Long prized as a precious stone, amulet, and adornment, Amethyst’s most common ancient application was to prevent drunkenness. The world amethyst comes from the Greek word amethystos, meaning “non-intoxicating.” Wise men in the Greek and Roman era were known to drop a piece of Amethyst into their wine to neutralize the alcohol.
Amethyst has quite a long history with many religious practices. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, there are instructions given for placing heart shaped Amethyst on the body of the deceased; the specific shape said to help transition with peace to the next realm. Within the Christian church, especially the Roman Catholic church, it was known as a gem of purity and associated with Bishops who traditionally wear them set in rings. It is also the stone of Buddha and is quite popular to use for Buddhist prayer beads, more prominently in Tibet.
The Chaldean Magi believed that Amethyst was a powerful stone that protected against evil sorcery as well as bringing success and good luck to the bearer. It has long been believed to grant a deeper understanding of the hidden knowledge of the universe.
At one time in China, pieces of Amethyst were often rented to those involved in legal lawsuits. The stone was said to attract a favorable outcome and a positive outlook. Amethyst became extremely popular in the mid fifteenth centuries as an amulet often worn by soldiers. It was thought to protect against not only injury or death, but also to repel or control evil spirits.
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