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The Magic of Rocks and Stones


By Patricia J. Martin

Opal, a Water and Fire stone and the birthstone for October, can be quite a useful and valuable tool to use at Samhain, not to mention throughout the long winter months.  It is a stone of "happy dreams and changes", a stone of communion, revelation and vision, and a bringer of love and understanding.  And so, as we move solidly into the realm of Autumn and prepare for all the changes that Winter brings (just as those in the Southern Hemisphere are welcoming the change to Spring and looking forward to Summer), and as we seek to reunite with the Old Ones and family and friends beyond, let Opal be our guide! 

A very interestingly structured stone, Opal is actually a hydrated Quartz containing minute spheres of silica and oxygen bonded by up to 10% water within its form.  For this reason, Opal is considered a mineraloid and not truly crystalline.  But a precious stone it is!  In fact, the name Opal derives from the Greek "opalios" meaning "all-seeing gem" and earlier from the Sanskrit word "upala" meaning "precious stone".  This beautiful but sometimes brittle gemstone has been well sought after for centuries, especially what they call the Precious White or Black varieties.  Unlike Common Opal whose tiny internal spheres are unorganized, the Precious varieties contain fiery flashes of color due to various wavelengths of diffracted light emanating from their own internal spheres which are stacked and uniform!  These flashes are called "fire" and appear in bright confetti-like hues of blue, red, pink, yellow, orange, green and purple in varying combinations.  The Ancients, though, believed that Precious Opal came into its true being when the Storm God, jealous of the beauty of the Rainbow God, shattered the rainbow to bits which then fell to the earth and were captured within the Opals.  

Perhaps because of its association with the beauteous Rainbow God, Precious Opal is believed to give its wearer an incredible charisma and charm.  It is said to increase and enhance our personal power and self-esteem and help us to take assertive action whenever needed.  All Opal can alleviate shyness, timidity and dispel lackadaisical attitudes, creating a joyful atmosphere during exploration and acknowledgement of the Higher Self and other realms. 

These silky and milky translucent opalescent stones were revered by ancient Romans who mined them in the area of what is now the Czech Republic.  The early Aztecs mined the Mexican lands as did the Spanish Conquistadors who brought Opal back to Europe with them.  Today, 90% of Opals come from Australia (the most beautiful fiery black variety found in New South Wales, and other precious varieties hailing from South Australia and Queensland), with other significant sources being the United States, Mexico, Honduras, Peru and Chile.  Opal deposits occur in masses, veins, nodules, stalactites, and at times within petrified wood.  Its environment is either volcanic, deposited from hot springs, or in sediments.


Aside from the Precious Opals of either black or white, there are many other colors and kinds of Opal, including the more common Pink Opal, Blue Opal, White Opal (containing no fire), and Brown, Black or Clear Opal.  There is also an orange variety called Fire Opal, clear Oregon Opal and Water Opal, Andean Opal with a pattern of swirling colors, brown Boulder Opal with or without fire, Cherry Opal, and a "jelly" type Opal exhibiting a gelatinous blue color.  There are many synthetic Opals on the market, so care should be taken when opting to buy the real thing. 

Magically, Black Opals open up our Third Eye, allowing for our own flashes of clear insight and revelation to spring forth.  It can help us peer into the true heart of another.  Just as the Australian Aborigines and Native American shamans used Opal to invoke visions during Dreamtime ceremonies and vision quests respectively, so too can we use this powerful stone during Astral travel, for accessing vital past-life information, meditation, trance work or divination.  Metaphysically, Black Opals encourage a stronger connection to the spirit world, helping us to more fully experience the Divine and bringing us to a welcomed state of high spirituality.  Often used in Tantric sex, this Opal helps one achieve a divine and extremely connected sexual experience - one that takes us beyond the ego so that we can more fully merge with the cosmos.  Opals, of any kind, activate matters of the heart by promoting love, loyalty, attraction and the fiery passion that comes when those three traits are combined.  It can be quite an exciting and explosive stone!  

