Your On-Line Guide to
The Healing Energies, Metaphysical Properties,
Legendary Uses and Meaning
Introduction to the Meaning and Uses of Opal
Oh, the spectral delight that is Opal, the “Eye Stone.” Like lightning in a rainbow, it flashes its brilliance with even the slightest movement and claims notice by all who witness its phenomenal “fire.” This is a stone so dedicated to the eye, so pleasing to the sight, it inspires love and hope, innocence and purity, luck and happiness.
The Roman historian, Pliny the Elder, described opalus - the Opal, as a precious stone containing the fiery flame of the carbuncle (Garnet), the resplendent purple of the Amethyst, and the sea-green glory of the Emerald - all shining together in incredible union and exquisite pleasure. It was considered by all in the ancient world to be the most bewitching and mysterious of gems, worn for its virtues of soothing and strengthening the sight, healing diseases of the eyes, and capable of providing great luck, as it possessed all the virtues of the gemstones whose colors reside within it. Yet for all its beauty and enviable desire, this “Queen of Gems’” reputation, for a time, fell from grace - linked with rumors, misfortunes and mysterious fatalities. Despite the superstitions, Opal was redeemed in the twentieth century, and is today an absolute favorite gem, especially as the birthstone for those born in October. Traditionally, it is also the gift given for a 14th wedding anniversary. [Fernie, 248-249, 252][Kunz, 144-145][Lecouteux, 244][en.wikipedia.org][Simmons, 289][Eason, 45]
In the metaphysical world, Opal acts as a prism within the aura, bringing a full spectrum of Light energy to the system, soothing and clearing the emotional body, and boosting the will to live and the joy of one’s earthly existence. It enkindles optimism, enthusiasm and creativity, and allows for the release of inhibitions inspiring love and passion. Opal enhances cosmic consciousness and stimulates flashes of intuition and insight, yet is a protective stone for deep inner work, meditations, and lower world shamanic journeys.
[Geinger, 65-66][Ashian, 292-293][Melody, 452-453]
Opal is most known for its ability to bring one’s traits and characteristics to the surface for examination and transformation. Just as Opal absorbs and reflects light, it picks up thoughts and feelings, desires and buried emotions, amplifying them and returning them to the source. While magnifying one’s negative attributes may prove to be uncomfortable, it allows for understanding how destructive these emotions can be and assists the process of letting them go. Opal also illuminates the positive actions and emotions of the self, enhancing the good and true, and fostering one’s highest potential. It is a karmic stone with a reminder that what one sends out will return. [Melody, 452-453][Simmons, 292][Hall, 209][Hall En, 254]
The term opal is adapted from the Latin opalus, but is believed to originate from the Sanskrit upala, meaning “precious stone.” References to the gem by Pliny the Elder suggest it may have related to Ops, the wife of Saturn and goddess of fertility. It was also called opallios in Greek, meaning “to see a change in color,” pederos meaning “the child of love,” and paederos “the delicate complexion of a lovely youth.” The opalus came to be known as ophthalmos, or ophthalmius, in the Middle Ages - “The Eye Stone,” a term which helped in part to reflect its ophthalmic virutes. [Fernie, 248][Kunz, 146][en.wikipedia.org][Megemont, 140][Lecouteux, 244]
Opal is hydrated silicon dioxide - submicroscopic silica spheres bonded together with water and additional silica, sometimes containing the minerals cristobalite and tridymite. It is amorphous, meaning it has no crystalline structure and no definite chemical composition and is therefore considered to be a “mineraloid” rather than a “mineral.” Over time, this gelatinous mix seeped deep into fractures, veins and between the layers of underground sedimentary rock, and the solidified material, Opal, formed as much of the water evaporated. In rare circumstances, Opal formed in masses exhibiting botryoidal growth, in stalagmitic form, or became replacement material in fossils. Even after solidifying, Opal maintains a water content ranging from 3% to 21% by weight, usually between 6% and 10%.
