History & Lore

To the ancient Aztecs, few stones were as sacred as obsidian.  The Aztecs believed that the "mother" had been first impregnated by an obsidian blade.  This union gave birth to the goddess of the moon and her brothers who would become the stars.  Known among the natives as iztli or teotetl, divine stone, the Aztecs used obsidian to create images of the god of sorcery and divination, Tezcallipoca.  In this form, obsidian represented darkness, ancestral memory, and time.  An obsidian knife in water was often placed in the courtyard of an Aztec home.  It was believed that doing so would keep away sorcerers by frightening them with their own reflections.

The Aztecs were just one of many cultures throughout the world that revered obsidian.  Created from cooled lava within the earth, obsidian has been prized for its ability to be worked to razor sharp edges and has often been used as a barter material.  It has been used since prehistoric times for making tools, weapons, masks, mirrors, and jewelry.  Obsidian has been found in archaeological sites dating back to the Acheulian age, around 700,000 BCE.  During the Neolithic period, obsidian was used for pottery as well.  On Easter Island, obsidian was crafted into the pupils of the eyes of the Moai.  For pre-Columbian Americans, obsidian was highly prized.  It was one of the four sacred stones of the Navajo, and many tribes used it to carve both tools and decorations.

Today, the use of obsidian during cardiac surgery has garnered much attention.  A well crafted obsidian blade has a cutting edge many times sharper than can be achieved with high quality surgical steel.  An obsidian scalpel has an edge of only 3 nanometers, allowing for more precise incisions.


Zodiac:  Capricorn, Taurus, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius
Obsidian helps those born under the sign of Capricorn to reach goals.  It protects them from negative influences and vibrations while restoring balance and stability.  For those born under Taurus, obsidian helps them connect with feelings, stay grounded, and weather the storms of life.  Librans will find that obsidian opens the mind to unfulfilled dreams.  It has the capacity to reveal what is hidden and aids in overcoming physical or psychic impediments.  Scorpios will find that obsidian loosens rigidity, eases psychological problems, and relaxes tight muscles in the shoulder and neck area.  For Sagittarians, obsidian helps in the pursual of goals, protects from doubts, and restores optimism.

Chakra: Base
Obsidian is an excellent grounding stone.  It helps to eliminate negativity and cleanses and seals the aura.  Obsidian provides a connection from the base of the spine to the heart of the earth where it is born.  It is also useful in gaining insight into emotional problems.

Healing Properties

Skeletal & Joint Issues
Obsidian strengthens the skeletal system and reduces arthritis pain.  It dissolves tension and energy blockages as well as vascular constrictions.  It eases cramps and joint pain.

Digestive System
Obsidian aids digestion and bolsters stomach and intestine tissue.  It increases blood circulation and detoxifies the body of impurities and infection.

Mental Issues
Obsidian has been used to lessen phobias, stress, and grief.  It is useful for those that have suffered trauma, shock, or bouts of anxiety.  It is believed to protect the sensitive from depression.  Obsidian often points to the root cause of disease and is useful in identifying problem areas.


Stone of Divination
Obsidian has been used for centuries to create scrying mirrors for divination.  Known as the "stone of prophecy", obsidian is excellent for peering into the past, present, and future.  It enhances clairvoyance and provides clear guidance.  Obsidian may also stimulate the gift of prophecy and is protective while working with spirits.

Stone of Protection
Obsidian is a powerful stone for blocking negativity.  Obsidian cuts tying binds and undesirable truths. It assists in releasing negative patterns and past emotional traumas.  It protects from hostility, negativity, psychic vampires, and negative spiritual entities.  Obsidian transmutes negative energy into positive energy.

Stone of the Self
Obsidian symbolizes self control and resilience.  Like the tools crafted from it, obsidian is blunt and to the point.  It cools anger and frustration and provides a stimulus for change.  It releases tension and allows one to move forward toward a more positive outcome.  Obsidian sharpens and focuses both internal and external vision.  It helps a person get in touch with buried issues and shows what must be changed for spiritual growth.  It provides strength, wisdom, and inner vision to assist in the journey of the soul.  It assists with looking deep within to find problem issues and motivates to accomplish dreams.

Other Attributes Associated with Obsidian
Helps stop bleeding and hastens wound healing
Protects the gentle from abuse
Cleans psychic "smog" within the aura
Assists with spirit communication
Increases self-control
Provides support during change

Physical Properties

Although most commonly a deep black, obsidian can also be found in shades of brown and green.  In rarer instances, it can be red, blue, orange, or yellow.  Some obsidian features two colors swirled together, such as in mahogany obsidian.  Snowflake obsidian contains white crystals of cristobalite.  "Rainbow" obsidian has a multicolored sheen created by inclusions within the stone.

Obsidian can be found around the world in areas of volcanic activity.  Significant deposits are located in Chile, Greece, Kenya, and New Zealand.
Celtic Dawn with Obsidian
by Gypsy Grove
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Hardness Rating

Care of Obsidian

Obsidian is a relatively soft material and is easily scratched.  Care should be taken when storing obsidian so that it is not scratched.  If broken, be extremely careful as the shards can be very sharp.  Clean obsidian with a mild soap and warm water.  Avoid abrasives, ultra sonic cleaners, chemicals, and heat.

This post is for informative purposes only.  No claims are made about the safety or effectiveness of the information contained in this article.  All information is pulled from myth, legend, folklore, etc.  In no way is this article an attempt at medical advice.  Always seek a professional opinion when dealing with a physical or mental issue.

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