Your On-Line Guide to
The Healing Energies, Metaphysical Properties,
Legendary Uses and Meaning
Amber is one of the world’s oldest and most coveted treasures, a “Gold of the Sea” intrinsically formed by light and life, preserved by time and washed upon the shores for humanity, a talisman of beauty, protection and renewal. It has been portrayed as drops of the sun, tears of the gods, hardened honey, and sunlight solidified, and is as desired today as it was in the most ancient cultures, utilized as far back as the Stone Age for its pleasing warmth of color, value in adornment, and its magical and medicinal properties.
Amber belongs to a small class of organic gems, neither a crystal nor a mineral, but a biological product of nature, a protective resin that oozed from living trees in dense, prehistoric forests and fossilized over millions of years. It is highly prized in the metaphysical world for its energetic and healing properties, and for the marvelous Life Force it carries. Amber holds a strong connection to the sun and earth, as well as the once living insects, organisms and plant matter that are forever suspended within its golden structure. It attunes to ancient wisdom and can be a powerful tool for past life recall, or for stimulating the remembrance of genetic lessons and experiences passed down from one’s ancestors. It is useful for clearing family patterns, and initiating one’s prerogative of choice. [Fernie, 322][Simmons, Ahsian, 24][www.gemselect.com][Lembo, 60][Hall, 51][Eason, 82]
Amber is a natural purifier, esteemed for its ability to draw pain and dis-ease from the physical body, as well as the mind and spirit, by absorbing negative or stagnant energies and transforming them into clear, positive energy. This stimulates the body’s own mechanisms to heal itself. It increases vitality and aids tissue regeneration. Amber is ideal for cleansing and reactivating the chakras, particularly the Sacral and Solar Plexus Chakras, and is an excellent tool for clearing the environment in which it rests. It emits a bright, soothing energy conducive to health and well-being, and is marvelous for convalescence, ameliorating depression, or working through the grieving process. Amber also provides a protective shield against negative energies and may be called upon to remove toxicity from one’s life or relationships. [Melody, 107-108]Hall En, 79][101 Hall, 26][Ahsian, 24][Raphaell, 136-137]
From the earliest discoveries of Amber thousands of years ago, washed upon the shores by turbulent seas, this yellow-gold substance was deemed to be beautiful and unique, warm to the touch and light in weight. It carved with little effort, became electrically charged when rubbed, and ignited easily. The rarity of its inclusions and its purported magical and medicinal powers, made it one of the first export goods from the Baltic region to be traded for spices, salt and metals. Prehistoric trade routes were defined by this Amber trade, and the inland corridor from coastal areas of the North and Baltic Seas, down to the Mediterranean Sea became known as the Amber Road. For millennia, this important raw material, dubbed “gold of the north,” was transported overland by way of the Vistula and Dnieper rivers to Italy, Greece, the Black Sea, Syria, Egypt, and beyond. [en.wikipedia.org][www.sumatraamber.com]
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Amber was associated with the sun, and its droplet shape created a natural link to tears in many Norse, Greek and Lithuanian mythologies. It was considered a gem of the lonely or grieving, and because it so perfectly preserved life, was used to honor the dead in funeral rites and was placed in burial tombs to guard the soul in the afterlife. Amber was traditionally known as a protective stone for children, and throughout history was strung as beads and placed around their neck to keep them from harm, and reduce teething pain. Medicinally it was ground into powder and mixed with water, oil or honey and used as an elixir or made into an ointment for curing deafness and poor eyesight, fever and stomach distress, asthma, gout, rheumatism, wounds and infections, epilepsy and the plaque. When lit, Amber’s smoke was thought to fend off evil spirits and enchantments, and sailors burned it on ships to drive away sea serpents and perils of the deep. As incense, it soothed stress and was believed to filter germs and disinfect an area, commonly used during childbirth. [museumcatalogues.getty.edu][Megemont, 22-23][Lembo, 61][www.sumatraamber.com][Fernie, 323-325][Mella, 72][101 Hall, 26][academic.emporia.edu]
In antiquity, Amber was known by several names, most notably the Latin succinum, or “juice” from the extinct Pinites succinifer trees from which it was thought to have been originally produced. Pliny the Elder considered its pine origins well-proven by the fact it emitted a pine-like smell when rubbed and when ignited, burned with the odor and appearance of torch-pine wood. The Greek term for Amber was elektron, a word referring to the sun, and conferred upon Amber for its ability to draw small substances to itself when subjected to friction. It is the origin of our words “electron” and “electricity.” The modern name “amber” is thought to come from anbar, the Arabic word for ambergris, a similarly colored material discharged from the sperm whale that also washes onto shores, and is used in making perfumes. [Fernie, 322-323[en.wikipedia.org][academic.emporia.edu][Megemont, 21-22][Simmons, 23]
