Story Time Sunday: Aquamarine
Aqua Marinus, the Ocean Beryl known as Aquamarine, is the stone of mermaids and sea deities and has long been associated with water in all its forms, with its deep colors drawing from the light sky blue of reflected lakes, green-blue of the ocean, and the deep blues of icy glaciers.
Aquamarine is a type of Beryl. The Beryl family is most well known for its green Emeralds, but also includes pink Morganite<, yellow Heliodor, and colorless Goshenite. Aquamarine gets its gorgeous color from iron, which is substituted for the aluminum in the crystal structure. Aquamarine deposits are often formed in pockets of a geological formation known as pegmatites, coarsely-grained igneous rocks similar to granite. Aquamarine has been found in Brazil, Zambia, Mozambique, Nigeria, as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan.
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The first recorded use of the crystal was in Greece, around 450 to 300 B.C., where its properties were harnessed into sailors' talismans to grant them courage and protect them from the wrath of the oceans. Pendants were often engraved with Poseidon in his chariot, and the property of protection while traveling, especially overseas, have continued to be attributed to Aquamarine to this day. Carrying it was said to calm the seas as well as the heart.
The Sumerians, Egyptians, and Hebrews admired and valued Aquamarine as well, associating it with Waters of the Divine. It was a symbol of happiness, longevity, and everlasting youth. The Romans called Aquamarine the Sailor's Gem, ensuring them safe passage across the seas. It was highly valued by Roman soldiers, since so much of their conquering happened abroad, and was worn to render them invincible. Aquamarine was said to impart fearlessness and bring victory in battle, enabling soldiers to return home.
The Roman's also believed that Aquamarine was a stone of reconciliation. By carving the blue beryl with a frog, they could turn enemies to associates and reunite estranged friends. It was said to absorb and resonate with love and was thought to reawaken the connection between married couples. A pendant of Aquamarine was considered the most appropriate morning gift to give to a bride by her groom following the consummation of their marriage as a promise of fidelity.
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This energy of love and reconciliation continued into Medieval times, where Aquamarine was worn by women to encourage their philandering husbands to stay faithful. In both Europe and South America, Aquamarine was used in ceremonies to bring rain when needed, or visit drought upon their enemies.
Once Christianity became the mainstay of Europe, Aquamarine became identified with the Apostle, St. Thomas, because it imitated the sea and the saint made long journeys by sea (apparently, all the way to India) to spread the word of Christ.
Once again, Aquamarine was said to protect the wearer across the oceans, albeit now its properties had been given a Christian resonance. Midwives and mystics of the Middle Ages considered Aquamarine to be an incredibly effective oracle crystal, since it was the stone of intuition. It was one of the most popular stones to be cut into crystal scrying balls or was cast into a bowl of pure water to divine the future from the ripples it would create. One method involved hanging a stone by a thread over a bowl of water inscribed with letters on the inner edge. The diviner would hold the top of the thread just touching the surface of the water and allow the stone to hit certain letters, which would spell out answers to an important question, like a watery Ouija board.
Physically, Aquamarine was said to restore the waters of the body and heal the throat and thymus. The wealthier classes viewed Aquamarine as a purifier and an antidote to poison, transforming it into harmless water just by having a piece on the body. During the Georgian era, the victory of the battlefield morphed into victory in the courtroom, as Aquamarine was said to help win legal disputes, and cool tempers, and shift opposing points of view into alignment.
Throughout the centuries, we can see the properties of Aquamarine carry through. Aquamarine is the crystal most aligned with the element of Water, which has long symbolized the fluid realm of emotions. It is the birthstone of March, and Pisces, those sensitive fish that could either be a reflection of one or an intertwining of two, but either way unafraid to immerse themselves.
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With its watery depths, Aquamarine awakens our intuition and opens us up to our innate spiritual abilities. It connects the heart with the throat, healing voice loss, laryngitis, strep throat, as well as thyroid, and thymus issues by purifying blockages and supporting us to speak what's in our heart without self-judgment. It is said to protect us against modern-day poisons and pollutants, clarify the muddy waters of confusion, and bring in needed closure on its tides.
Aquamarine asks us to calm our minds, listen to our hearts, and put aside our temper, our anger, and our judgment of self and others to realign with our own truth and those who might have wronged us in the past. It is a crystal of compromise and co-existence. We are all mirrors to each other, reflecting our hurt and pain, but also our joy. Without those who hurt us, we would not have the opportunity to expand, learn, and grow. It is the voyage that teaches discovery. Aquamarine helps wash away old patterns and triggers caused by trauma and helps reconnect us with our emotional body. When we are able to finally see ourselves in others, there is no one with whom we cannot reconcile.
Aquamarine is a crystal of courage that asks us to brave the stormy seas of our hearts. It gently yet firmly brings our emotional patterns to the surface to be witnessed and released, so we may move with the current. It reminds us that sensitivity and feelings are not weak, but are actually a source of strength. It takes being fearless to plunge the depths of our emotions, but once we do, we cannot fail.