Hag Stones: What Are They, How Are They Formed, And Are They Lucky?

You’re having a stroll down at the beach when something curious catches your eye. It’s a stone with an odd feature on it: a hole in the middle.

You’re not quite sure how it got there, or why it’s even there in the first place,  and so you begin to investigate what this stone is and how it came to look the way it does.

Congratulations, you’ve found yourself a Hag Stone. Although this may be your first time encountering this stone, there is no doubt that this is in fact a special, lucky find. 

What is a Hag Stone?

A hag stone is a stone with a naturally occurring hole in it. This unique feature is what gets many interested not only in its composition, but even its uses in the supernatural realm. 

Geologically speaking, hag stones are most commonly made of flint, with a glassy appearance to it.

However, it is also very possible that you come across one that’s made of sandstone or limestone.

It just so happens that flint is one of the most typical materials found in certain areas such as Western Europe, which is why it became one of the standards in determining whether a stone with a hole is a hag stone or not. 

The hole is believed to be developed through water erosion or the grinding of other stones on its surface.

It’s also believed that a type of mollusk, a bivalve called “piddock”, typically likes boring itself into the stone, thus leaving the hole behind.

This mollusk has shells that are shaped like wings, which would explain why the holes end up having that shape sometimes.

The commonly accepted knowledge is that for as long as a stone has a hole in it, it is considered a hag stone; composition has got nothing to do with it.

The only requirement is that this stone has to occur naturally over a long period of time, and completely without human intervention. 

Other Names for Hag Stones

Hag stones are known by a variety of names, the most common of which would be adder or holey stone.

How they are called would also depend on where they are found.

The earliest records of its archaeological discovery are in Northern German and the Baltic Seas. 

However, it’s also been found in Egypt, where it is known as aggry or aggri, and in Britain where it’s known as several names, such as witch stones, serpent’s eggs,or snake’s eggs.

More specifically, they are known in Cornwell as milpreve, and Glain Neidr in Wales. 

Meanwhile, they are known as Gloine nan Druidh in northern Scotland, but as adderstanes in the south.

Farther across Europe, in Germany, these same stones are known as “chicken gods”, or, more succinctly, Hühnergötter.

The reference to the snakes is relevant because it is derived from the belief that the stones are actually the dried, hardened saliva of a mass of serpents.

The holes in the stones are supposedly explained by the snake’s tongues, which pierce through it. 

The other association with the snake refers to the belief that the stone is actually the fossilized head of a serpent.

Plenty more names have been used to call the hag stones, including Eye Stones, Fairy Stones, and Hex Stones. 

Where Can I Find A Hag Stone?

If you’re hoping to come across them, among the best places to find hag stones would be along the seashore, a common place for rockhounders to find cool rocks. This would make the most sense if you would prefer to subscribe to the water erosion theory that sets out to explain the hole in the stone. 

Other than that, you can try looking at other bodies of flowing water, or even dry riverbeds, which could contain some more of these water-eroded stones. 

In this case, the element of water is crucial because supposedly, the stone’s power comes from the water itself.

See the belief in folklore is that water is the only spell powerful enough to dilute or break off magic spells. 

Since the holes in the hag stones are supposed to be there because that section of the stone was eroded with water over time, then the belief is the healing and defensive powers of the stone are thus retained and absorbed by the stone itself.

Adding to the mythical origins of the hag stone is its “violent” production.

Violent, because in order for the hole to be formed within it, it must have meant being tumbled into the waters over and over again, for long periods of time.

The birth of a hag stone, therefore, is considered to be special if only because the stone had to first go through a harsh transformation before getting its final form. 

The Hag Stone Commodity

According to old European superstition, the hag stone could serve as a very powerful amulet or token of protection against evil spirits or malignant witch powers.

It is believed, for example, that if a witch looks through the hole of the hag stone, they will lose their power. 

They are also believed to offer protection from illnesses, nightmares, and curses. 

Stringing several stones together, through their holes, are also said to boost this power.

The more stones you have with you, therefore, the better it is going to be. 

Another popular belief about the hag stones is that it serves as a window or portal to the fairy land. All you have to do is look into the hole, and you will be transported to this realm, as well as plenty others. 

Hag Stones as Gateway

Hag stones as gateway to the land of the fairies is one of the most popular beliefs surrounding its value as a mythical stone.

More than being able to see into the fairy kingdom by looking through the hole in the stone, however, it is further believed, particularly in Italian folk magic, that this stone can even help you bind a fairy to your service. 

This power could be retained only for a certain length of time, so anyone fortunate enough to get it would do well to wield it responsibly.

