Published April 2014  •  Updated February 2024  •  Read Time: 7 minutes
Mahogany Obsidian is a rare variety of Obsidian found primarily in the Western United States.  It gets its pretty red-brown coloring from a higher-than-normal concentration of Iron.  It is named after mahogany trees, which share a similarly striking red-brown color.  Like other Obsidians, it is formed from  rapidly cooling lava following a volcanic eruption.  Most Mahogany Obsidian comes from Glass Buttes, Oregon.  Glass Buttes is both the tallest volcano in the area, as well as a general name given to the smaller volcanos that surround it.  Mahogany Obsidian has a gentler energy than most other Obsidians, making it an ideal crystal when we need to be soothed and grounded.

Mahogany Obsidian mahogany obsidian meaning

Mahogany Obsidian Meaning

Spiritual Healing Properties

Mahogany Obsidian is a deep grounding stone which helps us to anchor our spiritual life within the full spectrum of mortal human life. It helps us stay centered and approach life with a holistic attitude that includes caring for our spiritual, emotional, and physical needs in equal proportions. It also helps us to better recognize both the mind-body connection as well as the body-mind connection. Mahogany Obsidian additionally protects against negative psychic energy from other people as well as psychic attacks from other entities. It is an abundance stone, reminding us that our financial health and well-being is important too and that we deserve to have security and enjoyment.

Metaphysical Properties Mahogany Obsidian
Chakra Root and Sacral
Element Earth
Numerology 1 and 4
Zodiac Libra and Sagittarius

Emotional Healing Properties

Mahogany Obsidian is a very comforting stone to work with when dealing with old emotional traumas and wounds. It gently and safely brings up unconscious memories of abuse, feelings of shame, and guilt, and beliefs about our own self worth. It then helps us to work through them and find true resolution. Mahogany Obsidian also encourages us to freely express our sensuality and sexuality, and let go of negative body images, asking us to please release and believe we are beautiful just as we are. It has a gentle energy that is comforting during times when we feel down. If there is nothing we can control, such as in the case of death/grieving, Mahogany Obsidian validates and soothes our emotions. If there is something we can control or change, such as our relationships or career, Mahogany Obsidian helps us to see the actual problem clearly and solve it swiftly and with ease.

Mental Healing Properties

Mahogany Obsidian encourages us to explore our beliefs about whether or not we “deserve” to have good things – such as financial abundance, happy romantic relationships, or a just a better life in general. Mahogany Obsidian helps us to realize that we DO deserve good things and that the past doesn’t have to dictate our future. It then offers us its great strength to help us build happier lives and be confident in our own abilities. Whenever we are engaged in our goals, and living a life which feels meaningful, Mahogany Obsidian infuses us with a sense of vitality and fresh energy.

Physical Healing Properties

Mahogany Obsidian is believed to strengthen the liver, kidneys, and other lower organs. It is most commonly used by metaphysical healers to support detoxification and to reduce physical tension. It is also highly recommended for anyone working through body issue disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and obesity, as well as unusual physical handicaps.

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Mahogany Obsidian Mineralogy

Where does Mahogany Obsidian come from?

Obsidian is found all over the world wherever volcanic activity has occurred.  Mahogany Obsidian is mainly found in the United States.  The most notable location is in Glass Buttes, Oregon.

Mining and Treatments

Obsidian may be found on the surface of the Earth and requires little to no mining to extract. It is much prized by indigenous cultures for crafting weapons, tools, and ornaments.

Obsidian is a natural stone, enhanced only by  cutting and polishing.  However, there are also manmade glasses that are occasionally sold as “Obsidian”.  Real Obsidian is almost always a black stone and a additional colors can usually only be seen in the right conditions.  By contrast, manmade “Obsidian” is usually a vivid artificial color such as lime green or magenta.

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Mineral Family

Obsidian is a rock, rather than a mineral. As an easy way to understand the difference, think of rocks as being like cookies and minerals as being the ingredients which make up those cookies. Many different minerals are used to create a rock! Obsidian is an igneous rock that is formed by lava cooling after a volcanic eruption.  The lava cools and hardens so quickly there is no time for any other crystal growth.  It is sometimes referred to a natural glass, volcanic glass or lava stone.

