Hello and welcome to the Arizona Rocks Tours blog. One purpose of this site is to educate residents and tourists of northern Arizona, and southern Utah, and to stimulate discussion of issues affecting the area. Another is to attract customers for my Sedona based touring business.
This site is meant to be for you. It is an outlet for me. Posts include local geology, Native American history of the area, philosophical musings, Northern Arizona announcements, anthropological information, and other fun things to do. If you enjoy your time here, have thoughts about what you read, or are interested in a tour, please contact us or leave a comment!
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Have fun and come visit Arizona Rocks in person!
Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In in Seligman, AZ was established by Juan and Mary Delgadillo in 1953 along Route 66. The building was built by Juan, with the help of his father and his brothers, out of scrap lumber he collected while working for the railroad. Juan retired from the railroad and worked everyday at the Snow Cap until the day he died, June 2, 2004 at the age of 88. Juan became well known through many magazines and newspaper articles as one of the co-founders of Historic Route 66. He was cherished by tourists for the antics he pulled on them while they were trying to order food and drinks. Many people still stop by and say that the place is the same as it was when they came by as a young person. Continue reading Snow Cap- An Historic Route 66 Landmark
Witchcraft and sorcery have been recognized as a cause of human misfortune for millennia and it appears that these causes are nearly, if not entirely, universal; belief spreads from America to Africa to Asia. Records of witchcraft and sorcery are evidenced in rock art and date to pre-historic times. There is also evidence that some people of “small stature” do not believe in witchcraft (Klahari Bushmen, Pygmies, and Andaman Islanders). Even though “savages” have a rational connection to the world around them, witchcraft and sorcery are embedded in cultures throughout history.
In an attempt to account for human illness and adversity spirits and gods are frequently invoked, but there is a nearly universal belief that at least some of this misfortune is caused by individual humans using supernatural means. While being closely related terms in general usage, witchcraft and sorcery can be distinguished for anthropological purposes. Witches are believed to have innate psychic powers that may or may not be under their conscious control. This power is passed by heredity or implanted at an early age. Continue reading Cultural Significance of Witchcraft and Sorcery…Part 1
Ethnomycology is the study of the historical use of mushrooms. (I must take an aside by for personal experience. My brother-in-law worked in the past for Pfizer, researching spider venom for use in medicinal pharmaceuticals. He left to open his own lab where he extracts enzymes from mushrooms from all over the world to sell to companies like Merc, Pfizer, and Cline, for development of new medicines). The “flesh of God” has been used for millennia. Mushrooms of all kinds may induce an altered state of consciousness, but experimenting is very dangerous, as some may cause death.
Peyote cults are groups which use peyote for spiritual practice, where the Indians say that unless one is morally upright, he can not partake of the peyote. Peyotism is the religion of the Native American Church, founded in 1918 and may have come about as a way to deal with the defeat of their culture. Peyotism is a religion of submission and withdrawal, and one of its primary values is contemplation. Continue reading Altered States of Consciousness and Religion…Part 2
The North Rim of the Grand Canyon will finally reopen after seven months of closure. Each year the North Rim closes on October 15th and reopens on May 15. Highway 67 will reopen by 7 a.m. Saturday morning and Ranger programs will begin that afternoon. Grand Canyon Lodge and Grand Canyon Trail Rides will also begin their summer operations. the Visitor Center, campground, and backcountry permitting office, along with the Grand Canyon Association bookstore will all open at 8 a.m. The summer really gets into swing at the Grand Canyon when the entire park is open, and that starts this weekend!
We know every year when the “season” begins with the opening of the North Rim. The North Rim is further from the river than the South Rim, and is over 1,000 feet higher in elevation. Views and hiking are spectacular. Don’t miss out on this seldom visited view of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World! For more information and reservation phone numbers visit http://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm
The occult plays a role in American society today that may be sorely underestimated. Horoscopes appear in daily newspapers; psychic hotlines were once the rage; tarot cards are for sale everywhere; and ouija boards are still found in many homes. Our continued interest in all things occult poses an interesting question; how are we different than “primitive” societies that embraced the occult, and why did they?
American “culture” imposes on us continual stress. Is the stress of having enough money to feed your family any different from ensuring that ancient crops grew? Is the stress of an angry and antagonistic mail carrier co-worker different from a neighbor that is a sorcerer? Stress and worry impose upon us all, whether American or Trobriand, a fear of what may come in the future. We feel out of control of our surroundings. Continue reading Continued Interest in the Occult in American Society
Religion and altered states of consciousness have been so closely associated over thousands of years that the case could be made that they are in fact symbiotic in nature. Belief in spirits leads to the desire to communicate with spirits, to learn about them and know them. Altered states of consciousness allow this communion. Trance states induced by ritual, drumming, drugs, and suggestion can all be equally effective in facilitating the movement into the spirit world.
Drugs are the ingestion or application of any substance for other than nutritional reasons. Lewin developed a classification of drugs published in 1924 that includes the categories of Euphorica, Phantastica, Inebriantia, Hypnotica, and Excitania. A modern category has been added, known as Ataraxics. These categories include sedatives, hallucinogens, depressants, and stimulants. Continue reading Altered States of Consciousness and Religion…Part 1
The use of drugs by “primitive” or traditional societies was generally restricted to religious purposes. Often this religious use was restricted to the shaman, priests, chiefs, kings and other persons of power and prestige. The drugs used ranged from tobacco to peyote, and pslocybe to alcohol. The purpose was to induce an altered state of consciousness wherein the user could meet the supernatural. While use for religious purposes continues today (peyote in the Native American Church and incense in the Catholic Church (see below)), use of drugs in western society is typically limited to medicine and recreation. Rampant addiction to caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, heroin, and alcohol is not uncommon in western culture and drug use is typically not for the purpose of a religious practice; it is for the purpose of escape. Continue reading Drug Use in Primitve and Modern Culture
The means of association and communication with supernatural beings is hugely variable across the cultures of the world. This differentiation is readily apparent when looking at the shaman and the Catholic priest and their respective relationship with spirit.
A shaman moves through the spirit world. He can transport himself into the spirit realm, talk with spirits, and ask them questions at will. And they talk back. A shaman derives his power from this direct, personal communication with the other worldly. His maneuvering of the supernatural landscape, interacting with animal, mineral, and “land of the dead” spirits, makes him a focal point of a hunting and gathering society. Continue reading Catholic Priest and Shaman- a Contrast of Communications
The etiology and treatment of disease is controlled by culture. They reflect the belief system of a culture and are inherently tied to it. Religion and medicine are closely associated with each other in non-western cultures and disease is believed to be caused by natural or supernatural means. As science is an outgrowth of religion, it too is tied to medicine in the west, almost exclusively. Anthropologists have studied non-western cultures throughout the world and have identified six primary disease theories that are prevalent. These include natural causes, imitative and contagious magic, object caused disease, soul-loss, spirit-intrusion, and breach of taboo. The cause of disease western culture is exclusively natural. Continue reading Culture, Religion, and Disease…Some Thoughts