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Obsidian Stone Meanings

Sheila of Satin Crystals wearing Obsidian jewelry holding an Obsidian palm stone and massage wand

Let's learn all about Obsidian stone meanings, from its geological facts to its crystal healing properties.  

Discover all of the different types of Obsidian and find out why it is one of the most powerful protection stones in the metaphysical world. 

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Watch the Obsidian Video

For those of you who prefer the vibrancy of voice and visuals, click on our YouTube video to watch our overview of Obsidian Stone.

While you are there, catch up on all of your A-Z Satin Crystals Meanings video series, where we answer your questions on all of the most popular crystals. You can also add your own questions and stories directly to the YouTube comments. 

Can you benefit from Obsidian gemstones?

If you can answer yes to one or more of these statements, Obsidian crystals can benefit and enhance your life:

  • You are in search of the ultimate protection stone

  • You wish to turn tiresome negativity into a positive opportunity

  • You find volcanoes, magma, and lava to be fascinating elements full of powerful lore

  • You love the color black

  • You feel energized by rainbows, sheen, and unique patterns

  • You want a gem that has proven to be useful physically and metaphysically, by your ancestors and by modern-day people

Find your perfect pieces in the Satin Crystals Obsidian collection.

hands holding two obsidian merkaba stones

What is Obsidian?

Obsidian is a volcanic rock that forms when Lava solidifies so quickly that the surrounding minerals have no time to crystallize. For example, the Lava may flow into a lake or ocean and solidify immediately!

Technically, Obsidian is not a mineral because of its glassy composition. It is a natural volcanic glass. It goes through devitrification which turns it from a glass to a rock. 

Obsidian is a 5 to 6 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. It is like glass and has a conchoidal fracture, meaning it breaks like glass. 

What are the metaphysical healing properties of Obsidian?

Obsidian is one of the most protective crystals on the planet. Obsidian keeps your aura safe and protected.  This valiant gemstone replaces your doubts, fears, and anxieties with a sense of hope. It also acts as a shield against negativity so that you attract positive, kind people into your life.

Obsidian is a manifestation stone. It helps you tap into the limitless powers of the Law of Attraction. With Obsidian as your helper, you can reap the happiness of true love, wealth, good health, spiritual wisdom, and life satisfaction.

Obsidian cracks open the stale sludge blocking up your Root Chakra. As it penetrates the deep barriers of old pain and hardship, Earth energy shoots through your Root Chakra like Lava erupting through a volcano.

When you're feeling spacey or loopy, Obsidian anchors you back to reality. It is a grounding stone deeply rooted in nature. 

How do you use Obsidian for healing?

Here are a few ways to use Obsidian in your energy healing practices:

  • Grid your space with Obsidian tumbled stones for protection

  • Place Obsidian at your Solar Plexus chakra to bring imbalances to the surface: releasing the past, letting go of old loves, old baggage, etc

  • Hold or wear Obsidian for grounding energy so that it brings you to the present moment

  • Use an Obsidian Ball for scrying and crystal ball gazing

  • Drink Obsidian as a gem elixir or place it over the stomach for any problems related to this area

  • Hold an Obsidian egg when going through a rough transition

    • Use Obsidian wands for massage or to direct your energy out into the world

    • Hold Obsidian palm stones when you feel stressed out, squeeze the smooth crystals like worry stones

    • Put Obsidian near your door to keep unwanted guests out

    • Surround yourself with Obsidian animal figurines to keep you safe on shamanic journeys and Out-of-Body experiences

    • Use Obsidian skulls to channel aliens and ancestors

    • Wear Obsidian jewelry when you are out dealing with the public

    • Gift Obsidian hearts to those who might need love, support, and security

    • Use an Obsidian mirror for psychic channeling and visualizations

    Sheila's experiences with Obsidian

    Hi, Sheila Satin here. I have used Rainbow Obsidian so many times that I've lost count. Long ago, I learned a lesson about the importance of Obsidian after I forgot my stones and fell ill. 

