Heel stone

When we boarded the bus to Stonehenge we were a small tour group of four; a brother and sister a work colleague and me. The driver engaged us with intriguing stories about crop circles that have been found in the fields near the stones.  There are all kinds of theories from being man made to creation by the earth’s magnetic field or being created by aliens. My colleague was the tour skeptic and would not even entertain any idea of other worldly creations.  He had us all laughing at his utter refusal to believe anything but the crop circles being an elaborate hoax.

Stonehenge is a world heritage site and it is widely accepted that the excavation of the earth began around 3100 BC.  There is evidence that the original digs contained human remains.  The actual circle was completed sometime in 2000 BC. The stones were moved approximately 240 miles via timber sledges and rivers from where they were excavated to the field where Stonehenge sits today.  It is an astonishing feat of engineering and there is no wonder why it has such prehistoric significance.

 Upon arrival at Stonehenge, we exited the bus and walked under the road via a tunnel. As we emerged from underground there it stood in all its grandeur; tall and regal. I could feel the how ancient it was, and observed the immense size of the stones. As tall as they appeared above ground, I knew they had to be buried almost equally as long under the earth to enable them to stay standing.  I just could not grasp how the stones had been erected and how the mortise and tenon joints for the upper interlocking circle could have been so precisely cut with so few tools.  I let go of trying to analyze the construction and accepted the mystery that surrounds the site.  I let my mind wander into the legends.  I was aware that stone circles are thought to be portals into another time and the thought of transporting myself through time played in my mind. I did like the idea of landing in some medieval castle or an old English Village  to see what life was really like, but I knew I would never want to stay very long in an uncivilized world, so I moved on to thoughts of other legends.  What was this structure all about? I knew the Druids participated in human sacrifice but the thought sickened me and I moved on to other possibilities.  Ceremonies and calendars were definitely worth exploring.  I knew that even today many ceremonies continued at the site.  At sunrise on the summer solstice the sun rises precisely over the heel stone that sits outside the circle and shines it light into the inner circle.  This is so exact it cannot be coincidence. It was without question planned. The winter solstice is equally as enticing as the sun aligns with the heel stone the slaughter stone and the alter stone. The mathematical layout and the precision of how the stones are interlinked provide an absolute testament that this place had a significant purpose. The question remains what and why? Could they be an astrological calendar aligning with the sun, moon and stars?  I knew the mystery was not for me to unlock but I vigilantly walked around the circle viewing the stones as a devotional exercise to the unknown. The stones had guarded their secrets for eons and I did not get the sense it was going to change anytime soon.  I loved being there and decided since I could never know the meaning I could make my own interpretations. As I took one last look, I felt the warmth of the sun reflecting off the stone and felt satisfied and renewed.   I decided for me that the stones have magical healing powers and left it at that.  I boarded the bus and reflected on my experience during the ride back to Bath.


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Mark Justycky | Reply 24.03.2013 20.01

Great article, Nina. Now I wish I had gone there when I was in Bath. Hopefully, there will be another opportunity to go there someday....

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