Crystal of the Week: Hag Stones

By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Instagram: @thewandcarver

Hag Stone 2

My Hag Stone, Top side ~ photo by i.macy

Hag stones or “holey stones” aren’t really classified as “crystals” but magickally they do a power of good for those who connect well with natural stones and crystals. They have a bit of a violent birth, most of them, being tossed and turned in oceans and sent swirling around and down rivers, clashing with other less moveable rocks in their paths. And some merely erode over a very long time from a steady dripping of water onto the same spot. It seems to me these poor hag stones get quite tortured over a great period. Most likely, many were created during the Great Flood after the ending of the Ice Age. And many were made by a burrowing bivalve mollusc called Pholas dactylus. There is no telling how old the Hag Stone you find may be. Which reminds me, you don’t find Hag Stones, they find you.



Hag Stone 1

My Hag Stone, Bottom side ~ by i.macy

In the days of cunning folk – not that they no longer exist, they do, for I am one, myself – the Hag Stone was given to people seeking to protect their children, homes, and livestock. My grandfather kept one rather large Hag Stone tied above his barn door to keep his cows safe from being made to give sour milk. My mother remembered having a necklace her father fashioned with a hag stone for her to wear as a wee girl. The reason they are called “hag” stones is that during these olden times, there was great fear of the “Night Hag” and apparently, she was responsible for the theft of horses and children at an alarming rate. If you have occasion to wander round old barns in the UK or anywhere in Europe, you will most likely see evidence of the Hag Stone still at work, protecting cows, horses, and any other animals kept.


From Legendary Dartmoor:
If ever you happen to be around any old Dartmoor farm buildings you may possibly notice a small holed stone or pebble sat on a window ledge. Occasionally if the building has a lock with a key still in it there may well be a similar looking holed stone tied to the end of it. These are known as Hex, or more commonly elsewhere, as Hag Stones and their tradition dates back to the time when witches rode along the hedgerows at night.”

Not only did farmers employ the Hag Stone, or Holey Stone, for protection, but so did sailors. In the UK, Dorset fisherman also adopted the Hag Stone as protective charm against malevolent witchcraft and still use it today according to Dr H Colley-March in his article on “Witched Fishing Boats in Dorset”, 1906.

It was “…not uncommon for row boats at Weymouth to have ‘holy stones’ tied to nails or staples in the bows…” [Colley-March] As well as holed stones attached to fisherman’s small boats, Hag Stones were also fastened to the bows of large fishing boats to protect them at sea.

Holed stones were found having been put inside of walls in many old homes whilst being built; years later during restoration and renovation they are discovered. They were installed there by the builders of those homes to prevent malevolent spells on their families and protection against Pixies [or “Piskies” if you lived in Cornwall]. Often, they used the Hag Stone on a rope to which their front door key was kept.

And, talking of Pixies, Faeries and such, in Italian Witchcraft the holed stone is associated with faeries, and often referred as the “holy stone”. It is considered a doorway, or key to the doorway, into the faery kingdom. It Italian folk magic, it is believed these stones have the power to bind a fairy to one’s service for a length of time. There are other legends to this end, but another popular one is that if you hold a holey stone up to your eye and look through it you can see creatures that you cannot normally see, such as Faeries.

Lastly, the Hag Stone has been used since around the 15th century to prevent “Night Mares”. Holed stones were often hung on bed-posts to deter demons, including the night-hag, the nightmare, or a succubus.

Some the nightmare hath prest,
With that weight upon their brest,
No returns of the breath can passe,
But to us the tale is addle,
We can take of her saddle,
And turn the night mare out to grasse.”

And, if you want to wear one, it is said to be a useful amulet for protection from the “evil eye”.

It was often thought that rheumatic pains could be eased by placing a hex stone under the mattress. I have never given this a try, so I could not possibly say if this is helpful or not.

Planet: Moon
Element: Water
Powers: Protection, Healing, Anti Nightmare
Sabbat: Samhain
Other Names: Holey Stone, Odin Stone, Hex Stone, Witch Stone, Fairy/Faerie Stone, Eye Stone, Wish Stone, Nightmare Stone, Witch-riding Stone, Witch Hammer, Ephialtes Stone, Holy Stone
Where to find: Beaches, dried river beds, streams

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About Isabella

Everything worth knowing, I learned from my Nana. I'm a sixty-six year old cunning woman who practises a solitary English hedgewitch life in as near the old ways as I can. I do not sacrifice small animals, neighbours, nor eat children. I'm more interested in visiting my ancestors on hedgewalks. And, I am owned entirely by my lovely feline companion, Pippa [Lady Philipa Cattington].
This entry was posted in amulets, Amulets and charms, crystal, Crystals, Earth, folklore, healing, Lore, Magic, Magickal, Nightmares, protection, Samhain, Stones, traditional witchcraft, Water Element, Witch, Witchcraft and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Crystal of the Week: Hag Stones

  1. Trinity says:

    What if you find one at a park where a whole lot of rocks were put there and I mean thousands, for decoration (or whatever it was for) it being your first ever found and first ever discovering about them but within the hole has amethyst looking crystals around it. I even looked through it at my lamp and a very tiny crystal was capable of putting a perfect mirror image (but turned to the left as if the lamp fell over) in my sight as well as seeing the normal lamp through the hole at the same time?
    Basically my question is can you guess how one would get crystal around the hole on the inside and why can’t I find any online that are like that? Thanks if you know anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isabella says:

      I think you were just proper lucky! Although I don’t believe in luck so what I really think is that for some reason you were destined to find this particular hag stone and the Amethyst inside it was sheer serendipity! Did it grow on the hagstone? Probably. I think when people dig out rock/stones etc for “decorative” purposes for big companies they have no idea what lovely treasures may be hidden in their collections. All they care about is bagging it up to sell onto people to put in parks, gardens, and so forth. You found a one in a million hag stone and I would give thanks to whomever you give thanks to and cherish it for it will bring you much joy and luck. You can find a good many hagstones and crystals online which may be unusual in other ways but yours is a true one off. Work great magick with it! Warmest blessings, Isabella


  2. Mercuri says:

    my hagstone broke. Will it still work?? there’s still 2 small holes in it but it just dosen’t feel the same anymore 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isabella says:

      Hello, Mercuri. It is said that when a hag stone breaks, its purpose has been completed. Perhaps there has been a culmination of something in your life for which you no longer need clarity? I would not just chuck it out though. Perhaps you can string the pieces together to make a necklace or if you wish you could simply bury it. But this hag stone has accomplished what it needed to do for you. Do what you think is best for your old friend. I hope this helps x


  3. Pingback: Hag stone - The Witchipedia

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