News media like to publish theories about what Stonehenge is. Facts seem to be boring. A century ago Stonehenge was said to be a Temple aligned to the Summer Solstice Sun Rise. A decade ago Stonehenge was purported to be a place of healing. The Bluestones are said to have healing properties. In recent years the publicized view is that Stonehenge is a graveyard. The latest press releases say that the Bluestones, transported from Preseli Mountain in southwest Wales, are musical instruments.
Each time a new theory is proposed, all previous theories are trashed by the purveyors of the new one. Individual archaeologists compete for press coverage, and news media like to publicize controversy. So it’s all ME, not WE. Attempts at actual understanding of Stonehenge are sacrificed to the God of Entertainment.
For many centuries up to the mid-twentieth, Christian graveyards were often situated around the local Churches. The Church was the initial sacred place, and that’s why the graveyard was placed there.
The burial mounds around Stonehenge are apparently not older than 5000 years, the age of the initial construction at that sacred place, the Ditch and Bank. There are several possible reasons why that place was initially considered to be sacred, but the reason is not needed for us to be convinced that the place was, and is, considered to be sacred.
Saying that Stonehenge is a graveyard, or that Newgrange in Ireland is a Passage Tomb, is like saying that the graveyard around a Parish Church was the reason that the Church was built at that place, or that Westminster Abby is a Passage Tomb because it contains a few bones.
PLACE OF HEALING
Faith healing is a phenomenon that crosses cultures. But the Faith comes before the healing. In my 83 years I am aware of many cases of faith healing. I do not understand the energy that generates the effects of mind over physical health. There are many entertaining theories, but I prefer facts to theories. Sacred places are commonly places of healing.
Musical Bluestones from Wales are a fact at Stonehenge. I have rung Bluestone chimes in Carn Menyn on Preseli Mountain myself. Only a small fraction of the Bluestones ring nicely when struck with a hand-size piece of Bluestone, but there are hundreds of chime-able Bluestones on the Mountain.
Pipe organs are built in Quebec, and shipped 3000 km to Alberta, to install in churches. So shipping chime-able Bluestones 300 km from Preseli Mountain to Wiltshire Downs 5000 hears ago doesn’t seem strange. Music is spiritual to many people, including me.
Bluestones are extremely hard. Sacred Battle Axes were made from them 5000 years ago. Another reason to move Bluestones to a highly sacred place.
THE WONDROUS SKY, A CALENDAR
The sky contains many wondrous lights, the Sun, Moon, and stars. Patterns of stars, which we call constellations, change continuously throughout the night. Some of the patterns appear and disappear with the changing seasons of the year. The changing patterns occur in the same way year after year, so they have been used to measure the stages of the year. The changes are the basis of a calendar.
The changes of the constellations with the seasons have sometimes been committed to memory by making up stories about them, myths.
Changes in the positions of the Sun and Moon occur relatively rapidly, and can be measured very accurately.
For the past forty years the majority Professional Opinion has been that Stonehenge does not contain a calendar, beyond that the axis of the Sarsen Circle and Trilithon Horseshoe is aligned to the Summer Solstice Sun rise and the Winter Solstice Sun set. Unfortunately, none of the Profesionals who share this Opinion have ever recorded a measurement of the Sun rise or set along this or any other alignment. Their hand-waving is a lot of fun, and easy to do while seated at a desk.
My book HIDDEN STONEHENGE records on-site measurements of Sun rises AND sets at both the Winter and Summer Solstices, during many years. Attempts to record rises and sets at the Equinoxes failed, but I discovered that Stonehenge contains accurate alignments for the Sun rise and set three days AFTER the September Equinox, and three days BEFORE the March Equinox. I made the amazing discovery that the Equinox as defined in the Oxford English Dictionary, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and in all European Dictionaries, is PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE! The true Equalday/nights, when daylight and night are each 12.0 hours long, are March 17-18 and September 25-26.
HIDDEN STONEHENGE tells how the error came about. It’s a long story.
Stonehenge contains a year-round calendar that is slightly MORE ACCURATE than the Gregorian calendar that we use now! — Gordon Freeman
More info can be found in his book. HIDDEN STONEHENGE: Ancient Temple in North America Reveals the Key to Ancient Wonders, published by Watkins, London, 14.99 GBP.
To purchase HIdden Stonehenge
In Britain, the book is available through Watkins.
In Australia, the book is available through Simon and Schuster, UK
The Canadian edition can be found at http://canadastonehenge.com