Avebury – the singers in the stones

Avebury SE weekend 675We didn’t make it past the first stone. Not for a while anyway. This is perhaps the most complete part of the outer circle that now remains; many of the stones were broken up for building material in years past for the village within the site. We entered the Great Circle, crossing the ditch that now leads into the field where the stones arc out the first quadrant. ‘Ditch’ is not the right word. It is a henge… a deep ditch surrounding the inner space with a raised bank behind it. The top of the bank is irregular in shape. There are a number of archaeological theories on that, but I think back to a visit to another of the great stone circles, when we sat on an adjacent barrow and saw the outline of the henge silhouetted like a sleeping goddess against the sky.

The henge was created around five thousand years ago to enclose the area where the great stones circle. In itself it was a magnificent feat … a quarter of a mile in diameter. Nowadays a village sits within it. The ditch, 69 feet wide, reached a depth of 36 feet, while the bank rises high behind. There was once a walkway on the inner face of the bank and you can imagine how brightly the bare chalk would have gleamed, a beacon in the landscape.

Avebury SE weekend 601

And inside, there are the stones. The outer circle where we now walked, the largest in Britain, was formed of 98 sarsen stones, many weighing more than 40 tons each and towering to almost 14 feet high… with some almost as wide as that too. How, as much as why, comes to mind, knowing that regardless of advances in technology, they were still working with tools of flint and antler picks. The sheer scale of the circle… let alone the whole complex… is incredible. I keep trying to convey the sense of awe… and failing miserably. Facts and figures are not enough.

Avebury SE weekend 664

I have visited this site many times and with many people, both those who are spiritually inclined and those who have no interest either in the spiritual possibilities, nor the mathematical precision, nor even the archaeology. To some it was just a curiosity… I hang out with some strange folks sometimes… One thing they have all shared, however, is that awed amazement. Avebury is incredible. It is also incredibly beautiful.

Avebury SE weekend 616

The stones were neither chosen nor placed randomly. Within the remaining stones, particularly in the Avenue, is an alternating pattern of lozenge and upright stones. The most obvious implication is that they refer to the eternal dance of polarity. Look at each one and you cannot but see that there are faces in the stones, and regardless of our human gift for seeing faces in pretty much anything, some are too plain to be mistaken. Were they crafted in this way… or simply chosen for the spirit of the stone that seemed to show itself on their surface?

Stukeley's plan of Avebury

Many have studied the geometries, numbers and alignments of the stones. Again, we may never know how much we are finding to fit our own theories and how much was deliberately encoded into the design. One thing is certain though, the pattern of the temple had meaning. From the solstice sunrise, to the lunar cycles, from the inner circles that seem, like the pyramids of Giza, to mirror Orion’s belt to Stukeley’s vision of the Serpent Temple… our ancestors had a knowledge far beyond just the engineering required to erect the stones. For me, it has always felt like stepping inside a chronometer, whose intricate cogs work together to tell more than time.

Avebury SE weekend 751

And then there are the stones themselves. Visitors often seem drawn to a particular stone that ‘calls’ them, as if there is a song in the stones that harmonises or resonates with something within their very bones. As every particle in creation vibrates, that is perhaps not as odd as it may at first sound. It is not odd at all to those who have felt the song of the stones.

Avebury SE weekend 666

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She has written a number of books, both alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com
This entry was posted in Ancient sites, England, History, Photography, Sacred sites, travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Avebury – the singers in the stones

  1. Reblogged this on So, I Read This Book Today and commented:
    So incredibly sad, that unknowable history is shattered and so much lost – for building materials….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Darcy says:

    When I went, I did get drawn to a couple stones in particular –and also, up on the ridge, to a big hazel tree past which wound a ribbon of chalk. The chalk I walked on had a tremendous energy to it…


  3. Darcy says:

    Will post a couple photos from 2013 on FB. I am not sure whether I can do it here.


  4. Avebury “talked” to me much more than did Stonehenge. It is a very powerful place.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. C.E.Robinson says:

    Incredible historical write-up and photos, Sue. I’ve never seen anything like it. The last stone definitely had a face! Christine


  6. Ive been to the soltice three times( i usually visit my best friend in ondion from the states) and we always be sure to go to Avebury. Wonderful post

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on It's a bird! It's a plane! No, It's the Shiny Happy Sherry Fairy! and commented:
    I always be ure to go to Avebury when I go to Stonehenge for the Soltice. Lovely place. This is awonderful post


  8. denis1950 says:

    A fascinating blog Sue. My junior history students were always excited to explore the heritage of Stonehenge and Avebury Even from across the world the mystery and spiritualism was intoxicating for 13 year old Australian kids. Thanks for sharing at this personal level.


  9. jenanita01 says:

    Really lovely to visit this wonderful place again, Sue…thank you for taking us!


  10. I just want to be there….to feel it.


  11. Widdershins says:

    That second stone pic is definitely a dragon hatchling sticking it’s head up for the first time! 😀 … and the second last one, well, I teared right up as soon as I saw it.

    One of these days I WILL get back to my birth country and sink into its bones.


  12. Kate Loveton says:

    This sort of stuff always fascinates me. Great post, Sue.


  13. noelleg44 says:

    The mystery and magic of this site comes through even from the photographs!


  14. Ancient peoples certainly knew more about how nature worked than we used to give them credit for. Great pictures.


  15. Jamie Dedes says:

    Oh, I would love to visit. Enjoyed this … and the photos are great! Thank you!


  16. Helen Bushe says:

    Fascinating. Reminds me of my 60’s hippy quests, though never visited Avebury. Must have been too busy following ley lines somewhere else!


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