They can be found in various places, usually by the sea, but this is not always the case. We live in a very sandy area of East Anglia that was once covered by the North Sea. We’ve found several over the years deep within the local forests, and those of you who have visited us will have seen we have them dotted around the house; this is because we use them for protection and also as part of our craft practise. If you’re lucky enough to find one, always ask the earth before you take its treasures and thank it when you’ve been told it’s okay. It’s actually illegal to take stones and rocks from the beach, since they’re all needed to keep erosion of the land at bay, so bear this in mind if you spot a hagstone on the beach.
During the unseasonably good weather, the Magister and I set off with our trusty hound, Astra, to enjoy a day at the seaside and the atmosphere was truly magical: it was balmy but slightly breezy on the beach and the sea was a long way out, so it took some trudging through damp sand to get to the shoreline. The sea was dead calm and topaz blue, as was the sky reflected in it, so you couldn’t see where the sea ended and the sky began. A slight haze covered the horizon, so the backdrop was seamless. Hairy tubular sea creatures, possibly sand mason worms, were in abundance in the sand at the water’s edge and you could hear them crinkle and crackle. It was a day that promised hopefulness and new beginnings somewhat earlier in the year than usual. We spotted very few hagstones that day.
Contrast that with last Friday: We returned to the East Coast again and the sky was gun metal grey, the sea brown and the wind immense! Walking along near the pier, the sea had slung large stones over the wall, which had landed on the promenade. The sea wasn’t far out , but it had deposited huge rocks up against the wall beneath the walk way, rocks of all shapes and sizes. This was a great reminder about the power and energy of the elements: earth energy had caused shifts beneath the waves; air energy had pushed the movement of the sea as the winds had carried the water forwards; water had been the physical push to get these rocks and stones so forcefully out of the sea and on to the land. Hagstones were abundant that day and could be seen everywhere.
We wear our hagstones on cords and, as well as them being for protection, they also remind us of the elements and how their combination makes everything work, from day to day existence to magic. It’s an aspect of the elemental energies that we need to harness when performing a working of any kind and it’s always essential to consider which element does what within a working so that its energy can be used in the most effective way to ensure that the power that is sent out contains the necessary boost for the best result. If you are merely drawing your compass and using the elements as little more than symbolic, you’re certainly missing a trick!
Julie Dexter and James Rigel