What can I find in this article?
- Opal Virtues
- The color of Opal
- The Emotional and Spiritual Benefits of Opal
- The Physical Benefits of Opal
- Opal and the Chakras
- Can Opal unblock Chakras?
- Is Opal a Birthstone?
- Opal and the Zodiac
- How to recharge and cleanse Opal
- Where to place Opal
- How to use Opal
- Opal and wealth
- Can I use Opal for Meditation and Yoga?
- Can I wear or carry Opal every day?
- Opal Goddesses
- Can I help my pet with Opal?
- Opal Elixir
- Opal and Dreams
- Which gemstones go well with Opal?
- Opal and the workplace
- Opal Pendulums
- Opal and EMF
- Final thoughts on Opal
Opal Meaning and Healing Powers
Introduction to Opal
Everything about Opals is unique. Their crystal structure is unlike anything else in nature, millions of tiny spheres closely packed together in an amorphous mass. Their colors and finish are so eccentric that we had to invent new words and phrases for them – opalescent, iridescent, play-of-color, opaline and many more.
Not only does this exotic gemstone contain every color of the rainbow but it can be up to 20% water! They can be transparent, translucent or opaque, all colors in one gem or one single dazzling color, green, yellow and orange on a white background or red, blue and purple on a black background – their variety is endless.
Carved Opals found in a cave in Kenya and mined in Ethiopia have been dated back to 4000BC and every ancient culture from east to west and on down to pre-historic Australia has legends and myths featuring this magical gemstone.
- The Eye Stone
- Cupid’s Stone
- Love, Passion, Desire
- Freedom and Independence
- Freeing Inhibitions
- Self-confidence and Realizing Potential
- Creativity and Spontaneity
- Wealth and Good Fortune
“Your love has passed through me and now I feel my mind something like an opal, that is, full of strange uncertain hues and colors, of warm lights and quick shadows and of broken music.”
James Joyce wrote this of Opals a hundred years ago and his words capture some of the almost unsettling beauty of an opal. Look deeply into an opal gemstone and you can literally get lost in its core as first one color flashes then another, not just side by side but emerging from behind each other like a 3D fantasy.
Being such a colorful gemstone means that opals can bring all the benefits of color therapy healing from sunny uplifting yellow and orange to the soothing and calming blue and everything in between.
Special opals can display all colors but many others have a dominant hue and it is this color that hints at their physical and emotional influences:
- Predominantly Green - Rejuvenating and revitalizing, cures heartache
- Predominantly Yellow - Encourages inventiveness and creativity
- Predominantly Red - Boosts confidence and sexuality
- Predominantly White - Calming and brings luck
- Predominantly Black - Protective and grounding
There is an enormous range of opal gemstones from the rare black opals to the more common white version but all feature an amazing play-of-color in hues of infinite variety. EXCEPT of course for the opals that are all one color – fire opals and pink opals for example – and the color change opals which shift from one color to another as you move from outside to inside.
In general, opals are said to inspire creativity, inventiveness, spontaneity and self-expression. They can help you lose stifling inhibitions, freeing your wild and adventurous side. It is a passionate stone linked with love, desire and lust.
Opals with a particular dominant color can have strong influences over certain emotions – see The Color of Opal section above and Can Opal unblock Chakras? section below.
In medieval Europe, opals were known as ‘Eye stones’, such were their believed efficacy in treating the eyes. Wearing or keeping an opal meant you were resistant to all diseases of the eye and a soothing eye-wash of opal elixir was supposed to do wonders for sore eyes.
Opal can regulate insulin in the body and help detoxify and regenerate the liver. It aids childbirth and PMS and stimulates the bladder, kidneys and lymph nodes.
They release muscle tension and lower back and abdomen pains. It is said that they can improve memory and stimulate nerve endings which may be able to treat disorders such as Parkinson's.
People suffering from anxiety or panic attacks should perhaps keep an opal gemstone about them as it speeds up the recovery time following long illness or surgical procedures.
According to ancient Hindu beliefs as well as many modern philosophies we have seven sacred points within our bodies which influence our physical and mental well being. These points are called Chakras and are centers of energy that go from the base of the spine to the top of the head.
These Chakra points have their own particular color and gemstones of the same or similar color can be used to unblock or realign a troubled Chakra.
As opals can be found in every color – sometimes in a single spectacular gemstone – they can be considered a perfect Chakra stone.
