STONEHENGE AS A RELIGIOUS TEMPLE??

Is Stonehenge a religious ground? There has been much controversies about the actual uses of the Stonehenge. It is suggested that the Stonehenge was used as a religious temple. However, the Druids are believed to have built the massive structure and the druidic religion was much more likely to conduct their ceremonies in groves of trees, rather than in a man made structure. Whether or not the Stonehenge was surrounded by woods before remain doubtful. However, if Stonehenge was an temple, it would be a really unique one since it was oriented to the summer solstice sunrise in the Northeast where all other Temples throughout the world were built orientated to the eastern equinoctial sunrise. 

 


(A) Religious Ground for the modern Druids

In fact, the modern Druids still celebrates their ritual at the Stonehenge as evident in the photo below.

(B) Temple for Fertility Rituals

According Professor G. T. Meaden, Oxford physicist and antiquarian, the third stage of Stonehenge may have been constructed to celebrate the annual marriage of the Great Goddess and the Sky god. The consummation of the celestial marriage was ritually acted out by the interplay of light and shade among the standing stones.

According to Meaden's theory, the horseshoe arrangement of the inner-sanctum stones represented the womb of the Mother Goddess. In order to reach it, the rays of the sun at midsummer solstice had to pass the Heal Stone. Immediately after an unobstructed sunrise, the Heel Stone eclipsed the sun, forming a shadow representing the phallus of the Sky god. The long shadow entered the central archway of the main sarsen ring and eventually reached the Altar Stone. The retreat of the shadow represents the withdrawal.

 

It is the marriage of Sun and Earth, of God and Goddess, of Sky Father and Earth Mother

The shadow effect completes the consummation of the Marriage of the Gods that the sun's light had begun.

Meaden's theory is based on evidence that many primitive and ancient were goddess oriented.  The concept was she that conceived from a god. Her perpetual conception symbolized the renewal of the earth, and promoted a sense of security. This implies that the Stonehenge was once used primarily as a temple to celebrate this fertility rituals.


(C) Monument to Worship the Serpent

British antiquarian Dr. William Stukeley, who in 1740 was the first to note the summer solstice alignment at Stonehenge, advanced the notion that the monument was built by Druids to worship the serpent. He claimed that Stonehenge and similar stone circles had been serpent temples, which he called "Dracontia." Recall that the key to eclipses is the position of the lunar nodes. The length of time for the Moon to return to a node (about 27.2 days) astronomers call the draconic month. (Draco is the Latin word for "serpent" or "dragon") Perhaps the mythical serpents of Stonehenge and the legendary dragon that eats the Sun are symbols of the same thing: the invisible presence in time and space that eclipses the Sun and the Moon.


(D) Great Temple complex of Avebury

Recent archaeological evidence has shown that this sacred site in Wiltshire, now known as Stonehenge, has existed for more than 10,000 years. In early times it would have been hidden within the surrounding forest and only accessible from the river. Later it became part of the Great Temple complex of Avebury which was probably abandoned in about 1,000 A.D.

All ancient temples in the British Isles were circular and sacred to the Goddess.

 


(E) Temple of Apollo

"in an island in the seas to the north of Celtic Gaul...a magnificent sacred precinct of Apollo and a notable temple which is adorned with many votive offerings and is spherical in shape"

          -- quotes from the Journal of Pytheas' Travel

The author of the journal of Pytheas' travels suggested that the Stonehenge was a temple to the god Apollo on the British Isles


(F) Ritual Sites for the Giver of Life - SUN

During the ancient days, Midwinter was an important day to celebrate in respect to the Sun, giver of life. In December, the length of a day would get shorter, and the shortest would be a few days before the Winter Solstice ( around 21st December ) before the day starts to lengthen again. The sun has been ‘weakening’ every day before the Winter Solstice and it is sometime near the Winter Solstice when the sun "grows stronger". This was celebrated at the Stonehenge in the olden days.