May 19, 2013

The cult of stones

 Although nowadays tad bit forgotten  ,  stones  of all kind, not just gems and minerals, but “plain ole” stones played  amazingly important role in magick.   The magick of stones was based on their grounding and centering power, and  ability to focus, and If need be, restrain or format  extremely large amounts of energy. Like conductors and tanks, catalysts,  of a  kind ,  that can  store energy and create energy fields in between one another.    
Poulnabrone dolmen in Burren, Country Clare Irelan, a "gate between the worlds"

We can divide the stones of power ( in magick and occultism ) in two main groups If You ask me

1)     Natural stones – stones that were not processed by human, rather only by nature, If larger those stones are even  often fixed  for the surface,  and can be considered   places of power, thresholds in their own proprietary way.  Example would be  large hollowed stones  formations  , such as those commonly found at Northern Sea shores, or Mountains etc. Smaller, free examples  would be  thumbed  and naturally polished river stones, holey stones ,  arrow point looking  sharp stones etc.

2)     Processed stones – any stone material   affected  and modulated  by human factor,  from simple inscription to hewing  and  sculpting. Anything from stones inscribed with runes,  to stone temples and dolmens etc ( plenty of examples can be found  later in the text  )

Mountains,  rocks , cliffs , large stones, metamorphic stones,  even manmade megaliths, stone sanctuaries, and even watermill rotating stones, throughout history have been cultic places of power, and  magickal thresholds   .  And then, small stone pieces, wonderfully shaped and nourished by nature, have always been objects of power , amulets , charms, talismans and what else not.

Seemingly barren, stones were considered even life inspiring in some cultures , and were used in healing infertility or preventing infants from getting sick and dying,  in older times ,  when such events were  not a rarity.  Large hollow stones, and other,  were particularly good for this.

Mountains , as large stones in essence, in some culture even  represent embodiment of deities and all sort of spirits. Which is the case  in Shinto  tradition/s, with spirit/s embodie d in mountain Fuji, a cultural and spiritual hotspot of Japan.[1]   Navajo Indians even have separate mountain chains that represent male and female spirit, so for example the body of the female spirit is the valley before the mountain Navajo, that makes the head of the spirit.

Mountains , as lifted places, places that “aspire” to reach the Heavens, ascend towards them are holy places , reserved in most of the  world’s religions  and traditions, as a Holy place, a sacred space for contacting and communing with the Divine.  Moses had to climb the mountain Sinai in order to receive the  ten commandments.  Carefully shaped, carved and molded through time, mountain chains represent chronological and mineral treasuries of great spiritual value.

Stones may also reserve and collect water,  accumulate heat or cold, generate or help generate minerals, and in regards  to those, have various planetary and other kind of influence associated to/ with them.   They have some similar symbolic ties to the trees, that also correspond to the Element of the Earth , but are less dense and permanent , but alive and  hence representative of life circles ,  and stones on the other hand ,  symbolize stillness, and  nearly eternal.   Stones take part of many myths , and early philosophies, such as that of Plato’s “Cave” , or cosmology tales , example of which being  Omphalos. Omphalos , also known as “navel stone” , in ancient Greeks was believed to denote the center of the physical world, as such stones were erected in several areas surrounding Mediterranean  sea.  Allegeldy their position was determined by eagles sent by deity Zeus. Among the most famous of such stones was the  one at the oracle in Delphi. Jerusalem, that was widely believed to be “navel of the world” once ( and still is hold  as spiritual navel of the world even today , by many ) holds an omphalos stone of a kind , in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  [2]

Another important stone, we commonly can hear about  is The Foundation stone, which becomes the referent point of all the other stones of certain structure. It’s a Masonic concept really, that had came to be one of the most mundane, a-religious rituals   of all. I mean presidents do it all the time ;) and we know how much spiritual they are lol

Megaliths and phallic  stones of Britain, France and Easter island Head’s are examples of stones which had undergone some anthropogenic  modification, meaning they were moved, erected and/or sculpted ( processed ) by humans.   Easter Island head sculptures Maoi, most likely represent  spirits of reverend ancestors , while the ones with typically long ears Moai-kava-kava  represent “ghost man of  the Hanau-epe” ( long ears ) [3]  Phalic stones of   United Kingdom and France, are often associated with  folk cult of fertility, and is therefore not uncommon ,  even nowadays to see women rubbing their  abdomen or even  intimate parts ( ? :S ? )  on the stones, as a simple form of folk fertility ritual, or  curing  infertility ritual. Perhaps one of the most popular megalith stone formation  worldwide is Stonehenge , which is said to be over 4000 years old, judging by traces of human factor processing some of the megaliths.  Stonehenge is built on one of the major Uk  ley line, and was ( according to most accepted theories ) erected  to  celebrate Summer and Winter Equinoxes,  for the last rays of Sun on the shortest and longest day of the year would illuminate specific parts of opposite sides of Stonehenge’s circle.  

