Amber is fossilized tree resin which has been highly regarded since prehistory and used in jewelry for over 13,000 years. It is found in colors ranging from pale yellow to dark brown. Its name comes from the Arabic word 'anbar. In ancient times, it was usually found along the shore, washed up by the sea. In these days, it is mined from coal seams. Due to the nature of amber, it often contains organic inclusions or bubbles. Additionally, it can be partially dissolved in alcohol, or it can be heated above 200℃ to produce oil of amber and amber pitch. Amber can be made pliable by gentle heating in an oil bath. It can also be burned as an incense. It is so great at preservation that its organic inclusions are often delicate materials that never would have fossilized, such as bacteria and insect webs. The oldest animals ever found in amber are two 230 million-years-old mites.
The ancient Greeks called the substance ēlektron, meaning "sunbeam." This is connected to the myth that when the son of the Sun was murdered, the Sun's daughters turned into poplar trees and their tears to amber resin. Extracts of amber have been used for their healing properties starting from the earlier eras of ancient Greece. In ancient times, women of many cultures used amber for the whorls of their spindles due to its electrostatic cling.
Amber is sacred to Freyja, who is thought to have cried tears of amber or gold while searching for her husband, Óðr. It is even thought her necklace, Brísingamen may have been amber and gold. The highly valued amber stone is often used for pendants found in Viking Age graves and thus assumed to be amulets of some kind.
Possible Correspondences: beauty, eternity, Freyja, gold, grief, healing, health, prehistory, preservation, sacredness, sun, tears, time and timelessness, transformation, wealth.