Precious White Opal does much the same as the Black, but is known to help diminish any anger, fear or negative emotions.  It helps us release old patterns that no longer serve us, and then sweetly pushes us along to welcome in the new and improved path or relationship it has attracted to us.  In ancient France, it was believed that Opals could make one "invisible" and thus help one steal - a quality that most likely played a part in giving Opals a bad reputation back then for being "unlucky".  But this characteristic of "invisibility" - what I call donning an "invisibility cloak" - can be used for much better purposes.  It can allow us to more stealthily move through situations or times when we wish not to be noticed, and it can also allow us to move more readily between realms. 

Additional properties of various other types of Opal are: 

~ Common White Opal brings productivity and helps us to get things accomplished efficiently. It calms and soothes the emotions. 

~ Pink Opal heals emotional trauma and allows love to flourish once again. 

~ Boulder Opal helps us wade through any "muddy" areas of our lives.  

~ Boulder Matrix Fire Opal, so named because it is found within the fissures of massive boulders and contains brilliant flashes of light refracted colors of the highest intensity of all the Opals, is noted for helping us know what we truly desire and, in turn, bestows us with a greater creativity, inspiration and intuition on how to go about attaining it.


Pink Opal  -  Boulder Opal  -  Fire Opal

~ Orange Fire Opal enhances sexuality and heightens passion. 

~ Blue Opal gives us the courage to voice what we desire. 

~ Gray or clear Opal helps bring about the "invisibility" factor. 

~ Jelly Opal releases our resistance to going with the flow.


Blue Opal  -  Gray Opal  -  Jelly Opal

Physically, all Opals help stimulate circulation and purify the blood, help clear and strengthen eyesight, keep kidneys healthy, and help break up infections in the body and move them more quickly through the system. 

Opal is associated with the astrological sign of Libra, but also with Cancer, Pisces and Scorpio.  It is medium hard as stones go, registering between 5.5 and 6.5 on the Mohs Scale, and is best cleansed under softly running water or under the light of the Moon.  It is important to keep Opals out of sunlight where their water content can dry out and cause cracking or loss of iridescence.  In the Northern Hemisphere where sunlight has now waned, it is time to work with Opal! 

As brightly colored Autumn leaves herald change, so do the flashes of color in this precious opalescent and iridescent gemstone.  And as those sudden colors are revealed within the cloudy matrix of Opal, the veil is pierced.  With the veil thinnest now... 

...a blessed Samhain and a happy reunion to all!

With Opal fire to shine the way, we sing a joyous tune,

As we dance with those who've gone before, under the opalescent Moon.


The Book of Stones, Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian

Love Is In the Earth, Melody

Opal, itself.

All photos by Patricia J. Martin

First published in The Controversial Cauldron - the group newsletter of Email Witches

07th October 2009  ©  Patricia J. Martin

Best wishes and Blessed Be


Site Contents - Links to all Pages


Home Page


A Universal Message:


Let there be peace in the world  -   Where have all the flowers gone?


About me:

My Personal PageMy Place in England / My Family Tree (Ancestry)


Wicca & Witchcraft


Wicca/Witchcraft /  What is Wicca What is Magick


Traditional Writings:


The Wiccan Rede Charge of the Goddess Charge of the God  /  The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) /  The Witches Chant The Witches Creed Descent of the Goddess Drawing Down the Moon The Great Rite Invocation Invocation of the Horned GodThe 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief /  The Witches Rede of Chivalry A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality


Correspondence Tables:


IncenseCandlesColours Magickal Days Stones and Gems Elements and Elementals




Traditions Part 1  -  Alexandrian Wicca /  Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) /  Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) /  Blue Star Wicca /  British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) /  Celtic Wicca /  Ceremonial Magic /  Chaos Magic /  Church and School of Wicca /  Circle Sanctuary /  Covenant of the Goddess (COG) /  Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) /  Cyber Wicca /  Dianic Wicca /  Eclectic Wicca /  Feri Wicca /


Traditions Part 2 Gardnerian Wicca /  Georgian Tradition /  Henge of Keltria /  Hereditary Witchcraft /  Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) /  Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) /  Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition /  Nordic Paganism /  Pagan Federation /  Pectic-Wita /  Seax-Wica /  Shamanism /  Solitary /  Strega /  Sylvan Tradition /  Vodoun or Voodoo /  Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /


Other things of interest:


