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Amethyst is a stone that has been prized for centuries. Still popular today, this variety of quartz gets its name from the Greek word amethystos which means "not drunk". During antiquity, it was believed that wearing an amethyst amulet could ward off the effects of imbibing alcoholic drinks.
But what is amethyst exactly? Amethyst is a variety of the quartz family, created from silicon dioxide. The beautiful purple color that amethyst is known for, is due to impurities of iron or manganese compounds within the chemical makeup of the stone.
Amethyst is the birthstone for the month of February and the Pisces Zodiac sign. It is also the traditional gift for the 6th wedding anniversary.
Amethyst has a spiritual side. This gemstone guides you to open your heart and mind to the Divine Source. Amethyst help to focus your mind and spirit to identify and remove the destructive habits and behaviors that are holding you back from claiming your personal power. Amethyst encourages you to increase your spiritual awareness and acts of selflessness.
In case you are asking, why Amethyst are associated with sobriety and alcohol, I thought I would share the origin story.
According to folklore, Amethyst was a beautiful young maiden in ancient Greece who came upon the god Dionysus while he was in bad temper. As the story goes, Dionysus had been snubbed by a mortal who did not drink. In retaliation for that snub, Dionysus vowed to kill the next mortal who crossed his path by sending his tigers to attack them.
Amethyst was on her way to pay tribute to the goddess Diana, when she became the target of Dionysus's drunken wrath. As he sent the tigers to attack her, Amethyst prayed to Diana, asking to be saved from the attack. Having little time to stop the attack, Diana quickly turned Amethyst into a shining rock crystal statue, as clear and pure as Amethyst was herself.
When Dionysus saw Amethyst's transformation, he felt immediate remorse for his actions. As the remorse filled him, Dionysus began to weep over the statue of Amethyst. As he weeped, the tears ran down his face into his goblet of wine. Dionysus did not even realize he had been weeping, until he tripped and spilled his wine over the statue of Amethyst, staining the clear crystal a deep shade of purple.