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Amethyst: February Birthstone

A Calming Effect

February’s birthstone is the lustrous amethyst. Amethyst gets her name from the Greek amethystos, “without drunkenness”. Since the archaic age of Greek history, this luscious wine colored stone has born the meaningful association with sobriety.

Whether a drunken soul might appear less intoxicated or actually be without drunkenness the stone is connected to her literary origins in the realm of calm and equanimity. The deep violet quartz crystal is stained with the presence of iron and various trace elements. Found in many places around the planet, this complex collection of elements and crystal structure is said to possess the ability to maintain a clear mind.

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This semi precious stone has been carved into wine goblets in antiquity or the stones adorned a drinking vessel. Those who drank deeply from these cups are said to be resistant to intoxication. It is a powerful stone. Resistance to the tendency to fall under the spell of “spirits” might even be considered a super power. With the mental clarity that comes from being sober one might be able to enjoy the merriment and the deliciousness of fermentation while not falling prey to the muddle-headedness of drunkenness. Yes, this would be a super power.


Gods and Virgins

The sixteenth century French poet, Remy Belleau, invented a soap opera styled myth in which a jilted Bacchus, the god of intoxication, douses the object of his affection, Amethyste, in wine, Amethyste, meanwhile had beseeched Diana, goddess of the hunt, the moon and childbirth, to protect her virginity and was rewarded by being turned into quartz crystal. The crystal Amethyste then absorbed the wine. The result is a violet wine hued crystalline Amethyste, chaste and preserved for eternity in a stone now imbued with the ability to resist seduction.

February Festivals

It is an apt February birthstone, for it keeps one protected from the ills of inebriation during Carnival season. According to gemstones.org, “gemstone therapists say that the amethyst has a sobering and cleansing effect. Amethyst has also been said to quell excessive stomach acid and, according to Hildegard von Bingen, served to combat insect bites and beautify the skin.”

earrings_amethystSobriety is the tendency towards calm and cautiousness and its opposite is a tendency to “over do it.” Amethyst attracts a sober nature, a feeling of equanimity and calm. While drunkenness has its place, especially where someone might be drunk on love, affection or happiness. Sometimes though while we encounter the waves and unforeseen upsets  why not employ the mythical ability of amethyst to calm and center the soul. The beauty, meanwhile, is a fresh and cultivated as a fine wine.


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