Of the three basic types of Opals, “Precious Opal,” also called “Rainbow Opal,” is the rarest, mined in a limited number of locations worldwide and produces brilliant flashes or streaks of iridescent color when turned in the light, a phenomenon known as “play of color.” The color is not due to any pigment in the stone, but are optical effects created when the microscopic spheres of silica hardened in an orderly grid-like pattern, similar to layers of ping-pong balls in a box. The spacing between the spheres causes light waves traveling through Opal’s internal structure to diffract and break up into the colors of the spectrum. The size of the spheres and their geometric packing determines the color and quality of the diffracted light, and the value of the Opal. [www.geology.com][en.wikipedia.com][www.gia.edu]
“Common Opal,” or “Potch,” is found in many places throughout the world and forms with spheres of unorderly sizes or stacking, and does not exhibit play of color. It usually has a milky or pearly luster, known as “opalescence.” The third type, “Fire Opal,” is a transparent to translucent Opal with a body color of vivid red, orange or yellow, most commonly mined in Mexico. It typically shows no play of color, though occasionally a stone will have a weak display or exhibit bright green flashes. [www.geology.com][en.wikipedia.com][www.gia.edu]
Opals form as colorless, white, yellow, red, orange, green, brown, black or blue, and may be transparent, translucent or opaque. They have a brittle tenacity and are usually cut en cabochon to show their full play of color. Solid Opal refers to stones consisting wholly of Precious Opal, while thin, but beautiful layers are sometimes made into doublets (with a supportive backing), or triplets (having a backing and a crystal dome over the top for protection). Opal is the national gemstone of Australia who produces 97% of the world’s supply. These Opals are formed in a sedimentary environment and are highly stable and resistant to breakage. Other Opal forms from volcanic processes and is called hydrophane for its ability to absorb water; these Opals are porous to varying degrees and more prone to crazing or cracking. [www.geology.com][en.wikipedia.com][www.gia.edu][www.mindat.org]
Some of the most common varieties of Opal are listed below with brief descriptions and a summary of their metaphysical properties:
Andean Opal or Peruvian Opal - Common Opal from the Andes Mountains of Peru; translucent to opaque, soft pastel blue, blue-green or pink with a pearly sheen, sometimes cut to include the black or beige matrix in the more opaque stones. Andean Opal is considered to be a gift from Pachamama, the earliest Inca Goddess of Fruitfulness and Mother Earth, and is wonderfully soothing for children and animals, and adults overwhelmed by life. It is particularly useful for healing old emotional wounds, from this life or another, bringing an inner peace to carry one through difficult times. Andean stones promote right action for the highest good and stimulate connection with others and communication from the heart. They increases awareness of the need to heal the Earth, and are useful for those who manifest and transmute the changing vibration through their own body. Andean Opal is an excellent journeying stone, highly receptive, inducing a mild hypnotic state for enhancing divination and metaphysical gifts. These stones carry Water energy, and are great for activating the Heart and Throat Chakras.
Black or Precious Black Opal - Precious Opal with a dark body color, usually black or dark gray, deep blue or green; the deep body color makes the iridescent play of color strikingly different from light Opals. The majority of Black Precious Opals come from Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, Australia and are the most famous and sought after Opals in the world. Black Opal is considered to be extremely lucky and the most uplifting of the Opals, bringing Light into the aura. It eases distress and dissolves depression and hopelessness, helping one face their darkest fears and to release that which is holding one back. Linking the Root and Crown Chakras, Black Opal connects one’s highest spiritual aspirations with one’s physical body, making it a powerful magnifier of intention and manifestation. It is a protective stone for deep inner work, soul retrieval or past-life recall, and can be used for “gazing” into the past, present or future. It is highly prized as a power stone for magic ritual and can be used for “reading eyes” in order to scry the truthfulness or intent of a person. Black Opal is a Storm element stone of death and re-birth, and utilizes Fire energy.
Boulder Opal - Precious Opal that forms within voids or fractures of its host rock, usually ironstone or sandstone, and because the veins are quite thin, is cut with the stone left on the back for support or as layers of Opal within the matrix stone. Mined in Queensland, Australia, each finished piece is unique and special. As close-to-nature talismans, Boulder Opals carry not only warm Earth energies, but also the illuminating energy of Fire. They assist practical people in developing their spiritual sides, and help spiritually minded people succeed in the everyday world. Boulder Opals are great for reconciling conscious and unconscious thought, bringing clarity and emotional security, and assist those who find it hard to put down roots to establish a stable home environment without sacrificing a spirit of adventure. Use these stones for perseverance when the going gets tough, and hold in earthy places to connect with earth and plant spirits.
Common or “Potch” Opal - Opal found in many locations around the world that is generally opaque and does not exhibit play of color. It forms in nearly all colors, has a lustrous sheen, and can be cut into gemstones that accept a high polish. Common Opals are magnificent for metaphysical purposes, vibrating at a lower frequency than the transparent or fiery Opals, and provide gentle, nurturing support for the emotional body. They help alleviate worry, chronic stress and depression, and are perfect antidotes for sleeplessness and nightmares, and healing subconsciously held pain. Common Opal combines Earth and Water energies, and may be used to balance the male/female energies within the body, and to both align and balance the chakras. Stimulating the proper flow of energy through the physical body, Common Opal facilitates attunement with the higher self and the ethereal realm, bringing a calm, centered mind for prayer and meditation. These lovely stones can attract angelic beings and are ideal gifts to leave for them in some unseen spot.
