We have all, at one time or another, been mesmerized by that purple glistening rock. Whether it brought you awe at your childhood church, caught your attention at the local farmers market or its perfection intrigued you at first glance in your hippie friend’s basement. What exactly is that rock and why it is always so captivating? Well my friends that isn’t a rock, it’s a crystal that goes by the name of Amethyst; and you aren’t the only that has been entranced by its glimmer.
The history of Amethyst dates back to biblical times. Moses was commanded by God to create a special breastplate to be worn by the High Priest; this breastplate would represent the twelve tribes of Israel. Moses choose Amethyst as his ninth stone as he regarded Amethyst as a symbol of the Spirit of God. Amethyst could also be found on the rings worn by the highest ranking members of the Catholic clergy as a representation of their high morality and spirituality. Christian soldiers could also been seen wearing Amethyst on the battlefield believing that this jewel would protect them against injury and illness.
Jews and Christian weren’t the only ones who were inspired by Amethyst, other societies like the Latins and Greeks were also influenced by the charms of the Amethyst. They believed that drinking wine in a goblet crafted from Amethyst would prevent them from becoming intoxicated. The word Amethyst actually comes from the Greek word “Amethystos”, which literally translates to “not druken”. In fact, the Greeks related their precious sobriety trinket so much to wine that their believe for its creation involved the god of wine and intoxication himself. The story goes as follows:
The god of wine Bacchuse pursued the attention of a lovely virgin maiden by the name of Amenthyste. Amenthyste was not as much into Bacchuse as he was into her, so she prayed to the goddess of chaste, Diana, to keep her Chasity. Diana, knowing she couldn’t keep Bacchuse away for long, transformed Amenthyste into a clear crystal statue. Bacchuse soon found out what had happened to Amenthyste and began to weep tears of wine, which stained the crystal of its unique purple hue.
This story has a few other variations but they all include Bacchuse tainting Amenthyste with his purple wine tears.
Now that we know some of Amethyst’s history let’s dig into its geological origins and characteristics. Amethyst is mined in abundance all over the world in almost every single continent, with its largest cultivator being Zambia. Zambia excavates nearly 1000 tons of Amethyst annually; that’s a lot of purple. However, Amethyst wasn’t always as plentiful as it is today. Amethyst was actually considered a cardinal gem along with diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds. This changed in the 18th century when the discovery of substantial Amethyst deposits were found in Brazil. Brazil and Uruguay produce some of the most popular and common varieties of Amethyst, but the most valuable of its kind, known as “Deep Russian”, can only be found in the Ural Mountains of ( you guessed it) Russia. This Amethyst is valuable not only because of its dark purple coloring but also due to the fact that the mines they are found in are almost completely depleted.
Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz and comes in many shades. It can vary in tones between dark violets to a lighter lavender color. Its coloring is caused by irradiation as well as iron and aluminum. Amethyst is part of the trigonal crystal system and it is commonly found as a six-sided prism. Because of its durability Amethyst is often used to make jewelry and other trinkets and rates a 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Although Amethyst is known to be sturdy it can still degrade. The easiest way to wear down your Amethyst is to keep it in direct sunlight. An extended exposure to sunlight can cause its tone to fade, so keep it inside as much as possible (except at night, since the moon is believed to energize Amethyst as well as other crystals).
Alright, so now we know the history, characteristics and the locations where Amethyst is found, let’s enlighten ourselves on how Amethyst can be beneficial. Amethyst is very versatile and can help with many aspects of your life if you make that its intentions (every crystal needs intentional energy for better results, always give your crystal a purpose and you will see huge positive changes; if those are your intentions of course). As we covered earlier, the Greeks used Amethyst as way to avoid becoming intoxicated. Amethyst is a great crystal for those who are trying to overcome addictions. Wearing Amethyst near the navel can help you stay sober and not fall victim to harmful cravings. This does not mean wearing an Amethyst belly piercing can get you out of a DUI, so please if you drink be responsible and don’t drive.
Amethyst is commonly known as “natures-tranquilizer”. This “tranquilizer” is great for those who are overstressed, anxious, and hyperactive as it is believed that it can calm and bring a peace of mind for those who give it that intention. If you are having a hard time falling asleep, place you’re Amethyst under your pillow or near your bed to help you ease into sleep; it even helps with remembering dreams.
If you are in need of protection from negative energies then Amethyst might just be what you need. Amethyst is thought to be a stone of protection, protecting the wearer from others negative energies and harmful wishes. It was and is still believed that Amethyst can guard a person from physic attacks. Amethyst is invaluable for those who work in professions dealing with the sick and mentally ill. Those occupations deal with people who unintentionally, and intentionally “suck” your energy out of you and if not properly protected this can bring adverse consequences.
Amethyst works with the Third Eye and Crown Chakras and can really help you move on to a higher state of consciousness. This purple gem helps energize the Third Eye which enhances cognitive perception, and intuition. It also tickles the Crown Chakra which empowers healing, psychic abilities and overall enlightenment. Using Amethyst when meditating, praying, or healing can help with the balancing and tuning of both these Chakras.
I strongly encourage everyone to use Amethyst in their meditation and healing work or at least have it nearby. Remember you must always set an Intention to your Amethyst. Although it vibrates at a certain frequency to help balancing on its own, setting your intentions supercharges its ability and helps you get even more out of this marvelous purple treasure.