My husband bought me a beautiful amber pendant for my birthday and I love it. I have always had a secret desire to own and work with a piece of amber, but felt that the time and circumstance had to be right. It was an interesting adventure when we went out shopping to find the right piece. I nearly succumbed to bracelets of beads or earrings because I thought they looked nice as jewellery. The picture in my mind though was of a single piece, one that I could develop a relationship with and use as an ally in my symbol work. The jewellery I’d seen so far just didn’t speak to me in the right way. Then I spotted a large irregular oval pendant and it was love at first site (though I dithered about the price).
Amber is beautiful (personal taste I realise- but I’m certainly not alone in thinking so), light, warm and natural. Each piece is interesting in it’s flawed state, whether it has insect inclusions or not. If you rub your amber until it is quite warm you should detect the faint aroma of pine. This act is a powerful way to connect you to the ancient pine forest from whence the amber originated, rather like listening to the sound of the sea in a shell.
Amber is the resin from coniferous trees dating back from between 60 to 90 million years ago!
If you contemplate the length of time your amber has existed on this earth, and how that makes you feel, you may begin to connect with the overwhelming longevity and power of earth itself. (which is considered by geologists today to be about 4.54 billion years old)
When rubbed amber becomes charged with static electricity and our modern word ‘electricity’ comes from the Greek name for yellow amber ‘electron’. It symbolises the psychic line between individual and cosmic energy.
Therefore it is excellent to use as an aide for any psychic work and connecting to the spirit world. Amber is very popular with people who work in the field of witchcraft.
Over history, many different cultures have had a variety of uses and associations for amber. Here is a link to a Andzia’s Amber Jewellery- quick facts about amber page, which contains lots more interesting cross cultural tidbits regarding amber. The most popular uses appear to be as amulets for protection, preservation and youthfulness. It has been closely associated with the sun, in fact it has been considered to be made of ‘solidified sunbeams’ . It has also been employed for all kinds of medicinal purposes.
One of my favourite tidbits, which comes from The Dictionary of Symbolism, regarding amber is that the Chinese word for amber (hu-po) means ‘Tiger’s soul’ as it was believed that tigers sank into the earth upon death and transformed into amber.
Here is an informative page with some good tips for detecting fake amber (which appears to be quite prevalent.)
So what might be a relevant reason to employ amber today?
- Spiritual work/psychic work/meditation- an aide to connection between yourself and Spirit/the cosmos/or God.
- Connection to the Earth (particularly the past)- through sensory perception.
- Connection to the sun and it’s energetic qualities- new beginnings/sunrise, warmth.
- A need for preservation- perhaps there is something in our lives that needs preserving. It could be a physical thing or it could be a memory. A good example could be using amber in a wedding ceremony.
- Desire for youthfulness- perhaps here rather than fighting the forces of nature and resisting the ageing process, we could link back to the energy of the sun. We could look at our internal youth, focussing on qualities like- play, silliness, laughter, joy, innocence. It could be a good amulet to give a youth as an acknowledgement of approaching adulthood, accompanied by the encouragement of maintaining some of their youthful qualities.
- Protection- I like to think of this as an ally or support in times that we may feel vulnerable or afraid. We all experience these times and to have something or someone familiar to you on hand when you need them is of great importance. To work with an object that has been employed by many in the past for the same purpose will add to its power and effectiveness.
- If you are a lover of the tiger as I am then you could use you amber to evoke the power of all those tiger spirits out there. Goodness knows what you could achieve with a power like that- just keep it friendly!