Purple Amethyst has been highly esteemed throughout the ages for its stunning beauty and legendary powers to stimulate, and soothe, the mind and emotions. It is a semi-precious stone in today's classifications, but to the ancients it was a "Gem of Fire," a Precious Stone worth, at times in history, as much as a Diamond. It has always been associated with February, the month the Romans dedicated to Neptune, their water-god, and is the traditional birthstone of that month. It is the stone of St. Valentine and faithful love, and signifies ecclesiastical dignity as the Bishop's Stone. It carries the energy of fire and passion, creativity and spirituality, yet bears the logic of temperance and sobriety.
Whether its crystals are left natural, polished as tumblestones, or faceted into magnificent jewels, Amethyst is a gem whose beauty transcends its commonality. It is a variety of Quartz found in many locations around the world, and forms as transparent, terminated crystals of all sizes in geodes, clusters and as long single terminations. It is also found in vitreous masses and polished into wonderful specimens and personal talismans. The presence of manganese in clear Quartz produces Amethyst, while additional amounts of iron vary the purple coloration. Amethyst ranges in hue from pale red-violet to deep violet, and may be transparent or opaque. It is sometimes layered with white Quartz as Chevron Amethyst, found in combination with Cacoxenite, mixed with Citrine as Ametrine, or in rare cases, "rutilated" with Goethite.
The name Amethyst derives from the Greek word ametusthos, meaning "not intoxicated," and comes from an ancient legend. The wine god Bacchus, angry over an insult and determined to avenge himself decreed the first person he should meet would be devoured by his tigers. The unfortunate mortal happened to be a beautiful maiden named Amethyst on her way to worship at the shrine of Diana. As the ferocious beasts sprang, she sought the protection of the goddess and was saved by being turned into a clear, white crystal. Bacchus, regretting his cruelty, poured the juice of his grapes over the stone as an offering, giving the gem its lovely purple hue.
Throughout history the special virtue of Amethyst has been that of preventing drunkenness and overindulgence. Ancient Greeks and Romans routinely studded their goblets with Amethyst believing wine drunk from an Amethyst cup was powerless to intoxicate, and a stone worn on the body, especially at the navel, had a sobering effect, not only for inebriation but in over-zealousness in passion. Catholic bishops also wore Amethyst in a ring to protect from mystical intoxication. Kissing the ring kept others from similar mystical intoxication and kept them grounded in spiritual thought.
Amethyst was also reputed to control evil thoughts, increase intelligence and render men shrewd in business matters. For travelers it was worn as a protection from treachery and surprise attacks, kept soldiers from harm and gave them victory over their enemies. It lent assistance to hunters in the capture of wild beasts and fowl, and was considered to be a powerful psychic stone of protection against witchcraft and black magic. Like other royal stones it protected its wearer from disease and contagion.
In the spiritual world, Amethyst provided a connection to the Divine. To the Hebrews, it was Ahlamah, the ninth stone in the breastplate of the High Priest, engraved with the tribe of Dan, as well as the twelfth foundation stone for the New Jerusalem. To the Egyptians, it was Hemag, listed in the Book of the Dead to be carved into heart-shaped amulets for burial. In Eastern cultures, it was listed in descriptions of sacred "gem-cities," "trees of life," and used in temple offerings for worship, and to align planetary and astrological influences. It was popular in rosaries and prayer beads, credited with creating an atmosphere of pious calm, imbuing a sense of mental peace and quietude.
In today's world, Amethyst is still a remarkable stone of spirituality and contentment, known for its metaphysical abilities to still the mind and inspire an enhanced meditative state. Its inherent high frequency purifies the aura of any negative energy or attachments, and creates a protective shield of Light around the body, allowing one to remain clear and centered while opening to spiritual direction. Amethyst stimulates the Third Eye, Crown and Etheric Chakras enhancing cognitive perception as well as accelerating the development of intuitive and psychic ability. It initiates wisdom and greater understanding, and is a stone of comfort for those grieving the loss of a loved one.
Amethyst's ability to expand the higher mind also enhances one's creativity and passion. It strengthens the imagination and intuition, and refines the thinking processes. It helps in the assimilation of new ideas, putting thought into action, and brings projects to fruition. It is a talisman of focus and success.
In nature, Amethyst at times forms in combination with other minerals. In addition to the properties of Amethyst outlined in this article, the following varieties possess additional qualities.
Absorbs and transmutes negativity. Soothes nightmares and aids creativity.
Amethyst is a wonderful talisman for use in the creative arts, especially in darker shades. It assists endeavors where new, original results need to be created using tools and methods of the past. It is often used as the Artist's Stone, the Composer's Stone, the Inventor's, Poet's and Painter's Stones. Keep an Amethyst crystal or cluster in the area to focus and amplify the creative elements of the Universal Life Force.
Called the "All-healer," Amethyst is one of the most effective crystals for healing people, plants and animals. Natural unpolished Amethysts or geodes are particularly helpful placed where plants will not grow or animals refuse to sit. It also counteracts negative earth energies beneath buildings or anywhere that feels hostile.
Amethyst protects against psychic attack, paranormal harm or ill-wishing, and returns the energy back to the universe after being transformed into positive, loving energy. To increase this power and attract good luck, draw an image of the sun and the crescent moon over an Amethyst in lavender incense smoke.
