Black Tourmaline stands as a beacon of protection, absorbing negative energies and transmuting them into positive ones. Renowned for its intense grounding properties, this stone acts as a potent anchor to the Earth’s stabilizing energy, ushering in a profound sense of balance and spiritual tranquility.
For those who navigate high-stress environments, or those who often find themselves amidst emotional turmoil, Black Tourmaline serves as an invaluable tool. It helps to dispel the electromagnetic radiation from our tech-filled lives, and to dissolve the worries and anxieties that can sometimes feel overwhelming. I am Phung Phuong, an experienced Feng Shui expert, and I am thrilled to share the rich wisdom and transformative power of this magnificent gem.
What is Black Tourmaline?
Black Tourmaline, also known as Schorl, is a type of crystalline boron silicate mineral. It is the most common member of the tourmaline family, renowned for its impressive range of colors. Although tourmaline can be found in nearly all colors, black is the most common one.
Black tourmaline has a glassy to vitreous luster and is characterized by its three-sided prismatic crystal structure and striations that run parallel to the length of the crystal. The mineral hardness of black tourmaline on the Mohs scale is around 7 to 7.5.
In addition to its use in jewelry, black tourmaline has a range of scientific and industrial applications. For example, certain types of tourmaline can become electrically charged when heated, a property known as pyroelectricity, and they can also generate an electrical signal in response to pressure, a property known as piezoelectricity. This makes them useful in some scientific instruments and technological devices.
Moreover, black tourmaline is often associated with various metaphysical properties in different cultures and is used as a protective stone in spiritual practices. It’s believed to repel negative energy, protect against electromagnetic “smog,” and aid in grounding, though these properties aren’t scientifically verified.
Chemical composition and crystal structure
Black Tourmaline is a complex borosilicate mineral with a generalized chemical composition of NaFe2+3Al6Si6O18(BO3)3(OH)4.
Its crystalline structure is characterized by a hexagonal (trigonal) crystal system, and it is part of the tourmaline group which includes several closely related minerals with a similar structure.
|Crystal System||Hexagonal (Trigonal)|
|Cleavage||Indistinct, basal, poor|
|Fracture||Uneven to conchoidal|
|Mohs Hardness||7 – 7.5|
|Luster||Vitreous to glassy|
|Color||Typically black, also deep brownish-black|
Black Tourmaline’s complex structure involves a three-dimensional framework of silicate (SiO4) and borate (BO3) groups, as well as chains of iron (Fe) and aluminium (Al) octahedra, which are all interconnected. Sodium (Na) ions and hydroxide (OH) groups are located within the channels of this framework.
The tourmaline group’s crystal structure can be described as a six-membered ring of tetrahedra, alternating with six-membered rings of octahedra, with each ring connected to its neighbors by shared vertices. This creates channels that run parallel to the c-axis (long axis) of the crystal, which are occupied by various ions and molecules, depending on the specific tourmaline species. In the case of black tourmaline (schorl), these channels typically contain sodium (Na) and hydroxide (OH) ions.
Please note, the actual chemical composition of individual tourmaline crystals can vary considerably due to isomorphous replacement (solid solution), and these variations can lead to different tourmaline species.
Formation processes of Black Tourmaline
Black Tourmaline is typically formed within igneous and metamorphic rocks. This formation primarily takes place through the processes of crystallization of magma or during the alteration of such rocks by hydrothermal fluids.
In igneous environments, Black Tourmaline can form within granitic pegmatites, a type of coarse-grained igneous rock, which forms during the final stage of magma’s crystallization. The cooling magma allows for the necessary ingredients – namely boron, silicate, sodium, iron, and other trace elements – to be present in high enough concentrations for Black Tourmaline to crystallize.
Similarly, Black Tourmaline can also form within metamorphic rocks, where intense pressure and heat alter the composition of pre-existing rock. This often occurs in regional metamorphic schists, a type of metamorphic rock that has medium to large, flat, sheet-like grains. The minerals present in the parent rock undergo chemical reactions due to changes in temperature and pressure, allowing for the formation of new minerals, including Black Tourmaline.
Lastly, hydrothermal alteration, a process where hot water often derived from magma intrusions alters the chemical and mineralogical composition of surrounding rocks, can also result in the formation of Black Tourmaline. This is often evident in the mineral’s presence in quartz veins, which are commonly formed from hydrothermal fluids.
