June's Birthstone: Agate
Who comes with Summer to this earth,
And owes to June her hour of birth.
With ring of Agate on her hand,
Can health, wealth and long life command.
The occurrence of Agate is frequent, the chemical composition of Agate is SiO2, and it is a variety of Chalcedony and belongs to the Oxide family. The hardness of Agate is 7 on the Mohs scale.
Agates were formed in a process that started 50 million years ago, while the hot lava streams cooled down; liquid silicic acid flowed into the cavities, which eventually created the Agate. Agate is found in all colours of the rainbow, but in its purest form the stone is a greyish white. The colours of the banding are created by the addition of traces of different elements.
Agate is named after the river Achates on Sicily. Many Agates have a prefix that explains the optical characteristics of the stone, like the Fortification Agate, or the prefix explains where the stone was first found like the Botswana Agate.
There are so many different Agates, and names given to these Agates, that it is impossible to tell you about them all in just one single article, therefore I will address the properties of the Agate in general.
Since antiquity Agate has been a very popular stone and adored by many people, in prehistoric times tools and articles of use were made out of Agate and King Mithradates of Pontus owned a collection of two to four thousand bowls made out of Agate. Also Agate objects were found in the graves of the Egyptian pharaohs. In Europe Idar-Oberstein has been the center of Agate industry since the 15th century and in Australia the Agate industry is situated around Agate Creek since 1900. In the past the profession of Agate cutter wasn't a very healthy one, the Agate cutter was laid face down with his stomach on a wooden board, and his face a few inches away from the grind stone, while he cut the Agate stones and he was forced to breath in the particles of dust that were emitted from the grind stone and the Agates. Many Agate cutters died young, before age 35, because of this. Nowadays a lot has changed, even though the stones are still cut by hand, the process is a lot healthier, water is used on the grind stone which causes the particles of Agate dust not to fly around in the air and consequently the Agate cutter doesn't breath them in.
Because of its variety in colours the Agate holds many possibilities for use in healing and in magic. Agate enhances the spiritual abilities of its wearer, it also enhances insight and it is a stone of inner development. This stone also protects its wearer from negative influences from outside, against depression and phobias. People who suffer from the effects of the moon phases, especially around the New Moon, should wear an Agate for 3 days prior to the New Moon, 3 days after the New Moon and during the New Moon. Agate is a stone that should be in everyone's gemstone pharmacy, it diminishes pain, fevers, infections and common head colds. This stone also protects its wearer against the bites of ticks, scorpion stings, but also against all different bites from i.e. insects and other skin disorders.
Agate promotes pregnancy and protects both mother and child during the pregnancy, also this is an excellent stone to wear when the expectant mother is experiencing pregnancy pains. Next to that Agate eases difficult deliveries. Because Agate is a 'soft' working stone, it is very suitable for young children, it will protect them against falls and the stone heals and protects against meningitis, and because of this it's a stone that every child should wear.
Agate promotes eloquence. In ancient times talismans and amulets were made out of Agate and a lions hair. Agate strengthens the intuition, promotes longevity and stimulates love.
In magic Agates are used in rituals for healing. Agate is the stone that is dedicated to the Greek God of Healing Asklepios and the Roman God of Healing Aesculapius. Because Agates occur in many different colours there are more applications in the magical area, but these are as abundant as the colours of this stone. One word of caution does apply, a lot of Agates are colour enhanced or even coloured, which does change the colour of the stone, but its healing and magical properties do NOT change!
Agate is under the influence of the planet Mercurius and hence corresponds to the astrological sign of Virgo. Other astrological signs that correspond with the vibrations of this stone are: Aries, Cancer, Gemini, Leo, Scorpio and Taurus.
Agate strengthens the vibrations of the following Bach Flower Remedies: Cerato, Mimulus & Pine.
A fountain of healing colours
The diverse spectre of different colours of Agate makes this mineral to one of the most diverse healing stones.
Below you will find a few of the healing and magical properties of a few different colours of Agate:
White Agate is also called Peace Agate; this stone is an excellent stimulant to kick addictions of any kind, especially alcoholism. Combined with Ruby the White Agate will help you to quit smoking.
Red Agate is the symbol of happiness and wealth and it protects the property of its owner against thieves. This stone strengthens the kidneys and cures kidney colics and kidney infections.
Green Agate protects its owner against all evil. An elixir of Green Agate helps against constipation, irregular stool and other colon related complaints.
Apricot Agate is the most suitable stone for pregnant women and young children. This stone protects both mother and child during the pregnancy. Apricot Agate also protects the foetus against all kinds of illnesses like harelips and Down's syndrome.
Blue Agate cures and eases illnesses of the middle ear, like middle ear infections, earaches and a ringing of the ears. Blue Agate also helps against equilibrium problems caused by a problem of the middle ear.
Brown Agate, also called Brazilian Agate, is a talisman that attracts wealth and protects its wearer against evil. Further more communication within a relationship is stimulated by this stone as well as inner stability.
Black Agate is a protective stone; it provides its wearer with courage and calms a quick temper.