Thursday, February 16, 2017

Light and Shadow (And The World’s Oldest Ritual)

“The light at every time of day, in every season and every momentary second, changes the appearance of every rock pile or stone wall in what we call New England. A smooth looking stone can reveal human made marks sometimes only when the light changes,” I sat down and wrote, pasted in two photos of a stone mound.

      And then I was going to use a stone serpent, a good example of a "Strong Looker" or Uktena,  for an example how you can’t sometimes easily see the white eye that stands out so well. 

      And then I looked for the recent image from a very bright day I took just to show this contrast due to conditions. 
     And got a surprise when I looked again, observing a circular dark shadow that could be intended to be suggestive of a dark colored eye - and learned again that these Indigenous Stones are meant to be seen in every kind of light and in every season. 
  And then remembered once again that these structures weren't viewed as rock art for art's sake, but were viewed as living beings, Great Serpents on the Living Landscape, a constant sort of ceremony happening every day, in every season and in every kind of light

Would a flickering fire in the night or changing moon light on a partly cloudy night make the stones that compose the snake’s body snake appear to wriggle and move??

The python cave

"At night, the firelight gave one the feeling that the snake was actually moving...."
The sacred python stone during the day (above) and at night (below), as it may have been during worshipping. (Photos courtesy Dr. Sheila Coulson, Institute of Archaeology, Conservation and History at University of Oslo)

“When Coulson entered the cave this summer with her three master’s students, it struck them that the mysterious rock resembled the head of a huge python. On the six meter long by two meter tall rock, they found three-to-four hundred indentations that could only have been man-made.
“You could see the mouth and eyes of the snake. It looked like a real python. The play of sunlight over the indentations gave them the appearance of snake skin. At night, the firelight gave one the feeling that the snake was actually moving.” said Sheila Coulson to the University of Oslo’s research magazine Apollon.
They found no evidence that work had recently been done on the rock. In fact, much of the rock’s surface was extensively eroded.
When they saw the many indentations in the rock, the archaeologists wondered about more than when the work had been done. They also began thinking about what the cave had been used for and how long people had been going there. With these questions in mind, they decided to dig a test pit directly in front of the python stone.
At the bottom of the pit, they found many stones that had been used to make the indentations. Together with these tools, some of which were more than 70,000 years old, they found a piece of the wall that had fallen off during the work...”


  1. Exactly! I have been in 2 Tennessee caves with archaeologists who have experimented with flickering light. Apparently, your brain workes to keep up with the rapidly changing light, therefore it appears to move. I've wondered if Indians built fires at Uktena sites in order to get the same effect. It is certainly a real phenomena.

  2. Testing. Comments not posting.

    1. This blog runs on "Turtle Time" and comments are moderated as I become aware of them!

    2. How would this one look by campfire light??
      Or by moonlight??

  3. Sorry. Yeah, I realized that after I posted. I added you to my 'favorites' list and thought the link wasn't working. You've had some great posts.

  4. Thanks Tommy!Always something new happening - except for the same old stuff...