Piedra de "Los Deseos"
This enigmatic sphere that in Arjona is popularly known as "La Piedra de los Deseos" or "Las Casualidades", was incorporated into the city of Arjona in 1995. Despite these "titles" it has or is known currently to the stone, it is a betyl or sacred stone. This type of "Sacred Stone" comes from an excavation that was carried out in the old Gothic Cathedral of Jaén, which arrived in Arjona from the hands of our illustrious countryman Juan Eslava Galán.
If we analyze it from the geological point of view, it is a sandstone / limestone sphere, which is very eroded because it has been buried next to strong water currents, which have contributed to forming an innumerable amount of holes in them. along its entire surface, giving it even more that lunar-like character if possible. Leaving aside its geological nature and getting closer to its symbolic nature, we can say that it is a ritual or sacred stone as we have previously called, whose name in archaeological slang is Betilo. This type were used by sedentary prehistoric communities near the Neolithic. Their value was ceremonial or ritual since they were considered as deities associated with the fertility of the land or of women. This type of betylos used to be placed around the primitive sanctuaries or houses / caves of the leader of the community and rituals were celebrated around it.
In the case of ours "Stone of Desires", we find that in the upper part, it houses a hole of deep draft, whose purpose was to support the pagan deities once they take on a human figure, or later so that the communities Christian women placed the cross, an unequivocal symbol of Christianity.
This sphere arrived in Arjona in 1995, a year of terrible drought, in which the fields of Arjona offered a desolate aspect. By chance, the same day that the stone arrives in Arjona, a great storm breaks out that changes the appearance of those fields, diminished by the terrible drought that had plagued this town for months. It is curious how the power of this stone was quickly associated with rituals of Mediterranean cultures that have water as the main rite. That water that makes the earth fertile, that irrigates the fields and gives life to the crops, offers us the enigmatic aspect of this stone, whose ancestral function for which it was created was to symbolize the fertility of the earth. fertility that can only be achieved through rain, in this case and thousands of years later, the stone exercises that same symbolic power as soon as it reaches its new destination, Arjona.
On the nights of San Juan there are many Arjoneros, who come to this stone to practice rituals typical of Mediterranean culture. But this stone not only works on the night of San Juan, from its location in a privileged place in the Plaza de Santa María, it is available to the visitor and Arjonero any day of the year. In order for the visitor's wishes to be fulfilled, in Arjona we have devised a ritual to follow. This ritual consists of placing the 5 fingers of either of the two hands, in holes of similar size, once this ritual is done, a wish is made.
From here we wish that our "Stone of Wishes" grant you health and happiness.