Dolmens and Shadowed stones

Stones , probably due to their association with eternal and afterlife , had   always played an important role in funerary rites and rites of passage .   Stone were in various European culture, since the proto-European times considered to have power to “absorb” or even house a ghost , a spirit of the deceased men, and such stones would often be referred to as “shadowed”  stones. Anthropologists  suggest that this  very belief could have been  what eventually gave birth to tombstones as we know them today. Some stones are used in folkloric rituals to set lights ( candles ) on them,   for deceased ones, when that may incubate the dreams of the living, and may thus , become shadowed due to anthropogenic   influence ( human factors ) , for such ritual was supposed to draw, “petrify” the ghost of the individual and bind it to the stone for as long as they do not decide to “move on”.  African people also believe that large stones contain souls of their ancestors and beloved ones.

View from  "Grianan of Aileach" and part of the circular
wall formation
A nice example of what I referred as “processed stone”, near the  beginning of this article, is Grianan of Aileach  , a group of historic monuments in County Donegal in Ireland, formed  as a ringfort, with three concentric rings surrounding it.  It is believed to originate from 6th or 7th Century  AC [4]   , however  it is widely speculated that it could be much  older, at least in form of stone circles that once used to be common in Europe,  forming out-of-door , open  temples. Hence  such formations were ( and still are  sometimes ) believed to be marking sacred spaces of great energy, where stones had the role of constricting and fixing the natural energy or the place , as well as indicating  the reach of given energy “field”. 

Another example of “processed” stones, that played important role in  funerary rites, and were associated with spirits are dolmen, also known as portal stone, or portal grave.  It’s a type of  megalithic ,  single chamber tomb, consisting of three or more upright stones  supporting one large, capstone, or flat stone table, covering them.  They were often covered with earth or smaller stone, so to form a barrow, but the  time has  caused those  to depart , for most of such formations  predate names we used to describe them . Most of them are from Neolith ( 4000-3000 BC ) [5]  A very nice examples can be  found throughout Europe , for example in dolmen in Burren ( Poulnabrone dolmen , County Clare )  in Ireland.

In Egypt , stones associated with death and  tombs were most often  “processed” , or men-made sort of saying. Such example would be pyramidion   [ 6]  which was placed atop of the pyramide,  often covered with  gold ( so it could reflect the light of the Sun ) and inscribed with magickal or religious texts and symbols. Stones associated with death and afterlife in Ancient Egypt can be seen in small stone figurines, and statuettes placed in the tombs of the deceased with all sort of different uses.  Typical examples would be small marble figurines with blue glaze ( fayas, or fayans )  representing fertility and supposedly helping  to “revive” the dead [7]  Another prominent example being funerary figurine Ushabti  , also called  shabti They were used from the Middle Kingdom (around 1900 BC)  [8]  which sometimes would resemble mummies s, and were believed to come alive inside the tomb, to serve the deceased in what they may need.

Stones in Slavic myth, culture and folklore

All of the above said and  mentioned pretty much  goes also  for cult of Stone of Eastern people ( Slavic ).  Some were however, more “popular” than other . Here are some commonly found in Slavic myth, some originating and dating back to Celts, and even Proto-european times

·         Alem stone (  originally from Turkish, “alem” or “halem” )  -   was a mythical stone, present in folklore of primarily Turkish and Muslim Diaspora of Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia . The stories that describe it differ and vary depending on specific   place, and specific person told. The stories of it are often embellished with fantastic details, some probably just being cunning “upgrade” of the tradition. It is supposed to be a Stone associated with Alem-bird ( or. “ptica alemperka” )  a magickal bird that radiates solar energy, reads thoughts and is capable of speaking and understanding human languages. Most   written records identify Alem-stone with  Garnet, which  would make a lot of sense.  For both alem-stone and  Garnet, are believed to be associated with the Sun, and both serve , particularly in jelwery and in chaplets, rosaries and other, to protect from evil eye, crossings, black magick and evil spirits, as well as to help “all  petitions be heard” when held in hands or worn as jewelry while petitioning.  Slavic people  have always held Alem-stone as empower-er of the warriors and hunters, which is another tie to the Garnet .  Garnet is also often used on Cross pendants, where the five stones were used, marking so symbolically Christ’s Holy Blood, and  thereby forming an amulet / relic of untold powers in hand of  faitful folk. 

