23 Oct 2010 Comments Off
Medical Astrology: GEMSTONES and HEALING: AMBER by Eileen Nauman, DHM, medical astrologer
Amber is known around the world for its fossils that are trapped within the hardened resin. Here is a small frog that was on a tree where the resin was and it got caught in its sticky grip. More resin poured over the frog and now, a hundred and fifty million years later, we get to see it.
CATALOGING THE GEMS
I evaluate a gemstone in a number of ways. First, it falls into one of these categories: Heart Stone, Grounding Stone, Guard Dog Stone, High Energy Stone, Trauma Stone, Mental Stone, Stress Tone, Luck Stone, Psychic Stone, Money Stone, Arthritis Stone and Master Healer Stone. I created this system over the years because each stone has unique skills. Some, like the Master Stones, are diverse, multi-skilled and affect more than one chakra in our aura. With this blog, we’re going to look at a Grounding stone, the Amber family.
This is a mineraloid gemstone that has the ability to draw the person’s astral body back into their physical body. Many people nowadays are ‘hanging out of their body,’ due to the stress, pressure and demands of our out-of-control world. It can also occur after an accident or injury where shock will knock the astral body partly out of the person’s body. People who aren’t grounded become “spacy” and then forgetful, late for appointments, or forgetting them completely. Worse, they have no desire to do anything. They feel like they’re in a vacuum and have no sense of purpose or direction. They lack discipline, organization and rarely complete what they start. They are often ‘dreamers’ but they can’t physical manifest it because they are not ‘home’ in their body.
The other way a grounding stone may help is to draw the roots from the Root chakra down through the person’s legs, through their feet to once more ground them into the Earth. A healthy person has roots of energy from this base chakra going far down into the earth. Their astral body is “locked” into their physical form completely. When this occurs, this person has discipline, organization and finishes what they start. They also have purpose, a vision and work toward it with vigor and passion. Being grounded is essential for living down here on our Earth. Otherwise, if ungrounded, a person will wander and float aimlessly through life accomplishing very little. Because Amber is tree resin (not sap), it had the energy of the tree and its roots. This helps keep a person locked into their physical body.
Here is an ant trapped in Baltic Amber from the Baltic Sea in Russian territory.
THE HISTORY OF AMBER
Amber is considered a mineraloid and not a gemstone. It is thought that Amber comes from the Arabic word “ambar” which means “ambergris.” Ambergris is a waxy substance created in the intestine of Sperm whales and was used in making perfumes in ancient as well as modern times. Mineraloids include Amber, horn, jet, bone, pearl and coral. There is no crystalline structure to be classified as a gemstone. That doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful or expensive. It is both. Amber is made from an organic substance. In this case, tree resin. Over time, the resin was covered with debris and through a process of heat and pressure, it eventually fossilized to become Amber.
Many mistake fossilized Amber as being from tree sap, but it is not. Resin is a hydrocarbon secretion of many plants, especially conifer types of trees. It is an important source of raw materials for organic synthesis within the plant or tree. And, interestingly enough, resin is one of the constituents of incense and perfume. And in the perfume industry, such products are often termed “ambered,” which means it is based upon the fossilized resins being the source of the gemstone, Amber. Resins are also a material of nail polish. Technically speaking, Amber is referred to as Resinite, fossilized tree resin.
Catherine the Great of Russia loved amber so much that she was inspired to create an entire room of amber and gold.
Amber has been romanticized to a degree by the perfume industry. Real Amber has very little odor at all to it. But “ambergris” from the Sperm Whale had a warm, musky scent to it. And so perfumers who wanted to utilize the romance of Amber’s warm and earthy glow, sought out Labdanum is a sticky brown resin obtained from the shrub, Cistus ladanifer (western Mediterranean). They also utilized Cistus creticus (eastern Mediterranean), species of Rock Rose. It has a long history of use in herbal medicine and as a perfume ingredient. So, ‘real’ Amber was not really used by perfumers. Simply the romance around the name and its warm, glowing yellow color did the trick. The rest was added from the plant world, which, in a way, is synchronistic, since Amber results from a tree that exudes resin.
