Sunday, December 31, 2017

“Our Beloved Kin” and “Memory Lands”

Two books I just put on my reading list, thanks to my friend Rich Holsuch: “Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War” by Lisa Brooks and “Memory Lands: King Philips War and the Place of Violence in the Northeast” by Christine M. Delucia

   "Both authors write from the authority of their own Native American lens... a belief system under which all animate and inanimate objects are beings with palpable spirits. That includes lakes and ponds and streams, mountains and swamps and high, lonesome glacial-erratic boulders, beavers and bears and deer, insects and worms and underworld serpents..."

Image source:
From the post:
That's correct -  the Turners Falls area...

Friday, December 29, 2017

Askookqusukqaniyutôk (perhaps?)

Great or Horned Serpent - Washington CT
Snake words

|Ask∞k|, {A Snake} or {Worm}. |Ask∞kquog|
Mohegan, NA – skok plural skokak

Qusukqaniyutôk (‘stone row, enclosure’ Harris and Robinson, 2015:140, ‘fence that crosses back’ viz. qussuk, ‘stone,’ Nipmuc or quski, quskaca, ‘returning, crosses over,’ qaqi, ‘runs,’ pumiyotôk, ‘fence, wall,’ Mohegan, Mohegan Nation 2004:145, 95, 129) 

More views of the same Ceremonial Stone Landscape feature:


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Snoozing on Turtle Island Once Again

    I woke up on Turtle Island this morning and learned about Apalone spinifera, the Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle.

Strong Wind Photography by John A. Martin, Perkasie, Pennsylvania (2017)

     John Martin ventured out into the cold and stopped here to take a photo of some “Honoring Stones,” you might say in English – some variation of “Wâunonaqussukquanash” in another language that was spoken for a much longer time in Pennsylvania.
     I look for stones intentionally placed so that the “quassuk” or stone appears to have “eyes” toward the top, suggesting it was placed that way to appear to resemble (or "be") an animal head and I go from there looking for clues to a body that is suggested as well – and find it “sometimes but not all the time.”
      I looked at the photo several times, attention drawn to a certain stone:

      I just had to satisfy my curiosity and Google up an image of a “Long nosed Turtle in Pennsylvania:”
And then another one:
Not from PA but: "Stock Footage of A female Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle (Apalone spinifera) in Ontario, Canada. AKA the Pig-nosed Rubberback Turtle, this is one of nature's most unusual animals. This female is looking to nest."

     Sometimes I just have to get "Species Specific" - and I only considered the Musk or Stinkpot as an afterthought, having observed that particular turtle here and there, now and again:
PWAX photo from Rock Piles used in a collage

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

a really BIG cathedral and really BIG rock garden

     I just said to someone: You could call the Indigenous Cultural Landscape, the Ceremonial Stone Landscape, "a combination of an open air cathedral and rock garden - a really BIG cathedral and really BIG rock garden..." There's more - and it involves the cycle of the sun and moon and stars and life itself, all those animate beings- stars stones trees animals and humans - balanced in the Dance of Creation and Renewal and Tradition, the Knowledge that comes from a long memory..."

Undulating Serpent Row of Stones - Qusukqaniyutôk
(‘stone row, enclosure’ Harris and Robinson, 2015:140, ‘fence that crosses back’ viz. qussuk, ‘stone,’ Nipmuc or quski, quskaca, ‘returning, crosses over,’ qaqi, ‘runs,’) 
     You need an artist’s eye to see it sometimes; sometimes having a child along with you helps, particularly a child with a good imagination, unembarrassed to say, “That’s a snake, that’s a turtle and that’s a bear made of stone,” rather than just repeat something read in a book or online about New England’s Stone Walls, a child who hasn’t acquired the prejudice and bigotry that form the bias against the thought that these stone monuments and prayers are part of Indigenous Culture here at the Eastern Gate of Turtle Island...
"Eek! A Snake!!" 

     You need to know the stories, told by the fire in the wigwam or long house during the story-telling season of winter – although more often it’s “Stories from the Neighbors,” since many of the Stories across Southern New England aren’t known or are tinged with Christian elements, filled with Puritan devils rather than, for example, stories of that Spirit Being whose aspect is most often a snake or a Great Serpent, sometimes with Horns, sometimes with feathers...
     You need to know the landscape you see, formed (transformed) by Giant White Glaciers, reflects the Sky above and an Underground and Underwater World below, a three tiered world populated by each and every kind of living thing – stars and stones and trees, animals and humans – in a big cathedral not unlike a big rock garden...


Not my kid or my photos but... 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A Turtlebear Situation

Christmas Eve Eve Turtle Snake
           and Turtle Bear by a Horned Serpent, suddenly, with an obvious Ulunsuti...

Strong Wind Photography by John A. Martin, Perkasie, Pennsylvania (2017). 