Hag Stones for Good Luck

As you would have gleaned by now, hag stones are considered to be a precious find because of all the perceived benefits it could bring to its owner.

By mere virtue of its ability to ward off negative energies and evil forces, it becomes a highly sought-after item all the more. 

Apparently, it is also believed in some cultures that whoever possesses the hag stone will have the ability to determine if someone is lying to them about something. 

Hag Stones for Fertility

Not only are hag stones believed to protect from  malicious energy and sickness, it is also believed to help facilitate pregnancy. 

As the stories would have it, there are hag stones so large that full-grown men can pass through its hole.

If you want to improve your chances of fertility, it is believed that all it takes is for the couple to walk through the hole together, holding hands. 

A simpler way of using the energy of the hag stone to help with conception is holding it on the bed. 

Hag Stones for Farming

Hag stones are also known to be placed by farmers on their window ledge for protection of their livestock.

In the olden days, it is believed that evil spells or curses could be cast on one’s livestock, causing a lot of problems for the farmer. 

Hens would stop laying eggs, cattle would get sick with an inexplicable disease, or horses might be all worn out and unable to do labor as they normally would.

To prevent these from happening, farmers would put hag stones on their farm buildings to ward off the evil intent of the witches.

Hag Stones for Fishing

The protection offered by the hag stones do not just work on land, but even extends out to sea.

There have, in fact, been anecdotes on how fishermen at Weymouth would tie or nail hag stones in the bows of their fishing boats. 

The hag stones are placed there supposedly to keep them safe throughout their journey at sea.

Back in those days, it was rather common for boats to set out to sail, only to never be heard from again.

It was believed that having the hag stone onboard would prevent evil spirits and witches from latching onto the boat, making for a perilous journey and poor catch.

Others further believe that if a hag stone was tied to a cord, and then swung through the air, it would be able to control the winds on the high seas by breaking up heavy clouds and gales. 

Hag Stones for Healing

If hag stones hung over farmhouses and fishing boats could offer luck and protection, would it also work the same way when worn on your body?

The pervading belief is yes, wearing hag stones on you can keep you protected from bad elements, such as curses and spells that could bring you pain and illness.

The most common way to wear it is as a pendant on a necklace, so as to heal a variety of physical ailments. 

A more direct way of using hag stones for physical wellness is by rubbing in on the sprain or affected area, and supposedly, the pain will be sucked out by the stone.

It is even believed to be able to get rid of rheumatic pains simply by putting the stone under your mattress. 

Hag stones are also believed to have restorative powers, which is good for revitalizing your energy and refreshing your mind and body.

This concept of using natural elements to heal and restore physical balance is not exclusive to the hag stone alone, but is also known to work with crystals as well. 

Healing crystals, as a matter of fact, are equally popular among those who believe in the power of alternative medicine.

The main difference, however, is that hag stones have a straightforward classification. As long as it has a naturally made hole in it, it’s a hag stone. 

Crystals, on the other hand, have a myriad of types and classes, each of them with their own unique healing properties for specific parts of the body.

At the bottom of it all, though, is the consistent belief that these natural elements, whether it be a hag’s stone or a crystal, can have an undeniable impact on your physical health and overall well-being.

Acquiring a Hag Stone

According to those familiar with the supernatural features of the stone, it would be very much ideal if you come across a hag stone naturally, as opposed to seeking it out yourself.

Letting the stone “find you” ensures that its power will remain pure and be activated stronger.

The more unintentional you are about possessing a hag stone, therefore, means the more powerful it will be in your hands because of your pure intentions.

Those who subscribe strictly to the folklore believe in the claim that to fully harness the hag stone’s potential powers, you must personally find it, and use it. It should not be given as a gift or bought. 

Nowadays, however, this stone, along with other crystals popular for their healing properties, is easily accessible in novelty shops, even online.

Many also deem it safe enough to give as a gift, and as long as it was given in love, it could have the power as it would if you had simply stumbled upon it on one of your walks. 

While one piece of hag stone can be enough to bestow benefits of magical origins to you, imagine how much stronger it can become in groups.

In fact, it is further believed that tying several hag stones together can boost its powers all the more. Even luckier would be a single stone with three holes in it. 

Although hag stones are most ideally worn around the neck, it is far from being a custom piece of accessory that you could fashionably wear.

There are serious responsibilities and consequences attached to possessing a hag stone, so while you’re lucky to be able to find one, you must also make sure to give it the respect and care it deserves.

Thinking about hag stones as a gift? You can also check out: Gifts For Young Rock Collectors.

Interested in learning more about unique rocks and minerals like stilbite, turkey fat mineral, or velvet malachite? You can also check out our blog for our latest articles.