Flies, lizards, wasps, gnats, bees, ants, preying mantis, beetles, moths, grasshoppers, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, frogs, have all been trapped in Amber. Others are flowers, mushroom caps, seeds, leaves, stems, pine needles and pine cones. They have become preserved in amber, natural asphalt (La Brea tar pit, Los Angeles, California), or peat bogs. As resin flows down a tree trunk it is very thick and sticky. And of course, any insects moving around in that area of the bark are going to be trapped within it. These organisms can be preserved for millions of years. Even now, if we look at an insect caught in Amber, you can still see every detail of it, including the hairs on its legs. An amazing feat!
Here is a lizard trapped in Amber.
From a geology standpoint, Amber is 2.0 (Baltic Amber can be as high a 3.0) on the Mohs scale of hardness. Its general composition formula is C10H16O. As Amber matures more polymerization takes place. It is amphorus and has no crystal system within it. It is transparent to translucent to opaque. It is found in nodules embedded in shales and sandstones and some are washed up on beaches. Amber is extremely light and will float in water. It is found in coals seams of Wyoming, USA, and the Dominican Republic. All Baltic countries have beautiful deposits of Amber. Others are found in Venezuela, Russia, Romania and Burma. The oldest Amber ever recovered dates back 320 million years ago in the Upper Carboniferous period. Most of the Amber today comes from 150 million years ago during the Cretaceous period.
Amber is globally distributed and is found in rocks from the Cretaceous Age or younger. Knigsberg in Prussia was the world’s leading source of Amber. About ninety percent of the world’s Amber is still located in the Kaliningrad area of Russia on the Baltic Sea. Amber is mined both in open mining pits as well as in underground galleries. The nodules from the blue earth have to be freed from the matrix and the opaque crust removed. This is done by putting the amber in a revolving barrel containing sand and water. Erosion removes this crust from Amber found in the sea or washed up on a beach.
There are different types of Amber, as one may suspect. Fossil resins from Europe fall into two categories. One is the famous Baltic Amber and the other resembles the Agathis group. Agathis is a genus of evergreen, coniferous trees that grows primarily in the Southern Hemisphere, including southeast Asia, areas of the western Pacific and Australia. Agathis is an evergreen tree, keeping its leaves year round. It is also a conifer, i.e., it produces pine cones. Mature Agathis can become quite large, reaching 130 feet (about 40 m) in height and 10 feet (about 3 m) in diameter.
Just imagine this Agathis tree one-hundred and fifty to three hundred million years ago standing tall in the world. And the resin that it released down its mighty trunk capturing all types of insects and other reptiles or amphibians.
Fossil resins from the Americas and Africa are closely related to the modern genus Hymenae. Most species of Hymenaea are large trees and they are primarily evergreen. They may grow to a height of eighty-two feet and emerge above the forest canopy. Some species will grow both as tall forest trees and as smaller shrubby trees depending on their surrounding habitat. Today there are fourteen living species live in the tropics of Africa, the Caribbean and South America. Linnaeus named this genus in 1753 in Species Plantarum for Hymenaios, the Greek god of marriage ceremonies. The name is a reference to the paired leaflets found on the tree.
Here is a species of the Hymanae tree that also produced resin to create amber as well as to trap insects within it.
The color of Amber isn’t always yellow or gold. Sometimes, it is whitish, pale lemon yellow to brown and almost black. In fact, pyrite inclusions can make it appear blue-colored. Black Amber is only a kind of Jet. There is red, orange, green and blue Amber. Blue is the most highly sought after. Amber owes its cloudy opacity to minute bubbles trapped within the interior of the fossilized resin. In the Dominican Republic, Amber is mined through bell pitting. It’s dangerous due to the risk of the tunnel collapsing in on the miner searching for the Dominican blue amber nodules. And the Dominican Amber is fluorescent. Only about 100 kg is found a year of this type or rare Amber. Dominican Amber dates to the Oligocene period, about twenty to thirty million years old. Insect inclusions are abundant in Dominican Amber.
