Onyx was very popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans.
The name comes from the Greek word onux, meaning fingernail. The story is that one day frisky Cupid cut the divine fingernails of Venus with an arrowhead while she was sleeping. He left the clippings scattered on the sand and the fates turned them into stone so that no part of the heavenly body would ever perish.
True, black isn't normally the color one associates with fingernails. But in Greek times, almost all colors of chalcedony from white to dark brown and black were called onyx. Today when we think of onyx we often preface the word with black to distinguish it from other varieties of onyx that come in white, reddish brown, brown and banded. Later, the Romans narrowed the term "onyx" to refer to black and dark brown colors only.
Most Black Onyx that is commercially available today is color enhanced (heated and dyed) to increase it's depth of color, although this process does not decrease it's value in any manner.
Mohs Hardness of 7 with a trigonal crystal structure.
Although onyx, sard and sardonyx are all varieties of chalcedony, onyx is similar to agate, with straight rather than curved bands. These bands may be brown and white or black and white. Sard is a brownish red variety, sardonyx is a blend of sard and onyx and therefore has the straight white bands of onyx and the brownish red color of sard.
Onyx is mined in Brazil, India, California and Uruguay. It has a fine texture and black color; however some onyx also displays white bands or ribbons against a black or brown background and again, this variety is known as sardonyx.
Throughout history, onyx has been thought to bring powers of protection, defensive magic, and the reduction of sexual desires. It has also been thought to reinforce the knowledge that there is no death, aiding in the understanding of the wheel of birth, death and rebirth. It brings about the knowledge that separation is an illusion and reunion will come. It aids psychic contact with those who have died, facilitates séances and mediumship, brings messages from the dead, and aids past-life and between-lives regression work. It helps future life progressions, and prevents and removes spirit possessions.
Contemporary authors say the onyx brings increased vigor, strength, stamina, and self control. It alleviates worry, tension, and nervousness and eliminates confusion and nightmares. It is used to provide glimpses of that which is ‘beyond’ and activates one’s memory of one’s roots and reality. Medicinal applications include the treatment of bone marrow diseases, teeth, foot, blood and bone problems, and soft tissue disorders. It is also believed to aid in ailments such as epilepsy or glaucoma and is known to have powers to rectify damage done to cells.
Onyx is thought to increase regeneration, happiness, intuition and one's instincts. It is also told to decrease sexual desire, and to aid in changing bad habits.
The shapes or patterns that onyx holds inside it have led some to suggest that Onyx has a picture in it that tells a story or carries a lesson. Lore tells us that an onyx will retain memory of the physical occurrences surrounding a person. A strong stone to use in psychic work as it tells the story of the wearer.
A strength-giving stone, good for athletes or people under extreme mental and emotional stress. It brings balance to mind or body as well as strength of mind. Onyx is a wonderful stone for those who are flighty by nature, as it will help ground and focus your attention. A strengthening stone that can help you approach a lesson or task with greater self-confidence. It is highly recommended that Onyx be used in conjunction with pearls and diamonds to increase their own metaphysical qualities.
Onyx is an excellent stone for releasing negative emotions such as sorrow and grief, and therefore brings good fortune and helps in recognizing personal strength. This black colored stone helps in relaxation, and in facing various challenges in life, especially if one suffers from a lack of life energy and exhaustion.
It harmonizes the physical with the spiritual and helps alleviate fears and worries as well as during periods of strong overwhelming emotions. This mineral helps us in our efforts to be balanced and in maintaining positive outlook at our life and environment. Onyx increases concentration and devotion, relieves tension especially in marital life.
On the physical level in the crystal-healing, onyx helps in healing wounds, and during times of childbirth. It can be used in treating eye and ear problems, and in cellular regeneration. It strengthens the structural systems of the bones and teeth, hair, skin and nails. It boosts general endurance and self-control. This stone is very good in grounding, as well as in elimination and/or control of excess energy.
Onyx is often recommended to athletes as it increases strength, endurance, persevierance, and explosivity, especially if placed on the Solar plexus.
Red onyx is connected to the first chakra - Muladhara. White onyx represents a link between the first chakra - Muladhara and the seventh chakra - Sahasrara, balancing the total energy along the seven energy centers - the seven chakras.
Onyx is good for opening the chakras: black and red onyx for Muladhara, green for Anahata, yellow onyx for the Solar plexus chakra, and blue onyx for the throat chakra - Visuddha.
Onyx can be discharged under running water, twice a month. This stone can be charged together with rock crystal. Black onyx can be charged over night if left in a flower pot where it gains additional strength
Onyx must be laid directly on the body or worn over a long period of time as it's power develops quite slowly. It is known to be particularly helpful with skin ailments, healing infected wounds as well as fungal infections, inflammation and even sunburn. Pat the affected skin with onyx water several times during the day and cover with an onyx water compress at night.
Due to the fact that onyx needs time to develop its full power, it should be discharged once a week under running water, and if used for a long period of time, it should be placed in the earth overnight once a month. This will regenerate it to help keep it's energy strong.
Associated Stone: Diamond
Powers: Protection, defensive magic, reducing sexual desires
Ancient magic lore tells us that in times long past, onyx was thought to be the manifestation of a demon imprisoned in the stone. This demon would awake in the night and spread terror and nightmares to any persons within its range of influence.
Since antiquity, though, onyx has been known to actually be used as protection against black magic, as well as defensive magic when negativity is directed toward you.
Onyx will also help you gain emotional balance and self-control, when added to the benefit that it also balances the male and female polarities within each person, this is quite a powerful stone to have in your divination rituals, whether for protection or otherwise.
Associations: Saturn, Earth
Mystical Birthstone for the Month of December, and birthstone of most ancient cultures for the month of July.
Stone of Capricorn for a positive influence, and Leo, to dream of onyx signifies a happy life with a suitable companion.
Onyx is associated primarily with the 1st, or Root/Base Chakra,. It assists with challenges in life, especially those caused by a drain of energy. It prevents the draining away of personal energy and can be used for protection from such. It also helps with grounding and controlling or eliminating excess or unwanted energies.
Black onyx and red onyx are associated with the 1st, or Root/Base Chakra,. White onyx is associated with linking the 1st, or Root/Base Chakra, and 7th, or Crown Chakra to have balanced energy throughout the chakra system. Excellent for centering and aligning your full being with higher powers.