Sunday, May 14, 2006

Effigy - A Work Of Art; A Work Of Spirit

Rarely does a small rock-on-rock feature thrill me. It takes something quite special and magnificent to really get my attention. It hasn't happened often, but when it has, it's been magical.

I had one such experience while exploring a high rocky outcropping in Exeter, RI. Unfortunately, this is one of the very few sites in Rhode Island where I have come across bona fide New Age features. The site is chock full of ancient features -- without a doubt -- but some of the New Age activity has had an impact on what ancient features remain intact.

Nonetheless, I stumbled upon the following curious arrangement of rocks off-trail and tucked out of sight.



The lichen cover is certainly evidence that this arrangement has been here for a long, long time. But I wondered if what I was seeing was a disturbed snapping turtle mound. I had seen turtle mounds with that beak-like protrusion before, and some explain that the beak represents a snapping turtle. But I wasn't convinced that this pile was that.

I decided to move on and explore other features, accepting that I probably would never know. But before I left, I decided to snap one more photo of the rocks from the side. As soon as I turned, I nearly dropped my camera in astonishment. There was no question in my mind what this effigy represented. It simply didn't reveal itself unless you looked at it from the side. To my mind, this effigy was an amazing piece of art. It was a stunning representation of a duck.



So before you dismiss that small pile of stones as inexplicable, and before you start looking for more complex explanations in the arrangements of small rock piles -- first, check all around it. Look at it from different angles both high and low, and 360 degrees. Look first for the work of art, and the work of spirit will reveal itself.

6 comments :

anonymous said...
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pwax said...

Yes it does look like a duck. It would be more substantiated as a duck if it was located somewhere near where there might be ducks. The idea is that an effigy representing a food source should be near to that food source. For example snails near fresh water shellfish areas, ducks near marshes and waterways.

JimP said...

The high outcropping overlooks a vast marsh to the northwest, and there are brooks running all around it. The head of the duck points from the marsh in a southeasterly direction.

One particular day on this outcropping I was rewarded with a spectacular scene: Fog was rising from all the brooks and waterways through the dense pine forests to the south and west. It was just a marvelous sight.

But I'm not sure I agree with exactly what you say. Places of celebration, for example, are places where one could find effigies that do not correspond to the surrounding landscape. One could do the, "duck dance," at just about any place where celebrations took place, not necessarily near water or marshes.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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pwax said...

I'll agree to this: I don't know what I am talking about.