Please read our Chakra Gemstones article for more details
Yes, opals can help with all the Chakras
If your opal has a dominant color it can be linked to a single Chakra and used to help unblock or realign it. Let’s take a look at some examples:
- Black/Boulder Opals - Root Chakra - Enhances feelings of security and confidence
- Fire Opals - Sacral Chakra – Boosts sexuality and fertility
- Mostly Yellow Opals - Solar Plexus Chakra - Treats liver, stomach and gallbladder issues
- Mostly Green or Pink Opals - Heart Chakra - Eases jealousy and grudges
- Mostly Blue Opals - Throat Chakra- Improves communication and throat and thyroid issues
- Mostly Violet Opals - Third Eye Chakra - Increases decisiveness and faith
- White Opals - Crown Chakra - Cures headaches and migraines
Discover which Chakra seems to be blocked and then use the appropriately colored opal for treatment. Find yourself a quite area to lie down with the gemstone placed on the Chakra location. Breathe calmly, relax and let the opal get to work.
‘October is the opal month of the year. It is the month of glory, of ripeness. It is the picture-month.’
Henry Ward Beecher of the famous abolitionist family.
Yes, Opal is the official gemstone for October.
Please read our Birthstone by month article for more details
Opal is not really very well connected to any specific zodiac sign but as it is the birthstone for October it does have an affinity with Libra and Scorpio.
Please read our Zodiac Gemstone article for more details
Opals are one of the more delicate gemstones so extra care needs to be taken in cleansing and recharging.
Do NOT leave out in the sun for an extended period, they can fade or crack or craze.
Do NOT cleanse in salt water as the chemicals can break down an opal.
Opals can be cleansed in fresh spring or tap water, given a quick smudge in sage or incense smoke and left in the moonlight for a recharge – again be aware sudden changes in temperature have been known to damage opals.
Without being too rough, an opal can be charged by the traditional Native American method of rubbing it between the palms of your hands.
You can program your opal to help you in a specific way by finding a quiet corner, holding the opal in your hand and focusing your mind on the stone and your desire.
Try not to let other people handle your opal, or any other crystal, as this may interfere with the connection you have made with it.
Take off any opal jewelry at night to give your body a rest from the gemstone’s energy.
Most opals have water energy and this is traditionally found in the northern part of the home. Keep opals there to enhance career and life path.
Fire opals have more fire energy (no surprise there) and this is located in the south of the house or room and a gemstone placed there will boost passion, action and energy.
If you work in the creative industry, then placing one on your desk or in your pocket can help bring the innovative ideas flowing.
There are many ways to use Opals throughout the day to get the most of its spiritual benefits.
The easiest way, of course, is as a piece of jewelry. Opal got its fame by being worn as beads or amulets as long ago as 4000BC and wearing Opal rings, pendants or earrings will keep it close all day.
Bear in mind the predominant color of the opal as this will indicate which Chakra will be most influenced – red for the Root Chakra, blue for the Throat Chakra and so on.
Sometimes it might not be appropriate to wear expensive looking jewelry, so the opals could be carried in a pocket or in a purse or handbag. They can influence you from there and can always be reached for when extra reassurance is needed.
At home, the house can be decorated with opals or they can be placed on Chakra points during relaxation or meditation.
Opals have been a symbol of wealth and status for thousands of years so wearing one as an item of jewelry can certainly give the impression of affluence and potency which can attract investment and interest.
Opals can also give you the self-confidence to reach your goals and the creativity and innovation needed to succeed. These gemstones can help you recognize an opportunity where others cannot and put you in the right place at the right time to make the most of these opportunities.
See our Gemstones for Wealth article here
Opal is a marvelous meditation gemstone, calming the body and centering the mind, two ideal traits for contemplation as meditation begins with clear and restful thoughts.
Precious Opals magnify emotions and allow for deep inner work through their intense spiritual energy.
Fire Opals employ vibrations of ecstasy and can bring on a passionate state of enlightenment.
Boulder Opals encourage a connection with earth and plant spirits.
Opals can be used in a similar way to enhance a traditional form of yoga and, judging by the amount of yoga studios using Opal in their name, they are a popular yoga crystal.
Please read our Gemstones for Meditation and Yoga article for more details
We all have different reactions to the spiritual powers of gemstones. Some of us can wear the most powerful crystals every day without a problem while others find certain gemstones just too alarming.
Opals are some of the most powerful and stimulating gemstones, used for their spirituality and power for millennia so it is possible that they may take some getting used to.
I suggest wearing or holding your opal for a day or two, if you feel a little overwhelmed or over stimulated, put it away for a day or two until you feel strong enough to wear or hold again.
A quick word about the delicacy of opals. Opals can be chipped or broken relatively easily so carrying one loose in your bag or pocket everyday is asking for trouble but a well protected jewelry design or a soft snug bag should keep them safe.
Opal is connected with two goddesses from the ancient Mediterranean, Cardea, the Roman Goddess of the hinge.
