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November has come!
It’s hard for us to believe that 2016 is actually almost over and that, with Halloween on our heels, we’ve officially entered the holiday season. As we Floridians welcome our well-earned break from heat and humidity, we also greet that time of year when being with those we love takes priority over the daily grind.
As we all know, togetherness can bring stress and its own kind of work–the hustle of cleaning house, the grumpy aunt or uncle, or worrying about burning the green bean casserole. We strive to reunite with those who, with all their varied quirks and personalities, we haven’t always chosen to be close to, but to whom we’re bound by family. But, when the work is done and the tense moments have passed, we get to enjoy that full-bellied glow of enjoyment that these bonds bring.
What better gem to celebrate this glow and this month than the ancient Topaz, the stone of friendship? Used to adorn ourselves for over two thousand years, topaz shows up in a surprising variety of colors – much like the variety we strive to embrace among kin and kindred spirits alike as the holidays commence.
Some Facts about Topaz
Named from the Sanskrit word for “fire,” Topaz is born from lavic rocks as they begin to cool, allowing it to be vitreous in lustre and often beautifully clear and limpid. It is known for its hardness and can be found in yellow, honey-yellow, flax, brown, green, blue, light blue, red and even pink! You’ll most often spot Topaz in its yellow form, which is known as golden or precious topaz.
In olden times, when sources were more rare, Europeans prized topaz highly. It even won a spot as one in the foundations of the twelve Holy Gates to Jerusalem, and was worn by nobility to show wealth and prestige. Later, when the gem was discovered outside of Europe, it became more accessible on the market. Most of today’s topaz hails from Sri Lanka and Brazil near Ouro Preto, where crystals have been known to reach boulder size and vary in color from very pale to a deep-wine hue.
The Special Significance of Topaz
Cultures from around the world have prized Topaz for its perceived special qualities. The Greeks believed it brought strength, while the Romans thought it improved eyesight. Mystic traditions associate it with the throat chakra and revere its ability to dispel sadness, anger, and even to prevent death. Hindus prize topaz as highly sacred and as increasing intelligence and one’s lifespan, while African healing rituals incorporate the gem to aid in gaining communion with the spirit.
Healing attributes associated with Topaz include steadying and regulating the heart, working with the spinal column, and increasing fertility.
It is believed to help artists achieve greater creativity and to help any wearer gain a greater clarity of vision, perceiving “the bigger picture” and how various parts can interrelate in a greater whole. For everyone else, it can help us see our goals and progress clearly–certainly a useful tool as we put the finishing touches on our year!