Mahogany Obsidian’s energy works well with its family – other igneous rocks.  Try it in combination with Chinese Writing StoneGarnieriteIndigo GabbroLarvikite Moonstone TourmalinePreseli Bluestone, and Unakite.  Or try combining Mahogany Obsidian other other types of Obsidian like Apache Tear, Black, Gold SheenRed SheenRainbowSilver Sheen and Snowflake.

Mahogany Obsidian Formation and Crystal Associates

Obsidian is formed when lava from a volcanic explosion solidifies so quickly that there is no time for mineral crystals to grow within it. It is sometimes referred as “volcanic glass” due to its glass-like texture. Obsidian is typically jet black, however the inclusion of various minerals can create colored varieties. Mahogany Obsidian has a higher-than-normal Iron content which creates its distinctive red-brown coloring.

Mahogany Obsidian’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment.  Try it in combination with White Opal

Mineralogy Mahogany Obsidian
Rock Type Igneous Rock
Major Minerals Volcanic Glass
Minor Minerals Feldspar, Hematite
Color Black and red
Texture Vitreous
Transparency Transparent to opaque

History of Mahogany Obsidian

Obsidian was not included in most early lapidaries, texts which describe gemstones and their powers. However archaeological evidence reveals that Obsidian was used to create some of the very oldest cultural artifacts in human history. In fact, Obsidian was also used by our evolutionary ancestors and cousins!

The very earliest Obsidian tools date to the Oldowan, at the very dawn of the Paleolithic/Stone Age (2.6 million -10,000 BCE). Archaeologists believe that the very earliest hominid to use stone tools was Australopithecus garhi (2.5 million BCE) who lived in Ethiopia and is believed to be one of our direct ancestors. Among the fossil remains for this early hominid are obsidian tools used for chopping, scraping, and piercing. Sometime later two other early hominids began making stone tools; Homo habilis(2.4-1.4 million BCE), whose name means “Handy Man” precisely because he used stone tools, and Homo erectus (1.89 million – 143,000 BCE), the first hominid to stand upright like a modern human. Whether each species discovered stone tools independently, or were taught to use them, is a matter of speculation. Equally so, it is impossible to know whether these tools were purely practical or if they had any spiritual purpose.

Obsidian Arrow

Obsidian Arrowhead

At the dawn of human civilization and writing, we know that Obsidian was definitely being used for ritual purposes. In Egypt, Obsidian knives were used for ceremonial circumcisions, as well as to make mirrors and various decorative objects found in tombs. The actual name “Obsidian” was first used by Pliny the Elder (CE23-79) who named it after a Roman citizen/explorer, Obsius, who “discovered” it in Ethiopia. During the ancient and medieval period, Obsidian was thought to drive out demons, and was used as an aid in rituals. It was also used to heal wounds and alleviate pain.  Obsidian was also widely used in the Americas. In Central and North America, Obsidian was a symbol of Tezcatlipoca, the chief god of the Aztec religion.

Mahogany Obsidian is a very rare type of Obsidian that has a high iron concentrate which turns it red.  The majority of the pieces sold on the market are from Glasse Buttes, Oregon, but it is occasionally found in other locations, mainly in the western United States.  It is named after mahogany trees which are famous for their reddish-brown hue.  The tropical hardwood trees are indigenous to the Americas, and can grow as high as 150 feet, with Old Growth having a diameter as wide as 12 feet.  Today, most full-grown mahogany trees are only 3-6 feet in diameter.  The word “mahogany” many be from the Mayan name for the tree or from another native language.  Unfortunately, none of the native names for this tree have been preserved.. It is also theorized that the modern word mahogany might have evolved from the Western African m’oganwo (Khaya trees) since the two tree species would appear very similar to enslaved people from West Africa that were taken to the Americas.  The first written use of the word mahogany to describe the tree is in the book, An Accurate Description of the New World (1671) by John Ogilby.  Mahogany wood is beautiful and much prized by wood carvers and wooden furniture craftsman.

Obsidian is likewise easy to carve and takes a fine polish.  The best Obsidian sculptures are typically carved from Black Obsidian, Sheen Obsidian, or Rainbow Obsidian.  But little figurines of Mahogany Obsidian can be found, typically in generic designs produced in bulk.

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