Thursday, 24 October 2019

Thunderstones


You and I would probably look at that stone in my hand and just know it's a Neolithic stone axe [not mine sadly...just one I was allowed to hold in the British Museum]. However, for a long time people revered them and attached all manner of folklore to them to explain their prevalence.

One of the conclusions drawn was that they were thunderbolts and that they buried themselves. They would reappear on the surface after seven years of rain. It was believed that they would protect a building against lightning and some examples have been found hidden in roofs. They were thrown into wells in Brittany to prevent drought and if you drank the water in which one had been boiled in Cornwall it would cure you of rheumatism. 

In Britain the worked stones were sometimes referred to as elfshot as it was thought that they were fired by elves or fairies to bewitch people and animals yet if you owned one they would protect you from the little people. Over time, as our understanding of the tools has increased, their mystique may have diminished a little, but to this day they retain a status as lucky stones. Us humans haven't quite shut the door on the world of talismen and superstition!

Arilx

6 comments:

  1. Ooh new folklore - I hadn't heard about them being thought of as buried thunderbolts. Thank you

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    1. I first came across mention of this in our local museum. Further reading turned up more details.
      Arilx

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  2. Would be good to find one in our flinty Suffolk fields - no luck yet.
    Meant to say those glass creations you featured yesterday were so beautiful

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  3. I WAS walking around with lots of little stones and fairies,angels ,semi precious rings,acorns,selenite,etc and sometimes when on holiday I'd swish them in a holy well.A few years ago I reduced this to wearing a tigers eye ring each day.I still do rosemary wafting though x

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    Replies
    1. I have a few special stones that I keep in my magic cupboard too. Arilx

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In the long gallery.

Lanhydrock house in Cornwall is a Jacobean marvel built in the 17th century. Tragedy struck in 1881 when a fire ripped through great swathes...