About Petroglyphs

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T hroughout the ages, native peoples around the world have left their symbolic art in the form of rock writings, wood and stone carvings, weavings and pottery designs.

These images from the remote past, though ultimately indecipherable, are rich with symbolic meaning. l have long been intrigued by what seems to be a universal shamanic language and have incorporated these ancient images into my handmade-paper art.

From my home in New Mexico I travel extensively, visiting sites throughout the world and collecting images for my art work. Inspiration may come from an Australian Aboriginal pictograph, or a piece of North American pottery, an Ice Age cave painting in Europe or a stone carving from Mexico.

These primitive images and the mythologies which imbue them are compelling, for they hint of a time when man- and woman-kind connected directly with the spirit world, calling on invisible energies for protection, health, fertility and well-being. I would like my artwork to suggest that a magical interaction with mystery is possible in this age.

More information about petroglyphs can be found through this page of petroglyph links.

Animal Medicines & Clan Symbols

HORSE—wealth, power, freedom, journey
BEAR—strength, medicine, healing
EAGLE—great spirit
BISON—abundance, blessing, success
TURTLE— longevity, stability, protection
LIZARD/GECKO— guide to spirit world
RAVEN— messenger
FROG— healing
SNAKE/SERPENT— rain, water, wisdom
BIG HORN SHEEP— rain, counting
BIRD— flight of spirit
DEER— plentitude
THUNDERBIRD— happiness, rain
WOLF— loyalty, intelligence, guidance
COYOTE— trickster

Simple Guide to Rock Art Symbols

migration, power, growth life, migration, power, growth
ceremonial signature or prayer prayer
handprint
with spiral
handprint with spiral:
healing
Kokopelli: fertility
celestial activity, guidance
clouds, rain, rainbow

water and seeds
zia: sun symbol, happiness

ceremonial dancers
shaman: communication
with spirits
ancestral spirit
bird: flight of spirit
horns: connection with the spirit world