Archeology has found Amber dating as far back as thirty thousand years ago. Since Neolithic times, Amber has been appreciated for its color and use as jewelry ornamentation. Amber ornaments were found in Mycenaean tombs and across Europe. Amber is used as a healing agent in folk medicines and in jewelry. There are five classifications of Amber based upon its chemistry. And the chemistry does change depending upon where it is found. Amber can be transparent to opaque. The more clarity, the more money paid for it. Also, if the Amber has an insect or organism within it, makes it more expensive. And, if the organism is whole and perfect preserved, this type of Amber sells for a LOT of money. Blue Amber is considered the rarest and therefore, the most expensive in the world. Amber has been imitated by other resinous materials such as copal and kauri. In Vienna amber factories, pale Amber is used to manufacture pipes and other smoking tools. The Palanga Amber Museum, near the Baltic Sea in Palanga, Lithuania, has a rich history of Amber.
Here is pine tree resin. People refer to it as ‘pitch,’ but in the scientific world, is is resin.
Hippocrates in Greece used Amber and extracts. It was used for a wide variety of treatments during the Middle Ages. And in Germany, before WW2, it was used widely for teething problems. It may be that the succinic acid, which occurs in the oxidations of Amber on the surface, could explain its healing effects.
In ancient China, it was customary to burn Amber during large festivals. When burned, Amber gives off a pinewood odor.
THE ASTROLOGY OF AMBER
Saturn is the natural ruler of trees. So, its not a far stretch to suggest that the resin of trees also falls under this planet as well. Saturn is all about being grounded, being ‘here,’ present and accounted for. Trees are powerful producers of energy from the cosmos that comes through their leaves and limbs, down through their massive trunks and flowing out into their phenomenal root system. The energy of a tree is remarkable to a mystic. Few people really understand the metaphysical dynamics of what trees, no matter what species, performs constantly for our planet. Saturn is about grounding everything into the physical and material world. And trees help that to occur.
Here is another look at resin which is the source of all Amber.
In the case of trees, pranic energy which is everywhere, is drawn into the tops of the trees, the leaves and it moves down to the main trunk of the tree. From there, the energy which is a source of all life, flows out of the roots of the tree and Mother Earth literally soaks it up and absorbs it. For Her, it is food. The trees, then are like cosmic antennas ‘out there’ and they draw in the prana and like a lightning rod, bringing down through their body and into their roots to “feed” and nourish the planet that they live upon. This makes trees even more important than even scientists realize.
Trees absorb carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen. They then RELEASE oxygen back into our atmosphere. Trees clean the soil by absorption of dangerous chemicals. They can either store them or actually CHANGE them into a less harmful form. Trees filter sewage and reduce the effects of animal waste. They slow water and storm runoff. They absorb carbon dioxide n the wood and this chemical is our major warming suspect. They control noise pollution. They shade and cool us. They act as wind breaks. They fight soil erosion. They clean our air. Plus, this pranic energy feeding of our Earth. Trees are one of our most important allies. This is Saturn at its best; a cosmic filter to help keep Mother Earth clean and in balance.
ASTROLOGY TRANSITS AND PROGRESSIONS WITH AMBER
This is Baltic Amber rough. Rough is what you see when it comes out of the ground. Some of it washes up on the beach. Through the ages, the Amber has been hidden beneath this crusty material. By putting it into a cylinder with sand and water, it is broken down to reveal the beautiful Amber beneath this thick, opaque skin.
If a person has Neptune prominent in their natal chart (conjunct the Midheaven, Ascendant or conjunct another planet) then Amber becomes highly necessary to combat the effects of Neptune’s ability to unground us and pull our astral body out of our physical body as stress mounts. Wear amber to combat these possibilities. Transits or progressions of Neptune to a person’s natal chart that are hard aspects, Amber can again, step in and keep you grounded so you can be very Saturn-like and use your practicality and common sense, instead.
