Carins - The Way Showers
What Are All Those Stacks of Stones?
We were recently in Sedona and noticing the many carins. “What are all those stacks of stones about?” someone asked. I had an idea but wanted to look it up. I liked what I found..
The word carin comes from the Gaelic. These stacks of stones and have been used since prehistoric times. Since I’m an ancient history geek, I dug in. Apparently, across the globe, erected over the eons, they mark gave sites, ceremonial sites, buried items, and have served to protect during hunting. But mostly, they were and are used as markers to show the way along a path or when the path wasn’t visible; they directed people which way to go.
When hiking in Sedona, for example, they are numerous. Firstly, the Sedona trails are marked with not only signs but formally placed three foot tall metal wire columns filled with stones. I believe these are a version of what we know as carins. They show the way through the red rock canyons and forests and seem to be an official park marker.
Then there are another type -- balanced sculptures. These were done by the hikers. We see them at vistas and places where one appreciates the hike and looks around in awe. These carins are not necessarily being used for any of the purposes mentioned in the previous paragraphs. They are simply rocks balanced on top of of another carefully, thoughtfully and with intention.
Why do people do this? It feels artful, contemplative and meditative to me. I fancy the ones building it are remembering another, a beloved. Maybe they just like the task and the feel of touching the rocks and being quiet. When we get quiet, go inward, we are in a way, looking for direction. I can imagine and understand the ones who have gone within to receive answers to questions and to find direction from the heart. I see these balanced rocks like lit candles inside a chapel or temple; they are prayers someone left behind which are now infused into the landscape. In this way, the space feels sacred. In veneration, I acknowledge others’ receiving guidance from within, from their higher self - This is The Way. ~Christine
We'll be heading to Sedona for an adventure in March 2018-- Details coming soon!