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TINY RITUALS BLOG

Obsidian Meaning: Healing Properties & Everyday Uses

Black Obsidian Meaning

IN THIS ARTICLE

What is Obsidian?

Obsidian is volcanic glass that forms naturally. It comes from the rapid cooling of felsic lava. Obsidian is naturally black in color and has a glassy texture and a vitreous luster. There are several shades of Obsidian including rainbow, snowflake, gold, and mahogany. Obsidian is hard and brittle and was commonly used for tools. The meaning of Obsidian is safety and grounding.

The Protective Obsidian Stone

  • Born from the raw energy of a volcano
  • Historically used to make arrow heads and cutting tools
  • Sharp edges symbolic of piercing darkness to find the light

Dark and dreamy, the volcanic glass rock of Obsidian is a sword against negative energy and a powerful anchor for keeping you grounded in this good life. While some may turn their eyes to brighter stones, the Obsidian is a beautiful stone. Look a little closer and you can see the milky flecks of the soothing Snowflake Obsidian or the gorgeous glimmer of the Golden Obsidian. It’s a stone that knows that one size doesn’t suit all, which is why Obsidian presents itself in a myriad of ways. But whether you pick the rainbow shade of the velvet crush of night color, all Obsidian stones share that intense healing vibe that is ever ready to pull you back up on your feet again.

Obsidian is formed by the quick cooling of volcanic lava in an earthly and scientific way that causes it to harden like glass. It has been around since the beginning of time and has been used in trading by the Mayans since 100 B.C.

Obsidian can be found across the globe, from the azure shores and fisherman huts of Greece to the ice and fire of Iceland, and the mythical jungles and lost cities of Mexico. It’s a stone that comes swallowed up in a lot of history. Beloved by the Mayan’s and the Aztecs, Obsidian was used in a multitude of ways – from jewelry to homeware and even weapons. It was used to make arrowheads and cutting tools and in its heyday, it had more worth than gold. But the allure for Obsidian went beyond the basic utilitarian. It was also coveted by shamans, healers, and stone-age spiritualists. Light healers longed for Obsidian and crystal gazers also craved the stone so they could look deeper into the spiritual realms.

Its sharp edges were a symbol that the darkness could be pierced to reveal the white light of the truth. Its polished surface resembled a mirror for looking into the future with crystal-clear clarity, and its volcanic roots speak to a well of raw energy that when harnessed can be soul-shaking. The dark sheen Obsidian has many faces and for those who want to look a little closer at the deeply protective and grounding stone, keep reading.

If Obsidian doesn’t speak to you, then take a look at our Essential Crystal Guide here and find a gemstone that brings you deep healing and joy.

The Different Types of Obsidian

There are many different types of Obsidian stone and all come dressed in their own shades. Here are the different kinds of Obsidian to help you select the stone you love the best.

Black Obsidian

black obsidian

The poster child stone for the title of Obsidian, Black Obsidian is as dark as night and is a powerful tool for those seeking protection, grounding, deep-set healing and tearing the fabric of falsity to find the truth.

Rainbow Obsidian

With its luminous colors dancing beneath the surface, Rainbow Obsidian is a dreamy poetic stone. Like swirling colors in oil, this stone is also used for grounding and centering the wearer. It is also used to keep the root chakra in check.

Snowflake Obsidian

snowflake obsidian

A flurry of wonder comes with the Snowflake Obsidian Stone, where dancing patterns of white float beneath the dark surface. This is a stone known for its ability to help you shift patterns and comes with all kinds of soothing vibes to temper frayed nerves.

Mahogany Obsidian

mahagony obsidian

The rich color scheme that ripples through Mahogany Obsidian is known for its fiercely protective powers. For anyone having a vulnerable moment, Mahogany Obsidian makes sure that all attacks are warded off.

Golden Obsidian 

The glimmer of the Golden Obsidian Stone is striking. Also known as The Wizard Stone, Golden Obsidian will help activate your third eye and shines it’s light on negativity so you can take a leap to higher living.

