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Exeter Anthology of Old English Verse

An 8th Century poem, thought to have been written about Bath, could be the oldest surviving text to describe Stonehenge, an academic has claimed.

Extracts from "THE RUIN"

"Fate has shattered the wondrous, mighty stone. The city is broken, the work of giants has perished. "The top parts have fallen, the high rocks tumbled, the beams are bereaved, the mortar has failed ... the old ones are eaten away. "Before in this place has been many men, joyous and splendidly adorned, with treasure, silver, worked gems, wealth, riches... "Near where the raised stones stand there is a warm stream with a wide spring."


TRAVEL TO SEE THE MONOLITHIC SIGHTS OF THE WORLD - EXPERIENCE HEARTSTONE

 

The Mystery of Heart and Stone

Stonehenge: The Celts call these standing Giants, the Elders.  A tribute to Brittan's Neolithic Ancestors. 

Callanish: erected in the late Neolithic era, and was a focus for ritual activity during the Bronze Age.

Machu Picchu: a citadel of cut stone fit together without mortar so tightly that its cracks still can’t be penetrated by a knife blade.

Easter Island: silent stone figures are carved into head-and-torso figures, average 13 feet (4 meters) tall and weighing 14 tons

The Great Pyramid at Giza:  the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.  The tallest "man-made" structure in the world for over 3,800 years.  There have been varying scientific and alternative theories about the Great Pyramid's construction techniques. Most accepted construction hypotheses are based on the idea that it was built by moving huge stones from a quarry and dragging and lifting them into place.

 

The Natural Stone & Petroglyphs of Sedona:  sone of the most majestic Red Rock formations in the United States.  Ancient petroglyphs, cliff dwellings and the original aquifers blessed by the ancient peoples and still revered by the indigenous to this day.

Joshua Tree National Monument:  sone of the most beautiful Rock Formations with Ancient Petroglyphs in California, Set under a Starry Sky.

 

                                 Stonehenge Musings by Mari MacEwen, "The Mysterious Circle," (c) all rights reserved 2015.    

- Mari has a Certificate from the University of Buckingham in Stonehenge -
                                   

The Mysterious Circle

How does our age respond to Stonehenge?  For as long as written history can remember and before, where evidence remains, Stonehenge has been visited on the Solstices and cyclically.  Ancient and modern man has returned again and again to marvel at it's mystery, it's power, and it's known and unknown significance. 

Even though there is some debate about it, Stonehenge appears to be in part an Astronomical Calendar. In 1720, William Stukeley identified it's access on the midsummer sunrise when he noted the sun on the summer solstice rose close to the Heel Stone, and the sun's first rays shone into the center of the monument's interior during that special time of year.

Recently, however, Archeologists have found evidence documenting that Prehistoric man actually frequented Stonehenge instead, cyclically on the Winter Solstice, from examining carbon dated Pig's and Cattle's teeth & bones from animals slaughtered in December / January, found at Durrington Walls.  Quantities of animals were slaughtered on a yearly basis during Solstice in what could have been precursor to the Yule Feast. The conclusion emphasizes that early man gathered at Stonehenge again and again en mass during Winter for feasting & possibly ceremony annually.  Astronomically, sunrise at Stonehenge Winter Solstice is marked by the sun coming though the gap in between the Trilithon, 2 large vertical stones supporting a top Lintel.

As of the 19th century, Stonehenge was considered a "must see" location, and tourists journeyed from all over to Briton to visit the site.  There was visible Graffiti scrawled into the stone as early as 1863 as a bastion of modern expression.

When Virginia Wolfe visited the site, she stated that she didn't realize that the stones had such a look of purpose & arrangement; and found it obvious that it was a recognizable temple even though many rocks were fallen, vandalized or out of place.  Virginia Woolf  "finds in this fossil of ancient ritual a poignant metaphor for the disconnect between spiritual worship, as it was originally conceived, and the vacant pantomime of Western Culture."  She says, "there is a rugged pillar someway out side the circle whose peak makes exactly that point on the rim of the earth where the sun rises in the summer solstice, but the thing that remains in ones mind, whatever one does, is the stupendous mystery of it all."

From 1974-1984,   Free Festivals at Stonehenge attracted hippies, wanderers, artists, poets, spiritual people and those who yearned for a world of freedom, centered on the real or imagined ideals of ancestral origin, psychedelic experience, and a world that rejected material gain, hierarchy and imposed law and order.  Like Virgina Wolfe, many festival goers saw Western culture as disconnected from the ancient intent.  Here these travelers embraced the paradigm of love and community without the world's ideals of property ownership and restrictions.  They made the yearly pilgrimage to this festival where all were included in a general free expression of music and ceremony.  Here some felt psychedelic explorations mimicked the mindset of the ancients.  Some damage to the site occurred in these gatherings.

 

In 1985 however, during the Thatcher administration, it was decided that the status-quo government would no longer allow the gathering of the people en mass, uncontrolled to the site, and during the annual pilgrimage of the travelers to the festival, over 1,000 police (bobbies) ambushed a convoy of travelers, and  proceeded to beat them, and block them from making the yearly pilgrimage to the Henge.  In what was termed the "Battle of the Beanfield," many travelers were beaten, the windows in their cars and buses were smashed and 508 arrests were made discouraging the visitors, and forbidding them to pilgrimage to Stonehenge.  After the ordeal and a prohibition of access to Stonehenge was instated, Lucy Lepchani questions in her article,

            "...could we learn from our mistakes? Are too many people too far from love, trust and freedom to re-create this anywhere near as well?  I believe the answer is in the secrets of our ancestors - ours if we seek them out in all the ancient  sacred places and realize them.

Though a fence was erected around the stones, Pagan leader Arthur Pendragon won an appeal allowing open access to the stones on the Solstices again in 2000.

Currently Druids, Neo-druids, Pagans, Wiccan, New Ager's, spiritual people, animists, British historical enthusiasts, and tourists still make pilgrimages to Stonehenge if not occasionally, annually.  Druids honor the ancestors, and the very nature of Stonehenge as an ancestral burial place of the dead fits the druid sensibility.  In a class video on the Solstice one of the interviewees states,  "People are being drawn to the energy of this place even if they are not spiritual."  And another states, "something is calling us all here to celebrate the sun, stars, and moon.

Recently in 2014, there were 36,000 revelers at the Solstice.  Unfortunately in 2015, Stonehenge was damaged with chewing gum, graffiti and anointing oil during the Winter Solstice, and conservationists are again requesting a ban preventing open access to the stones during the solstices.

Stonehenge built in the shape of a circle exemplifies the path of return.  Like the orbit of a planet, like a path that always comes back unto itself, the very nature of Stonehenge is to contemplate the return, and to return again and again to the monument.  We must have access.  This seems to be built into the very construction of the site and intended into it's very purpose.  We are cyclic, the seasons are cyclic, our traditions are cyclic,  Stonehenge is the ancient circle.  We trace our roots, we look to the ancestors.  We yearn for it, we have no choice.  The mystery pulls us, even if we know not why.  The heavenly bodies orbit and the sun returns. The salmon return to the place of spawning.  This is the mythos of the circle.  Our ecosystem is cyclic.  The rain becomes the river and goes to the ocean and returns to the clouds and rains again.  We have an ecologic responsibility to our planet and Stonehenge reminds us that if we do not care for it, we will ruin it and life forever.  We need to truly learn what that means.  Even though we wish to make our mark, sometimes we need to learn to refrain and preserve for future generations so we may return again and again without fail.                                                    Mari MacEwen - (c) 2015

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