Amber called out to me when I was searching around for a yellow crystal to learn more about for January. It is technically pine tree resin that is fossilized. Sometimes they contain trapped insects from millions years ago called inclusions, which aid scientists on their journey to look deeper into the ladder of evolutions and diversities of this planet.
Why is amber called crystal?
It is not a stone, yet it is called crystal. How confusing! Shall we add "organic" in front of the word "crystal". That helped me out.
According to geologist Emily Devenport, a mineral has to develop an orderly lattice of elements. While amber is called a crystal, it does not have the organized structure to be classified as mineral. So there you go, amber is an organic crystal or gemstone. Like pearls, jet, and corals, amber boast its beauty in many adornment design around the world.
Anders L. Damgaard - www.amber-inclusions.dk
Petrified sunlight. What are some uses of resin and amber?
When a tree is wounded, it secrete resin to seal the injury, sometimes along with synthesized phenolic compounds if the tree is still under attack of insect. The later substance will send out signal to attract predators that could help the tree rid of the herbivores gnawing at itself. So it is kind of like defense and offense. Cool hah?
In order for resin to turn into amber, it requires oxygen-free conditions, protection from UV light, and the pressure from the surroundings. Sometimes you will find softer amber called copal whereas resin has not reached its final hardening state of curing yet.
Apart from its natural power and function on trees, amber and resin were also magical and mystical in many other ways.
In ancient Egypt, people use resin for jewelry, incense and sometimes adhesive for vanishing tombs as in King Tutankhamun's. Greek and Jordan used them as... chewing gum in the case of Mastic resin and wine components. Syria, Cyprus, Turkey, Lebanon, and Japanese also employ the aromatic nature of this material to make ice cream, desert and for other culinary practices.
Once harden under pressure over time, amber is still recognized as highly medicinal in traditional Chinese tradition. Roman women like to keep amber in their pocket because they believe that touching it often would ensure youthful appearance.
In today Lithuania, new born children are still given amber bead necklaces for protection. Couples getting married are also encouraged to get amber wedding band to seal the eternal bond between them.
Amber and evolution on Earth
The idea of "window to the past" by Anders Leth Damgaard render a beautiful perspective on this gemstone. Ever wonder what a beetle or ant look like 35 to 48 millions years ago? Head over to https://amber-fossils.com/ for more fascinating and technical description of the subject. He is a passionate expert! I found him on Wikipedia.
Looking closely at primeval form of insects and how they have evolved to keep up with and in turn influence their ever changing environment will reveal the interdependent nature of all existence. Instead of encasing yourself with resin, what if you can take a 3D++ snapshot of a moment that happens within this next 2 days including all physical, emotional, spiritual states and invisible conditions that you are exposed to?
Not saying 35 millions years, in 6 months, would you recognize yourself looking back at that imprint, and how differently will you think of that person's scenario? Have you evolved to be more aware of your inner being, hold more perspectives and seek greater context or are you still stuck in the survival mode going around gathering nectar to feed the queen bee. Just saying. I am cannot safely declare that I am in one camp or the other. To my amusement and relief, it varies. How about you?