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Brad and Sherry Steiger

Please Visit his Official Web Site ~ edwardshanahan.com

Conscious Channeler Edward Shanahan



FAIRIES: The Cottingley Fairies

F r a n c e s   a n d   t h e  The Cottingley Fairies

Frances and the Flying Fairy

Also Fairy Rocks - Gnome Stones and Divinity Stones

The fairy is based on the fae of medieval Western European (Old French) folklore and romance. Fairies are often identified with related beings of other mythologies (see list of beings referred to as fairies). Even in folklore that uses the term "fairy," there are many definitions of what constitutes a fairy.

Sometimes the term is used to describe any magical creature, including goblins or gnomes: at other times, the term only describes a specific type of more ethereal creature

r Arthur Conan Doyle who was conned by a couple of schoolgirls and their amateur photographs of paper fairies (known as the "Cottingley Fairies") taken in their Yorkshire garden. The faked photos
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who was conned by a couple of schoolgirls and their amateur photographs of paper fairies (known as the "Cottingley Fairies") taken in their Yorkshire garden.

Claims of contact with fairies are numerous. In 1907 Lady Archibald Campbell interviewed an old blind man and his wife living in an Irish glen who claimed to have caught a fairy and kept it captive for two weeks before it escaped (see Occult Re-view, 6, no. 5, November 1907). A friend of the couple claimed he had seen fairies on the Hill of Howth at early morning, "little men about three feet high, riding on donkeys to scale." Around the same time a reporter on Irish radio interviewed a woman in the west of Ireland who had been "infested with fairies" for several weeks after cutting down a fairy thornbush. The thornbushes believed to be jealously cherished by fairies are still sometimes left undisturbed in Irish fields.

The most famous case of alleged fairy contact came in 1917, when Elsie Wright, age 16, and Frances Griffiths, 10, who lived in the small Yorkshire village of Cottingley, England, claimed they saw and played with fairies near a brook in the local countryside. No one believed them, so they borrowed a camera and produced photographs of their fairies. These pictures later came to the attention of the author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and became the basis of his book The Coming of the Fairies (1922). Doyle accepted the girls' story. The evidence for the genuineness of these photographs was quite strong, and a number of attempts were made to disprove them. Skeptics suggested a number of explanations (all of which proved wrong) and it was not until a thorough study of the photographs was made in the 1980s that the source and means of the hoax became known. Shortly before their deaths, the women admitted the hoax.

Doyle's book continues to be reprinted and circulated, primarily in theosophical circles. Many Theosophists became convinced of the truth of the girls' story after independent claims regarding the reality of the Cottingley fairies came from Theosophist Geoffrey Hodson, who visited the Cottingley glen with the two girls in 1921 and affirmed that he saw wood elves, gnomes, goblins, and other nature spirits.

In her book The Real World of Fairies (1977), theosophical leader Dora van Gelder, who grew up in Java, states that she played with fairies and later even saw them in New York's Central Park.

Other British psychics, including Vincent Turvey and Horace Leaf, also claimed to see fairies, and in 1927 the Fairy Investigation Society was formed in Britain to collate information on fairy sightings. The society eventually became inactive, largely as a result of unwelcome newspaper reports ridiculing the subject. Other organizations that take an interest in fairies include the Gnome Club of Great Britain and Gnome International.

Also see: Arthur Conan Doyle, Spiritualism, and Fairies http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/doyle.htm

Cottingley Fairies http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/Hoaxipedia/Cottingley_Fairies/



Fairies are generally portrayed as human in appearance and as having supernatural abilities such as the ability to fly, cast spells and to influence or foresee the future. Staurolite is also known as Fairy Crosses, piedra della croce meaning fairy cross by Italians, and lapis crucifer meaning cross stone by the Ancients. Staurolite is light tan to dark brown in color, the natural crystal form of this mineral forms 60-90 degree angles to each other, hence the cross form. One of the Religious Gemstones. Mystical Properties: Legend says the crosses were created by the tears of Fairies when they heard of Christ's Crucifixion. Others say the tears were for themselves, as Christianity signaled the downfall of their shrines.

The Cottingley Fairies

The State of Virginia has converted over five thousand acres of land into beautiful FAIRY STONE PARK, taking the name from this famous gem. Many thousands enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, horseback riding, and picnicking. Many modern cabins have been built for vacationists.