    Back when we had a storefront in San Francisco, I used to do crystal healing sessions from the meditation room. One day, I saw three clients in a row and forgot to protect myself with Obsidian stones. I was sick and feeble for the entire week (and I am a person who rarely ever gets sick!). That experience taught me never to do a healing session unprotected, and to keep my Obsidian crystals near at all times.

    My Obsidian story goes back to my youth. I used to work as a library clerk. I wore Obsidian every day  because I knew I would have to deal with cranky patrons and their complaints about overdue fees. Since then, I have always recommended this stone to everyone who works in customer service. It is especially important for hospital workers who share spaces with a lot of sick people and spirits that come and go. 

    I like to wear Obsidian in jewelry form the most. I feel as though it is silently protecting me from the background. Sometimes I wear Obsidian just because I love the look and feel of it.

    I also wear Obsidian jewelry when I know I'm about to encounter negative and draining personalities. This includes layering up before visiting the DMV, the cell phone shop, or the post office. That way, even if the person behind a counter is in a bad mood, I remain calm and peaceful.

    Why succumb to the foul vibes of the world when Obsidian exists to save you from the hassle?

    hand holding a large oval sheen obsidian palm stone

    Lisa's experience with Obsidian

    Hi, it's Lisa Satin here now. Sheila has already written about her experience, but I will share mine as well. Obsidian is my all-time favorite crystal, so how can I just gloss by it without telling my tale?

    I'm attracted to the color black, yet it's not Black Obsidian that excites me most. It's the top quality, best-of-the-best Rainbow Obsidian and Sheen Obsidian that take my breath away. There's something so magical about picking up a stone that looks dead black in everyday lighting but suddenly comes alive with color and character when admired under strong sunlight.

    When I hold Obsidian, I feel at home. It washes away my stress and worries, bringing joy and relaxation instead. That's saying a lot, considering my overactive mind. 

    I have used Obsidian Balls for gazing several times. The shiny reflective surface helps capture my attention and bring to surface visions from my subconscious. No wonder Nostradamus used an Obsidian mirror for his gazing practices - it is simply the best!

    It's the smooth, glassy quality of Obsidian that brands it superior over Black Tourmaline, Black Onyx, and Black Agate. All of these black stones are wonderful protectors, but Obsidian is my ultimate guardian.

    When using Obsidian for protection, I prefer the pieces that have ring eye formations. This makes me feel extra secure, as though the ominous eye of God is watching over me. Rings are usually found in Rainbow Obsidian, Gold Sheen Obsidian, and Silver Sheen Obsidian.

    I own an Obsidian and Tiger's Eye necklace that Sheila made me, which I like to wear when I want extra grounding energy. Both the stones serve just that purpose. The healing qualities of Obsidian are powerful.

    My Black Obsidian bracelet is probably one of the most used jewelry pieces I own. I love that it matches everything I wear and keeps me safe no matter where I go.

    Currently, I have a Silver Sheen Obsidian ball near the entrance door of our home. It keeps my family safe from intruders.

    It has been almost two decades since I first delved into the wonderful world of crystals, and Obsidian still holds the top place in my heart. Thank you, Obsidian!Sheila of Satin Crystals looking through a midnight lace obsidian stone

    What are the top Obsidian bracelets?

    The world is a dangerous place, and your life is busy. Obsidian bracelets are adored because they are easy to slip on and have with you all day long, and all night too. Stay safe and protected with minimal effort- and look good while doing so.

    Here are the top Obsidian bracelets for your collection:


    What are the top Obsidian crystal balls?

    If you thought Quartz was the king of the crystal ball gazing world, guess again! Obsidian has proven itself just as grandeur, with its reflective surface. It is so powerful that it was the top choice used by the greatest psychic that the world has ever known.

    The other benefit of gazing with an Obsidian sphere is that you remain protected from invasive entities while you do it, thanks to Obsidian's ferociously protective personality. 

    What chakra is Obsidian?