Amber is a mixture of hydrocarbons, composed of several tree resins (mostly of an extinct Pine genus, or in some areas extinct Hymenaea species), plant materials, a volatile oil and succinic acid. Amber is not formed from tree sap, fluid that circulates through a plant’s vascular system, but from resin, an aromatic, semi-solid substance secreted though the plant’s epithelial cells. It is produced as a protection mechanism to draw off disease and injury caused by insects and fungi, heal over broken branches, or to ward off stress produced by rapid growth. As resins of the ancient forests filled internal fissures in the trees, dripped and oozed down the outer bark, they trapped insects, spiders, annelids and other small organisms, pieces of wood and plant matter, feathers and even hair. They then began to harden by losing their volatile components, and over time the forests fell and were carried by rivers to coastal regions where they were buried by sediments and became part of the ocean floor, or were repositioned elsewhere by other geological events. [Fernie, 322, 328][academic.emporia.edu][en.wikipeida.org][www.madehow.com][www.mindat.org][www.gemdat.org]
To become Amber, the fossil resins had to undergo a second hardening period of polymerization, where the molecules linked with each other to form larger molecules, a process which took from several tens of thousands of years to millions of years, before becoming insoluble. Most Amber is 30 to 90 million years old, though some is slightly less than a million, and the oldest Amber found to date is 320 million years old. Copal is a name given to tree resin from the Protium copal tree prominent in the Mesoamerican region, and generally to young tree resins, several hundred to several thousand years old, in an intermediate stage of polymerization and hardening. It has been used for centuries in incense, fine varnishes, and for ceremonial purposes, but is at times misleadingly marketed as “amber” or “young amber.” Resins from Columbia and Madagascar are too young to be considered authentic Amber. Copal can often be identified if it becomes sticky when a drop of organic solvent, such as alcohol or acetone, is applied, or if it shows very little color change under a short-wave UV light. Buyers should beware of faked Amber with perfectly preserved modern insects encased. Over 1000 extinct animal species and various types of plant matter have been identified in Amber, but whole specimens are extraordinarily unique, usually in museums and are quite expensive. [academic.emporia.edu][en.wikipeida.org][www.madehow.com][www.mindat.org][www.gemdat.org]
True Amber of lapidary quality comes mainly from the Baltic region, primarily Russia, Poland and Lithuania, with some production in Chiapas in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Burma, and recently Sumatra in Indonesia. It has a hardness of 2 to 2.5, can be transparent to opaque, and ranges in color from a whitish and pale yellow, to the most common “honey” yellow/orange/brown hues associated with the color “amber,” to a deep brown. Colors such as red, sometimes known as “cherry amber,” and green are rare, and much on the market is heat or pressure-treated. Throughout history, Green Amber was thought to bring immortality and good luck. Blue is considered to be the rarest shade of all and is highly sought after, found mostly in the Dominican Republic and the newly discovered Sumatra mines. It has a strong natural fluorescence under UV light, with an intense blue reflection in sunlight. In antiquity, Blue Amber was preferred by the chief priests, believed to control spirits of air, fire and water, and to get blessings from the gods. Black Amber is not fully fossilized resin, and is actually Jet, a form of lignite coal. [en.widipedia.org][www.sumatraamber.com][www.gia.edu][www.thenaturalamber.com][Fernie, 348][www.mindat.org][www.gemdat.org]
AmberUses and Purposes
Amber is a protective stone for children and may be worn as a necklace, bracelet, sewn into an infant’s garment or placed in their environment to ward off negative energies and shield them from harm. It is also prized for energetically reducing teething pain, though it should never be placed in the mouth. It is highly beneficial when treating infants or children for the mother to wear the Amber first. [Megemont, 23][Fernie, 323][Eason, 82][Hall, 52]
Wear or carry Amber when recovering from an illness or injury to increase vitality and draw on one’s own essential strength and desire for wellness. Its vibration of life force brings warmth to the inner being and imparts more of this energy into the system. Amber may also be used to achieve longevity, and is a marvelous gem for the elderly. [Simmons, 24]
