By Heidi Von Zilpke
Amber – I have always loved it. I recently purchased a piece with an insect in and was informed that it came from the Baltic! I had never really given its source a thought before! I mentioned this to my son who then proceeded to give me a history lesson and showed me a number of old pictures (See Gallery).
GEOLOGY - Amber is fossilized resin (translucent or opaque; colour is golden to yellow-brown; some contain red, blue or green hues; some are artificially coloured ) derived from extinct coniferous trees in which seeds, insects and other prehistoric objects can be found embedded, having been trapped on the sticky resin surface prior to hardening. It is found predominantly in Tertiary deposits around the South Baltic coast, but there are numerous other deposits around the globe and pieces may also be found on the east coast of England. There are three classifications of Amber namely: organic compounds; resin and other compounds and Bernstein series (see below).
BERNSTEIN – The Staatliche Bernstein manufaktur (the older galley pictures are from this mine) was formerly in East Prussia. The open mine situated at Palmnicken (now Jantarny) began operating in 1875 and the factory in Konigsberg now Kaliningrad, in the Kaliningradskya Oblast, Russian North Western Region.
COMMERCIAL - It takes a high polish and is used for jewellery and ornaments. In the past Amber was used for handles for umbrellas and in the heyday of tobacco there was a huge demand for mouthpieces for pipes, cigar and cigarette holders. The small pieces being made into varnish. There were other uses for the powder.
WICCA – It is a symbol for the High Priestess’s amber and jet necklace which is the ‘circle of rebirth’. The amber beads represents ‘solar’ (light and polarity) male incamations and the jet represents ‘lunar’ (dark and perfect balance) female icamations. It can also be used to decorate the Wand.
HISTORICAL – Amber is said to have been one of the stones used in the breastplate of the high priest. The Ancient Tribal Healers used it for fire ceremonies. To the North American and Eastern Indians it was a sacred stone. In medieval times it was used as a fumigant. Amber was used for a number of health treatments which continues to this day. It was reputed to bring good luck to warriors.
ATTRIBUTES and HEALING – Amber is a powerful healer. It allows the body to heal itself by absorbing and transferring negative energy into positive energy. Amber is also used to cleanse and purify ones body and environment. It opens the crown chakra. The different colours of amber may be used to facilitate opening and cleansing of appropriate chakras. It has been used for a number of treatments for example: joint problems; goiter and other throat problems; healing wounds; disorders of the kidneys and bladder.
So next time you wear Amber and you start to feel bright, positive and motivated and connected spiritually – it’s probably the amber working its magic!