Published June 2023  •  Updated February 2024  •  Read Time: 8 minutes
Spiderweb Obsidian is created when lava cools very quickly and as the stone hardens little cracks and fractures appear.  These veins are later filled by mineral-rich fluids which harden to form the colorful spiderweb pattern.  Green Spiderweb Obsidian is found only in Mexico.  Like other Obsidians it has a very grounded and practical energy, while also embodying the wisdom of spider medicine, including how we weave our fate and what connections bind us.  Spiderweb Obsidian is a highly creative stone for fiber artists, writers and storytellers.  It is also a wonderful stone for connecting grandparents and grandchildren.

Green Spiderweb Obsidian spiderweb obsidian

Spiderweb Obsidian Meaning

Spiritual Healing Properties

Spiderweb Obsidian feels more delicate than other Obsidians, but that softness hides a deep strength.  It is a wonderful stone for exploring complexity and creating a rich and varied life.  It is one of the best stones for investigating ideas about fate, and whether we choose to accept it or fight to change it.  Spiderweb Obsidian helps us to weave our own dreams and to carefully measure the threads in our life and craft them into powerful patterns.  It reminds us that our thoughts, words, and actions will link our past and future together, so choose them wisely in this present moment.  Instead of thinking of our life as a linear line, Spiderweb Obsidian encourages us to consider it a spiral, that repeats and evolves.  It can be a spiral moving from the outer ego into the inner soul, or a spiral that moves outward from ourselves to link us to the larger world.  In both directions it reminds us that we are powerful and creative beings and that great magic lies within us.

Metaphysical Properties Spiderweb Obsidian
Chakra Root and Heart
Element Earth
Numerology Gemini
Zodiac 5

Emotional Healing Properties

Spiderweb Obsidian is an amazing tool when we need to process emotional complexity.  It is particularly helpful when we feel attached to someone that we need to be separated from.  It reminds us that love is never the problem, but love alone is not always enough.  After a break-up, it helps us to consciously uncouple and to stand alone again. If we have physically separated, but remain trauma-bonded to someone, Spiderweb Obsidian gives us the strength to gently break the energy cord so that it no longer drains and chains us.  It also reminds us of our other important connections with friends, family, and neighbors.  If we don’t feel connected enough, it pushes us to find new connections and strengthen existing ones.  If we worry that we’ve lost our chance, Spiderweb Obsidian reminds us that life often repeats itself.  If we want love, we will find love again.  Because negative patterns can also repeat, Spiderweb Obsidian teaches us that if we don’t want to keep experiencing heartache, we have to behave differently so that a new pattern can form.

Mental Healing Properties

Spiderweb Obsidian weaves together our creative and analytical abilities.  It helps us to understand intricate and subtle information and to make mental connections between different ideas.  It encourages introspection and a desire to know oneself deeply.  Rather than assuming destiny is waiting for us, Spiderweb Obsidian shows us that we are the creators of our life.  Sometimes our patterns aren’t obvious since we’re so close to them, but when seen from a distance the design is clear.  It is a fantastic choice for artists and creative individuals of all types.  It is particularly good for those in the fiber arts, as well as for storytellers and writers.  Spiderweb Obsidian helps us to keep both the big picture and the tiny details in mind.

Physical Healing Properties

Spiderweb Obsidian is recommended when we are faced with a genetic disorder that ties us to the generations before us.  Spiderweb Obsidian helps us to be ruthlessly practical, rather than getting mired down in feelings of helplessness.  It encourages us to accept what is happened, prioritize what needs to happen next, and to get it done.  It pushes us to set up a strong support system around us, both physical and emotional, so that we have the best chance to survive and thrive.  Spiderweb Obsidian is a lovely talisman for the heart and gallbladder.

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Spiderweb Obsidian Mineralogy

Where does Spiderweb Obsidian come from?

Obsidian is found all over the world wherever volcanic activity has occurred.  Spiderweb Obsidian is found mainly in Mexico and the southwestern 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.

Apache Tear Obsidian Placeholder
Apache Tear Obsidian

The Environmental & Social Impact of Crystals

Your crystals should have a healing energy that is clean, powerful, & makes a positive difference.

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.  In most cases when a stone has two colors, that means two different minerals are present.  Spiderweb Obsidian is an exception to the rule, the black and green are both Obsidian.

Spiderweb 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 is with other types of Obsidian like Apache TearBlackGold SheenMahogany, Platinum, Red Sheen, and Silver Sheen.

Spiderweb 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 or water droplets can sometimes create colored varieties.  In the case of Spiderweb Obsidian, the green patterning is because the lava cooled so quickly that the silica molecules didn’t have enough time to arrange themselves into a uniform structure and so the Obsidian has internal stresses, that crack and fracture as the Obsidian cools further.  Mineral-rich fluids can then fill these cracks and create a colorful spiderweb pattern.  The green coloring is from Iron and Magnesium.

Spiderweb Obsidian’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment.  Try it in combination with Crazy Lace Agate, Fire Agate, Golden Labradorite, and Selenite

Mineralogy Spiderweb Obsidian
Rock Type Igneous Rock
Major Minerals Volcanic Glass
Minor Minerals None
Color Black and green
Texture Vitreous
Transparency Opaque

History of Spiderweb 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.

Spiderweb Obsidian is a trade name for Obsidians with a pattern of lines which resembles a web.  The can be white, red or green.  When studying this stone, it is   is beneficial to also explore spider as a totem animal.  Spider lore can be found all over the world and their webs are a marvel of delicacy and strength.  Spiders are typically associated with feminine knowledge, since weaving is traditionally female work in much of the world.  Weaving in turn, is often associated with fate and magic.  In the Hopi Tribe in the American Southwest, Grandmother Spider keeps the mysteries of the past and holds the wisdom for our future.  She appears in countless stories, sometimes taking the shape of an old woman and sometimes keeping her spider form.  She is a force of good, dispensing wisdom and medicinal cures.  Grandmother Spider is also revered by the Choctaw people of Tennessee and Mississippi for acting as a Prometheus and bringing fire to man.  Among the Navaho, She is known as Spider Woman and is similarly a force of help and advice, but will also use her web to capture and eat misbehaving children.  In the Northwest, Ojibwe (Chippewa) mothers honor Spider Women by weaving spider web charms to help protect their children.

Additional References:

  1. Carmean, Kelli. Spider Woman Walks This Land. (Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2002) p. xvii–xx.
  2. Courlander, Harold. Hopi Voices Recollections, Traditions, and Narratives of the Hopi Indians. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1982)
  3. Densmore, Frances (1929, 1979) Chippewa Customs. (St Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1929, 1979) p. 113.
  4. Geology.com, “What is Green Obsidian?” https://www.geologyin.com/2019/12/what-is-green-obsidian.html
  5. Jaguar Bird, “The Spider Woman: A Hopi Legend,” video posted November 26, 2021 on youtube.com https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uYGQSP5AeM
  6. Mindat.org, “Obsidian” https://www.mindat.org/min-8519.html
  7. Mindat.org, Message Board: Identity Help, “Spiderweb Obsidian” https://www.mindat.org/mesg-622803.html
  8. Young, Robert. Race with Buffalo and Other Native American Stories for Young Readers. (Atlanta: August House, 2006) p.37

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