~ Amethyst ~
In a majority of my articles, you have seen the crystal “Amethyst” listed a number of times. Next the clear crystal quartz, amethyst is also a highly used, multi-functional crystal. In this article, we will discuss some of the history, folklore and uses for this valuable crystal.
Amethyst is a purple crystal that is part of the quartz family. It has often been used as an ornament or pendant. Amethyst is mostly composed of silicon dioxide, the same chemical composite that any quartz crystal may possess. Its color comes from a complex iron and aluminum impurities. Amethyst is highly valued for use in jewelry since it rates a 7 on the Mohs Scale *, however it is still just 1/15 as hard as a diamond.
History and Folklore
The word Amethyst comes from the Greek word amethystos or amethuskein, meaning “not drunken” or "non-intoxicating." Ancient Greeks and Roman wise men claimed that it had the ability to neutralize the alcohol in a goblet of wine just by dropping it in (it would be better to just have grape juice instead of letting perfectly good wine go to waste like that). This belief in the power of the amethyst to prevent inebriation was still held in 1750, as reported by Camillus Leonardus, an Italian writer and physician who also listed other powers of this crystal such as; repressing evil thoughts; grants good understanding; makes a barren wife fruitful; gives victory to the military; and makes wild beasts and birds easy to capture.
This crystal has a long history with religious practices. In the Egyptian book of the dead, instructions are given for placing heart shaped amethysts on the body of the deceased. This use of the heart -shaped crystal survives today in the practice of the groom giving a hear-shaped amethyst that is set in silver or gold to his bride. This is to confer great happiness and tranquility to the newly married couple for the rest of their lives. During the Middle Ages in Europe, amethyst was also known as the "bishop's stone," it was worn by cardinals and bishops. The Crusaders continued the Pagan use of amethyst by attaching it to their rosaries. This crystal was even popular during the 15th century because it was thought to control and repel evil spirits. Soldiers wore it as an amulet against injury and death.
There is a famous Roman and Greek tale that tells the origin of Amethyst. Both involve a goddess turning a maiden into a snowy/white crystal quartz and then the regretful god poured wine over it turning it purple.
The Greek tale starts with Dionysus and Artemis. Dionysus, the god of intoxication, has been insulted by a mortal and swore revenge on the next mortal who crossed his path; he created fierce tigers to carry out his wishes. The mortal that ended up crossing his path was a beautiful young woman, Amethystos, who was on her way to worship to Artemis. Her life was spared by Artemis who transformed her into a statue of pure crystal quartz to protect her from the brutal claws. Dionysus poured wine over the stone she had become as an offering, dying the crystal purple.
The Roman tale starts with goddess Diana and the god Bacchus. Bacchus, god of wine and good times, was furious because he felt ignored by mortals. He declared that his lions would devour the next mortal that he came in contact with. A young woman by the name of Amethyst crossed his path on they way to Diana’s shrine. When the lions began to tear at her, her screams caught the attention of Diana, who turned the girl into a pillar of transparent rock crystal. Bacchus regretted his loss of control and poured wine over the pillar, which turned its color from clear to purple.
Amethyst is a powerful mental healer that has the ability to sooth the nervous system, aids in neural transmission, focuses realistic goals, and boosts memory. Amethyst is a major player for healers. Even though amethyst is mostly associated with the Brow/6th chakra, it also has the abilities to calm mental disorders, purifies the blood, boosts memory, finds realistic goals, strengthens the immune system, helps with insomnia, and balances and heals all chakras. Amethyst will help reduce the mental burdens and allow you to focus on realistic goals.
Amethyst is a spiritual crystal, with absolutely no negative side effects or associations with anger, passion or violence. The calm vibrations that this crystal emits can help sooth some of the stresses of every day life. It will help calm fears; raise hopes, lifts the spirits and promotes thoughts of the spiritual reality behind our lives. When worn, it will help ward off guilt and self-sabotage. It will also help you over come addictions such as alcoholism, curb overindulgence and promotes good judgment. Keep in mind it will not make you stop these things all at once. It will warn you that what you are doing is an addiction or if you are over doing it. It is still up to you to stop when it warns you. Crystals are here to aid us; however, it is still up to us to carry out the rest.
It can also be used to lend courage to its handler. It is also a great amulet for travelers, it will help protect against thieves, harm, sickness and danger. Amethyst does have some other useful qualities when concerning protection, such as protection against most black magic and psychic attacks.
Amethyst helps increase the activity in the right side (creative side) of the brain, helps cuts through fantasies, and aids in the development in your psychic abilities. While meditating, use it to help strengthen and develop your intuition, inspirations, healing and channeling, or even aspirations to a higher spiritual level. Some say that if you put an Amethyst under your pillow, you will have pleasant dreams.
For those of you are that are business oriented, Amethyst will help promote shrewdness in business matters. With Amethyst by your side it will help with quick thoughts and also help control negative thoughts.
Single amethyst crystals are very beneficial, but clusters are even more powerful and purifying. Because of this purifying power, amethyst clusters are also used to help cleanse other crystals and stones simply by placing them on the cluster and leaving them for at least 24 hours. If this is your choice of cleansing for other crystals, you might want to consider soaking the amethyst crystals in a saline solution for 24 hours, rinse and dry under the moon.
Lately my life has been a bit hectic where I was not able to think of what to write for this month’s column. While meditating, I was holding an amethyst crystal. After clearing my head that’s when I figured I should write about amethyst. Maybe the crystal just wanted to brag about it’s self, but over the past 2 years, I have found this crystal very helpful. It has helped me see qualities in myself that I wanted to enhance or get rid off. It has also helped me deal and learn other things that occur in my day to day life. And if you are currently using one or plan to use one in the future, I hope it helps you out as much as it has helped me.
* The Mohs scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material. It was created in 1812 by the German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs and is one of several definitions of hardness in materials science.