In the ordinary world, when you break glass, it’s an accident. But in the spiritual realm, broken glass can mean so much more. Throughout history, glass materials have been omens for a multitude of different things.
Their meaning varied from culture to culture, with some treating glass as wholly positive, others as negative, while some saw it as a mix of the two. This especially applies to broken glass, which has a prominent role in spirituality, faith, and future predictions. Are you wondering what the spiritual meaning of broken glass is? Keep reading to discover how this beautiful material is connected to the beyond!
What Is Glass?
Though most people think that glass is a purely man-made invention, it’s a naturally occurring substance. In simple terms, glass consists of melted sand. Sand is made up of silicone particles that liquefy when exposed to extreme temperatures. However, instead of solidifying back into the same gritty grains when it cools, the sand completely changes its molecular structure.
The particles transform into a kind of frozen mush that exists somewhere between solid and frozen.
Scientists call this state an amorphous solid since it contains both liquid properties and some of the crystallized elements of a solid. Though glass is abundant in homes, shops, and art, it’s one of the rarest materials in nature. This is because you need to heat sand to a staggering 1700°C or 3090°F to make it glassy.
Nevertheless, you can still encounter various forms of glass all over nature. One of the best examples is obsidian. This breathtaking black glass occurs when the superheated volcanic rock comes into contact with cold air. The temperature change rapidly cools the rock, allowing it to solidify with minimal crystal growth.
The resulting material is a bit stronger than typical window glass and has lower water content. Plus, it’s rich in iron, which gives it that breathtaking black color.
Next to obsidian, there are several types of natural glass. These include fulgurites, glass that is formed via lighting strikes, or tektites, a type of natural glass found on the ocean floor, to name a few.
Glass Animals Exist Too!
As rare as mineral glass is, there is one form of natural glass that is even rarer— glass animals!
Glass sponges, also known by their scientific name, hexactinellids, are a type of sponge that lives in the deep sea. Their bodies are composed of silica particles called spicules. These spicules are extremely large and fuse as the sponge ages into an adult. When they fully mature, their skeletons form beautiful patterns that resemble glass houses.
The sponges use their skeletons as a natural defense against predators. Plus, since their bones are so durable, they’ll often stay intact after the sponge dies.
Glass as a Tool and Sacred Material
Naturally occurring glass may be rare, but man-made glass is everywhere. People likely discovered how to make glass in the 3rd millennium BC in ancient Mesopotamia. They used it to craft small accessories like necklaces, earrings, and pendants.
Early glassmakers also used glass to substitute semi-precious stones when crafting jewelry. This is why almost all ancient necklaces and other trinkets are brightly colored and completely opaque.
Since glass is incredibly versatile, people easily repurposed it to make pottery as well. The first recorded instance of a glass vessel dates to the sixteenth century BC in the Hurrian kingdom of Mittani.
Ancient pottery makers would use heated gas to craft small vases, beakers, and goblets. The art of glassmaking spread like wildfire afterward, first to Egypt, then to the Phonecian coast, where it quickly made its way to ancient Greece.
The material dominated architecture because it had all kinds of useful properties. First, it’s easy to shape when heated. Therefore, ancient glassblowers could create all kinds of beautiful tools using very crude materials. Secondly, it’s fairly resistant to heat and chemically inert when it sets. So there is no risk of a glass vase reacting when you put something inside it. Lastly, it just looks beautiful.
Glass has a glossy, transparent surface that refracts light. Plus, you can mix it with a myriad of other materials and colors to make it as eye-catching as possible. But, most importantly, glass surfaces can show your reflection.
Reflections are a cornerstone of spirituality. Religions all over the world believe that reflections are your soul personified. Therefore, any glassy surface that can show you your reflection is a gateway to the other side.
Not only that, but people thought these objects were capable of trapping your soul. Considering that, it’s not surprising that so many cultures have superstitions surrounding mirrors.
Broken Glass: Good Or Bad?
Glass and spirituality go hand in hand. For example, ancient Romans used glass trinkets as offerings to the gods. Likewise, they thought their deities used mirrors to observe the mortal world. This is why they believed anyone who broke a mirror was offending the gods and would be cursed with misfortune.
