Our Northern ancestors were wearing Baltic/ North Sea amber jewellery as long as 10,000 years ago, it is the oldest gemstone to be worn on the body, it was worn by both men and women and it was given to warriors as a good luck charm.  Baltic/North Sea amber can help us link to our Northern Heritage, we can if we choose to, wear it as jewellery, meditate with a piece, or just ponder on our people’s fascination with the stuff.  Judging by my recent trip to Denmark and Northern Germany, it is still as popular with our folk as ever.

Amber is by no means unique to the Baltic and North Sea area, it can also be found in the US, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Madagascar, New Zealand, Borneo, Burma and Japan.  These other sources tend to be as smaller deposits and not of jewellery making quality, so most amber jewellery is made of Baltic or Dominican amber.  Baltic amber comes from the tertiary era, from a deposit known as blue earth which is pretty much under the Baltic Sea, where it is ripped from by storms only to be washed up on Baltic and sometimes south-eastern UK shores.

Amber is my favourite “crystal” although as we all know it is not really a crystal, but fossilised resin from a tree not all that different from the Pine tree.  Nevertheless as a Crystal Healer and a follower of the Aesir and Vanir I find it to be my soul stone and a wonderful all round healer.  Amber in our mythology are the tears that Freya wept for her husband Odur, which landed on the sea, whereas those that came to rest on land became gold.  There is also a similar story from Lithuania where they are the tears of the Goddess Jurate.  Some say Freya’s magical necklace Brisingamen was a gold and amber necklace.  Note here how amber the stone of the sun is teamed with gold, the metal of the sun, too much modern pagan jewellery ties this solar stone to silver, the moon’s metal and this incompatibility results in an imbalance of energies, which is no good for the wearer.   Amber can also be a green or blue colour but these are quite rare, in fact most green amber on the market is gold amber that’s been heat-treated.

In Icelandic amber is called rafmagen or amber power this is because amber when rubbed with silk produces static electricity, the Greeks even called it electra, which is where we get the word electricity.  Amber is known as rav in Danish, however in most other Germanic counties it is called barnsten (Swedish) or Bernstein (German), which means burning stone.  It has been used as incense in some cultures because of its links to the Sun and fire, I am told it smells like Pine.  It was even burned by sailors to protect themselves from the monsters of the deep, personally I think it is a terrible waste of a Goddess given mineral resource, and a part of our heritage.

Amber is associated with the sun not only because the majority of amber is a golden colour, but also because unlike crystals amber is warm to the touch and is said to hold the warmth and power of many Suns.  It is a sunny stone and gives off bright but soothing energy, think of how you feel on a bright sunny day and that is the energy that amber has.

Amber is a delicate substance and can be easily scratched or damaged by modern detergents, so do take care if you own any.  Nowadays there are also a lot of nasty plastic pieces that are claimed to be amber, there are a couple of tests to check, but these are not all that good for the amber itself, the best advice is to buy from a Reputable dealer

Amber’s healing properties: There are loads, Amber is so versatile.  It is a heal all and a protective stone, which explains why it is the stone traditionally used for rosaries and other talismans.  It is a happy stone connected to the Balder/Solar Plexus and connected to energy, it is a good stone if you are feeling depressed, lethargic or run down.  Amber is also Nature’s own purifying stone and is still used as a medicine in Poland – word of warning here do not ingest amber unless it has been prescribed by someone who really knows what they are doing!  Carry or wear a piece if you have a bug or cold.  Amber can also be used to purify mind, and soul as well as body.  By wearing a piece or simply leaving a piece in your home or workplace and it will help cleanse the space of negative energies, by transmuting the bad energies into positive energies.  It aids digestion, be it food digestion or the digestion of knowledge.  It is a good stone for mothers and mother-to-be as it is cleansing and calming.  It is said to help blondes keep their colour, and sunny disposition.  It helps its wearer to bear the decrees of the Norns with courage.  It has the power to melt rigidity and stagnation.

Amber brings positive, creative energies and can help you to fulfil your potential.  The negative side of amber (as there is always both positive and negative energies involved) is that the energy of Amber may be turned back to you in a destructive way.  The way to avoid this is to let amber and all other crystals rest away from you for a while every so often.  Amber really likes to chill out and re-energise in the sunshine.  Each piece of amber has it’s own Wight and we must get to know and respect that Wight in order to work with and benefit from them.

There are two main amber Museums, the UK Amber Museum in Southwold, Suffolk with a mini-museum down the road at Aldeburgh http://www.ambershop.co.uk/ and the Swedish Amber Museum http://www.brost.se/

Hail the Aesir and Vanir! Hail the Odinic Rite! Hail or Holy Faith!

Julie Norman

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