Without a doubt, the stone that all wiccans cherish is the lodestone. Since ancient times, it has been used in every magical and spiritual tradition from voodoo to witchcraft. It has been revered as a god or a spirit or even a Jinn and utmost care and reverence are given to cleanse and feed it in order to keep it alive.

Lodestone was so highly regarded that in 1728, one was mounted in a mahogany case surrounded by an ornamental coronet of gilt and painted metal. It could raise 160 pounds of metal. This lodestone was known as "The Countess of Westmorland's Magnet".

Lodestone comes from the Anglo-Saxon LOD, which means "the way" and LITHAN which means "to lead" and STAN which means "stone" - The Stone That Shows the Way.

Lodestone is a naturally magnetized piece of the mineral magnetite (a type of iron ore). It comes with inclusions of maghemite, usually with impurity metal ions of titanium, aluminium, and manganese. Only a small amount of the magnetite on the Earth is found magnetized as lodestone. Though Magnetite is very common in nature, lodestones are quite rare.

Lodestones are found on the surface of the earth. This is significant as there were speculations of how lodestones got magnetized naturally and permanently. One hypothesis is that they are magnetized by the strong magnetic fields surrounding lightning bolts.

Magnetites comes in black, red-brown to brownish-black. It has a metallic shine and a hardness of 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale. Lodestones leave a black streak when rubbed across a hard rough surface.

Lodestones were highly esteemed and valued since ancient times due to its magnetic power that comes with it.

Greek philosopher, Thales of Miletus (about 585 BC) said that loadstone attracts iron because it has a SOUL. That was how sacred this stone was held by the ancient civilizations.

In Book 36 of Naturalis Historia covering "The Natural History of Stones", chapter 25 which is titled "The Magnet: Three Remedies", Pliny the Elder (23 CE – 79 CE) writes: “Nicander is our authority that it [magnetite ore] was called Magnes from the man who first discovered it on Mount Ida and he is said to have found it when the nails of his shoes and the ferrule of his staff adhered to it, as he was pasturing his herds.”

Note, it is this name MAGNES, Latin, from which we get the English word Magnetite, also, Magnet and Magnetism.

Another name given to Loadstone in the ancient world is Heraclion, the Stone of Hercules. It was said that Hercules who wished to help the sailors in their science of navigation, had asked from Helios, the Sun for a cup of Loadstone; this magnetite was believed to show the way to the magnetic North.

It has been written that it was the Chinese who first used loadstone to construct the magnetic compass as early as 2635 BC. However new evidence had emerged in the form of artifacts that were made of lodestone found in the Olmec civilisation that maybe the Olmecs had preceded the Chinese by more than 1000 years with regards to the use of a compass.

Astronomer John Carlson speculated that the Olmecs, for astrological or geomantic purposes, used similar artifacts (compass) as a directional device, or to orient their temples, the dwellings of the living, or the interments of their dead.

Nonetheless, there is much literary evidence that points to the ancient Chinese's knowledge of the magnetic properties of lodestone. For instance, in The Book of the Devil Valley Master (Guiguzi) written in the 4th century BC, there is a literary reference to magnetism.

In the 2nd century BC chronicle Lüshi Chunqiu, there is explicit reference to lodestone's attraction to iron. The Lunheng (Balanced Inquiries) that is written between 20 and 100 AD also mentions lodestone's magnetic properties of attracting a “needle.”

Furthermore, Chinese geomancers in the 2nd century BC were already experimenting with its properties to make a "south-pointing spoon" for divination.

In Europe, the first mention of the magnetic compass dates about 1190 to Alexander Neckam, and to Guyot de Provins in 1205 and to Jacques de Vitry around 1269.

During the Middle Ages in Europe, lodestones were put in rings, and these were given as gift from or to the beloved. Sir Isaac Newton was known to wear a signet ring that contained a lodestone.

Ancient Greeks placed lodestone inside statues of gods to attract the energies of the gods into the statues. Lodestone was also given to ancient soldiers and warriors as it protected them from elemental spirits especially the attacks of the jinn. It was believed that jinn (Arab word from which genie is derived) could be entrapped into a lodestone so many ancient warriors carried the stone as it would protect or repel or even trap jinn.

Ancients believed the stone was a mouthpiece for the gods. The gods could whisper or speak to the power of lodestones. Many ancient witches would use a lodestone for divination and also as a mouthpiece for familiar spirits.

Loadstone was used in many cultures around the world. In ancient Greece, the loadstone was considered a stone of healing and was highly esteemed. It was believed that it cured rheumatism and painful cramps. It was thought to help women give a fast and easy childbirth and help cure infertility and diseases of the private parts.

Bald men in ancient Greece mixed lodestone with olive oil and rubbed it on the part where hair was becoming thin.

Ancient Greeks also believed that if you put lodestone to the forehead, you could hear gods speak, and you will gain heavenly occult knowledge and could see sacred divine beings appear before your eyes.

Loadstones had the power to give you a will to succeed and the ability to see into the future. It is used as an amulet to protect the wearer against troubles at sea.

Lodestone was the Stone of Venus, whereas iron was the Stone of Mars. These two are supposedly the symbols that attract one to the other, the wife is attracted to her husband and the husband to her wife, though I must remind the reader that Mars was not the husband of Venus.

It was Hephaestus, the son of Jupiter and Juno, the Roman Vulcan, who was the husband of Venus. Venus had an extramarital affair with Mars, and both of these cheats got caught in Vulcan's net.