Amethyst is the gemstone for February and for those born under the zodiac sign of Pisces.
February is often short, cold, and dark for a lot of people around the world and as Amethyst is believed to boost lower energies and heal at all levels of mind, body and spirit it’s just the right gemstone for anyone who needs extra warmth and energy during this time of the year.
Amethyst is often associated with stability, courage, and peace. It’s especially useful to calm overworked minds as it brings mental strength and vigor, and reduces negativity.
Amethyst also supports all that is transitional. Especially death and rebirth – providing peace of mind when a loved one is lost.
This purple variety of quartz that has captivated mankind for millennia, is said to inspire the creative side and allows the imagination to flow. With its lilac to deep purple hues Amethyst can be cut into many shapes and sizes. It has been used by man for thousands of years.
As an elixir, it was believed that amethyst could help toothache, bone and joint discomforts and problems with the stomach and digestion. It has also been known to be taken for blood disease and to balance blood sugar.
(but don’t try any of this at home….see your doctor!)
In yoga, amethyst aids the 6th Chakra, the Third Eye, center of the body’s spiritual power. Because amethyst heightens awareness, both spiritual and psychic – increasing intuition and psychic development and transition from a normal state of consciousness to a deeper awareness.
Amethyst can trace it’s name back to the Greek word Amethystos, which means “a remedy against drunkenness,” a benefit long associated with the purple stone. Because of its wine-like colour, early Greek mythology linked the gem with Dionysus, the god of wine.
According to Greek mythology, Dionysus, the God of Intoxication/wine was angered by an insult from a mere mortal and swore revenge on the next mortal that crossed his path, creating fierce tigers to carry out his wish.
Along came unsuspecting Amethyst, a beautiful young maiden on her way to pay tribute to the goddess Diana. Diana turned Amethyst into a statue of pure crystalline quartz to protect her from the brutal claws. Dionysus wept tears of wine at the sight of the beautiful statue. The god’s tears stained the quartz purple, creating the gem we know today!
Amethyst was also believed to keep the wearer clear headed and quick witted in battle and business affairs.
Renaissance Europeans thought it calmed lovers overrun by passion.
Leonardo Da Vinci wrote that “amethyst could dissipate evil thoughts and accelerate intelligence”.
The Church & Crown
Because Amethyst was believed to encourage celibacy and symbolize piety, it was very important in the ornamentation of churches in the middle ages. Amethyst is still the stone of bishops’ who often wear Amethyst rings. In Tibet, Amethyst is considered sacred to the Buddha.
Purple has long been considered a royal colour and was a favorite of ancient Egyptian royalty.
From ancient Egypt and Greece ,all the way to 18th and 19th century, Amethyst has been linked to some of the greatest names throughout history.
Catherine the Great (Empress Catherine II of Russia, 1729–1796) had a love for the gem and decked herself in Amethyst necklaces, earrings and other ornaments.
It’s a gemstone that is heavily featured in the British Crown Jewels too.
Where it is found
Russia was the major source of Amethyst until the 19th century, when large deposits were found in Brazil. Once as rare as ruby or emerald (and just as valuable) Amethyst was suddenly in abundance. Today, the most important sources of amethyst are in Africa and South America. Amethyst from Brazil sometimes forms in hollow, crystal-lined geodes so large you can stand in them.
Quartz, of which Amethyst is but one of many varieties, is the most abundant mineral on Earth. Many more will be cropping up in our future blog posts, so keep visiting!