‘Hinge’, I hear you say, did the Romans have goddesses for everything?
Probably, but the hinge represents the doorway to your home, and Cardea would protect your family and children from evil spirits trying to cross the threshold.
Opal also honors the Greek goddess of spring, Persephone, bringing new life and fertility.
Gemstones, such as opals, can influence the health and well-being of our pets in the same way that they can influence us. Jasper gemstones, for example, are great for calming an aggressive dog.
In theory, an opal could be used to assist an animal with a problem – say a boulder opal for an insecure cat - however with such an expensive and delicate gemstone I feel others may be a better choice.
Please take a look at our special Gemstones for Pets article here
Gemstone elixirs are easy to make. Place a clean gemstone in some fresh mineral water and leave for an hour or two – in the moonlight for a bit of a boost. Remove the gemstone and you have an elixir permeated with the power of your particular crystal.
(Be aware that some gemstones can be dangerous if immersed in water)
The elixir can be drunk cool from the fridge, made into herbal tea, put in the bath for a relaxing soak, dabbed on afflicted body parts or put in a misting bottle and sprayed around a room, office or whole house.
Opal has an age-old connection to the eyes so a soothing eye-bath made from opal elixir would be fantastic at the end of a long day.
Opal elixir rejuvenates depleted emotional strength and replenishes our creative energies.
In olden times, an opal with magic symbols or words carved onto its surface would be used to banish nightmares.
Dreaming about opals, especially fire opals, is considered a good luck omen, signifying imagination, creativity and inspiration.
If you are given an opal in a dream if could mean that your intentions will be misunderstood and you need to explain yourself more clearly.
Although some have said that Opals must not be used in combination with other stones I am not so sure. I think garnet and opal together make a very protective team and combining opal and lapis lazuli can bring good fortune and prosperity.
As a general guide certain types of crystals can work together well:
- Gemstones of a similar color
- Gemstones with the same element
- Gemstones with the same zodiac association
- Gemstones with the same Chakra association
- Gemstones with the same mineral group
Following this guideline, Fire Opals and Fire Agates will work together as will Opals and Quartzes.
Anyone working in creative fields such as movies, fashion, design, marketing and so on will benefit from the innovative and imaginative properties of opals – keep one on the desk, in the studio or nearby when out on location.
Pendulums are a fun way to reveal hidden truths. Hang a crystal from a string or chain and ask a series of yes or no questions to reach into your subconscious. The movement of the pendulum will reveal all the answers.
To swing in a way that can be easily interpreted, the gemstone needs to be quite substantial, so I would suggest a Boulder Opal could be ideal. The ironstone base rock is grounding and the opal material is excellent for communication.
A pendant can be used as a pendulum and double as an interesting and beautiful item of jewelry.
Our modern world is full of computers, smart phones, wifi routers and interactive TVs and, as a result, we are engulfed in harmful electro-magnetic waves.
Gemstones can offer some protection from this invisible smog but opals are not really a gemstone I would recommend, I would suggest something like malachite or amazonite.
Black tourmaline and black onyx are known to act as a barrier to these harmful waves so black opals could probably work in a similar way.
See our article on EMF Protection Gemstones here
‘There is in them a softer fire than the ruby, there is the brilliant purple of the amethyst, and the sea green of the emerald - all shining together in incredible union.’
Pliny, the Roman naturalist and philosopher, describing the opal in the first century AD
There are very few gemstones which are subject to more myths and legends than opals.
Ancient Greeks said they were Zeus’ tears of joy after the defeat of the Titans, Australian Aborigines claim the Creator came to earth on a rainbow and where he landed the rocks turned into opals, and Hindus have a similar legend where a jealous Mother Goddess turned a rainbow into an opal.
For thousands of years they were considered good luck and could give their owner all sorts of magical powers such as invisibility, mind reading, healing the blind and turning hair golden blonde.
Then, in medieval times, in certain parts of Europe, they gained a reputation of being bad luck, bringing the plague and an association with the ’evil eye’. A book by the JK Rowling of his day, Sir Walter Scott, where a cursed opal brings misfortune, sealed the opal’s fate and their value and popularity plunged overnight.
Opals began their triumphant comeback first with the admiration of Queen Victoria who wore Opals and loved to give them as gifts and then the discovery of stunning gemstones in the, at the time, British colony of Australia.
Following the arrival of the first package of intensely vivid opals from Queensland in London in 1889, the gemstones once worn by Mark Antony and Cleopatra, Napoleon and Josephine, gods and goddesses, kings and queens, soon regained their place at the top of the gemstone tree.
Please read our Opal information article for more details
Love, Passion, Desire