Crystal Opal - transparent to semi-transparent Precious Opal, with an exceptional play of color; the “see-through” body color can be colorless, light or dark. Crystal Opal is an extraordinary stone of health and healing, supporting the entire being. It brings high spirits and a deep feeling of joy and exuberance to one’s life. Utilizing the element of Fire, it inspires cleverness, imagination and creativity, art and poetry, and helps one understand that which will continue to exist after the completion of one’s “stay” in the physical body. Crystal Opals may be used for “gazing” and to stimulate visions from within the realms of eternity.
Ethiopian Opal - hydrophane Opal that forms in nodules within volcanic ash in seams between rhyolite layers. It occurs in a variety of colors and patterns and usually displays brilliant flashes of color. The new Opals from the Welo district of Ethiopia discovered in 2008 have proven to be extremely stable despite their porosity, able to absorb water and change transparency or opacity, then revert back to their original state with no adverse reaction or cracking. These stones are marvelous for utilizing Water energy, the energy of stillness, quiet strength, and purification. Metaphysical healers may be more familiar with the original red or brown-based Ethiopian Flash Opal discovered in 1994 at Yita Ridge, the high-vibration Fire energy stones of ancient wisdom that burn off karma from the past and open the way to rebirth. These stones carry a soul holograph and lend access to the past, present and future, stimulating all of one’s metaphysical gifts. Activating the Base and Sacral Chakras, these are joy-filled gems, uniting all the subtle bodies into equilibrium so the whole body functions harmoniously. Ethiopian Opals carry positive dragon energy, for both personal and planetary use.
Fire Opal or Mexican Fire Opal - a transparent to translucent Opal named for its body color of vivid red, orange or yellow, usually without opalescence or display of color; the most significant sources come from Mexico. Specimens with iridescent flashes are referred to as Precious Fire Opal, or “Firmament Stone.” Fire Opals utilize the elemental energy of Fire to awaken one’s passion, from bodily desires to spiritual ecstasy. They stimulate the Base and Sacral Chakras, activate one’s chi, and can give rise to the kundalini energy. They are perfect for stimulating the triple-burner meridian in acupressure/acupuncture. Fire Opals attune to the creative energy of the Universe and promote the expression of one’s emotions through art. Ideal stones for business endeavors, Fire Opals draw in money, facilitate change, and usher in progress. They make excellent charms for those who wish to be independent and live by their own rules, and for those who wish to make their mark in life, either personally or professionally. Fire Opals protect against danger, and are especially empowering for removing oneself from situations of injustice or mistreatment, and may be used to release deep-seated feelings of grief, even if these stem from other lives. Wear to become more optimistic, socially outgoing and confident.
Girasol Opal - a true Girasol Opal is a bluish-white translucent Opal with reddish reflections and a bluish glow or sheen that follows the light source as the stone is turned; because of its gelatinous appearance, it is sometimes called “Jelly Opal.” It is not a play of color as seen in Precious Opal but rather an effect from microscopic inclusions. The two most notable sources of this Opal are Oregon and Mexico, sometimes referred to as Water Opal when it is from Mexico. The term “Girasol Opal” has been mistakenly and improperly used to refer to Fire Opals, as well as a transparent to semi-transparent type of milky Quartz from Madagascar called Girasol Quartz, Blue Opal Quartz, or Madagascar Star Quartz that displays an asterism, or star effect. True Girasol Opal is an emotionally comforting stone, enhancing communication, and bringing solutions to difficulties. It helps bring untruths to light, especially where they could not have been spoken of in the past. Girasol increases connections between members of a soul group, conveying the beneficial support for one’s present life, and dissolves imprints on the etheric blueprint, restoring cellular memory. It aids one in separating psychic impressions from one’s own feelings, strengthens boundaries and teaches one how to be secure in one’s own right. Gridding with Girasol Opal creates a quiet space in which to work and meditate.
Green Opal and Prase Opal - green varieties of Common Opal, the first being a mixture of Opal and nontronite, the second being Opal containing nickel. Both are cleansing and rejuvenating stones, bringing energy and quick recovery from illness, exhaustion or mental angst. Whether helping one to unburden the heart or providing assistance in relationships, Green Opals have the ability to filter information and reorient the mind, giving meaning to everyday life and bringing a spiritual perspective. Green Opals activate the Heart Chakra and utilize Wood energy, the energy of family and health, prosperity and abundance.
