Elusive realities: The touch of the past..?

Beckhampton Avenue, Avebury

We visit a lot of ancient sites and, over the years, have developed both a set of ideas and a bit of a ‘feel’ for these places. Some of those ideas have later been borne out by research into the archaeological record and scientific perspective, others are speculative and the rest will probably remain no more than subjective.

By dint of spending time in these ancient places, we have felt what many others have recorded as subjective impressions and observed phenomena that others have reported. But, every so often,  we are gifted with a snippet of confirmation. We ‘knew’, for example, long before we actually knew, that there had to have been air burials in the early days of our land. We ‘knew’ that bones were painted with ochre before trawling through research papers confirmed it.

West Kennet Avenue, Avebury

We were aware of how stones were chosen and placed to ‘mirror’ the shape of hills, long before we realised it was not ‘mirroring’ but ‘shadowing’, creating a microcosmic landscape within a sacred site. But, like our impressions, sometimes the ‘proof’ is just as personal as the idea.

We have always thought that the ancient sites were more than just part of the local landscape, especially for their builders. While it is easy enough to accept that a construction as impressive as Stonehenge, or as vast as Avebury or Stanton Drew, must have had significance for a whole community, there are literally thousands of small, half-forgotten sites… like the tiny burial mounds, for example… that appear to be a by-product of the populace, rather than having any deep meaning of their own.

Stanton Drew

But, we reasoned, if the Ancestors were a significant presence within a community’s rituals and beliefs, surely these carefully constructed mounds, built to hold their bones and ashes, would be important? Perhaps they were seen as points of contact with the Otherworld? Perhaps the Ancestors served as intermediaries with whatever lies Beyond? If so, then even the smallest cairn would have been important and, if that were true, then the link between the land and its people went deep. You could say that the Ancestors were placed there to care for their own.


There is an intimacy about some of the out-of-the-way sites that is lacking at the grander stone circles. Once off the beaten track and away from the crowds, you feel the presence of these places in a way that is difficult to describe, but quite unmistakeable. Some are sleepy, others vital, but the character of each place feels as different as if you were meeting a living being.

We do not have to subscribe to everything our ancestors believed in order to understand what they might have believed. Nor do we have to understand all the intricacies of their physical and spiritual technologies, for want of a better word, in order to see what they might have hoped to achieve for the life and wellbeing of their communities. We do feel, however, that there is something in this link between their sacred places and the people who live close to them.


At one such site, a little while ago, we had a curious experience that, for us at least, appeared to confirm a link between the place and ‘its’ people, even now, thousands of years after its builders were forgotten. The encounter was a simple one and unexpected. It was only after the event that we began to question the number of ‘coincidences’ it contained and how, of all people, we should have left that ancient, sacred place after reaching out to the ancestral pool, only to find ourselves caught up in a very local love story…

Doll Tor

If you have had a strange experience or encounter that you would like to share, please get in touch with me at findme@scvincent.com (or my usual email if you already have it) and we can discuss a guest post.

I am not looking for sensationalism or fictional tales… but in light of the response to some recent posts, I think it would be both useful and reassuring to others to realise that none of us are alone in these strange encounters and experiences. Perhaps we can open discussion on what they may be or may mean…and each of us sees our own reality.

If you would like to share your story but prefer to remain anonymous, we can discuss that too. If you would like to share your beliefs and opinions on the nature of these experiences, I would be happy to talk about a guest post. Through sharing with respect we may learn to understand our world and each other a little better.

You can find some previously published guests here

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. 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 albion, ancient mound, Ancient sites, Don and Wen, Elusive realities, france and vincent, historic sites, History and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Elusive realities: The touch of the past..?

  1. Intriguing thought… Totally agree that “There is an intimacy about some of the out-of-the-way sites that is lacking at the grander stone circles.” But maybe that’s like comparing somewhere busy – central London, say – with a forest glade..?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, you cannot leave us hanging on this one?! Torture. Regarding the air burials…I wonder if you think those occurred at Castlerigg. I got the feeling that they might have. Or maybe it was symbolic there with the opened womb hovering in the space of no-time. Perhaps when I return there someday the pieces floating around in my head will come together…


    • Sue Vincent says:

      I’ve seen no hard evidence to suggest that air burials might have taken place there… but you are right, there is something about the place that seems to offer itself up to the elements. Perhaps part of the rite of passing took place there.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ennle Madresan says:

    I’m not sure why, but I find it amazing that stones manage to remain…nearly forever, at this point. Must be because many of them are monuments to something which carries a legacy?


    • Sue Vincent says:

      I think they speak to something deep within our psyche and history… Old beliefs die hard and most people would not dream of harming the stones.


      • Ennle Madresan says:

        I can certainly understand that–you come from, and still live in a very special place, and your posts often serve as a way for me to travel there and learn something. That’s the richness of blogging–our world is enlarged…we meet people we would not have opportunity to, otherwise–and we can learn about places and cultures. I’m ever grateful that back in 2011 my neighbor asked me to write for his website…so I learned all the basics, and when he went on vacation I thought, “maybe I could open a blog of my own”. When he returned, I was so proud to show him what I’d accomplished…and he was pretty impressed 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary Smith says:

    You can’t drop that in at the end of the post. I was looking for the button to The Silent Eye site to read the rest!


  5. willowdot21 says:

    I know there is more than the here and now. I have met it, felt it and seen it , and in your company.💜


  6. A beautifully written post Sue. These rocks in our historic country are truly incredible both in how they were placed & meaning. I too am intrigued about your ‘encounter’ 😊


  7. This is a fabulous read, Sue. I felt as if I was reading the best kind of archeological research.


  8. colonialist says:

    The whole question of Ley Lines and so forth makes one wonder if there is a great deal of knowledge surrounding these places that is currently lost to us.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      I firmly believe, through experience and observation at these sites, that the people who built them knew exactly what they were doing. Whether we will ever rediscover the technology of stone and earth as they understood it is a different matter altogether. We can only brush the surface.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Rites of Passage: Going deeper… | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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