Apache tears are small, rounded pebbles made of obsidian that are believed to have healing energies and spiritual meanings. If you’ve ever held one of these matte-black stones in your hand and felt an instant connection, you probably wondered what exactly they represent.

In short, apache tears are said to promote emotional healing from grief or trauma, while providing comfort and protection. The stones themselves are linked to Native American tribes and the sadness they endured when forced to leave their lands.

In this comprehensive guide of around 3000 words, we will explore the origin story behind apache tears, their reputation as healing crystals, and the symbolic spiritual meanings people ascribe these unique stones in regard to properties like grounding, protection, comfort in grieving, and more.

The History and Legends Behind Apache Tears

The Native American Legend

There is a tragic yet touching Native American legend behind the formation of these stunning stones (1). The tale tells how a band of Apache warriors ambushed by the US Cavalry at Battle of Canyon de Chelly in Arizona chose death by leaping from the high cliffs rather than surrender.

According to the legend, the families of the warriors cried when they found the bodies. As they mourned, their tears fell upon the bloodstained earth and solidified into opaque stones with black veins running through them. These obsidian stones came to be known as “Apache Tears”.

How Apache Tears Form in Nature

Geologically, Apache Tears form when hot volcanic lava cools rapidly into a glass-like obsidian containing bubbles of gas (2). As the bubbles rise through the lava and burst, water flows down the sides of the cliffs carrying little chips of black obsidian, forming Apache Tears (3).

These lustrous, black volcanic glass stones often have rounded edges from being tumbled in rivers over time.

Common Symbolic Meanings

Today, Apache Tears are believed to honor the Native American warriors who sacrificed their lives and bring healing and comfort to those who are grieving (4). They symbolize shedding tears in mourning and are regarded as a protective and grounding stone when dealing with loss or sadness (5).

It is also considered a stone of spiritual connection believed to link one with ancient Native American wisdom. Their opaque clarity is thought to bring light where there is darkness, helping to clear emotional burdens (6).

So whether you believe the legend or prefer the geological explanation, Apache Tears remain a beautiful yet mysterious stone holding profound symbolic meaning.

Healing Properties and Benefits of Apache Tears

Emotional Healing from Grief and Trauma

Apache Tears are thought to help promote emotional healing from grief, trauma, or sadness. The stones are named for the Apache legend that says they sprang from the tears cried by Apache women after the massacre of their loved ones.

So, these crystals are already infused with energies of solace and comfort. When you hold Apache Tears, their gentle but powerful vibrations are believed to envelop you in a soothing embrace, bringing up suppressed emotions so they can be released.

This calming energy tune-up encourages you to fully process painful experiences you may have undergone. By helping emotional blockages surface, Apache Tears allow stuck energies related to grief, loss, heartbreak, anxiety or childhood traumas to be cleared out.

As stagnant energies are flushed away, you may feel a lightness in your heart. Many crystal healers say working with Apache Tears over time can help “mend your broken heart”.

Instilling Strength, Comfort and Peace

Apache Tears are thought to impart strength and resilience, infusing you with the life force needed to pick up emotional pieces and move forward. Its grounding energies are believed to make feelings of grief less intense over time.

These earthy stones may encourage you to gain a healthier perspective, seeing challenges as opportunities for growth. Apache Tears are said to help shift depressive thinking patterns into more constructive ones.

By helping emotional equilibrium return, these crystals bring stability and inner peace. Their cleansing effect on the heart and mind is believed to banish turbulent thoughts and worries. As your outlook brightens, you are able to see hope ahead.

With its message of spiritual support, it is thought keeping Apache Tears close by through bereavement or difficult changes comforts and uplifts the spirit.

Cleansing and Protection

With their gently absorbing nature, Apache Tears are believed to work like an energetic sponge, soaking up stagnant energies around you. Healers often place these stones in different rooms to purify the atmosphere.

Wearing Apache Tears as jewelry or carrying one in your pocket is thought to cleanse your personal energy field, making you feel lighter and brighter.

It’s also believed Apache Tears provide psychic protection due to their grounding energies. They are thought to act as shields, fending off negative energies or hostile forces. Crystal experts say placing an Apache Tears stone by doors or windows guards your home against unwanted outside influences.

