Saturday, November 16, 2013

Stonehenge: Not Just a Meeting Place for the Druids By DAWN CLOCASURE

Think about Stonehenge and what comes to mind? For most folks, it’s the Druids. And while this association is noted in my novel Shadow of Samhain, and the famous landmark is on the cover of this book, I have learned in my research for this book that Stonehenge was not exclusive to the Druids. In fact, the famous megalithic site has been said to exist long before there were Druids.

 



Where did Stonehenge come from? Some say it was created by Merlin, the famous wizard of legends who himself was actually a Druid. Another theory is that Stonehenge was built by the Devil or that the aliens were responsible for it. Yet another theory is that Stonehenge was built by ancient giants.

 

The mystery of who was responsible for the creation of Stonehenge lingers even today, but one thing about Stonehenge is no mystery. Many people have paid close attention to how the stones of Stonehenge seem to align with constellations, as well as the sun and planets on certain days. For this reason, many have concluded that this site is used for pagan rituals and sacrifices. Indeed, many believe that people have indeed been sacrificed at Stonehenge, and it is not unknown that various occult groups have worshipped there in the past.

 

One group most associated with Stonehenge are the Druids, and many people believe that Stonehenge is a “Druid site.” The popular belief is that the Druids built Stonehenge for their special days and rituals (or, at least, Merlin did), and therefore it’s exclusively a “Druid site.” The Druids of today do indeed observe the solstices at Stonehenge (in fact, they are more closely associated with Stonehenge today than they have been in the past), and many of the order are working on efforts to preserve the ancient monument.

 

However, Stonehenge has also been a place used for other purposes, and by other groups.

 

Stonehenge has been used as an ancient burial site. Bones dating from hundreds of years ago have been unearthed there. This theory goes on to say that it’s possible Stonehenge was seen as a place for healing and, when the healing never came, those in need of it died and were buried there. (It is not known if anyone has indeed been miraculously healed when visiting Stonehenge.)

 

Stonehenge being the kind of monument that it is, it was naturally used as a place of worship. In fact, there is evidence a “sun cult” existed many years ago, a cult that worshipped at Stonehenge.

 

Another way Stonehenge has been used is as an “astronomical calculator” of sorts. The ancients relied on the placement of the stones to mark lunar and solar alignments, as well as sunrise and sunsets. This, however, remains an idea that’s only a theory; some debate exists that the ancients were not “smart enough” to understand the heavens or to be able to determine such times of days.

 

And, finally, New Age enthusiasts, pagans and “earth worshippers” visit Stonehenge (or try to get as close to it as they can) in order to reconnect with earth energy. Ley lines, invisible lines in which a site is aligned with a certain point that increases its mystical energy, have been discovered beneath Stonehenge, adding to the mystery surrounding its origin.

 

Regardless of how Stonehenge has been used, and by whom, it remains today one of the most magnificent and longstanding ancient structures on this earth. In this author’s opinion, I think Stonehenge is an attractive, mystical site that should be appreciated and preserved.

 

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DawnColclasure is a writer who lives in Oregon. Her articles, essays, poems and short stories have appeared in several newspapers, anthologies, magazines and E-zines. She is the author of fourteen books, among them BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL: How We Survive as Writing Parents; 365 TIPS FOR WRITERS: Inspiration, Writing Prompts and Beat The Block Tips to Turbo Charge Your Creativity; Love is Like a Rainbow: Poems of Love and Devotion and the children’s book The Yellow Rose. She is co-author of the book Totally Scared: The Complete Book on Haunted Houses. Her novel, Shadow of Samhain, was just published by Gypsy Shadow Publishing. Visit her website at: http://dmcwriter.tripod.com/