Following on from my blog about fossils, another question that gets asked is: “can amber also be worked with the same way as crystals?”. After all, it is a resin, not a mineral like crystals or a fossil. The answer again is a resounding “Yes!”
Amber is a fossilised tree resin from ancient evergreen trees and has been used in numerous ways since Neolithic times. The oldest specimen discovered dated at 320 million years old!! What is quite amazing, was not only has this particular piece been on this earth and survived everything that has evolved in that time but how it was dated – mind boggling!
A lot of amber found today is less than 100,000 years old but older specimens are considered to be worth a lot of money. Most amber comes from the Baltics and it is also harvested from places like Alaska to Madagascar, but the Dominican Republic is home to some good quality specimens including a blue amber which is very rare and valuable. Amber has also been found in Scotland and the Isle of Wight here in the UK.
Amber, as I’ve discovered, doesn’t just come in its many shades of oranges, yellows and browns, it can also be found in blue, red and green.
So why is Amber looked upon as a gem as valuable as some crystals?
Because it is very old, amber is considered to hold many ancient energies and accumulated wisdom having ‘lived’ through many centuries. The insects and other matter that have been trapped in the amber are also said to give it magical properties.
Many cultures have used amber over the years – Egyptians, the Greeks and in Asian cultures, it was known as the ‘Soul of the Tiger’ and was carried to promote courage. It wasn’t just used as items for jewellery, but for ritual, social and magical uses too. Baltic exports traded it for spices, salt and metals.
Amber has many magical and healing properties:
It holds a strong connection to the sun and earth and can be worked with for past life recall and working with the ancestors.
It is wonderful for cleansing and re-activating the chakras particularly the sacral and solar plexus chakras.
Amber was used to honour the dead in funeral rites in some countries and it was placed in tombs, or placed on the body as an amulet to guard the soul in its journey to the afterlife.
Ground into powder and mixed with water, oil or honey made for an ointment used for poor eyesight, stomach issues, infections and wounds.
It was burnt by sailors on ships – the smoke said to ward off the perils of the deep.
It is very easy to carve into ornamental shapes as well as making jewellery – and used as a good luck talisman and also for attracting love.