Amethyst: February Birthstone Steeped in Magic
For over 2,000 years, beautiful purple quartz, better known as amethyst, has been used for everything from a precious gemstone used for adornment, to being worn as an amulet to either ward off or encourage a multitude of things. Its name comes from the Greek word, "amethystos," which means "non-intoxicating." It was believed that the amethyst gemstone could combat intoxication, and Greek men would either drop a piece of the stone in their wine cups, or have their cups carved from amethyst thinking it would neutralize the alcohol and not let them get drunk. (I wonder how many cups of wine it took for them to realize they were still getting drunk and that it didn't work?)
The amethyst also has a very long history in religion. There are instructions in the Egyptian Book of the Dead that tell of placing a heart-shaped amethyst stone on the body of the deceased to help them pass over peacefully into the afterlife. The Roman Catholic church believed the amethyst symbolized purity, and it would often be set in bishop's rings. Even the Buddhist religion saw the amethyst as something special as it is usually found in their prayer beads.
In addition to all this, there are many other magical properties associated with the amethyst such as the promotion of happiness, love and peace, protection and courage, and an increase in psychic visions, and the banishment of bad dreams.
So, as you can see, not only is it a beautiful stone with a long rich history, it also is a very busy stone aiding its wearer in many, many ways.