Not far from the volunteer village where I currently reside is Fairy Stone State Park, Virginia. In the park can be found “fairy stones.” These are actually Staurolite crystals consisting of silica and iron. They can be found in the shape of a Roman, Maltese or St. Andrew’s cross.
I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day than walking through the forest looking for fairy stones. So I drove the couple of miles to the site where they were said to be prevalent, got out of my car, entered the woods and started my search.
No one is allowed to dig at the site which sits on top of Bull Mountain and covers about 5o acres of forest with creek beds and gently sloping hills. The preferred method is to look for the Staurolites cropping out of the ground, especially after a heavy rain or winter thaw. As I was walking along I was wishing though for a rake to clear away some of the leaves covering the ground.
My perception at first was of perfectly formed crosses made of stone. I soon found from talking to some other searchers that many times the fairy stones are still embedded in the matrix or “mother” stone.
My finds for the day with some “luck” on this blessed Irish feast day.
They’re less than an inch long. So you really have to be close to the ground in your search.
In times past, during the pre-spring gathering of the indigenous Cherokee tribes the collected stones would be kept heated by a fire on the eve of the spring equinox. In the morning the stones would be dispersed to tribal members to ensure safe journey and good fortune in the coming year.
Such luck on my first outing only goes to ensure that I will be out there again real soon!
Safe journey and good fortune to you all, dear ones!