The history this gem shares with humankind is long and star-studded; there have been many legends written about the sparkling Amethyst crystal throughout history. The purple color of this gem has long been associated with royalty as well as wine and is thought to fortify the wearer against the drunken effects of alcohol and even sugar!
People once drank from goblets carved of pure Amethyst crystal to preserve their mindfulness and exhibit a social status. Because of this association with easing the effects of intoxicants, many of the gem’s well-known origin myths circle visibly around Dionysus, the god of Merriment, Ecstasy and Wine.
Rhea the Titan, was said to have given Dionysus an Amethyst crystal to protect him from the madness that drinking alcohol would bring. Dionysus was the God of Merriment and Ecstasy and had a tendency to drink quite a lot, you see! This legend speaks to the clarifying properties of the gemstone that would become it’s mystical modern legacy amongst crystal healers.
Legend and Lore
WHAT ARE THE LORE AND LEGENDS ASSOCIATED WITH AMETHYST?
Far across the Mediterranean for this time period, the Ancient Egyptians were using Amethyst ritualistically before the Greeks; they associated the beautiful purple stone known as Amethyst with the Astrological Zodiac of the Goat, because it was considered the known enemy of grape vines.
In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Amethyst crystal as we know it, or as the Ancient Egyptians called it, “Hemag'' is listed as a gem to be carved into heart-shaped amulets; and then buried with the dead. There were multiple pharaohs who were buried with artifacts of Amethystine crystal, and we know cultural use of this mineral dates back to at least 3000 B.C.. Amethyst crystal was coveted among Kings and Queens alike.
The ritual use in Ancient Egyptian burial speaks to the ethereal quality of Amethyst crystal, and the characteristic of this gem that seems to act like a bridge between heaven and earth. Amethyst crystal acts as a link between you and the Divine; or rather it just amplifies the fact.
The Naming of Amethyst
The commonly retold naming myth has several versions told where Amethyst was a young maiden, a disciple of Artemis who was the protective goddess of chastity and childbirth. While presented in classical Greek form, this myth was actually created by French Poet Remy Belleau and dates back only to the Renaissance and not to Ancient Greece as rumoured. One retelling of the myth is as follows:
Dionysus had just been deceived by a particularly annoying mortal and swore wrath by lions to the next person that crossed his path; the lions ran ahead in search. He was in a furious rage, and didn’t at first notice the woman who crossed his path. This unfortunate maiden happened to be Amethyst, who was terrified! She cried out to Artemis, her Patron Goddess. Artemis took pity on her, and changed her into a sparkling pillar of pure white Quartz before the tearing lion claws could reach her.
When Dionysus finally saw the consequences of his actions, he was so remorseful that in his drunken rage, he poured the remaining contents of his wine goblet over the stone, dyeing it stunning violet. Amethyst has the magic to aid you on your highest path so that you do not make such emotional decisions in a drunken state of mind, and out of haste, as Dionysus once did.
During the Renaissance, Amethyst was also associated with humility and modesty; Leonardo Da Vinci once wrote that Amethyst was beneficial for quickening the intelligence and chasing away evil and impure thoughts. In the Middle Ages, this stone was said to represent piety and celibacy.
Because of the redeeming and clarifying properties of this stone, it is a favorite of healers and seers, but has also been heavily associated with the Christian Church and the clergy. Amethyst was and still to this day is often used to adorn crosses, and worn by members of the Catholic Church. Bishops would wear rings made of Amethyst, as well as prayer beads and rosaries, and then kiss these rings ritualistically to dispel forces of “mystical intoxication.”
St. Valentine was supposedly known to have an amethyst ring, with an image of Cupid; to ward off the intoxicating arrows of love, no doubt as Amethyst was thought to instill fidelity and deeper loving connections.
The myth of St. Valentine tells the tale of a man who went against the local laws that forbade young men to wed to encourage them to join the army; he wore an Amethyst ring to symbolize that he would still marry for love in secret, and was imprisoned for it. Amethyst symbolizes the spirit of true love and eternal connection.
Famous Jewels and Royalty
In Old Testament History, Amethyst was one of the 12 gemstones that represented the tribes of Israel; it was also one of the gemstones inlaid into the breastplate of the High-Priest Aaron (Exodus 39).
Amethyst crystal was known to be a favorite of Catherine the Great of Russia, and the purple gemstone has been prized as an avatar of royalty for centuries. The color purple has an association with royalty because it is a very expensive dye that only monarchs could afford, and thus would herald the arrival of royalty.
Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the British Royal Family prized this gemstone highly. Cleopatra was known for collecting many gemstones, and besides being known for her love of Emeralds she had a famous Amethyst Signet ring in her collection.
The British Crown Jewels included several pieces with dashing Amethyst pieces including the Sovereign’s Scepter with the Cross, The Sovereign’s Orb, the Kent Demi-Parure and other choice brooches and pins. Also, the Sovereign’s set contained the original crown of St. Edwards which featured an Amethyst that was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell in the mid 1600’s after the English Civil War. Many other sovereign nations have prized collections containing an Amethyst Tiara or Parure, but none are as eye-catching as the British Regalia.We hope this adds to your love and knowledge of the mystical and alluring Amethyst crystal! For more articles on Amethyst Crystal:
What other crystals are in the amethyst family tree?
Chevron Amethyst, Dogtooth Amethyst, Ametrine, Prasiolite, Red Cap Amethyst, Vera Cruz Amethyst ,Siberian Amethyst, Super Seven Crystal, Auralite-23, Melody Stone, Sacred Stone, Brandberg Amethyst, Trapiche Amethyst
Related Crystals: Angel Aura, Titanium Aura, Tibetan Quartz, Arkansas Quartz, Lemurian Seed Quartz, Rutilated Quartz, Tourmilated Quartz, Spirit Quartz, Hematoid Quartz, Elestial Quartz, Phantom Quartz, Lithium Quartz, Milky Quartz, Smoky Quartz, Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Citrine, Amethetrine, Prasiolite, Tiger’s Eye, Chalcedony, Aventurine, Jasper, Carnelian, Agate, Onyx, Moss Agate, Blue Lace Agate
*** Crystal healing is not a suitable replacement for regular visits to your physician or therapist, rather a complementary article to the process. If you are experiencing symptoms, please see a doctor immediately. Results of crystal healing may vary person to person, not all results will be the same. The claims made in the above statement are not intended to be curative and are not approved by the FDA.