The Aboriginal Australians tell the tale of how the creator of the world, using a rainbow, descended to Earth to deliver a message of peace to all humans. Wherever he stepped, the stones absorbed life energy and began to shine with all the colours of the rainbow. According to their tradition, this is the origin of all opal stones.
This story is a perfect example of the fascination these stones have always inspired in humans, we gave this stone divine powers far back in time. However, it's not just legends and myths, according to gem therapy, opal has a strong healing power, and is exceptionally powerful when combined with the correct zodiac signs.
According to gemmology, the branch of science dedicated to studying gems and stones, opal belongs to the same group as quartz. It's a hydrated amorphous form of silica without a specific crystal system. Its name comes from Ancient Sanskrit, and means precious stone, which is a nod to its rarity, although other linguists believe it originated in the Greek language, and means the eye of the stone.
As with many healing stones, there are quite a few varieties of Opal, one of which is called fire opal (it has a red-orange colour), noble opal (famous for its highlights), blue Peruvian opal, Ethiopian opal and black opal, amongst many others.
It is commonly known that there aren't many stones with as many variations and types as opal, due to it showing different colours or the rainbow depending on the angle you're looking at it from, especially when they have round cuts.
The biggest opal deposits are found in Australia, and nearly 95% of white opal's global supply comes from this country. The most famous Australian deposits are in New South Wales and Queensland. Outside of Australia, we can still find this precious stone in Ethiopia, Peru, Japan, Indonesia, Mexico, Canada, Brazil and the USA.
Gem therapy is understood to be the study of the relationship between humans' health and the power of these healing stones, and in this field, opal is considered to be a powerful stone with a wide array of benefits.
Because of its water content, opal purifies all our vital bodily fluids, including our blood, cerebrospinal fluid, sweat, urine and ejaculate.
But that's not all, opal has a strong psychological effect, it is said to help shy people overcome their fears, to encourage us to act wisely and with love in mind, to have a calming effect and to help us fall asleep. It also assists us in controlling our anger and can help combat depression.
On an extrasensory level, opal brings with it spiritual values which help us communicate with guides, angels, gods and other entities we don't fully understand, at least on Earth. In fact, in Ancient Greece it was widely used to increase clairvoyance, assist meditation and reflection, and to improve our intuition.
That said, we have to mention that gem therapy should never replace a medical treatment and should only be used as a complimentary treatment.
As we know, healing stones need to be purified to get rid of negative energies it absorbs from its surroundings. In opal's case, we can wash it with distilled water. Once we have submerged our stone in the water, we can put the entire recipient in the moonlight to gently charge it with positive energy.
Earlier on we mentioned that opal contains water, it is hydrated silica, we must consider that if we expose this rock to strong sunlight, the sun could damage it and make it even more fragile. We must also mention that this stone is very sensitive to pressure, to being dropped or hit, and to heat whilst transmitting energies.
In order to open our chakras, the energy points in our body, we can use these healing stones, each one will affect each chakra differently. In opal's case, if we place it above our base chakra, it helps us to get rid of muscle contractures.
If we place this stone above our solar plexus chakra, we'll be able to see how our appetite increases and it is said to help people in convalescence with their recovery.
Lastly, if we place opal above our heart chakra, it'll improve our skin, its hydration, elasticity and tension.
It's a nice stone to give as a present for these signs, it could be an earring, a necklace, a pendant, a ring, a diadem, etc.
Although opal does offer a wide array of benefits, there are legends of this stone bringing bad luck to the owner and other stories which mention opal and attribute magical powers to the stone such as 'Anne of Geierstein' by Walter Scott. In this book, an opal hair pin was able to reflect the owner's mood, and sparks would fly from it if the owner was angry or irritated.
However, the UK's Queen Victoria fought hard to promote Australian opal and break that superstition, of which the empress Eugénie de Montijo was a strong believer.
Out of all the tales surrounding this stone, it's worth noting that in the Middle Ages this stone was thought to have the power to make its owner invisible. Because of this, it became a talisman for thieves and other similar characters.
In the Roman Empire, thanks to the writer Plinio, it was considered to be the most valuable and precious gem as it had all the colours of the rainbow, and the Bedouins believed that these stones contained lightning that fell from the sky during storms.