Tuesday, February 10, 2009
These are some rocks and stones that live with me. On the bottom, a sheet of "blue stone" a gift from my friend Auvergine's mother, from the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. It's said to ward off evil! On top of that a sheet of river bed rock from the Short Mountain Sanctuary in Vermont (home of the Radical Faeries) given to me by my friend JoJo. The two stones wrapped with rattan pentacles are spirit stones that I bought for myself, and nestled next to those is a stone given to me by my old friend/roomate/co-worker, Jessica aka "the wicked pixie".
Animism is a spiritual ideology that all things that exsist have a soul or spirit: the Sun, the Moon, the Earth, the stars, galaxies clouds, storms, the river, the ocean, humans, animals, plants, trees, and stones. Indigenous cultures and peoples the world over have been trying to help humanity remember this for a very long time now; and many are beginning to remember. Animism may also attribute souls to natural phenomena, geographic features, and metaphors in mythology. The idea is central to Shamanism and Mysticism all around the world. Earth based Religions which emphasize animism in this sense include Shinto, Hinduism, Paganism, Santeria, Vodou, ect. For example, a stone has an individual consciousness. The Lakota and other Native people recognized that earth and the stones are alive. The rocks were here before people were here. Lakota traditions say that life began with the rise of a great stone from the waters of creation. Stones are referred to as our elders. The Lakota word for stone is "tunka-shila" this means “grandfather.”
Covered stones by Resurrection Fern
Many traditional tales speak of the age and the wisdom of the stone people. Among the Iroquois of the northeast, the tale of the storytelling stone explains that in the old days stories were not known by human beings. It was not until a great rock began to tell stories to a boy named Gah-gah or “Crow” that storytelling became a part of the human experience. Among the Lakota they have the story of Stone Boy, the child of a woman and a rock, who brings the first inipi (sweat lodge) to the people.
Made by second-generation rattan weaver, Deloss Webber
The Inipi ceremony, a type of sweat lodge, is a Lakota purification ceremony, and one of the Seven Sacred Rites of the Lakota people. Roughly, it involves a lodge - a frame of Willow saplings covered with hides or blankets. Stones are heated in a fire, then placed into a central pit in the lodge. Water is then poured on the stones to create hot steam. Offerings are made to the spirit world; traditional prayers, songs, drumming, and herbs (tobacco, sweet grass, redcedar or white cedar). Those that conduct this sacred rite communicate with our Sacred Grandfathers that inhabit the stones and translate the messages given.
Have you ever been drawn to a particular object because it spoke to you? Next time you pick up a stone or crystal, think of it as a conscious being with a story to tell you!