In much of the fairy lore, naturally formed holed stones hold a special importance to the fey. In much of the folklore a holed stone was believed to ward off the evil eye and work a special magic. These were usually large or small stones with a natural hole carved in them from rainfall or stream. the circular pattern often suggested the shape of the eye. Circular patterns of any kind were especially important to the ancients since circles and wheels were obvious symbols of the cosmic wheel, spinning, and the eternal.
Small stones were worn as a talisman around the neck to ward off bad fairies, witches, and a variety of boogie men. Sometimes these holed stones were placed over door ways or other thresholds as a bane against any evil doer. Large holed stones were seen as portals to the fairy realm of Siddhe (pronounced "she"). Also, these large stones were seen as passages to the womb of the Great Mother (Earth). the place of re-birth among the ancients.

Many of the smaller holed stones were used as spindle wholrs. And spinning, and weaving are also important elements on fairy and mythical lore with many ancient goddesses being weavers of fate. The famous story of Arachne-Mother to all Spiders, being just such a tale of magical spinning. My mother, a seamstress, always liked putting up spider decorations at Halloween for this reason. But I will write on cosmic weavers at another time.
At any rate the tine holed stones were sometimes placed under pillows and beds to ward off nightmares and other night terrors. Im certain that the ancients realized how hard it was to carve stone, that such naturally formed stones had to be magic.

Elsie Wright

Elsie Wright

n 1916/17 Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright, two young girls living in Cottingley, produced the most famous fairy pictures in Britain which are still talked about today.

The first photograph was taken in July 1917 and showed Frances with the fairies.

Frances and Elsie had been teased about their story of seeing fairies near Cottingley Beck. Elsie borrowed her father's quarter plate camera ,which he set to 1/50s at f/11 for her, and after some rudimentary instruction on how to operate it, she went off with Frances into the area where the beck ran among the trees behind the family home. An hour later they returned triumphant.

When Mr. Arthur Wright (one of the earliest qualified electrical engineers), and Elsie went into the dark room that evening to develop the plate, there were the fairies. Arthur asked what those bits of paper were doing on the picture?

The second photograph of the gnome resulted in the girls being banned from borrowing the camera again. The photographs were put away by Mr. Wright in a drawer as he considered them to be pranks. (Mrs. Wright was convinced of their authenticity.)

In 1918 Frances wrote to her friend Johanna Parvin in South Africa and enclosed a copy of the photograph. On the back of the photo she had written 'Elsie and I are friendly with the beck fairies. Funny, I never used to see them in Africa. It must be too hot for them there. The letter from Frances ran thus: '. . . all think the war will be over in a few days, we are going to get our flags to hang up in our bedroom. I am sending you two photos, both of me, one is me in a bathing costume in our back yard, uncle Arthur took that, while the other is me with some fairies up the beck, Elsie took that one. Rosebud is as fat as ever and I have made her some new clothes. How are Teddy and dolly?' In her letter to Johanna, Frances was more interested in talking about the war and her dolls and the photo with the fairies was given but scant and matter of fact reporting. As if seeing fairies was to her an every day occurrence of little importance.

Three years later Mrs Wright went to a folklore lecture in Bradford with a friend. This lecture included references to fairies and following the lecture in conversation with her friend mentioned the fairy pictures. They were overheard by a friend of Edward Gardner, a leading theosophist, and Edward asked to see them.

Fred Barlow, a leading authority on psychic photography, commented to Gardner in June 1920 - 'I am inclined to think, in the absence of more detailed particulars, that the photograph showing the four dancing fairies is not what it is claimed to be....' and in December 1920 - 'I am returning herewith the three fairy photographs you very kindly loaned to me, and have no hesitation in announcing them as the most wonderful and interesting results I have ever seen.'

Gardner sought a photographer who had the ability to examine the photographs fully and so it was that Harold Snelling came to his notice. He was informed that 'What Snelling doesn't know about faked photographs isn't worth knowing.' Snelling's considered judgement, in his letter to Edward Gardner of July 31 1920, was 'These two negatives are entirely genuine unfaked photographs of single exposure, open-air work, show movement in all the fairy figures, and there is no trace whatever of studio work involving card or paper models, dark backgrounds, painted figures, etc. In my opinion, they are both straight untouched pictures.'

