Obsidian is igneous rock with inclusions from lava erupting and cooling within the earth. The speed in which it cools prevents crystallization. There are many different forms of Obsidian. Sometimes bubbles get trapped and when they get densely packed that can give you gold, rainbow, or silver sheens to the stone. Clusters of small cristobalite or feldspar can also get trapped in the stone, giving you Snowflake Obsidian. Apache Tears are the result of wind and water smoothing out the rock. Mahogany Obsidian is formed with Iron. Black Obsidian is one of the most commonly worked with forms of Obsidian.
Black Obsidian is grounding and centering. It represents strength. This quality of Black Obsidian is why it is difficult to use. While it is used in protection rituals and can allow you to see the situation or enemy when it is hidden, it does this in a very powerful way.
Black Obsidian is a stone without boundaries or limitations. It works very fast and with great power. Its reflective qualities are merciless. It exposes flaws, weakness, and blockages. When working with Obsidian nothing is hidden and we are compelled to grow. Some support is lent during this process, but if you are not ready to deal with the issue at hand the stone can be harsh.
For example, if you are having money problems and work with Black Obsidian, it can bring the bill collectors to your door. Without dealing with your issues of past spending, you are unable to grow. In order to move past bad credit you have to take care of the bill collectors. It lends you gentle support, but you may not be ready for that step.
Negative emotions and unpleasant truths can come rushing to the surface, it can be overwhelming. Black Obsidian brings you face to face with who you truly are. It connects you to your shadow side and teaches you now to integrate the two. Negative energies are magnified so they can be fully experienced. Use with care and only if you are able to consciously process what you will see and only for the highest good. It can be difficult to use if you are not prepared to face reality.
Placing it under the pillow can draw out mental stress and tension and calm. It can also bring up the reason for the stress and the reasons have to be confronted before peace can return. This property can lead to nightmares. Sometimes we are afraid of what we need to face. You can combine with Clear Quartz if Black Obsidian is too powerful.
Black Obsidian is also used for divination. It is a popular material for scrying. There is a truth enhancing component to Black Obsidian that brings clarity and clears away confusion. Black Obsidian is a talking stone, hold a piece over your ear and listen carefully, it is clairaudient.
This stone is also protective, it can block psychic attacks, dissolve emotional blockage, promote compassion, and strength. Black Obsidian absorbs anger and can regroup scattered energies and protect from evil spirit. If you are just beginning your work with crystals it would be better to begin working with a more gentle form of Obsidian like Snowflake, Mahogany, or Rainbow Sheen.