    Obsidian is most commonly associated with the Root chakra, grounding you to the Earth. You can also use Rainbow Obsidian with its blue, green, and purple tones for the upper chakras. 

    To learn more about crystals and your chakras, visit the Chakra Guide

    What are the different types of Obsidian?

     Here are the different types of Obsidian stones you can collect:

    black obsidian circle
    Black Obsidian forms when volcanic lava cools very quickly. Black Obsidian has cooled fast enough that no noticeable minerals have been included in the crystal. This pure black crystal is opaque with a glassy luster. In crystal healing, Black Obsidian protects your aura from absorbing negative energies. Use Black Obsidian to ground the Root Chakra.
    mahogany obsidian sphere

    Mahogany Obsidian contains Hematite which brings a reddish-brown inclusion to the black stone. Because of a high concentration of iron, its coloring resembles fine grains of mahogany wood. In crystal healing, Mahogany Obsidian provides strength and protection in times of weakness and need. 

    midnight lace obsidian sphere

    Midnight Lace Obsidian is a translucent, banded black stone showing lace-like layers. These bands are especially impressive when held to the light. The layers can vary in patterns depending on how the Obsidian cooled upon formation. In crystal healing, Midnight Lace Obsidian is used to calm the mind of obsessive thoughts and help you focus on the positive. 

    rainbow obsidian sphere
    Rainbow Obsidian is the most sought-after form of Obsidian because of its brilliant sheen. Like all Obsidian, this healing crystal forms when volcanic lava cools quickly. Microscopic crystals and bubbles of Mica get trapped in the Obsidian. This results in subtle sheen and muted rainbow colors moving on the stone. In crystal healing, Rainbow Obsidian is a favorite to counteract negative energies and transmute them to positive ones, protecting our aura from being drained. It brings joy and happiness. Rainbow Obsidian frees the heart of unhealthy relationships. 
    sheen obsidian sphere

    Sheen Obsidian forms when air bubbles get trapped in cooling lava to create a highly desirable shimmering effect. Sheen Obsidian can be found in Golden Sheen and Silver Sheen, reflecting their shine in the crystal at varying angles. In crystal healing, Sheen Obsidian helps you to focus on your goals and teaches you patience in the process. 

    snowflake obsidian stone

    Snowflake Obsidian shows a fanlike arrangement of white Spherulite crystals that have formed over the black Obsidian after it has cooled. Like snowflakes against a dark night sky, this black Obsidian crystal shows gray inclusions where internal crystallites have formed. In crystal healing, Snowflake Obsidian helps to purify the mind, encouraging you to turn those negative thoughts into positive ones.

    spiderweb obsidian sphere

    Spiderweb Obsidian shows unique gray patterns reminiscent of a spider's complex web. In crystal healing, Spiderweb Obsidian helps you cut the cord from toxic thoughts, relationships, and emotional baggage. 

    How can you tell if Obsidian is real?

    Once you become familiar with the different types of Obsidian above, it is easier to tell the real pieces from obvious fakes. 

    Here are some ways to tell if your Obsidian is real:

    • Obsidian has a shiny and glassy look when polished or chipped

    • Obsidian does not grow in crystal formation

    • Obsidian is extremely sharp when broken 

    • Obsidian should only be a black or opaque natural color, not a clear or translucent colored glass

    • Obsidian will have a white streak in the crystal streak test despite its black surface. 

    If you find clear red, blue, green, purple, or any other color claiming to be Obsidian, you've encountered a fake. The natural colors of Obsidian are caused by mineral inclusions within the black crystal. If it looks fake, it probably is. 

    Beware of these obvious fakes: 

    • Andara Crystals are leftover pieces of glass from manufacturing plants

    • Helenite or Gaia Stones or Mount Saint Helen's Obsidian or Emerald Obsidianite or Ruby Obsidianite are manmade glass 

    • Blue Obsidian, Siberian Blue Quartz, Tibetan Blue are blue-colored manmade glass

    • Strawberry Obsidian or Strawberry Quartz is a fake red crystal, as most fruit-named stones tend to be!

    hand holding a pile of black obsidian tumbled stones
    What are the mineral facts of Obsidian?

