Obsidian is not a fancy or flashy stone. It is not one that is typically used for expensive jewelry or takes the center stage at gem shows and displays. Often piercingly black, it can sometimes be mahogany brown or forest green or rust red. It may contain inclusions that looks like shiny stars or silvery filaments. A few special ones display a rainbow of light if you peer at it in a certain way.
Geologists don’t even consider obsidian to be a real member of the rock family. They classify it as volcanic glass. Formed by the rapid expulsion of magma from deep within the earth, the soon-to-become obsidian solidifies from liquid to solid so rapidly it has no time to create crystalline structures as real rocks do. And yet obsidian is composed primarily of silica, the same chemical composition that can be found in clear quartz crystals, amethyst, rose quartz, agates and the many other stones and crystals that make up the silicate family – the predominant type of rock we walk upon on the continental crust.
As is often the case in nature, what is less flashy and sought after for its surface appearance is oftentimes the most potent for its healing qualities. Just as many weeds are more powerful healers than fancy hybrid flowers, so too obsidian can be a powerful healing stone. In recent months, I have used the energies and power of obsidian to carry out some deep and transformational healing work, whose results have been quite remarkable in some cases.
This week I received an email from a woman whom I did some psychic surgery on using obsidian about five months ago. We were corresponding about another topic, and she mentioned that the issue she had asked me to help her heal was much, much better since our session. It had been a physical issues, something to do with her legs and back.
While the possibility that a stone (or sort-of-a-stone) like obsidian can heal a physical malady may seem hard to understand from our cultural and educational mindset, there is a long tradition of using obsidian (and stones of many types) as healing helpers in many healing modalities around the world. I have been using a practice from the Mexican and Central American region that I learned from a renowned Mexican healer and author I have studied with.
But let me flash back to my first encounters with obsidian, and the spirit of this stone. When I first became interested in stone and crystal healing, I decided that I would discover for myself what the energies and messages of different stones were (for me) by trying to find their key word and image. I did this with about forty different stones, a practice that took me several years to complete. Of all the stones I worked with, obsidian was among the most enigmatic.
I had almost given up on obsidian, meaning I could not seem to access its energy, message or spirit, when one night I asked it to send me a dream. Then I placed it under my pillow. That night I dreamt of an angel holding up a mirror that was pitch black. Somebody (it could have been me) was looking into it, and nothing was reflected back. The single word ‘destiny’ rang out in my ears.
I soon discovered through some internet snooping about obsidian mirrors and their use for divination and healing in Mexico prior to the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores. And also of the tremendous respect and even veneration accorded to obsidian in the Mexhica/Toltec cultures. One of the twenty days in their calendar was named for this stone, as is one of their primary deities/energies: Tezcatlipoca (Smoking mirror).
Returning from a trip to Mexico, I learned first-hand one reason for this. I was bringing back a very large and quite heavy obsidian we had found in an obsidian field nearby the town of Tequila – a site of an ancient volcanic explosion. It was carefully wrapped in a heavy Mexican blanket and placed in a fabric duffle bag in the overhead compartment of the airplane. When we went to take it out upon landing, we discovered that the obsidian had fractured in such a way as to have an edge sharp enough to cut through the blanket, the duffle and also my finger. Ouch!
Obsidian, like glass, can cut with a sharp edge. In fact, obsidian knives can cut with great precision and accuracy.
Thus obsidian can be used in crystal and stone healing to cut away and remove energies that may be causing health issues of many types. When I say this, it does not mean that any actual cutting has to take place on the physical level. In the psychic healing, which uses a pointed obsidian tool, the body is never touched.
Obsidian can also be used to reveal what is not always apparent to our eyes. Like the mirror I saw in that dream in which I could see no reflection, when you look into a black obsidian mirror you can see beyond your own sight to find the deeper truth that may lie in our darkness, in our underworlds. There can be profound healing in this practice, a healing that helps us to see more accurately our destiny and cut away what may be hindering us from following it.