Hydrophane Opal - a milky variety of Opal that turns translucent or transparent when immersed in water (hydrated). The term “hydrophane” comes from the Greek words meaning “water-loving” and describes their ability to absorb water and change from opaque or semi-translucent, to translucent or even transparent. They may emit streams of bubbles and even the appropriate sounds as they gradually become clearer. Sometimes this highlights the play of color within the stone, while in rarer cases, may hide the color play. After removal from water, the Opal will dehydrate and return to its original state, ranging in time from minutes to more than a week, depending on the stone body type, size and environmental conditions. Hydrophane Opal varies widely from source to source, so it is important to learn the characteristics of gems from a particular mine rather than consider them to be alike in appearance and in tolerances for this process. Hydrophane Opals are marvelous for utilizing Water energy, the energy of stillness, quiet strength, and purification.
Matrix Opal - Precious Opal interspersed within a host rock, usually ironstone or sandstone, where the Opal occurs as a network of veins or an infilling of pore spaces; usually displays “pinfire” color in the natural state. The most famous Matrix Opal comes from Australia, most notably from Andamooka as well as Queensland, including “Yowah Nuts” from the southwestern Opal fields near Queensland. Yowah Nuts are small rounded pebbles of sandstone infused with Precious Opal. Honduras Black Opal is also a Matrix Opal of basalt sought after for its black body color and pinfire flashes. Metaphysically, Matrix Opal intensifies all experiences, deepens emotions, and brings comfort during fear or grief. It assists one in remaining centered during decision-making and brings clarity to problematic situations. A beautiful stone for calming the inner soul, Matrix Opal engenders emotional balance, helping one to love their body and earthly existence, and to recognize one’s true desires, aspirations, ambitions and dreams, and work toward fulfilling them. Utilizing both Earth and Fire energies, Matrix Opal can be used to access one’s spiritual guides and animal guides, and may be used in medicine-wheel ceremonies to stabilize energy and promote contact.
Milk Opal - generally Common Opal, though the name is sometimes applied to milky-white Precious Opal, or cloudy Opal with a light background. Milk Opals were called the milk drops of the Mother Goddess in a number of cultures, and serve as special talismans of protection, nurturing and support. They soothe and clear the emotional body, and stimulate hope and optimism, boosting one’s joy and will to live. Milk Opals encourage one to be open-minded and accepting of oneself and others, aids communication efforts and enkindles companionship. They help create a warm, safe environment, and are ideal for those who care for babies, children, mothers in distress, or anyone who is vulnerable. In the workplace, Milk Opals are good for calming angry people, especially in areas of customer service, helpdesk or helplines.
Moss Opal or Dendritic Opal - milky white to brownish Common Opal with dark-green moss, tree or fern-like inclusions (dendrites) of various silicates, hornblende or manganese oxides; shows no play of color. Dendritic Opals are excellent for getting in touch with the environment and for communicating with Nature spirits. They promote growth, both physically and spiritually, and can provide help when needed in entering relationships and group dynamics, allowing one to remain open and approachable in spite of bad experiences. Dendritic Opals serve to heal wounds from the past, or past lives, and bring the ability to approach others without prejudice. They are great for enhancing the achievement of personal goals and bring abundance and prosperity to one’s life.
Oregon Opal - a unique variety of transparent to translucent Opal found only in Opal Butte, Oregon that is surprisingly clear and flashes dusky blue-violet or yellow-orange opalescence when faceted; not to be confused with the Common Opal and other varieties that are also mined in Opal Butte. Discovered by a shepherd over a century ago, this Opal was marketed by Tiffany’s and avidly sought after at the turn of the century. Oregon Opal carries the energy of Fire and is a highly spiritual stone, allowing one to move between dimensions and past-life exploration for karmic healing. It is a stone of truth, searching out lies and delusions, both from other people and self-deception, and helps release old grief, trauma and disappointment. Where other Opal can magnify the experiences of difficult emotions, Oregon Opal gently stimulates the Solar Plexus Chakra and amplifies the joyful side of emotional release, facilitating self-expression, decisive action, and trusting one’s own guidance and instincts. It encourages one to enjoy the process and exploration of life, breaking free of limiting visions of what is possible.
