Black Onyx: Discover the Powerful Meanings and Symbolism

Written by Aaron Webber
Updated: November 14, 2023
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Were you recently given black onyx as a gift and want to find the meaning behind it? Are you new to the symbolism behind certain stones? Did you find a new fascination with learning the spiritual meaning behind common stones and objects? We have the answers you seek! Whether you’re new or a veteran in geology, we made this complete guide to the meaning and symbolism of black onyx for you.

The meaning and symbolism of black onyx have changed over the years. When working with stones or other materials in spiritual, energy, or symbolic work, it is important to remember that the intention and energy you put into it is just as important as any inherent energy it carries with it. Some traditions and believe that any spiritual meaning or attributes attached to stones are the realm of witchcraft, or don’t exist at all. For our purposes, we will focus on the traditions that accept these attributes.

Introduction to Black Onyx

macro shooting of natural mineral rock specimen - polished black Onyx gemstone on dark granite background

Black onyx can be pure black like this, or have white bands through it.


Black onyx is a form of chalcedony, and is a crystallized mineral similar to quartz. You can find black onyx all over the world. This has made it a very popular inclusion in spiritual and healing practices in many different cultures. Since you can apply the name onyx to many types of stone, not just the typical gemstone, you should make sure you do your research before purchasing any onyx.

The English name, onyx, comes from the ancient Greek name meaning claw or fingernail. According to Greek mythology, Eros chipped the fingernails of Aphrodite with one of his arrows, causing them to fall into the waters below as onyx stones.

It is important to remember that onyx includes different colors and types of stones. Black onyx is a specific type of onyx. The attributes and symbolism of one type of onyx (such as the red sardonyx) might not be true about black onyx.

Also, because of its dark black color, imitation black onyx can be difficult to distinguish from the real thing. Other stones and synthetic black onyx are easy to find and make.

General Meaning and Symbolism of Black Onyx

Black onyx

While the amount of white bands and flecks will vary, it is still black onyx.

©nastya81/ via Getty Images

Black Onyx is associated with strength, grounding, stability, and protection. It is associated with the root chakra. These meanings and powers extend to physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of life. Many see black onyx stones as companions in their everyday lives, helping them achieve their goals and overcome obstacles.

Black onyx roots the wearer or connects them to the Earth. This grounding energy can help people make better intuitive decisions or see clearly during confusing situations. If you find yourself unable to remain steady in your goals or work, or suffer from recurring health problems, carrying a black onyx stone might help you.

People who wear black onyx on a regular basis attest to its ability to increase stamina and endurance. Because the wearer is not worried or bothered by outside influences as much, they have more energy to put into the activities they want.

Onyx is the birthstone for Leo. Many believe that black onyx holds the same benefits and symbolism for those born as Leos or Capricorns.

It might sound like black onyx is a kind of good luck stone. However, black onyx is better described as an empowering stone. It amplifies and supports your inner resolve and strengths to help you overcome challenges. Black onyx can help you feel centered and calm while you address more complicated or important issues.

Black onyx is best used in conjunction with your own efforts to unlock your full potential. It does not work well when you neglect your emotional or spiritual health.

Many believe that black onyx also protects us from bad or malevolent energies. Because we are more grounded with the aid of black onyx, we are less influenced by any incoming energies that do not benefit us.

Physical and Mental Symbolism of Black Onyx

Macro on rough black onyx stones

Black onyx is just as powerful in its raw form. Artisans will take this and cut and polish it into a form more fit to sell.

©Moussa81/ via Getty Images

Black onyx is believed to heal and protect the wearer. Ancient soldiers would carry black onyx into battle believing it would protect them from mortal wounds.

Black onyx helps ground or balance the wearer. Many of the physical or mental ailments that afflict us are more easily healed with the help of black onyx. This powerful association ties black onyx very closely with the nervous system. This means that people who struggle with mental clarity, focus, stability, habits, or emotional regulation can benefit from black onyx.

Again, it is not the stone itself that brings a calming energy or peaceful feeling. The grounding and stability that the stone helps promote are necessary to feel calm and peace. Trying to feel peaceful or calm when you don’t feel centered or grounded is more likely to make you feel even more frustrated or angry. Onyx helps you prioritize the tasks and issues you face so you don’t feel overwhelmed, and can therefore find peace in your work.

Many people say that black onyx helps them feel more optimistic or hopeful.

Many healers incorporate black onyx in their practices. Some believe this stone has helped heal minor superficial injuries. However, this black onyx has a particularly strong connection to bone health and ear problems. This extends to teeth, swelling, cramping, and other issues with imbalanced digestion or sensory organs. Repeated use, or wearing the stone regularly, is the best way to speed recovery or healing.

Black onyx has long been associated with pregnancy. Including black onyx with pregnancy and delivery is believed to help promote a healthy and easy birth.

Spiritual Meaning of Black Onyx


Black onyx stones like these have always had a special role in healing and spiritual practices around the world.

©KristofferVaikla/ via Getty Images

The grounding and protective qualities of black onyx extend to your spiritual self. During our daily lives, it is not uncommon to neglect our spiritual health, leading us to feel spiritually lost or confused.

Black onyx can help strengthen our bond to our spirit. It can help dissolve the barriers we erect between our spirit and body, allowing more free communication between our different selves.

Many believe that black onyx also protects us from bad or malevolent energies. Because we are more grounded with the aid of black onyx, we are less influenced by any incoming energies that do not benefit us.

Black onyx is associated with the root chakra or Muladhara. By extension, this associated black onyx with the color red, the lotus with four petals, and the Earth element. The root chakra is located at the base of the spine. This chakra is the foundation of your spiritual body. So, it makes sense why black onyx is tied with this nexus. The root chakra is connected with the act of excretion, or expelling waste. That is, the removing of things from our body (or spirit) that don’t help us anymore or have fulfilled their purpose.

Including black onyx on or near your pelvic bone while meditating or performing yoga can help you balance and ground your spirit during your work.

In order to make the most of the properties of any stone, especially black onyx, experts recommend you wear the stone on your body. Incorporating the stone into a ring, necklace, bracelet, or something else is a great way to do this.

silver ring with a precious stone with reflection

People have worn jewelry with black onyx like this for thousands of years.

©Yurchello108/ via Getty Images

Black onyx is a popular choice when creating talismans or as a stone when doing home healing work. Carry a black onyx stone with you in your pocket after surgery or an injury to speed up your recovery.

Some recommend even carrying black onyx after rehab to help maintain your inner strength to avoid harmful habits or substances.

Include black onyx in your Feng Shui designs. This stone can help balance the energy in your home. It can help you and your guests feel calm and grounded while within its aura.

The best use of black onyx, whether in healing, protection, or mindfulness, is to keep it as close to the skin as possible. Preferably close to the affected areas that need the most balance and support.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © vvoe/

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About the Author

Aaron Webber is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering history, spirituality, geography, and culture. He has over 13 years of writing for global marketing firms, ad agencies, and executive ghostwriting. He graduated with a degree in economics from BYU and is a published, award-winning author of science fiction and alternate history. Aaron lives in Phoenix and is active in his community teaching breathwork, healing ceremonies, and activism. He shares his thoughts and work on his site, The Lost Explorers Club.

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