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The heART of Ritual


The Elf Stone

"The 'Elf-stone' (aka Elf-shot) is described as sharp, and with many corners and points, so that whichever way it falls it inflicts a wound on the animal it touches. Popular belief maintains that, the Elves received these stones from old Fairies, who wore them as breastpins at the Fairy court, and that the old Fairies received them in turn from Mermaidens. A ploughman in Ettrick Forest was said to have obtained an Elf-stone. While ploughing a field, he heard a whizzing sound in the air and, looking up, perceived a stone aimed at one of his horses. He drove on, and it fell by the animal's side. He stopped and picked up the stone but found its angles so sharp that they cut his hand as it lay there, though the weight of the stone was not one ounce." From 'Notes on the folk-lore of the northern counties of England and the borders' by William Henderson (1879)

Art by Marc Potts.


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