“Any thoughts?” my friend John writes on Christmas Eve Eve, posting some snowy photos of a big stone among smaller stones in Pennsylvania. I’ve seen this one before, know all sorts of interesting tidbits about it. The longer stone structure is a “wall” of stone, but it’s like many “walls” here in Connecticut, a massive petroform snake built by a previously dominant culture, an Indigenous Great Serpent, a sometimes protective Spirit Being.
The snow helps highlight a curve of the serpents back, a subtle hint that this great big stone snake effigy is made of smaller stone snakes, and I trace a line, add some eyes to John’s photo for effect:

My photo overlay on John's fine photo

“It’s a Turtle!” a few people offer up – and yes, I’m sure when the sun hits the form just right it is also an obvious turtle, forelegs and all.

“It’s a Turtlebear Situation,” I’m thinking.

 “Just like that one up in the corner by the road here at home.” Look at it one way and it’s a turtle (above), but look at it another way (below) and it’s a bear:

(A Zuni Stone Bear Bead:)

"Which is it," I ask my granddaughter and she shrugs...
The old story here:
A springtime view:
     But as I look through my photos I notice that there’s another big boulder in the mix – and it’s sort of triangular and could be a snake head – and sure there’s the spot for an eye, so I open up a paint screen so I can enhance the photo.

I decide that I may as well add some horns while I’m at it and suddenly there’s the obvious Ulunsuti, the jewel on the Uktena’s forehead, just sitting there all this time and I didn’t notice:
Well, not until just now...

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Jackpot here!

(Snake-shaped stone wall in the woods of New England)

"Hi Tim," writes David Brody, "I stumbled onto your site while looking for images of serpent stone walls. Jackpot here! I am a novelist, and in my current story the characters find a snake-shaped stone wall in the woods of New England. I was hoping to include an image in the story. Any chance you'd be willing to share one of these, for attribution plus a free copy of the book? You can reach out to me directly at . Thanks."

"David: I found a whole bunch of comments I hadn't seen before this morning, yours among them. I have no idea how long ago you asked me about using an image of mine.
I'd have to know more about your novel, and which cultural group of people you attribute a snake -shaped stone wall to. I personally feel that Indigenous People - Native Americans/Indians - are solely responsible for the creation of the petroforms and definitely would not sanction the use of one of my photos/drawings to support any of those other ideas I all too often hear - Aliens and Atlanteans, Celts and Phoenicians etc." - Tim

"Thanks for replying, Tim. 
     Honestly, I don’t recall exactly what my request related to, and the book came out a couple of months ago, so you can disregard." – Dave

    So I rest assured that no image of mine was actually used without my permission in this recent book. 

    Thanks Dave!!

    Honestly, I didn't recall that I had read about Brody here before:

About the Author:
  "David S. Brody is a Boston Globe bestselling fiction writer and author of 10 novels. His children call him a "rock nerd" because of the time he spends studying ancient stone structures which he believes evidence pre-Columbus exploration of America. A graduate of Tufts University and Georgetown Law School, he has appeared as a guest expert on documentaries airing on History Channel, Travel Channel, PBS and Discovery Channel, and has been a featured guest on the Coast to Coast AM radio program. The first 6 books in his "Templars in America" series have been Amazon Kindle Top 10 Bestsellers." Amazon

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Santa’s Stone Chamber

#2 from “The Truth About Santa Claus”
by Robert Jackson Bennett - December 21st, 2010
Mr. Bennett addresses the myth that "Santa Claus lives in a workshop at the North Pole:"
     "This is not quite correct. Reports indicate that the Yule King does not live at the North Pole, but rather underneath a frigid mountain that forms the top of the world. It is similar to Olympus, but much starker and with much more brutal weather. And the King does not actually live there, but instead sleeps in an enormous cavern in the very heart of the peak. The nature of the cavern is a subject of some debate: some believe it is like an ornate tomb or dour cenotaph, while others claim it is filled with the statues of the King’s many servants, while others contend that it is filled with gears and machinery. Some suggest it is a bit of all of them. This can easily be believed, as the Country in the North (as it is called) is reported to be a very strange and dangerous place; some reckless adventurers who traveled there returned years later full of confusing stories, yet the strangest thing was that they did not seem to have aged a day.

Wayland’s Smithy, which is believed to be similar to Santa's chamber. 

     The Yule King’s beard, oddly enough, is closely linked to his chamber: as he sleeps for the remaining 361 days of the year, the beard continues to grow, eventually filling the entire room and providing much-needed insulation against the bitter winds that swirl throughout the Country in the North. When he wakes, his servants trim it back. The insulation is not actually necessary – the Yule King would sleep anyway – but it ensures that he will be well-rested, putting him in a good mood and making his Yuletide foray much better for everyone. For example, there have been only two known instances of the Yule King killing anyone on his Yuletide foray since his servants started allowing his beard to grow out in 1351.

     The idea of Santa’s workshop probably comes from some confusion over the nature of his sleeping chamber. A very popular record says that the snowy peak on his mountain stays frozen throughout the year until the winter solstice approaches. When the light begins to fade from the sky, the snow there does the precise opposite of what you would expect: rather than staying frozen, it is melted by the growing dark.

