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The Myth of Amethyst

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The word "amethyst" derives from the Greek meaning "not to intoxicate." Of course, with such an attribution, Bacchus must be involved somewhere in this story.
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful goddess named Diana. And, to the point of the story, she was very selective as will as being chaste.

And then there was the randy Bacchus. He was not very selective, not at all. And he certainly was not chaste, not at all. And he so wanted to be with Dianne.

But Diana did not want to be anywhere near Bacchus. In fact, she rebuffed him time after time. The more he tried; the more she rebuffed. It seemed he would never succeed with Dianne.

Bacchus was not used to being turned away like that. He was hurt and angry, so much so that he drank more cups than usual of his favorite red wine, a gift the grape had given him. 

He wanted revenge. He drank and pondered. He drank and mulled. He became really angry.

Finally, after quite a bit of drinking and pondering and mulling, he came up with a cunning plan. He would command his fierce tigers to savagely devour the first maiden whom he met. He roared at the idea. That would show the chaste and cold Diana!

Well, wouldn't you know it, at that moment along came the lovely maiden Amethyst, strolling down the path in all of her innocence. Bacchus, with his savage drunken roar, released his snarling tigers. As they snarled, bared their teeth and lunged upon the helpless Amethyst, she had only the briefest of moments to plead to Diana for mercy and protection from the tigers. Diana,you see, was goddess of the hunt.

Unfortunately, there was only the smallest and most delicate of moments between the time that Diana heard Amethyst's plea and the horrible moment when the cruel pets of Bacchus would begin to maul the maiden Amethyst.  Diana had no time at all to use her hunting skills to stave off the monsterous beasts who were, at that very moment, leaping upon Amethyst with fangs drawn. 

Diana, though, was not to be outdone by Bacchus. She immediately used her skills to change Amethyst into a pure, clear crystal just as the tigers were in mid air. Now, of course, the seemingly unstoppable, powerful tigers were unable to turn away and chomped on that crystal with dreadful power. 

To say the least, the stunned animals must have lost a fang or two. Not to mention concussions and cystal phobia.  Why, to this day, some say that just the psychiatric bills for the treatment of Bacchus's pets were so high that he had to sober up until the end of the following century just to work to pay of his debts to his tigers' psychiatrist.

But back to the story of the beautiful Amethyst.  You see, as he beheld the turn of events, Bacchus gave pause and soberly realized the stupidity of his misdirected rage.  After all, it was Diana, not Amethyst, who had spurned his drunken advances. He knew at that moment that the innocent Amythest had nothing to do with the bruising of his ego!

And so it was that, in respectful sorrow, Bacchus approached the clear and glistening cyrstal, the most beautiful he had ever seen.  His head was bowed in remorse, his step slow. With sincerest humility, he begged Amethyst for forgiveness for such rash and awful act.  

You must keep in mind that such a request was most unusual and very difficult for him. 

Then Bacchus, gently and with great deliberation, annointed the brilliant and pure crystal with all the wine he had with him, down to the last drop. He sobbed great tears of remorse and his cries sounded like thunder rolling through the valleys. 

Opps!  Please forgive me.  I almost forgot to tell you an important part of this story.  The variety of red wine that Baccus sacrificed to the crystallized Amethyst, this variety was rare, delicious and much sought after.  It is held by many, in fact, that there no longer exists such a fine red.  Even Zeus himself affirms that fact!

Thus, it was that Amethyst had been transformed from a beautiful maiden to the most remarkable of clear cystals, and yet again  into the beautiful purplish gemstone that we know and love as the gemstone Amethyst.

Furthermore it is said that one should drink wine only from an amethystine vessel to prevent lossing his or her wits. As well, a host would do well to serve wine to guests in amethystine vessels - unless, of course, he or she has planned an evening of debauchery. Of course if such an evening is ever planned, it would be best to avoid such amesthystine vessels all together.

But that is another story for another time.

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