Other cultures shared similar beliefs about broken mirrors and bad luck. The Chinese believe that broken glass will bring bad luck or conflict in the family, while Hindus see it as a sign of future marriage problems.
In Jewish tradition, broken glass has a bittersweet symbolism. On the one hand, newlyweds break glass at weddings to symbolize the tragedy of the destruction of the Jewish temples. However, they also do it to signify a new chapter in their lives and to ensure their union is blessed.
Likewise, you should also take into account the type of glass you shatter. For instance, some say that a broken plate or cup can symbolize a new chapter in your life. On the other hand, a broken mirror signals danger and an evil presence trying to break down your spiritual defenses.
In short, modern interpretations of broken glass are a mixed bag. So, if you’re wondering if broken glass is good or bad, the answer is that it depends on who you ask!
15 Spiritual Meanings of Broken Glass
Broken glass is a powerful symbol in various religious and spiritual practices. This includes ancient pagan and monotheistic traditions as well as new age beliefs. But, regardless of your religious affiliation, there are several ways you can interpret broken glass and how it relates to your life.
1. Good Luck
When you think of broken glass, you likely think of disaster or misfortune. However, did you know that shattered glass can also mean the opposite? Broken glass is often a symbol of good luck and prosperity. Think back to the aforementioned Jewish tradition of breaking glass at weddings.
The custom dates back to ancient times and is mentioned several times in the Talmud. The ritual is simple — after exchanging vows, a couple is meant to crush a glass beneath the chuppah, or bridal veil, to symbolically seal their union.
The effect this has is twofold. First, it’s supposed to remind the guests of the destruction of the Jewish temples. The memory is meant to temper their celebration for a bit. That moment of peace is supposed to remind them to keep the tragedy of Jerusalem in memory even at the happiest hour, as per Psalm 137.
However, after the moment of sorrow ends, the couple should rejoice. The glass subsequently becomes all the misfortunes they’ve experienced in their lives. By shattering it, they’re blessing their union and symbolically beginning their lives anew as one heart, mind, body, and soul.
While shattered glass can signify good luck, it’s way more common to symbolize misfortune. This is especially true with broken mirrors. As mentioned, people believed that mirrors had numerous magical properties.
First and foremost, mirrors reflect light. Religions all over the world see light as a stand-in for divinity. It’s also a symbol of wisdom, temperance, and higher knowledge. In short, mirrors are supposed to reflect the truth.
Therefore, it’s easy to see how people came to believe that mirrors show you your soul. In some literary works, like Goethe’s Faust, mirrors reflect our finest subconscious qualities, the ones we’ve lost in our everyday lives. Certain works of women’s lit have women seeing reflections of men in the mirror, thus symbolizing their subconscious desire for masculine power and liberation.
Whatever the meaning, one thing is clear — mirrors show something deeply intrinsic and personal. Therefore, shattering one is representative of you shattering your soul. The breaking of a mirror is also supposedly followed by a period of bad luck that can last anywhere between 7 to 40 years. While this is a bummer, keep in mind that the bad streak won’t last forever.
So keep your chin up and power through. Better days are ahead!
3. New Beginnings
You may be scratching your head at this particular meaning of broken glass. However, if you think about it, it makes absolute sense.
The glass starts its life cycle as the sand that glassblowers melt and shape into various objects. This, in effect, begins the next stage of sand’s life cycle — by proxy, it also symbolizes a new stage in your life too. Once you shatter the glass object, you end an old part of your life. However, since glass can be reborn into something else, it also symbolizes a new beginning for you.
The death and rebirth theme is especially prominent if you break the brown or green glass. Both colors relate to Mother nature and symbolize the changing seasons. Therefore, shattering one could indicate that something new is about to multiply in your life!
4. Message From Lost Loved Ones
The association between broken glass and death is mostly related to mirrors. However, this connection does not have to be a negative one — especially if the mirror broke on its own.
Mirrors represent the gateway to the other side. Therefore, when they break, that symbolizes the shattering of the portal between the world of the living and the dead. Now, you can interpret that as losing the connection to your loved one forever. But it could just as well be them letting you know that it’s okay to move on.
