Published January 2021  •  Updated June 2022  •  Read Time: 7 minutes

Onyx Meaning

Spiritual Healing Properties

Onyx teaches us the importance of self-mastery, or the ability to harness our own strength and focus, in the pursuit of our most important goals. It is a wonderfully grounding, centering, and balancing stone for anyone with great spiritual aspirations, as self-mastery is one of the most important aspects of self-realization. Attaining Enlightenment, or any other high spiritual state, takes enormous dedication and a willingness to look deeply at ourselves and our world. Onyx provides that strength, and also the steadiness of vision to see the truth and align ourselves accordingly. Onyx also provides a deep root connection, allowing us to draw energy from the wider world and universe to augment our own energy pools. Onyx is attuned to the Root, Solar Plexus, and Third Eye Chakras and linked to the astrological sign of Leo. It is connected to the element of Earth and vibrates to the number 6.

Metaphysical Properties Onyx
Chakra Root, Solar Plexus, and Third Eye
Element Earth
Numerology 6
Zodiac Leo

Emotional Healing Properties

Onyx has a very calming energy, which can help to reduce anxiety and grief. It promotes self-confidence, self-control, and independence. Onyx can help us to logically work through our emotions, particularly negative emotions like fear or anger. It can show us the root cause behind our unhappiness and the simple solutions to most problems. These solutions are simple on the surface, but often require dedicated work on our part. Onyx provides us with strength and determination so we can do what is necessary. Onyx is also a fantastic stone for conflict resolution, as its energy encourages us to sit in non-judgment, carefully listening to both sides of an argument and assessing the facts, before coming to any conclusions.

Mental Healing Properties

Onyx is an excellent tool for students and anyone who is actively learning new information or a new skill set. It stimulates logical, analytical thinking and the ability to see connections and arrive at accurate conclusions. Onyx is also particularly helpful when we need to take a closer look at our own life and make some wise decisions. It helps us to realistically examine our actions and beliefs, and determine what course of action will best serve our own Highest Good. Onyx reminds us to stay focused on the things that are inside our circle of control and to not waste precious energy complaining about those things which we cannot control. If our hearts are set on making a difference, then Onyx can show us how to get involved and expand our circle of influence.

Physical Healing Properties

Onyx has been used for centuries to ease childbirth and hasten labor. Today, it is widely used by metaphysical healers to treat conditions in the feet and lower half of the body. It is also believed to significantly increase endurance and physical strength, making it an excellent talisman for athletes, particularly anyone training for marathons, triathlons, and other demanding competitions. Onyx is also said to be a good stone for anyone needing to regain their physical vigor, for instance, after suffering a chronic illness or major health crisis.

Onyx Mineralogy

Where does Onyx come from?

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Mining and Treatments

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Mineral Family

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Onyx Formation and Crystal Associates

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Extra Information

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History of Onyx

While today most people think of Onyx as a pure black stone, in ancient times the name Onyx was used to refer to a wide variety of light colored Agates. The name Onyx comes from the Roman onux, meaning “claw or nail,” which is thought to be a reference to a group of relatively common stones such as Alabaster, Pink Chalcedony, and Onyx Marble, all of which have a soft pinkish-white color, similar to the luster of polished fingernails. In Hebrew, onux means “shining stone.”

According to one Roman myth, Onyx stones had a very unique origin story. When the world was still new, Venus, the Goddess of Love and Beauty, was sleeping on the banks of the sacred Indus River, in India. Her son, Cupid, god of desire, kindly gave her a manicure, using one of his enchanted arrows to do the work. As the nail parings fell into the water, they sank to the bottom and were transformed into Onyx!

Today Onyx is usually thought of as a black stone.  It has the rare distinction of being known for mainly negative qualities, rather than positive! According to one medieval lapidary, a text which describes gemstones and their powers, “[Black] Onyx… has bad virtues because he who wears it at the neck or on the back will see devils; it causes many frivolities, brings anger and disagreement, but it gives hardiness.” People were advised to instead wear Sardonyx, or if they intended to wear Black Onyx, to wear Carnelian as well.

Other lapidaries offered more positive traits, suggesting that Onyx calmed lust and otherwise cooled emotional passions. Camillus Leonardus, an Italian physician, astronomer, and author of Speculum lapidum (1502), described Onyx in his work, stating that Onyx helped quicken labor and bring about the safe delivery of infants, as well as preventing epilepsy falls. Throughout Europe, Onyx was widely believed to be one of the best stones for pregnant women. A fist-sized Onyx was once part of the lost silver reliquary in the Abbey of St. Alban in England. It was reportedly engraved with an image of Asclepius, the ancient Greek god of healing. This large Onyx was left unset and was taken to the homes of nearby women so that they could hold it during labor and thus ease the pain of childbirth. It is thought that this stone was probably an old pagan amulet that was later given to the shrine and assigned Christian meanings.


Asclepius, God of Healing