Divination Techniques & Tools, Witchy Ways

A Gift from An Cailleach

I have always wanted — and searched for on local rocky beaches here in Vancouver — a hag stone.

If you’re not familiar with them, they are essentially a small stone (typically something you can hold in your hand), with a naturally formed hole through it.

Many consider hag stones to be magical, for use in spell or intention work, as it is said that only good can pass through the hole, and all that is not good is said to be blocked or trapped.

Some believe magic can not work on moving water, which may be the source of the belief that the hag stone — formed in running / moving water — can be a defensive ward or shield.

And I finally found a hag stone! It was near a large outcrop of rock on the ocean’s floor at Burntcoat Head on the Bay of Fundy — the outcrop I am referring to (for now) as “my Cailleach Bhéara” — a gift from the Hag of Winter herself.

But it is not yet stone. It was formed from the clay around her, on the ocean floor. It is impermanent, eventually crumbling as it ages or dries out, a reminder to me that life too is impermanent. All of us created from the clay of Mama Earth eventually will crumble too, returning to the rich soil from which we were formed.

So I will work with this impermanent stone as long as it wishes. And when it crumbles to dust, I will return it to the ocean.

I may have to return to that spot for a future hag stone. Why? Hag stone holes are formed in a couple of ways, either ground through tidal tossing / grinding with other stones or drilled by piddock (aka Angel wing) mollusks, bivalves whose shells resemble Angel wings. Where we found this clay hag stone is a protected area for piddocks!

Thank you, An Cailleach, for another life lesson!


Photo Credits:
Pic of piddock “Angel wing” clam from Wikipedia.
Pics of hag stone taken with my iPhone.

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