Legend of the Fairy Stone/Loretta & Crystal
- Hey Friends :)Fairy Stones (staurolite) are cross-shaped stones found in the mountains of Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. The legend of the Fairy Stone is a story woven from the beliefs of the Cherokee and the Mountain People.Country music singers Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gale (sisters) have Cherokee and European ancestry. Loretta grew up in the mountains of KY, later the family moved to Indiana (for better job opportunities) where Crystal was raised. Loretta wrote two memoirs: Coal Miner's Daughter and Still Woman Enough. I read Still Woman Enough, its an interesting story, written with spunk & honesty. Loretta's music is inspired from her heritage and her upbringing--the traditions and beliefs of the Mountain People are mixed, relying on customs passed down from the Native Americans who once lived in the mountains & the European settlers.Legend of the Fairy StoneWhen two cultures such as the Scot's and the Cherokee first collide, then mesh, they begin to absorb each others customs while maintaining their own particular traditions. Here you have two different holistic cultures, coming together not only in commerce but also in faith...Christianity. New myths and legends can develop out of this newly formed unity of concepts.(This is a delightful story, an excerpt is below)
Howdy! I'm Nathanael O. Smith. I've lived in these mountains all my days, wouldn't ever dream of leaving here, my ancestral roots are here to stay. I've been telling tales and hearing tales all my life, its what my family and neighbors have been doing in these parts for generations. Tales about pioneers and the folks that arrived here directly from the "Old World." Some of my fondest tales have been about the Cherokee people, they're really the first mountain people, and they lived here longer than time will tell....
He told my pappy that he knew he was lost and that it was ok to cry. He said he could tell my pappy was just a boy on the edge of becoming a man. He told pappy that often, when boys in his tribe passed through the fire from boyhood to young brave there is a stinging in the heart that causes a great sorrow within, it was nothing to be ashamed of. Pappy asked him if he were of the Cherokee tribe, the stranger said he was of a tribe that was more ancient than the Cherokee. He told pappy a tribal name he never heard before. Pappy said he was friendly, spoke English and shared his food with him.
He went on to tell my pappy all about the customs of his people, how they lived out of the sight of both the white man and Cherokee tribe. He told me how his people lived in houses grouped tightly together underground. The stranger told pappy that his people had lived in this region since the beginning of time, both his tribe and a tribe of little people. He told of a time after the great flood when his people and the little people divided over who had control over the sacred powers. He told pappy how the little people had stole the sacred basket of potions, magic and the secrets of making charms. The little people then escaped into the far southern reaches of the Mountains of the Blue Sky.
One night, many many generations ago, the little people gathered together to celebrate the giving of the Great Spirit. They danced, sang and feasted through the night, near a pool deep in the woods. At the height of their celebration a spirit messenger appeared before them and said he was from a village in the distant, "Land of the Dawn." The spirit messenger told them that the Son of the Great Spirit whose name was Christ had died at the hands of man. The little people listened quietly as the messenger explained how they placed Him on a cross and drove spikes through his hands, that he hung there and suffered for the wrongs of mankind until he was pierced through the side with a warriors spear and died.
The little people's hearts were filled with sadness and they began to cry. As they cried, their tears fell to the ground and turned into stones. The stones were not round or square but formed the shapes of tiny crosses. Long after the messenger left, the little people continued to cry, they cried until all their magic poured out in tears onto the ground. They knew the ways of old were coming to an end and that the sacred magic would no longer be theirs to possess. The little people disappeared into the forest around the fields that held their tiny crosses. When they saw someone come and pick up one of their tear made crosses, they would follow them and watch over them, bringing them good luck. The little people too were changing with the times.
With that, the stranger handed my pappy the cross and said, "I give this to you because your tears today are special, you are becoming a man and you will need great strength to endure what lies ahead in your life. Keep this tiny crystal cross with you always and when you grow old and are ready to pass beyond this world, give the cross to someone special, you will know who that will be when the time comes."