Owyhee Blue Opal - Common Opal discovered near the sacred Indian springs of Owyhee, Oregon in 2003, characterized by a rich sky blue color; often translucent when first removed from the ground, but can gradually turn opaque when exposed to the air and dehydration begins. Owyhee Blue Opal imparts a high, celestial vibration connecting one to the highest angelic guidance and to one’s own spirit guides. As a dream stone, it opens metaphysical abilities, heightens intuition, and facilitates kything - two way communication with the spirit world. It is a protective stone for shamanic journeys and multi-dimensional exploration, and utilizes the calm, quiet strength of Water energy for personal empowerment. It helps overcome shyness, confusion, unfounded fears of failure and indecisiveness. Combining the pure Blue Ray of the Throat Chakra with the Third Eye Chakra, this stone assists one in drawing on one’s own power to see, speak and act with clarity, authority and confidence, without being arrogant or confrontational. It is imbued with the softness that comes from certainty and the ability to reach the goals one sets for oneself.
Water Opal or Hyalite - colorless, water-clear Common Opal with no play of color, formed in botryoidal (grape-like) masses or otherwise unusual shapes; its structure is more network-like, similar to silica glass, rather than separate gel spheres; also called Muller’s Glass. Hyalite is a most unusual Opal, representing all the magical qualities of Opal, yet encourages the individuality and inner radiance of the wearer to shine through. It is a good stone for clearing a distorted body image or self-consciousness about one’s physical appearance that prevents social interaction. It is also a stone of attraction for accumulating anything one needs, whether resources, money, or friends. Water Opal connects the Base to the Crown Chakra, stabilizing one’s mood, enhancing meditation and stimulating connection with the spiritual world. Its watery depths may be used for scrying, and can assist those making the transition out of the body, the temporary vehicle for the soul.
White or Precious White Opal - Precious Opal with a light body color, usually white, yellow or cream, with a rainbow flash of color; best-known of the Opals and most widely used in jewelry. The majority of White Precious Opal comes from Australia, most notably the town of Coober Pedy, nicknamed “Opal Capital of the World.” White Precious Opal is the happiest of the Opals, radiating optimism and good humor, enthusiasm, imagination and creativity, and invigorates anyone who comes into regular contact with its energies. Utilizing the elements of Fire and Light, White Precious Opal illuminates and intensifies all aspects of the emotional body, helping one to identify and release old wounds, fears and anger, and other patterns of negativity that harm the self and ultimately others. It then infuses the aura with a frequency of joy and nourishment, and manifests the Light of the Divine into one’s energy field. It is marvelous for connecting with angelic beings and feeling one’s spirit guides more strongly. White Opals are also a symbol of lasting love on a very deep level and are traditionally exchanged between twin souls who have existing love responsibilities to fulfill. As a rainbow gem, White Precious Opal is a wish stone, uplifting those who have suffered many disappointments to renew their faith in life; also great for reversing a run of bad luck. It is particularly lucky to wish upon an Opal if there’s a rainbow in the sky.
Wood Opal and Opalized Nature - Precious Opal which has become fossilized over time by partially replacing the organic portions of tree, plant or animal remains; these formations have been found in dinosaur bones, marine creatures, in bogs, as limb casts, or within wood structures, at times still forming the trees’ original growth rings. These talismans of Wood energy attune to the energy of growth, expansion, new beginnings, nourishment and health, and are ideal for providing the impetus to action needed to progress one toward one’s destiny. Nature Opals are stones of grounding and strength, and lead one in the search for serenity which is inherent in all life. They are ideal for removing trifling annoyances by spurring the actions needed to eliminate the situation, and assist one in dissolving worry over things of little importance, teaching one to “change what you can, and worry not about the rest.”
(For more information on these stones and others, see the Reference books listed at the end of this page, as well as www.mindat.org, www.gemdat.org, www.geology.com, en.wikipedia.com, www.gia.edu, www.opalsdownunder.com.au, and www.crystalsrocksandgems.com.)
