Since ancient times, certain unique traits have always been attributed to a hag stone. This special stone has also had many names, but the one that is widely known is hag stone. Many stories have also been told about this stone, some of which are true and others not quite factual. Continue reading to know the truth about a hag stone and why it is so special.
What Is a Hag Stone?
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Also referred to as an adder stone, a hag stone is a special type of stone, typically glassy, with a naturally occurring hole in it. This stone, which usually consists of flint, has been discovered by archaeologists in both Britain and Egypt. Hag stones are commonly found in Northern Germany at the coasts of the North and Baltic Seas.
In some parts of the world, this stone is referred to as witch stone, serpent’s egg, snake’s egg, Glain Neidr, milpreve, adder stones, Gloine nan Druidh, and aggry. In German, a hag stone is referred to as Hühnergötter (chicken gods).
What’s the Origin of a Hag Stone?
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There are three main backgrounds to the origin of a hag stone. The first one holds that this stone is the hardened saliva of a large group of serpents massing together, and the holes in it are perforated by the serpents’ tongues. Another legend claims that a hag stone comes from the head of a snake or is made by the bite of an adder. That’s why the stone is referred to as an adder stone in some parts of the country.
The other story, which is the most recent fable, about the origin of a hag stone claims that the stone can be any rock with a hole perforated in the middle by water. It further insists that any human intervention to create the hole in the stone is not acceptable.
4 Common Myths about Hag Stones
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1. The Druids’ Egg
It is important to mention that hag stones were held in high esteem amongst the Druids, members of the high-ranking class in ancient Celtic cultures, including religious leaders as well as legal authorities, juries, lore keepers, medical experts, and political advisors.
The Druids used hag stones as one of their distinctive badges. People with these stones were also considered to possess the most extraordinary qualities.
Huddleston’s version of John Toland’s “History of the Druids” offers some very resourceful estimations on the topic of this very enigmatical Druids’ egg.
The charms of glass and stone, which are still well-kept and used with unspoken faith in many parts of Scottish Gaeldom, and are carried for treating diseases to a great distance, appear to have come from this ornament of ancient priestcraft.
2. Welsh Mythology
The Welsh myth is also closely related to Druidism. In this myth, the Glain Neidr of Wales is believed to have been created by a congress of serpents, usually occurring in spring, but most favorable on May Eve. Although hag stones are not directly mentioned in Welsh mythology, folklore talks about magical stones that have characteristics of hag stones.
In the story of Peredur son of Efrawg (Percival of the Arthurian cycle), in a retreat from Chrétien de Troyes’ Perceval, the Story of the Grail, Peredur is offered a mystic stone that enables him to see and kill an obscure creature known as the Addanc.
In another story, Owain, or the Lady of the Fountain (Ywain of Arthurian legend), the protagonist Owain mab Urien is locked in the cabin of a fortress. He receives a stone from a maid, which transforms Owain into an invisible creature, letting him escape from detention.
3. Irish Mythology
Since serpents are not present in Ireland, they don’t often feature in Irish mythology. But other creatures can draw parallels. In the story, druid Mug Ruith was reported to own a magical stone that turned into a venomous eel when thrown in water. This is inferred to refer to a hag stone.
4. Russian Mythology
In Russian folklore, hag stones were believed to be the dwellings of spirits, commonly referred to as Kurinyi Bog (“The Chicken God”).
Kurinyi Bog were the protectors of chickens, and their stones were placed into farmyards to thwart the possible evil effects of the Kikimora (The wives of the Domovoi, the house spirits.) Kikimora, who also protected and took care of chickens, often unleashed misery upon the hens they didn’t like by removing their feathers.
Meaning of Hag Stones and Why They Are Special
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As mentioned above, a hag stone is any type of stone that has a naturally occurring hole right through it. This stone becomes holy, spiritual, or acquires magical powers the moment you possess it. Hag stones are literally formed by nature when they crash together along a sea or riverbed.
When water rushes past and through the stone, it causes erosion that eventually creates a unique hole. The special meaning and power attached to a hag stone become even more delightful if you find the stone yourself, instead of receiving it from someone else or purchasing one. Although these stones are found along dry riverbeds and seashores, they are hard to come by.
In fact, most people believe that your hag stone should find you, as opposed to you finding it. This idea further contributes to the mystical feeling and belief associated with this stone.
The conspiracy and rareness of hag stones have for centuries made them the center of folk magic, fairytale, and lore, where some people have been using them for everything ranging from protection against fertility spells to finding fairy folk or seeing into the future, and warding off negativity in different shapes and forms.
Some people also believe that hag stones can help to open doors to the other spiritual realms. Others believe that these stones help to see invincible creatures. Some people with domestic animals like horses, cows, goats, and hens use these stones to protect themselves, their animals, and their work by hanging hag stones in their stable with the belief that their animals will stay in good health and away from dark magic.
Likewise, fishermen and seafarers tie hag stones to their boats and ships to ward off evil spirits. They believe that doing this will keep them safe on their cruises.
Since ancient times, fishermen believe that they are often cursed by the witches, which causes them to catch less fish and run into serious losses.
On the other hand, sailors believe that if they are cursed by witches, their ships might wreck and cause all of them to die. Therefore, they believe that hag stones can protect them from these curses.
Where to Find a Hag Stone
As indicated above, one of the reasons why a hag stone is considered to be special is the belief that it finds its owner and not the other way round. Going by this belief, you should wait for your hag stone to find you. However, some people want to collect as many hag stones as they can. Therefore, they often set out to search for hag stones in different places around the world.
If you are also looking for a hag stone, there are specific places where you are likely to find one, including near rivers, beaches, and in some forests. You can also buy one from individuals or stores that collect and sell rare stones and gems.
However, it is important to reiterate the fact that for a stone to be considered a hag stone, it must have a hole that has been naturally created by water running through the stone. This means that you cannot create your own hag stone.
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