Kristin Lisenby Kristin Lisenby
3 minute read

Gather round for a story about Artemis and the nymph known as Amethyst...

Have you ever held an amethyst crystal in your palm and felt more alert, vigilant, and intuitive? Or like you could answer any question and face any obstacle that stood in your way? Have you ever used this stone during ritual and gained insight into a curious yet familiar world – one that was far more ancient than your own?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then offer some thanks to Artemis, for amethyst was one of her creations.

You see, many years ago, an unsuspecting nymph received the wrath of an Olympian god. She was innocent, of course, only guilty of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. In fact, the girl was on her way to visit the mighty Huntress and protectress of women - Artemis.

The nymph took the trail through the woods, a path she knew by heart. As she sashayed through the trees, she curtsied to the hares and wild goats, and to each bird singing from atop its leafy roost. The girl was used to seeing creatures along the wooded path but stopped short when she came upon two enormous tigers. The tigers were not alone. Between the beasts stood a disheveled, feral-looking man. Before he uttered a word, the nymph recognized him as Dionysus, the god of passion and revelry. But something was different about Dionysus on that fateful day. As he stroked his cats, the usually merry man seethed with anger.

Not wishing to appear rude but also wanting to be as far away as possible from those tigers, the nymph greeted Dionysus and introduced herself. She explained that her name was Amethyst, and she was on her to see Artemis, the wild one of the woods. As much as the girl wanted to skirt around Dionysus, a firm knowing kept her rooted in place while he ranted and raved. The girl listened as he cursed the mortals who invoked him and called his name, only to reject his divine gifts. Apparently, one of Dionysus’s followers had done precisely that just moments before the nymph appeared.

“And do you know the promise I made?” Dionysus asked, his eyes never leaving his cats. When the maiden said nothing, he continued, “I swore that the next soul who crossed my path would right these wrongs. I promised they would make a good meal for my cats, and then, once their bones were licked clean, all would be forgiven.”

Amethyst only had a split second to call on Artemis for help, but luckily for her, the Huntress responded. As the tigers lunged at the girl, Artemis sheltered her within a block of crystal quartz. The tigers gnawed and bit at the edges, but the maiden could not be touched, and the crystal only dulled their teeth.

Once night fell and the moon rose bright in the sky, Artemis floated down from her lunar perch to collect the stone maiden. By then, Dionysus had sobered up and realized his grave misuse of power. The god cried great purple tears that rained down upon the white crystal, staining it the color of wine. The Olympian felt so bad about what he’d done that he helped Artemis carry the stone to her mountain home. Legend says that while Artemis chips away at the crystal and searches for the missing nymph, she scatters amethyst clusters to the world below, knowing that her followers will find them.

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