As a love crystal, golden-orange Amber is a symbol of beauty and tenderness, a good-luck talisman for increasing natural radiance and attracting lasting love. It may be used to call in a twin soul, or for protection against negative outside influences and interference. It is a wonderful gem for assuring promises and has been used in the renewal of marriage vows. [Eason, 43, 82][Lecouteux, 312][Melody, 107]
Believed to “electrify” desire, Amber is credited with helping to cure impotence and frigidity, and to aid female fertility and male potency. [Megemont, 23][Eason, 82]
Amber is an exceptional rubbing stone for discharging negative moods, relieving anxiety, or deflecting energy from others. It warms the more it is touched and generates a positive, uplifting current of energy. Carry in the pocket, wear in jewelry, or use in rosary or prayer beads. [Mella 72][Lembo, 61][Megemont, 22-23]
Use Amber to purify any environment before use, or to remove negative energy by placing pieces of Amber around the space, spray as an elixir, or burn as incense. It also provides an effective screen after the area has been cleansed. For healers who work with removing entities from one’s energy field, Amber can be a valuable ally for sealing the aura after extraction and clearing any lingering negative patterns. Amber assists those who are new to exploring their psychic sensitivity by providing a Light barrier against negative forces until they are able to control their intuitive skills. [Melody, 108][Ahsian, 25][101 Hall, 26]
Amber Healing Therapies - Overview
(Please note: Information on this web site is no substitute for consulting a health care professional. All information contained on this web site, including information relating to medical and health conditions, products and treatments, is for informational purposes only. Please see your doctor or health care professional before starting any alternative treatments, diets, supplements or exercise programs.)
Because of its electrostatic influence, Amber is considered to be one of the most effective energetic healing substances, drawing off toxins, pain, and disease from the body and stimulating the immune system and the body’s other natural healing mechanisms to rebalance and heal itself. Amber may be placed directly on a wound or over the internal organs to promote healing, or at the thymus gland to restore balance to the entire system. Amber is highly effective for use in balms or as an elixir. (We recommend the indirect method of preparation.) [Mella, 72][Eason, 82][Raphaell, 136-137][Hall, 52][Hall Cr, 75][101 Hall, 26]
Amber is excellent for alleviating stress, depression or anxiety, and increasing overall vitality and energy levels. It can stimulate sluggish digestion, and is considered beneficial in treatments for the kidneys, bladder, spleen, liver, and gallbladder. Amber is particularly effective in treating goiter and disorders of the throat, and may be used to relieve joint pain, rheumatism, toothache and teething in infants (do not place in mouth), as well as bronchial issues, especially whooping cough. [Ahsian, 25][Melody, 108][Hall, 52][Megemont, 22-23][Eason, 82][Gienger, 12][Fernie, 324-325]
Amber Emotional Healing Energy
Amber heals and supports the emotional body by drawing off the negative energies that steal one’s optimism and drive for life, and replaces them with an empowering frequency conducive to positive change. It is ideal for those battling suicidal tendencies, addictions, or who struggle with depression, anxiety or seasonal affective disorder to see light at the end of the tunnel. Amber helps remove the obstacles we place in our own way, as well as deflecting the negative energies of others. It lends the courage to set boundaries with friends, colleagues or family, and to recognize it is safe to be powerful in loving ways. [Lembo, 60-61][Eason, 82][Raphaell, 136-137]
Bringing balance and stability to one’s life, Amber encourages patience and flexibility. Its warm, bright energy promotes cheerfulness and trust, and strengthens the belief in oneself. Amber stimulates the intellect, improves short-term memory, and enhances the understanding of messages from one’s past to assist in decision-making and moving forward in life. It is a great tool for transmuting dreams into reality. [Melody, 107][Gienger, 12][Lembo, 61][Hall, 52][101 Hall, 26]
The gold and orange shades of Amber stimulate the Navel or Sacral Chakra, located below the naval and above the pubic bone at the front of the pelvis. It controls the flow of energy and is the center of gravity of the body. It is the center of the Life Force of the body, and controls the flow of information from the body to the mind and from the mind to the body. Gut feelings, intuition, and other "non-linear" communication comes from this chakra. When it is out of balance the symptoms manifest themselves as confusion, over dependency on others, repression of feelings, inability to feel joy, fear of sensuality or sex, and frustration. Gold or orange crystals are used to unblock the energy flow and restore one’s sense of balance, understanding and appreciation of life. When the Sacral Chakra is in balance one has grace, feels pleasure in life, and experiences the flexibility to "go with the flow" and do so in good spirit.