In addition to these primary modes of formation, Black Tourmaline can be found in sedimentary deposits. This typically occurs through the weathering and erosion of pre-existing igneous or metamorphic rocks containing the mineral, followed by sediment deposition and lithification.
Where is Black Tourmaline found?
Black Tourmaline or Schorl, is the most common member of the tourmaline family and can be found in many parts of the world. Here are some notable localities where Black Tourmaline is found:
- Brazil: Brazil is known for producing a variety of gemstones, including black tourmaline. It is found in numerous locations across the country, with Minas Gerais being one of the most significant states for its production.
- United States: In the United States, Black Tourmaline is found in several locations. In California, it is located in San Diego County, which has been a significant source. Maine and Connecticut also have deposits of black tourmaline.
- Pakistan: Pakistan, particularly the regions of Skardu and Stak Nala in Gilgit-Baltistan, is known for its tourmaline deposits, including black tourmaline.
- Russia: The Ural Mountains in Russia are known for a variety of minerals, including black tourmaline.
- Madagascar: This island nation off the southeast coast of Africa is a significant source of gemstones, including black tourmaline.
- Namibia: Namibia, in southwest Africa, is known for its Erongo Mountains, which are a rich source of black tourmaline.
- Australia: In Australia, black tourmaline is found in several locations, including Western Australia and Queensland.
- Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka has been a significant source of gemstones for centuries, including black tourmaline.
- Afghanistan: Afghanistan’s Nuristan and Kunar provinces are known for producing a variety of tourmaline, including black tourmaline.
- China: Black tourmaline is also found in China, notably in the Yunnan Province.
The different colors of Tourmaline
Tourmaline is a group of related mineral species renowned for its wide range of colors. Its name, which comes from the Sinhalese word “turmali,” means “mixed gems,” hinting at the diversity of colors in which it can be found. The color of a tourmaline crystal is often determined by the presence of certain trace elements or defects in its crystal structure.
- Black Tourmaline (Schorl): Black is the most common color in tourmaline, often caused by a high concentration of iron.
- Pink and Red Tourmaline (Rubellite): These colors are typically caused by the presence of manganese. The intensity of the color is usually directly related to the concentration of manganese.
- Green Tourmaline (Verdelite): Green tourmaline can have a variety of causes. Iron-rich tourmalines are darker and more blue-green, while manganese-rich tourmalines are lighter and more yellow-green.
- Blue Tourmaline (Indicolite): This color is typically caused by the presence of iron.
- Brown Tourmaline (Dravite): Brown tourmaline is typically rich in sodium, magnesium and aluminum.
- Colorless Tourmaline (Achroite): Colorless tourmaline is usually devoid of trace elements that would impart color.
- Multi-colored Tourmaline: Some tourmaline crystals can exhibit multiple colors in a single specimen due to varying trace elements along the length of the crystal. Perhaps the most notable is “Watermelon Tourmaline,” which exhibits a pink center surrounded by a green outer layer, resembling a watermelon.
- Neon Blue or Green Tourmaline (Paraíba): Named after the Brazilian location where it was first discovered, Paraíba tourmaline is colored by copper and manganese, resulting in remarkably vivid blues and greens. It is extremely rare and valuable.
- Yellow Tourmaline: Yellow tourmaline is less common and can be caused by trace amounts of iron or titanium.
- Purple Tourmaline: Purple tourmaline, which ranges from light lavender to deep violet, can be caused by trace amounts of iron or manganese.
These are just a few examples of the diverse range of tourmaline colors. The specific geological conditions during a tourmaline crystal’s formation will significantly influence its color, making tourmaline one of the most versatile and fascinating gemstones.
Black Tourmaline meaning and symbolism
Black Tourmaline is often symbolized as a stone of protection and grounding. It is believed to have the ability to dispel negative energy, whether it be environmental or emotional, thereby serving as a protective shield for its bearer.
The growth-associated symbolism of Black Tourmaline stems from its perceived ability to clear stagnant or blocked energy. It is believed to promote personal growth by clearing away impediments, allowing for a free flow of energy that encourages progression and development.
- Protection: Black Tourmaline is perhaps most widely recognized for its symbolism as a stone of protection. It is believed to have the capacity to shield an individual from various forms of negative energy. This includes psychological negativity, such as anxiety and fear, as well as environmental negativity, like electromagnetic radiation.
- Grounding: Due to its deep-black color and origin in the Earth’s crust, Black Tourmaline is considered a grounding stone. It symbolizes connection to the physical world, and is thought to bring balance and stability, helping one to remain focused, realistic and pragmatic.
