What are Your Standing Stones?

I love mysteries. Actually that’s not really true. I love figuring out mysteries.

A little over 15 years ago, some friends and I had the pleasure of visiting a number of the ancient Neolithic sites in Ireland as part of a tour group. We had a fabulous local tour guide who was chock-full of stories about what everything meant, what it was for, and what it did.

This stunning image is of the Stones of Stennes (in Scotland), taken by photographer Jim Richardson.


When it came to the standing stones though, he didn’t have a lot to say. Not a lot is known with confidence. There are loads of theories. The most likely theory was that they were connected with acknowledging the changing seasons, and the movement of the sun and the moon, so that the groups of people who had settled in the area would feel some certainty about when to plant their crops. Another theory that seems to make sense to those who study the prehistory and archaeology of the sites is that they were spirit houses, for some form of ancestor worship. A theory that I learned about as I was writing this blogpost is that they were also for showing off power and technical prowess; neighboring villages built bigger and more expansive arrays than their neighbors simply to show off. As much effort as I am sure it took to construct these monuments, I have a little trouble imagining that a little gamesmanship was going on.

What I do know with some clarity is that these stones were important to the locals and the life of their community. Which brings me to the question I’m asking today. What are Your Standing Stones? What are the ideals and tenets that you live by? What is important to you and worth expending time and energy toward manifesting or supporting in your life? I’m not asking necessarily for anyone to share their answers to these questions, and I’ll ask you to spend some time looking at the questions and seeing what arises for you. Once you have a working answer to these questions, please contemplate what you do in your daily life and how it is at least aligned on some level with those intentions.

One of the realizations I’ve had as I’m working my way through learning to tell better stories in the Story Skills Workshop (that I’m still in the middle of) is that we, and I’m including myself in that ‘we’, don’t necessarily spend a lot of time contemplating what we do on a routine basis and why it is important to us. I think it is useful to know what we each do, and why. I also think it is important to know why we do what we do together as a community. Please spend a little time and discover this for yourself, and for your own sense of satisfaction and well-being, embody what you find.


–Rev Janis Farmer

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