The yellow hues within Amber activate the Solar Plexus Chakra, the energy distribution center and the chakra of relationships. This chakra is located between the ribcage and navel, and controls the immune and digestive systems. When physically balanced, it provides the strength to fight infections, frees one of allergic reactions, and utilizes nutrients ingested. If the Solar Plexus is spiritually imbalanced, one may feel fear - of the disappointment or displeasure of others, or to subordinating one’s life and pleasures to the will of others. Yellow crystals spiritually balance the Solar Plexus, freeing one to interpret the world through one’s own thoughts and emotions and not live in fear of violating the dictums of others.
Amber Spiritual Energy
Amber is a powerful protector, aligning one’s everyday self to higher spiritual realms. It is a valuable tool for tapping into ancient wisdom, and for recalling past lives, whether a regression from this life or from a past life, in order to break negative patterns or to gain a better understanding of how past experiences can better assist one now. [Hall, 52][Lembo, 60-61][Eason, 82]
Amber is fossilized with its Life Force energies intact, and is an excellent source of Light energy for the physical body and a tangible support for energetic healing. It can assist one in connecting with interdimensional and intergalactic Light beings, including Nature devas and faeries, and those who are on Earth to help mankind through the coming shift. [Ahsian, 24-25]
Amber associates with the color energies of Gold. Gold color rays bring success, enthusiasm, happiness, and power. It is traditionally the color of kings, riches, and the sun. Gold touches a deep part of our minds, conjuring up images of mystical places and adventure. Light Gold crystals provide us with the simple pleasures of life - cheerfulness and contentment, while Dark Gold crystals have a deeper, more pronounced sense of devotion and commitment, providing us with a mature enthusiasm and ability to share a lifelong commitment of care and love.
Amber is used in meditation when the desire is to connect to the earth wisdom of an earlier age. Its ancient energy is released as it is touched or held in the hand during a session. It can be used to purify an area for meditation, or to clear the mind, body and spirit in readiness for expanding the consciousness. Amber is a superb tool for past-life exploration, clearing family patterns, or cleansing karmic debris from one’s energy field. It is a powerful protector in shamanic journeys and for its ability to facilitate travel to the lower world. Focusing on the fossil in bright sunlight or by candlelight heightens one’s awareness. [Ahsian, 24][Eason, 82]
Dreaming of Amber signifies a voyage. [Kunz, 358]
The Divinatory meaning of Amber: A chance for romance or unexpected admiration, but think before giving up reliable love for a sudden flirtation or passion. [Eason, 82]
Use Amber to align with Archangels Jophiel and Seraphiel. [Lembo, 60] It varies in color from orange, golden yellow to brown, and more rarely in red, blue or green. If your birthday falls in any of the following periods, an Amber of the color listed can be a valuable conduit to your Guardian Angel.
There are other Angels that are partial to Amber. The table below gives you the information about them.
Amber honors Elektra (Electra), the Greek Goddess of Sea Clouds and Storm Clouds that form at the top of island mountains. She is powerful and life giving, bringing vital water to the high mountain dwellers along the seacoast.
Amber honors Jurate, the Lithuanian Goddess of the Sea, known for her Amber palace beneath the Baltic Sea and her story of tragic love. She inspires bravery and courage for those who risk everything for love.
Amber honors Amberella, the Lithuanian Goddess of the Oceans, who left home and family to join her prince under the sea. She teaches one follow to follow their heart even in the toughest of decisions.
Amber may be used to honor Freyja (Freya), the Norse Goddess of Beauty and Love, depicted as being driven in a chariot pulled by two black cats. She is responsible for the souls of warriors who die in battle and reunites them with their wives after death.