Referred to as "nature's tranquilizer," Amethyst calms and soothes, assisting the transmission of neural signals through the brain. It relieves obsessive compulsive disorder and hyperactivity in children and animals. Place under the pillow or mattress, or rub the center of the forehead counter-clockwise to cure insomnia and stimulate pleasant dreams. It is especially effective for children's recurring nightmares and fears of the dark, and may help alleviate homesickness.
Amethyst is an excellent stone for diplomats, negotiators and business people. It calms angry temperaments and gives a distinct advantage in situations where debating is required. Wear or hold Amethyst to bring in spiritual insights coupled with intellectual reasoning. As a luck and prosperity crystal, Amethyst is good for reducing the tendency to overspend, gambling addictions or unwise investments.
Amethyst is connected to the Temperance card in the tarot, representing balance. It is a stone dedicated to curbing overindulgence and bad habits, and is an excellent aid to quitting smoking, drinking and drug use, as well as unhealthy physical passion. It also provides the strength needed to obtain freedom from addictive personalities, one's own or another's. Placing an Amethyst on the navel is believed to protect a person from intoxication, and in conjunction with other treatments such as counseling, helps cure addictions. A naval piercing makes it possible to always keep an Amethyst in this spot.
Amethyst is the stone of St. Valentine and of faithful lovers because St. Valentine was thought to have worn an Amethyst ring engraved with the image of Cupid. It is also referred to as the "couple's stone" and gives meaning to relationships that over time, transcends the carnal union and gives way to deeper connection and a more soulful communion. Wear as an engagement or eternity ring for fidelity, or as a locket to call back lost love.
Amethyst boosts the production of hormones, and stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and endocrine glands to optimum performance. It supports oxygenation in the blood, and aids in treatments of the digestive tract, heart, stomach, and skin. Amethyst also strengthens the immune system and reduces bruising, pain and swellings. It has been used with excellent results as an elixir in the treatment of arthritis.
Amethyst is thought to relieve the symptoms of tinnitus and other hearing disorders, and is highly beneficial in treating insomnia, especially when caused by an overactive mind. It is calming and soothing to the neural impulses in the brain. Its energy ameliorates the pain of headaches and migraines, and reduces stress and nervous tension. It may be used to treat psychic disturbances and to stabilize brain imbalances, but should not be used in cases of paranoia or schizophrenia.
Amethyst is especially supportive of the emotional body, bringing those who are overworked, overstressed, or overwhelmed back to center. It eases the mental anxieties that lead to physical tension and headaches, and is a great crystal to calm those who tend to be hot-headed and easily angered.
Amethyst helps in identifying the root causes behind one's negative behaviors, habits and emotional patterns that create imbalance and disease. It also helps one understand the reality of cause and effect in behavior, and assists in better decision making. Amethyst is a marvelous aid in overcoming addictions by counteracting the effects of drugs and alcohol on brain function, while imparting its own peaceful sustaining energy.
Because Amethyst initiates wisdom and greater understanding, it is a comforting crystal for those grieving the loss of a loved one. Its presence communicates that there is no death, only transitioning and changing of forms. It encourages the release of sorrow, and rejoicing in a loved one's spirit being freed from the confinement of the physical body. Called "the soul stone," Amethyst assists in understanding and connecting to the eternal existence of the soul and initiates one's own deep soul experiences. It is an ideal crystal to hold or meditate upon during the death experience, of another or oneself, allowing the release of the temporal physical body with more ease, assuredness and peace. It is a perfect stone to gift to those with terminal illnesses or to use in preparation for a conscious death experience.
Amethyst carries a high, sweet energy, particularly stimulating to the Third Eye, Crown and Etheric Chakras. The Brow Chakra, also called the Third Eye, is the center of our perception and command. It directs our sight and everyday awareness of the world. Our consciousness is located here, and we relate to ourselves through this chakra. When the Brow Chakra is in balance our thoughts and internal communications within ourselves are healthy and vibrant. We are open to new ideas, dreams, and visions, and can control the flow of energy within all the chakras. The dark blue/purple crystals of indigo are used to treat imbalances of the Brow Chakra. It is a quiet color, one of mystery and wisdom and judgment.
The Crown Chakra is located at the top of the head, and is our gateway to the expanded universe beyond our bodies. It controls how we think, and how we respond to the world around us. It is the fountainhead of our beliefs and the source of our spirituality. It connects us to the higher planes of existence and is the source of universal energy and truth. When the Crown is in balance, our energies are in balance. We know our place in the universe and see things as they are. We are unruffled by setbacks, knowing they are an essential part of life. Imbalances of the Crown Chakra are treated with Light Violet crystals. Their violet rays have the universal life force of magic, dreams, inspiration, and destiny.
The higher vibrational White and Lavender/White crystals are associated with the Higher Crown, Soul Star and Stellar Gateway Chakras. They are attuned to higher, more spiritually enlightened things, and embody true humility. They provide a soul connection and the highest self-illumination, as well as a cosmic doorway to other worlds. They represent personal identification with the Infinite, and oneness with God, peace and wisdom.