Stones Rising 2002|
Author: Drema Baker [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: September 9th. 2002
Times Viewed: 9,156
Sponsored by: Four Quarters Farm
Location: Artemas, Pennsylvania USA
Event Date(s): Aug. 28- Sept. 2, 2002
I never know quite what to expect when I arrive at Stones Rising. Even though I've attended every single rising except the first, each and every year it is different... growing, evolving, adapting to the needs of the people who come both to give and to receive ceremony. Stones is not a festival. It is a reunion, of sorts, for folks who crave a connection with the land and with space that is always sacred, with other people who hold such things in high regard. It is a place where it is safe to follow the voice of Spirit, and a time to step outside the mundane long enough to realize that all paths to the center are equally holy. This year's Stones seemed to be mostly about discreetly pointing out all the similarities between the seemingly different journeys, and we were offered many opportunities to honor each other's spirituality, to learn about and see the beauty inherent in each, no matter what form it may take.
The land at Four Quarters Farm is ruggedly beautiful, rolling and rocky with green forests surrounding open fields in which the passerby will often see deer, wild turkeys, rabbits and other wildlife. Sound carries in the early morning fog, making it almost eerily easy to hear the camp sounds as you walk up the road from the parking field to the high meadow. Smoke from campers' fires hangs in the air, carrying with it the scent of breakfast mingled with the welcome smell of Sacred Bean from the Coffee Dragon pavilion. You can feel the excitement of the people gathered here, the energy they bring with them to this place of hard work, commitment and promise.
The first place I always like to go once I arrive at this event is to the Stone Circle. There stand the silent sentinels of Risings past, this year already shrouded and waiting when we arrived on Thursday. There is an air of reverence here, and mirth as well. No one speaks in whispers while walking through; they laugh gaily with companions, or stand silently touching the Stones, or walk quietly observing all the gifts made by visitors who have come before -- some long before.
The altars are never empty here. Offerings are left by many, tangible prayers to the gods of the people. At some time in the last few years, someone left what looks like a handmade ancestor figure on the Ancestors Altar - a hollow male head, mouth and eyes agape, almost disturbing at first glance. I've seen this figure decorated with flowers and dried seed heads stuck into the eye, mouth and ear holes; I've also see it laden with wax drippings and colorful beads. This year, it sported a rhinestone tiara. Directly before that altar this year, a forked branch stood erect, holding strung bones of small animals - perhaps chicken bones from meals, or leavings of animals who'd died in the woods - and a large cow skull... .the dichotomy of the crowned ancestor figure peering through the forked branch with its somewhat dark image of death and its leavings seemed an unlikely pairing of Earth and Air, here on this altar in the West. Yet somehow, I found it strangely comforting to know that here was a safe and supportive environment in which to face the sometimes uncomfortable facts of life in a material world.
As beautiful as the land is, the people who come to the event make it even more so. They walk the meadow, the Stone Circle, the roadways, and the Big Bottom in every shape, color, size and style, some draped with colorful clothing, others partially or fully clad in only the sky. High fashion means nothing here. Round bodies are just as beautiful as lean ones, old as honored as new.
Large and small folk alike contribute to the community feel on this land, for all lend a hand to make the Rising happen. Some bring ceremony, others bring labor. Stones is a weekend of commitments to sacrifice or service - to the land, to the people, to the future. Many pathways to this end are offered. Some attendees can help pull a Stone - hard work, indeed, and not for everyone. Others can offer to help prepare, cook and serve the food to the people, or to clean up afterward. Some drum. Some dance. Some sing. Some carry burning sage, or a steady drumbeat, or a jug of water to those performing heavy labor. This year, one group committed to read Homer's Odyssey in its entirety during the weekend, and truly they fulfilled their promise... they could be seen here and there throughout the weekend, always with book in hand. Some of those folks listening had their own copies of the book to follow along. But perhaps the most easily forgotten pathway of service among them all is that of Witness. All first-time attendees of Stones Rising are encouraged to be Witnesses, for without them, who could verify that the work done by those others was done in a good way? Indeed, lovely and colorful witness arbors are erected for the weekend above the Stone Circle, beneath which all observers stand, and beneath which all the Stones travel on their way to their permanent homes in the Circle.
Review: Aranea, PagaNet News
Photos: Lance, PagaNet News
Click for Part II of this review.
Web: Stones Rising and the Church of Four Quarters - www.4qf.org.
Web: PagaNet News - www.paganet.org.
For more info on The Labyrinth Project at the Church of Four Quarters, please contact Denise Scott, Dclausenscott@hotmail.com, (703) 719-7355; or Carrie Krystek, Ckrystek@yahoo.com, (703) 642-1912.
Article Specs |
Article ID: 4690
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 4,405
Times Read: 9,156
Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Other Articles: Drema Baker has posted 3 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Drema Baker... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).