- Transformation: Black Tourmaline is also associated with the ability to transform dense, heavy energy into lighter, positive energy. This is linked with its reputed ability to clear blockages and foster a healthy flow of energy through the body.
- Purification: The stone is often used in spiritual practices as a tool for purification. It is believed to cleanse the aura, remove toxins from the physical body, and dispel negative thoughts and emotions.
- Empowerment: Black Tourmaline is also associated with empowerment. It’s believed to provide mental clarity, emotional stability, and physical vitality, thereby empowering individuals to face challenges and make confident decisions.
- Connection with the Earth: Given its geologic origin, Black Tourmaline is also considered a symbol of our connection with the Earth and the energy of the natural world.
Black Tourmaline is a versatile and symbolically charged stone associated with protection, grounding, transformation, purification, empowerment, and connection to the Earth. However, Phung Phuong always reminds her customers that these symbolic interpretations are based on metaphysical beliefs and personal experiences, and they do not have a scientific basis. Like any belief system, the impact and significance of these symbols can vary greatly among individuals.
Benefits of Black Tourmaline
Black Tourmaline is attributed with numerous healing properties within various metaphysical and holistic healing communities. Here are some healing properties commonly associated with Black Tourmaline:
- Protection and Purification: Black Tourmaline is frequently employed as a tool for spiritual protection and purification. It’s believed to ward off negative energies, both environmental and emotional, acting as a barrier against negativity.
- Physical Healing: Some proponents of crystal healing believe that Black Tourmaline can help with physical ailments, particularly those related to the immune system, heart and adrenal glands. However, these claims are not supported by empirical scientific evidence.
- Emotional Healing: Black Tourmaline is often associated with emotional healing. It is said to help reduce fear, stress, and anxiety by promoting a sense of stability and grounding. It’s also considered to aid in the detoxification of negative emotions and thought patterns.
- Psychological Healing: Some practitioners suggest that Black Tourmaline can assist with mental and psychological health, enhancing concentration, promoting objectivity, and improving one’s understanding of oneself and others.
- Energy Regulation: Black Tourmaline is often used in practices related to the body’s energy flow, such as Reiki and acupuncture. It is said to balance the body’s energy centers or “chakras“, particularly the Base or Root Chakra, promoting a balanced and harmonious flow of energy throughout the body.
- Grounding: One of the key healing properties associated with Black Tourmaline is grounding. This refers to the ability to stay connected and balanced, both physically and emotionally, promoting a sense of being present and in tune with oneself and one’s surroundings.
It is important to understand that these properties are based on spiritual, metaphysical, and traditional beliefs and practices, and have not been confirmed by scientific research. Always consult with healthcare professionals for treating medical conditions.
Black Tourmaline is deeply respected in metaphysical circles due to its wide range of purported properties. While these attributes aren’t scientifically substantiated, they play a significant role in many spiritual practices and beliefs.
- Protection: Black Tourmaline is often considered one of the most powerful protective stones. It is believed to shield the aura, acting as a psychic barrier that repels negative energies, psychic attacks, or harmful entities.
- Grounding: As a stone intimately tied to the Earth, Black Tourmaline is strongly associated with grounding energies. It is said to form a secure connection between the human spirit and the Earth’s energy, helping individuals to remain present and balanced.
- Energy Purification: Black Tourmaline is reputed to cleanse and purify energy. It is believed to transform dense, stagnant, or disharmonious energy into lighter, flowing energy, promoting a healthier and more positive environment.
- Chakra Alignment: In the metaphysical realm, Black Tourmaline is associated with the Root or Base Chakra, which is the energy center that relates to feelings of safety, security, and basic survival. The stone is believed to help balance and open this chakra, promoting a sense of groundedness and stability.
- Psychic Awareness: Some spiritual practitioners believe that Black Tourmaline can enhance psychic abilities, especially those related to protection and grounding. It’s said to aid in the understanding of oneself and others, fostering empathy and compassion.
- Spiritual Growth: Lastly, Black Tourmaline is often used as a tool for spiritual growth. By offering protection, grounding, and purification, it is believed to create an optimal environment for growth and development on a spiritual level.
Remember, these metaphysical properties are based on spiritual beliefs and personal experiences. They can vary greatly among different cultures and individuals and are not recognized or validated by scientific consensus.
