I admit it – I am all about the shiny. Give me an aqua aura stone, a rutilated clear crystal quartz with gold inclusions, or, better yet, the sparkly night sky that is blue goldstone and I am captivated. Show me your crystal collection with brightly colored peacock ore, brilliant purple amethyst, and glittering gold citrine and I will be like a kid in a candy store where time has no meaning.
Yet each time we descend into the dark half of the year, there is another stone that I find myself increasingly drawn to. Its inky blackness pulls me in like a magnet, and I find myself returning to its mysteries again and again. Obsidian has become a powerful personal ally.
Formed when lava cools rapidly and doesn’t have time to crystallize, obsidian is a type of volcanic glass. It’s dual elemental associations of fire (an active element) and earth (a passive element) make it a unique paradoxical stone with the ability to both reflect and absorb. I have found obsidian to be helpful in many aspects of my life, especially during the dark half of the year. Below are 8 ways of working with obsidian that I have found personally to be particularly powerful and helpful. While there are many colors and variations of obsidian, for the purposes of this article, my focus is on black obsidian.
- Heals Like a Hoover! Obsidian is quite effective when it comes to healing on a physical and psychic level. It’s natural ability to absorb energy makes it similar to a vacuum which can eliminate toxic and negative energy. I have used obsidian in combination with Reiki but moving it through the aura to cleanse any energy or issues that do not contribute to one’s well-being and health. It can also help to dissolve emotional blockages. Obsidian is particularly effective at the root chakra.
- Slow Your Roll. Are things moving too fast? Want to nip something in the bud? You can use your obsidian crystal as a “vault” for halting something in its tracks. Simply concentrate on what you wish to slow down or stop and project that energy into the obsidian. When you ready to release the energy of this situation, simply cleanse your obsidian with the intent of allowing the situation to return at a normal speed or releasing the situation deep into the core of the Earth.
- Protection. Obsidian has a strong reputation for being a very protective stone. It is therefore not surprising that our Paleolithic ancestors were known to make weapons such as arrowheads out of obsidian. Placing obsidian in window sills can help keep out unwanted influences. You can also carry a small obsidian sphere or stone with you in your purse or pocket or even in your car.
- Back in the Shadow Again. It is perhaps in this area where I have found working with obsidian to be the most transformative. Obsidian is known as the truth stone and therefore can help us to see our demons and our inner self more clearly. If you find yourself being triggered or repeating negative patterns and you aren’t sure why, spend some time with obsidian for the purposes of healing your core wounds and you will likely find more clarity about the core issues that you need to address in your quest for healing. Shadow work can be intimidating, particularly if we are uncovering trauma for our past. One of the great things about obsidian is it also acts to remove toxicity and adds protection as previously mentioned, thus creating a safer space in which to do our shadow work. In addition, once you have confronted your shadows and acknowledge that they no longer serve you, you can release the shadow into the obsidian and then cleanse the stone as mentioned previously in this post. Obsidian can also help us cut ties with individuals in our lives who may not be supportive and/or are not in alignment with our best interests and well-being.
- Going Beyond the Veil. While it is connected to the root chakra, obsidian also has a reputation for enhancing intuition. We see this use most commonly in the form of scrying mirrors made out of obsidian. Whether you use a sphere or a mirror, obsidian can be used to gain knowledge through psychic means as well as to communicate with ancestors and other loved ones who have passed over. For some, it is easier to receive information via the dark void of obsidian than it is using clear crystal quartz.
- Grounding. Feeling a little light headed? Did that ritual/guided meditation/working leaving you feeling a little woozy? Having a hard time connecting with reality as you walk around with your head in the clouds? Grab a piece of obsidian and feel its heavy energy pull you back down to the Earth and help you regain your footing.
- What Dreams May Come. I have personally found obsidian to be quite helpful in my dream work. Simply placing it near my bed as I sleep helps me to relax. When I am working on dream recall, I will place my hands over my obsidian when I first wake as I try to recall the threads of my dreams. Odd as it sounds, I sometimes get the sensation that the stone is capturing the dream images and sensations that I cannot always see clearly or put into words. When this occurs, I will later go back and enter a meditative or light trance state before placing the obsidian on my third eye chakra to help me recall my dreams. Furthermore, obsidian has been known to help to prevent and/or dispel nightmares.
- Human Lie Detector. Do you ever get that feeling that someone around is perhaps not being honest with you? Are you getting the sense that perhaps someone you are working with has a hidden motive? Obsidian’s reputation for truth and clarity can help you see more clearly and reveal that which has been hidden.
Because of obsidian’s natural tendency to absorb energy, it is important to clean and clear your obsidian on a regular basis as it needs cleaning more frequently than most other crystals and stones. There are many ways in which to do this including but not limited to using salt, burying your stone in the earth, using Reiki or other energy healing, or even placing your stone in a singing bowl while you play the bowl. However you choose to work with obsidian, I think you will find it to be a potent, transformative, multi-use stone that deserves a place in even the most basic of crystal collections.