The opal stone above was the inspiration for this post. In my family, according to my mother having an opal (unless your birthday was in October), was bad luck. There was a ‘family’ opal that made the rounds causing death(s) and so it came to be that I had to forgo my love for opals. My sister’s birthday was in October and so she was allowed to wear one. Bad luck came to her as well as she promptly broke the stone before I had a chance to secretly try it on. It’s just as well. Bad luck has a way of finding me even without the temptation.
In (Sir Walter) Scott’s novel (Anne of Geierstein, 1829), the Baroness of Arnheim wears an opal talisman with supernatural powers. When a drop of holy water falls on the talisman, the opal turns into a colorless stone and the Baroness dies soon thereafter. Due to the popularity of Scott’s novel, people began to associate opals with bad luck and death.
Fast forward to today’s times and the opal has a new life with the bad luck attachment considered a myth from Victorian times (deaths involved there too!) Now it is seen as a stone of great healing capacity with supernatural powers. It brings spirit and inspiration to the life of the wearer and is known by healers to enhance memory and decrease confusion.
Being that I had a preconceived and to many an outdated notion of the powers of the opal, my main character in Crystal Ball Persuasion (almost complete!!!), needed other talismen. I chose an engraved obsidian stone ring, which she would not remove even given its history, because of its power of protection. I actually have two intaglio rings with obsidian stones, so I was fine with letting her have one. After all it was tried and tested and proven to be safe :).
The obsidian stone is a product from lava which cooled down very quickly, producing a very hard shiny rock. This will not crack like opals do, that’s for sure. It is considered a very protective stone which helps remove negativity and a remedy for shock and trauma. I have it on good authority that it does all that is reported about it.
Gypsy also wears an amulet of tourmaline on the pinkish hues but infused with other colours. The tourmaline in these colours are mostly associated with love and help heal emotional wounds.
As it turns out, from my research, the tourmaline is the birthstone for October/November. This all became official in 1912. I wondered if the new ‘opal’ was an invention of the jewelry business since within a year of the publishing of Scott’s novel in April 1829, the sale of opals in Europe dropped by 50%, and remained low for the next 20 years or so.
Now, I wear only a gold bracelet and keep it on all the time sheerly because of the difficulty of taking it off and on, but I am going to dig out those obsidian rings to wear – Unfortunately, I can’t bring myself to acquire an opal even if it promises to add inspiration to my life. I am just that bit superstition and tempting fate is never a good idea. In fact, now that I have completed this post, I’m going to delete that gorgeous temptress of an opal from my laptop!
Lesley Fletcher is a writer (freelance, books, content, lyrics,stage plays) as well as a visual artist specializing in monoprints. To learn more about her please visit the tabs on Inspiration Import (blog) at http://InspirationImport.Wordpress.com or her website at http://www.LesleyFletcher.com
This blog is an accompaniment to her book 5 PILLARS OF THE GYPSY and a starting ground for her next book, Crystal Ball Persuasion (a novel).
5 Pillars of the Gypsy is widely available ( Amazon.com, .ca, .uk) in e-book format for less than $2.00 USD. Amazon now provides a wonderful FREE Kindle reading app for your computer, phone or tablet. Please click on the title to be directed to Amazon. If you read and like 5 PILLARS OF THE GYPSY consider leaving a quick review – much appreciated! Thanks.