How to use Black Tourmaline for protection
Black Tourmaline is frequently employed in spiritual practices for protection due to its reputed ability to dispel negative energy. However, remember that these practices are based on personal beliefs and spiritual traditions, and they are not scientifically validated.
- Wearing Black Tourmaline: One of the simplest ways to utilize the protective qualities of Black Tourmaline is to wear it as jewelry. This can be in the form of a pendant, bracelet, or ring. By wearing it, you are said to create an energetic barrier that helps shield you from negative energies in your environment.
- Carrying Black Tourmaline: You can carry a piece of Black Tourmaline in your pocket or purse, allowing its energy to influence your personal energy field throughout the day.
- Place in Home or Workspace: Positioning pieces of Black Tourmaline in your home or workspace can supposedly help to create a protective shield around these environments. Common places include near entrances, corners of a room, or close to electronic devices to mitigate their electromagnetic radiation.
- Meditation and Visualization: Use Black Tourmaline during meditation or visualization exercises. Hold the stone in your hand or place it in front of you, and visualize its protective energy surrounding you, creating a barrier that negativity cannot penetrate.
- Use in Energy Healing Practices: In energy healing practices such as Reiki meditation, Black Tourmaline can be used to clear and protect the aura and energy centers. In this context, the stone is often placed at the base of the feet or directly on the Root Chakra.
- Creating a Protective Grid: You can create a protective grid by placing Black Tourmaline stones at the corners of your home, room, or property. This is believed to create a protective barrier that shields the enclosed space from negative energy.
- Sleeping with Black Tourmaline: Placing a piece of Black Tourmaline on your nightstand or under your pillow is said to provide protection during sleep and may assist in warding off negative dreams or restless sleep.
How to cleanse and charge Black Tourmaline
Cleansing and charging are spiritual practices that are believed to refresh and amplify the energy of gemstones like Black Tourmaline. Here’s how you can cleanse and charge Black Tourmaline:
- Cleansing Black Tourmaline:
- Smudging: Light a sage stick or incense, and pass your Black Tourmaline through the smoke. This is believed to clear any negative or stagnant energy absorbed by the stone.
- Sound Healing: Use a tuning fork, singing bowl, or even a bell. The vibrations from the sound can cleanse the stone’s energy.
- Moonlight: Leave your Black Tourmaline under the moonlight overnight, particularly during a full moon. Moonlight is thought to gently cleanse and recharge the stone.
Note: While some crystals can be cleansed with water, Black Tourmaline often contains iron, which can rust when exposed to water.
- Charging Black Tourmaline:
- Sunlight: Sunlight can energetically charge many stones, infusing them with its vitality and life force. However, do not leave Black Tourmaline in the sun for too long as it can fade its color.
- Earth: Bury your Black Tourmaline in the earth, garden, or a flowerpot for a full day. The earth’s energy is believed to recharge the stone and clear any negativity.
- Crystal Clusters: You can place Black Tourmaline on a quartz cluster or selenite plate. These crystals are said to clear and recharge other stones.
- Intention: You can also charge your Black Tourmaline with your personal energy or intention. Hold the stone in your hands, visualize your intention, and direct this energy into the stone.
Remember to cleanse your Black Tourmaline regularly, especially if it’s being used for energy work or protection. As for charging, the frequency can depend on your personal preference or the amount of use the stone receives. Phung Phuong often advises customers to charge their Black Tourmaline once a month or more often if it is used heavily.
These practices, while not scientifically grounded, can deepen your personal connection to the stone. Always trust your intuition and do what feels right for you.
How to identify authentic Black Tourmaline
Identifying authentic Black Tourmaline can be a crucial process, particularly for those who value this stone for its metaphysical properties. Honestly, I must admit that Phung Phuong doesn’t know how to identify authentic Black Tourmaline. However, I asked my friends in the Saigon Feng Shui group, and they kindly guided me through the process. The following steps can be useful for determining the authenticity of Black Tourmaline:
- Examine the Color: Authentic Black Tourmaline should be an opaque black. If the stone is transparent or semi-transparent, it may not be genuine.
- Check the Structure: Black Tourmaline often forms in long striated columns or needle-like shapes. It has a characteristic striation that runs along the length of the crystal, which is not usually seen in other black stones.
- Feel the Texture: Run your fingers over the stone. Authentic Black Tourmaline will have a somewhat rough texture due to the striations, unlike other black stones such as Obsidian or Onyx, which are typically smooth.
