Iceland: (Is)land* of Living Rock

*Iceland is actually spelled “Island” in Icelandic.

The first night I spent in Iceland, I woke up from a wild nightmare and in the intervening sleepless and restless hours before I finally fell back asleep, I decided that the locals might in fact be right that the rocks were alive, or at least were inhabited by some type of consciousness. Local myth has it that there are trolls and elves that live in/around the various volcanic rocks and there are many, many stories about various road and construction projects being diverted/suspended in order to appease some rock-dwelling elves or trolls. My favorite is the story about how the Keflevik airport foreman was visited by elves in a dream and asked to halt runway clearing for two weeks while a family of elves relocated to a rock out of the construction zone. He granted their request and construction resumed two weeks later.

In Ayurvedic/Vedic theory, all material is imbued with consciousness/Spirit -even rock. Inanimate objects such are rocks are seen to have consciousness, but it is in a deep state of Torpor, or Tamas/Sleep/Quietude. Interestingly enough, Iceland is the youngest landmass on our planet, having emerged from deep sea volcanic eruptions a mere 16-18 million years ago. Considering that the rock/land of Iceland is incredibly young compared to other Continental standards, perhaps this might explain the long and rich tradition of people experiencing the rock as having a “liveliness” about it. It is, after all, quite youthful, having been in a rather heated state of “Rajas” (fiery activity) only a geologically short time ago. Kids these days…

Anyway, I did finally fall asleep that night.

Enjoy a couple of pictures from the trip…


In the photo above, you can (barely) see where the clouds end and the glacier begins. We were really quite far away from it, but this is just a tiny tip of a massive ice sheet covering distant mountains.


This picture was taken standing on the shore of the Laugervatn Lake. On the shore of the lake there is a pretty big thermal spring spraying steam and boiling water into the lake water. It’s quite amazing and rather dangerous. All around the edge of the water, there were little bubbling, boiling spots. Happily, right down the shore from where I took this picture, there is a very nice “Spa” hot spring facility where the steam and boiling water is cooled down and run into nice soaking pools.


This is the spectacular Gulfoss waterfall. It doesn’t look like much until you know that the little tiny dots in the upper left hand corner are people. Yup. This is a some serious glacial runoff…


Iceland should really be called Rainbow Land… This is the view from the front deck of our vacation cabin -note the little sheep in the pasture. There were rainbows all over the place the whole time we were there… Even when we were sitting in the lovely Laugervatn hot tubs at the hot spring I mentioned above… just consider the previous lake view, from a warm hot spring tub, then add a rainbow. Yup. Iceland.


The thing that threw me off the most was the long, long twilight period. Because it is still before the Autumn equinox, the days in Iceland are very long. Since the “vespers” are my favorite time of day/night, this was great for me. I don’t know how I would feel, though, if my entire day consisted only of twilight, which is what happens in the winter months…




One thought on “Iceland: (Is)land* of Living Rock

  1. Beautiful photos Viv! Sounds like you all had a (well deserved) relaxing time. And I have heard the same about attitudes towards elves/trolls/fairies there. Must have been interesting to see and experience such a different geographical place.

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