Mr. Gardner asked Snelling to make contact positives and two lantern slides of the photographs. These lantern slides were shown by him at a lantern lecture at Mortimer Halls, London. Through this the photographs came to the notice of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
On hearing of Mr. Snelling's opinion, it was proposed, and agreed, that if the negatives survived a second expert's judgment, preferably Kodak's, then Edward Gardner and Conan Doyle should join forces and make the photographs a leading feature in the Strand article. Accordingly an appointment was made with Kodak's manager. They were received by Mr. West, the manager. His studio chief and two other expert photographers were also present. The negatives were examined by all at some length, and the results of the inspection were as follows, all agreeing.
(1) The negatives are single exposure.
(2) The plates show no sign of being faked work, but that cannot be taken as conclusive evidence of genuineness.
(3) Kodak's were not willing to give any certificate concerning them because photography lent itself to a multitude of processes, and some clever operator might have made them artificially.
(4) The studio chief added that he thought the photographs might have been made by using the glen features and the girl as a background; then enlarging prints from these and painting in the figures; then taking half-plate and finally quarter-plate snaps, suitably lighted. All this, he agreed, would be clever work and take time.
(5) A remark made by one was that 'after all, as fairies couldn't be true, the photographs must have been faked somehow.'

They came from Kodak's without a certificate. It was decided there and then that one of them would go to Yorkshire, interview the family in their home environment.

Edward Gardner then travelled to Cottingley and spoke to Mrs. Wright and Elsie, who answered his questions willingly and candidly. He spoke separately to Mr. Wright later the same day and found him to be of forthright speech and character and having a cheerful disposition. Mr Wright told Mr. Gardner that he had been so convinced at the time that the figures must be made of paper or something like paper, that while the children were out he searched their bedroom for some sign and he also searched the glen and waterfall. But in neither the house nor the glen did he find anything. Mr. Wright agreed to the Strand publication as long as proper names were not used. Sir Arthur had wished to make some monetary payment for this but Mr. Wright very firmly declined, saying that if the photographs were genuine they shouldn't be soiled by being paid for!

In 1920 The Strand magazine published an article entitled ";An Epoch Making Event - Fairies Photographed";, (the publication sold out within days), and so began a controversy which raged on the the following sixty-three years.

The articles in The Strand:
The Absolute Proof. November 1920, Vol. 60, pp. 439 - 445.
December 1920, Vol. 60, pp. 463 - 468. Doyle's acceptance and publication of pictures showing young girls photographed with fairies caused a sensation and great controversy.
March 1921, Vol. 61, pp. 199 - 206. More pictures attempting to prove the genuineness of fairies.- Fairies Photographed. The Cottingley Fairies.
February 1923, Vol. 65, p. 105- The Evidence for Fairies.

In 1921 Conan Doyle arranged for Geoffrey Hodson, a medium, to come to Cottingley, sit with the girls, in the hope that even stronger shapes would materialize. In August 1921 Mr Hodson reported seeing wood elves under some beech trees as well as dancing fairies in the field. These incidents are reported in his book 'Fairies at Work and Play'. He also states in his book 'I am personally convinced of the bona fides of the two girls who took these photographs. I spent some weeks with them and their family, and became assured of the genuineness of their clairvoyance, of the presence of fairies, exactly like those photographed, in the glen at Cottingly(, and of the complete honesty of all parties concerned.'

An 84-year old photographic archive relating to the celebrated Cottingley Fairies hoax photos has fetched £6,000 at auction - nearly twice as much as expected.

The collection of glass plates and other negatives, which fooled Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was bought by an unnamed buyer at the Bonhams & Brooks auction in London's Knightsbridge.

* 'Fairy' pictures fetch £6,000. BBC News (March 13, 2001).


