September 16, 2022

A Stones Rising 2022 Photo Essay
by Pam Alexander
Photos by Pam, Kurt, Mike and Ashley

Stones Rising is at the core of everything we do here at Four Quarters. As we gather together to raise the Stones that make up the Stone Circle, we share in purpose, ceremony, and celebration.

     Here on the Land we have just finished Stones Rising 28, “The Road to the Rising.” This theme explored our responsibilities as bearers of traditions passed down from the ancestors, holding those traditions in trust for the Seventh Generation, the children whose Grandparents who have yet to be born.

KidsTree     KidWings

     This year was a very sweet event, marked by the laughter of children, voices raised in song, and the power and pulse of the Native American Drum. We gathered together in the Stone Circle to raise two new Stones in the North Copse, the 'Chapel' of close-spaced Great Stones marking the Northern edge of the Stone Circle. This 'Sanctuary within a Sanctuary' provides a space for ceremony and reflection apart from the Main Circle. The Great Stones of the North Copse are breathtaking in their scope, and their closeness lends an air of privacy for devotions and ritual. In the years to come Evergreen planting and curb-stones a-la NewGrange will emphasize this sense of spiritual apartness.

Stones Rising is an event that occurs on two levels. The obvious work is the physical labor of raising the Stones. There is the focused group mind that must be present to accomplish this Great Work, there is the thrill of pulling slowly on the long lines and feeling the Stone slowly move along to meet its destiny, there is the controlled but unbridled excitement of seeing the Stone slowly rise into its final upright position, the feel of the rough rope against your hands, the drum in your ears, and that calm clear voice, “Slooowww pull!” And that is the obvious work of the Rising.

RopePull   McCTackle 
     Then there is the other work of the Rising. Because what is not obvious is secret. As well as the physical labor of Stones Rising that we all look forward to, there is the work of Ceremony. And, at its heart, Stones Rising is a Ceremonial Intensive.

      From the time one arrives at Stones, you are steeped in Ceremony. There are small, self-directed ceremonies daily. Acts of purification, reflection, and binding yourself to the Land, those help bring you into the larger ceremonies one step at a time. There is Sweat Lodge, poured daily for prayer, purification, and deeper connection to the Great Mystery.


     And then there were the Evening Ceremonies. Nightly we gathered in the Stone Circle to share ceremony, exploring the theme of “The Road to the Rising.” We accepted the responsibility of carrying our traditions,  we shared the burden of the Heavy Object, we gathered to discovered what we could let slip away, and that which Endures. Together we shared how ceremony evolved over time-from blazing forked sticks to safer modern implements with no loss of Meaning or Sacredness. We learned from the past to project our will into a future we could help shape, and we scryed our reflection in the 'Magic Mirror' of the Stones themselves.

StrongPull    FirstStone

      All of this occurred within the embrace of the Stone Circle. The Stones standing in Circle as Celebrants themselves.

     And, of course, there were the constants of Stones Rising. The things we look forward to all year long. A feast of roasted beef, and bounteous vegetables shared in fellowship with our brothers and sisters after a day of Sacred Work. A Blessing of the Babies, as our youngest beloveds were passed through the Mother Stone into the loving arms and smiles of our Community, the colors of the new Commitment Ribbons fluttering in the gentle breeze, the bread broken, hand to hand, an offering of the labors of the Vigil of the Corn Mothers. (Who can resist that moment, standing on the Green, a loaf of warm bread in hand, fingers glistening with honey butter, lips smacking sweet crumbs?)

CircleLights       With the advent of grid power in Main Camp, we experienced electric lighting of the Stones for the first time. Colored lights played over the faces of the Stones each evening, bringing out detail and depth in the grain of the Stones.

PamAltarNitye   PamAltarDay

     We have celebrated Stones Rising in blazing heat, hurricane, cold, and rain in the past, but this year the skies were kind. They threatened us a few times, but we were only rained on briefly after ceremony was done for the night!

    Stones Rising is always a beautiful and profoundly moving experience for me, but Stones Rising 28 had a fundamental core of sweetness that set it apart. I will close with one final memory of this beautiful Labor Day Weekend.

     Stones Eve...the Stone Circle ablaze with altars, the night crisp and cool, people walking from altar to altar, warm cups of coffee in hand, each altar attended by someone of a different diverse path, sharing their truth, their own personal Road to the Rising.


     Let the Stones Rise. Let them Stand a Thousand Years.