A black mirror on the soul? How to gain insight to engage personal growth and Game of Thrones? All this and more in this blog post about the glassy, mineral like substance, Obsidian
Bubbling up inside the earth is a slushy, gloopy mush of silicon, oxygen, aluminium, iron, magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and titanium. As this liquid magma pushes up through the crust of the earth the most dramatic, spectacular natural firework display imaginable occurs.
A volcanic eruption.
Streaks of red, yellow and orange streak high into the air as the cataclysmic booms and cracks echo and reverberates off anything or anyone unfortunate to be nearby. A plume of sulphur dioxide and ash form clouds that are as vast and dark enough to stop air travel, block out the sun, turning day into an artificial night and significant enough to show up on satellite imagery affecting weather systems of countries for miles in whatever direction the wind is blowing.
From the top of the volcano flows liquid rock, that is the hard stuff we stand on that is so unimaginably hot is a liquid. This liquid rock firing forth from the volcano is blissfully unaware that a lot of the cool stuff we have built on this planet of ours wasn’t done so to withstand such extremes of heat and rips through, burns and buries everything in its destructive path.
The dust settles. Smoke rises from the newly formed earth that has just spewed forth in apocalyptic fashion.
Phew. That was exciting. Unless you happen to live in the lava path of course which if you do/did does raise the very pressing question as to what it was you were thinking when buying or building a property so near an active volcano? Did the extortionately high insurance premiums not ring any alarm bells? Oh and that whacking great volcano within a literal stones throw from the veranda. “Picturesque, mountain vistas” the estate agent said. “Nah, it’s completely inactive” they said “what rumble? Didn’t hear anything, shall we look at the bedrooms?”
There is a point to all of this and it is what is formed if the lava cools quickly enough which contains enough silicon (in the form of silica) and does not crystalise, Obsidian. A glassy mirror like substance that can be used for a variety of holistic healing, metaphysical and medical uses. Has been used throughout the ages as its properties make for some very surprising uses and also in popular culture. This posts aim is to shed some light on the protective, grounding mirror on the darkest parts of the soul, obsidian.
As determined by the probably overly wordy introduction Obsidian is a predominantly black mirrored glass formed by rapid cooling from high silica based volcanic rock. The name is taken from the first known recorded mention of it by Roman explorer Obsidious, referring to the material as a form of glass while checking out Ethiopia. Sharing many properties with a mineral it cannot be classed as such, however, because it has not crystalised due to the rapid cooling and the manner of how it was formed.
When a liquid cools and hardens or evaporates particular molecules in the substance group together to form structures we refer to as crystals. The molecules that form in these uniform groups are what constitutes the particular crystal. Amethyst for instance is the forming of quartz, the cooling and grouping of silicon and oxygen which has irradiated or containing iron to give it a purple hue; Amethyst.
The structures present in other crystaline forms do not have time group together because of rapid cooling leaving a glass like rock that is brittle and breaks in shards. To illustrate this imagine melted sugar. If rapidly cooled crystals cannot form and you are left with delicious brittle that breaks into shards or if spun into strands making candy floss. Allowed to cool appropriately and therefore crystals to form and harden the end product can then be the old seaside favourite rock or a softer but stable fudge. In conclusion, think of the Earth as a melting pot full of sugar and the wide variety and spectrum of crystals, rocks and minerals as different types of boiled sweets and fudge with rivers of caramel.
Actually that’s a terrible analogy but swings us back round to the point that is this; fast cooled, no crystals, brittle. Which is exactly what Obsidian is and is why it has been used throughout the ages as a tool by humans for cutting with examples of which being found that have been estimated to being produced and used as far back as 1.5 million years ago. For ancient hunters this is an effective tool for killing prey as it smashes and does maximum damage by leaving shards inside the target.
An extremely sharp edge of only a few nano-meters thick on the flakes that have been broken off. There are surgeons that use Obsidian scalpels because the edge is sharper than surgical steel. Viewed under a strong microscope a steel ‘surgical’ scalpel looks like a blunt axe in comparison to Obsidian‘s smooth cutting edge even when viewed under an electron microscope. The advantage in surgery is that the cuts are so clean that less tearing of tissue occurs which prevents inflammation at the cellular level and means the formation of connective tissue for repairing blood vessels and the healing process is swifter over a seven day period.
Stephen crafts a Dragonsblood throne, what a game!
