The Chintamani of the Roerichs: Tales of an extraterrestrial talisman: 14

14  A quest in an unexpected direction

As earlier mentioned, the Stone was also known to the Roerichs as the ‘Gift of Orion’. Given that they only disclosed information about it in cryptic form, it is highly significant to find a reference to this name in another context outside the Roerichs’ writings. Again it is Barchenko who is implicated, and it is information about his activities in this case which may elucidate our knowledge about the Gift of Orion. In 1926, an expedition Barchenko led to the Crimea in search of ancient culture is said to have had a secret aim, which was to seek ‘the stone from Orion’. Did he receive this name from Roerich, and if so, had he misunderstood in some way what Roerich had told him? How were different stones of the same name linked? Since the parent stone of the Roerichs’ Stone belonged in Central Asia, it could not at the same time have been located in the Crimea, and yet the name Barchenko used meant that there must be an association between the stones understood to be located at these two geographically separate sites. I would suggest that the unavoidable explanation must lie in the existence of an otherwise unknown – or certainly obscure – belief held by the Roerichs which must have concerned the disintegration of a hypothetical large meteorite in the ancient past whose fragments were widely scattered. This may also account for a number of anomalous passages about ‘the Stone’ in the Roerichs’ writings, and although each fragment could justifiably be called ‘a stone from Orion’, the Roerichs would nevertheless have regarded the Mongolian stone as the parent stone of their talisman, for the reasons already given, and that was why for them, this was specifically the ‘Gift of Orion’.


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