Amethyst is my birthstone and I have always thought of it as a love talisman, but I recently discovered a completely different myth associated with the beautiful purple stone.
Apparently, amethyst is connected to the deities Bacchus and Dionysus (gods of wine and libation). It is believed to help overcome alcoholism and other addictions.
The name of amethyst comes from the Greek word “amethostos” meaning “not drunken”. According to Greek myth a nymph named Amethyst rejected the wine god Dionysus. To protect her, the goddess Artemis turned her into a quartz. Feeling remorse, Dionysus pourend a cup of wine on the quartz turning it into purple amethyst.
The Romans have a different myth. The wine-growing god Bacchus became angry with people who were disrespectful and vowed that the first person he saw would be killed. The nymph Amethyst came across him first, on her way to the goddess Diana’s temple. Diana rescued her by turning her into a quartz crystal. Feeling bad, Bacchus started to pour wine over her, claiming that ‘wine revives anything.’ But, he was wrong and the stone only turned purple. Thus, the belief that amethyst preserves the wearer from hard drinking.