Journey to Stonehenge: Significance and adaptation of architecture at Stonehenge to facilitate ritual potency

15 Aug, 2021 - 00:08 0 Views
Journey to Stonehenge: Significance and adaptation of architecture at Stonehenge to facilitate ritual potency

The Sunday News

Pathisa Nyathi

IT seems to me the ancients had their own way of telling their histories in an enduring way. Where they felt their ways of life were threatened to the point where future generations were unlikely to receive their information and knowledge, they turned to stone to immortalise their stories.

The heritage-preserving megalithic structures that litter all the contents and tell the same language, from the Paleolithic epoch to the Neolithic period serve to immortalise stories of human development. Choice of stone was not fortuitous. Stones, because of their solidity, endure through ages. Stones are natural and come in large dimensions where their visibility is never in question.

Through the knowledge and skills to fashion rock, the ancients applied symbolic meanings to the megalithic structures that they constructed. There was language in the stones, a language that was preserved, in the form of megalithic writing, the stories, which were passed down the generations. Stones were worked to create architectural messages in the form of legends and myths, critical beliefs and cosmologies.

When the megalithic structures scattered all over the world are compared there does seem to be some thread of knowledge and beliefs that run through all of them. One such universal idea relates to the movement of the celestial bodies. Their movement, in essence, culminates in the changing energy levels in various parts of the world. There is hardly any megalithic site, which is not imbued with energy in one form or another. For example, in some of them, there are acoustic chambers that transmit sound waves. These are structures, which focus sound in the same manner as concave mirrors reflect and focus light. By so doing, energy is concentrated.

There are researchers working on the Egyptian pyramids who are now arguing that the megalithic structures were energy generators. This is testified to by the types of minerals in the rocks that were used such as iron, magnetite and quartz. The rocks resonate and when they do so at about the frequencies between 110 and 112 Hertz, they generate energy, an energy field that stimulates the pineal gland below the brain to produce more DMT resulting in altered state of consciousness.

Undoubtedly, our limited understanding of African Spirituality leads some researchers to conclude that there was power generated to light up settlements. I do not, for now, subscribe to such hypotheses. Researchers need to concentrate more on the nature, physics, chemistry and biology of spiritual possession with its electric impulses.

Energy is involved in the process. The altered state of consciousness is an integral part of spiritual possession. It all revolves around changes in energy so that there is altered consciousness, which allows an individual to relate to higher spiritual realms. The problem may be that some of us think issues relating to some altered state of consciousness bears no relationship with science.

The site where a priest or spiritual being locates himself must be one that allows for the stimulation of his mind so that its state of consciousness is altered beyond the ordinary. It is these altered states of the mind that facilitate communication with the spiritual world, be it that of the deity or the ancestral spirits. It is during that state of altered consciousness that the spiritual medium or priest has visions, and sees what the average person will not see.

My view therefore, is that even as we may try very hard to unpack the science in these megalithic structures in their relations with energy and the human beings, it all boils down to the sites being imbued with spirituality. Who says spirituality has no scientific interpretations to it? Energy, in its various forms, very much belongs in the science domain. Rocks and their minerals, movement of cosmic bodies, networks of energy are closely related, and all point in the same direction to effect ritual potency, power and energy within a megalithic site.

With this background information, we now turn to Stonehenge and apply the principles that we have unpacked. What is acknowledged without any doubt is that the summer solstice was tracked at Stonehenge and the day was identified for ritual purposes. The Heel Stone, located outside the henge was sited in such a manner that it was in alignment with the rising sun on the morning of the summer solstice.

Astronomy worked closely in conjunction with architectural design to capture and maximise solar energy available on that particular day. Beyond the Heel Stone was where the architectural designs effected energy capture, focus, and concentration. First, we come across the Slaughter Stone. It is assumed that the Slaughter Stone is where the animals were slaughtered if the name of the stone is anything to go by. This is the frontline stone, some site of maximum potency (read energy), which is harnessed and imbued into the sacrificed items, be they meat or any substance for that matter. Libations must equally be imbued with energy for purposes of ritual efficacy.

Beyond the Slaughter Stone, there are noticeable architectural structures whose design seems to have been influenced by the objective of capturing energy on this very important summer solstice. Here we find U-shaped or horseshoe-shaped double circular stone structures. One consists of the large twin pillars with horizontal stone slabs on their tops. These are known as trilithons. Within their horseshoe arrangements does a megalithic stone circle comprise the smaller bluestones, which were brought from Wales. The external Sarsen uprights and inner trilithons were quarried and transported from Marlborough in England to Stonehenge within the Salisbury Plain.

The two horseshoe structures are positioned to receive the sun’s rays on the summer solstice. Their centre is the location of the Altar Stone. This may be taken as the holy of holies, the site of maximum potency. This is where the ritual person located himself/ herself. This, I will argue, was the spiritual nerve centre of Stonehenge. Architecture, as dictated by the desire to align the sun and Stonehenge on summer solstice, sought to take advantage of maximum potency when ritual energy is, because of the alignment of the sun and the Heel Stone, the Slaughter Stone and Altar Stone mark the position of alignment, at its zenith.

The design further demonstrates the cupping position so that the solar energy is directed, and not blocked by the stones, towards their focus. The parabolic horseshoe, as two concentric circles focus energy and concentrate it on a specific site where sacrifices, offerings and libations are placed.

At the same time the site, by virtue of it being the point where energy lines cross (a vortex) the ritual person has his/her state of consciousness altered. When that happens, he/she relates to and communicates with the spiritual beings, whose remains are the bones, either cremated or interred through inhumation. The huge trilithons are structurally and essentially dolmens with their power of transmitting energy. Spiritual communication functions on available energy. In the absence of that, requisite energy there is no communication at all, whether it be of a spiritual nature or not.

It is this energy which may be resulting in some researchers to think the megalithic structures were energy generators. Indeed, they generated the required energy, not to light up settlements but to effect spiritual communication between the megalithic structures in Egypt with those in Turkey. (Gobekle Tepe) and megaliths in Malta for example. We still have a lot to learn from the ancients through their technology which they used to preserve their history and ways of life in rocks.

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