Obsidian - International Crystals Encyclopedia https://www.atlantisinstitute.org/


Origin - the place or situation from which something comes, the beginning of something’s existence, the point from which it starts out, the thing from which it is ultimately derived.
Obsidian is a naturally formed volcanic glass that originates as extrusive, igneous rock.


The formation is as a result of rapid volcanic cooling with minimal crystal growth. Felsic lava with a high silica content moves within what is known as an obsidan flow and the low crystal growth is caused by a high viscosity and polymerization degree that inhibits atomic diffusion.


Classed as a rock, rather than a mineral as it is formed from a variety of minerals like feldspar and hematite as minor minerals to the major mineral; volcanic glass.


All crystals belong to a different group according to the basis of the relationships of their axes. There are 7 systems and 32 classes of symmetry. Obsidian belongs to the Amorphous system.


History - the past considered as a whole, the whole series of past events connected with someone or sometihing, a continuous typically chronological record of importance.
Archaeological evidence of obsidian dates back to the Acheulian age to almost 1.5 million years ago; 700,000 BC. There is also evidence of pottery use in the Neolithic times.


The sharpness of obsidian proved its popularity with the Ancient Egyptians and was used to produce sharp blades and flints in the Stone Age times.


The variety of obsidian types varied with each locality of volcanic eruption which has made it easier to trace the types used for trading at distance. Weaponry and trading artifacts have been found in places in a 400 km circumference from the origin of the Chilean volcano; Chaiten.


In current times, obsidian is used for surgical scalpels and as plinths for audio turn tables. It is widely used in ornamentation and as gemstones and can present a different appearance, dependent on how it is cut.



Specification - the act of describing or identifying something precisely, a detailed description of the design and materials used to make something.
Obsidian has a vitreous luster with a conchoidal fracture. It is translucent and appears as deep black or blackish green.

In some stones, small white clustered inclusions appear which result form the integration of cristobalite and this is termed as a snowflake obsidian.


The stone is brittle and hard with a rating of 5-6 on the Mohs scale of hardness.



Varieties - a number or range of things of the same general class that are different or distinct in character or quality.
There are many different varieties of Obsidian, these include and are not limited to;


  • Rainbow Obsidian
  • Snowflake Obsidian
  • Gold Sheen Obsidian
  • Mahogany Obsidian
  • Silver Sheen Obsidian
  • Smoky Obsidian | Apache Tear



Esoteric Attributes - a quality or feature as characteristic of or possed by something.
Crystals by their very nature are able to receive and focus energy in different ways. Their molecular structure enables them to be used to amplify and convert energy and hence crystals have been used for centuries to aid healing and transmute energy both in the metaphysical and physical world.


Because each crystal family has different formational backgrounds, each also has different vibrational frequencies that can be harnesed and used for specific purposes. Each therefore have specific qualities that can be used to help a person heal on the many different levels of their being.


The following is a list of healing attributes associated with Obsidian crystals.


Mental: Obsidian is a grounding stone that integrates the dark side of the mental being. It allows one to activate abilities that have previously been untapped.
Emotional: Obsidian allows one to deal with shock and trauma with clarity and balance. It helps to bring resolution to deep negative feelings.
Physical: Obsidian aids the healing of wounds and eases the constriction of the vessels. It reduces pain and tension and increases blood flow.


Crystal Chart - Obsidian


Crystal: Obsidian
Mineralogy: Volcanic Glass | Silicon Dioxide
Geometric form: Amphorous
Formation: Primary
Family: Silicon Dioxide
Birthstone: Obsidian is associated with the astrological signs of Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn and Aries.
Appearance: Obsidian has a vitreous luster with a conchoidal fracture. It is translucent
Aura: Obsidian is used carefully to release negative energy whilst providing protection at the same time.
Colour: Deep black, greenish black, dark brown.
Chakra: Obsidian is primarily associated with the Root Chakra as it provides the grounding needed for the earth connection when releasing negative energy patterns.




International Crystals - References and resources:


Michael Gienger, Healing Crystals, Earthdancer Books, 2009

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Crystal, 6th ed. 2014

World of Earth Science, Quartz, 2003

Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, Crystal Healing, 2001


New Oxford American Dictionary