    Obsidian is a volcanic glass with a chemical composition 70–75% SiO2, plus MgO, Fe3O4. Here are more scientific facts about this stone: 

    Mohs Scale of Hardness: 5.5

    Surface Color: Black, Brown, Green, Gray, Red

    Streak Color (can vary from surface color, this is the color of the crystals’ powdered minerals): White

    Group: Extrusive Igneous

    Cleavage (where the crystal breaks off naturally to form a new face, parallel to its structure. This is a clean break and can cleave over and over again along the same face, retaining the crystal structure): None

    Fracture: Conchoidal (clam-like concave like when glass breaks)

    Luster: Vitreous (glassy)

    Transparency: Transparent (allows light through) to Translucent (allows light through the crystal but not fully transparent) to Opaque (no light goes through)

    Crystal System: None

    Crystal Habit: Amorphous (no form)

    When was Obsidian first discovered?

    Obsidian was first discovered by humans in the Neolithic period around 700,000 BC. 

    Where is Obsidian Found?

    Some places where Obsidian can be found include Greece, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Ecuador, Indonesia, Mexico, Hungary, New Zealand, Peru, Russia, and the USA. It occurs wherever volcanoes with Rhyolitic eruptions exist. Find Obsidian along the edges of lava flows. 

    How to tell Obsidian vs Onyx vs Jet vs Tourmaline?

    It is hard to tell Obsidian, Tourmaline, and Onyx apart when they are polished and in their pure black form. Here are some differences: 

    • Obsidian weighs less than Onyx and Tourmaline because it does not have a crystalline structure

    • Obsidian is shinier than Onyx and Tourmaline because it is a glass

    • Obsidian may have spots of translucence when held against the light which the others usually do not

    When they do have mineral inclusions, it is easier to tell these stones apart:

    • Onyx may show white bands

    • Obsidian gains colorful rainbows, sheen, or patterns (Snowflake, Mahogany, or Spiderweb) from trapped air bubbles or gas bubbles.

    • Tourmaline shows deep veins. 

    Jet is also a black stone, but it is extremely lightweight without the shiny luster of Obsidian, Tourmaline, or Onyx. It can have a silvery black look compared to the others. It is also the softest of the stones and breaks much easier. 

    Obsidian's Role in History

    Obsidian that we find today is relatively young in comparison to the age of other gemstones. Since it breaks down due to weathering, Obsidian aged over a few millions of years is uncommon. However, Obsidian is prevalent in the timeline of human history because it has proven to be a very useful stone.

    Here are some interesting facts about Obsidian through the ages:

    • When Obsidian breaks, it becomes super sharp. It was important in the Stone Age because it could be made into sharp arrows and blades. Obsidian was used in weapons and tools that date back to the Neolithic era.

    • Obsidian occurs all over the world and was used by several civilizations for making pottery and dishware. Artifacts have been uncovered in areas like Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, and the Americas.

    • Because of their high luster, Obsidian pieces have been used as mirrors since Aztec times. 

    • Queen Elizabeth I's occult consultant, Dr John Dee's Obsidian mirror used to divine her future is now displayed at the British Museum in London. 

    • Obsidian is still used today as chess pieces, piano keys, and even for surgery.

    • Obsidian is sharper than the steel surgical scalpel. It was used for precision work in cardiac surgery, cosmetic surgery, neurosurgery, and eye surgery. 

    • Navajo Indians had four sacred stones which included Turquoise, Abalone Shell, White Shell, and Obsidian. 

    • Yellowstone's Obsidian Cliff is the most culturally significant source of Obsidian in the USA. Native Americans used this Obsidian 12,000 years ago and it was widely traded from the east to the west. 

    What can you do with Obsidian?

    Today you can still find all kinds of decorative and practical uses for Obsidian. Obsidian comes in all kinds of polished stones and jewels. The more brilliant the colors, the higher the value of the stone. 