(Some sources indicate that it is melted by a particular blend of starlight, created only when certain constellations are arranged above the mountain, which happens only at the solstice; regardless, the effect is the same.) 
       The melted water then runs down the mountain and is funneled into many carven flutes and passageways, which eventually end in the Yule King’s sleeping chamber..."

The Seventh Spot from the Head

  I sometimes (but not all the time) find a rhomboidal stone not far behind the “head stones” of some suspected Serpent “Stone Walls.” I sometimes wonder if this indicates the Seventh Scale where the heart of the Spirit Being is said to be – the only place (sort of an Achilles’ Heel”) where a human can wound or kill a Great Serpent.
    Anthropologist James Mooney mentions it when he described the Uktena as a “great snake, as large around as a tree trunk, with horns on its head, and a bright blazing crest like a diamond on its forehead, and scales glowing like sparks of fire. It has rings or spots of color along its whole length, and can not be wounded except by shooting in the seventh spot from the head, because under this spot are its heart and its life...” (Page 297 Myths of the Cherokee)

    Is this exactly Seven Stones behind the head in the photo below? It’s a little hard to tell:
    How about on the opposite side of the gateway? Hmmm, it looks a little harder to tell:
   There’s another (suspected Serpent) gateway a little less than a mile away (I’m guessing), a little compromised as well, near an older home, probably built just a little after 1740 or so. There’s that rhomboidal or diamond shaped stone again, more or less seven scales (if stones are scales or perhaps markings) from the larger head stone:

    (In Lakota mythology, Unhcegila is a similar Great Snake or Serpent and here too you find that seventh scale mentioned: “Her weakness is a seventh spot on her head, behind of which a flashing red crystal lies within, which functioned as her heart. To kill her, one has to shoot a medicine arrow at it. This crystal was much sought after by many warriors, as it grants its bearer great power,” or so Wikipedia believes and fails to provide a source.)
    And sometimes but not all the time, I find that rhomboidal much closer than seven suspected scales from the head of a suspected stone serpent: 
Below a drawing from a previous post about being suddenly surprised to see the previously unnoticed rhomboidal:

And yet another drawing in which I included a rhombus:
There's probably more about the rhomboidal shape than just this Seventh Scale thing, one more thing that there's so much more that I don't know than do know - but that's what learning is all about.
Very often, while driving, that diamond like shape catches my eye and I have to pull over and investigate (although once that happened to me in my own driveway). See it?
From the Flickr Album:
It was a little "Reading Lesson:"
You can tickle this blog up in the search field (reading this on a PC or Lap Top) or you can follow these below if you are looking at this on your cell phone:

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Stones on the Landscape

Stones on the New England Landscape
They write about:
Sheep and Cows,
Oxen and plows
      Linear Lines of Refuse
            A few Hundred years old

Those Boulders, they say, are a common feature of Old England dry stone walls.

Stones on the Landscape of Turtle Island
I look at, write about: The Spirit Being
Of a thousand Great Serpent Legends
Protectors of the Sacred Places defined by qusukqaniyutôkanash
                       Rows of stones that enclose places
                                Some a few Thousand years old

Those Boulders, I say, are a common feature of Indigenous Ceremonial Stone Landscapes

There are variations, but to get the point across for this alternative hypothesis,
I look for examples of (more or less) flat topped triangular boulders,
Especially those with the suggestions of something much like rattlesnake eyes
Paint eyes in to bring the point to life, again and again and again...

Overlay horns for emphasis again and again and again...

Someone moved the (possible fallen) Ulunsuti, I just noticed:

Painted in Ulunsuti - maybe where it was meant to go:

      Regarding large often triangular flat topped boulders at the beginning of dry stone walls, and especially those that also have a smaller stone placed on top of that that may just correspond to the Ulunsuti/Ulun'suti, a “jewel” found on the forehead of the Great Serpent: these maybe be Great Serpent Petroforms.
     If you think about the Human presence in the Americas as a long shirt, European style stone fences or walls in the Americas are, at best, the top or Sunday button and it has a proper corresponding top or Sunday hole. You can try but you can’t fit Monday through Saturday’s buttons into that single Sunday hole...

Monday, December 18, 2017

That Polka-Dot Dragon Re-write and Re-post

I know neither How nor Why the images on an old post about some stones up the road from me were compromised, so here's a little re-post that I tickled the old post into giving up:

Polka Dot Dragon or Beaver?
 Originally from SATURDAY, JULY 16, 2011
This used to be a "boulder field," rocky unplowed land, that was full of stones on boulders which I never had the chance to look at closely. Then the bulldozer arrived and it now it's been landscaped so that it now looks like this:

Somebody saw this one particular stone as a dragon or something like that and painted it mostly green and, perhaps inspired by John Lee Hooker, many polka-dots: 
     I on the other hand see a beaver, perhaps on a boulder that represents a turtle, as in the local Creation Story I've heard...   
(Flip the photo, add some eyes and lift an image:)