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Saturday, October 10, 2015

OPALS and THE HEALING POWER OF LOVE



Posted by R. Ann Siracusa
“Eventually you will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is.” -- Gary Zukav (American spiritual teacher)

Our October theme, The Healing Power of Love, touches every romance writer and reader at the very core. We all carry the baggage of our prior existence, heavy or light, and have the need for some level of healing, either physical, emotional, or spiritual. The journey of overcoming obstacles and dealing with that baggage to find true love is what romance is all about,
Nonetheless, writing about it proved a difficult task for me. After several lame attempts, I decided instead to blog about Opals, the birthstone for October. And in the process, I discovered an unexpected correlation between the two topics. I put it forth as food for thought.
IT'S ALL ABOUT WATER
When Leonardo da Vince wrote in his Codices "Water is the power that moves everything in life" I believe he was referring to everything physical, including human bodies which consist of about 60 percent water. In fact, if one studies geology, history, and physiology it's obvious that our Renaissance Man knew what he was talking about.
After considering the quote, it occurred to me that on a spiritual and non-physical level, the parallel is "Love is the power that moves everything in life." More importantly, love is the force that brings together the physical and non-physical in a way that molds our spiritual, emotional, and physical being. Isn't that what romance is all about.
Another of Leonardo's quotes is "In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes, so with present time." Water and love are the two irrepressible forces that forge a path over, around, and cutting into obstacles and difficulties, never relenting, to achieve the ultimate goal. In other words, the journey of overcoming obstacles to find true love is what romance is all about,
So what does this have to do with opals?
WHAT IS AN OPAL?
Opal is the birthstone for October. It is also the anniversary stone for the 14th and 18th years of marriage. Historically it has been considered a stone imbued with powers of love and of healing.
Technically, opal is a hydrated amorphous form of silicon dioxide with a water content from 3 to 21 percent by weight. The amount of water accounts for the appearance of the stone. It is considered and called a water stone. The internal structure makes it diffract light.
Because it lacks a crystalline internal structure and has no specific chemical formula, it is actually classified as a mineraloid, not a mineral.
The vast variety of colors, types (78) and names (17) for opal boggles the mind. The stone is named and classified in various ways including: 1) Basic type; 2) Opal/Host rock relationship; 3)Base color; 4) Fire patterns; and 5) Geography or where it is found.
Basic Types
              Precious Opal 
 
            Common Opal                    Fire Opal                                    

WHERE IS OPAL FOUND?
Opal is found throughout the world and is generally deposited in fissures of most kinds of rock on the edges of underground water aquifers or hot springs. The location of opal is so closely related to water that scientists connect the black opal found on Mars in 2008 by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter with proof that water has existed on that planet.
While on earth the stone is found worldwide, Australia is blessed with most of the world's opals (discovered to date). According to http://www.opals.info/famous.php, "Black opal is the rarest and most valuable, with Australia having 99.9% of the World's supply of the famous gem…"  Black opal is created from running water picking up silica which it leaves behind in cracks and voids.
FOLKLORE, LEGENDS, AND SYMBOLS
Healing Properties
Since ancient times most civilizations and cultures used stones, crystals, and minerals for numerous purposes, including healing and protection. Opals, throughout history, have been imbued with healing properties and the ability to increase mental capacities and creative imagination. "Also associated with the assimilation of protein, Pineal Flans function, Insulin regulation, the testicles, Parkinson's disease and memory, opal is a stand-alone gemstone amongst gems."
http://opal-trader.com/support/spiritual_qualities_of_opal.asp
"Opal has a larger proportion of water in it than most stones and is considered a water stone. This can help ease the effort of handling change in life. Like water rolls over and past rocks and roots in its way, the energy of opal can help continue on your path regardless of obstacles. During times of transformation, this  is an invaluable energy to work with and hold close to your heart."
"Traditionally in crystal healing opal has been considered good for headaches, eyesight, Parkinson's disease, blood, insulin regulation, PMS, and the immune system." http://meanings.crystalsandjewelry.com/opal
Opal is also used to bring happy dreams and avoid nightmares. It is a soothing stone which can calm turbulent emotions and bring a deep sense of hope and inner peace.
Love
Opal is said to be a stone for love. It was believed to bring renewal to a stagnant heart, and also brings fidelity to love.
Emotionally, opal brings its water energy to enhance self-esteem and sense of self-worth, and is aligned with the inspiring love energies can help you release damaging inhibitions and access your true spiritual nature.
Beliefs About Opal
The history of opal goes back to the dawn of time. The name comes from the Sanskrit word for stone or precious stone upala and/or the Latin name opalus. There are numerous references to the name source, but whatever the truth, opal has at least seventeen different names and seventy-eight varieties, so take your pick.
The ancient Romans believed opal to be the mysterious mother of all gemstones, and to them it symbolized purity and power.
One of the more interesting stories is that a Roman senator named Marcus Nonius presented a growing threat to Marc Anthony’s power in Rome. The senator owned an opal "the size of a hazel nut" [also by some sources call it the Ring of Prophesy] worth 20,000  Sesterces. Marc Anthony wanted the ring to give to Cleopatra and offered Nonius an outrageous price. Nonius turned down the offer. One source claims that Anthony accused Nonius of being too rich and ordered the senator to sell him the gem. Either way, Pliny in his writings, says that Anthony told him he had to sell the gem or go into exile, and Nonius chose exile over parting with the opal.

In Greek mythology, opals were believed to be the tears of joy shed by Zeus after the victory over the Titans, and the Greeks imbued the stone with prophetic powers.
 

In India, opals were believed to be the beautiful Goddess of Rainbows who turned into the gems to escape the unwanted advances of other gods.To the Arabs, opals were sent from heaven to earth in lightning that had captured the divine light in the stone.

Even in the western hemisphere, the Aztecs thought of opals as the earthly manifestation of the waters of paradise. Orientals called it "the anchor stone of hope".

During the Middle Ages, if was believed that if an opal changed in color intensity it was indicating a change in health, good to ill or the reverse. Wearing opals supposedly maintained a strong heart, prevented fainting, and protected against infection.

It's interesting how many of these legends and beliefs associate opal with water, which is a significant feature of the stone. It is no surprise opal is believed to be aligned with the water element.

WHAT YOU YOU THINK?
Do you believe there is a love-water-healing triangle?














4 comments:

Rose Anderson said...

Great post, Ann! My mother-in-law once told me that you should never buy an opal for yourself, that they should only come to you as a gift. It had to do with bad luck.

R. Ann Siracusa said...

Rose, I didn't find that one. Thanks for the input. I wish I could have posted photos of all the different kinds of opals. They are amazing.

jean hart stewart said...

I've heard Rose's saying too. Opals can be so beautiful though.. I have some jewelry that is mixed opal and turquoise (Am.Indian) that is gorgeous. No bad luck associated with it at all..Great column, Ann

Melissa Keir said...

Very informative post. The fire opals are so beautiful. :)

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