Published December 2017  •  Updated February 2024  •  Read Time: 7 minutes
Rainbow Obsidian is a rare variety of naturally-colorful Obsidian found mainly in Jalisco, Mexico.  It wonderful colors are created by nanoparticles of Hedenbergite caught within the volcanic glass.  All Obsidians are grounding and encourage us to love truth, but Rainbow Obsidian also encourages us to have hope and to keep our chin up.  It is a great stone to work with when we are struggling with a major problem that makes us feel gloomy and helpless.  Its energy reminds us that the hard times won’t last forever and that if we are diligent and smart we’ll soon make it the other side.  When we do, Rainbow Obsidian is a perfect talisman for celebration!

Galaxy Obsidian

Rainbow Obsidian Meaning

Spiritual Healing Properties

Rainbow Obsidian acts as a bridge between the dark and light places inside of us, making it a powerful crystal ally whenever we are ready to do important personal work.  Rainbow Obsidian offers us safe passage and guidance into those dark parts of ourselves that most scare us so that we can find and process any pain that is trapped there.  It also helps us to find the lost parts of ourselves so we can heal and reclaim them.  Like all varieties of Obsidian, it is a stone of truth which shows us the true nature of reality.  But while regular Obsidian can reveal the truth harshly in a naked light, Rainbow Obsidian reveals the truth more gently so that we can more easily process and understand it.  Rainbow Obsidian clears the aura and other energy fields of any stagnate or negative energy that has gotten trapped within.

Metaphysical Properties Rainbow Obsidian
Chakra All
Element Earth and Water
Numerology 2
Zodiac Libra

Emotional Healing Properties

Rainbow Obsidian shows us how to navigate affairs of the heart with ease and optimism.  It helps us to recognize the truth about ourselves and about other people, so that we can make good emotional choices.  Rainbow Obsidian can be used to attract a new romantic relationship.  It can also be used to cut emotional ties that link us to old romances.  By cutting these ties, we can then look back upon old relationships fondly but move forward into new relationships that may bring greater joy to our hearts.  Rainbow Obsidian lifts away depression by helping us focus our attention on the present moment and future opportunities, rather than dwelling on the past.  When we are suffering from intense mood-swings, Rainbow Obsidian can help us to ground down and find the correct mood that best matches our current circumstances.

Mental Healing Properties

Rainbow Obsidian help us think logically and clearly about our problems, especially complex emotional issues.  It helps us to recognize what is actually true, rather than stubbornly focusing on what we wish was true.  Rainbow Obsidian also helps us to get out of our heads and start actively participating in life.  It encourages us to to take pleasure in the world around us and to never miss an opportunity to celebrate good times.

Physical Healing Properties

Rainbow Obsidian is used by metaphysical healers to treat broken bones, bruised muscles and the physical heart.  It is said to be an especially useful tool for treating stress-created diseases and to ease general tension in the body.

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Rainbow Obsidian Mineralogy

Where does Rainbow Obsidian come from?

Obsidian is found all over the world wherever volcanic activity has occurred.  Rainbow Obsidian is found in Mexico and the United States.

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.

Rainbow Obsidian Placeholder
Rainbow Obsidian

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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.

Silver Sheen 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 TearBlackGold SheenMahoganyRed Sheen, Silver Sheen and Snowflake.

Rainbow 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 sometimes create colored varieties. In rare cases, Black Obsidian may have a colorful sheen that appears when moved in the light.  This effect is created by small inclusions of water vapor bubbles trapped inside the glass.  These bubbles have been stretched nearly flat in a series of layers which reflect back the light as metallic gold or silver. Rainbow Obsidian has a similar iridescence, but the colors actually come from nanoparticles of Hedenbergite, an inosilicate mineral.

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

Mineralogy Rainbow Obsidian
Rock Type Igneous Rock
Major Minerals Volcanic Glass
Minor Minerals Feldspar, Hematite
Color Black with rainbow iridescent
Texture Vitreous
Transparency Transparent to opaque
Special Features Iridescent

History of Rainbow 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.

Rainbow Obsidian is a very rare type of Obsidian.  When viewed in poor lighting or at the wrong angle, it appears to be black.  But, when held up to the light, brilliant colors appear.  Sometimes these colors form concentric rings  At other times, they may be swirled together or a single color might dominate.  Rainbow Obsidian is found mainly in Jalisco, Mexico and has only been mined for a few decades.  It is easy to carve and takes a fine polish, making it a favorite for Obsidian sculptures.

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