Amber is also associated with Sekhmet, the Egyptian Goddess of War. She is the most powerful goddess of Lower Egypt, and is usually depicted with the head of a lion and the body of a beautiful woman.
Amber may be used in devotions to Nehalennia, the Gaulish Goddess of Sea Travelers; and Oshun, the African Goddess of Love, Intimacy, Beauty and Diplomacy.
Crystals of gold honor Persephone, the Greek Goddess of Spring. She represents celebration and the Earth alive with new growth.
There are several ways to find an appropriate birthstone. The traditional one is listed first. These are from the popular lists that most people are familiar with. The second way is to find your natural birthstone by the color wheel of life. You can click on the Natural Birthstone graphic below to learn more. Finally many people use the traditional stones of the Zodiac.
In this section you will find information on all three approaches.
Amber is not a traditional birthstone
Golden Amber is a natural birthstone of those born in the magical month of midsummer (July 22 - August 21). Gold crystals bring you success, enthusiasm, happiness, and power.
Amber is one of the zodiac stones for those born in the heart of spring under the sign of Taurus, from April 20 - May 20. Taurus is depicted as a bull because of its characteristics of being strong but quiet, and is ruled by the planet Venus that also rules Libra. Taureans are known for being "down to Earth," the doers and the realists. They are affectionate, known for their tempers and very stubborn.
Amber’s importance as a talisman is not based on crystalline structure, as it is amorphous, nor on its chemical composition, as it is not a mineral. Rather it is the organic essence of life and the energy of light within its structure that has resonated with the human spirit since the earliest man.
Because of its preservation of life, Amber was revered as a repository of souls, and amulets of Amber were used in funeral rites for mourning the dead and placed in burial tombs with other treasures to protect the soul during its journey to the afterlife. [museumcatalogues.getty.edu][101 Hall, 26]
Amber is a talisman of the lonely and nostalgic, often referenced in myths and legends of the sea as tears of gods or goddesses who mourned the death of a loved one, especially one of a young life. It is considered to provide great strength to widows or those who await a loved one, and to sustain one through the grieving process. [Megemont, 22][Lembo, 61][Lecouteux, 276]
Amber is a good-luck talisman, believed to be pieces of the Sun that fell off into the sea. It has long been used to bring luck to warriors, protect infants and children, and to increase radiance and attract lasting love. [Eason, 82][Melody, 107][Megemont, 23][Fernie, 323]
Amber utilizes Water energy, the energy of stillness, quiet strength, and purification. It embodies potentialities unrealized. It is yielding, formless, yet powerful. The Water element brings power of regeneration and rebirth, and is the energy of the circle of life. Use Amber to enhance any space you use for repose, calm reflection, or prayer. Water energy is traditionally associated with the North area of a home or room. It is associated with the Career and Life Path area, its flowing energy assuring a balance of energy as your life unfolds and flows.
Amber in Ancient Lore and Legend
Amber was one of the first substances used by man for decoration, utilized as far back as the Stone Age for jewelry, amulets and funerary offerings. Pieces of rough Amber marked with circular depressions were found in Prussia, Schleswig-Holstein, and Denmark in deposits of the Stone Age, made both by natural causes and man-made borings, possibly to replicate the natural depressions. Dr. Hoernes, an Austrian geologist, theorized these hollows were likely considered to be the resting place of the spirit or spirits believed to animate the stone, and were conceivably the earliest talismans or amulets. [Kunz, 55][Hall En, 79]
Besides citing the legendary tales of how Amber came to be, Aristotle, and later Pliny and Tacitus, attested to Amber’s true origin as earth-born, a resin formed from the tree of an ancient pine genus. Because insects and plant matter were suspended, timeless within its form, they deemed Amber to be an apt metaphor for entombment and to represent the ultimate function of the funeral rite: to honor the deceased with precious gifts and make permanent the memory of their lives. Large amounts of Amber were found in graves across the ancient world; some discovered in Mycenaean graves date back to 8000 BCE. [Kunz, 55][museumcatalogues.getty.edu][Hall En, 79][en.wikipedia.org]Â
In antiquity, Amber was a symbol of loneliness and nostalgia, as well as grief, and its creation was often referenced in lore as tears.