Quotes from Periodicals at the time
South Wales Argus - November 1920 - 'The day we kill our Santa Claus with our statistics we shall have plunged a glorious world into deepest darkness' and a Welsh proverb was quoted 'Tis true as the fairy tales told in books.'
Yorkshire Post - 6 December 1920 - The Curious case of the Cottingley fairies
Truth Periodical - January 1921 - 'For the true explanation of these fairy photographs what is wanted is not a knowledge of occult phenomena but a knowledge of children.'
City News - January 1921 - 'It seems at this point that we must either believe in the almost incredible mystery of the fairy or in the almost incredible wonders of faked photographs.'
Westminster Gazette 12th & 21st January 1921 - No flaw has been found in the Cottingley Fairy story.
Cape Argus 25th November 1922 - Cape Town link in world controversy - startling sequel to an Argus article - remarkable letter in support of Sir A. C. Doyle. (5 column article followed including the following paragraph 'The plain fact surely is that, however sceptical you may be about the existence of fairies, the production of this letter written by Frances Griffiths, a former Cape Town girl, to Johanna Parvin, at Woodstock, in November 1918, is a valuable piece of evidence in support of Sir A. C. Doyle's story. And for this reason. It was not until 1920 that this photograph began to attract attention. Yet for two years before Sir Arthur had seen this photograph, a similar photograph had been lying at Woodstock, Cape Town, sent from one girl friend to another with far less comment than was displayed in writing about their several dolls! . . . Isn't the very intimate and insignificant detail of it, the very off-hand manner in which a world phenomenon is dismissed in a couple of lines - isn't all this the best kind of evidence possible that, two years before Conan Doyle ever started this controversy, Frances Griffiths believed implicitly in the existence of fairies: so implicitly indeed as to discuss them with no more surprise or emphasis than she discussed her dad, her dolls, and the war? '

Folklore Volume 84 1973 - Article by Stewart Sanderson 'The Cottingley Fairy Photographs: A Re-Appraisal of the Evidence'
Folklore Volume 86 1975 - Article by Leslie Gardner - Notes on Mr S F Sanderson's Presidential Address, 21 March 1973, on 'The Cottingley Fairy Photographs'
Cottingley Photos - Winged Ufonauts - by Robert Sheaffer 1977 'The Skeptic'

Did they see fairies and that the fifth photograph, which showed fairies in a sunbath,  they stated was genuine.[

The cousins remained evasive about the authenticity of the pictures for most of their lives, at times claiming they were forgeries, and at other times leaving it to the individual to decide. In 1981, in an interview by Joe Cooper for the magazine The Unexplained,[3] the cousins stated that the photos were fake; they had held up cut-outs with hatpins. Frances Way (nee Griffiths), however, continued to maintain until her death in July, 1986 (Elsie died in April, 1988) that they did see fairies and that the fifth photograph, which showed fairies in a sunbath, was genuine.[

Elsie and Frances interrogated

For fifty years Elsie managed to avoid publicity, then in 1971, BBC TV's Nationwide programme took up the case. For 10 days she was interrogated, taken back to Cottingley and interviewed.

Elsie: I didn't want to upset Mr. Gardner… I don't mind talking now…

(Mr Gardner had died the year before)

Elsie: I would swear on the Bible father didn't know what was going on.

Interviewer: Could you equally swear on the Bible you didn't play any tricks?

Elsie (after a pause): I took the photographs… I took two of them… no, three… Frances took two…

Interviewer: Are they trick photographs? Could you swear on the Bible about that?

Elsie (after a pause): I'd rather leave that open if you don't mind… but my father had nothing to do with it I can promise you that…

Interviewer: Have you had your fun with the world for 50 years? Have you been kidding us for 10 days?

(Elsie laughs.)

Elsie (gently): I think we'll close on that if you don't mind.

More objective was Austin Mitchell's interview for Yorkshire Television in September 1976. On the spot where the photographs had allegedly been taken, the following dialogue took place:

Mitchell: A rational person doesn't see fairies. If people say they see fairies, then one's bound to be critical.

Frances: Yes.

Mitchell: Now, if you say you saw them, at the time the photograph was taken, that means that if there's a confidence trick, then you're both part of it.

Frances: Yes–that's fair enough–yes.

Mitchell: So are you?

Frances: No.

Elsie: No.

Frances: Of course not.

Mitchell: Did you, in any way, fabricate those photographs?

Frances: Of course not. You tell us how she could do it, remember she was 16 and I was 10. So, then, as a child of 10, can you go through life and keep a secret?

The Yorkshire Television team, however, believed the cardboard cutout theory. Austin Mitchell with a row of fairy figures before him set against a background of greenery. He flicked them around a little.

"Simple cardboard cutouts" he commented on the live magazine programme. "Done by our photographic department and mounted on wire frames. They discovered that you really need wire to make them stand up–paper figures droop, of course. That's how it could have been done."

The critics were Lewis of Nationwide, Austin Mitchell of Yorkshire TV, James Randi, and Stewart Sanderson and Katherine Briggs of the Folklore Society.

