Also known as Achates, and sometimes Fire Stone, as it is reputed to invigorate and energize people who are tired or suffering from stress.
A semi-transparent impure form of quartz — chalcedony, or cryptocrystalline quartz (silicon dioxide) — presenting various tints in the same specimen. Its colors are delicately arranged in stripes or bands, or blended in clouds.
The Agate — possibly named after the river in Sicily where it was originally found — in talismanic lore is said to have the power to turn the possessor invisible, and to offer protection in battle, by the means of turning the sword of one's foes against themselves. It is astrologically associated with the sign Gemini and, for the Romans, the Agate was also a birth-stone, specifically for the month of May.
The Agate today is found all over the world including Africa, Asia, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Nepal, and the USA. The ancient Egyptians were mining Agate as far back as 3500 BC. They used it to fashion and decorate rings, beads and seals, as well as many other types of ornaments. It was also believed to be a powerful protection against the evil eye.
According to Edgar Cayce, the Agate is useful to help awaken and open the inner self for receptivity and to supply strength during times of great activity. Paul Solomon believed to be a stabilizing and grounding influence.
Richardson and Huett state that the Agate is beneficial to the stomach, particularly when is upset. It also has the ability to simultaneously tap several chakras, causing them to work together. Swedenborg believed the Agate stone was a symbol of the spiritual love of good.
Pliny the Elder recorded a great deal of information about the Agate in his 'Natural History'. He said that holding an Agate in the mouth quenched even the strongest thirst, and that looking at it rested the eyes. Wrestlers who wore Agate were believed to be unbeatable. In fact, athletes and competitors were said to benefit from an Agate talisman, not only for the healing properties, but also because it banished fear.
Other believed miraculous properties of the Agate included to dispose of solitude, promote eloquence, sooth the mind, drive away contagious air and nightmares, stop thunder and lightning, and secure the favor of a princes, besides being very effective against the bite of scorpions and serpents.
The Agate stone was also thought to be instrumental in relieving arthritis, headaches and thirst. Consequently, it was widely used in the making of talismans, amulets, carved seals, signets and finger rings.
The Agate is believed to protect the earth, making it a good stone for farmers and gardeners to wear; mystically, it is a gemstone of the Fourth Ray, and is thought to have been the eighth stone in the breastplate of the High Priest.
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Sources: (1) Spence, Lewis, An Encyclopedia of Occultism, Carol Publishing Group; (2) Dictionary of the Occult, Caxton Publishing; (3) Bonner, Campbell, Studies in Magical Amulets, University of Michigan Press; (4) Budge, E. A. Wallis, Amulets and Talismans, Carol Publishing Corporation; (5) Walker, Barbara G., The Book of Sacred Stones: Fact and Fallacy in the Crystal World, Harper & Row; (6) Webster, Richard, The Encyclopedia of Superstitions, Llewellyn Publications.
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