It would be remiss of me during this weeks challenge to pass up an opportunity to mention Stonehenge so here it comes, enjoy
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument, located in Wiltshire, England, consisting of an outer ring of Sarsen stones around 13 feet high, 7 feet wide with horizontal Lintel stones laying on top and an inner ring of smaller Bluestones
The monument appears to have been positioned around the sunrise on Summer Solstice and if you were to stand within the stone circle, looking northeast through the entrance, you would see the sun rising in the direction of the Heel Stone.
Picture from EarthSky showing the sun rising behind the Heel Stone visible through one of the gates
There are many Folk Lores surrounding Stonehenge, including the story of how Stonehenge was brought from Ireland with the help of the wizard Merlin and the tale of The Devil and the Heel Stone.
What we do know, is that the origin of the stones positioned on the site are located far away from the actual site itself. Recent geochemical research has confirmed the Sarsen stones (weighing in at around 25-30 tons) originated in the Marlborough Downs, 20 miles (32km) away; whilst the Bluestones (weighing in at 2-5 tons) originated from Preseli Hills in south-west Wales, approximately 140 miles away!
Whatever the reason behind the need for these particular stones to be positioned at the site, we do know the workers went to extreme lengths to get them there. The quarry workers would have lowered the stones onto wooden sledges and dragged or carried them to the present location and, most likely, for part of the journey transported the stones via sea
Picture from English Heritage website
To erect a stone, it is believed that people dug a large hole with a sloping side, the back of the hole was the lined with a row of wooden stakes. The stone was then moved into position and hauled upright using plant fibre ropes and probably a wooden A-frame
A number of theories have been proposed to explain the purpose of Stonehenge. Some scholars view the positioning of the stones as evidence for the early astronomical significance of Stonehenge and when combined with the 56 Aubrey Holes found on the site (coinciding with the 56-year cycle for tracking the motions of the moon) believe that Stonehenge was developed as a sort of “early computer” for tracking eclipses of the moon and sun
Various theories have been suggested to explain the Stonehenge sun-moon alignments not just the possibility that the alignments form the basis of an early calendar, but also that the site was used as part of religious ceremonies
Picture by Graysons Art Club - he took 35 images of the Blood Moon Eclipse over Stonehenge to create this image
More evidence that backs up the theories that Stonehenge was used for religious purposes, include multiple deposits containing cremated and whole human bones dating from as early as 3000 BC, when the ditches and banks were thought to be first dug
One of my favourite theories with regards to the religious elements, is that the rising sun on the midwinter solstice represented a place for the living while the setting sun on the summer solstice represented a place for the dead and the journey between the two sites was part of a ritual passage from life to death. A place to celebrate both the living and the dead.
Whilst the true meaning behind Stonehenge will always remain a mystery, it is widely acknowledged that the site holds an enormous amount of Spiritual, Religious and Magickal heritage, and in 1986 the site and its surroundings were finally added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
Stonehenge is owned an protected by The National Trust and is further protected under the Ancient Monuments and Archaelogical Areas Act meaning - No person may touch, lean against, stand on or climb the stones, or disturb the ground in any way - if you don’t adhere to the regulations outlined in the act you may face criminal prosecution
The site is managed by English Heritage and there is a wealth on information on Stonehenge to be found on their website. If you are interested in learning more about the site I really recommend taking a look.
Love & Light to all