Friday, August 19, 2011


The hagstone is a traditional and naturally-occurring witch's amulet particularly valued in the British isles. Known variously as hagstones, holed stones, holy or holey stones, hex stones or adder stones, they range in size from pebble to boulder, and are characterized by having one or more holes running all the way through. They are most prized as found objects, as they are relatively rare, and are variously used for protection, fertility, and scrying. A woman wishing to conceive might crawl through the opening in a very large standing hagstone, or carry a small one in a pocket or a mojo bag (and an enterprising woman wishing to avoid conception could of course invert the spell and use the holed stone as a charm against fertility). Once thought to be protective charms against witchcraft, they can certainly be used to protect oneself from the negative workings and influences of others, magickal or mundane, and hanging one from a red thread above the bed can allow the nightmares to pass through the hole and safely away from the sleeper. In Dartmoor it is said that looking through the hole in the stone enables one to see the piskies, and that wearing one would repel the evil eye by distracting the caster thereof.

One of the things that attracted me to our previous home was the number of largeish stones arranged about the property in a casual but appealing attempt at natural landscaping. At least three of those stones had depressions or true holes through them, which was even more appealing to me. The one you see on the left was in front of the house, in the garden beyond the edge of the deck. (You can see the base of the classical goddess statue at the upper right. The daffodils are ones I planted.) The hole is to the right on the central stone, and you can see the large crystal protruding from it that we placed therein. Another holed stone to the far right of that one, not visible in the photo, I typically used for making small offerings; one day I was about to place something in there only to startle a young brown snake who'd curled up within! The third of the stones, the one with a deep depression that did not go all the way through, was beside the side door of the house; that one often received offerings of acorns and such, or the occasional bit of wine or water or bread. I miss those rocks, but they came with the property and when we left, they stayed with the property; they were mine to tend, but not to keep.

I do keep a small, smooth hagstone as a personal amulet; it's pocket-sized and useful for a number of things. I like it as a sort of "worry stone," something to caress while in deep contemplation, among other things. It came to me quite a while ago, so long now that I don't recall the circumstance. It's not the only one that I have, but it seems the most potent.

1 comment:

  1. I've a large hag stone that I was given by a dear friend in high school. I enchanted it with the directions that Charles G. Leland records among the Strega. It is just right for seeing into the other realms.