Lore of the She-she-tay Stones
By the collector of Cintamani Stones in the south west USA
Several years ago, She-she-tay, a tribal elder and direct descendent of a Salish Native American medicine woman, agreed to help gather the remarkable Cintamani stones found in a remote part of the Mojave Desert in south-central Arizona, USA. It was our thought that these special stones might be greatly multiplied in their powers if they were gathered in a sacred manner by one with a medicine woman’s connection to the earth. This proved true for all that have known their magical stones. They are Cintamani stones, a most magical of things! I say that they are She-she-tay stones. Maybe something as unique as Cintamani, but with their own special powers that might be at a similar level to Cintamani, but different. Unique. Worth calling by name: She-she-tay!”
I have had several requests that I share some of the direct experience and knowledge gained as we searched together for these special stones.
They are found widely scattered in wind-polished desert pavement, a surface deflated by the wind until only a terrazzo-floor of pebbles armors the surface. On our most recent trip we hiked a total of 32 miles, sometimes on flat desert floor, sometimes on steep banks with ball-bearing gravel, averaging about 1 stone per hundred feet in the search area. In the summer, it is far too hot for this sort of hike, but in the winter, when temperatures are tolerable, there is another problem: the shadows are long and dark making search conditions short and difficult, ——–which leads to one of the first of She-she-tay’s insights.
These stones are what she calls “shadow-hiders”. They make themselves completely invisible in the shadows. They appear inky black in the desert floor and look like a hole in the ground, or a dark shadow, or a piece of charcoal. They can only be seen in the sunlit places, and even then one must look exactly in the direction that the sun is looking. In the direct full ray of the sun, shadows are extinguished. When you look as the sun looks, you see only radiant faces fully illuminated by the sun. It is as if they present themselves to the sun, and at all other angles of view, they become invisible.
To look “as the sun looks”, one must look in the aura of light surrounding the shadow that one’s head casts on the desert pavement. There is a small halo surrounding your head shadow where you can see them in the same way the sun looks upon them. She-she-tay calls this manner of search, following the shadow of one’s head, “Shadow-walking”. It is best to walk in the direction the sun’s rays point, (which can lead you far into the desert!). You can walk to one side or the other, or even walk backwards, but always your unbroken concentration must be towards the sun halo surrounding the shadow of your head. If you look in any other direction, you see the dark shadows behind every stone, and every black shadow looks like a Saffordite. They are rare. You cannot check each of millions of shadows! In the direction that the sun looks, the good ones stand out as the blackest thing in view in a world where all else is brightly lit.
This hints at another quality of these stones: they are “lovers of light”. They absorb every ray of the sun and cling tightly, not allowing the slightest reflection to escape. For this reason, they look inky black, and hide in the shadows. But do not misinterpret their darkness: they drink in light like a sweet elixir and allow none to be lost! All the other millions of stones refuse entry to the light, and the light bouncing off of their stony hearts appears bright, indeed!
As the whole earth tips into the long shadows of winter, one’s shivering head shadow extends far into the distance, too far away to allow discrimination of these mostly very small stones half-buried in the wind-blown surface pavement. There is only a 3 or 4 hour period in the mid-day when the winter shadows shorten to a place where vision is sufficiently acute to permit seeing. Early in the morning, none can be found. As the shadows lengthen in mid-afternoon, one suddenly realizes that they have again retreated into invisibility and it is time for the long trek out of the desert. They are shadow-hiders and light-lovers! And for those who would truly see there is a brief window in time where you must look exactly in the direction the sun is looking. There you can see the face of the stone that the sun sends its love. Once in a great while, here and there, a single stone that grants admittance to all the light and resists none. A stone representing what we would like to be—- One in a million, maybe a million million. One of the few that loves the sun, bringer of life.
These stones also respond to the searcher’s mental attitude. After one day of quite successful collecting, I was a little too boastful of our success. I passed a restless night, with disturbing dreams. The next day, I was finding few. I don’t remember asking directly, but I somehow understood that She-she-tay would question my attitude. So I began searching with a more reverent mind-set, and when a much-desired stone revealed itself to me, I said “Thank you!” audibly, and picked it from the earth with a proper sense of wonder and appreciation. Many, touched my lips in a heart-felt kiss. I realized that on the previous day, I had begun to take them for granted. By the richness of our experience and success, I had become numb and insensitive, forgetting how special these are! Understanding that, and going forward in more sacred manner, they once again began showing themselves to me (and I had a good night’s rest—-).
I wrote above of them showing themselves, in truth, offering themselves, to the worthy seeker. This is something that She-she-tay has often mentioned: “It is as if they call out to me. There is a moment of great joy as one calls “Here I am! Please pick me up!”” She sometimes squeezes them in her fingers and speaks to them saying: “You are going to be greatly treasured by the one you are going to!”
These are stones of deep metaphor! Shadow-hiders, light-lovers, offering their full attention to the face of the sun, facing it full on, then turning and searching in the direction the sun looks, seeing what the sun sees, shadow-walkers, light auras of vision, seeing in the only way possible something that in all other views is invisible, spiritual respect and thanksgiving, a delighted greeting like a child running to its mother after an absence. “Here I am! Please pick me up and love me!”, spoken the same with or without words.
Metaphors hidden in a stone. The She-she-tay stone! In telling you its story, it brings gifts of wonderful knowledge and delight! This stone has such power, and I cannot deny that this is true magic at a very high level. This is real. Learn this story and let this stone help you to always remember the story. There is a blessing, many blessings, hidden in this. Blessing hidden in a stone!
A story. A metaphor. A blessing.