When researching black stones, you probably won't find one as contradictory as black onyx. This mysterious crystal has either been used as a powerful protection talisman with immense healing properties or perceived as a bad omen and symbol of bad luck.
More recently, metaphysical healers have come to appreciate the guarding and grounding vibrations of black onyx. They use it as a tool to dispel negative energies and prevent the drain of personal energy. It's an outstanding crystal to balance the root chakra and bring stability during significant change, which could otherwise lead to anxiety and stress.
If the nature of black onyx has sparked your curiosity, this essential guide is made for you. We'll explore the fascinating origins of this stone and the locations where it can be found around the world.
Most importantly, you'll learn simple tips on integrating this elegant crystal in your daily life, so that its energy can support your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Black Onyx's Meaning and Origins
Onyx comes from the Greek word "onux," translating to "claw" or "fingernail." Its meaning is believed to come from an ancient Greek legend involving Venus and Cupid. One day, as the beautiful Venus slept on the Indus River banks, Cupid mischievously approached her and trimmed her nails with an arrowhead. Once the clippings sank to the bottom of the river, they were transformed into onyx by the Fates, who claimed that anything that came from the gods was too precious to perish.
During battle, ancient Romans frequently carried amulets crafted from onyx gemstone as they believed in its protective powers. These tokens were often carved with images of Mars, the god of war, or the hero Hercules, both symbols of courage and fearlessness. This beautiful dark stone was commonly used to create magnificent intaglio etchings in decorative items and cameos.
Ancient Romans and Greeks saw black onyx as a "good stone.” But in the Arabic world, this black crystal is known as "el jaza," which translates as "sadness." According to North African lore, keeping it around the house, or placing it inside a vessel containing water or food, may lead to loss of energy, fearful dreams, and misfortune.
In fact, a manuscript dated back to 1875 states that in China, only slaves and servants who had no other means of living would be sent to mine onyx. Nobody else would willingly touch or own this stone for fear of bringing bad luck into their lives. Although merchants couldn't sell onyx in China, they shipped it to western countries to be sold successfully.
Sources of Black Onyx Stone
Black onyx is a variety of microcrystalline quartz, called chalcedony. Other crystals belonging to this mineral family include agate, carnelian, jasper, and bloodstone. When buying onyx, make sure you pick a qualified seller as this black gemstone can be commonly mistaken for schorl tourmaline, jet, obsidian, black jade, or black diamond.
Black onyx is typically opaque with a waxy to dull luster. It’s often accompanied by white bands, which may be why it was known as the "fingernail stone" for some time. Although the black variety is the most sought-out, its brown and red variations — known as sardonyx and carnelian-onyx, respectively — also make for beautiful and colorful pieces.
Onyx is a common mineral found worldwide, but its main extraction sites are located in Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, and the United States (Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming).
Healing Properties of Black Onyx
Despite its sometimes negative reputation, crystal collectors love black onyx and consider it one of the best tools to achieve inner strength and self-mastery. They believe its energy can transform and redirect anger into more productive pursuits that are focused on positive and rewarding outcomes.
According to the holistic community, onyx specimens that combine both black and white colors are great tokens to remind us about the duality of life, feminine and masculine energies, light and darkness, the good and the bad, pain and pleasure. One cannot exist without the other, and these two contrasting shades in one mineral is the perfect representation of this contradiction.
As with amethyst and citrine, crystal healers often recommend black onyx as a tool to strengthen the immune system and assist natural cell regeneration. It's a great stone to support overall physical well-being as it balances the regulation of liquids, the detoxification of wastes, and the proper absorption of nutrients.
In crystal healing therapy, it's frequently used to improve nerve function and treat inner ear issues. Its earthly energy is perfect for those who constantly feel tired or unmotivated. It helps connect the physical body with Mother Nature, providing a boost of vitality and stamina.
Black onyx is an excellent companion if you're going through a situation that depletes your energy, such as a challenging work project, a demanding diet or exercise program, or a prolonged illness.
Modern metaphysical healers claim that carrying this lovely crystal can be beneficial for nails, teeth, hair, and skin and that it can be very comforting during childbirth for both the mother and the baby.
Like all stones with a dark or black color, black onyx is a fantastic crystal to support you through emotionally challenging times. Its frequency can help stabilize your feelings and instill strength to overcome confusing circumstances and tremendous stress.
If you know someone who’s struggling with anger issues, consider giving them a piece of black onyx crystal. This stone can teach them mental discipline and self-control while soothing their temper and restoring rational thinking. It may be a good idea to carry black onyx when you're going into a conflict situation and need to keep a cool head.
This elegant gemstone’s healing energy may empower you to become more self-confident and trust your decision-making abilities. It encourages you to re-evaluate and release old habits and relationships in your life. If you have a flighty nature and have a hard time settling in one place, the grounding energy of black onyx can gently guide you towards a more stable lifestyle.
Like apache tears, black onyx is a powerful stone to support you in times of grief and loss. Its vibration can comfort you during the process of mourning and acceptance, and gives you the courage to move forward.
Spiritual Growth and Metaphysical Properties
Together with black tourmaline and hematite, black onyx is an exceptional protection stone that absorbs and transforms negative energy into more positive vibes. Carrying this stone in your pocket or wearing a beautiful onyx bracelet is a powerful way to integrate this shielding amulet into your everyday life, thus protecting your auric field.
According to crystal experts, black onyx holds physical memories of its wearer. If worn for a long time, it may bring back painful situations from the past, like old injuries or traumatic experiences. Therefore, it's vital to regularly cleanse black onyx so you reap only the benefits of this compelling gem.
Place a piece of black onyx on your desk to dispel criticism from colleagues and shield your energy from manipulative and argumentative people. It transforms aggressive energies into perseverance, endurance, and motivation to go after your dreams and achieve all your goals.
During meditation, black onyx can help you get centered, align with the Earth and your inner self, and enhance your intuitive powers. As a result, you can achieve the confidence and certainty that you're the master of your destiny.
Use Black Onyx To Support Your Vitality and Stamina
Despite black onyx's negative reputation in some cultures, one cannot deny the powerful healing properties and guarding vibration of this crystal. Its profound connection with Earth's electromagnetic energy makes it a stable holistic tool to ground you, open your root chakra, and deepen the bond with your physical body.
Black onyx helps channel a fiery temper into positive pursuits. It gives you the vigor and focus to pursue what you want and let go of what no longer serves you.