Obsidian Healing Properties

black onyx ganesha in a row

Rich in healing properties, there’s a reason that Obsidian was considered to be so much more precious than gold. This stone is all about stimulating growth, keeping you protected, and connecting with that root chakra – AKA the very essence of how we feel safe in this world. Obsidian doesn’t just stop at keeping your mind tuned in, it works to keep your physical and spiritual body completely aligned too.

Physical Healing Properties

  • Keeps circulation flowing
  • Helps with digestive issues
  • Encourages deep tissue healing

As a highly protective stone, Obsidian is ever ready to keep your whole body ready for action and this means helping every inch stay detoxed. For a start, Obsidian is excellent when it comes to keeping your circulation in full and healthy flow. Obsidian can also be extremely useful to those who suffer from digestive issues and is amazing for those who have problems with the gall bladder. In fact, the Obsidian Stone simply wants you to thrive to your fullest health. It is a crystal that keeps your heart beating full and loud and healthy, and a crystal that calls into being deep tissue healing so your body can rejuvenate and be fresh, youthful, and full of fire.

Mental & Emotional Healing Properties

  • Clears negative energy
  • A truth seeker stone
  • Gifts courage 

Protective and perfectly poised to help you heal deeply, the Obsidian Stone is best known for keeping you in the clear when it comes to negative emotions and negative energy. No matter if your bad juju is coming from you or from external forces, Obsidian will work to throw its cloak of protection over your shoulders, ensuring that no matter what – you aren’t dragged down into a pit of despair. It is a companion stone that truly helps you to feel safe.

While some may shy away from the darker hues of the Obsidian Stone for something that brings brighter hues to the party, it’s important to remember that everything in life is all about balance. Without the night there is no day, without the darkness there is no light. This is where Obsidian swoops in to serve you. It is a truth-seeker stone and rather than encourage you to walk in falsehood, it is more about finding ways to face up to all the different angles of yourself so that you are full and ready and invulnerable when it is finally time to step into that light.

In short, Obsidian gives you all the courage you need to explore the unknown, embrace who you truly are, and to dissolve old traumas and stop holding onto all that which is no longer serving you. When you follow through with the art of letting go and facing up to your deeper self, there is so much room for growth and before you know it- those branches that you may have inadvertently been clipping are ready to reach for the sky.

Metaphysical Properties

  • Clears the root chakra
  • Dissolves blockages in the solar plexus chakra
  • Has mirror like qualities to see into other realms

One of the strongest connections you can expect from your Obsidian Stone is its ability to strengthen your root chakra. This is one of the most important chakras we have as it is known for keeping us grounded no matter what is going on in the world around us. When the root chakra is blocked, we feel untethered and suddenly unstable, as though danger or negativity waits at every turn. With Obsidian sending its healing energy straight where it is needed, you can stand safe and strong and without the risk of any kind of psychic attack.

For centuries sages and healers also turned to the power of Obsidian to help tap into that third eye chakra. They believed the mirror-like qualities of Obsidian could provide a glimpse into another realm and could guide the way towards higher knowledge and cosmic consciousness. The Black Obsidian Stone is also known for helping out when it comes to your solar plexus chakra. This is our third chakra in the body and is best associated with the place where our self-esteem and sense of worth flows from. When the solar plexus is blocked it can send us off balance and make us feel lost, flailing, or even shy in our own skin. Using the Obsidian mirror you can look within and remove the blockage that is keeping you from living out your very best life without the confinements of fear. 

Zodiac Birthstone

  • An amulet for the zodiac sign of Scorpio
  • Suited to Sagittarians too

Obsidian is an amazing amulet for Scorpios. Scorpios tend to be fiery, passionate, and intense. They are a sign ruled by Pluto and Mars – AKA the gods of the underworld and war. While the intense energy of the Scorpio can be advantageous, it’s also important to stay protected when burning up with all this emotion. This is where Obsidian sweeps in to save the day. Obsidian too, is intense, but it is also a stone that uses its mirror-like qualities to help you see deeper. It helps you to stay grounded even when delving into those murky depths to do the important shadow work which will bring great healing to your life. For those who find Black Obsidian too intense, you can also turn to Snowflake Obsidian, Gold Sheen Obsidian, or even the Apache Tears style of Obsidian for a softer approach.

