the stones know {art journal prayer pages}

jan14aj altered book art journal page by Hali Karlajan14aj altered book art journal page detail by Hali Karla jan14aj altered book art journal page detail by Hali Karla jan14aj altered book art journal page detail by Hali Karla

When we are attracted to a certain stone or rock, they say there is a reason. Plants, too, from my experience... and really, it can be said of all things Mother Earth holds for us until our attention lands upon them and she releases their medicine.

Stones are an interesting teacher to me right now - I'm guessing it has to do with my awakened curiosity for ancestors, ancient ones, and the spirit of places. Over the past couple of years this has been a quiet exploration of mine - an inward listening, a deep paying of intention and attention. It has been rich with receiving.

Of course, I like all the pretty gems and crystals we can purchase to add to our sense of Presence - yet, in all honesty, my favorite stones are the ones I find in the land herself. Like the moon-shaped one I hold when I pray, found by a river; the heart-shaped rock from Sedona placed in my hand by a soul-sister; and the lava piece sent to me from California by another kindred wise woman.

There is a telling in these stones - as stones will... they are record-keepers of time-passing, formed by energetic bits that have come together, will separate, and will form again into new life. They feed with mineral and essence and a steadfast promise of the connection of all things in this greater organism of which we, too, are a dynamic part.

Sometimes, we call them Grandfathers. I feel this in them, as well... a foundation, protection and balance. And there is also the knowing that each is a part of the body of the Mother, and shows evidence of her experience through time - each came from the mother, will return again to her, and be re-born into something both new and old again. It seems they are great teachers of living in harmony, cycle and presence.

If nothing else, for me there is a deep grounding in slowing down and listening to the stones in the land where we walk. They are all around, healers, and quite skilled at helping to relieve confusion, anxiety, or debilitating habits and thoughts. In the moments of, Is this real?, they whisper... You are real, You are here.

Their natural energy is through touch, remembering and becoming with the elements of life.

All of this to say, there is inspiration in stone - with a breath we cannot measure on the time scale with which we experience things in ordinary consciousness. The only word that ever fits in this realm for me is Spirit.

The New Moon is a wonderful time to purify your special stones and honor the energy and gifts they offer. Cleanse them in a bath, cushion them in a nest of sea salt, set them in the sunlight.

The pages above were a reunion with my favorite altered book to date. It had been too long, and it felt like coming home to dive into that spread... when it's been awhile, there is often a vision of sorts, ready to surface rather quickly, like it's been waiting for me to get back to my work.

In the movements of color and texture, there was this little sacred grove with what feels like stone sister priestesses to me, tending the awakening of new life all around. Strong with equanimity and knowing for what is to come.

Stones and stories aside, it was both fun and calming to engage my heart and hands on the page, in the moment, and let the creative mystery guide my way. It always fills me to look back at what a creative practice with art can reveal about my life and process. With more time, this page will likely speak of even more to me.