Opal Uses and Purposes
Opals promote a sense of calm security, easing stress and depression, and encouraging one to stop brooding in order to better direct one’s thoughts and energies. They are antidotes to restless thoughts and racing minds that rehash the past or anticipate the future. Opals center the mind and are stones of happy dreams, particularly soothing for children and those who have always slept badly or had recurring nightmares with no apparent reason. Precious Opal relieves any issues a child may have with an invisible or imaginary friend, and is especially helpful before sleep if the child wishes the friend to go away at bedtime. [Simmons, Ahsian, 290-291][Eason, 304][Megemont, 141]
A stone of protection, Opal is a marvelous shield to keep from absorbing other people’s negative thoughts and energies. Just as it uses interference and diffraction to produce its colors, it can also run interference around challenging people or situations that affect your mood or hurt your feelings. Opal can also provide a “cloak of invisibility” in circumstances where one does not wish to be noticed or needs to fade into the background. It is highly beneficial when venturing into dangerous places, or in shamanic work where stealth is required. [Lembo, 245][Melody, 452][Hall, 209][Eason, 146, 304]
Opals resonate with energies of the Mother Goddess and are exceptional gifts for mothers or mothers-to-be. Gift a new piece of jewelry for the birth of each child. A tiny Milk Opal buried beneath a willow, the mother tree, or any fruit tree at full moon aids conception. As an emotional support, Opal helps overcome fears of childbirth that may prevent a woman from trying to conceive, and can alleviate overwhelming fears during pregnancy and early months of a new baby’s life. Opal is also consoling to mothers experiencing empty-nest syndrome. [Eason, 146, 159]
Opal is a seductive stone, associated with love and passion, desire and eroticism. It can be used to intensify what one is feeling and to release inhibitions; however the stone can divide and scatter energy so one should be well-centered before using Opal to explore or amplify feelings. Have other stones standing by to aid integration. [Hall, 209][Melody, 452][Hall En, 254]
Opal may be utilized to send healing to the Earth’s energy field, repairing depletions, and re-energizing and stabilizing the grid. [Hall, 209][Hall En, 254]
Opals are wonderful occupational crystals, encouraging humanitarian love and service, lightness, spontaneity and dynamic creativity. They are excellent stones for those who work in or around water, such as physical therapists who employ hydrotherapy. White Precious Opals and Fire Opals inspire all who write, dance, play music or sing, or who teach or organize creative or performing arts. Owyhee Blue Opals expand energies for channels, mediums, psychics and teachers who communicate higher guidance through speech and sound. Black Precious Opals support hypnotherapists, past-life regression counselors, shamans and others who access the deepest realms of the self and mind in order to heal.
[Mella, 130, 132, 143][Hall, 209][Lembo, 245][Ahsian, 293-294, 296][Eason, 159]
Opal 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.)
Opal Physical Healing Energy
Opal is beneficial for the health of the eyes, hair, nails and skin, and may be used in treatments to clarify and strengthen the eyesight, and in treating disorders associated with the eyes. It may also be useful in balancing the body’s water content, overcoming dehydration or alleviating water retention. [Melody, 452][101 Hall, 144][Lembo, 245]
Opal is believed to disperse infections, purify the blood and kidneys, and to regulate insulin production. It helps reduce fever, stimulates memory, and energetically stabilizes neurotransmitter disturbances, such as Parkinson’s Disease. Opal is supportive in issues with female hormones, PMS and menopause, and provides comfort and ease during childbirth. [Melody, 453][101 Hall, 144][Hall, 209][Hall En, 254]
Opal Emotional Healing Energy
Opal is a wonderfully supportive stone, dedicated to healing and strengthening the emotional body for those willing to peer honestly into the true self. Opal’s high internal energy brings thoughts and feelings to the surface for examination, and reveals what one’s emotional state has been in the past, or even in previous lives. This amplification and cleansing process may be intense when first working with Opal, but over time teaches one to take responsibility for one’s feelings while clearing past wounds, fears and resentments. It facilitates the letting go of negative behaviors and soothes the emotional body, helping one feel more in control. It assists one in becoming more positive and loving, more creative and spontaneous. Known as a “stone of happy dreams and changes,” Opal brings happiness from the understanding that one has unlimited potential and is inherently perfect, and that change comes with situations and actions that allow one’s aspirations to rise. [Melody, 452-453][Hall, 209][Simmons, Ahsian, 290-292]
Opal occurs in nearly all colors, and dominant color energies may be utilized to stimulate corresponding chakras. The brilliant play of color in many Opals are useful for activating several chakras and linking them to the Crown Chakra, infusing the aura with full spectrum Light for healing. See the Chakra Healing and Balancing section of this website for more info on which colors activate each chakra.
Opal Spiritual Energy
Opal is a marvelous vehicle for bringing spiritual Light into the aura, awakening the psychic and mystical qualities of one’s being, enhancing cosmic consciousness and raising one’s level of intuition and insight. It has been traditionally used to invoke visions, increase lucid dreaming, and as a protector and shamanic guide in journeying deep into the self for healing or in past-life regression. Opal was associated with Hermes/Mercury, who conveyed the souls of the dead to the underworld, and today aids those who must enter these realms to facilitate the crossing-over of spirits and ghosts to higher realms. [Melody, 453][Hall, 209]Ahsian, 290-293][101 Hall, 144]
As a stone of Light, Opal is ideal for attracting angelic energies and increasing communications with the Divine. It is also a water-stone, with the perfect vibration to connect with devic forces of water, including devas of the undine family, such as merfolk and water sprites. Connecting with the blue-green energy of water-based stones also allows for interspecies communication with dolphins and whales, and Atlantean mysteries can be recollected through channeling or automatic writing using this stone. [Simmons, Ahsian, 290-292][Lembo, 244]
Opals are most bountiful in their color energies and may contain the full spectrum of rainbow hues. For properties of the dominant color displayed in your stone, see the Color Energy section of this site.