Sagittarians are another sign that suit the Obsidian Stone. As a birthstone, Obsidian and the often adventurous and honest Sagittarian are a match made in heaven. They complement each other beautifully in their powers. Black Obsidian serves as the protector, important for a wearer who doesn’t always look before they leap and who can often be found dashing out on their next great adventure. Whenever that energy is flying high enough to sweep you off your feet, Obsidian keeps you grounded in a way that doesn’t make you feel bound and gagged. It simply sends the excess energy flowing down to the ground to be absorbed by Mother Earth.

Using Obsidian

Snowflake Obsidian Braclet

Check out our Snowflake Obsidian Bracelet

  • Wear for protection and direct healing
  • Welcome to the home for grounding

Whether stashed in your pocket, adorning your altar or strung around your wrist or in some other form of Obsidian gemstone jewelry, this is one of the all-important healing crystals you need in your life. For all those who want to commit to doing that shadow work, staying protected, and say yes to truth-telling and healing, Obsidian should occupy some corner of your world. Here are all the ways you can bring the dark and dreamy nature of Obsidian into your world.

Home & Office 

Obsidian is a gorgeous stone for balancing out your home and keeping the space protected. As this volcanic rich stone is the meeting point for all the elements of earth, fire, water, and even air, the Obsidian crystal is nature unharnessed and at her highest point of power. This is why Obsidian has such strong grounding vibes. If you want to keep your castle protected you should place Obsidian close to the doorway so that all who step into your world will leave their half-truths and deceit at the door. They can enter with a pure heart and without illusion – all part of Obsidians protective plan for you and your loved ones. 

If you want to be subconsciously doing that shadow work then you can also place Obsidian in your creative art space or even the office. The grounding properties will help you to stay strong and committed to yourself, ensuring that you don’t become a yes woman and sign up for a whole host of things you simply don’t want to do or taking on excess work that you don’t have the capacity for. Basically, when you use Black Obsidian or any piece of Obsidian, you can be sure that it always has your back. 

Jewelry

One of the most effective ways to welcome Obsidian into your life is by choosing Obsidian gemstone jewelry. Placing the highly healing stone straight onto the skin ensures that you get all those lovely vibrations sinking straight in and clearing out those blockages without even a scrap of fabric stopping it in its tracks. Whether it’s a Snowflake Obsidian bracelet or a fashion statement of glimmering Golden Obsidian, having this stone on you at all times is the most effective way of harnessing its true potential and power.

If you are seeking other gemstones that make a magical match to your Obsidian Bracelet, then turn to the protective healing powers of Hematite. Hematite is also a stone known for its grounding properties and for being a falling-star like gem that wards off negative energy and brings the sparkle of self-confidence to our every step.

Another stone that works wonders when paired with Obsidian is Lapis Lazuli. A potent blue stone beloved by artists across the world for etching out the heavens, Lapis is a lullaby of truth. This stone is known for sharpening the mind, inviting inner reflection, and being able to connect to others through bringing compassion and authenticity to your own story.

Other stones that connect well with Obsidian include Labradorite with its ability to stir up the third eye chakra, Onyx, and Black Tourmaline. The latter also holds incredible protective powers and is often used to ward off the problems commonly associated with EMF.

How to Cleanse Your Obsidian Gemstone

hand holding Black Obsidian Ball
  • Cleanse with water
  • Charge with moonlight or a singing bowl

As with any protective and grounding gemstone, it's essential to keep your Obsidian in the clear when it comes to energy. Powerful healing stones can become clogged up and by cleansing and recharging you ensure a fine flow that keeps your stone working at its fullest and brightest power. Clearing your Obsidian gemstone is as easy as running it underwater. As a stone that invites all the elements into its soul, Obsidian also likes to sit out in the moonlight which can be a less harsh method of clearing its energy (at the same time as recharging it). Some people prefer to smudge their stones to dissolve all that negative energy that could have collected. The best way to smudge a stone is with sage or any other potent herb. If you have a singing bowl sitting around or bells you can also use sound as a method for cleansing and charging Obsidian as it seems to respond well to both these instruments and their sound vibrations.

