If you’re lucky enough to come across a hagstone while strolling along the beach, be sure to pick it up – it’s Natures “one size fits all” protective talisman, and all it needs is a cord to hang it from!
Amongst their protective powers, they have long been used to ward off nightmares, protect sailors and ships, and to keep the spirits of the dead at bay. For obvious reasons, they have also been linked to fertility spells and magick. Basically, with one of these little treasures, you can protect absolutely anything, from your car to your house, and when you use them in multiples, it vastly increases their powers.
They are also known as Adder Stones, as according to German legend, they offer protection from the effects of an adder bite. Pliny called them “serpents eggs”, and believed that they were created from the adders “slime and saliva”. This, he believed, happened in the Summer when the serpents were coiled together, and the mixture was spat into the air, whereupon it had to be caught in a cloak before it touched the earth. I reckon that if you could manage to do that, you deserve to be protected from every darn thing under the sun …
Another name for them is Odin Stones, which probably comes from the similarity to the Accord Stone in Orkney, which played an important part in courtship and handfasting ceremonies. The Odin Oath would be sworn, and although most of the oath is sadly lost in the mists of time, a ballad from the early 1700’s called “The play o’ de Lathie Odivere” contains the lines:
“An swore bae him dat hang on tree to marry her,
He bragged near and far he won his wife bae Odin’s Aith.”
The tree refers to Ygdrassil, or the World Tree, from which Odin hanged for 9 nights.
Hagstones are generally held to be created by the power of the sea, however in some cases, they are made by a mollusc named the piddock. These angel shaped shellfish burrow into stones or driftwood and gradually increase the size of the hole as they grow. Occasionally, the remnants of the piddock can still be found in one of the holes. Piddock also have a very rare and strange ability to produce luminescence – that is they glow – and Pliny (yep, him again) noted that they glow in the mouth when eaten. This phenomena was held in such esteem that it is said to have played a major part in the first king of Scotland, Cinaed mac Ailpin, gaining his throne. Cinaed obviously knew a trick or two.
So, going back to how they can be used , wearing one on a cord around your neck act like a spiritual battery charger, and will revitalise you.
Because of their positive imagery relating to fertility, if you are trying to get pregnant, you can tie a hagstone to your bedpost, or carry one in your pocket. To strengthen this particular working, if you take a holey stone, which represents the Sacred Vagina of the Earth Goddess, and find a stick which fits into the hole exactly, which represents the penis, you insert the stick, and throw the fertility talisman into the sea, whilst stating your wishes aloud.
On another level, they are also known as Fairy or Fae Stones, and it is said that by looking through one, it can enable you to see the spirits that dwelled near to where you found the stone. So if you found it along the beach, you may be lucky enough to see mermaids, mermen and sea spirits, whereas if you found it in a forest, you would be more likely to see tree spirits.
To boost your chance of seeing into the fae world, you can collect a saucer of morning dew, then gently pour it through the hole, making sure that you catch it in another container. When you have done this, anoint yourself with your magick fae water before you venture out with your holey stone.
So there you go … History, mythology, biology and magick all wrapped up in one little stone. Don’t overlook its potency – make sure you bag yourself a hagstone today…
Writer and purveyor of the magickal arts.