·         Stand-alone-stone ( my best attempt to translate , while still capturing the essence of “kamen stanac” term , used in Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Croatia for this particular stone ) – is another example of stone that falls under “natural stones” category I’ve been  referring to through this text. It is simply a lonely large stone that appears somewhere, where seemingly no stones should be, such  as clearings, woodland groves, meadows and such. So it’s larger, higher lonely stone, whose one side is often flattened, and large enough to sit on.  Standing on such stone, and shooting and arrow , was alleged to   secure hitting the aim. Such stones are believed to held the mysterious power to  stop the strake of miscarriages in women, or stop their children from dying young. For some reason, this was not a rare occurrence up until not so long ago, in remote parts of Balkan peninsula. We could  theoreticize on why, however the folk would not care, as they had the  cure. Water poured on such stone and the collected in a vessel as it drips down , was much like in the case of megaliths believed to cure   bareness , and in this case also repels evil spirits, If they torment one.  

·         Large hollowed stones – stones occurring with a hole in them naturally, were  believed to possess curative, healing and uncrossing  properties, activated upon passing through the hole three times, or placing hand of head in it three times. For prosperity, small metal currency was thrown through the hole, or the stone was sprinkled with seeds in the nights when the Moon would rise.   Gazing through them would often enable seeing invisible, and sending messages to people who  were at point otherwise unreachable. Such stones w ere considered to be sacred and dear to Fae in Russia and Balkan, also in Western Europe.  

·         Crossroad pile stones – are simple  medium size ( hand held size ) stones  commonly seen at some crossroads in Slavic countries. They are simply  leftovers of a ritual, in which community members will throw a stone cursing a person who had done the community great evil and got away with it . Bypasers were know to contribute ,  regardless of not knowing details, for this was believed to be done only   in order to harm very dangerous criminals, tyrants and so on. Piled stones would serve here something like ancient Roman curse tablets.  Just that, instead of inscribing the stones with barbarous names, curses and curse words in general were spoken upon throwing the stones  on a pile, while directing  them, at loud and mentally to the “victim”


Stones in Bible

Stones are mentioned in Bible various times, representing  all sort of things, being symbolic to many things. They marked the place where people  Hebrews came to Jerusalem, and where the Jordan was temporarily dried up, so they can pass, the stones represented foundations, corner stones, base of given building, structure or temple, an obstacle,  and so on.

The stone was used to make vows apparently, as we see in Genesis  28-18:22 [9]:

So early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of the city was Luz at the first. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.”

Stones also prominently represent obstacles, or blockages, also a heart that is not open  and is a stone heart

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”  Ezekiel  27:22

“He has blocked my ways with blocks of stones; he has made my paths crooked.” Lamentations 3:

The Lord Christ is often compared to cornerstone,   foolishly neglected by those profane and shallow, he had become the cornerstone of the humanity and the world:

“This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.” Acts 4:11

“Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” “ Matthew 21:42- 44

Moses strikes water from
the rock
Thought the stone is dry and seemingly lifeless , through G’d’s will and His Divine aid, Moses made it produce water  by simply touching it with his staff

“I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel.” Exodus 17:5-7 [9]

The stone that concealed tomb of Lord Christ was rolled over by an Angel, despite it’s  heaviness and density, and sat on it, which can be seen as triumph of intangible over tangible, and freedom from  death.

And since this is a practical  blog  after all, just a few simple spells to illustrate how the stones can be used in magick:

Stone evil eye removal , traditional Balkan witchcraft spell   

The following spell/folk ritual is  well known is certain parts of Bulgraia, Serbia, and Roamnia.   The spell employs power of smooth rounder river stones to destroy the effect of glance of malice, or evil eye. Now I apologize for the given incantation, I translated it as to stay true to the actual version , hence the use of inappropriate words. You  need to understand that the cunning folk In remote parts of Balkan are not  terribly concerned  with etiquette and such, and are more “down to Earth” than  the urban practitioners  

Some versions of ritual require three  simple beeswax, or pure white candles lit on the altar, or the table where  will be working spell, others versions do not mention candles. What You will  require is  a  white, rounded river pebble,  place it on a table, altar, in front of You, and while You touch it with thumb and    pointing finger of both hands at the same time say the following incantation three times:

“Came flying white bird, from  white sea,
Carrying white milk, in white beak,
Poured it on a white stone,
Broke and died the white stone,
Broke and died who evil-eyed  ( N.N. , me )
If they’re male, may his ba*l crack,
If they’re  a women, may her  t*t  ( bo*b ) crack
If they’re  a girl, may her hair fall out all other to laugh at her!”

The ritual is done each morning or evening, at approximately same time, each day until the relief comes, three weeks most, although the    relief in almost every occasion comes already after the first time performing the ritual.

