hands on stoneListening to the Harmonies of the Singing Stones

By John Robinson

This past Labor Day when I normally attend Stones Rising, I had another personal commitment that prevented me from attending. However, I recalled that the preparation for Stones Rising occurs the week before during The Stone People͛s Intensive. As that week was free and I had never attended that event, I decided to go and help. 

I am so fortunate to have made this decision! With a much smaller group of the tribe, like 25 or so, I was able to work with friends and make new friends while helping in various ways for the coming Stones Rising. By the way, the use of intensive͛ is very descriptive of this event. Work started shortly after breakfast at 8am and continued virtually non-stop till dinner at 5pm. Normally, I am a bit of a night owl, but that first night I was in bed by 10pm. The second night, by 8pm. While tired, I was able to see how we collectively completed all of the preparation work that until then, I knew happened, but not to the extent it does.

As part of my participation, I volunteered to help power wash some of the Standing Stones and all of the altars. This year was pretty hot, being around 90° or so, and power washing seemed like a good way to help out and to keep cool. But there was something else about this experience I did not know when I volunteered, the Stones were waiting to sing to me.

Power washing is hard work and requires goggles for eye protection due to small bits of Stone and other things coming off at high speed due to the pressure of the water. This process is also loud, so ear protection is a must. In fact, it was required by Keegan, who showed me all of the ins and outs or Stone washing. Later on, I was reminded by Coriander to keep my ear protection on or risk hearing loss. Coriander is very protective of her tribe!

The headgear is the same used for hearing protection when ringing the bell in the Stone Circle, meaning they are very protective and virtually eliminate almost all sound, especially high frequency sound, from being heard.

Washing a Standing Stone properly takes time, concentration and a methodical approach to not miss any areas as this is not just a cleaning, it is sacred work. I studied each centimeter of every Stone as I worked to ensure it was cleaned without taking too long on any one spot, which could inadvertently flake off some of the Stone.

After getting the process down I was able to be so mindful that I felt myself becoming one with the energy of the Stone. At first, I thought this was due to my intense concentration, but as time went on I realized something else was happening. The Stone was concentrating on me as well! This was when I realized I was hearing something new: a high pitched sound, then sounds, and finally a chorus of sounds in my ears. At first I thought someone else must be playing music near me, so I took off the ear protection and heard no such sounds. Putting the headgear back on, I continued to clean and hear the Stone singing͛ to me. Realizing this was really happening was a joyful and uplifting experience. As I cleaned each Stone, 8 in total, I enjoyed the sharing of energy and song of each Stone.

I was asked to also clean the altars as well. Each had its own song͛ to share. And then, I cleaned the Ancestor Altar (the one that faces West). What was a background chorus became a thunderous, almost overwhelming crescendo of sound. The ancestors and those who dwell under and near it thanked me for spending time with them and showing care and love in bringing out the inherent beauty of the altar stones. My relationship with the Standing Stones had inherently changed as we shared a new spiritual bond, an experience I will always cherish. 

I returned to the Stone Circle for Samhain and went to the Stones and altars I cleaned, and wondered if the bond was still there. Not only were that bond and the energy still resonating, but as I looked at the tops of the Standing Stones, I literally saw energy waves coming off them almost like heatwaves distorting air, but this was a calm warm day. I realized then that the bond was not only still there, but stronger than ever.

Please take time when visiting the Stone Circle, especially for your first time, to be here now͛ with each Standing Stone. Open yourself up to them and share your energy with their energy. It͛s a great way to ground and center.