“October’s child is born for woe
A life’s vicissitudes must know
It lay an Opal on her breast
And hope will lull those foes to rest.”
What a lovely stone! If a gemstone can be called innocent, the opal would be it. Opals are the most delicate of gemstones, right up there with an emerald. Since opals are 30% water, it dries easily, thus becomes very delicate. So much so, it is recommended to never use any detergents, even common hand soap, if you are wearing an opal ring. It can make the stone brittle and therefore more fragile. Opals are more even more iridescent than a pearl, with sparkles of delicate fairy wishes within it.
However, opals do have a vibrant cousin usually found in Australia. It is equally as delicate, but much much darker in color. Where the common opal is white, this cousin is almost black – so the fairy sparkles are energetic like lightning. Thus it is called a fire opal.
It seems that I’m not the only one who loves this precious gem. It has been treasured through out history. Romans believed that opals granted foresight and the power of prophesy thus dedicating it to Ops-goddess of harvest, and early energies. When Mark Anthony tried to buy a senator’s opal for the love of his life –Cleopatra, the senator refused and voluntarily accepted exile rather than part with his opal. From what I know of that period, that was likely a wise choice considering what happened in Rome then.
Onward we venture to the Middle Ages. Thieves believed opals dimmed the eyes of anyone who gazed at this gem. So, they figured that if they wore an opal they would become invisible. I really doubt this theory worked for very long. Another wives tale was that teenagers must not wear an opal because it would make them unstable to withstand their changing ‘vibrations,’ which I think means hormones. Even Sir Walter Scott got into this trend with opals and determined that an opal would bring a wearer bad luck if they wore an opal and were NOT born in October. But if you were to wear TWO opals it would reverse the bad luck and bring good fortune. In Australia, it was thought by the Aborigines that the creator came down to earth on a rainbow to bring a message of peace. At the spot where his foot touched, the ground be came alive and sparkled with the beauty of fire opals.
By some it is believed that the white opal helps with eyesight and thought by Eastern tradition protects the wearer from practically all diseases. It was also thought to help with competency and efficiency. Apparently the black, or fire opal, attracts love, passion, loyalty, faithfulness. So if you are an October baby you have a sweet birthstone indeed.
October’s other birthstone is tourmaline or thus called ‘turamalie’ or attractor of ashes. Some say it attracts dust but where I live it’s sand but whatever. What is most beautiful about tourmaline is its many colors -watermelon being the favorite. Each color seems to have it’s special giftings. Green tourmaline is calming and helps with communication. Black tourmaline grounds negativity. Blue brings peace and eloquence. Brown draws stability and practically. Violet helps meditation. Yellow heightens intelligence, and colorless or clear tourmaline attracts angels. Take your pick as needed.
Being so colorful, tourmaline was once believed to be the talisman for creativity for artists, writers and actors . It is called the ‘stone of the muses’ because this gem was said to inspire and enrich the mind. I need to get one of these.
Like the opal, the tourmaline helps with so many ills. It is believed to stimulate the bowels if constipated, reduces fevers, lowers blood pressure, combats colds. Black tourmaline is also believed to heal arthritis, dyslexia and syphilis.
Tourmaline does go beyond most claims for gems. Since it has a complex and variable mineral content, it can stir mystics from another planet not yet discovered and can help in finding a blue ray of peace or find a lost planet. NASA are you listening?
All I know is, both gems are beautiful and fun to wear. But be gentle with these precious gems. Like life, they are delicate.
(The Book of Sacred Stones – fact and fallacy in the crystal world Barbara G Walker.)