    Obsidian has been made into masks, figurines, weapons, and healing tools since ancient times. That is because it is relatively easy to carve. You can still find all sorts of Obsidian polished shapes and jewelry in the market. 

    We no longer need to use Obsidian to create weapons in this day and age. However, we still make use of Obsidian as a weapon for slaying dark forces. It is also a tool for crystal healing and protection.

    Obsidian wands are your top choice for slaying demons and dark forces. Use them to extract any negativity that you're harboring in your soul, and also to protect against external bad energies attempting to get in your aura. 

    Rainbow Obsidian stones are one of our top-selling crystals at Satin Crystals because people are drawn to its attractive rainbow shine. This iridescent sheen is very desirable. 

    Do Obsidian necklaces shield your aura?

    Obsidian necklaces are the modern-day version of shields. Wear a real Obsidian gemstone necklace to protect your soul from ill will. Slip it on to cloak your aura as you go about your day, and look good as a bonus benefit.

    Satin Crystals offers a number of unique styles and pieces in Obsidian necklaces.

    What does Obsidian mean in divination?

    Drawing Obsidian in a gemstone divination session means: You are getting in your own way.

    It is time to use Obsidian to clear your mind of negativity. The clarity will make space for positive thoughts and actions. Once positivity flows, abundance will grow. 

    Magical Incantation of Obsidian

    This is a message from Obsidian from Doreen Virtue and Judith Lukomski's book "Crystal Therapy":

    "As a wizard stone, I'm a guardian to those who know me. Don't fear any negativity, for a protective shield wraps around you when I'm called into service. Invite me to walk with you, especially when traveling or when in crowds, in order to dispel energy that's out of alignment or without integrity. It's my honor to join you in peaceful journey."

    Sheila of Satin Crystals gazing at her reflection in an Obsidian mirror

    What was Nostradamus' Obsidian gazing mirror?

    Nostradamus was a spiritual man who lived during the 1500s. He was perhaps the most psychically gifted person documented in history. Although Nostradamus was a physician, he also practiced astrology and had a deep interest in the supernatural. He used hypnotherapy to aid his patients with pain management during operations.

    Nostradamus had students whom he taught meditation, fire gazing, and other occult techniques. For gazing, Nostradamus used an Obsidian mirror and covered it with fine white sand. Through the Obsidian mirror, he could channel images, voices, and messages from spirit guides with his Third Eye. The spirits gave him visions of the future.

    Obsidian's reflective surface makes it a top choice for people practicing gazing and scrying even today. Get your own gazing mirror now... 

    Do surgeons use Obsidian?

    Obsidian has long been used as knives and cutting tools because it can be made into an extremely sharp blade. Today, it is rare that surgeons will use Obsidian, but it is a possibility. Check out this article on Stone Age Tech Still Useful for Medtech

    Can you melt and cast Obsidian into a sword?

    This is a popular question thanks to the HBO show "Game of Thrones" in which Dragonglass (Obsidian) was cast into weapons. In reality, you can melt Obsidian, but you can't cast it because of its unreliable formation. Check this video and see what happens to the Obsidian instead. 

    Sheila of Satin Crystals holding a polished heart and a rough Obsidian stone

    How can I shine Obsidian?

    Rough Obsidian pieces can be tumbled in a rock tumbler to bring out their luster. They need to be tumbled with care if you want to avoid surface chips and bruises. Here are instructions on Rock Tumbling for Obsidian and Apache Tears

    What is Apache Tear Obsidian?

    Apache Tears are a specific type of Obsidian nodules found where Apache Indians used to live in Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. They are found embedded in gray weathered Obsidian material called Perlite.

    Perlite was mined for its commercial desirability while the Apache tears were discarded as a nuisance until they gained popularity among the crystal healing and rockhound crowds. The proper name for Apache Tears is Merekanite.

    The ApacheTear nodules are dug out of the Perlite and tumbled to reveal a black shine and sometimes a translucency. They usually retain their lumpy characteristics and may have the grayish Perlite still in their crevices. 

