Avebury – songs in the stones

Avebury SE weekend 675With the June workshop at the site not too far distant, I spent the evening pondering archaeo-acoustics and how the old ones might have used sound at Avebury… and whether, in its current state, you would be able to test any theories without a computer model. Erosion has taken its toll, some of the stones were broken up for building material in years past for the village that grew up within the site and roads now pass through the 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. It was a magnificent feat … a quarter of a mile in diameter. Nowadays a village sits within it. The ditch, sixty-nine feet wide, reached a depth of thirty-six 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, the largest in Britain, was formed of ninety-eight sarsen stones, many weighing more than forty tons each and towering to almost fourteen 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. There is a real sense of awe… and I keep failing miserably to convey it. 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

 

Hidden Avebury: Seeking the Unseen

A workshop based around Avebury, Wiltshire

12th – 14th June, 2020

Click below to
Download our Events Booking Form – pdf

For further details visit our events page or to reserve your place: rivingtide@gmail.com

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.
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39 Responses to Avebury – songs in the stones

  1. gmvasey says:

    I’ve never been so I’d like to fix that… we will see.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dave says:

    It is a very beautiful place

    Liked by 1 person

  3. V.M.Sang says:

    I’ve only been once, many decades ago. It’s somwhere I must revisit. Thanks for the reminder, Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It is awe inspiring. The stones and the people who erected them are a mystery in the mists of time. I visited Stone Henge years ago. It was incredible. I think one has to see it in order to understand the magnitude of how these bronze age people accomplished such a feat. Great article, Sue. So interesting and informative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I cannot reconcile the idea of the ‘primitive society’ about which we are taught, and a community coming together to organise, design, supply and build such incredible and precise structures across wide swathes of the landscape.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I haven’t been to Avebury for a while now. Graeme and I have said we must go back soon. It’s such a special place and your piece here has reinforced that. Thanks, Sue xx

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I watched a movie the other day which said that the legendary King Arthur is buried here,

    Like

  7. kytwright says:

    Avebury is indeed a wonderful place. A friend of ours lived there some years ago and it was quite something to watch the sun go down while standing on one of the chalk “ramparts”. He had a standing stone right next to his back garden and I recall that vegetables he grew there all had rude anthropomorphic shapes 😃

    Like

  8. This looks alike another fascinating venue, Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ah, yes, now I see what you mean by a coincidence. I certainly recognized Avebury in the old photograph, and let the stone lead from there…interestingly, you and Stuart were with me in a dream last night. We were at “Silbury Hill,” but it was over here in NH. Anyway, we were climbing the hill following the serpent path of stones out to the water. You must know how much I want to be there in June. I’m constantly torn between these two “homes.” ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I remember a children’s television programme set in Avebury stone circle, 1970’s I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Suzanne says:

    I love the idea that the stones might resonate with songs and music.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Widdershins says:

    Yep, the ‘Call of the Stones’ is unmistakable. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Avebury was the most … I don’t even have a word for it … place I’ve ever seen. Of course, I was also looking for a magical portal to Avalon, but that’s another problem. I’m convinced there IS magic, but I don’t have any. And the tor, with its winds and the strange sense of distance from the world. That should be one fantastic workshop in June. I will dream of it with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Deborah Jay says:

    I lived and worked for a year near Avebury, and often drove past the stones. I grew accustomed to them, but they never ceased to impart a sense of awe. I feel the same these days, whenever I visit ancient sites. Probably why I seek them out, I guess; there’s nothing quite like standing in a silent landscape, immersed in such history and magic.

    Like

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