Mên-an-Tol : Madron – Cornwall, England
Mên-an-Tol, or “Stone of the hole” in Cornish (a Brythonic Celtic language), was centuries ago called the Devil’s Eye. Legend has it that faeries and trows (trolls; or drow, meaning ghost, spirits) could only be seen by looking through the ’eye’ of a holey stone.
Through the ages, locals have crept through the eye of the stone (nine times, against the sun) in search of a cure for pain or rheumatism. (The age of the stones are uncertain, but they are usually assigned to the Bronze age 3000 – 4000 years ago.)
Mên-an-Tol is renowned for curing many ailments, including lower back pain and particularly rickets in children, which has resulted in the local name of Crick Stone. Recent discovery of recumbent stones buried nearby indicates these three granite stones were once part of a stone-circle.
Holey stones are also called dian-stane from the Norse dynestein, meaning thunderstone. In Scandinavian folklore they are thought to fall from the sky during storms, hurdled by Thor at the heads of trolls to keep them in control, lest they overtake the land. Legend has it they will protect from lightning strike and as a result they were built into many farmsteads or hung from a string near the door for protection.
Once used to protect horses, holey stones were also thought to be sun stones, and were hung from the plough with horsehair when tilling fields in the spring. The stone was placed to face the sun while tilling - a blessing for bringing the return of warmth to the land. When the days work was done, the holey stone was returned to a nail in the stables to protect the animals therein.
Holed stones are often called Odin stones, a term rising from the Elder Edda. A wise giant, a travelling teacher named Kvasir was killed by dwarves, who then mixed his blood with honey to form the Mead of Poetry. A tiny sip of the magical mead would make anyone skáld eða frœðamaðr, (a poet and scholar).
Secretly, under the name of Bölverk, (fictitious names are Neptune ruled) Odin tilled the fields of the family who had hidden the magical mead in the mountain. Bölverk sought a taste of mead in payment for his work. When they would not allow Bölverk in the cave, he devised a plan. Odin convinced one brother to help him – Odin let him use the magical auger Rati to drill a hole through the stone into the cavern where the mead was guarded. Odin quickly transformed into a snake, entered the hole, and stole the mead for his people in Asgard.
Odin stones have been worn for protection against ill omens, lightning strike, snake venom and the evil eye. For an Odin to have power as an amulet, it cannot be bought or sold – it must be found and freely given.
Odin stones were revered by Druids, and are steeped in mythology and legends across the world. They are said to be windows into other worlds, living earth spirits. When peering through the hole on a full moon, the world of faerie and spirits can be seen. They represent the doorway between the physical and the spiritual, endowing the wearer with high psychic powers.
By historical accounts lovers would visit The Standing Stones o’ Stenness (called by some accounts the Temple of the Moon) where the woman would kneel and pray to the god, Wodden (Odin) that they would keep the vows they were about to make. The lovers would then walk one mile Northwest to the Ring o’ Brodgar (called by some the Temple of the Sun, pictured above) where the man would kneel in ritual prayer.
To finalize the oath, they would return to the Standing Stones o’ Stenness, to an area approximately 150 yards north of the ring of Stenness stones where the Odin stone once stood (since destroyed, artist rendering 3rd from the top). Clasping hands through the Odin stone, they would speak aloud their sacred vows to one another. Vows taken in this manner could not be broken.
One of my college buddies grew up in geode country and was very familiar with holey stones. She lived in what she called the magic cabin (It was - and it had geodes set into the rock foundation) and carried a holey stone on her keyring in case she lost them, saying, “you don’t find them, they find you”.
They are called Odin stones, seer stones, witch stones, faerie stones, holey stones, among many other things. They represent goddess energy manifest in stone, the Womb of the Earth, a symbol of the divine feminine.
American Indians call them Watai (a link between the visible and the invisible), the Lakota believe the stones are inhabited by the Inyan, the Stone People. The stone spirits pass along ancient knowledge, wisdom and strength of the ages. Just as all humans have an animal totem, they also have a stone ally.
To find your stone ally, be respectful of place, leave an offering, a gift to Gaia. Feel the energy of the stone as you hold it. Be aware of what emotions and thoughts drift in your mind’s eye as you make friends with the stone. Only you will know which stone is right for you. Follow your heart, trust your instincts.
Wodden, Wodan, Woden, Odin is the Anglo-Saxon god who hung from the world tree, Yggdrasil, for nine days to gain divine insight - which resulted in the Runic alphabet.
To find asteroids pertaining to the Norse God in your natal chart:
enter 2155 for Wodan ; Odin is 3989.
Score yet another Wowser moment for astrology. You don’t have to believe it for it to work, folks. I looked at my Wodan / Odin for the first time just before wrapping up this post. Odin in my natal dovetails into my 9th house Virgo stellium. By transit, Odin has just passed my Mercury in Libra and is applying to midheaven. Writing !
Woden in my natal is 22 degrees Virgo, Mars Rx is applying within minutes of exact as I write this. Woden by transit is applying to my natal Mars within 2 degrees of separation. My most highly aspected planet, Neptune (22 degrees Scorpio natal exact sextile to Woden) returns home tomorrow. My lucky number – two. groOovy baby !
2 = duality, balance, choice, polarites and relationships
4 = foundation, materialization, structure and stability
For the record, the last time Neptune entered Pisces was 1848, the year of the California gold rush.