As I began exploring stones and crystals on my blog, I wanted to start with some stones my readers might be familiar with, but might not know how to work with energetically. Last week's, hemimorphite certainly isn't the most well-known of stones, but after my discussion with Rita on Talk-N-Angels, I thought I should cover it. I know whenever I'm listening to a podcast about crystals (Okay, I'm a bit of a podcast nerd) I just want to see what stones they are talking about. So, this week, I'm going back to the quartz family with a familiar stone to most people--amethyst.
Amethyst draws you in with its beautiful color, which ranges from pale lavender to a deep purple. And a deep deep purple that appears almost black. There is a type of amethyst called chevron amethyst, which is banded in a chevron pattern. Gorgeousness. It has a Moh's hardness of 7 and is indeed a member of the quartz family, making it resonate beautifully with other quartz stones like citrine, clear quartz, smoky quartz, aventurine, chalcedony, agates, carnelian, among others. Amethyst, like malachite and lapis lazuli, has a rich history and mythology. It is said to be in the ninth stone on the breastplate of the high priest of Israel. And amethyst was one of the stones where each of the twelve tribes were written. In medieval times, soldiers wore it as protection on the battle field. As far back as the Neolithic era, 25,000 BCE, amethyst was found in archaeological digs as part of gravesites and ritual. Through the Common Era, amethyst was seen as a stone of royalty, and used in crowns and rings of Kings and Queens.
Amethyst's name is derived from the Greek word for drunk (methustos). Actually, amethyst is a translation of amethustos, or not drunken. The Ancient Greek wore amethyst, and made wine glasses from amethyst, because they believed amethyst prevented intoxication. Indeed, amethyst today is considered the stone of sobriety, worn to help balance the mind, and bring clarity. It also emits calming energy, which helps relieve the frustration that often brings the first drink. I am personally working on a list of stones to be used with each of the Twelve Steps and the virtues associated with each step. I think amethyst is a beautiful first step stone, and one that works well with each stage of recovery.
The belief of amethyst's power of sobriety may stem from the myth of Amethyst in Ancient Greek Mythology, which may or may not have first derived from the French poet, Remy Belleau, who wrote often about crystals and precious stones. I can't find any documentation besides Wiki either way, so I am just sharing the entire mythology part of from Wikipedia page on amethyst.
In his poem "L'Amethyste, ou les Amours de Bacchus et d'Amethyste" (Amethyst or the loves of Bacchus and Amethyste), the French poet Remy Belleau (1528–1577) invented a myth in which Bacchus, the god of intoxication, of wine, and grapes was pursuing a maiden named Amethyste, who refused his affections. Amethyste prayed to the gods to remain chaste, a prayer which the chaste goddess Diana answered, transforming her into a white stone. Humbled by Amethyste's desire to remain chaste, Bacchus poured wine over the stone as an offering, dyeing the crystals purple.
Variations of the story include that Dionysus had been insulted by a mortal and swore to slay the next mortal who crossed his path, creating fierce tigers to carry out his wrath. The mortal turned out to be a beautiful young woman, Amethystos, who was on her way to pay tribute to Artemis. Her life was spared by Artemis, who transformed the maiden into a statue of pure crystalline quartz to protect her from the brutal claws. Dionysus wept tears of wine in remorse for his action at the sight of the beautiful statue. The god's tears then stained the quartz purple.
This myth and its variations are not found in classical sources. Although the titan Rhea does present Dionysus with an amethyst stone to preserve the wine-drinker's sanity in historical text.
Because of its association as an anti-intoxicant, in medieval times, it was said to also prevent the intoxication of love, so priests and monks often wore amethyst as a symbol for their vows of chastity. It has strong spiritual roots. Even Buddhists in Tibet used amethyst in prayer beads and carvings.
This makes perfect sense to me, because amethyst is a beautiful meditation ally, because it resonates and stimulates the crown chakra, as well as the third eye. It is also an incredibly protective stone, and I encourage people to use it in their toolkit of protection right alongside black tourmaline, onyx, smoky quartz, and other stones. It enhances your intuitive abilities and helps you activate your Higher Self. It is wonderful in environments, and works well in grids for protection and transmuting energy. Or just sitting in a room that you want purified and high vibrational. So, a large cluster of amethyst is a great addition to any room, but particularly a room for healers. It helps shield energy, as well as assist healing. One of the most beautiful aspects of amethyst is how it gently helps you see the root of your dis-ease. Naisha Ahsian says that amethyst assists "in eliminating emotion-based decision-making, allowing one to take actions based on higher guidance and spiritual understanding." WOWEE!
Because it works so hard for you, work hard for you amethyst by re-tuning it fairly often with a tuning fork, singing bowl or other resonator. Amethyst is particularly sensitive to sunlight, so be kind to her and help amethyst keep its beautiful color by keeping her out of sunlight. Amethyst is able to withstand water, so cleanse her through running water of the ocean, a stream or other natural body of water, and of course, you can set amethyst out in full moon light to soak up all that wisdom.
A beautiful affirmation for amethyst comes from Naisha Ahsian's work in Book of Stones.
I am purified, uplifted and protected through my connection to the Divine.
I would love to hear your thoughts and experience with amethyst, so share below in the comment section. Or ask to hear about any stone of interest to you. With love.