Blog 25: STONEHENGE, SPINAL TAP AND SPIRITUALITY
Updated: Nov 20, 2020
I went to Stonehenge this month. We were a group of five. The heavens opened as we were walking to the stones and we got so drenched we may just as well have walked into the sea fully clothed. That hasn’t happened to me for a long time. I now have a scale for just how wet one can get - ‘The Stonehenge Scale’ - it goes from 1 to 10... of course the ‘rockumentary’ masterpiece that is ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ reappeared in my mind and I wondered if the scale should actually go up to 11? ‘The Little Book Of Stonehenge’ which I bought there, informed me that in 1983 Black Sabbath did indeed have a replica Stonehenge made to use onstage. Unfortunately for them there was a misunderstanding with the units of measurement, the resulting fibreglass replica was GIGANTIC and couldn’t fit into any venue at all in England or even in America! As we know in Spinal Tap (1984) the misunderstanding results in the opposite happening and they end up with a miniature (Sorry - spoiler! But REALLY funny!) Hawkwind apparently got it right though - so good on them!
Stonehenge (built in stages between 5000 and 2500 BC) is a complete mystery to us in this day and age - as are the many other remnants of stone circles, barrows and avenues left all over the British Isles. There are many theories about our ancestors and how they used Stonehenge but we will never know for sure.
I was lucky enough as a child to be able to run in between the stones and clamber over them. Nowadays this is not possible. There is an impressive new(ish) centre which is now the entrance to the site and then a bus ride or a walk of about one and a half miles to the stones up a road which was until recently the A344 and a public road. In the 60’s when my family visiting my grandmother in London travelled up from Devon on the A303, we would often stop there for a breather or a picnic! It feels like another lifetime! Today we are
separated from the stones by a little fence but it is still an inspirational site and sight. Characteristics link Stonehenge to other great monuments and treasures of the the world which still have us wondering today. Apart form the actual physical ‘How did they do that?’, amongst other things, so many of these structures appear to be precisely aligned to cardinal points or positions where the sun, moon and stars rise and set on the horizon.
(The HeelStone marks the place from which the midwinter solstice sunset will be seen between the Stones).
Returning to Stonehenge, whatever your opinion, and whichever theory you favour it is hard not to be awed by this circle of stones in the heart of Wiltshire - it has the power to remind us we are really only visitors on this earth which makes it so important for us to find some sort of inspiration or treasure in each day.
I wish all of you in the Northern Hemisphere a happy Autumnal equinox on the 22nd of September 2020 and a happy Vernal equinox to those of you in the Southern Hemisphere.