Amber is not a stone or crystal; it is organic matter composed of fossilised tree resin. Amber has been appreciated for its colour and natural beauty since Neolithic times. True Amber must be over 1 million years old
Amber in history
The English word amber derives from Arabic and Middle Persian ambar. The word was adopted in Middle English in the 14th century as referring to what is now known as ambergris (ambre gris or “grey amber”), a solid waxy substance derived from the sperm whale. The two substances (“yellow amber” and “grey amber”) became associated or confused because both were found washed up on beaches. Ambergris is less dense than water and floats, whereas amber is too dense to float, though less dense than stone.
The classical names for amber, Latin electrum and Ancient Greek elektron, are connected to a term elektor) meaning “beaming Sun”. The word elektron gave rise to the words electric, electricity, and because of amber’s ability to bear a charge of static electricity.
The early Chinese believed the souls of tigers became amber when they died It was customary to burn amber during large festivities. When burned, amber does give off a characteristic “pinewood” fragrance and if heated under the right conditions, amber oil is released. Amber oil combined carefully with nitric acid to creates “artificial musk”.
Stone Age gravesites have been discovered containing amulets with spiral patterns, beads, and pendants all carved from amber. Amber ornaments have been found in Mycenaean tombs and elsewhere across the Mediterranean.
The Ancient Greek historian Nicias believed amber to be congealed droplets of sweat formed on the Earth as The Sun set beneath the waves. Other ancient writers depicted these “droplets” of fossilized sap as the tears of gods or heroes on various quests.
Phaethon was the son of Helios (Sun god) we had foolishly lost control of his father’s sun chariot (the sun) and was about to crash to earth. To prevent the word from being scorched by the falling sun, Zeus the head of the gods, shot Phaethon down with one of his thunderbolts. Hence the Greeks called amber ‘electrum’ after their name for the sun (elector) and gives us the word electricity
Ovid, the Roman writer describes the tale that amber is the crystallised tears of his mother Clymene and her daughters. The family were so grief stricken, after Phaethon’s death, they were transformed into poplar trees.
There is Lithuanian tale about Perkunas (God of Thunder) whom had a beautiful daughter Jurate. Jurate lived in an underwater palace completely built of amber in the Baltic Sea. Kastytis a fisherman, frequently cast his fishing nets within the forbidden underwater kingdom. Jurate sent her many handmaids to stop Kastytis fishing in her kingdom. The Kastytis ignored the maid’s warnings and kept on poaching. Jurate was forced to warn him in person. But as soon as she saw him, she fell in love and took the fisherman back to the amber palace with her.
Jurate’s father had already betrothed his daughter to Patrimpas, the God of Water. Perkunas was incensed that his daughter had chosen a mortal and destroyed the amber palace with a lightning bolt. Kastytis was killed and Jurate was imprisoned within its ruins for eternity.
Legends say that the amber found on the Baltic Sea coast are fragments of the underwater palace. Many of these small pieces and fragments are tear-shaped and are said to be the tears of grieving Jurate who still cries for her lost lover.
Amber in Medicine
Amber has long history in folk medicine for its alleged healing properties. Amber and its extracts have been used for a wide variety of treatments from the time of Hippocrates in ancient Greece through to the Middle Ages and to the early twentieth century.
The Roman historian, Pliny notes in his Natural History that some people believed amber could help with problems with the tonsils, mouth, and throat, as well as mental disorders and the bladder. Amber was ground and mixed with rose oil and honey to treat eye and ear infections. Amber contains succinic acid which is a mild antibiotic which was used before modern antibiotics.
The Vikings believed animal carved in amber inherited the strengths of the original animals. In Ancient Greek and Roman times, women wore amber fish, frog, and rabbit figurines to ensure fertility.
Traditional Chinese medicine still uses amber to “tranquilise the mind”.
Amber has a hardness of 2.5 and holds within it purely solidified solar energy that nature depends upon. American Indians used the stone in ceremonies involving the element fire. Amber was burned as an incense to clear the environment of negativity. This ritual allowed the Indians to shine light on and see any negative energies. This is the very reason that Amber became recognized as solidified “sunlight”.
Amber is an Alchemical healer to enhance the body’s ability to heal itself. Place Amber in direct physical contact with the human body to absorb negative energy and to transmute those energies into positive energy. Just like trees take in the carbon dioxide and turn it to oxygen
Keeping a piece of Amber close to you will stimulate the ability to make choices and be decisive
It is a great remedy if you are nervous or anxious by delivering a sense of calm due to Its warm and sunny brightness. It can sooth the mind and emotions and energise body. Via the solar plexus chakra, it allows us to manifest our desires into reality.
Amber works with the crown chakra to align energies in the physical, mental and emotional bodies. Amber stimulates order and distribution of energy allowing one to feel its physical vitality while staying in balance.
Amber is formed by sunlight and then solidified, capturing light energy and intergalactic light, aiding heavily in the manifestation of prosperity, wealth and abundance.
Chakras Throat, Solar Plexus, Sacral
Properties Creativity, Protection, Physical Healing, Purification
Wisdom, Light, Longevity, Connection with Nature
Zodiacs Leo, Libra, Aquarius
Colours Brown, Red, Orange, Yellow, Pale Yellow, Brass Yellow, Blood Red
Chemical Formula C10H16O