Final Thoughts on Obsidian

For all those who want a stone that doesn’t shy away from inviting spiritual shadow side healing, Obsidian is the perfect companion. When we live our lives in the shadows of lies, illusions, blockages, or any kind, and hidden behind facades of fear, we do our authentic selves and our full potential a complete disservice. Doing the shadow work can be difficult and scary, but Obsidian works in such a way that you don’t feel like you are having to push through. It gently sweeps away the veil and invites you to step over the line and into a place of clarity, calm, and that root chakra space of always feeling safe. Crystal healing hits a high note when it comes to all the glorious properties of Obsidian and as a hugely powerful stone, it's a must-have in your healing crystal pack. 

What are your thoughts on the shimmering dark qualities of the Obsidian Stone? Are you ready to commit to your shadow side and do that work? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Obsidian FAQs

IN THIS ARTICLE

What is Obsidian?

Obsidian is a protective gemstone. It is made from volcanic glass, has a dark coloring, and is used for safety and grounding. Obsidian has been around for a long time and was even traded by the Mayans as far back as 100 BC. It has been used to make arrowheads and tools and is now used as a healing crystal.

What does Obsidian do?

Obsidian is all about protection and grounding. This dark and dreamy gemstone is a truth seeker and is all about getting tethered, staying safe and protected from negative energies, and helping you to face the truth so you can live authentically.

What type of rock is Obsidian?

Obsidian is a form of igneous rock that turns into volcanic glass and comes from ‘extrusive’ rock. This means that it was ejected from the volcano and then is born from the natural quick cooling of felsic lava. As it cools the lava solidifies and Obsidian comes into being.

How is Obsidian formed?

Obsidian is an igneous rock that forms into volcanic glass after being erupted from a volcano. As the volcanic lava quickly cools and becomes solid, the atoms are unable to organize themselves into a crystalline structure so they become a mineraloid and a form of volcanic glass.

Is Obsidian a mineral?

Obsidian is referred to as a mineral but it doesn’t actually fall under the category of being a true mineral. This is because it is not made up of mineral crystals. It is formed from liquid that has cooled and congealed and has trace minerals and rocks within it. Because of this variable makeup it is not considered a mineral although it is often called a mineraloid.

What is Obsidian used for?

Obsidian is used for grounding, healing, and protection. Physically the inky black stone is used for keeping your circulation in flow and encourages your deep tissues to heal. Emotionally it keeps negative energies, thoughts and feelings at bay and helps you to embrace the courage to explore the unknown. Spiritually it strengthens your root chakra and helps you to feel safe and secure not just in your own body but in the world.

How much is Obsidian worth?

The cost of Obsidian can vary depending on the type of Obsidian along with other features such as how pure it is or how much processing it goes through. Typically you can expect to pay between $2 and $100 for Obsidian.

Is Obsidian intrusive or extrusive?

Obsidian is an extrusive rock as it is ejected from the volcano during the eruption. If Obsidian was formed underground from magma beneath the surface and never erupted then it would be considered to be an intrusive stone.

How to get Obsidian?

Obsidian isn’t considered to be a very rare stone and you should be able to find it from a good geologists shop or from someone who deals in crystals, minerals, and semi-precious stones. Always make sure that the seller you buy from is a reputable crystal dealer so you can be sure you get the real deal when it comes to your Obsidian stone.

What does black Obsidian do?

Black Obsidian is a glorious stone for power, protection, and grounding. It is a root chakra stone which means that it keeps you tethered to the here and now and feeling a sense of strength and inner confidence. It also keeps negative energies at bay and gives you the courage to face your inner truths.

What is Obsidian good for?

Obsidian is good for strength and grounding. This stone is highly protective and can be a dab hand at keeping negative energies at bay and helping you keep your head high no matter what. Physically it can help to detox the body and emotionally it helps you to face all angles of yourself so that you can accept yourself and live in truth.

