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The Lore and Lure of Amethyst


Amethyst crystal

 

Amethyst has been highly esteemed throug the ages for its stunning beauty and legendary powers to stimulate and soothe the mind and emotions.  It carries the energy of fire and passion, creativity and spirituality; yet bears the logic of temperance and sobriety.
The name Amethyst comes from an ancient legend.  Amethyste was the name of a beautiful maiden who became the object of wrath of the Roman god Bacchus after he became intoxicated with red wine. When Amethyste cried out to Goddess Diana for help, she immediately transformed the girl into a statue of shimmering crystalline quartz. When Bacchus realized what happened he felt remorse for his actions.  His tears dripped into his goblet of red wine. The goblet overturned and the red wine spilled all over the pure clear stone, saturating it until it became the purple quartz that is now known as Amethyst.
 
Amethyst Through History

 

The Amethyst is a semi-precious stone by modern classifications, but to the ancients, it was the “gem of fire", and one of the five cardinal stones considered the most valuable, along with diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald.
 
Ancient Egyptians wore amethyst to protect against guilty and fearful feelings, as well as a protection against witchcraft.
It has been found in many Egyptian tombs including, 
The tomb of Djer, the second Pharaoh of Egypt’s 1st Dynasty, with the discovery of beaded amethyst bracelets.
The tomb of Tutankhamen which listed a bracelet inset with a large amethyst scarab.
And the tomb of Queen Mereret, the Beloved One, with the discovery of amethyst heart scarabs, as well as an anklet of amethyst beads and gold.
Romans believed amethyst could prevent drunkeness.  It was believed that if a person drank from a chalice or goblet made entirely of amethyst, he or she would not get drunk.
 
Amethyst also had religious connotations and has always been favored as a Christian Ecclesiastical stone.  In olden times, Catholic bishops wore amethyst rings perhaps because of its associations with piety and sobriety.  Amethyst was one of the twelve precious stones in the high priest Aaron’s breastplate. The twelfth foundation of the Holy City was built of Amethyst.  Saint Valentine is said to have worn an Amethyst ring with an engraved cupid as a sign to soldiers who wanted to secretly marry their loves before heading to war.  The Hebrew word for Amethyst, "Ahlamah", translates to "Dream Stone". Jews believed the gem caused powerful dreams.
 
Amethyst is considered sacred to Buddha in Tibet.  It is the chosen gemstone for prayer beads used during meditation. Its deep transfixing color is believed to help restore balance in their lives and facilitate mindfulness in its ancient form.
Among Leonardo da Vinci's writings, he wrote that the amethyst improves intelligence and shields the wearer from evil thoughts.
Amethyst is found among the British Crown Jewels, and it was treasured by famous royal figures.  Catherine the Great had a love affair with the amethyst stone and required it be used in all of her personal articles.  Cleopatra famously wore an amethyst ring throughout her relationships with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony which created a fashion for the gem amongst Roman noblewomen.  Empress Josephine is said to have owned and inherited a suite of amethyst jewels.

Some Metaphysical Properties of Amethyst

Amethyst can help us rest, sleep and enjoy the stillness. It's incredibly soothing and calming to the body, mind, and spirit.

It's not only a great tranquilizer, it's an effective absorber of negative energy responsible for a disturbed sleep. Feng shui prescribes for keeping a piece of amethyst, or small amethyst tumble stone, under or beside the pillow to bring back your sleep. It is also believed to induce you into sweet dreams that soothe your nerves.
 
Amethyst activates spiritual awareness. It does this by opening intuition and enhancing psychic abilities.
Some metaphysicians believe amethyst plays an important role in metabolism especially bringing balance to the endocrine system by helping in the active production of hormones for use in the body. Many Reiki practitioners believe amethyst assists the body in fighting and eliminating diseases by boosting the immune system; and helps to reduce physical, emotional and psychological pain or stress; and is useful for people suffering from diseases of the lungs and respiratory tract, skin conditions, disorders in cells and diseases of the digestive system.and helps to reduce physical, emotional and psychological pain due to stress.Amethyst is said to guard against psychic attack and suffering including spiritual assault that may be as a result of external sources such as people.
 
Physical Properties of Amethyst
 
Amethyst owes its fabled color to trace amounts of manganese and iron.  Light makes some varieties of amethyst fade, but heat can deepen and intensify that gorgeous violet color. Most amethysts available today have been heat treated and will not fade over time. Amethysts must be purple, but have a range of shades from light lilacs to dark purples and mauves. The highest quality amethyst has a deep medium purple color with flashes of rose.
 
The astrological signs of amethyst are Pisces, Virgo, Aquarius, and Capricorn. Amethyst is the birthstone for February. Amethyst is also the symbolic gem for the 6th and 17th wedding anniversary.
 
Wearing Amethyst

Some say amethyst is too powerful to be worn everyday and should be reserved for Saturdays only while others like to wear one everyday to work to gain the most benefit. Simply find out what is best for you, if you have any negative feelings while wearing amethyst then there are one or two options. You can build up the use of the quartz, little by little each day, until you gain its full power or you may have to find an alternative crystal.
*Crystals and stones should not be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment.
Reference:
  • Gemological Institute of America
  • Book of Stones 
  • Gemstones of the World
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    Picture: Wikipedia