F. W. Holiday in his book The Dragon and the Disc likens the appearance of the Cottingley gnome to that of Icelandic Bronze Age figures, and William Riley, the Yorkshire author, puts the five fairy pictures into perhaps the most relevant context:

I have many times come across several people who have seen pixies at certain favoured spots in Upper Airedale and Wharfedale.


1. ^ The Unexplained, Volume 10, Issue 117, page 2338.
2. ^ The Unexplained, Volume 10, Issue 116, page 2319.
3. ^ The Unexplained, Volume 10, Issue 117, page 2338-2340
4. ^ The Unexplained, Volume 10, Issue 117, page 2339.

* Klein, Andy (October 23, 1997). Fairy, Fairy, Quite Contrary. Phoenix New Times.

* 'Fairy' pictures fetch £6,000. BBC News (March 13, 2001).

* 'Fairy' fakes sell for fortune. BBC News (July 16, 1998).

* Science marks Piltdown forgery. BBC News (November 21, 2003).

Fairy Rocks And Gnome Stones

Sometimes it was believed the fairies had enchanted certain rocks with specific purposes. By intetion or by not knowing they did it in the first place.

Staurolite is a red brown to black, mostly opaque, nesosilicate mineral with a white streak. A special property of staurolite is that it often occurs twinned in a characteristic cross-shape. The macroscopically visible crystals are of prismatic shape. They are often larger than the surrounding minerals and are then called porphyroblasts.

The name is derived from the Greek, stauros for cross and lithos for stone in reference to the common twinning. Staurolite is a regional metamorphic mineral of intermediate to high grade. It occurs with almandine garnet, micas, kyanite and other metamorphic minerals.

It is the official state mineral of Georgia.

May the charms of the Fairy Stone make you blessed
Through the days of labor and nights of rest
Where ever you stay, where ever you go,
May the beautiful Flowers of the good Fairies Grow.

The Staurolites, better known as "fairy stones" are found at Blanchard Dam. Take Hilton Road (approximately 8.6 miles) to 68th Street (take path at the Dead End road). These "Fairy" or "Lucky" stones are twinned staurolite crystals simulating the Roman, Maltese and St. Andrew's crosses. They are as much as an inch in length and are of dark brown color. The original staurolite mineral has changed to a compact softer material, so that the stones can be readily pared for jewelry trade.

Sometimes called Gnome Stones -{ Depending on what state or country your in } These stones are much sought after as good luck pieces, charms, lavalliers and natural curiosities. Every stone is in some shape of a cross, and millions of people are now wearing them in various forms of jewelry. Healing Properties: Thought to reduce stress, detoxify and stimulate the immune system.

Scientific Properties: Composed of an Iron Aluminum Silicate, it is found in schists and gneisses, or low-medium grade metamorphic rocks, i.e., Staurolite is grown under regional metamorphic pressure. It is easily identifiable by it's twined crystals (cruciform twins) in metamorphic rocks and by it's hardness (much harder than glass) and glassy luster.

Nice crystals are found in Fanin and Cherokee counties, Georgia. Also found near Taos, New Mexico and in Russia. Staurolite is about 4 times heavier than water. Hardness: 7-7.5 on the Moh's Hardness Scale

Genuine Staurolite crosses are quite rare and expensive. True Staurolite easily scratches glass, is often associated with Garnets and Mica. When well cleaned of Mica and Garnets, (which can require some real elbow grease), the gemstone will have a somewhat glassy appearance. Most commercially offered Staurolite crosses are fakes--easily carved or pressed from other stones, such as granite or clay.

Some Staurolite crosses are Staurolite ground up and then reshaped (like a Pringles potato chip) into a cross shape--then sold as Staurolite Crosses. While these are Staurolite Crosses, they are not naturally occuring! In general, if the Staurolite Cross is perfect in appearance and inexpensive, you can bet it's not real.

Fairy Stone State Park, the largest of Virginia's six original state parks, is home to its namesake "fairy stones." These rare mineral crosses and the park's scenic beauty, rich history and ample recreational opportunities make it a local and regional favorite. The 4,537 acres that make up the park were donated by Junius B. Fishburn, former owner of the Roanoke Times, in 1933. The Civilian Conservation Corps originally created the park, its lake and many structures still in use there.

The rare staurolite stones are found elsewhere but not in such abundance as at Fairy Stone State Park. For more information, please visit www.stonecrossmountain.com.

