A is for Amethyst and Amber

            I have always had a deep love for rocks and stones. As a child I used to find the most beautiful rocks in the yard and then try to sell them to the neighbors. I must have been quite the sight, sitting at my table full of stones in the middle of our yard landscaped with river rocks. We had very kind neighbors who would actually purchase my wares for anywhere from five to twenty-five cents. But after all, I had spent all that time carefully combing through many, many rocks to select only the most sparkly and beautiful.

My love for rocks followed me into adulthood, and even resulted in my majoring in geology for a while. But now my interest lies in the healing properties of gems and minerals. I have many stones that I am particularly drawn to, and conveniently two of my favorites, amethyst and amber, begin with the letter “A”. So, for my second “A” post for the Pagan Blog Project I would like to discuss the properties of these two wonderful gems.

Amethyst:

Amethyst is in the quartz family, and it is known by its beautiful purple color, which can range from pale lavender to an intense violet. There is a wonderful Greek myth that explains how amethyst gained its color. It seems that after the God Bacchus was insulted, he threatened to consume the first person he saw. The unlucky individual was Amethyst, who was on her way to worship the Goddess Diana. Diana intervened and swept down to save her by turning Amethyst into clear quartz crystal. This did not please Bacchus, so to retaliate he poured grape juice over Diana the quartz statue, turning her body purple.

This fantastic exploit of the Greek Gods/Goddesses has led to the belief that amethyst is a cure for drunkenness. In fact, it does possess properties that help with sobriety, and it is known to counteract excessive behaviors. People struggling to overcome addiction or obsessive behavior of any kind could benefit from having some amethyst around.

Amethyst is also known to connect the Earth plane with other worlds, and it connects human mental, physical, and emotional aspects. It also restores peace, creates stability, awareness, and strength, and helps one to face difficult situations. Another fantastic property of amethyst is its ability to clear negative energy and counteract negative thought patterns. Over time, amethyst can actually shift patterns of negativity learned in childhood. This is a powerful tool if one is trying to reprogram reoccurring negative thoughts carried throughout life.

A property of amethyst that I find particularly interesting is its ability to help mediate conflict. It enables a sense of justice and allows the user to be a particularly effective counselor and judge.  If  one finds her/his self in a heated debate, it’s good to be wearing amethyst or have a little piece in a pocket, as it will aid with quick decisions and the ability to think on one’s feet.

Another powerful property of amethyst is it helps with sadness and grief, and it helps people come to terms with loss. It can be a very stabilizing stone to have around during times of extreme sorrow. We’ve all been to that place of crushing grief, and amethyst can help to make sense of that.

In regards to physical healing, amethyst is fantastic for headaches, it supports the nervous system, and it has a clearing effect on skin conditions such as acne blemishes and psoriasis. It also helps with insomnia, and is a powerful dream-working tool. If one puts a piece under the pillow at night, at first it will create vivid dreams. These dreams are the subconscious issues coming to surface to be worked out in the mind. Once these undigested impressions have been cleared, amethyst supports calm, deep, restful sleep.

The best way to work with amethyst is to wear it or meditate with it. When meditating, it helps one find peace and quiets the mind. One can also make a circle with pieces and then sit inside the circle to absorb its many benefits. Of course, before working with any stone it’s very important to clean it, and different people have different ways of cleaning their stones. Stones can simply be held under cold water, set out in strong sunshine, or some people place their stones in a saltwater solution. Although, if you use saltwater be careful as not all stones can handle being placed in salt. I personally prefer putting the stones in a clear glass bowl filled with water (I usually let the water settle in a silver jar placed in an altar) and then I set the bowl in the light of a full moon.

Amber:

Amber holds a very special place in my heart, and I am always drawn like a moth to a flame to any pieces of amber I encounter. Part of this connection comes from the color. I love warm colors and the honeyed tones of amber constantly speak to me. Amber is also connected to the second chakra, and as I mentioned in my previous post, I am always seeking ways to stimulate that creative, emotional, sexual chakra.

Amber is tree resin, or sap, that over millions of years has lost its water and gradually mineralized. It is said to be the first precious stone in human history and its use goes back 7000 years. Like amethyst, it can be found in a few myths from various cultures. In regards to Greek mythology, amber comes from the tears of the sisters of Phaeton, son of the sun God Helios. It is also said that Apollo wept tears of amber when he was driven out of Olympus. I also read a post last week about amber in regards to Freya, I believe…if the writer of that blog happens upon this post please let me know and I’ll provide the link back to your blog.

Amber is a very sunny, cheerful stone. It dissolves oppositions, makes one more adaptable, and encourages creativity. The wearer of amber has a strengthened self-belief, feels free of care, and experiences good luck. Amber also aids manifestation and helps one both to choose and be chosen.

Young amber (amber that has not completely hardened) can actually be burned as incense. When used this way it cleanses the environment and can absorb trauma. To do this, take a good-sized chunk of burnable amber outside. As it burns, bathe in the smoke and allow it to take trauma away with the wind.

Physically amber purifies the body, as it is known to draw toxins from body tissue.  It helps the stomach, joints, kidneys, and bladder and even strengthens brain tissue.

To reap the benefits of amber it is best to wear it for long periods of time. But, amber is very absorbent, meaning it has to be frequently cleaned, and amber is one of those stones that cannot be placed in salt water. When cleaning your amber use only fresh water, sunlight, moonlight, or some combination of the three.

I hope everyone who reads this can find some benefit from these two very ancient and powerful stones. When we get all the way up to “S” in the Pagan Blog Project I am sure I will come back to the topic of stones on a more general level. In the meantime, pay attention to what stones speak to you. When you encounter various stones start noticing which ones call you to touch and buy them. Also, what stones seem to come to you? Start identifying these and then study their properties. That will illustrate what could need strengthening in you, and help you to identify areas in your life that you want to support.

For this post I used material from my top three crystal/stone books. I highly recommend these books if you are interested in working with with crystals and stones.

Love is in the Earth, by Melody: Earth Love Publishing House

Crystalline Communion, by Collen Marquist & Jack Frasl: Earthlight, Inc.

Crystal Power, Crystal Healing, by Michael Gienger: Cassell Illustrated

Images from http://happyher.hubpages.com/hub/All-About-Gemstones-Part-I

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Keltikmystique
    Jan 14, 2012 @ 07:15:14

    I love crystals and stones and Amethyst is one of my faves. Great post!

    Reply

  2. Sally at OKIFOLKI
    Jan 14, 2012 @ 07:32:04

    This is an excellent, informative and interesting post! One I can see myself coming back to for reference. Thank you. 🙂

    Reply

  3. Appealing Environments
    Jan 20, 2012 @ 11:07:13

    Thank you for sharing this information on one of my favourite crystals.
    Amethyst is truly spectacular.

    Much Love and Gratitude
    Charles

    Reply

  4. chinacat27
    Feb 04, 2012 @ 10:11:29

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments and feedback!

    Reply

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