The Xaga: Ancient History of Obsidian to Inspire Current Rituals
Crystals have experienced a recent surge in popularity, but don’t be fooled, this trend is far from new. Many of our contemporary beliefs and uses concerning crystals were derived from ancient cultures all over the world. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be doing a series on the histories of different Chakrub crystals and how ancient uses can inspire our practices today.
The Xaga is composed of sturdy obsidian, an igneous rock that forms when molten lava cools and hardens too quickly for crystals to form. Obsidian is a powerful stone that carries a high vibration and strong connection to the earth; its amorphous molecular structure allows energy to flow through it with ease.
Artifacts dating back 700,000 BC depict human interaction with obsidian. Obsidian was prized in ancient cultures all over the world, so it’s likely everyone has some ancestral or spiritual connection to it. This makes Xaga an ideal tool for communicating with our ancestors and exploring past lives. Practice giving gratitude to your ancestors and spirit guides while meditating or self-pleasuring with your Xaga Chakrub. Afterwards, write in stream of consciousness and see if any hints are revealed. Your notes might reflect the qualities of a spirit who is guiding you, or who you were in a previous life. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification when needed and trust your intuition as you decipher these clues. Obsidian is known to help unlock psychic gifts and making this a regular practice could help strengthen metaphysical abilities.
The patron god worshipped by the indigenous K'iche' people of Guatemala was Tohil, a name which literally translates to “obsidian.” Tohil was a fire deity associated with sustenance, sacrifice, and war. He demanded blood sacrifice as part of his worship, and the K'iche' would offer their own blood as well as the blood of captives taken during battle. While these practices might be considered barbaric by today’s cultural standards, we can honor them by recognizing the personal sacrifices we’ve had to make.
Many of us have had to relinquish aspects of our sexual selves in order to be accepted. Other times, we stubbornly hold onto emotions and behaviors for too long, even when they beg to be released. If you find yourself in either of these categories, you can use the Xaga to confront the unjust sacrifices you’ve had to make and release anything that no longer serves you. Consider these sacrifices an offering to your higher power or self and comfort yourself with the knowledge that you’ve created more space to let light in.
The ancient Aztecs worshipped Tezcatlipoca, god of the nocturnal sky, ancestral memory, time and the embodiment of change through conflict. Tezcatlipoca translates to “Smoking Mirror,” and this god was believed to see all that happened in the world and the heavens through an obsidian mirror. In keeping with this belief, ancient Aztecs polished obsidian into mirrors and used them in shamanic rituals and prophecies, gazing into them to access other realms.
The Xaga carries a potent energy that can be intimidating to work with at first. Just as the ancient Aztecs used obsidian mirrors to reveal the unseen, this stone can be used to illuminate our blind spots. Consider the obstacles and blockages along your path. Then, when pleasuring yourself with the Xaga Chakrub, envision yourself letting them go with your orgasmic release.
The Aztecs crafted weapons from obsidian, but they also used pulverized obsidian powder in healing balms. They believed that the same substance used to create weapons could be used to heal the wounds they created. This practice was also found in the north of France and in Belgium, though there was no contact between the Aztecs and these two areas.
These ancient practices reflect the universal truth that energy flows where our intention goes. The same thing that is used for harm can be healing when infused with the proper energy.
Obsidian can be used for protection and to create a barrier to safely process traumas, but it can also provide comfort as we do the work to remove those barriers and confront our shadows.
Photo by Rita Minissi