Fairy Stone State Park, located in Patrick County, Virginia, is the largest of the original six state parks that opened on June 15, 1936, and is home to the mysterious "fairy stones." The park's cross-shaped, namesake stone is prevalent in the region, which also features beautiful scenery, rich history and ample recreational opportunities. The park's land was donated in 1933 by Junius B. Fishburn, former president of the Southwest Virginia Trust Co. and former owner of the Roanoke Times. The park is 4,868 acres, making it the largest of the six original parks and one of the largest to this day. The park, its lake and many structures still in use were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

It is well known that the late ex-President Theodore Roosevelt and ex-President Wilson, Thomas A. Edison, Colonel Charles Lindbergh, and many other prominent people of this country as well as some of the crown heads of Europe and prominent officers and men in the European War carried one or more of these little lucky pieces tucked snugly away about them.

Fairy Crosses are probably the most tangible, myth-legend in Fannin County, Georgia. They are referred to as crosses due to their shape. The mineral name for "fairy crosses" is staurolite. The staurolite is considered to be the Georgia state mineral.

The legend of "fairy crosses" have come down through history from the first meeting of John Smith and Pocahontas, which states that the Indian Princess gave John Smith a good luck charm necklace made out of a "fairy cross". It's also known that President Theodore Roosevelt carried an amulet made from a "fairy cross".

Locally there are two popular tales concerning the "staurolite". One states that "staurolite" or "fairy crosses" are the tears of the Cherokee, who wept over the loss of their homeland during the exodus on the "Trail of Tears". The other tale stems from an older legend concerning an ancient race of mountain fairies. This second tale tells of the fairies getting together at their favorite meeting place for dancing and gaiety, only to find out during one rendezvous some 2000 years ago, that the Son of the Great Creator died upon a cross. So moved by the loss of one so great in the spirit world, the fairies were crushed in heart and cried. As they wept, their tears fell to the ground and were crystallized into what we know as "fairy crosses".

What do we technically know about "fairy crosses"? Well, no two fairy crosses ever found are alike. There are three types. The Maltese Cross is a well formed, perfectly even cross, most difficult to find and highest prized by collectors. The second is the Saint Andrews' Cross, a more common find, with the angled line through the cross instead of a horizontal line. Third is the Prismatic Cross, easiest and more commonly found, a less than perfect shape but crossed just the same. There have also been finds of very rare six point crosses. No matter what tale agrees with you most, staurolite is becoming scarce due to its popularity.

This information was compiled by the Little Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau, taken from several sources. www.littlefallsmn.com/CrossRocks.php


Divinity Stones or Holy Stones

This is a special "healing stone" that is charged to draw negativity to it. Hagstones are stones that have a hole running all the way through them, and are usually found in streams or rivers, and at the seashore, where running water has created the hole in the stone.

This may be one of the reasons why they are considered so powerful, as it is a common belief that magic cannot work on running water, and these stones have been holed by running water and so retain that influence of protecting from magic. A Hagstone Hagstones are also known as Holy Stones, Holey Stones, Epilates Stones, Wish Stones, Nightmare Stones and Witch Riding Stones.

They were ascribed with the power of protecting people and animals from the powers of evil spirits and witches, and were often worn around the neck, or hung on the key or door to the cattle stalls or stables. Hagstones were also thought to have the property of preventing milk curdling during a thunderstorm, when evil spirits were most active. This practice continues today in parts of Britain and Europe. In some parts of Europe farmers milked their cows so that the milk passed through a Hagstone.

An Arabic custom was to tie a Hagstone around the neck of young camels to protect them from evil spirits and the evil eye. In some parts of Britain Hagstones were fastened to the bows of boats to keep them safe when at sea.

An interesting custom was the use of Hagstones as pledge stones, being held to ensure a person was telling the truth. Perhaps the most interesting properties a Hagstone was thought to possess were the ability to enable the bearer to see the faerie folk, and be warded from their enchantments. Hagstones found at mounds or other such sites were considered especially powerful. For a Hagstone to keep its full power it was supposed to be found by the bearer or given in love.

Larger Hagstones were used for weather magic, having a cord threaded through the hole and tied, and then being swirled vigorously around the head at arms length for dispelling winds and rain clouds.

