Updated: Nov 2, 2022
Spooky folklore that surrounds these stones with holes...
As a child I was fortunate enough to live by the coast and many of our family holidays were spent on the beaches in the South. I have many fond memories of hunting for beach treasures, often finding sea glass, shells, feathers, mermaid's purses and excitingly, stones. Not any old stones, the beaches are full of those, but stones with holes through the middle. I grew up believing these stones were magical and could grant wishes by putting your back to the sea and tossing them back into the waves. A tradition I have kept as an adult. I have found many stones over the years and have collected a few, which I put on a string and hang on my studio door.
Today, being Halloween, traditionally originating from the Celtic festival, Samhain, which signifies the end of summer and the return of the darker evenings, I thought I would look further into the folklore surrounding Hag-stones and see whether these magical stones can offer protection from otherworldly spirits during All-Hallows Eve.
A Hag-stone, also known as a Faerie stone is rare and it has been said that if you find one, it can be used as a protection amulet. However, only take one at a time and only for yourself as the stones only work for the finder. It is also said that the stone finds you. These stones have been rolled in the tides and winds over many hundreds of years and through time, the movement of the water creates holes. The stones are believed to be magical and are able to ward off witches and other dark spirits. Only good wishes can pass through the hole in the stone. Bad wishes and evil thoughts are too big to go through the holes and become stuck in the middle. The water that has passed through the hole protects the holder against spells and works like a shield.
It is said that if you hold up the stone and peer through the hole you may be able to see into the Faerie realm which is normally invisible to us humans. This is why they are also known as Faerie stones. Other names include Lucky stones, Odin stones, Witch stones, Seeing stones and Adder stones. There is good reason to have Hag-stones in your life, especially on All Hallows Eve when the veil is thin.
Hang it above your front door or over a window to keep evil spirits out.
Attach one to your bedpost to keep bad dreams at bay.
Wear it around your neck on a string to ensure good health and to heal minor ailments.
Hang it on your art room door to inspire creativity.
Although I made the last one up, it could be counted as a wish I guess. Folklore states that Farmers have used the stones to protect their cows and Sailors have also nailed them to the bow of their ships to give them safe passage.
So next time you are treasure hunting on the beach, look extra carefully for the holey stones as they are more special than you think and whether you are curled up by the fire tonight, watching a scary film or reading ghost stories, be sure to have your stone amulet in your pocket. I know that I will be indoors, reading, with some candles burning and my Hag-stones will be placed carefully on my windowsills and doors.
Sending you love & light on this spooky eve,
Stay naturally curious...
The Simple Things magazine
A Treasury of British Folklore by Dee Dee Chainey
Your Spiritual Almanac by Joey Hulin
The Witches Yearbook by Clare Gogerty