Gods and Goddesses (Greek Mythology) /  Esbats & Full Moons Links to Personal Friends & Resources Wicca/Witchcraft Resources What's a spell? Circle Casting and Sacred Space  Pentagram - Pentacle Marks of a Witch The Witches Power The Witches Hat An esoteric guide to visiting London SatanismPow-wowThe Unitarian Universalist Association /  Numerology:  Part 1  Part 2  /  Part 3A history of the Malleus Maleficarum:  includes:  Pope Innocent VIII  /  The papal Bull  /   The Malleus Maleficarum  /  An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum  /  The letter of approbation  /  Johann Nider’s Formicarius  /  Jacob Sprenger  /  Heinrich Kramer  /  Stefano Infessura  /  Montague Summers  /  The Waldenses  /  The Albigenses  /  The Hussites /  The Native American Sun DanceShielding (Occult and Psychic Protection)  The History of ThanksgivingAuras  - Part 1 and Part 2 Doreen Valiente Witch” (A Book Review) /   


Sabbats and Festivals:


The Sabbats in History and Mythology /  Samhain (October 31st)  /  Yule (December 21st)  /  Imbolc (February 2nd)  /  Ostara (March 21st)  /  Beltane (April 30th)  /  Litha (June 21st)  /  Lammas/Lughnasadh (August 1st)  /  Mabon (September 21st)


Rituals contributed by Crone:


Samhain / Yule Imbolc Ostara /  Beltane Litha Lammas Mabon




Tools of a Witch  /  The Besom (Broom) /  Poppets and DollsPendulums / Cauldron Magick Mirror Gazing




Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar and Totem Animals) /  AntelopeBatsCrow Fox Frog and Toads Goat / HoneybeeKangarooLion OwlPhoenix Rabbits and HaresRaven Robin RedbreastSheep Spider SquirrelSwansUnicornWild Boar Wolf /  Serpent /  Pig /  Stag /  Horse /  Mouse /  Cat /  Rats /  Unicorn




In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar.  For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following:  Birch /  Rowan / Ash /  Alder /  Willow Hawthorn /  Oak /  Holly /  Hazel /  Vine /  Ivy /  Reed /  Elder


Sacred Sites:


Mystical Sacred Sites  -  Stonehenge /  Glastonbury Tor /  Malta - The Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni /  Avebury /  Cerne Abbas - The Chalk Giant /  Ireland - Newgrange /


Rocks and Stones:


Stones - History, Myths and Lore


Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:


Apophyllite  / Amber Amethyst Aquamarine Aragonite Aventurine Black Tourmaline Bloodstone Calcite Carnelian Celestite Citrine Chrysanthemum StoneDiamond  /  Emerald / Fluorite Garnet /  Hematite Herkimer Diamond Labradorite Lapis Lazuli Malachite Moonstone Obsidian Opal Pyrite Quartz (Rock Crystal) Rose Quartz Ruby Selenite Seraphinite  /  Silver and GoldSmoky QuartzSodalite Sunstone ThundereggTree AgateZebra Marble


Wisdom and Inspiration:


Knowledge vs Wisdom by Ardriana Cahill I Talk to the TreesAwakening The Witch in YouA Tale of the Woods I have a Dream by Martin Luther King /


Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:


Murdered by Witchcraft The Fairy Witch of Clonmel A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) /  Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife /  The Story of Jack-O-Lantern The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) /  The Two Brothers - Light and Dark


Old Masters of Academia:


Pliny the ElderHesiodPythagoras





A "Who's Who" of Witches, Pagans and other associated People

(Ancient, Past and Present)


Remembered at Samhain

(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)