Opal promotes a calm and centered mind for prayer and meditation, allowing one to connect with the Earth and her spirit, and to experience the elemental joy of the natural world. Common Opals vibrate at a lower frequency and are tremendously grounding for the emotional body, easing stress and bringing peace and tranquility. Precious Opals carry an intense spiritual energy, magnifying emotions and allowing for deep inner work. They can take one to the roots of the psyche and are useful in soul retrieval and past-life recall. Fire Opals carry a frequency of ecstasy and can induce a passionate state of enlightenment, while Boulder Opals allow one to connect with earth and plant spirits.
Many cultures revered the Opal for its ability to open the mind to visions. Greek astrologers and mediums constantly utilized them in prophecy and for divination. [Mella, 93] Both the Australian aboriginal shamans and the Native American Indians used them in ceremonial “dreamtime” and to invoke vision quests. [Melody, 453]
The Divinatory meaning of Precious Opal: Just when you have given up, good luck makes a return appearance. Maximize opportunities to ensure it lasts. [Eason, 304]
Dreaming of Opal signifies great possessions. [Fernie, 358]
Opals are highly conducive for attracting and connecting with angelic beings.
Opal honors Cardea, the Roman Goddess of Doorways and Entry. She protects the family and children of the house, as well as keeping evil spirits from crossing the threshold.
Opal honors Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld, ruling during the cold, hard winter. Persephone is also the Greek Goddess of Spring, representing celebration and the Earth alive with new growth.
Opal also honors Chirakan-Ixmucane, the Mayan Creator Goddess; Cyhiraeth, the Welsh Goddess of Streams and Brooks; Dana (Danu), the Celtic River Goddess; and Ixchel, the Mayan Goddess of Childbirth.
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.
Opal is the traditional birthstone for those born in October.
Opals are not natural birthstones.
Opal is not associated with a specific zodiac sign, but does have a strong affinity with the maternal sign of Cancer. [Megemont, 141][Eason, 140]
During the Middle Ages, an amulet of Opal, or one that contained Opals mixed with other gems, protected its wearer against faulty vision, while strengthening the mind and memory. [Mella, 93]
Opal was considered to be a talisman that would allow its owner to recognize his friends and enemies. In the presence of an enemy, the Opal would grow pale, but in the presence of friends or allies it would turn red with pleasure. [Megemont, 141]
Opal is amorphous with no crystalline structure. It is composed of silicon dioxide and therefore a Transformer Crystal. Transformer crystals enhance efforts to change our situations, prospects, health, outlook or relationships. By transforming ourselves we transform our lives. We learn to dance, speak a new language, grow stronger, or become a better spouse or child. Crystals with the earth power of the Transformer are excellent talismans to aid our efforts to grow, develop new capabilities and change our lives.
Opal is formed by and still maintains a great deal of Water energy, the energy of stillness, quiet strength, and purification. The Water element is yielding, formless and powerful, embodying potentialities unrealized, and conducive to regeneration and rebirth. It is the energy of the circle of life. Use Common Opal, and Precious Opals in dominant shades of black or blue, to enhance any space that you use for repose, calm reflection, or prayer. Water energy is traditionally associated with the North area of a home or room, and is associated with the Career and Life Path areas.
Precious and Fire Opals utilize Fire energy, the energy of enthusiasm, warmth, brightness, illumination and activity. It is Yang in nature. It is the energy of heat, action, emotion and passion - of ideas, of concepts, and sex. It is traditionally associated with the South area of a home or room, and with the Fame and Reputation area of your dwelling. Use its energy to give your life the boost it needs to enhance your standing in the community and within your family.