These properties make them popular talismans for lightworkers, mediums or anyone who deals with heavy emotional energies regularly.


With their earthy brown and black colors mimicking the landscape from which they came, Apache Tears resonate deeply with grounding energies. During trauma or grief when you feel disconnected, keeping Apache Tears close by is believed to help you feel anchored and secure.

By reestablishing your sense of stability, these crystals allow brighter, more positive energies to flow.

As a root chakra stone, Apache Tears may also elevate your vitality, self-confidence and sense of safety in the world. Their grounding influence is thought to bring clarity and focus when you feel overwhelmed by responsibilities or decisions.

Apache Tears are believed to dissolve a “scattered” state of mind, promoting inner peace and deeper wisdom.

Using Apache Tears in Crystal Healing

Choosing Your Stone

When selecting an Apache Tear for crystal healing, it’s important to pick a stone that you feel an energetic connection with. Hold different Apache Tears in your hands and use your intuition to sense which calls out to you. This is your healing stone!

The energy in your chosen Apache Tear matches your current needs. Also consider the size, clarity and any inner rainbows when choosing your stone. The clearer, the better for healing energy flow.

Crystal Grids and Layouts

Crystal grids with Apache Tears amplify their healing vibration. Try arranging 6-9 Apache Tears in a grid around other complementary stones like white selenite or amethyst. This harnesses their combined healing properties for deep spiritual enlightenment.

Learn how to create crystal grids with Apache Tears in these detailed guides.

Wearing or Carrying for Constant Energy

For an ongoing healing influence throughout your day, consider wearing Apache Tear jewelry or carrying a stone in your pocket. The closer the stone’s energy field remains to your body, the deeper the healing effects it can have. Rings, pendants, bracelets and even loose tumbles work beautifully.

You’ll find both protection and spiritual grounding from keeping Apache Tear nearby.

Connecting Through Meditation

Meditating with Apache Tear is a powerful way to connect more deeply with its energy. Hold an Apache Tear or place one on your third eye or heart chakra during meditation. Breathe slowly while visualizing the stone’s energy surrounding your entire body.

This allows its unique properties to permeate your spirit for profound awakening and insight.

Caring for and Cleansing Apache Tears

Cleaning Techniques

Apache Tears stones are relatively soft and porous, so care should be taken when cleaning them. The safest cleaning method is to use room temperature water, a soft cloth or brush, and gentle scrubbing motions. Avoid harsh chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners as these can damage the stone.

For a deeper clean, you can use a very mild soap. Ensure all soap residue is fully rinsed off after cleaning.

Storing and Displaying

The best way to store Apache Tears is in soft cloth bags or placed inside fabric-lined boxes. This protects them from scratches. Display your Apache Tears by placing them in a dish filled with tumbled stones or natural items like feathers or shells.

You can also wire wrap them into pendants or jewelry to keep on your person for spiritual healing throughout the day.

Recharging Apache Tears

It is important to routinely recharge and cleanse the energies of your Apache Tears. Some methods for recharging include:

  • Placing outside under moonlight on the night of a full moon
  • Burying in a bowl filled with earth or sand for 1-7 days
  • Smudging with sacred smoke from herbs like white sage or sweetgrass
  • Sound baths using Tibetan singing bowls or chimes
  • Bathing in salt water overnight

Signs its Time for a New Stone

You may feel drawn to acquire a new Apache Tear when:

  • Your stone feels energetically drained or heavy
  • It develops cracks, chips or scratches
  • You experience persistent bad luck or negative emotions and believe the stone has absorbed too much energy
  • You feel spiritually called to gift your Apache Tear and start fresh with a new one

Trust your intuition if you feel it’s time to replace an Apache Tear. When cared for properly, they can last for years or even decades before a new stone is needed.


Apache tears carry not only the grief of Native peoples but also their strength and spiritual vision within these small black stones. If you feel an instinctive bond with these crystals, it may be their gentle grounding and emotional healing properties calling to you.

Through ongoing care and cleansing, as well as mindfully incorporating apache tear’s energies into meditation or crystal practices, you can unlock more of the meaning and comfort these obsidian stones provide.

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