In popular culture Obsidian is culturally relevant right now thanks to the TV smash based on George R. R. Martin’s series of novels Game of Thrones. In the series the element Dragonsblood is in fact Obsidian. This was obviously set before our old friend Obsidious was knocking about in Ethiopia. Used as a weapon and capable of slaying some particularly nasty characters the white walkers. In the popular video game Minecraft, Obsidian is an element that needs to be crafted to allow passage to lower worlds for greater exploration and in the animated TV series Stephen’s Universe the character Obsidian is an eight armed lava character.
From bubbling lava, animated eight armed lava beasts and surgeons tools, Obsidian certainly is hot property. Moving onto the spiritual, harmonic resonance and the metaphysical properties and uses this provides.
Obsidian represents grounding. Self examination, acceptance of the darker side of our natures and personal growth based on these revelations. This stone facilitates forgiveness and can clean up past wreckage and emotional turmoil. It is a protector. Reflecting negative energies and providing a mirror into the soul this stone enables the viewer to choose to act in dark ways or be accepting that all humans have a light and a dark side, to treat this with kindness and allow this clearing stone, Obsidian, to clear out unwanted emotions.
This can be done in a variety of ways. Holding this stone or having it near during meditation of at least 22 minutes can bring the darkness that is inherent in all humans to the surface. This can be unpleasant and unwanted but it is to be remembered and known before engaging in this activity that these are only thoughts as part of the ever going thought stream and Obsidian is pulling these to the surface to clear them away. Show them love, they are part of you, they are a part of everyone and you deserve to be loved. Afterwards be mindful and grateful and let them go. Fully accepting of your humanity and beauty. Because you are human and you are beautiful.
The Scrying Game
You may be familiar with the image of a fortune teller gazing deeply into a crystal ball and predicting events based on what is seen. This process is called scrying or oculomancy and Obsidian is perfect for this because of it’s mirror like surface. This process is fascinating and quite contrary to revealing the future the process through reflection reveals potential and intention. As this was being researched, Sara, the owner shared an anecdote about scrying and the power of insight through reflection through deep inner work. A complete work through isn’t possible within the confines of this write up a future one will be published that goes into detail surrounding the technique, its uses and methods. For the sake of this article though, very briefly, here is the basic steps to take using Obsidian mirror to scry
- Turn of any electrical equipment (TV, smart phone, WiFi router etc.)
- Turn out all the lights and light a candle
- Sit quietly in front of a mirrored surface (Obsidian) and silence the mind
- Stare deeply into it trying not to divert your gaze
- The reflections may turn hazy, distort and start to resemble other images
- Do not be afraid, you are perfectly safe, accept with gratitude what is revealed
Keeping a notebook handy to write down anything that comes up and journaling your efforts will be useful for repeat sessions but this will be covered in a future post that goes into greater depth.
Another use for Obsidian in meditation is to visualise the cutting of ties. Ties to self and others. Relationships, thoughts, concepts and self limitations can be cut by using this stone in meditation and by visualisation by seeing them cut away inside the minds eye during meditation. If this is proving difficult then ask your spirit guides or guardian angels for assistance and express gratitude when this is revealed to have been carried out. This will be known by subtle changes at first throughout the day but over time it will be undeniable that this change has come about from divine assistance.
This stone works great in crystal grids or using with other crystals for holistic healing and metaphysical purposes as it can amplify and accentuate the properties of the other crystals. It does this by reflecting negative energies and allowing other crystals to work unheeded by interference.
Around the home Obsidian can be used to shield from electromagnetic distortion. Placed in the office or workplace it is useful to protect your space and allows fully flowing unblocked work from outside interference or influence.
Obsidian resonates with the root chakra which helps to stabilise the system clearing blockages to other chakras. Having one of these stones around the home can strengthen resolve, face personal fears and encourages inner personal courage.
This can be harnessed outside of the home in the form of jewelry and Obsidian makes great pendants that can be worn on the body for it’s protection and grounding throughout the entire day. The depth of black and mirror like sheen makes it an attractive stone to carve with some beautiful examples posted in this article.
A darkness illuminating mirror on the soul that clears away wreckage, helps with past trauma and protects by reflecting negative energies. A useful stone for holistic self investigation.
Please note as with all of the crystal, mineral, fossils or healing stones sold on this site and as specified in the terms and conditions and the disclaimer that for the treatment for serious medical conditions it is advised that professional, conventional, medical advice be sought and followed.