stones Stones are credited with many Magic, Healing and lucky properties. Semi-precious stones are used in Amulets to ward off the Evil Eye, illness and death, to bring the wearer good luck and fortune or to cure various ailments. Sardonyx and cat’s eye, for example, are considered protection against witchcraft, while coral wards off the Evil Eye and prevents sterility.
In folk magic, stones with certain shapes and characteristics are considered supernatural or lucky. Legend has it that Coinneach Odhar, a 17th-century Scottish seer, got his gift of second sight with the help of a stone with a hole in it. While cutting peat one day for a farmer, he stopped to take a nap and woke up with the stone on his chest. He looked through the hole and saw a vision of the farmer’s wife bringing him a poisoned meal. When the woman brought him his meal, he fed it to a dog, which died.
Stones with holes in them are female symbols and have been used in many fertility rites throughout history. In witch lore, a stone with a hole in it is a special sign of the favour of the goddess Diana and will bring the finder good fortune and luck. A round stone, large or small, is also considered lucky, but only if the finder recites an incantation and throws the stone in the air three times. To give such a stone away brings disaster upon the finder. In India, a holed dolmen has healing power.
In the Ozarks, a stone with a hole in it found in running water is especially lucky, to be collected and placed in a box beneath the front porch or doorstep. Oval or round stones found in parts of Ireland are called cursing stones and are turned counterclockwise (wIddershIns) in cursing spells. The famous Blarney Stone in southern Ireland, a four-foot block of limestone, was a gift of a witch, according to some legends. kissing the stone is believed to endow one with a great gift of oratory. The real origin of the stone is unknown. Another legend holds that the stone was brought to Ireland from the Holy Land.
Small stones or pebbles scattered about on a floor are said to prevent witches from entering a house. In cases of Demonic possession and Curses, hails of stones reportedly have rained down on the accursed, following
them wherever they go. The stones seem to come from nowhere, even raining down from ceilings inside rooms (see Lithoboly).
- Budge, E. A. Wallis. Amulets and Superstitions. 1930. reprint, New York: Dover Publications, 1978.
- Evans-Wentz, W. Y. The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries. 1911. reprint, Secaucus, N.J.: University Books, 1966.