Bacchus stone, Stone of Spirit, Stone of Integrity
Amethyst can appear in a range of shades, some of which have their own particular name, for example; Siberian Amethyst and Rose de France.
Amethyst is part of the quartz family, and is a very popular stone. Its colour ranges from a pale lilac to vibrant violets and rich purples, and it can contain flashes of red or rose. It has a glossy luster, and can appear as translucent or transparent. Amethyst can also appear with lines or streaks of white in it. It is rated as a 7 on the Moh’s scale, as it is a relatively hard crystal.
Amethyst takes its name from the Greek word ‘amethystos’, meaning ‘not intoxicated’. The ancient Greeks believed that drinking vessels made from amethyst would protect the drinker from becoming drunk. As well as cups, amethyst was fashioned into amulets and sculptures, and set into jewellery.
Examples of worked amethyst can be found dating back to the ancient Egyptians and medieval Europeans. It has been found in graves dating back to Aztec and Anglo-Saxon times, and was a favourite of Catherine the Great, who sent thousands of miners into the Urals to find it. Another fan was Queen Charlotte of England, who owned a necklace of amethyst. In Tibet there were amethyst prayer beads, called Mala beads, and the gemstones were dedicated to Buddha.
Amethyst can be found in a number of places in the world today, with large amounts coming from Brazil, Madagascar and Zambia. It can also be found in the United States, Australia, Kenya, Russia, Bolivia, Uruguay, Sri Lanka and South Korea.
Amethyst can often be found along with citrine and ametrine. You can also find citrine for sale, which actually began life as amethyst; when it is heated it loses its rich purple hue, and if heated intensely – up to 400 degrees – it takes on the yellow-orange tone of citrine, and can be called ‘burnt amethyst’. Ametrine is formed when iron, similar to that which gives amethyst its colour, is introduced to citrine, making it a mixture of the two crystals and giving it its name ‘Ame-trine’.
Another type of amethyst comes from South Africa, and is characterised by a crystal which is surrounded by other, tiny crystals. These interesting gemstones are often called ‘Spirit Amethyst’, ‘Fairy Quartz’ or ‘Angel Quartz’.
This beautiful gemstone has long been associated with purity, sobriety and royalty. It was believed to have a sobering effect, not only on drunks, but on people who were inflamed with passion. For this reason it was popular in Catholicism, and was used for bishop’s rings, and in the decoration of places of worship.
Amethyst is featured in the British crown jewels, and a long line of leaders, from kings and queens to pharohs, have treasured it as a symbol of richness and success because of its brilliant colouration. This association with the colour purple can be seen in the Roman generals who would wear purple togas when celebrating victories.
Amethyst is reputedly useful when dealing with a number of ailments, including those related to the digestive tract, heart, stomach, skin and teeth, skeletal system, hormones, eyes and hair. It stimulates the nervous system and endocrine glands. Amethyst can strengthen the immune system, promote recovery after illness and stabilise blood pressure, whether high or low. It can also be used to treat problems relating to the blood, like varicose veins, anaemia, paleness and painful menstruation.
It can help treat headaches, whether migraine or stress related, pituitary and pineal gland disorders and mental disorders. Amethyst is also reputed to cure mood-swings, hallucinations and phobias or neuroses. It can bring balance between the left and right brain, and aid the absorption of knowledge and the processing of new information. Amethyst can help when dealing with disorders such as arthritis, diabetes and epilepsy. It can also be used to strengthen the hearing, improve posture and combat venereal diseases.
Amethyst can be used to combat stress and depression, and soothe restlessness and an over-active or over-worked mind. It can calm anxiety, clear delusion and dispel all kinds of negative energies. Amethyst can be worn close to the heart for general healing, or held in contact with the affected part of the body. Amethyst can also be worn to make the wearer more gentle and amiable.
This gemstones is helpful in getting a good night’s sleep, and can prevent insomnia and nightmares. Place an amethyst under your pillow or on your nightstand to benefit from its calming energies, and to promote psychic dreams. Amethyst will help you get the most out of your night’s sleep, and will ensure you awaken on time, and feeling refreshed. Amethyst can not only envigorate you in the morning, but can give you an energy boost at any time of day, and protect you from exhaustion, both mental and physical.