How to cleanse black Obsidian?

One of the best ways to cleanse your Black Obsidian is to hold it under running water for a brief period of time. The water will discharge any build up leaving it ripe and new and ready to soak up even more energy. If you don’t want to involve water, you can also smudge it with smudging or sound bowls.

How to cleanse Obsidian?

There are many ways to cleanse your Obsidian gem. You can use smudging techniques with your favorite healing herbs. You can use sound baths and singing bowls. You can place it in the presence of other cleansing gems like Selenite or Clear Quartz. You can also hold it under running water for a few moments for a fast discharge.

How to use black Obsidian?

One of the best ways to harness the power of Black Obsidian is to wear it in jewelry form. When Black Obsidian is pressed against the skin it can raise your own vibrations, bring healing, and keep you grounded and protected. You can also place Black Obsidian in the home to keep your space safe from negative energies. If you want to strengthen your root chakra you can place it on your lower body.

What does Obsidian mean?

Obsidian is believed to take its name from being the ‘stone of obsius’ named after the first roman writer to find this kind of stone. It was also called Itzli in Mexican lore which translates to The God of Stone. The spiritual meaning of Obsidian is safety and grounding.

What does snowflake Obsidian do?

The black and white flecked stone of Snowflake Obsidian is known for its sense of safety and its glorious grounding energy. Snowflake Obsidian can also help you to shift patterns of thought and behavior and can be an incredible tonic for frayed nerves.

What is black Obsidian good for?

Black Obsidian brims with protective powers and can be a great stone for helping you to welcome healing all while staying safe. It's a glorious grounding stone but can also be used as a mirror to hold your own truth up to the light. Black Obsidian encourages us to embrace truth and live our authentic lives.

Where is Obsidian found?

Obsidian is found across the globe. It can be sourced from places with relatively recent volcanic activity as it is born from the rapid cooling of lava. You can find Obsidian in Italy on the Eolie Islands, at Mount Hekla in Iceland, and at the aptly named Obsidian Cliff in Yellowstone USA. You can also find it in Mexico, Greece, and other destinations too.

How is Obsidian made?

Obsidian is made in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption. It comes from igneous rock being thrown out of the volcano during an eruption. As the lava cools quickly, it becomes so viscous that the atoms cannot crystallize and therefore it solidifies and becomes the glass-like mineraloid known as Obsidian.

What does Obsidian look like?

Obsidian is a glassy looking gem with a smooth surface. It normally comes in shades of dark inky black although it can also be reddish, brown, gray and other colors too. Snowflake Obsidian will also have white flecks which is how it earns its name.

How does Obsidian form?

Obsidian forms in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption. When the igneous rock is thrown out of the volcano and the magma rapidly cools, the atoms aren’t able to form themselves into a crystalline structure. This means that the molten rock solidifies with trace minerals and other inclusions and as it does, Obsidian is born.

How hard is Obsidian?

Obsidian scores around a 5 on the mohs hardness scale. If you consider that talc is a 1 and a diamond is a 10, you can see that puts Obsidian firmly in the middle. It isn’t the hardest stone but it also isn’t the softest either.

How much does Obsidian cost?

The cost of Obsidian can vary depending on factors such as where it comes from, how much it weighs, what kind of coloring it has, and how much it has been processed. However, it isn’t considered to be a super expensive stone. You can expect to pay between $2 and $100 on Obsidian depending on the specimen.

How sharp is Obsidian?

Obsidian can be very sharp and this is why it was commonly used for tools in ancient times. Even today, Obsidian can have a much sharper edge than some of the best scalpels and can give diamond edges a run for their money.

How strong is Obsidian?

Obsidian scores a 5 on the mohs hardness scale. The highest score for strength and hardness is a 10 and the lowest is a 1 so Obsidian is right in the middle. It is a strong stone but it also has a brittleness to it too. Obsidian doesn’t last forever as it can be susceptible to weathering as its a glass.

How to break Obsidian?