5. Shattering Lies
Most glass is transparent. Therefore, it’s easy to associate glass with the truth. However, if the glass is opaque, then this could symbolize a hidden truth.
The same applies to stained or tinted glass. While both types are semi-transparent, you still can’t see through them. So it’s very common to associate them with some form of deceit.
Therefore, when you break the glass, you’re lifting the veil of lies and exposing the truth once more.
This meaning is most often related to familial or platonic relationships. If you break colored glass, this could signify that you’re about to uncover a dark family secret. Likewise, it could also be a sign that one of your friends is not being as truthful with you as you assumed.
Either way, it’s usually a sign that something negative is about to come your way. So best be prepared to reclaim the truth once more!
6. Broken Defenses
Glass has a wide range of applications. However, it’s most commonly used to make windows. Windows serve as a barrier between your home and the outside world. In short, they symbolize both a form of protection and your internal defenses.
So, breaking a window symbolizes your barriers coming down. This could represent an emotional barrier you have with your partner. Alternatively, it could also signify a boundary you were too afraid to cross, such as a limiting personal belief or that job opportunity you’ve been too frightened to take.
However, a shattered window can just as easily symbolize something negative. If you believe in dark forces, a broken window can stand for a malevolent spirit attempting to break down your spiritual walls. It could also be a spell someone has cast on you to bring you misfortune.
Either way, do your best to stay vigilant and foster positive vibes only.
7. Doomed Relationship
The old saying goes that when you break a vase, you can fix it, but it will never be the same. The same principle applies to strained relationships. As much as you love someone, sometimes, no amount of love can fix some issues.
Therefore, broken glass often symbolizes that a relationship will end soon. But don’t let that bum you out. Spiritual omens usually serve as a warning for something that could happen. In summary, they are your cue to reexamine what is and isn’t working in your love life and fix it.
8. Blessed Union
Breaking the glass at weddings isn’t just a custom at Jewish weddings. Greeks are also famous for smashing plates and glasses at weddings, birthdays, or other joyous occasions. The plate-breaking is usually accompanied by music and the guests exclaiming ‘Opa!’
The reason they do this is twofold. Firstly, it’s meant to bring good luck to those celebrating. Secondly, they do it to ward off evil spirits. There is a pervasive belief that celebrations draw evil spirits.
These malevolent entities are particularly fond of preying on newlywed couples. So, to protect the happy couple from their bad influence, Greeks smash plates. The noise and violence of the shattering glass are supposed to fool the spirits into thinking there is no happy energy around for them to feed on.
So, if you’re currently dealing with broken plates, consider yourself lucky. Perhaps that bit of smashed glass is exactly what saved you from a very negative force currently attacking you.
9. Hidden Danger
Broken glass isn’t just dangerous because of the sharp pieces that can cut you. It can also represent potential danger. In Feng Shui, glass is a delicate object that symbolizes the water element. Glass objects and mirrors are supposed to promote harmony, balance, and abundance in your life.
Therefore if you break them, you’re likely to lose all balance in your life and see it shatter into a thousand pieces. Likewise, eating out of a broken glass bowl or plate is bad luck in Feng Shui. Tableware represents food, and thus, it’s a sign of status and money. If the bowl you use for your morning cereal is leaking, then this could signify you’re going to lose your wealth in the future.
But, the good news is that broken glass isn’t a wholly negative thing in Feng Shui. For instance, if you shatter a glass plate or cup into uncountable pieces, then you can expect an abundance of money in your life.
10. A Period of Uncertainty
Breaking opaque glass symbolizes the unveiling of a hidden truth. However, if you happen to break eyeglasses, then the opposite might happen to you — the truth will end up hidden from you. Eyeglasses are how people with bad eyesight can see the world. Symbolically they represent clarity, good judgment, and deep insight.
So, busting your pair of specks can be a sign you’re losing focus. Something that was once obvious to you may suddenly become extremely difficult to understand. Similarly, it could also be a sign you’re losing sight of certain important things in your life. Once again, while this is a negative association, don’t let it bring you down too much.
These signs are just warnings from the other side to resolve whatever is clouding your judgment. That way, you’ll only end up with a bill for a new pair of glasses instead of a veil of dark energy!