Sorry Rocks of Uluru
By James Donahue
Deep in the heart of the vast desert lands of central Australia stand two massive rock giants known
among the Aboriginals as Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
They are both geological enigmas since they appear like giant red rock mountains standing in the middle
of a massive flat desert. Uluru rises to a height of 1,114 feet and measures 5.6 miles around the base. The red sandstone
rock is better known to the Australians as Ayers Rock.
Only 18 miles to the west stands Kata Tjuta, a series of massive rounded rocky domes. The highest
dome, called Mount Olga, towers 1,970 feet above the desert floor. Separated by narrow gorges, the domes cover an area of
about five miles long and three miles in width.
Naturally, both monuments are considered sacred to the Aboriginal people. They also are an attraction
to tourists who enjoy climbing the rocks, especially Uluru. The area has been declared a national park by the Australian government.
So much for the geography lesson.
Park employees say that something very odd is happening at Uluru. Many tourists that climb and peak
have had a tendency to pick up pieces of the red rock, or even chip away a piece of the monument for souvenirs. After a period
of time, the stolen stones are returned, sometimes with letters explaining the bad luck they are believed to have caused.
They say most of the pieces come in the mail. Some are only small stones while others weigh as much
as 75 pounds. The park receives an average of one rock a day.
The stones are cluttering the park offices and officials say they dont know what to do with them.
The natives are calling them "sorry rocks."
One article said the letters indicate a variety of reasons for the strange mailings. One mans note
said that "six years' bad luck is enough." Others say they have repented for stealing from a sacred monument and are returning
the stone out of respect for the Aborigines. Writers even suggest that the pieces of Uluru are returned "out of sadness and
It does not appear that the Aborigines have put a curse on the stones. But it is clear that something
magickal is happening to the people that take the rocks from Uluru.
That is how magic works, of course. After living with the Native Americans in the Southwest United
States, my wife and I can attest to its strange power.
Aleister Crowley had a different spelling of magic because he believed there is a distinct difference
in definitions between the two words.
While magic is a reference to trickery, illusion and slight-of-hand, Crowley's definition of "magick"
is very different.
In his book Magick in Theory and Practice, he wrote that magic is "the science and art of causing
change to occur in conformity with the will." He said it may be defined "as any event in nature which is brought to pass by
I have often heard the warning that we must "be careful about our thoughts" because the human mind
expresses personal will. A strong through can send powerful energies that are capable of bringing about a magical reaction.
Some people, often through study and practice, have the ability of sending controlled thought patterns off to bring about
a desired effect. They are called magicians.
The Hopi, Navajo and Apache people that we associated with during our years in Arizona were all practitioners
of magic. Their medicine men use it for healing and changing lives. They used it to bring rain, and to ward off evil spirits.
I have no doubt the Aborigines of Australia know the same rituals and practice the same kind of magic.
Thus it is no surprise that the stolen pieces of their sacred red rock in the arid desert region that
is their home are coming back.