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Stonehenge & Summer Solstice

 
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Maurice McCann



Joined: 24 Oct 2005
Posts: 27
Location: London

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 8:52 am    Post subject: Stonehenge & Summer Solstice Reply with quote

Hi Everyone,
At present, the summer solstice at Stongehenge is celebrated at sunrise. I'm suggesting that it should be celebrated at noon, when the Sun reaches its highest position of the day at its highest north declination. This is when it 'stands still', any comments?

Maurice.
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Sue



Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 945
Location: Australia

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Maurice,

This is an interesting question. I will have to think about it awhile before I give a considered response. I can understand where you are coming from. However, my first reaction would be to say that I believe that sunrise is the more appropriate celebration. One of the difficulties, of course, is that after decades and decades of research we still do not know some vital information about Stonehenge. Henges were common throughout Britain and Europe but we don't know a whole lot about them. One of the things we do know is that the sun rises at the heel stone at Stonehenge on the morning of the summer solstice. It appears that this was the marker for the summer solstice but we can't be sure. Most cultures marked the day of the summer solstice in some way by having a marker that pointed to sunrise on that day. What makes me reluctant to accept your suggestion is that East was the most fundamental of directions for all cultures and it is this direction that they mostly turned to when it came to their divinatory practices. This doesn't mean that we can't change this practice but personally I find the idea of sunrise on this day more powerful than noon where the sun is at its highest point before it starts to turn. I am not suggesting that this is not powerful in itself. It obviously is. Afterall, this is the real turning point.

It would help if we knew who built Stonehenge so that we can get a better idea of the cultural background behind it. However, this may not help so much given the time period over which Stonehenge was built. This culture or group of cultures may have changed considerably over the time of building Stonehenbe. I read once that it followed Etruscan principles of temple building. The Romans got much of their belief systems from the Etruscans so perhaps this is one of the reasons that it has been suggested the Romans built Stonehenge (unlikely I would say).

Anyway, it is an intersting question and I will definitely think about it some more and get back to you.

Cheers
Sue
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granny_skot



Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 1634
Location: California, USA

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is does the alignment look like at different moments in the day?

I mean it is built so that the suns shadows make certain alignments. one would I think need to be present and take detailed note of where the shadows lay when throughout daylight hours on Solstice in order to discover What angular movements meant what within the shadows.

Full noon on Solstice may not give enough shadow for calculations, etc. Not to mention it could be that Solstice is merely the alignment tool for the calendar, so that OTHER feasts might be adequately aligned. Leery

Granny
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Sue



Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 945
Location: Australia

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that the main consensus for Stonehenge is that it is a lunar monument rather than a solar monument althoug there is evidence for both. But I think that Maurice's point (correct me if I'm wrong, Maurice) isn't so much related to the physical alignments of the sun at solstice but that the most powerful position at solstice is the highest declination that the sun will make, when it 'stands still' to quote Maurice, before it begins its journey southward. It is this moment that should be celebrated rather than sunrise. I do see the point in that. It surely must have been a powerful moment for ancient people. Perhaps they celebrated both. I don't actually know how this plays out in the markings around Stonehenge. There has been so much written about Stonehenge that it is difficult to know what is fact and what is conjecture. Unfortunately, the best we can probably hope to do is come to some sort of agreement on the best case scenario of evidence and deductive reasoning.
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Kim Farnell



Joined: 18 Dec 2003
Posts: 256

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be irritatingly pragmatic about this, sunrise is the culmination of celebrations at Stonehenge. In experiential terms, you have a lot higher chance of viewing the Sun rise than you do of being able to see the Sun at noon.

It's an incredibly emotional experience to sit in a muddy field for several hours with thousands of people and greet the Sun. Two years ago (I think it was two), we also managed to see Venus rise before the Sun. Of course, whatever the most suitable time is judged to be, the chance of being allowed by English Heritage to be present at Stonehenge at noon is infinitesimal.

Kim
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Dave of Maryland



Joined: 24 Feb 2007
Posts: 154
Location: Bel Air, MD

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:10 am    Post subject: Stonehenge Reply with quote

This is mostly for Sue:

As I understand it, the theory that Stonehenge was an observatory dates back to the 1960's. At the time the idea was criticized because crudely hewn stones, at 50 degrees north latitude, do not make for a good observatory. This complaint is valid. At Stonehenge, the Sun, the Moon, the stars & planets do not rise up from the horizon. They slide at an angle. The scrim of clouds that invariably hug all horizons means that many sunrises cannot be observed at all.

