Stone Rising Festival
Stones Rising is a six-day intentional community, where all actions are done with the purpose of furthering the growth of the Stone Circle, the Interfaith Sanctuary Church, and the Greater Tribe. It is a deep wellspring of our commitment to the Land.
Stones Rising 2018
- Four Quarters is an Interfaith Sanctuary: A place of safety of spirit, allowing all who attend the opportunity to seek, evolve and grow as they would wish. The heart of our Sanctuary is the Circle of Standing Stones, begun over 20 years ago when a single Stone was raised to inspire those that would come after: Follow in our Footsteps, Gather, Labor Together, Build a Circle for Yourselves and those not yet Born. For while the Stone Circle has many different meanings to each of us, we might all agree that it is the Heart of our Sanctuary… and it is good that we build it together as Community.
- We celebrate the seasons of the earth here at Four Quarters; And as summer wanes and harvest begins, our Tribe will gather together to Raise new Standing Stones, gathering in the achievements and abundance of the year. Stones Rising is ancient tradition made new. It echoes the burial grounds, cairns, and megaliths that were built millennia ago by our ancestors; the act of building and growing the Circle is our Gift, Hope and Promise to Ourselves, to our Ancestors, and to the Generations yet to come.
- Stones Rising is a six-day intentional community: Where all actions are done with the purpose of furthering the growth of the Stone Circle, the Interfaith Sanctuary Church, and the Greater Tribe. It is a deep wellspring of our commitment to the Land, our Church and our Tribe. From Wednesday evening to Monday noon we recognize that service is sacred, and we celebrate the service of our Tribemates. For it is by working with others on behalf of the community that the Stones are Raised.
We explore the heart of our individual and collective vocations, honoring the motivations for the work we do:
- Preparing – the people and spaces to receive the Sacred
- Empowering – the people to make change
- Connecting – the tribe to the Universe
- Sustaining – the work of all so that it may go forth into the future
There is a place for your individual vocation, whatever it may be, in the single ceremony of Stones Rising, and a chance to use your own gifts for the growth of the community. Perhaps you are called to bake at the hearth of the Corn Mothers, to stand a watch over the sacred places with the Warriors, to join your voice to the singing up of the Sun, to enter trance and dance the Drums alongside the Ancestors, to utter the sacred names in ceremonies, to take up the ropes to raise a sacred Stone, or to bear faithful Witness to the work of sisters and brothers. Whatever your gifts and your vocation, here there is a place for you, and your talents and courage are needed. Experience the myriad connections that you have with others in your Tribe, others whose work may be very different from your own. Here there is sacred work together, but also time for connection and to experience the bonds of community.
Together we will raise the arbors, we will sing the songs, we will feed the people, we will drum up the Moon, we will chant our prayers, we will witness the ceremonies, we will untangle the rigging, we will pour libation, we will dance the way open…and we will, all together, raise the Stones.We will retell the ancient stories, even as we again live them out and make history for our Descendants to tell. Once again, the Stones will rise, the Circle will be consecrated anew, and we will join together in celebration of the growing Circle that is Four Quarters.
For those for whom Devotion is their primary path of spiritual vocation, there will be three forms of community work, each happening at the Maypole site: Sunsong, Midday Prayer, and Moonbeat. Sunsong will be led each morning, with a cadre of celebrants whose voices greet the sun each day as it comes over the mountains. Midday Prayer will be led daily, with the offering of public prayers, both spontaneous and prepared, in a variety of traditions. Moonbeat will happen each night, with drums in anticipation of moonrise. Evening Fire Circles will reflect each day’s ritual and intention, and will host drumming, dancing, singing and trancing as well as Divination to gather wisdom and guidance for the People.
Though it is a group experience, Stones Rising moves every person in a different way. For some it is the opportunity to unplug: to serenely walk the Labyrinth; to contemplate the misty mountains in the early morning; or immerse themselves in the magic of the creek. For others it is the expectation of meeting new people—people who will go from being strangers to family in only a few short days. But for all of us Stones Rising is the opportunity to do something that matters—something that will last far longer than any of us will. It is the opportunity to continue the creation of sacred space as we raise megaliths with our brothers and sisters.
The Circle’s story is not just about the Stones: it is overlaid with personal histories, with hundreds of stories and memories and milestones. You will often see people laying their hands on the Stones. They might tell you that this is the first Stone they helped raise, or how it was raised in the rain, or how the rope broke. They might tell you about how this Stone took all day to pull, prompting you to remark, “It’s so small compared to the others!” The other person will smile and say that the Stones have minds of their own. They might tell you of the year that their baby was passed through the Mother Stone during the Baby Blessing, and of the people who were there who no longer come to the Farm. And with each year, the Circle’s history grows richer.
No membership binds us; no specific faith binds us. What binds us is a belief in the value of this world, this life, and the humanity we all share. Can you help raise Stones if you’re not a Four Quarters member? Yes! Can you help raise Stones if your path is spiritual path is solitary and unique? Yes!
What if you’re new and have never set foot on the Land before? Can you help raise Stones? YES!
We raise Stones the old way, the hard way, with heavy ropes, rollers made from tree trunks, and people. It could be done so much more easily, with so much less sweat and strain, if we would just use heavy construction equipment. But what would be the point? Machines are not important: it is the hands and feet and hearts of the people who move and raise the Stones that is important.