This necklace is all about the fossilized past. The white, gray and cream colored beads are coral from our ocean millions of years ago. The amber beads bring in the energy of the tree. Add gold spacers and this necklace is about connection with the trees and the ocean. It will ground a person completely because of its powerful tree energy. For sale. 18″ in length.
North energy is earth energy. It is ruled by the great white Buffalo. North direction is about plodding forward, step-by-step toward one’s goal. There is practicality, common sense and hard work here. This is also the direction of physical manifestation, the place where dreams do come true–with a lot of consistently hard work, discipline and organization. The earth energy is about being completely grounded and in your body at all times. Gemstones that reflect this energy aren’t flashy, well known or wanted by the vast majority of the population. It’s the shy kid in the back of the classroom. However, for sheer honesty, being responsible, reliable, on time and doing the right thing, nothing beats the North direction energy. The Tree is considered a North energy because it is grounded into Mother Earth by its roots. Nothing is a well grounded as a tree.
And as an aside, the Cottonwood tree in North America is considered the most sacred of all. Any time we asked for help from one of them, they will send us energy. In one case, I saw Hope, one of our Cottonwood’s, nearly die when she sent energy to one of my shamanic facilitators who had a blood disease. My friend lived when she should have died. My tree had only three leaves left at the top of her in the middle of Summer, after she’d sent 99% of her energy to Karen. Trees are so underestimated not only as helpful healers to us, but also some of the greatest teachers we have. Amber, although not from the resin of a Cottonwood, nonetheless, brings all this energy into manifestation to the lucky wearer of this gem.
WHO SHOULD WEAR AMBER?
Anyone who is spacy. Someone who is not balanced or in their body. If the person is having trouble with directions, organization or finishing what they start,Amber is just the thing they need. Anyone who is very sick and slipping and getting weaker.
These are unpolished Amber stones. They look opaque but once the rough is off, you will see the transparent beauty inside of them.
WHO SHOULD NOT WEAR AMBER?
Anyone who is well grounded and in their body. In fact, if they try to wear Amber, they will get a headache out of it. If you get a headache wearing Amber, it means you’re already grounded and you do not need to wear it.
Here is a spider caught in Amber.
Amber is ruled by the Root Chakra. Without a well operating Root Chakra, we are not tethered to this Earth. Our emotional body, the Astral body, likes to ‘escape’ through our crown chakra at the top of our head any time pain and stress hit us. This is a natural reaction for many. Emotional pain will send the Astral trying to escape our physical body. Why? Because it doesn’t want to take the brunt of the anguish, the grief, the rage, the horror or whatever is happening in that person’s life.
If the Astral body can escape, that means the Root Chakra is not doing its job. Saturn, the Lord of Karma, has the rings around his body to show us that we too, are limited. But the Astral body wants nothing to do with this and tries to escape the limits of our physical life down here. A Root chakra can be maimed, truncated, jammed with etheric debris brought on by abuse or a dysfunctional family environment, for starters. Clairvoyantly, you can see two huge red roots running from the chakra where our trunk joins our legs. These two huge red roots move down the inside of each leg and go through our feet and several hundred feet into the Earth. This is what keeps our errant Astral form locked into our physical body.
If we have learned to leave our physical body when young because of sexual incest, rape, beatings and threat of dying in the family while growing up, the red roots have been truncated and curled back up around the root chakra. This happens because the Astral body leaves due to the traumatic experience. The more it happens, the more the Astral body leaves. And each time it leaves, it literally pulls up the energy of the roots. Eventually, there is no more grounding. The Astral body hangs out the top of the person’s physical head, looking like a deflated balloon moving slowly one way or another to the cosmic winds around them. The person, then, appears to be spacy. They seem to float or not be attached like normal people. Further, they lack discipline and organization which are both needed to start and finish a job. The walk through their life removed from it, thanks to the Astral form refusing to remain locked in to the physical body.
