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THE COTTAGE JUNE 2001 ISSUE

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Gem of the month

AMETHYST

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Amethyst

Pronounced As: amthist [Gr.,=non-drunkenness], variety of quartz, violet to purple in color, used as a gem. It is the most highly valued of the semiprecious quartzes. It is associated with a number of superstitions, being regarded as a love charm, as a potent influence in improving sleep, and as a protection against thieves and drunkenness. Brazil, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, Siberia, and parts of North America are important sources of supply. The so-called Oriental amethyst, or purple sapphire, is not quartz but a variety of corundum, a much harder and rarer stone.




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SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION:

A Violet to red-purple quartz is called amethyst. It is the same formula as Quartz (SiO2) with the addition of iron. Its hardness is 7.

ENVIRONMENT: Basic quartz is an important rock-forming mineral and developed in many different environments. Amethyst is often found in Quartz geodes.

OCCURRENCE: Gem quality stones come from Brazil, Uruguay, the Ural Mountains and Japan. Fine deep-colored amethyst occurs in the quarries in Patterson, New Jersey. Drusy amethyst (generally paler in color) is abundant in many silver mines in Mexico. Some specimens have been found in the Four Peaks region of Arizona.

NAME: The name comes from the Greek [A-methystos], meaning 'not tipsy'.

LEGEND and LORE: Amethyst and magic have been connected for at least 2,000 years. The Greeks believed it to be an amulet against inebriation. It is one of the few stones specifically recommended for men to use for attracting women.
Amethyst is the birthstone for February:
"The February-born shall find
Sincerity, and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they the Amethyst will wear."

MAGICAL PROPERTIES: Amethyst can be used to increase psychic awareness, to sharpen the 'sixth sense'. Because of this, many people keep a crystal with their I-Ching, tarot, or Rune tools. It is considered a very spiritual stone.
Happiness is also used for Happiness, Peace and Courage spells and rituals.

HEALING: This stone is the major stone for the Crown Chakra. This location deals with extrasensory perception. In addition, it can be used in this position for healing of the nervous system and the brain.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: I use this stone as a "calming" stone for those people who are "hyper" and anxious. It will also work for mild depression. (See Kunzite for severe/manic depression.) In addition, I recommend it for anyone who is addicted to alcohol or other mind/mood altering drugs.

NOTES: Heat treating Amethyst will change it from purple to brown or yellow, and many Citrines on the market are created this way. Amethyst from one particular mine in Brazil will turn green when heated. It is marked under the name of prasiolite. (Although this is actually the name of an entirely different mineral.

The Crone's Tidbit on Amethysts:

I personally favor the Amethyst, not only for its beauty but also for its energies. I am sure Gypsy will agree when I say that it is a wonderous stone. Amethyst have been utilized by many a pagan for Dreams, overcoming alcoholism, healing, psychism, peace, love, protection against thieves, courage, and happiness. Its element is water and its planets are jupiter and neptune. It has phenomenal receptive energies and are often utilized in rituals and spells.
When placed under a pillow it is said to relieve nightmares. If placed on an altar or before a censer or white candle during meditation, it is said to increase psychism. Amethysts are worn or carried in amulet bags for general magickal well being and psychism. It isn't difficult to find a good quality amethyst stone. One very old folk tale I remember is that an amethyst stone was sewn into a head rest (pillow) or the garment of a pagan child to help in its powers of intuition as the child slept and also to maintain happiness and courage within the child. Great gift for wiccanings, wouldn't you agree?

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-------bibliography-------

1. Scientific, Environment, Occurrence and Name are from (or paraphrased from) "The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals".

2. Legends and Lore, Magical Properties are from "Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic", by Scott Cunningham.

3. Some of the healing information may come from "Color and Crystals, A Journey Through the Chakras" by Joy Gardner.

4. Personal Experience is from MY personal experience, journals and notebooks, by Tandika Star.

5. Birthstone poem from "The Occult and Curative Powers of Precious Stones" by William T. Fernie, M.D.

6. The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition Copyright 2000, Columbia University Press.



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