Amber

Other Names

Good Luck Stone, Petrified Resin, Fossilized Resin, Baltic Gold, Succinite, Honey Stone, Petrified Sunlight, Resinite

Associations

Deity: Great Mother, Helios, Brighid
Sabbat: Fire Sabbats – Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lammas
Planet: Sun
Element: Fire, Spirit
Zodiac: Leo, Aquarius
Chakra: Solar Plexus
Other Gems: Jet

Description

Amber is usually a transparent or translucent resin which can range in colour from pale yellow to a deep reddish brown. It can also appear as green, blue, black or almost white. Amber can also be opaque, a condition caused by the presence of hundreds of small bubbles trapped inside it. This type of amber is known as ‘bonyamber’. Amber is a fossilised resin, nd can contain plant or insect matter which became trapped in it while it was still soft and sticky. It has a Mohs hardness rating of 2 – 2.5, meaning it is soft. As well as its warm colour, amber also feels warm to the touch.

About

As amber is warm, and can contain insect matter it is also thought of as containing the very essence of life, and as a result is associated with the Great Mother. It is also associated with time and the cycles of life, due to the process involved in creating it.

Its warmth and colours give it its association with fire, and its past as sap, or the blood of a tree, gives it an association with the fifth element, spirit. Amber containing fossilised items can also be seen to personify the ideas of renewal and fresh beginnings, as within its protective shell you can get a glimpse of something new and different.

The earliest amber specimen comes from the upper carboniferous period, 320 million years ago, and evidence exists of amber having been used for thousands of years, dating back to the Neolithic. From that day to this, amber has been used for beads, amulets, and other jewellery. It has also been used for healing, for generally improving one’s mood, and as a flavouring in a liquor!

The blue colouration is the rarest, and the most expensive, although it is something beautiful to see. When blue amber is viewed in direct sunlight it has a glossy blue colour, however when viewed with the sun behind it, it appears as the normal warm yellow-orange colour.

Health

Amber is a generally useful stone, and can help with most ills. In particular it is said to be good for stomach and digestive disorders, detoxification, fever, depression, healing, kidney dysfunctions, spine disorders, memory loss, throat, thyroid and glandular problems and ailments of the endocrine system, spleen, and heart.

Wearing amber is helpful for deafness, insanity, sore throat, earache, headace, toothache, asthma and rheumatism. Wear it on your wrist for medicinal purposes.

Ground amber mixed with rose oil can treat earache, and mixed in honey can help improve one’s eyesight. Holding a piece of amber can help relieve a fever or heat exhaustion. Inhaling the fumes from burning amber can cure tonsilitis, bronchitis, cold and flu, while burning powdered amber an stop a nose bleed, and doing so during childbirth can assist in labor and prevent excessive bleeding.

Magic

Magically amber is used for spells concerning luck and healing. It can also be used to attract money, love or success as well as any other kind of attraction spell. Amber cam be used for protection, purification and peace, for improving one’s memory, balancing one’s emotions or improving one’s confidence. A good choice for connecting with the earth, amber can also be used in ritual to connect with the ancestors and gain knowledge from them. Finally amber can be used to enhance one’s beauty.

Legend & Lore

In Greek mythology, when Helios’ son Phaeton was killed, his sisters he Heliades were so grief-stricken that they turned into trees which ontinued to weep tears of amber. The Greeks also discovered amber’s ability to hold a static charge when rubbed. They named the substance ‘electron’, from which the modern word electricity derives. Our modern term for it comes from the Arabic word anbargris or ambergris.

Other cultures linked amber to tears; the Viking’s called it ‘Freyja’s ears’, and the early Christians associated it with the tears shed by birds at Christ’s crucifixion. Other cultures associated it with the sun, and an old legend tells how amber was formed by the setting sun’s rays as they touched the ocean’s horizon. Other theories were that amber was solidified sunlight, or that it held sunlight trapped within it. The early Chinese believe that it held within it the souls of tigers, and in the Far East they thought it was solidified dragon’s blood.

Amber was a very valuable commodity in ancient European cultures, who believed it would cure most ills, as well as protecting the wearer from harm. Turkish legend says that pipe mouthpieces made from amber prevent infection when pipes are shared, and to this day it is used in the manufacture of smoking and glassblowing mouthpieces.

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