Amber is one gem that can actually help the Root Chakra begin to unfurl those red roots and start getting them worked down each leg, into each foot and back into the Earth. When this happens, the person is grounded. When wearing Amber and if you feel a heaviness come over you about thirty minutes after putting it on, this sensation is the astral locking into your physical form. When you’re grounded, you can work in the lifetime. If we aren’t in our body, we aren’t going to do this incarnation justice. What it means is we will be coming back AGAIN if we don’t remain in our body to learn the lessons we’ve chosen to learn. That is why it’s so important that the Astral/emotional/body stay locked into the physical body.
Amber should NOT be worn at night when going to bed. Every night, the Astral body leaves the physical body to get a ‘breather’ from the constant battles that our physical/third dimensional world gives it. As you fall asleep, what is really happening is that your Astral body is leaving through your crown chakra and you fall asleep. You wake up the next morning when the Astral body slips gently through your head and locks back into your physical body. To wear Amber at night is to force the Astral body to stay in the physical body. And that’s not good. That means insomnia and sleeplessness. Put your Amber necklace on the bed stand before you lie down. You’ll have a good night’s sleep as a result.
Termites have been around a lot longer than us. These are trapped in the Amber.
I like to refer to Amber as the “Tree of Life.” For the Native Americans, it is symbolic of the tree and its limbs rising toward Father Sky, it’s body/trunk here in our third dimensional world and its roots flowing deep and dark into the body of our Mother, the Earth. It is a universal symbol the world over, not just owned by Native Americans.
Here is an 1861 depiction of the Tree of Life from Norse mythology. It is a world wide symbol. This is an excellent example because it shows the tree being “as above, so below,” and the three worlds of the sky/upper world/heaven, the middle world of 3rd dimensional reality and the dark or inner world within Mother Earth.
Shamanically, the Tree represents the upper world where the leaves and ‘head’ of the tree are, the middle world where the trunk resides and the lower world where its roots are within Mother Earth. Suffice to say, the Tree of Life is incredibly universal in very sense of the word. There are various legends, mythologies and archeological discoveries around it. For some, it may be a Metaphor for Spirit, others, our inner connectedness (“all our relations”), and our evolution. Some see it through the eyes of their religion. The upper world is “heaven,”, the middle world, their daily lives and the lower world, “hell.” For others, it is the Tree of knowledge. Many ancient cultures worked with and learned from trees.
A wasp was trapped in this Amber.
From my own experience, I always like to pair up a shamanic student with their favorite tree. They are wonderful teachers, they put up with us, have patience with us and always love us, despite ourselves. The fact that they are the lords and ladies of this world of ours, shouldn’t escape any of us. We have already seen the many uses of trees in our lives. Trees are made up of oxygen, hydrogen and carbon–just like we humans. We aren’t so different after all. This makes its resin or what I term, it’s protection, even more important as Amber.
Symblically, Amber can help an individual not only ground and put their roots back into Mom Earth, but also feel a sense of self-protection. When we are grounded, we do feel that way. When we are ungrounded, we feel terribly vulnerable. Amber is a sense of protection from the seen and unseen. In another way, Amber bestows upon the person a sense of global community; that they are not alone. That they belong to a much bigger family. There is a ‘green’ attitude that goes with Amber. Because of the sense of global family, the person begins to care more the Earth as a result. Trees, after all, are the mainline guardians and protection for this planet.
This is rough Baltic Amber. An inner world awaits in Amber. It helps all of us to reveal who and what we really are once the rough, thick opaque coat is rubbed off by life.
Amber entombs Arachea, Eubacteris and Ekarya. In plain English, these are microbes. In the gut of a Hymenoptera tree from thirty million old Dominican Amber was some three dozen species of bacteria from ancient spores that grew on culture plates! The bacteria was used in controlling insects. Bacillus thuringiensis parasitizes the caterpillars of some harmful moths and butterflies. In other words, this bacteria has a gene that produces a toxic chemical warfare against anything that might harm that tree. Symbolically, we might start looking at Amber as more than just a pretty face.
TWO WEEKS FROM NOW: Ruby
Agathisaustralis Kauri tree
ant and spider trapped in baltic amber
Termites, lizard and frog in amber
Catherine the Great’s Amber Room, Russia
raw amber–no url
wasp in amber
Tree of life in Norse Mythology
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