It is famed for its ability to treat addiction and destructive behaviours, and can help to combat alcoholism, drug addiction and obsessive/compulsive behaviours. It strengthens the user’s will power, and lets you banish bad habits. It can also help when trying to lose weight. Amethyst helps to mellow extreme emotions, such as hatred, rage and jealousy.
Amethyst has pain relieving properties as well, and can soothe insect bites, and burning eyes. Ailments of the skin, such as roughness, acne or eczema can be helped by amethyst, and it can be taken as an elixir or as a soap.
Amethyst is associated with a number of qualities, such as courage, strength and stability. It can be used in spells for attraction of healing, money and love. Amethyst purifies, cleanses and renews. It fosters psychic abilities, hightens intuition and sharpens the mind. It can also be used as a meditation and spiritual awareness enhancer.
Amethyst can bring you focus, flexibility and openness, and can help in matters of happiness, forgiveness and tolerance. Use it to combat grief, anger, guilt, fear, impatience and resentment.
Amethyst is a calming gemstone, and it can be used when tackling confusion, anxiety and chaos as it brings peace and clarity. With the sense of peace comes a feeling of contentment, and amethyst is valuable when struggling with feelings of grief and depression. Use this gemstone if you are feeling overworked and overwhelmed, or if you have trouble with insomnia and nightmares. Amethyst can help you see in a magical sense as well, allowing you to percieve a situation as it really it.
With the ability to see the truth of a situation, comes amethyst’s ability to enhance intuition and psychic abilities or the sixth sense. Amethyst is very useful in meditation, helping you achieve richer, more meaningful visions. Amethyst’s power to prevent intoxication is also echoed on a magical level, as this gemstone helps keep your mind clear, allowing you to focus and stay grounded. Amethyst is also used in channeling and divination, where it is said to give the user added insight. Many magic practitioners keep amethyst wrapped up with their Tarot cards or rune stones.
Another magical use for amethyst is as protection. It can be seen as protecting the user from becoming drunk, and will also give you strength when tackling other addictions, such as cigarettes or drug use. Its powers will continue to help you tackle rehabilitation and recovery. Amethyst is useful as protection on journeys as well, and is said to guard against thieves and attackers, both physical and astral.
Legend & Lore
The story of the origin of amethyst is told by both the Greeks and Romans. Legends tell how the god of wine, Bacchus / Dionysus was one day insulted by a mortal, and swore as his revenge that his tigers would attack the next human to cross his path. As chance would have it the next person was a beautiful young maiden named Amethysta / Amethyst. As the tigers attacked, she called out to the goddess Diana / Artemis for help, and to save her from death the goddess transformed Amethysta into a pure white quartz statue. Bacchus regretted what had happened, and wept tears of wine over the white statue, staining it purple. One variation on this origin story holds that the stone was presented to Bacchus by the goddess Rhea, in order to preserve his sanity!
In ancient cultures amethyst was used to protect against poisons, and against harm in battle. It was believed to sharpen one’s wits and keep you alert, and would bring victory to the soldiers wearing it. It has always been thought to keep one safe from the intoxicating effects of both alcohol and love. Shamans are said to have used amethyst as talismans, and the Chinese have used it ground up to treat stomach pains and bad dreams. Hunters believed amethyst would help them capture wild animals, and it is said to provide protection for crops against insects and the weather.
The ancient Greeks used amethyst to gain favour with the goddess Artemis, and they believed it would protect them – in both a general sense and in particular against intoxication. Wine goblets were often carved from it, so as to protect their users from drunkenness. To protect a friend, they would mixed powdered amethyst into their drink. The Greeks were not the only ancient culture to give importance to the gemstone amethyst. The ancient egyptians used it to bring luck in battle, and it was also placed in their graves, adorning the body. Ancient egyptians also used amethyst to seal their documents.
Amethyst appears in the Old Testament, worn by the Jewish High Priest in the centre of his breastplate, and it was said to induce visions and revelations. Amethyst is a stone of friendship, but is also associated with St Valentine, and it ensures a happy marriage. Leonardo da Vinci believed it dispelled evil thoughts and improved the intellect, Pliny wrote that when worn as a pendant on a cord of dog’s hair, it would protect against snakebites, and Hieronymus thought that eagles would place it in their nests to protect their young from snakes. Amethyst is also supposed to protect your pet from fleas if you place a piece in their drinking water.