- Look for Cracks or Inclusions: Black Tourmaline often contains small cracks or inclusions that may appear as linear trails or veins. These are natural and can indicate authenticity.
- Try the Rubbing Test: Black Tourmaline is pyroelectric, meaning it generates an electrical charge when heated. This can be demonstrated by rubbing the stone until it warms up, then it should attract small bits of lightweight debris like dust or small pieces of paper.
- Get a Professional Evaluation: If you’re still unsure about the authenticity of your Black Tourmaline, consider getting it examined by a certified gemologist. They can perform tests that confirm the stone’s identity.
Always ensure you are purchasing from reputable vendors or sources to enhance the likelihood of receiving authentic stones. While physical characteristics can provide some assurance, professional verification is the most reliable method for confirming the authenticity of Black Tourmaline.
Black Tourmaline is the birthstone for which zodiac sign?
Black Tourmaline holds metaphysical affiliations with several zodiac signs – Libra, Scorpio, and Capricorn, according to some spiritual and astrological traditions.
As an October birthstone, Black Tourmaline has a strong association with both Libra and Scorpio. Libras, who are often balanced and charming yet prone to avoid conflict, can benefit from Black Tourmaline’s protective qualities. This stone can provide a secure space for Libras to express their thoughts and ideas, acting as a stress reliever and bolstering their resolve in the face of adversity.
For Scorpios, who also share October as their birth month, Black Tourmaline can address their sometimes indecisive nature and their tendencies to avoid conflict. This stone offers a sense of groundedness and resilience, encouraging Scorpios to face their challenges head-on.
Capricorns, although not typically associated with October, can derive significant benefits from Black Tourmaline. Known for their disciplined and ambitious nature, Capricorns often spend long hours working, potentially exposed to the detrimental effects of technology. Black Tourmaline, believed to absorb electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs), can provide a protective shield for Capricorns in this regard.
Capricorns’ realism can occasionally skew towards pessimism, a tendency that Black Tourmaline might help to mitigate. By introducing a dose of positivity, this dark stone can help Capricorns to appreciate the positive aspects of life without being inauthentic. This balance can encourage a more positive outlook and a healthier mindset.
Furthermore, if Capricorns struggle with sensitivity that affects their self-confidence and social comfort, Black Tourmaline can offer support. Its grounding and protective qualities are thought to encourage resilience, helping Capricorns navigate social situations with greater ease and confidence.
Combine Black Tourmaline with other Feng Shui crystals
Black Tourmaline, due to its grounding and protective properties, can effectively be combined with other crystals in the practice of Feng Shui to enhance or balance the energy in your living space. Here are a few combinations and their benefits that Phung Phuong often applies to his clients.
- Black Tourmaline and Clear quartz: Clear Quartz, known as a “master healer”, can amplify the energy of Black Tourmaline. This combination is believed to create a powerful shield against negative energy. The Clear Quartz amplifies and directs the protective qualities of the Black Tourmaline, while also bringing clarity and focus.
- Black Tourmaline and Rose quartz: Combining Black Tourmaline with Rose Quartz can provide a balance of protective and loving energy. While Black Tourmaline grounds and protects, Rose Quartz fosters love, forgiveness, and compassion. This blend can foster a harmonious environment full of love and positivity.
- Black Tourmaline and Selenite: Selenite is often used for spiritual activation and communication. Paired with Black Tourmaline, it can aid in spiritual grounding, offering protection during spiritual work. Selenite can also clear and charge Black Tourmaline, keeping it at its maximum potential.
- Black Tourmaline and Citrine quartz: Citrine is known as a stone of abundance and prosperity. Paired with Black Tourmaline, this combination is said to shield your environment against negativity and to foster growth, whether that be personal, professional, or financial.
- Black Tourmaline and Amethyst: Amethyst is a stone of intuition, peace, and spiritual growth. When combined with Black Tourmaline, it’s believed to aid in protecting your space during meditation or spiritual work. It can also provide a tranquil energy conducive to restful sleep or peaceful quiet times.
In Feng Shui, placement of these crystals can also be important. Black Tourmaline is often placed near entrances to guard against negative energy entering the home or in areas with electronic devices to protect from electromagnetic radiation. The placement of the complementary crystal would depend on its purpose and the area of life you wish to influence, according to the Feng Shui Bagua map. While they are not scientifically validated, these practices can serve to symbolize and reinforce our intentions for our space and our lives.