Avebury Henge (image Alan Sorrell -- 1958)
Avebury Henge, a huge stone circle complex larger and older than Stonehenge, covers twenty-five acres, with the small hamlet of Avebury contained within it, was built between 2600 - 2400 BC. Avebury contains two smaller solar and lunar circles within it. Also within it is "The Cove," created with two standing stones, a single tall stone (male) and shorter, rounded stone (female). "Henge" refers to a vast earth embankment approximately thirty feet high, with a deep ditch at the bottom surrounding the enormous stone circle.
Researchers believe neolithic people created the henge embankment and ditch, using deer antlers to loosen the dirt and hip bones of cattle or other large animals to dig up the soil. Then stones were excavated from the Marlborough stone quarry (many kilometers away) and dragged or rolled to a specific position.
Each stone was set upright into a deep hole and dirt packed around it to hold it in place. The stones were carefully positioned and spaced equally distant from each other. Most of the stones weigh many tons and are two to three times taller and wider than the average person. This project is thought to have taken about 1.5 million hours of labor by local inhabitants to create the bank, ditch, and transport the stones.
Centuries after Avebury was abandoned, residents removed some stones to build their houses and churches. Some of the remaining stones were later destroyed or buried. In more modern times, antiquarian John Aubrey was the first to discover Avebury in 1649. Almost a century later from 1719-24 William Stuckley studied and meticulously recorded Avebury. Then Alexander Keller, a wealthy philanthropist and archeologist, encountered Stuckley’s old sketches and purchased the property. From 1934-35 Keller set to work excavating, recovering, and painstakingly re-constructing the original shape of Avebury. He placed cement markers to designate where missing individual stones would have been situated.
Current archeological thought is that Avebury, like many stone circles, was used both as a place of reverence and a gathering spot for many tribes’ fertility celebrations held at Beltane – May 1st. Originally a carved circular standing stone, with the middle cut out (like a donut), stood within the circle which was thought to increase fertility. This stone has since been destroyed. A woman fortunate enough to become impregnated at Beltane had the spring and summer abundance to feed the newly-forming fetus’ first few critical months of life. The high earthworks may have been an ampitheatre to watch sacred ceremonies taking place in the stone circle below.
Other structures are part of the Avebury complex. Leading up to the entrance of Avebury Henge are two rows of standing stones, approximately 150 feet apart and several miles long, known "West Kennet Avenue," built between 2300 - 2000 BC. Stones in both rows are equidistant from each other and alternate between tall, thin stones and wide ones. Situated at the beginning of the Avenue is "The Sanctuary," once wooden structures built in concentric circles, now only designated by cement markers. Certain individuals’ intuitive reconstructions of the Sanctuary were that it was dominated by female priestesses, who used menstrual blood to sanctify the area. Ceremonies were thought to begin at the Sanctuary, following mystical and sacred rites, then proceed down West Kennet Avenue and into Avebury.
West Kennet Long Barrow
Nearby are Silbury Hill 2700 BC and Windmill Hill 3700 BC. Silbury Hill is not a natural formation but constructed of limestone slabs, cut and placed in a solid structure, the tallest edifice of its kind in England, since grown over with grass, while Windmill Hill is constructed of mounded earth. The function of these hills is unknown, but from their vantage points one can see the surrounding countryside.
Not far from Avebury is the West Kennet Long Barrow, 3700 - 3500 BC, the oldest structure in the area. This may have been used to contain the bones of significant members of the community, such as Elders or Wise People. One theory is that the ancient communities continued to "communicate" with and seek advice from these wise people through information stored in the bones.
The entire Avebury complex, including Avebury Henge, stone circle, the Sanctuary, West Kennet Avenue, Silbury and Windmill Hills, and West Kennet Long Barrow, is approximately 24 miles in diameter.