Opals in Ancient Lore and Legend
Legends of the Australian aborigines say the Creator came down to Earth on a rainbow in order to bring the message of peace to all humankind. At the very spot where his foot touched the ground, the stones came alive and began to sparkle in all the colors of the rainbow, and this was the birth of Opals. [www.gemstone.org] Another Australian legend declares a gigantic Opal governs the stars, human love, and the gold within the mines. [Simmons, 289]
The Arabian nomads believed Opals were magic stones sent from heaven, infused with lightning, and fell from the sky during thunderstorms. Orientals considered them to be “anchors of hope,” and in Greek mythology, Opals were believed to be Zeus’ tears of joy after the victory over the Titans. [www.gia.edu][www.opalsinfo.com][www.opalminded.com]
Many ancients believed the Storm God, jealous of the Rainbow God, broke the rainbow into pieces and when it fell to the earth it became a part of the Opal, reflecting the “rainbow fire.” [Melody, 453]
In Hindu legend, the first Opal was created when the Mother Goddess changed the Virgin Goddess of the Rainbow into an Opal because the gods Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu were pursuing her. Only on rare occasions does her rainbow self appear through the clouds and become visible. [Eason, 146][www.opalminded.com]
In Mexico, the Aztecs called Fire Opal the “Stone of the Bird of Paradise” after their feathered serpent creator god, Quetzalcoatl. It held the power to stimulate creativity and new beginnings, as well as necessary destruction. [Eason, 83] The Egyptians and Babylonians honored the Fire Opal as a most powerful light and water healing gem. [Mella, 93]
Because Opal contained the color of all gems, the Romans thought it was the most precious and powerful of all, possessing the virtues of all the gemstones whose colors reside within it. Octavius Caesar was said to have been willing to sell one third of his vast Roman kingdom for a single Opal, and the rich Roman Senator Nonius was condemned by Mark Antony for the sake of a magnificent Opal as large as a hazel nut which he owned, but refused to sell. Seeking safety in flight, he took no possessions except the ring which held the valuable Opal. [Mella, 93][Fernie, 251][Kunz, 144-145][en.widipedia.org]
Blonde maidens in Germany and Scandinavia were said to value nothing more highly than necklaces of Opals and pins for their hair, for they added magical luster to their golden locks, and as long as they wore these, their hair kept its beautiful color. [Kunz, 148][www.opalsdownunder.com] During the Crusades, ladies gave their crusaders an Opal to bring them good fortune in battle, and Opals were often placed upon the navel of an expectant mother to provide ease in childbirth. Magic letters carved upon Opal were said to banish bad dreams and Hecate’s phantasms, and one who owned an Opal would never be arrested or held captive by any bonds. One of the most popular legends of the Opal is its notoriety as the Cupid Stone, a gem of love and romance, and one that granted wishes and personal happiness. [Mella, 93-94][Lecouteux, 244]
Since the opalus was so effective for the eyes, its name evolved in the Middle Ages into “ophthalmius - the Eye Stone” and legends grew with this connection. It was believed to prevail against all diseases of the eyes, to sharpen and strengthen the sight, and if wrapped in a fresh bay leaf and held in the hand, to confer invisibility on the wearer. It was said to cover its owner with a manner of cloud or fog that dimmed others’ eyes so they could not see or understand what was done before them, and could allow those of unscrupulous means to steal without getting caught. For this, the Opal was also called “the Patron of Thieves” or “Thieves’ Stone.” [Fernie, 248][Kunz, 148, 150][Lecouteux, 244][en.wikipedia.org][Megemont, 141][Simmons, 289]
The Edda, an Icelandic poem, tells of a sacred stone called the yarkastein which Volondr, the great smith to the gods, formed from the eyes of children. Some believe this to be a round, milk-white Opal, and as the Eye-stone, during the Middle Ages it was a common idea that the image of a boy or girl could be seen in the pupil of an eye. Symbolizing hope, purity and innocence, Opal was often called “Cupid Paederos” among the Romans, meaning “a child as beautiful as love.” [Kunz, 146][Fernie, 248][www.jegem.com]
While Opal was praised as a stone of luck and good fortune, it was also believed to be the source of misfortune and mysterious fatalities. During the Black Plague in the 14th century it was rumored that an Opal worn by a patient was aflame with color up to the point of death, then lost its brilliance when the wearer died. Opals soon became an object of dread associated with death. [www.opalsdownunder.com.au] The Empress Eugenie, wife of Napolean III of France, suffered an accident in a carriage called the Opal, and from then on feared the gem. [Megemont, 141]
King Alfonso XII of Spain is reported to have been given an Opal ring as a wedding gift by a vengeful Comtesse he had previously courted, and upon giving it to his wife, she fell ill and died within months. He presented it to his grandmother who almost immediately expired, and then gave it to his sister, who died a few days later. When his sister-in-law expressed an interest he gave it to her, who, too, died within three months. Despondent, he began to wear it himself, and before long suffered the same fate. Afterward the crystal was hung on the statue of the Virgin of Almudena, the patron saint of Madrid, and the deaths ceased. It is fair to note that perhaps the fate of these unfortunate souls was due to the cholera epidemic that raged throughout the country at this time rather than a cursed gemstone. [101 Hall, 144][Fernie, 250][www.opalsdownunder.com.au][www.macsopals.com]
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).
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