Pagan Pioneers:  Founders, Elders, Leaders and Others


Abramelin the Mage /  Agrippa Aidan A KellyAlbertus Magnus - “Albert the Great” Aleister Crowley - “The Great Beast” /  Alex Sanders - “King of the Witches” /  Alison Harlow /   Allan Bennett - the Ven. Ananda MetteyyaAllan Kardec (Spiritism) /  Alphonsus de SpinaAmber KAnn Moura /  Anna FranklinAnodea JudithAnton Szandor LaVey /  Arnold CrowtherArthur Edward Waite /  Austin Osman SpareBalthasar Bekker /  Biddy EarlyBarbara Vickers /  Bridget Cleary - The Fairy Witch of Clonmel /  Carl " Llewellyn" Weschcke Cecil Hugh WilliamsonCharles Godfrey Leland /   Charles WaltonChristopher PenczakChristina Oakley Harrington Cornelius Loos /  Damh the Bard - "Dave Smith" /  Dion Fortune /  Dolores Aschroft-NowickiDonald Michael Kraig Doreen ValienteDorothy MorrisonDr. John Dee & Edward Kelly /  Dr. Leo Louis Martello /  Edain McCoy /  Edward FitchEleanor Ray Bone - “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” Eliphas Levi /  Ernest Thompson Seton /  Ernest Westlake /  Fiona Horne /   Frederick McLaren Adams - Feraferia Friedrich von Spee /  Francis Barrett /  Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca /  Gerald B. Gardner - The father of contemporary Witchcraft /  Gwydion Pendderwen Hans HolzerHelen Duncan /   Herman Slater - Horrible Herman /  Heinrich KramerIsaac Bonewits Israel RegardieIvo Domínguez Jr. /  Jack Whiteside Parsons - Rocket Science and Magick /  James "Cunning" Murrell - The Master of Witches /  Janet Farrar and Gavin BoneJean Bodin Jessie Wicker Bell - “Lady Sheba” / Johann Weyer  / Johannes Junius - "The Burgomaster of Bamberg" /   Johann Georg Fuchs von Dornheim  -  the “Hexenbrenner” (witch burner) /  John Belham-Payne John George Hohman - "Pow-wow" /  John Gerard /  John Gordon Hargrave and the Kibbo Kith Kindred /  John Michael Greer /  John Score /  Joseph “Bearwalker” Wilson /  Joseph John Campbell /  Karl von Eckartshausen Lady Gwen Thompson - and "The Rede of the Wiccae" /   Laurie Cabot  - "the Official Witch of Salem" /  Lewis SpenceLodovico Maria Sinistrari Ludwig LavaterMadeline Montalban and the Order of the Morning Star /  Margaret Alice MurrayMargot AdlerMichael Howard and the UK "Cauldron Magazine" /  Margaret St. Clair - the “Sign of the Labrys” /  Marie Laveau - " the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" /  Marion WeinsteinMartin Antoine Del Rio Matthew Hopkins - “The Witch-Finder General” /   Max Ehrmann and the "Desiderata" /  Michael A. Aquino - and The Temple of Set /  Monique WilsonMontague Summers /  Nicholas CulpeperNicholas RemyM. R. SellarsMrs. Maud Grieve - "A Modern Herbal" /  Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning GloryOld Dorothy Clutterbuck /  Old George PickingillOlivia Durdin-Robertson - co-founder of the Fellowship of Isis /  Paddy SladePamela Colman-SmithParacelsus /  Patricia CrowtherPatricia Monaghan /  Patricia “Trish” TelescoPaul Foster Case and the “Builders of the Adytum” mystery school /  Peter Binsfeld /  Philip HeseltonRaven GrimassiRaymond Buckland /  Reginald Scot /  Richard BaxterRobert CochraneRobert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and the "The White Goddess" /  Rosaleen Norton - “The Witch of Kings Cross” /  Rossell Hope Robbins /   Ross Nichols and the " Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids" (OBOD) /  Rudolf SteinerSabrina Underwood - "The Ink Witch" /  Scott CunninghamSelena Fox - founder of "Circle Sanctuary" /  Silver RavenwolfSir Francis Dashwood /  Sir James George Frazer and the " The Golden Bough"S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” /  Starhawk /  Stewart Farrar /  Sybil LeekTed Andrews The Mather Family - (includes:  Richard Mather, Increase Mather and Cotton Mather ) /   Thomas AdyT. Thorn CoyleVera ChapmanVictor & Cora Anderson and the " Feri Tradition" /  Vivianne CrowleyWalter Brown GibsonWalter Ernest ButlerWilliam Butler YeatsZsuzsanna Budapest /  



Many of the above biographies are briefs and far from complete.  If you know about any of these individuals and can help with additional information, please contact me privately at my email address below.  Many thanks for reading  :-)



While I have taken due care and diligence to credit all sources where possible, this website may contain copyrighted material which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.  My use of making such material available here is done so in my efforts to advance our understanding of religious discrimination, the environmental and social justice issues etc.   If you wish to use copyrighted material from this website for purposes of your own then you must obtain permission from the relevant copyright owner yourself.

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