Agate – Meaning, Symbolism and Superstions
Agate has a long history as a powerful talisman. It is the zodiac gemstone of Gemini and also the Russian, Polish and Arabic birthstone of June.
Agate comes in a large variety of colors such as white, gray, red, orange, green, blue and black. The stone may be banded or layered with different colors. It belongs to the quartz family. It is formed by filling a cavity in a host rock.
Agate has been mined and used in jewelry since Ancient times. It is one of the oldest gemstones used by humans. Agate is named after the River Achates in Sicily. The river is now called Dirillo. It was the Greek philosopher named Theophrastus who named the stone when he discovered it on the banks of the river in the 4th century.
Agate Increases Self-Confidence
Agate is used to increase your level of self-confidence and give courage during trying times.
This gemstone is believed to give you mental strength. It helps you to keep calm and carry on no matter what challenges you may face.
We all face challenges from time to time. The gemstone is worn to remind you to have faith in yourself and not let others break you down or control your life. You need to do what is right for you.
In Ancient Greece the stone was used to fight depression. It was the stone they turned to when unwanted dark or negative thoughts crept into their head.
Roman gladiators would use the Lion-Agate (red-yellow in color) as a talisman for courage.
The Stone of the Wanderer
The gemstone is sometimes nicknamed “the Stone of the Wanderer”. This is because wearing the stone supposedly inspires change.
It could give you the boost to try something new and make the big change in your life you have always dreamed about.
This could involve moving, traveling or a different line of work. If you are ready to explore something new; this is the stone for you.
Agate Makes Your Garden Grow
The Moss agate (green) is said to be a gardener’s best friend. Since Ancient times the green agate has been used as a valuable tool to produce healthy crops and make their garden grow.
Gardeners who wear an agate ring should have an easier time making the grounds flourish beautifully.
Sometimes the veins of the this gemstone can resemble a tree.
Agate for Farmers
Dairy farmers in Europe used to (some still do) eagerly hang an agate stone above the door of the barn. This severed different purposes.
They used to believe that the cow’s milk could go sour during lightning storms. That is when the gemstone could work its magic and prevent the milk from going sour.
Another fear farmers had was witches who came during the night to ride the cows. The gemstone served as a talisman to protect the cows from witches. No witch would enter a building protected by the agate.
Farmers may fasten the gemstone to their equipment to ensure a healthier crop. The gardens and farmers totally agreed that this gemstone made the plants grow securing a good harvest.
Orpheus of Ancient Rome sings:
“If thou wear a piece of Tree-Agate upon thy hand, the immortal Gods shall be well pleased with thee. If the same be tied to the horns of thine oxen when ploughing, or about the ploughman’s sturdy arm, wheat-crowned Ceres shall descend from heaven with full lap upon thy furrows.”
Quote from the book “The natural history of gems or semi-precious stones” by C.W. King – 1870.
In Ancient Rome Ceres was the goddess of agriculture.
Agate for Horses and Riders
In old European folklore it was claimed that this stone needed to be fastened to the horse’s bridles. This was to prevent the horse from falling. Naturally it protected the rider as well.
For extra protection the horse rider could also wear an agate. Another popular gemstone for horseback riders is the Turquoise Stone.
Protection during Storms
Sailors would often bring an agate on their voyage to sea. This gemstone has a long reputation as a calming stone. It was used as a talisman to prevent seasickness and keep the sailors safe during storms.
The superstition that this gemstone was a must have during storms goes back to Ancient times. The Babylonians believed this gemstone could protect people and buildings during storms.
The Stone of Sylvester
Sylvester is a popular nickname for New Year’s Eve in many parts of Europe. December 31st is the feast day of Saint Sylvester (Pope, who died December 31st 335).
Sylvester night is considered by many a magical night. The gemstone connected to this special night is an agate stone which is dark on one side and light on the other side. This stone represents the past and future. The dark side foretells the future which obviously is difficult to see. These stones were popular gifts on New Year’s Eve. Alternatively two stones were gifted; one black and one white.
The Agate in the Bible
Agate is one of the twelve gemstones in the breastplate of Aaron, the brother of Moses. Aaron was announced a high priest. The breastpiece had four rows of gemstones with three gemstones in each row. It is described in Exodus chapter 28. On the third row is a jacinth, an agate and an amethyst.
Albertus Magnus Views on Agate
“If thou wilt eschew all perils and all terrible things, and have a strong heart. Take the stone which is called Achates (agate), and it is black and hath white veins. There is another of the same kind, like to white color. And the third growth in a certain Isle; it has black veins, and that maketh to overcome perils, and give strength to the heart, and maketh a man mighty, pleasant, delectable, and helpeth against adversities.”
Albertus Magnus (c. 1200 –1280), also known as Saint Albert the Great. Quote taken from the book: “The Book of Secrets of Albertus Magnus” Editors: Michael R. Best and Frank H. Brightman