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Scorpio: Agate And Malachite

[Legends Of Gems]  [Diamonds And Zirconia]  [Color In Gems]  [Birthstones] 
[Aquarius Gems]  [Pisces Gems]  [Aries Gems]  [Taurus Gems]  [Gemini Gems]  [Cancer Gems]  [Leo Gems]  [Virgo Gems]  [Libra Gems]  [Scorpio Gems]  [Saggitarius Gems]  [Capricorn Gems] 

( Orginally published November 1937 )

The agate was from ancient times a favored stone for amulets, especial potency being attributed to the banding of colors and to the lucky chance that cutting might reveal an outline of an eye which was proof against the evil eye and other forms of sorcery and witchcraft.

If applied to the bite of a serpent, or if swallowed in powdered form in wine, the agate averted death by poison. The ancient Romans believed it a stone that would bring good crops to tillers of the soil, especially gardeners. To them as well as to warriors, it gave the strength to overcome obstacles. It served to protect travelers by sea and land from dangers of the unknown, as well as from natural disasters, such as lightning, flood, and storm. Roman matrons held that the essence of agate, made by dissolving the stone, would produce a satiny texture of the skin. Among other peoples the agate was supposed to be efficacious in reducing fevers and inflammations and in relieving pain in the eyes.

It is reported to be a custom of Mohammedan peoples to powder agate and mix it with apple cider as a potion to relieve or cure melancholia, delirium, and lunacy. Carrying an amulet of agate will prevent contagious diseases or infection.

One who wore an agate was assured of health, prosperity, and long life. He would have the gift of eloquence and would be able to meet threats of danger with a bold heart and a calm exterior. Though the agate extended its magic powers to anyone wearing the stone, it had especially strong protective influence over those whose birthstone it was.

It was an agate ring carved with Queen Elizabeth's profile that she gave to the Earl of Essex with the promise to fulfil any request of his if he returned the ring to. her. When the luckless Earl was imprisoned in the Tower, he sent the agate by messenger, but the unfaithful messenger failed him. She kept the ring until at death she confessed her treachery.

Cameos are often carved on agates which have several parallel layers of colors. At present a popular stone for a man's ring is a cameo showing two or more profiles, in alternating colors. The custom is rooted in an old belief that such a ring will bring wealth through inheritance, a long-hidden will, or buried treasure. And in case such promises are not sufficiently attractive, the wearer of the agate cameo is assured that the stone will make him socially a favorite and much beloved of his friends.

Today the use of agate in paper weights or ink stands for the business man's desk is a survival of an ancient belief that agate brings success to its owner.

The moss agate was held in special reverence, the designs which characterize this stone indicating some rare occult power for good fortune. The Romans claimed that the gods had singled out the moss agate as having an especially powerful influence and had given it tiny pictures of trees, lakes, clouds, and faces such as no other stone possessed. It was considered to have far greater mystic power than the banded or ribbon agate. Moderns seem to be almost as much attracted to polished specimens of colorful petrified wood as were the ancients to the moss agate.

Among the Orientals an amulet of moss agate assured the wearer of eloquence and the ability to sway audiences, to acquire hidden implications of writings and utterances. Also it enabled lawyers and students to interpret wills and legacies aright. Adventurers and explorers prized the stone as an aid in discovering the unknown. Particular potency was ascribed to the Mocha stone, as the finest moss agates were called which were found in Arabia and shipped from the port of Mocha.

The moss agate is prized by the European gipsy far above all other stones as assuring good luck to the wearer.

Malachite has been valued from earliest times almost as highly as the rarer jade. Its opaque green tones lack the translucence of jade, but have a beauty of their own which became early associated with the talismanic potency ascribed to this stone. Malachite was hard enough to be engraved and to hold the outlines or inscriptions of carving in spite of the fact that such amulets were usually warn under clothing next to the skin. The Egyptians usually engraved it to represent the sun, which as the source of light dispelled the evil machinations of demons and sorcerers. Amulets of malachite whether engraved or not were held to preserve the health and spirits of the wearer and to inspire hope in times of adversity or danger.

Malachite was also valued in times long past as a protection against lightning and other disasters in nature. Also to it was attributed the power of strengthening the heart to withstand the disturbing effect of vertigo in high places, and to overcome the poison of insect or animal bites or of enemy potions. In powdered form, malachite was taken mixed with milk to cure stomach ailments. Mixed with honey, it stopped the bleeding of wounds. Mothers in central Europe still prize it as an amulet in childbirth and during the teething period of infants. A piece of malachite tied to the child's crib or bed assures peaceful sleep. In Italy malachite is still believed to preserve the wearer from the evil eye.

In Russia malachite was long regarded as a protection against rheumatic pain. They also attributed to it the power to prevent cholera, a belief substantiated by a medical observation that workers in copper mines escaped such disease when their neighbors died of it. It is not known whether the copper content of malachite was recognized as causing this immunity, but in India copper has long been warn as a charm against cholera.

To those whose birthstone is the malachite, this gem assures health and prosperity, as well as good spirits and success in love.

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