What is Onyx?
What is Onyx? Onyx is a variety of chalcedony. It is a parallel banded silicate mineral and tends to be black with white banding in its most common form. However, varieties of Onyx can also be green, pink, brown, red and green and even clear with white banding. It is mostly made of calcite and has a waxy luster. The meaning of Onyx is protection and fortune.
After hours doing a deep dive into the healing properties of Onyx, this variety of chalcedony strikes a chord in the heart. Here we will be taking a closer look at the jet energy of Black Onyx. From bringing shades of protection against negative energy to keeping the senses sharpened and encouraging a steadfast approach to a life filled with joy and fortune, Onyx is a stone of decisiveness and strength. We delve further into the healing elements of this quiet and confident stone, discovering all the ways it can clear the path and balance polarities.
If Onyx doesn’t excite your soul, take a look at our healing crystal guide to essential gemstones and find the stone that suits your needs.
The Black Onyx Gemstone
This healthy lush looking gem takes its name from the Greek word for claw or finger thanks to the shape and luminous white of the bands that appear within the gem. In ancient Greece, the legend said that Cupid cut the fingernails of his mother, the goddess Venus, using his famous arrow. These immortal fingernails fell from the heavens of Mount Olympus and into the Indus River where they turned to Onyx.
In fact, this dark and dreamy stone is beloved by goddesses and queens, and even Cleopatra was believed to keep the stone close as it was known for its potent protective powers. There is so much more to the eye when it comes to Onyx. Protective - yes, but this stone also serves us in other ways too. Like other black and beautiful stones, it can absorb negative energy and help us to keep our own wise counsel. The Chinese also believed that Onyx was a mega protector, making this banded gem a fave in Feng Shui practice. In ancient Indian tales, it was also the stone that would protect from evil and disharmony, helping to keep stability and balance, especially within the borders of relationships.
Onyx is mined in many different places, from India to Brazil and even Madagascar, along with the US and Russia too. This stone is often celebrated as being a good gem for carving as it hits a high of 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. This is why it’s common to find ancient Roman and Greek artefacts carved from Onyx.
There are close cousins of Onyx out there and these variants can get confusing, especially as they can be layered with each other too. Ancient texts sometimes refer to these gems and it can get tricky unraveling the true stone behind the reference and meaning. For clarity, here’s a breakdown...
Onyx – Onyx is layered Chalcedony and is often black with white banding or a band of solid black. It takes its name from the Greek word for claw and is said to be the eleventh stone on the breastplate of the high priest.
Sardonyx – Sardonyx is a stone in which layers of Onyx alternate with Sard. It tends to be earthly in color with reddish-brown hues lifted by white Onyx. This stone takes its name from the Greek word for flesh which is Sarx.
Sard – Sard isn’t a form of Onyx but is actually a form of Carnelian with burnt reddish or brown Chalcedony hues. It would have been called Sardius in the ancient world and is said to be the first stone on the breastplate of the high priest.
Chalcedonyx or Banded Onyx - This is referring to Chalcedony with bands of Onyx. It can be streaked with cream colors, black, grey, brown, and black.
Red Onyx - Red Onyx can be another name for Sardonyx.
Often used as an amulet against negative energy, Black Onyx is a master of good fortune. All black stones have solid healing properties particularly when it comes to protection and shielding you against anything that could bring harm. Onyx is ripe with powerful vibrations and can bring shades of strength and willpower to the wearer. Not only will Black Onyx throw up a forcefield shield around you, but it also activates certain chakras in the body to bring solid standing, creative focus, and illuminate new pathways to wisdom. Black Onyx grounds you beautifully in body, mind, and soul.
A tonic for the nerves, Black Onyx is full of great grounding energy that helps you to feel stable in this world. Along with getting your nervous system in check, this deep dark gem also brings a boost to the immune system, raising your stamina and helping you to get back on your feet particularly after long periods of illness or fatigue. Onyx can be a great gem for recovery as it helps you to swerve any shade of relapse and instead encourages your body to physically focus on healing. Onyx can also lend support to the bone marrow and tissue structures in the body, along with helping to strengthen teeth and bones too.
