The first thing that most people say when they arrive at Stonehenge is ‘How is this possible?’. Stonehenge is one of those places that defies all logic. It is mystical and magical, there is something spiritual and other-worldly in the air, and it is magnificent! It is also sacred space.
I don’t know a single visitor who has been to Stonehenge and not been in awe. The way that the stones are laid out, the size of the stones, the feel and the enormity of the ‘rings of rock’ are all awe inspiring.
Stonehenge is over 10 thousand years old. It is not a single structure; it is made up of mostly enormous rocks (when we say enormous we mean enormous) as well as some earth and timber structures. It seems that ‘building’ started here around 11 thousand years ago but has evolved over the years; i.e. Stonehenge was used for some kind of rituals and people have continued to use it that way.
If you go to Stonehenge and stand near one of the stones, you will be dwarfed. The largest stone is 9 meters tall and weights over 25 tons. It is ONE structure. These kind of stones do not come from this area, which is a gentle, hilly landscape. These stones must have been carried. And they were not carried by truck or machine, because there were no trucks or machines in those days.
The stones were carried by people.
What kind of people can carry such huge stones? It makes me think immediately of the Egyptians and the pyramids and how on earth those pyramids were built by hand. It is not something that humans could do today.
Was Stonehenge built by another kind of person, one with different qualities to what we know as humans today? It is highly likely.
The stones are laid out in concentric rings and horseshoe shapes. They are laid out so they open out into the direction of the mid summer sunrise and the mid winter sunset and it is clear that the planning was deliberate. Whoever built or planned Stonehenge knew about astronomy, the sun and the stars. The stones are built to maximise light with the first rays shining directly into the centre of the stones.
Some archeologists think Stonehenge was built as a temple to worship the sun. Some astronomers think that the lay out of the stones indicates not just sun worship but also moon and star worship. And there are those who believe that Stonehenge was not just a temple but it was an astronomical calculator. People could tell the time of the day / night / year according to the stones and their relationship with the sun, moon and stars.
Whatever it was for, people have worshipped at Stonehenge for years. Today Stonehenge is a major tourist attraction and (sadly) busloads of tourists stop here every day. Before it become so touristy, one would always find alternate people, spiritual people, witches and healers, spending time under and around the stones, feeling the connection between the earth and the skies.
When people think of Stonehenge the think, rightly so, of massive stones. But there is more to Stonehenge that that. An enormous wooden building is part of Stonehenge and this was a burial site. Archeologists have discovered that thousands of people may have been buried here.
In addition, seventeen shrines have been discovered near Stonehenge, all placed in a circular form too.
Construction at Stonehenge was ongoing, new stones added and new temples built. Evidence leads towards Stonehenge being used not just as a temple, an astronomical calculator or a place of ritual, but also as an astronomical observatory.
Today our world is so high-tech and we use the most enormous and expensive telescopes and machinery to look at the stars. Thousands of years ago, people could do similar things using nature. That is something to consider. That is something a little super-human. Whoever it was that built Stonehenge had extraordinary knowledge about the sun, the moon and the planets.
Once a year there are huge concerts and rituals at Stonehenge. These concerts attract a spiritual kind of person, one who is looking for answers about the universe, one who connects to the earth and one who believes that there is more to life than we could ever possibly know. Hippies have loved Stonehenge for ever, and love to sit in circles, with their long hair and wearing tie-die shirts, barefoot, singing, chanting, dancing, all towards the Gods and Goddesses in the sky.
Modern Druids today still celebrate rituals at Stonehenge. If I hadn’t mentioned Druids before, many people think they were the first people to build Stonehenge and to worship here. Sacred land for sacred Druids, it makes sense.
Stonehenge is also seen as a place of healing. This is a part of the mystery of the area. People swear that the area and the rocks have healing powers and many people with minor and major ailments have travelled to Stonehenge to perform their own kind of healing ritual. Some of the stones are known to have fertility powers (going back to 11 thousand years ago) and there are those who come to Stonehenge for fertility.
Whatever people come to Stonehenge for, or used Stonehenge for, the connection between human, Gods and Goddesses runs deep. One just has to stand under the massive stones to feel something that is special, magical and otherworldly. So many studies have been done and astrology, astronomy, math and physics at Stonehenge, but perhaps it really was just a special place of worship, a place where man could connect to nature and to space, a place where man could believe, heal and be healed.
As we say there are tours to Stonehenge daily now and many people go to see these Stones dating back from 2000 BC. If you can get there without a mass of tourists, do it. Breathe in, feel the sacred space, become one with something different to what we know.