Obsidian can be quite a brittle stone which means it can chip or break without due care. While it isn’t easy to break Obsidian by hand it can be broken by using other tools or instruments with a harder score on the Mohs hardness scale.

Does Obsidian cool quickly or slowly?

Obsidian is first formed from an extrusive rock which is known for cooling very rapidly as it doesn’t give time for a crystalline structure to appear.

How to charge Obsidian?

You can charge up your Obsidian by placing it in moonlight and letting those energy infusing vibes bring the stone back to its fullest power. A regular cleanse and charge is essential for ensuring your Obsidian works at the top of its game.

Is Obsidian an igneous rock?

Obsidian started life as an igneous rock and then became an extrusive rock when the volcano erupted and it became magma. As the magma rapidly cooled this is when the volcanic glass of Obsidian was formed.

Is Obsidian real?

Yes, Obsidian is a very real stone. It comes from igneous rock being turned into molten lava during a volcanic eruption. As the lava cools quickly it doesn’t have the time to crystallize which means that it solidifies with a whole host of trace minerals and rocks. This is why Obsidian is known to be a volcanic glass.

What is Obsidian made of?

Obsidian is made of igneous rock quickly cooled after erupting from a volcano. It is also made up of trace minerals and rocks which can include biotite, hornblende, magnetite, and plagioclase among others.

What is snowflake Obsidian good for?

Snowflake Obsidian is a great gemstone for helping to soothe the body, mind, and soul. It has similar protective powers to Black Obsidian but a gentler energy that keeps you balanced, in check, and feeling safe. It also helps us to shift certain thoughts and patterns that may not be serving us well.

Where to find Obsidian?

You can find Obsidian at many gemstone or geologist shops and will certainly have success online if you don’t have such a shop in your local area. Always buy Obsidian from reputable gemstone sellers so you can ensure you are getting the real deal.

Can Obsidian get wet?

Obsidian scores a 5 on the mohs hardness scale which means that it can get wet but only for short periods of time. Obsidian is quite a brittle stone and prolonged or repeated water exposure may weaken the volcanic glass. While you shouldn’t worry too much about your stone getting wet every now and then, you should avoid immersing it for long periods.

How to tell if Obsidian is real?

True Obsidian will have a shiny glassy appearance and will feel smooth to the touch. It’s a natural glass so will have similar properties to glass although it will feel slightly harder and may have sharper edges. Obsidian is normally dark in appearance although it may vary in its coloring based on the impurities that are found within the stone.

How to use Obsidian?

There are many ways you can use Obsidian. We recommend wearing it as gemstone jewelry so that you can stay surrounded by its rich protective energy. You can also use it in meditation or any kind of spiritual practice when you feel like you want to stay grounded. You can also use Obsidian in the home to keep bad vibes at bay.

Where does Obsidian come from?

Obsidian naturally occurs in the aftermath of volcanic eruptions. It can be found across the globe in places like Greece, Iceland, Mexico, Italy, and in the Yellowstone National Park.

Is Obsidian rare?

Obsidian is a truly intriguing stone but is not considered to be rare because of its abundance on the planet. However, certain kinds of Obsidian that are older than a few million years are considered to be rare as the glass inspired stone can easily weather and is considered relatively fragile.

Is Obsidian strong?

Obsidian is like a tale of two stones. It is considered to be hugely strong in both style and spiritual power. It has a high tensile strength and this is why it was used to make tools back in the day. However, it only scores a 5 on the mohs hardness scale and can be quite brittle.

What kind of rock is Obsidian?

Obsidian is an igneous rock and is also an extrusive rock. It is called an extrusive rock because it is born from magma that has erupted from a volcano. This lava then rapidly cools and hardens and as the atoms don’t have time to organize into a crystalline structure, it becomes the volcanic glass we know as Obsidian.

Where to place black Obsidian in the home?

If you want to keep your home and hearth protected you can place Obsidian at the entrance to your house. Place it on windowsills or doorways so that no negative energy can enter your sweet sanctuary. You can also place it in your creative spaces or anywhere you will be doing spiritual work to ensure you stay grounded and protected.

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