Mental & Emotional Healing
When it comes to emotional healing, Black Onyx brings that same sense of grounding strength and vitality that it offers your physical body too. Getting rooted is one of the best ways to raise your self-confidence and to master the art of self-control. For those who are quick to bursts of anger, who feel the rise and fall of frustration vividly, and who often find themselves a jangly nervous mess, Black Onyx is here to soothe. This stone tethers flighty souls who would truly benefit from keeping one foot on the ground. Onyx helps you to master your sense of self so that you can make wise decisions, stand clear in your authenticity, and get that balance of being task orientated all while making plenty of space for creative thinking too. It can be particularly useful for those moving through the patterns of grief as it assists in helping you mourn, grieve, accept, and release without losing yourself in the process.
Black Onyx is a root chakra stone as it brings all that glorious grounding energy to keep you connected to the earth beneath your feet. The root chakra is one of the most important chakras there is as it invites excess energy to be released from the body. Without the base chakra being cleansed, it can throw the whole chakra system out of balance. Black Onyx can also help you stay protected during crown chakra opening and any kind of psychic work or past life exploration that can leave you open and potentially vulnerable. Green Onyx can be used for heart chakra opening and White Onyx can also be used to unblock the crown chakra.
Black Onyx is the perfect birthstone for all those hot-headed Leos out there. Leos are strong characters, full of determination, ambition, and with a bright burning big heart. While Leos are already blessed with confidence and charm, Onyx helps them to balance out the insecurities that can sometimes run riot, especially when it comes to jealousy. Black Onyx helps Leos to dig in their heels and get grounded, so they feel secure and safe without the need to surrender to possessive behavior patterns. Black Onyx also invites Leos to become the master of their own destiny.
How to Use Onyx Stones
Stash Black Onyx on your person or in your pocket and you have a protective talisman to carry you through life. One of the best ways of using Onyx stones is by choosing Onyx jewelry. When Onyx has direct contact with the skin it is able to transmute all those healing powers into the body and can raise your vibrations. Crystals that connect with the skin can get on with doing their work without delay. Without you even realizing it, they keep on working around the clock keeping you shielded from negative energy and gently leading you down all the right paths. Onyx is a transformative stone - meaning it can actively help to transform your situation and your outlook on life.
Black Onyx can also be used in Feng Shui practice. It brings with it a beautifully soft and flowing water energy that ruminates with shades of stillness, quiet contemplation, cleansing and purity too. By placing it in your favorite space you can create a Zen-like temple of mental rest and repose. Those big protective vibes also make it a great stone for placing near entrance points.
How to Cleanse Onyx Crystals
Like all crystals, Black Onyx should be kept cleansed and charged on a regular basis. As Black Onyx is a protective stone that is forever busy mopping up bad vibes and negative energies, it helps to keep it cleansed whenever you get the feeling it is carrying dead weight. This will help to make sure your stone doesn’t stutter when you need it. One of the simplest ways to quickly and safely cleanse Black Onyx is to smudge it with a sage stick. Light your sage and pass the stone through the smoke for several seconds. You can also cleanse and charge your Black Onyx by leaving it in sunlight for 6-12 hours to top it right up. If you don’t want to leave your stone in the sun, it can also be left in the moonlight or even out in the rain for a day.
Black Onyx gives strength, stamina, and helps you to adjust to your surroundings without feeling overwhelmed. This gem does the perfect job of a talisman or an amulet by stopping potential threats in their tracks and clearing the path for you to move unobstructed through this world. By ensuring your roots run deep, your emotional balance is equalized, and that your vigor is forever fresh and renewed, you can be sure that Black Onyx is forever on your side.
What are your thoughts about Black Onyx? Are you attracted to its balancing energy? Share your thoughts in the comments.