Rainbow obsidian stones in a tiny glass container

Rainbow Obsidian: What It Is and How to Use It in Your Life

It’s hard to overlook rainbow obsidian’s striking iridescence and array of colors. Its shimmering banding is as diverse as its healing properties. This humble volcanic rock is a favorite in crystal healing for its ability to provide everything from psychic protection to an unshakeable foundation of self-confidence.

Let’s explore what rainbow obsidian is and how it’s been used throughout history. We’ll also take a deep dive into the number of different ways you can use this healing crystal to enhance your daily life. 

What Is Rainbow Obsidian?

Rainbow obsidian starts out with rather modest beginnings. It forms when molten rock cools so quickly that it can’t arrange itself into a crystalline structure. As a result, it becomes volcanic glass. This process can happen in a few different places: on the edges of a lava flow, where lava comes into contact with water, or when lava is airborne during a volcanic eruption. 

The resulting volcanic glass is usually black in color. Still, obsidian can come in other shades and varieties, depending on trace elements and other inclusions that are present during its formation. Mahogany obsidian and gold sheen obsidian are examples of obsidian forming with two colors swirled together in the same stone. 

Because of the rapid heating and cooling of rock, crystals don't usually form. Occasionally they start to take shape over time, and they develop little pockets of white and grey crystal formations. When this happens, you end up with snowflake obsidian. Snowflake obsidian looks like it sounds: what would otherwise be a piece of black obsidian is instead speckled with white "flakes" of crystal. 

Rainbow obsidian is uniquely different from other types of obsidian because of its metallic sheen and iridescence. This sheen obsidian comes from small inclusions of gas and other rock or crystal debris, and its rainbow of colors is a result of those imperfections. Sometimes this iridescent quality is subtle and understated; other times it’s dazzling and distinct. 

You can find obsidian in a variety of places worldwide, but it’s usually restricted to areas that see a lot of volcanic activity. Most of the rainbow obsidian you find in the United States is in California, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and New Mexico. Internationally, deposits of obsidian appear in Greece, Mexico, Argentina, Japan, Kenya, and Russia. 

Rainbow Obsidian Throughout History

Rainbow obsidian on Easter Island

Because obsidian is so widespread, several different cultures and civilizations made use of it as a weapon or cutting tool. Its sharp edges made it an ideal material for Native American tribes to shape into arrowheads, spear tips, knives, and other scraping tools. This volcanic glass even made its way into folklore.

Apache tears is the name given to small pieces of obsidian found throughout the American Southwest. An old Native American legend tells the tale of a battle between the Apache tribe and the U.S. Cavalry in 1870. The Apaches were outnumbered. But instead of facing defeat, they rode their horses over the edge of a cliff. When their families heard of what happened, the tears they shed turned to stone as they hit the ground.

Even though rainbow obsidian usually appears in areas with volcanoes, trade helped it spread thousands of miles beyond its point of origin. Amazingly, it made it as far as Easter Island (Rapa Nui), where it was used as a tool to carve those iconic stone statues. The Ancient Aztecs and Greeks took advantage of its glassy finish and used it as a primitive mirror.

Incredibly, we still use obsidian today for its sharp edges and cutting ability in modern medicine. It's up to five times sharper than steel surgical scalpels and allows for faster healing with less scar tissue. But beyond its value as a physical tool, rainbow obsidian offers metaphysical properties as well.

Healing Properties of Rainbow Obsidian

Rainbow obsidian flecks

Rainbow obsidian is a supportive and healing stone that can work its magic in several ways. Its metaphysical properties are adaptable, making it versatile and useful in an ever-changing world.

Recovery From a Broken Heart

One of rainbow obsidian’s most healing and nurturing properties is its ability to help you recover from a broken heart. Whether you’re grieving the loss of a loved one or trying to cope without a beloved pet, rainbow obsidian can help you move through the darkest of times. 

Take a cue from its appearance: Hidden in its darkness are shimmering ribbons of color. Let those sparkles of color act as a bright light at the end of what might seem like an endless tunnel of sadness and heartbreak. Life will always allow you to rise above a challenge, and rainbow obsidian can help you overcome any obstacle and instill a sense of resilience.

Protection From Negativity

Even if you aren't dealing with the fallout from emotional trauma, maybe you’re feeling stuck in a spiral of negativity. Despite your best efforts, perhaps you feel hopeless and down in the dumps. Rainbow obsidian stone can help you snap out of your funk and get back to feeling more like yourself. 

It's a naturally protective stone, helping you ward off negativity and dropping the loop of negative thinking. When you get to the root causes of feeling blue, you can shake them off and slip into a more positive headspace. Give yourself round-the-clock protection from negative energies with a rainbow obsidian protection bracelet. Gazing at its iridescent hues is sure to put you in a more positive frame of mind. 

Greater Sense of Grounding and Confidence 

Rainbow obsidian shines in its ability to help you feel more grounded, confident, and secure. Remember, rainbow obsidian is formed from molten rock, making it an exceptionally grounding and healing stone. 

This luminous gemstone stimulates your base or root chakra, as well as your solar plexus chakra, clearing any blockages you might be experiencing. When the energy in your lower chakras is flowing, you feel more comfortable in your physical body and have an easier time believing in yourself. Wearing a rainbow obsidian bracelet can gently remind you of your self-worth and value, giving you the confidence to move forward in your life. 

Emotional Healing

Rainbow obsidian gemstones are deeply rejuvenating for your emotions too . We’ve already explored how it’s effective against negative energies, but it’s also supportive of bringing positive energy into your life.

Even though rose quartz is typically associated with the heart chakra, rainbow obsidian can also help with emotional healing. Its shimmering rainbow colors reveal glimmers of both pink and green, colors commonly associated with the heart chakra. 

Whenever you’re itching to bring a sense of lightness and bliss to your daily life, consider keeping a piece of jewelry with rainbow obsidian close by. Doing so can help you focus on experiencing more love, joy, and happiness in your life.

Use Rainbow Obsidian to Harmonize Your Energy and Bring Greater Balance Into Your Life 

Rocks balanced atop each other on the shore

Whether you're looking to move on from heartbreak or protect yourself from negative energies and thoughts, a rainbow obsidian stone might be just the thing you're looking for. You can use its metaphysical properties to give your life an injection of positive energy and a boost of confidence.

It’s OK if you’re not sure where to get started or what you’d like to work on in your life — use your intuition to guide you to the perfect gemstone or healing crystal. There are so many powerful and healing chakra stones to work with, and using rainbow obsidian can enhance the power of the other gemstones you’re exploring. 

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