The spell will also cause  person who casted evil eye upon the victim to be made known,  by becoming troubled  and illed suddenly, and sometimes even come and apologize if they did it willingly. [10]

Hagstone  second sight spell

Have a hagstone ready for Samhain, Beltaine or Summer Equinox.  Dip it in ( day prior ) in an infusion of Mugwort, Lavender, Thyme and Eyebright, mixed.  Expose it to Moonlight, more so If crescent.  Bless it with words:

“To see what dwells in shadow and between very fine
May kind spirits bless this magickal  stone of mine”

You could use any other words You see befitting. I just came up with the above, as an example.  Also, alternatively You could make the  above suggested infusion into an oil and dress the stone  , on a regular base If You wish so even  J

 Hugstone charm against nightmares

 You can hang hugstone ( or a holey stone ) above Your bed on a string, along with few feathers of black hen to fence of Nightmares. Prior to hanging it, bless the charm by sprinkling it with some Holly  water and reading Psalm 91st and 125th over  it.  Can substitute conventional dream-catcher , and will also make a very good protection charm.

 Bath to help cure bareness, ease birth and preserves newborn

Bring  a vessel containing spring water , form three different springs , and place it   on a “stand-alone stone” ( see what that  is , in the text earlier ) on the night of the Full Moon.  Then , in the morning pour  some on the stone and catch as much as You can of it,  back into the  vessel ( let’s say a glass jar ) . Also scrape just a tiny bit of then stone into the water, and leave some bread  or fruits nearby , as a tribute and sign of respect. The charged water is then used in baths to help cure bareness, ease birth, and stop miscarriages, and can be used to repel  ghosts.

Increase Your fortune

Find a larger hugstone or holey stone , and during the  period when the Moon grows,  throw some  seeds, some soil and a coin through the hole while saying:

With three I  have fed thee
And when the Moon full is shown
Let my fortune, in the time
Appears three times  larger grown  .

Or any suiting words alike. They don’t have to rhyme J  as a Hoodooist I rarely rhyme myself, but when I write spells, I try to write some from eclectic perspective so anyone could really use them, hence the rhyming

Sacrificial stone spell

It is customary in Eastern Europe, when two members    of the  same family die in less than month ( in some places year is the given framework ) to perform a  folk magick-type  ritual, or cast a spell  to prevent the “departure ” of the  third members as well. Similar is done in case when one of the identical twins die. Among  few methods, the one were the stone is used to substitute the presumable “next to fall”  , is very popular. 

The stone is ritually declared “brother” of the deceased and buried, either with the deceased or nearside, which  was followed by recital of  some appropriate incantation such as:

“This stone is brother to N.N.  and is therefore their dear one, take this stone along with N.N. and none else! May it be so in the name of the Lord”

In the case of the twins, the stone is  customary dressed in clothes of the living twin, sprinkled by some of  their blood or urine, and sometimes even a photo is attached, thought such is  obviously an invention of  a newer date.
Stone stacking  is a  dood meditative exercise, to build and strenghten patience,
devotion, power as well as   nice grounding tool
Hope You enjoyed the article and find it informative, all the best, and  many blessings
Shadow :)
NOTES: This article was composed and written by myself, so If You wish   to use any part of it elswhere   online, feel free but add  credits: Shadow of Shadows magick place , or  , or a direct link to this post
[1]  about Fuji and Navajo mountain , as stated by :   The Complete Encyclopedia of Signs & Symbols  and   Mark o Connell Raje Airey
[2] location of the stones, and  about Delphi’s omphalos , according to :
[5]  Dolmens are  considered to be old around 6000-7000 years ( by now ) , as stated on , however some  theories ( worth considering ) indicate , they might be even older
[6]  according to :   Joann Fletcher  in “Ancient Egypt”
[7] according to same source , listed   under [6]
[ 8] Ushabti are described this way at
[9] All the quotation used are retrieved from website ,  for explanatory purposes, without any ill will
[10] Translated and adopted from magazine “Lek I amajlija ( bakini recepti za srecu )” #90 , April 2013th edition, by Jasna Jojic Pavlovski   ( the magazine title lit. “Cure and amulet , Grandma’s recipes for luck” ) , the official website about the magazine : Same ritual can be found in authors book “Cuda Vlaske magije” ( “Miracle s of the magick of the Vlasi” )
IMAGE CREDITS: Dolmen image is from : used for educational purposes without any ill will, same goes for the image of Grinian of Aileach view point, which is from retrieved from Moses striking water from a rock is from : used  without copyrights infringement intention, for illustrative purposes. Finally, stacked stones image is from used for  illustrative purposes without any ill will. The poster with a Bible quote is done by myself, using Pixlr online image editor

No comments: