian because the sharp edges can cut the skin easily. Obsidian is not considered a true mineral because it does not crystallize in any form whatsoever. It’s chemical composition is pretty complicated too but includes a high proportion of silica content (SiO2).
Found only in massive form, it is abundant worldwide in areas where there were lava flows in the past. Ancient peoples valued obsidian for its beauty and cutting ability. The ancient Mayans were known to fashion their battle weapons out of obsidian. Today, obsidian is still used in blade manufacture because they can be fashioned into cutting tools far sharper than steel blades.
There are many kinds of obsidian with different colors and properties, but in almost all cases, obsidian is dark, almost black in color. The presence of iron or magnesium alters the color a little, while the presence of numerous microscopic air pockets may cause a “sheen” in some varieties. Some common types of obsidian are:
- Apache Tear
- Black Obsidian
- Blue Obsidian
- Gold Sheen Obsidian
- Green Obsidian
- Red Obsidian
- Rainbow Obsidian
- Snowflake Obsidian
Each of these obsidian varieties have specific properties (much like agate). A Rainbow Obsidian that I own (which has been carved into a heart shape) can be seen in the picture below.
The energies of obsidian are both grounding and soothing. Black obsidian is the best for this purpose and thus, is often carved into pendants and worn. The energy works best on the root chakra, which it can be placed on, during a healing layout. It also provides protection against psychic attack and negative energies if worn or carried about. Obsidian can quickly calm down the mind if used during meditation. Obsidian tends to absorb a lot of negativity easily, so it needs to be cleansed on a regular basis, if used for healing.
Obsidian can be soaked in water and drunk as an elixir. It can be used for general kidney weakness, and helps the body eliminate toxins from the body. Obsidian is also beneficial for cleansing the blood and gall bladder. The various obsidian color types also have specific healing properties of their own.
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