Amethyst - protection for drunkenessAlthough now closely associated with 12-step recovery, legends abound when it comes to the  Amethyst. Amethyst is a variety of quartz–its violet coloring, which is its identifying feature, can vary from dark purple to pink.  It’s been said to contain certain spiritual properties that affect the wearer. While I don’t ascribe to the idea that  inanimate objects have any kind of “power”, it is fun to listen to the stories. My favorite legend of the origin of Amethyst is the Greek version (some say it’s Roman).

The Greek god, Dionysius, who was said to be the god of intoxication, let his anger get the best of him one day when he was insulted by mortal man. Vowing to have tigers carry out his sworn revenge on the next mortal that came about, he waited as a beautiful young maiden, Amethyst, made her way to pay tribute to the goddess, Diana. As protection from the tiger’s claws, Diana turned Amethyst into pure crystalline quartz. Remorseful, Dionysus, cried tears of wine which stained the quartz violet. Thus, the stone is said to protect the person from hard drinking.

Another favorite legend is the ancient Romans, wanting to stay sober while conducting business, put a handful of amethyst crystals into wine glasses filled with water, giving it the appearance of wine.

More about the Amethyst include:

  • It is “a metistoz” meaning “not drunken” (ancient Greek)
  • Named an “apostolic stone” (Middle Ages)
  • Means modesty and humility (Christian symbolism)
  • The widow stone because it symbolized eternity; when one spouse outlives the other then the survivor wears  amethyst in his or her ring as a symbol of love to departed spouse
  • A sign of membership of princes of Catholic Church, who were given a ring with amethyst by Pope during ordination to office

I’m sure you can find other legends by doing some simple research on the internet, but as someone who can relate to the idea of being protected from drunkenness, I happen to have an affinity for the Amethyst, not to mention I love the color purple!

Thanks to the following websites for info: