Moth and Toad Apothecary

Herbalism, self-sufficiency, and low-waste living

Rock Hunting: Hagstones and Geodes

I love rocks. I just never grew out of that “smooth rock goes in pocket” mindset. It started with smooth, milky pebbles and those flat river stones you can find near water. I still appreciate those rocks, but I’ve collected a fair few others over the years. Crystals of all kinds have overtaken my collection, but recently I’ve been running into two different kinds of stones: hagstones and geodes.

My hagstone collection

Hagstones have many names, including holey stones, adder stones, and witch’s stones. No matter what you call them, they’re made the same way: a slow and persistent stream of water and silt that eventually forms a hole through a stone, or by way of a special mollusk boring through them. They are most frequently found near moving water, but can also be collected from landscaping rocks outside of most buildings. They are riddled with folklore and are thought to hold special powers by many. Some say you can see faeries by looking through the holes, while others believe they hold a rare harmony of earth and water energy within them. Whatever you believe about hagstones, they certainly offer a novel appearance, and are quite fun to collect and share! I like to think my hagstones represent the power of persistence and patience, and can often work as little worry stones.

My first hagstone came from Ireland via a shop on etsy by Lila Strand (last one in the gallery). I had been looking for a hagstone but hadn’t found one yet, and I wanted one so badly. I love it! I wore it on a cord for a bit before adding it to my stash of shiny objects. I used a bit of hair oil on it to make it slightly shiny. Actually I touched it after using hair oil, but it looks cool so let’s pretend it was intentional. Over the past few months, I’ve found half a dozen of my own hagstones, and I treasure them. I gave one to a friend, lost another somehow, and have hoarded the rest. They’re not extremely rare or difficult to find, but there’s something special about finding them when they’ve gone unappreciated for so long.

Similarly underappreciated, geodes are typically found in similar spots as hagstones, turning up in front of banks and schools all over the world. Although they come to us as bumpy, misshapen stones with indentations all over, they can be broken open to reveal a hollow space full of beautiful crystal formations. I love to spot little ones no bigger than an inch. They’re so small and frankly adorable. I’ve had trouble finding them unbroken, so most of the ones I have are damaged or have less luster than others. I love to give these little geodes to my siblings because they’re sparkly and sometimes have a touch of colour. My favourite is on the purple side, somewhere between a smokey quartz grey and amethyst purple. These are easy to find where I live, in Missouri, but are harder to locate outside of prime geode hunting locations. They’re a lot of fun to look for, and when already broken, are pretty easy to spot!

These are two of the things I collect from nature without having a real reason. They make me happy, and I love looking at them and thinking about how they were made. Nature is beautiful, and I find joy in it!

What types of things do you collect from nature? Have you found any hagstones or geodes where you live? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to like, share, and follow if you enjoyed this post! I’ll see you guys later. Bye!

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