As wish stones, they were held in the palm of the left hand, and rubbed with the thumb in a deosil (clockwise) manner whilst concentrating on the intent of the wish (this technique was also used with pieces of amber). We can see this as a technique of creative visualization, using the repetitive rubbing to focus the mind and then concentrating on the desired result (the "wish").

It is interesting to note that although the left hand is used to hold, this was probably not for its "sinister" aspect, but rather so that the rubbing could be done with the dominant (for most people), more "positively aspected" right hand. This is reinforced by the fact that the rubbing is done deosil, i.e. sunwise, in an invoking manner to invoke the desired result. Holed stones with multiple holes in were used as spell casting stones by medieval witches. The holes would be made in a stone, equidistant and in multiples of three. A cord or pebble would be passed through the holes in patterns of three, whilst the intent of the spell was repeated, usually in multiples of three. This type of spell emphasises a belief in the power of repetition to achieve a desired result.

The Newark Holy Stones are a set of artifacts discovered near Newark, Ohio by David Wyrick in 1860. These stones were discovered within a cluster of mounds and other earthworks just south of Newark, which is now regarded as the Hopewellian culture. The first of these stones was excavated in June 1860 by Wyrick with the help of his teenage son, and was named "The Newark Keystone," due to its shape resembling a keystone. Unlike the plethora of artifacts found in this region, the keystone was inscribed with Hebrew lettering containing one phrase on each side:

Holy of Holies
King of the Earth
The Law of God
The Word of God

Wyrick presented this as evidence proving his theory that "The Lost Tribes of Israel" were the true moundbuilders, not the indigenous peoples of the region. The second holy stone discovered by Wyrick in November of the same year was found ten miles south of Newark at the Great Stone Mound. Wyrick, accompanied with a small group of men, came across a stone with a condensed Hebrew inscription of the Ten Commandments which surrounded a picture of a human figure described by Wyrick as none other than Moses. This became known as the Decalogue Stone due to its inscription of the Ten Commandments and was used to further prove his theory of the presence of The Lost Tribes.

These artifacts seemed to verify Wyrick's theory of the origins of the Moundbuilders, but many questions arose concerning their validity upon closer inspection. After the Keystone was deemed a genuine find by local authority, more knowledgeable experts found the inscriptions consistent of a modern style of Hebrew writing which is conflicting with its alleged date of 431 B.C. The "Lost Tribes of Israel" would have used the pre-Exilic "Old Hebrew" alphabet, rather than the post-Exilic or "Square Hebrew" alphabet adopted in the time of Ezra by the Jews. Due to arising speculation, outside experts wished to view the object first hand. Wyrick made the trip to Cincinnati on July 17 where the allegations were further verified, in addition to the inscription issues the keystone was said to be much too fresh and was not stained in accordance to its alleged dating. By fall 1860 the keystone was defined a crude hoax.

There is some speculation as to who made the stones, one would assume Wyrick created them in order to prove his theory, yet some feel otherwise. In 1861 Wyrick published a pamphlet which describes his account of the discoveries; it included woodcuts of the inscriptions found on the stones. When comparing Wyrick's woodcuts of the Decalogue to the actual inscription found on the stone Wyrick made 38 or more errors out of the 256 Hebrew letters, in which he either made a legible letter illegible, even omitting some letters. Some believe that whoever created the stone had an imperfect knowledge of the language, and given that Wyrick made this many errors in addition, proves he had a far worse understanding, and therefore could not be the author. In addition to that, his woodcut of Moses presented similar inconsistencies. Wyrick's Moses is wearing a beret instead of a turban and is also in a 19th century dress, not a flowering robe as shown on the stone. Beverley H. Moseley, Jr., former art director of the Ohio Historical Society, has compared the carving of Moses on the stone to Wyrick's woodcut copy. It is his opinion as a professional artist that the same person could not have made these two images. Whether or not these inconsistencies were intentionally done by Wyrick to disprove his involvement is unknown, yet after his death Conol Charles Whittlesely published a paper in which he discovered personal items such as a Hebrew Bible, engraving tools, and some black rock were found suggesting his involvement in the hoax.

Stephen Williams, Fantastic Archaeology. Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1991, pp. 167-75.
Charles Whittlesey. Archaeological Frauds: Inscriptions Attributed to the Mound Builders. Three Remarkable Forgeries. Western Reserve Historical Society Historical & Archaeological Tract #9, 1872.


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