Calling All February Babies — Here's What To Know About Your Birthstone
Every month has a designated birthstone (and birth month flower), and for those born in February, their birthstone is amethyst. Here's what to know about this stone, from its properties to its uses, according to crystal experts.
The meaning behind birthstones.
The official birthstones we're familiar with today weren't officially chosen until the early 1900s—but the tradition of birthstones has been around for centuries.
As founder and educational director of the Love and Light School of Crystal Therapy, Ashley Leavy, previously explained to mindbodygreen, birthstones have roots in both Western astrology and Ayurveda, and the National Association of Jewelers standardized the official birthstones in 1912 because there were so many birthstone options across various traditions.
Birthstones even appear in the book of Exodus (28:17-20), where it's written that 12 gemstones were fixed on the prophet Aaron's breastplate. "There were 12 stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the 12 tribes," the Bible reads.
Nowadays, birthstones are a popular gift for everything from birthdays to holidays to anniversaries and more.
The February birthstone: Amethyst
Amethyst is the birthstone for February, one of the most sought after crystals today and well known for its striking purple color. It's a variety of quartz, which is a hard, crystalline mineral made of silica. This stone is associated with Aquarius and Pisces in the zodiac.
As crystal expert Heather Askinosie previously told mindbodygreen, amethyst can be found in parts of Brazil, Canada, India, Madagascar, Namibia, Russia, the U.S., Uruguay, and Zambia.
"Due to its deep purple color, [amethyst is] associated with Bacchus, the Greek god of wine," she says, noting that large drinking vessels used for water and wine used to be carved from this stone. "Roman matrons believed that wearing amethyst would help to guarantee fidelity, and Cleopatra is said to have worn a signet ring made of amethyst to represent enlightenment and love," she adds.
Amethyst is also one of the 12 gemstones that lined the walls of Heaven in the book of Revelations, with amethyst's rich color associated with the wine transfigured to Christ's blood.
Meanings & symbolism of amethyst.
In the modern crystal community and dating back for millenniums, amethyst has been revered for its benefits and properties. According to Yulia Van Doren, author of Crystals: The Modern Guide to Crystal Healing and founder of Goldirocks, amethyst carries an energy that helps neutralize imbalances, and Askinosie says it brings peace of mind. "It can really help calm Aquarian and Piscean tendencies toward extremes," Van Doren previously explained to mindbodygreen.
This stone is also thought to serve as a reminder to treat your body and mind as the sacred temples they are, Van Doren notes, and make healthy choices and decisions. "You can never have enough amethyst around you, in my humble opinion—keep this purple crystal anywhere and everywhere," she says.
Askinosie also notes that amethyst's high-vibrational purple color guides you to turn inward, so you can get back to a state of equilibrium. On a deep soul level, your spirit knows that you have everything you need to find inner peace—and amethyst helps you tune into that.
And of course, with your mind stilled and the negative thought patterns quieted, amethyst is also excellent for strengthening your intuition and third-eye chakra. "The amethyst crystal is a highly spiritual stone that's thought to help open up the third eye and connect people to their intuition. It's also associated with mental clarity and psychic abilities," Askinosie previously told mindbodygreen.
For a quick ritual to calm your mind before you go to bed, Askinosie recommends a four-step ritual with your amethyst:
- Before you go to bed, hold your amethyst over your third eye (on the center of your forehead, slightly above your brows).
- Close your eyes and take 7 deep breaths. Visualize amethyst's purple color filling your mind and calming your thoughts.
- Say to yourself internally, I am at peace, 7 times.
- Place your amethyst on your nightstand. Continue to breathe deeply as you slowly drift off to sleep.
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How to take care of amethyst.
Amethyst tends to be a more durable stone and will do well with any of your preferred cleansing and charging techniques. To remove any dust or debris, it can be cleaned with warm soapy water.
In terms of energetic cleansing and charging, you can place it in the light of the full moon, bury it in the Earth, or surround it in smoke or sound. It's also safe to use water to cleanse this stone, unlike other more porous crystals.
If your amethyst is a raw, more jagged piece, you'll want to be mindful to store it safely and avoid chipping any pieces off. Smooth, tumbled stones are less likely to chip but should still be stored somewhere they won't collect dust.
Note: Over time, amethyst may change color in the sun.
Amethyst is one of the most popular crystals on the market, and for good reason. It helps you tap into your intuition, find peace of mind, and achieve a state of inner balance—and that's true whether you were born in February or not.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.