The name comes from the Koine Greek ἀμέθυστος amethystos from ἀ- a-, “not” and μεθύσκω methysko / μεθύω methyo, “intoxicate”, a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness. The ancient Greeks wore amethyst and carved drinking vessels from it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication.
It is one of several forms of quartz. Amethyst is a semiprecious stone and is the traditional birthstone for February
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I’ve chosen Amber as the stone for Imbolc, even though this attractive gem is not a stone at all, but is, rather, an ancient fossilized tree resin that once flowed from the wound of a conifer. The pine trees from which Amber hails are no longer in existence, and the specimens of their once life-giving resins which we hold today are roughly between 25 – 50 million years old. I think it fitting that just as Imbolc which means “in the belly” and Oimelc (or Oimelg) which means “ewe’s milk” which has begun to flow… so, too, was Amber once in the belly of the tree whose essence flowed forth to gift us in its new form.
The name Amber derives from the Arabic word “ambar” which refers to ambergris, a secretion from the sperm whale which is used in making perfume. The only similarity between the two, though, is color, for they are without a doubt two totally separate things. Although both are often transported on the waves of the sea, it is this, along with their color similarity, which was most likely how the two may have been once confused. Amber registers only 2 to 2½ on the Mohs Scale and is light enough that it can float on salt water. And it does…for Amber is often found in or near the ocean, with its deposits existing in sediments along the shore. Its most prevalent locales are on the shores of the Baltic Sea, predominantly in Russia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Germany. Other prominent Amber findings are in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
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Amber is fossilized tree resin, which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Much valued from antiquity to the present as a gemstone, amber is made into a variety of decorative objects. Amber is used in jewelry. It has also been used as a healing agent in folk medicine.
There are five classes of amber, defined on the basis of their chemical constituents. Because it originates as a soft, sticky tree resin, amber sometimes contains animal and plant material as inclusions. Amber occurring in coal seams is also called resinite, and the term ambrite is applied to that found specifically within New Zealand coal seams.
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In modern Paganism, many traditions use symbols as part of ritual, or in magic. Some symbols are used to represent elements, others to represent ideas. These are a few of the more commonly used symbols in Wicca and other forms of Paganism today.
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Festivals are a large part of the Pagan year. There isn’t a time of year that you can’t find some Pagan event going on somewhere in the country. Some parts of the country are known for their large festivals, which are attended by hundreds of people within the diverse Pagan and magical community of North America. There are thriving Pagan communities within the heartland of America living in places that on the surface are seen as largely Christian and conservative. These are the places where Paganism thrives in its wild state. Many practitioners in these areas are solitary practitioners for lack of a large enough community that gathers at regular times since many of us are spread across a wide area. Pagan Pride Festivals in these areas are often the only time of the year that the Pagan community comes together, unless you want to travel to one of the larger festivals. For some people who live in small towns far off the beaten path this is a special time of coming together. If there is a place to gather and an event to attend the Pagan community seems to materialize from the many individual practitioners who come together for such occasions.
Amazonite also known as Amazonstone is a green tectosilicate mineral made from microcline. It has the chemical formulaK(AlSi3O8).
Its name is taken from that of the Amazon River, from which certain green stones were formerly obtained, but it is doubtful whether green feldspar occurs in the Amazon area.
Because of its bright green color when polished, amazonite is sometimes cut and used as a cheap gemstone, although it is easily fractured, and loses its gloss due to its softness.
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