The origins of Baltic Amber are associated with an ancient Lithuanian legend of JÅ«ratÄ—, queen of the sea, who lived in a palace constructed of Amber at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. She fell madly in love with a fisherman named Kastytis and brought him back to live with her in her Amber palace. When her father, thunder god PerkÅ«nas, the most powerful of the Lithuanian gods, found she had pledged her love to a mere mortal, he flew into a rage and sent lightning bolts to kill Kastytis and destroy the Amber palace. He then chained JÅ«ratÄ— within the ruins for all eternity. The legend claims that even today, when storms rage in the Baltic Sea, small fragments of the underwater palace can be found washed up on shore, and one can still hear the grieving goddess cry for her lost love. [en.wikipedia.org][www.amberartisans.com][www.lithaz.org]
A more classic tale for Amber comes from its name, the Latin electrum and ancient Greek elektron, which originated from the term elektor, meaning “beaming Sun.” According to Ovid in Greek mythology, when PhaÃ«ton, son of Helios (the Sun) was killed by lightning, his sisters wept so grievously they were changed into poplar trees. Their tears, shed perpetually into the Eridanus River, thought to be the modern river Po, congealed into electrum, droplets of Amber. [en.wikipedia.org][Lecouteux, 138, 312][Fernie, 325][Kunz, 55-56][Simmons, 23-24]
In a lost tragedy of Sophocles, the origin of Amber was fabled to be tears shed by obscure sea birds from a “land beyond India” over the death of the Greek hero, Meleager. In a Celtic myth, Apollo, banished from Olympus, shed “tears of Amber,” and a Christian legend claims Amber was born from the tears of pine trees during the Flood. [Kunz, 56][Lecouteux, 312][Fernie, 263][Megemont, 22]
In Scandinavia, Amber is believed to be the tears of Freyja, the Viking Goddess of Love and Beauty. Women there used spindles with whorls made of Amber to spin protection into garments for their warrior husbands or sons. [Eason, 82]
Many in the ancient world believed Amber was the “juice” or “unctuous sweat” of the heated earth, or honey from the Ajan Mountains that was brought forth by the heat of the sun. Others saw it as brilliant droplets of the setting sun as it sank beneath the waves, where it was congealed by the sea then cast upon the shore. [Fernie, 263][Kunz, 56][101 Hall, 26][Eason, 82][www.gemsociety.org]
Because of its natural warmth, Amber was regarded as a living being, and in the Far East it was believed the souls of tigers metamorphosed into Amber at their death and brought courage to their wearers. [Hall En, 79][Eason, 82]
Amber was also known as lyncurium or ligure stone, reputed in myth to be the solidified product of lynx urine and a kind of earth the animal used immediately to cover its urine as he was jealous of the uses men got from it. Stones made of a male lynx produced a deep hue, while those of a female were pale. Ingested as a drink, it removed stones from the bladder, and drunk in wine or worn as an amulet cured jaundice and diarrhea, quenched thirst, and possessed hemostatic properties. It was also believed lyncurium came from animals called langures or langes which dwelt by the banks of the Po River. These stones were reputed to protect all houses from ill fortune, heal stomach problems, and were cited as being the anaphrodisiac of prostitutes. [Lecouteux, 207-208][Fernie, 323][Kunz, 56]
Purity and holiness were thought to be evoked by Amber. Ogmios, the Celtic deity of eloquence, is said to have led his devoted followers around with chains of gold and Amber representing the spiritual connection that frees people, as opposed to material chains that imprison them. Faces of the saints and wise men were often described as resembling this color, while in Europe during the Middle Ages, rosary beads made from this substance were so popular the available supplies were exhausted. [Simmons, 23][Megemont, 22][en.wikipedia.org]
To the Native Americans, Amber is a sacred stone, said to represent the east wind of grandfather Sun. Both Amber and copal were used in the fire ceremonies of ancient tribal leaders from the earliest pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations, and is still in use by a number of indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America today as an incense, during sweat lodge ceremonies and Sacred Mushroom ceremonies. [Melody, 108][fredalightfoot.blogspot.com][en.wikipedia.org]Â Â
Because of its nature of housing once living things, classical worshippers of the Mother Goddess believed Amber contained the essence of life itself, the animating principle, or Akasha. [www.gemsociety.org][Fernie, 323]
