stonehenge spiritual meaning
London: New Generation Publishing. As David Field and six other colleagues well wrote (2015: 145), if sunrise observations from inside the monument were the intention then “the observation of solar events along the main axis could not have involved great numbers of people”. For this purpose the Heel Stone serves as the Sky God’s representative on earth. It is important to know that the recumbent Altar Stone at the focus of the monument lies across the Stonehenge summer-solstice axis. But would they really have put so much time and effort into the construction of something that today we take for granted? When watching from alongside the Heel Stone, I have viewed the shadow of the Heel Stone penetrating the circles of Stonehenge on several occasions at sunrise since June 1986. These studies also revealed the extraordinary mathematical sophistication and engineering abilities with which the stone rings were built. While the most famous of all is certainly Stonehenge, thousands of stone circles exist around the globe.From a small cluster of four or five standing stones, to a full ring of megaliths, the image of the stone circle is one that is known to many as a sacred space. Terry Snailum wrote: “We saw that the tremendously long shadow cast by the Heel Stone and passing through the central trilithon … finished exactly upon the altar [next to] where we were sitting.” Simon Banton, viewing inside Stonehenge in midsummer week in 2013, reported: “I’ve observed the shadow penetrating the circle and I’ve calculated that it would reach the Altar Stone under perfect conditions.”. Look at the list of power places in that country. Figure 1 below: Crucial are the positions of the two most important stones at Stonehenge: the Altar Stone at the focus of the monument and the Heel Stone 80 metres distant in the direction of the midsummer sunrise. Stonehenge, Avebury and Drombeg Stone Circles Deciphered for Their Core Symbolism. However, he was clever enough to intertwine this aspect with the character’s own cravings and needs. Using magnetometer measurements, ground penetrating radar, and airborne laser scanning, the geophysical survey covered an area of 12 square kilometers and penetrated to a depth of three meters. Conducting precise surveys at hundreds of stone rings, archaeoastronomers discovered significant celestial alignments indicating that the stone rings were used as astronomical observatories. Even a weak shadow can be seen by the human eye and this would have been good enough for apprehensive spectators of the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age who believed in the Mother Earth fertility religion of their epoch. It results from the particular positioning of Drombeg’s perimeter stones that allow a series of shadows cast by pillar-like megaliths to fall upon either one or the other of two female-symbolic stones. On the other hand, Figure 6 below is a true sunrise photograph from June 1989, but in which the shadow has been slightly darkened for purposes of clarity. The sun was then rising to the left of the Heel Stone (cf. Four thousand years on archaeologists are coming up with new theories. Stonehenge offered a way to establish calendar dates when no other method existed. The Altar Stone lies recumbent, horizontal, waiting for the male-symbolic shadow of the Heel Stone to arrive, which it does only in midsummer week. Hardy created characters that are at the mercy of fate and not masters of it. All visitors, pilgrims and revellers connect with our ancestors and with the enigmatic and arcane origins of the stones, and ultimately give Stonehenge its primal energy and continuity that any visitor enjoys today. "People came here to be made well.". (2018). Its purpose is shadow receiving. © Silent Earth 2014 - 2020. We know that Stonehenge was not a Roman temple, and accurate dating has also shown that it was completed at least a thousand years before the Druids roamed the British Isles. This is one of several reasons why so many more stone circles are being studied. Beginning in the 1950’s, Oxford University engineer Professor Alexander Thom and astronomer Gerald Hawkins pioneered the study of the astronomies of ancient civilizations, or archaeoastronomy. On the one hand there are the inbuilt positional features expected of an annual calendar that is based on eight repeatable dates that are always 45 or 46 days apart, starting with the winter solstice. One type, known as spotted dolerite, is from the Mynydd Preseli range in Pembrokeshire, Wales. After the shadow enters the monument, withdrawal occurs. Read more. The hieros gamos is one of the highest levels of intellectual spirituality that has ever been recognized as part of ritual and worship in prehistoric times. "The whole purpose of Stonehenge is that it was a prehistoric Lourdes," says Wainwright. The exact method of transporting the giant stones to Stonehenge, approximately 150 miles to the southeast, is uncertain. By contrast, if the greater idea was for an entire community of dozens or hundreds to appreciate and respect the occasion, then huge numbers of people standing near the Heel Stone outside the great circular ditch of Stonehenge could have witnessed the Heel Stone’s shadow entering the monument (Figures 1, 4, 5 and 6). Look at the list of countries in that region. More often, the sun rises through haze and appears red and slightly dimmed. Stone 40 is greatly damaged, but its base survives, located in its original setting (Figure 10). The Core Symbolism of Stonehenge POSTED IN Stonehenge, Dr Terence Meaden Explains the Core Meaning of Stonehenge as Achieved by Shadow Casting of the Heel Stone upon the Altar Stone at Midsummer Sunrise, A guest post for Silent Earth prepared May 2019. An even more remarkable origin is suggested by other theories of Stonehenge. Click on a particular site to see photos and descriptions. Its position, awkwardly disturbing the perfection of the perimeter of the grand sarsen circle, shows that although the intention of the planners was to raise an outer ring of 30 sarsens, each with tenons and lintels, the monument was never finished. (2015). Modern technology has allowed us to discredit some early explanations of Stonehenge's purpose. This happens in such a manner as to establish that the driving force behind the planning and construction at Drombeg was belief in a fertility religion. The occasions are the eight festival dates known to us from Iron Age Celtic times. One of these shadow-receptive stones is lozenge-shaped, the other is broad, flat topped and recumbent. Stonehenge and Avebury: Megalithic shadow casting at the solstices at sunrise. These biggest stones surround a central zone inside which the Altar Stone lies recumbent at the focus of the monument. Sometime between 1500 and 1100 BC, approximately sixty of the Bluestones were reset in a circle immediately inside the Sarsen circle, and another nineteen were placed in a horseshoe pattern, also inside the circle. Dr Terence Meaden Explains the Core Meaning of Stonehenge as Achieved by Shadow Casting of the Heel Stone upon the Altar Stone at Midsummer Sunrise. This is revolutionary stuff, and it comes from a reinterpretation of the stones of the henge and the bones buried nearby. But the most popular theory about the purpose of Stonehenge has survived since serious archaeological work first began on the site hundreds of years ago. It has been estimated that the three phases of the construction required more than thirty million hours of labor. Look at the list of world regions at the top. Most probably they were dragged across the land using a combination of human and animal power, and it has been suggested that large wooden logs may have been used as rollers to move the stones over flat areas of terrain. The choice and the exact positions of stones were important. One is that the great stone circle was a gigantic calendar. A guest post for Silent Earth prepared May 2019. Additional information about beliefs of the prehistoric peoples is available on my five Facebook timelines, together with the volume that treats the story of the universe, life, and prehistory and history of humankind, namely A New Bible in Three Testaments (New Generation Publishing, 2018). This attribute is not fortuitous, seeing that it complements the behaviour of the orientation of the Altar Stone as a matter of mirrored juxtaposition. Period II (2150 BC) saw the replacement of the wooden sanctuary with two circles of ‘Bluestones’, the widening of the entrance, the construction of an entrance avenue marked by parallel ditches aligned to the midsummer sunrise, and the erection, outside the circle, of the thirty-five ton ‘Heel Stone’. Meaden, G.T. Darvill and Wainwright believe the smaller bluestones in the centre of the circle, rather than the huge sarsen stones on the perimeter, hold the key to the purpose of Stonehenge. This embodiment is greatly illustrated in one of his most popular novels Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891), also considered as one of the darkest of his creations. Referring to the latest volume about Drombeg, Avebury and Stonehenge, the late Prof. Geoffrey Wainwright wrote to the author in September 2016: “I have read the volume with great pleasure. In Period I (radiocarbon-dated to 3100 BC), Stonehenge was a circular ditch with an internal bank. al. Four minutes later, on mornings when there is a clear-sky atmosphere, the strong shadow of the phallic Heel Stone is inside the monument (as in Figures 5 and 6). Learn. Seventeen previously unknown wooden or stone structures as well as dozens of burial mounds were discovered. To some in the excitable 1970s, Stonehenge was a landing pad for extraterrestrial visitors. According to Parker Pearson, "Stonehenge... was built not for the transitory living but for the ancestors whose permanence was materialised in stone.". Although it is precisely bisected by this axis, its own axial orientation is not perpendicular to the summer solstice axis. Moreover, the dynamic spectacles are still being witnessed by visitors today who arrive early enough in the morning to watch the relevant sunrises and events as they unfold. 81, 125-148. ... That suggests that even before Neolithic time it may have had spiritual or religious significance. Most recently, a project lead by Professor Michael Parker Pearson of the University of Sheffield has attempted to place Stonehenge in a wider landscape of religious ceremony.


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