October's Birthstone: Opal
October's child is born for woe,
And life's vicissitues must know,
But lay an Opal on her breast,
And hope will lull those foes to rest
Opal consists of siliciumoxide and contains on average 5 to 10% water, in some cases even up to 30%, which is why this stone does not have a crystalline structure. It is quite important to keep Opals in damp surroundings otherwise will they can burst. This stone belongs to the Quartz family and has a hardness of 5,5 to 6,5 on the Mohs' scale. Opal is formed in sedimentary rocks, veins or magmatic rocks; this mineral also forms stalagmites and replaces organic materials in fossilised wood, shells and bones. Opals containing a beautiful play of colours, which is also called iridescence, are most well known and appreciated. The iridescence is caused by the order of minuscule balls of siliciumoxide in combination with the water inside the stone. The larger the balls, the larger the spectre of colours inside the stone. It is less known there are opaque Opals that do not display any iridescence. The Opal's iridescence is found in all colour ranges and this is what makes this stone one of the most popular gemstones in the world. The following varieties of Opal are most well known: Andean Opal, Black Opal, Dendritic Opal, Fire Opal, Leather Opal, Milk Opal and Water Opal.
The name Opal is derived from the Sanskrit word Upala, which signifies 'precious stone'.
In Europe, the Opal has been considered an unlucky stone for centuries and it is said that only those born in the month of October are able to wear an Opal without receiving the ill-luck attached to this stone. This is of course a myth that has been created by someone who wanted to get his hands on all Opals. For instance, once upon a time there was a sultan who enjoyed the beauty of Opals so much, he wished to possess all Opals in the world. To lower the price of these precious stones, he told everyone that Opals were bad luck and after a short while everyone wanted to get rid of their Opals. Unfortunately the sultan had also started to believe his own story and was afraid to buy all the stones. Sir Walter Scott's "Anne of Geierstein" also contributed to the Opal's reputation as a stone of ill luck. Unfortunately one should say, because this stone is definitely worth getting to know. It is said the Opal warns its wearer for impending danger by breaking, becoming dull or simply by disappearing on us.
Contrary to European beliefs, the Opal is seen as a stone of luck and a stone of hope and faithfulness in Asia. In Greece it was believed that this stone contained the spirit of truth and that it revealed the truth to its wearer. This stone is also seen as the stone belonging to the God of Love Eros or Cupid. The Australian Aborigines and Native Americans use the Opal to obtain a trance state and to bring about their dreamtime and/or vision quests.
Opals help diminish depressions, lethargy and strengthen the memory. This stone also stimulates spontaneous actions and strengthens feelings, loyalty and respect for love. Next to that this stone also stimulates good dreams and makes its wearer more creative. On the physical level Opal makes sure the blood and kidneys stay healthy, but it also helps its wearer to fight off infections. The stone lowers fevers and guarantees an optimal blood circulation. It may also be used to strengthen the eyes and to diminish and heal ailments of the eyes. In serious illnesses, like Parkinson's disease the Opal can bring the affected person lot of relief, yet it has to be taken into account that this stone cannot heal this tragically serious illness. Next to this, Opals are very good stones to keep with you when you are in labour. Opals are extremely suited to help one overcome tuberculosis and it can also be used as a therapy stone when you are suffering from leukaemia and are undergoing regular treatment. The Opal positively influences the cholesterol and the blood pressure as well.
Opals are worn to bring out their wearers inner beauty and it is also said that this stone has the power to make its wearer invisible. Because of the variety of colours inside this stone, the Opal positively influences the chakra system and can be used to balance all chakras. Opals also highten the consciousness of their wearers and transport said consciousness to a higher level. This stone also provides its wearer with intuition and insight. Opal is a stone that can disappear on you, if it is not suited for you and will only reoccur when you are ready to wear it. In magic Opals are used for astral projection, psychism, money, luck, protection, beauty and power.
Opal strengthens the energies of the following Bach Flower remedies: Beech, Chicory, Rock Water, Vervain and Vine