Following on from last month I am revisiting a series I ran a while ago highlighting birthstones and looking at some of the myths and legends surrounding them. Birthstones are something I have researched a lot over the last few years for my chapter book series The Birthstone Unicorns. So, if you or someone you know is celebrating this month, I hope you enjoy reading about the Amethyst. Obviously, one of my favourites due to it's colour!
Amethyst is the traditional birthstone of those people born in the month of February. It is usually lilac or purple in colour and symbolizes stability, peace, courage, inner strength and a calm disposition.
Amethysts can also be known as the ‘sobriety stone.’ Believed to prevent drunkenness and other forms of addiction! However, you may prefer to use to treat headaches, insomnia, arthritis or for general pain relief.
"The February born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they, the amethyst will wear."
(taken from the Gregorian Poem - author unknown)
In ancient times a true purple dye was costly and quite rare (see I always knew I had expensive tastes!) it is a colour often reserved for royalty and many crowns have amethysts on them. Through history they have been found everywhere from the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs to soldiers graves in Europe.
The word amethyst comes from the Greek 'amethystos' meaning not drunken. It was sacred to the God of wine and overindulgence, Dionysus. According to Greek mythology Amethyst was a young virgin who upset Dionysus when he became drunk on red wine. Amethyst sought the help of the Goddess Diana who turned the young girl into a white, shimming stone. Feeling remorse for his actions Dionysus's tears fell into his goblet of red wine, it overturned, spilling the red wine over the white rock and saturating it until it became purple.
In ancient times the amethyst has been more prized than sapphires and rubies
Amethysts have been used to adorn the rings of Bishops.
Saint Valentine was thought to wear a ring set with an amethyst in the shape of cupid.
In Medieval times soldiers often wore purple as they went into battle.They considered the amethyst an aid to healing in case of injury.
In the Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui amethysts enhance the wealth corner, focusing on giving and receiving of material wealth.
Thanks to Lexa and her lovely co-hosts
This week I am celebrating the start of a weeks half-term holiday in the UK. I am hoping to get some serious writing done!
Happy weekend everyone!