A Quirin (also quirus) is in folklore, a stone said to have the powers of a truth serum and highly valued by witches and magicians. When placed beneath a pillow, the quirin causes a person to talk in his sleep and confess his “rogueries.” The stone allegedly is found in the nests of either the lapwing or the hoopoe, two Old World species of birds often confused in earlier centuries.
The lapwing, a species of plover, exists in Europe and Asia, while the hoopoe, related to the kingfisher, lives in Europe, Asia and Africa. Both are crested but they are differently colored: the lapwing is predominantly gray and white, while the hoopoe is orange-gold, black and white.
The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca – written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 1989, 1999, 2008 by Visionary Living, Inc.