February's jewel is
By Bethany Waldrop Keiper
“The February born shall find, sincerity and peace of mind, freedom from passion and from care, if they, the amethyst will wear.” -- Gregorian Birthstone Poem
In a month known for celebrations of romance and sometimes excess, the enticing amethyst is a protective jewel. The word for amethyst in Greek means "not intoxicated, or without drunkenness". So during the times of Valentine's Day or carnival celebrations, you couldn't ask for a better gem!
Found in shades from deepest purple to lightest lilac, amethyst is naturally colored quartz crystal with a hardness of 7, but a much different structure than the other quartzes, giving it a mysterious quality. It also changes color when it is heated, and reacts poorly to sudden changes in temperature. Some light-colored stones look completely clear in natural light.
This sparkling stone is found abundantly all over the world, but because of its structure, there are few large cut amethysts of a consistently dark color. Or maybe this is because of the belief that amethyst is a transition stone, always reflecting the shift from one reality into another.
This violet stone has long been thought of as a way toward better health. Ancient Roman scientist Pliny believed that wearing an amethyst necklace made of cord made from dog's hair (what a design!) would protect from snake bites.
In more modern times, it is believed that the stone has sobering, cleansing, calming, and beautifying effects. Other benefits include calming stomach acids and treating insect bites.
Besides healing the body, it is believed that amethyst will also heal the home. Putting large amethyst crystals in a sunny area is believed to help heal negativity in the home. Putting amethysts in the moonlight is said to help everyone in the home feel calmer.
Meditating with the stone is said to increase positive spiritual feelings. These spiritual feelings crossed over into certain church areas. Since it was thought that the stone gave those who wore it chastity, trust, and piety, it became very popular in the accessories for the Catholic clergy over the centuries. Amethyst is considered the stone of bishops and cardinals. It is found in the crosses of prelates.
In another school of healing, amethyst is associated with the crown chakra. This chakra is at the very top of or above the head, and is connected with the brain and central nervous system. This chakra is also believed to be our connection to the universe, and the concept that all is one. Since violet is considered to be the color of spirituality, amethyst is the perfect stone.
Additionally, rubbing amethyst on your forehead will supposedly get rid of a headache, and putting amethyst under your pillow will rid you of nightmares and bring you good dreams. So you really can say that a shining amethyst, set in sterling silver, surrounded by diamonds, is the jewel of your dreams.
Resources: Images courtesy of The Bead Peddler http://www.beadpeddler.com
Amethyst, Stone of Twilight http://www.rainbowcrystal.com/crystal/gems/crystalam.html
Amethyst in the Chakra http://crystal-cure.com/chakra.html
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