Amethyst stones have been prized for their mysterious deep purple color ever since humans first discovered them.
Reminiscent of everything from pale lilac flowers, to the intense, vibrant purple of a violet, to the pinkish hues of rosé wine, it has been used since antiquity to adorn, enchant, and heal.
Amethyst is a variety of quartz, and, just like clear quartz, it’s silicon dioxide based. Its color comes from trace amounts of iron and other elements, coupled with natural radiation.
Granite, for example, is naturally mildly radioactive. When crystals grow near or within granite, exposure to these low levels of radiation over a long period of time can alter their color.
It’s possible to enhance the color of crystals artificially. After clear quarts is impregnated with iron impurities, exposing it to electron beam, x-rays, or gamma radiation will cause it to turn purple.
Amethyst is also used as a “base” for making much of the other colored quartz on the market — almost all prasiolite currently on the market is heated amethyst, as is the bulk of inexpensive citrine. A fair amount of smoky quartz began life as amethyst, too.
See also: Check out Amethyst crystals here.
Amethyst Healing Properties & Benefits
This crystal is best known as a natural relaxant. It’s frequently used for better sleep, deeper meditation, and general healing.
Some practitioners swear by it for relieving headaches and menstrual cramps. It’s also said to be beneficial for stimulating the immune system, improving endocrine function, boosting digestive health, and balancing hormone levels.
Amethyst is also used for beauty. In medieval times, people would wet an amethyst stone and rub it over the skin to heal blemishes.
See also: Check out Amethyst jewelry here.
Amethyst Magical Properties
Amethyst is a perfect stone for psychic and mental pursuits. It’s most often turned to to help enhance divination and intuition, as well as spirituality in a general sense. When used as a meditation tool, it’s said to help the user uncover the hidden depths of themselves and the invisible realms around them.
Since it helps enhance psychic powers, it’s useful for storing with divination tools or placing on a divination table. Keep small tumbled specimens with tarot cards, runes, or other objects, meditate with an amethyst palm stone, or keep a larger specimen near you while performing a divination to receive clearer, more exact answers.
This stone is also useful for cleansing sacred spaces and magical tools. This is part of its use in divination — after a difficult or tiring reading, tarot decks, rune sets, and other tools generally need a thorough cleansing. Amethyst can help keep their energy clear between readings.
Amethyst is also a very calming stone. It’s typically used for sleep magic, though its connection to psychic powers also makes it useful for encouraging prophetic dreams.
Its calming energy also allows it to protect a space from negative energy and other disruptions. Place amethyst stones at the four corners of a room or property to provide protection and keep the environment peaceful.
Since amethyst is typically purple (though some specimens can be closer to pink or gray), it’s tied to purple color magic. Purple governs power, psychic matters, spirituality, divination, and commitment.
For those who work with chakras, this stone is associated with the crown chakra, Sahasrara. This is the topmost chakra, and the one that governs spiritual matters. This energy center is the “bridge to the cosmos,” and blockages or imbalances in this area can manifest as feelings of disconnection and isolation. Wearing amethyst near the crown of the head, or placing it near this area during meditation, is said to help open and balance Sahasrara.
Amethyst History & Folklore
The name “amethyst” comes from the Greek “a” (“Not”) and “methysko” (“Drunk”). In ancient Greece, it was believed that cups made from or adorned with amethyst would prevent intoxication.
One Renaissance-era story about amethyst involves Bacchus, the Greek God of Wine. Long ago, Bacchus was angered over an insult. In his fury, he swore to take revenge on the first person who crossed his path.
Unfortunately, that person happened to be an innocent — a young woman on her way to worship at the temple of Diana. The irate Bacchus unleashed a pair of tigers on her, but Diana intervened to save her by turning her into a beautiful clear crystal the tigers couldn’t harm.
When Bacchus saw this, he was gripped with remorse. He poured wine over the crystal, turning it a deep purple.
In Egypt, amethysts were used as protective amulets. Artisans carved stones into scarabs and other animals, or fashioned them into beads. You can still see some very interesting pieces of ancient Egyptian amethyst jewelry in museums today.
How to Cleanse Amethyst
All stones have their own, basic energy level. They are able to pick up energy from other sources, which can influence what they emit. A stone that’s been handled by many people in a shop may have trace vibrations from every person it came in contact with.
Cleansing ultimately means re-calibrating the crystal to its default state, and getting rid of any stray energy you don’t want sticking around.
As a variety of quartz, amethyst is pretty durable. There are multiple different ways you can cleanse this stone.
Some methods for cleansing Amethyst include:
- Immersion in fresh running water.
- Fumigating with herbs or incense.
- Washing with infusions of cleansing herbs.
- Setting on a selenite stone.
- Placing in the light of a full moon.
As a colorful transparent stone, it’s best not to use sunlight to cleanse amethyst. This can cause the color to change or fade over time. If you choose to use sonic methods to cleanse your stone, like a singing bowl, be careful — some frequencies can cause crystals to shatter.
How to Charge Amethyst
For many people, cleansing and charging are the same thing. Cleansing restores an amethyst to its normal energetic state, which is often enough. Some go the extra step of charging their crystals, which involves putting your intentions into the crystal and aligning its energy with your desires.
There are many ways to do this, but the easiest is to simply hold it in your dominant hand. Draw energy up from the ground and down from the sky, and send it into the crystal.
As you do this, visualize your intention. When you feel like you can’t put any more energy into your amethyst, set it down and give your hand a good shake out.
Some people use crystal grids to charge stones. They might also write down their intention on a piece of paper, set it under a crystal, and place that gem in sun or moonlight. Follow you intuition and choose the method that works best for you.
Getting Started With Amethyst
Amethyst is a very beginner-friendly stone. It’s calming and gentle by nature, so, even if it isn’t cleansed, you can generally pick up on its relaxing energy right in the store.
Choosing an amethyst is much like choosing any other crystal. You can pick it up and see how it feels — is it warm or cold? Does it seem to tingle or pulsate in your hand? Do you feel relaxed, or suddenly anxious?
Only select stones that feel good to handle. If you like the look of a stone, but it feels unpleasant, it isn’t the right one for you.
If you can’t feel crystal energy, don’t worry. Much like a perfumer must train their nose to differentiate between subtle differences in scent, or a sommelier learns to taste the tiny variations in bottles of wine, you can eventually learn to perceive subtle energy.
For now, use your other senses. Does the crystal seem to have something about it that draws you in? This can be another sign that its the right one for you.
After cleansing and charging your amethyst, take it somewhere peaceful. Sit with it in your non-dominant hand, close your eyes, and see what you feel. If you like, you can try meditating with it, or keeping it near you while you perform a divination. Try sleeping with it near or under your pillow.
You can make a wonderful prophetic dream sachet by combining an amethyst with divination and sleep herbs like mugwort and lavender, and placing them in a purple pouch.
Keep this pouch under your pillow. Every night, before going to sleep, take it out, give it a light squeeze, and breathe in the scent of the herbs. State your intention to have useful, memorable dreams. When you wake up, write down everything you dreamed of.
Amethysts are beautiful, captivating stones. Mankind has been carving, using, and wearing them since as early as 2000 BCE. If you come across an amethyst that calls to you, treasure it. It can be one of the most powerful magical and healing tools in your collection.
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