By contrast, on certain days of the year Chichen Itza, in the Yucatan, displays a most spectacular set of shadows. On certain days of the year, several of the great gothic cathedrals display interesting patterns on their interior walls. These are examples of observatories. Stonehenge is at best a casual observatory.

I base the following on nothing more than my personal whim, but I believe it to be true:

One fine day many years ago it came to me that if one were to make a model of Stonehenge & replace the various stones with various metals, that the true nature of the structure would become apparent:

Stonehenge is an earth-battery. Or an earth-capacitor, perhaps. On your metal model of Stonehenge you may place a voltmeter & measure the electric current it generates. It will generate.

This would seem to be the reason why only certain stones, transported great distances, would work. It would also seem to be the reason why different kinds of stones were used in different places.

As an electric field generator, Stonehenge would then be similar to various other standing stones in the UK, in that "they could not be counted". This indicates disorientation. Disorientation is a common result when human brains enter strong magnetic fields. Such as a small room crammed full of computers. At various ancient sites, prolonged exposure was said to lead to insanity, which is also true of prolonged exposure to magnetic fields.

Stonehenge is of course in serious disrepair, which may be the reason why it no longer produces such effects. On the other hand, since none of the many other henges, menhirs & standing stones produce this effect, it may be that earth batteries, like Duracells, eventually go flat.

This brings up the Druids & their use of the various sites. If we look again at Stonehenge or Avebury & consider them, not as a batteries, but as the guts of dynamos, we might then guess that long chains of linked humans, weaving in & out among the stones, to be a way of charging the stones, or perhaps of the stones charging the humans. This immediately reminds me of the Maypole, the use of which is now rare.

When I think of this, I think of the great gothic cathedrals. Stripped of their vaulting, they rather resemble Stonehenge. They are not circles, but rectangles of standing stones. As with Stonehenge, people tend to congregate in them, and, as with Stonehenge, at the right time & under the right circumstances, one may have transcendent experiences in them, as I can personally attest.

This brings up another observation. At various times in the year, the priest or bishop leads a procession through the church. Down the main aisle, up the side aisles. He is a consecrated individual, he is robed entirely in silk - which has specific electrical properties - he holds a Monstrance, which is a magically super-charged article of pure gold, among other components. (For more on this, see Leadbeater's Science of the Sacrements, nowadays a rare book.)

As to the date Stonehenge was built, I have had some success relating buildings to the astrological Age they were built in. A quick pairing:

Gothic cathedrals, which we know to have been built in the Piscean Age, enclose the greatest space using the smallest amount of materials.

By contrast, the Pyramids of Egypt enclose the smallest space using the greatest amount of materials. They were once known as "granaries". A further clue is that, for several centuries, the second tallest building in the world, by only a few feet, was the great spire of the Cathedral of Strasbourg. The tallest building of all was the Great Pyramid. Were the Pyramids of Egypt built in the Age of Virgo? Did they survive Plato's putative end of Atlantis in the Age of Leo? Your guess is as good as mine.

With the exception of the Pyramids, the fabled Seven Wonders all seem to be Age of Aries constructions. They are, for the most part, squat & massive. Stonehenge, with its connection to the land & "milch cows" & much else, strikes me as Taurean, ie, 2000-4000 BC, although all individual standing stones could be said to be Leonine by nature.

I hear the Greeks are determined to restore the Parthenon. It would be of interest to restore Stonehenge, but the impact of a fully recharged Stonehenge upon the modern landscape is unknown.
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Dave of Maryland



Joined: 24 Feb 2007
Posts: 154
Location: Bel Air, MD

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:54 pm    Post subject: Sue Toohey Reply with quote

Please accept my apologies. I'm new here. I did not know the Sue I addressed my post to was the late Sue Toohey.

I hope she is well and happy, where ever she is.
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Deb
Administrator


Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 4130
Location: England

Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dave

Welcome to the forum Ė good to have your input. I am just wondering about this comment:

Quote:
the theory that Stonehenge was an observatory dates back to the 1960's. At the time the idea was criticized because crudely hewn stones, at 50 degrees north latitude, do not make for a good observatory. This complaint is valid. At Stonehenge, the Sun, the Moon, the stars & planets do not rise up from the horizon. They slide at an angle. The scrim of clouds that invariably hug all horizons means that many sunrises cannot be observed at all.


I donít see this complaint as valid because 50 degrees north is about as southerly as you get in Britain. We might get better observation points at lower latitudes, but obviously the people who inhabited the areas around Stonehenge could only use their own environment.

