Blessed Samhain! For those who do not know, Samhain is the Highest Holy Day for Pagans and Witches. It is when the veil is the thinnest, communion with ancestors comes through all forms. People place apples in their yards for passing spirits, and milk and honey out for the fae and gnomes. It is also New Year's Eve for those who embrace earth-based spirituality and pagan traditions. This day is the last day for drying herbs, which technically marks the end of Harvest. Winter is coming. It is also the traditionally time for Divination through Tarot, crystal balls, scrying, runes, or spirit boards.
This week, I choose a traditional Samhain crystal, though it is technically not a crystal at all. It is a volcanic glass, or an amorphous solid. With a hardness of 5-5.5, it contains no crystalline structure. But that doesn't mean you can't do some heavy work with Black Obsidian. In fact, it has the reputation of heavy work.
Black Obsidian is an extremely powerful protection stone. Resonating with the root and earth star chakras, it helps eliminate negativity from a space. It cleanses and can seal the aura and helps create a kind of protective EMF shield for you. I use Obsidian when I need a real heavy hitter protector, like if I am going into a large group of people or to a big event, or further if I am meeting with people who might be combative or have expressed resentment or anger toward me in the past.
But my teacher Hibiscus Moon warns against using Obsidian for a extended periods. Without properly preparing oneself to see both those positive and negative aspects of oneself or our reality, as Chronos talks about in this very good Pagan Lore article, Black Obsidian can be extremely difficult to work with. Crystal healers use it to help clients who are unwilling to let go of the past and to do intensive parallel life work, including cord cutting and psychic surgery. But if held onto for long periods, it can ironically challenge us in ways we are not prepared for. Or reliving this past event without releasing it. I have not personally found this stuck quality to be true, but I use it for deep work, then move on. But this is why it can be important to work with crystal healers, who can guide you into doing this intensive work and help you release the things that come up. If you are confused about a stone, or working with a crystal and not getting to where you want to go with it, consult with a crystal healer. It might have something to do with how you are working with it. (Sorry for the public service announcement.)
Black Obsidian, though, is an incredible tool to help us recognize negative patterns in our behaviour and work with us to uncover unconscious motivations. So, our intention with Obsidian should be to ask it to clear these patterns from our auric field and cellular memory, as Naisha Ahsian says, to help prevent that stuck quality some people talk about.
One of the correspondence for Samhain is with Obsidian as a tool for scrying and ancestor work. And Obsidian is an AWESOME stone for scrying. If you set up some candles and sacred space, gaze into a polished Black Obsidian sphere. This is one way to commune with ancestors and guides. Allow the thoughts that come into your head BE their voice. Because of this ancestral connection, Black Obsidian is a great tool for communing on Samhain.
Black Obsidian has such a deep lore and history in Native American cultures. It was used to make arrowheads for war. And a form of Obsidian called Apache Tears is a stone traditionally used for grief work. I use it in all my grief grids and for grief support.
Blessed Samhain! May your work with Black Obsidian be enlightening!
A great affirmation for Black Obsidian is taken from Naisha Ahsian:
I cleanse my energy field of negativity and ground myself to the Earth's heart.