Since the 1980’s crop circles have been appearing in corn fields in the local area. The fantastic symbolic designs are of unknown intent created by undiscovered sources. Some crop circles have been revealed as hoaxes, but the rest remain a mystery. Some think the circles are created by extraterrestrials while others believe crop circles are "lighting up" the nearby sacred sites as beacons or heralds.
Barbara Marciniak may shed some light on this mystery. "…Uranus and Neptune came into [exact] conjunction in February, August and October, 1993 [although in close proximity for years] aligning and energizing the sign of Capricorn….Each planet has its own identity, its domain of influence. Each planet is a sentient being, an intelligent force of its own. As these two forms of intelligence came together in the sky, they transmitted a combined beam onto Earth, affecting those portion of Earth influenced by Capricorn. Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, which…has to do with rocks, stones and crystals. Because these two planets joined in Capricorn, they mystified, electrified, energized and changed the stone of Earth herself."
Questions have bubbled into my mind after studying the archeological evaluations.
If vast groups of neolithic people were spending so much time creating the henge, stone circle, and other structures, who were left to tend to the ordinary tasks of life?
Who was the main architect for this massive project? How were the "blueprints" passed down for centuries from one generation to the next? Are the blueprints and records for Avebury and its surrounding edifices contained in the bones of the Elders buried at West Kennet Long Barrow?
Why did these ancient peoples carry out such a large undertaking? What was its purpose? Why was it so carefully constructed?
How did they excavate and move the massive stones a number of miles away from the Marlborough quarry to their present sites?
Are the stones waking up, encouraging us to visit, in order to learn their secret information?
Schools of metaphysical thought endure about the creation and purposes of Avebury, the Avenue, Sanctuary, Silbury and Windmill Hills. Ancient people are believed to intuit the natural "ley lines" of energy flowing beneath the land and situated their sacred sites accordingly. They used knowledge, also known as Feng Shui, to determine the current of power through and around hills, water sources and wind, natural formations, and aligned with magnetic directions. They knew that vibration, energy and information can be stored in stones’ molecular structure. Thus they used stones in many of their sacred sites to activate, heighten, and accelerate the earth energies. Prehistoric people are believed to have utilized other methods of moving stones such as with thought or sound, or simply dematerializing stones at one place and rematerializing it at the site. Ancient people were also aware of the vibration and influence of the sun, moon, planets and stars and positioned their sacred sites to align with and assimilate that power, especially during significant times of the solar and lunar cycles. Furthermore, through group synergy, they "sealed in" and further magnified the power of each sacred site through thought, intention, sound and other psychic/metaphysical/spiritual methods.
Therefore, ancient people used these sacred sites as powerful ceremonial learning places, to enhance their own energy and understanding through them, to align with powerful terrestrial and extra-terrestrial forces, to aid in their wisdom, as well as for healing and to enhance fertility. Pagans esteemed stones for healing and to amplify emotions, release certain negative emotions and then build feelings of well being. Avebury and its neighboring sites still maintain enormous power which can be intuitively perceived when visiting there, as mysterious energy and information continue to pulse throughout this vast sacred area.
If you're interested in visiting these sites, contact Jamie George.
Featured tour company: Jamie George is the owner/operator of Gothic Image Tours, Glastonbury, England. Jamie also runs a bookstore and operates his own publishing company, publishing books by experts on sacred sites, as well as metaphysical and spiritual topics. Marion Zimmer Bradley, author of THE MISTS OF AVALON, toured with Jamie through Southern England years ago, and in the acknowledgment section of that book thanks him for the tour that inspired her to write her best-selling novel. "We have been organising journeys around the ancient sacred sites of Britain for seventeen years and were the first in our field. We have an incomparable reputation for facilitating the spiritual pilgrim on their journey of transformation...We welcome on-board renowned authors, storytellers and musicians who bring knowledge, insight and warm companionship to our journeys." Jamie George, Gothic Image Tours www.isleofavalon.co.uk/gothictour.html