As promised, I bring you February's birthstone, the much loved Amethyst. This stone said to cure hangovers, bring spiritual wisdom, and.. get this, capture wild beasts! The name itself comes from a Greek word meaning "not intoxicated, and is supposed to help one stay sober and grounded.The history of Amethysts' power over our imaginations is rooted in the tale of Bacchus, the Roman God of fertility and wine. According to ancient myth, he was completely enraged over a supposed slight by Diana, Roman goddess of the hunt. In retaliation and anger, he vowed that the first person to enter his woods would be devoured by a tiger! Unfortunately, that person was a mortal by the name of Amethyst, who was passing thourgh the woods on her way to pay respects to the Goddess Diana at her temple. As the tiger sprang on poor Amethyst, she called out to Diana for help, who sadly, arrived too late. Diana honored Amethysts' memory by turning her to pure white stone, safe forever from the tigers jaws. Bacchus, upon learning of what had happened, realized the mistake in his revenge plan. He gathered up his finest bottle of wine and poured it over the white stone, turning it into the beautiful violet stone we know and love today...
Amethyst is also one of the stones mentioned in the creation of the breastplate of Aaron, which I wrote about in my post on January's birthstone, garnet. Amethyst is associated with the apostle Matthias, who was said to have "burned with celestial fire. The transformational element of fire destroys, but also forces the issue of rebirth. This aspect links amethyst to many forms of spiritual work.
The message of Amethyst and Bacchus reminds that we should pay attention to the necessity to transform ourselves from time to time. We have choices.We can remain as hard and rigid as a piece of quartz stone, unleashing our misplaced feelings haphazardly on unassuming passers by in our lives, or we can continually reach higher for more balance, and make better choices in how we move through the world!
Amethyst is the most valuable member of the quartz family and comes in many shades of purple, ranging from pale lavender, to deep royal purple ( considered the most desirable). The majority of amethysts come from South America, but they can also be found in Sri Lanka, Japan, Mexico, Madagascar, United States and Iran...it is an extrememly far ranging stone! Well loved by those who are purple fans, they complement silver so beautifully with their violet fabulousness, that on the rare occasions in which I do choose to use a stone, I often reach for amethyst first!
Perhaps, subconsiously I am reaching for that 'balance'....here is my hamsa hand pendant, with a faceted amethyst in it's center. The hamsa features olive leaves for peace, a tibetan lotus on the bail for rebirth, an evil eye for protection and the rays of the sun for love and light. a secret carving of a tiny heart adorns the back of the bail...love, from my hands to your heart. Namaste.