Another Latin name for Amber was succinum, (from sucus “juice”) thought to have derived from an extinct species of pine (Pinites succinifer). It emitted a pine-like smell when rubbed, and burned with the odor and appearance of torch-pine wood. Succinum ignited easily and pieces were burned for its soothing aroma and disinfectant abilities, as it was believed to filter germs. Its smoke was highly esteemed for providing a sterile and conducive environment for childbirth, and in medieval times was utilized as an incense to drive away evil spirits and enchantments, and to repel snakes and mosquitos. As succinum was soft and easily carved, it was popular in Eastern cultures for making mouthpieces for pipes. It was customary in antiquity to have the pipe lighted by a servant and Amber was considered incapable of transmitting infection. Oil of Amber, as well as succinic acid, was made from distilling the resin, and the residue was used to produce varnish. [Fernie, 322-325][Mella, 72][Melody, 108][101 Hall, 26][Megemont, 23]
Amber was considered to be a protective amulet for children, and Pliny records necklaces were made of these nuggets and hung about the neck of infants to keep them from the evil powers of witchcraft and sorcery. It was also thought to help with teething pain. [Fernie, 323][Megemont, 23][Lecouteux, 312]
The medicinal virtues of Amber were highly prized in the ancient world. Worn on the body, especially around the neck, it was reported to protect health as well as to relieve the symptoms of fever and infections, sore throat, headache, toothache, and respiratory discomfort. Ground into fine powder and mixed with water or wine, it was prescribed for stomach distress and epilepsy. Mixed with honey and rose oil, Amber was believed to cure deafness and other afflictions of the ear, and crushed and mixed with Attic honey would ward off dimness of sight. Oil of Amber was given in small doses to aid in cases of hysteria, and was used externally as a natural antibiotic for healing wounds and as a salve for rheumatism and various physical pains and injuries. It was also rubbed onto the chest and back for the relief of bronchial problems and was highly favored for treating whooping cough. The handles of ancient Jewish and Arabic circumcision and surgical knives were often carved from Amber as it was thought to staunch bleeding. [Fernie, 3, 324-326, 355][Lecouteux, 104][101 Hall, 26][Mella, 72]
Reflecting on the uniqueness and beauty of Amber, the 4th century Latin poet Claudian mused, “Admire the magnificence of the tomb of a vile insect. No sovereign can boast one so splendid.” [Fernie, 324]
The symbols [ ] enclose the author's name and a page number for a reference cited from the following books:
[Ahsian, pp.] Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian, The Book of Stones (Berkley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2007).
[Eason, pp. ]Cassandra Eason, The New Crystal Bible (London: Carlton Books Ltd., 2010).
[Fernie, pp.] William T. Fernie, The Occult and Curative Powers of Precious Stones (Blauvelt, NY: Rudolph Steiner Publications, 1973).
[Gienger, pp.] Michael Gienger, Healing Crystals (Scotland: Earthdancer Books, 2009).
[Hall, pp.] Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible (Cincinnati, OH: Walking Stick Press, 2003).
[Hall 2, pp.]Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible 2 (Cincinnati, OH: Walking Stick Press, 2009).
[Hall III, pp.] Judy Hall, 101 Power Crystals (Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press, 2011).
[Kunz, pp.] George Frederick Kunz, The Curious Lore of Precious Stones (New York: Dover Publications, 1971).
[Lembo, pp.] Margaret Lembo The Essential Guide to Crystals, Minerals, & Stones (Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Worldwide, 2013).
[Lecouteux, pp.] Claude Lecouteux, A Lapidary of Sacred Stones (Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, U.S. edition, 2012).
[Margherita,pp.] Margherita, The Crystal Lotus Handbook (Ontario, Canada: The Crystal Lotus, 2010).
[Megemont, pp.] Florence Megemont, The Metaphysical Book of Gems and Crystals (Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2008).
[Mella, pp.] Dorothee L. Mella, Stone Power II (Albuquerque, NM: Brotherhood of Life, Inc., 1986).
[Melody, pp.] Melody, Love Is In The Earth (Wheat Ridge, CO: Earth-Love Publishing House, 1995).
[Raphaell, pp.] Katrina Raphaell, Crystal Enlightenment (Santa Fe, NM: Aurora Press, 1985)
[Simmons, pp.] Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian, The Book of Stones (Berkley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2007).