    According to legend, the family of Apache Indians who lost their lives in a real battle in Arizona against the United States Army, shed tears atop the volcanic ridge called Big Picacho. The tears turned into the Obsidian nodules now known as Apache Tears. 

    Keeping Apache Tears in your aura is now considered good luck. You will never have to shed tears as the Apache families have already done this for you as represented by their Obsidian tears. 

    Learn more about Apache Tears

    How do you care for Obsidian?

    Your Obsidian pieces should be handled with care so they don't chip or break into shards. You can use glass cleaner to shine your polished Obsidian pieces. Obsidian can be placed in water and cleaned with a cloth. 

    Don't use metal brushes on Obsidian, or keep it near stones harder than 5.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. You don't want it to get scratched. 

    To learn how to energetically cleanse, charge, and program your Obsidian, visit Crystal Care.  

    Where do you put Obsidian?

    Obsidian should be put in any area of your home, office, or healing space that is vulnerable to unwanted energies. For example, if you see clients who unburden their mental problems in your office, you will want to keep Obsidian on your desk. If you have a teenager at home going through a depressing time, you will want to keep Obsidian in their bedroom. If you do spiritual channeling, you will want to surround your healing space with Obsidian to keep out evil entities. 

    For Feng Shui energy, place Obsidian in the "Children, Joy & Future" area, which is the middle right side of your space. This will protect your future endeavors and preserve joyous energies from sabotage. 

    For more on placing crystals, visit How to Clear & Fill the Home with Crystals

    Can you sleep with Obsidian?

    You can sleep with Obsidian stones under your pillow if you have programmed them for specific energy to help in your slumber or dreams. You can also sleep with Obsidian jewelry if they don't bother you through the night. 

    If the stones bother your sleep, you can place Obsidian under your bed or at your bedstand to harness its energies in your subconscious state. 

    How do you meditate with Obsidian?

    You can meditate with your Obsidian stones on your own or join us for a guided meditation by clicking on the video above. Your Obsidian stones are the perfect choice for this serious task at hand! Let the protective frequency of this grounding stone build a safety bubble around your personal space so that you can astral travel to heal those in need.

    Is Obsidian magnetic? 

    Obsidian can be slightly magnetic if there are Magnetite inclusions in the stone when it formed. 

    What is Mexican Peanut Obsidian?

    Mexican Peanut Obsidian is now a rare stone that was popular after its discovery in the 1960s in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. It is actually a black Perlite with radiating crystals of feldspar and Hematite. 

    Is Obsidian a Perlite?

    Perlite is a volcanic glass formed by the hydration of Obsidian. It weathers into small, pearl-like spheres over time. Perlite has a high water content when heated can expand the pearls into a bubble 20 times its original volume.

    Obsidian remnants during the hydration process that alters Obsidian to Perlite are called Apache Tears. These small Obsidian remnants are found embedded in the Perlite. 

    If allowed to water and weather for upcoming years, the Apache Tear Obsidian would also turn into  Perlite. However, your Obsidian and stones are safe as they would take hundreds, thousands, or even millions of years in the right conditions to turn to Perlite. 

    hand holding a rainbow obsidian heart

    Do you love Obsidian?

    What attracts you to Obsidian? Which type of Obsidian is your favorite? Have you used Obsidian for healing?

    Do you have some interesting Obsidian stories to share?

    We would love to hear about it. You can reach out in the contact box and we will get back to you. 

    Obsidian Shopping Guides

    Obsidian Reference Guides

    Helpful Crystal Resources

    Where do you buy Obsidian?

    Make sure you are buying your Obsidian from a reputable source like Satin Crystals. Obsidian is a positive addition to your stone collection. Shop the Obsidian Collection on the website or here on the blog:

    Contact Satin Crystals

    Still have questions about Obsidian? Looking for the perfect Obsidian piece? Feel free to contact us.

    Disclaimer: The metaphysical information provided is for entertainment only. See full disclosure.