I have loved these stone concretions since first coming across them at a mineral show years ago. They are also called Fairy Stones, but I prefer Goddess Stones because their rounded shapes evoke the Venus of Willendorf and other prehistoric goddess figures. Like looking at clouds, we can also sometimes see turtles, rabbits, planets and other delightful figures. And often I simply admire a beautiful natural formation.
Appreciated by First Nation peoples, these formations from the Harricana River valley in the Abitibi-Temiscamingue region of western Quebec, Canada are part of a wide range of concretions which exist between the worlds of minerals and fossils. It is reported that the Algonquin people carried them for luck on fishing and hunting expeditions, believing they could offer protection and bring good health and prosperity.
The rocks are characterized by a rather flattened shape, with a relatively smooth side and another side generally covered with lines from plant filaments (such as horsetail) or algae. They are often found in soft deposits under clay. Scientists assume that Goddess Stones originated in a marshy, shallow environment and that bacterial mats made of gelatinous material provided the raw material for concretions to form on the lake bottom. Each stone is unique.
Goddess Stones can be considered fossils. Some develop from a circular stem of horsetail from the rock’s middle section. The ubiquity of these plant filaments leads scientists to assume they play a determining role in formation, with an initial core used as a starting point for their development. That can explain the formation of very large concretions by the presence of several initial nuclei from which the concretions grew in concentric circles and pellets. Some have perfectly circular shapes and others are rather elongated, all of which are characteristic of bacterial activity.
Another element to support this hypothesis is the presence of silica in the concretions. The silica could be the undigested release of bacteria. Horsetail, a plant rich in silica, seems to be the source of silica in Goddess Stones. The calcium carbonate, which served to cement these rocks, is abundant in colder waters and acts as a binding agent. Each ring in a Goddess Stone corresponds to a stage of growth conducive to bacterial activity interrupted by periods of drying or cooling.
I often use Goddess Stones in my mosaics and jewelry. They also are lovely to carry in a pocket or keep at home to hold and admire. They seem to have a calming, meditative and nurturing energy. I have had the opportunity to lovingly collect them and am happy to share them with you!
If you wish to purchase a Goddess Stone and cannot come to the Gallery, it is best to email me from the contact page. Send a phone number where you can be reached. I will call and we’ll find the best way for me to send you photos of what is available and prices. Thanks!