BTW, I personally favour recent theories that the orientation of Stonehenge was designed to make a maximum alignment with the winter solstice rather than the summer solstice, or at least that was just as important.

Regards
Deb
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Dave of Maryland



Joined: 24 Feb 2007
Posts: 154
Location: Bel Air, MD

Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:01 pm    Post subject: More Stonehenge Reply with quote

Hello Deb -

Stonehenge is about as far south as you can get in a northerly country. When I lived in London long long ago, I wanted to visit but could never get myself out of town. Central Line just doesn't go that far.

I have no argument that Stonehenge will function as an observatory to some extent. Of course it will. But that's clearly not its primary purpose.

Standing stones & stone circles have been found not only in the British Isles, but the islands north of Scotland, as well as Normandy, Britany & as far south as Corsica. It's been suggested a single culture was responsible for all of them (Celts? Druids?) and that many of them may function as simple observatories.

I think the electrical properties inherent in stone should be further explored. When they are, I am reasonably certain a new way of looking at the stones will become apparent.

In this regard, stones and Ley Lines are closely related. The best book I ever found on that subject was Ley Lines, Their Nature & Properties, A Dowser's Investigation, by J. Havelock Fidler. Published in 1983 by Turnstone Press of Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, it is presumably long out of print. (A search on the author's name at Amazon just now turned up the same book with two names, last printed 19 years ago.)

Fidler was a retired agronomist who settled on some northern Scottish shore & found he had standing stones in the neighborhood. He got curious and, with the long pendulum (the only reliable sort), found that not only could he confirm the existence of Ley Lines, he could measure their strength & create & destroy them at will. The lines were dependent on nearby stones, but not necessarily the ancient ones. It is a most fascinating book.
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Dave of Maryland



Joined: 24 Feb 2007
Posts: 154
Location: Bel Air, MD

Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:25 pm    Post subject: More Stonehenge Reply with quote

It also helps to consider just how accurate alignment can be. Exactly when the sun rises over the Heel Stone is debatable. I suppose you can get it down to the nearest second, but only after making a lot of compromises.

By way of contrast, let's suppose there's some patch of interior masonry at the Cathedral of Chartres that gets illuminated for, say 15 minutes once a year at summer solstice. What sort of precision are we talking about?

The sun moves an average of 59 minutes, 8 seconds a day, but on the day in question the sun is at one of its extremes, and we should take travel on the actual date in question. For this coming solstice, the sun will travel 47 minutes, 15 seconds in a standard 24 hour day.

Fifteen minutes is 1/96th part of a day. Reducing 47-15 to seconds (2835) and dividing by 96 gives an arc of 29.53 seconds. This is better than anything observed at Stonehenge.

One could also talk of declination, but the sun is virtually stationary at the solstice.

Is there such an event at Chartres? Frankly, I do not know. Could there be? Yes. Easily. The sheer size of the building makes this sort of thing, with this sort of accuracy, easy to do.

Even though the structure is crude, carefully placed holes, here & there, could produce the same result at Stonehenge. I confess that I'm not an expert on Stonehenge, but I am not aware of such holes.

What's interesting about the idea of holes in the Trilithons is they could be made at any time. If any were found, we would have no way of knowing if they were part of the original construction, or were added later, by other hands. A complete lack of holes would indicate that, over its entire history, Stonehenge has not been considered to be an observatory.

Since the sun does rise over the Heel Stone, the purpose of such an alignment would presumably be to indicate a festival day of some sort. Which means it's the festival, not the alignment, that was important. (Two fenceposts in a muddy field will give you an alignment.) Since the alignment was at Stonehenge, we may consider that Stonehenge was the location of the subsequent festival. We might further consider that Stonehenge, as a site, needed that festival, on that date, for reasons of its own. If we consider the stones to be electrical in nature (or earth-current, it's the same to me), if we consider human bodies to have electrical potential, if we consider the Maypole (unique to England, so far as I know), then it may be that ceremonial, organized human interaction with the stones was needed to keep the energy flowing in them, or, perhaps, to keep the energy in the stones under control. Humans presumably enjoyed the ceremony, but, as we know from observation, we can get along well-enough without it.

This is not mere speculation. The subject shades rapidly into consideration of the great stone structures - cathedrals, minarets, stupas - used world-wide as religious centers. It also takes us into the more esoteric considerations of the Roman Mass, a ceremony that long ago found a home in what, to me, are modified stone circles. A great deal about this is known, but is generally restricted to the few with prior training. To the rest of us, it sounds like the veriest gibberish.
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