Archaeoastronomy, Avebury and Crop Circles

I’ve just returned from a weekend teaching course in Avebury, where I was tutoring 16 students through the BSD’s Earth Energies Level 4 course ‘Understanding Earth Energy Power Centres and Features of Special Geomantic Significance’ . It’s probably the most academic and ‘left-brain’ of all the Earth Energy courses as it covers topics including sacred geometry and celestial mechanics – not the easiest material to teach even when you are interested in the subject. However, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and we had a good time exploring the Avebury complex of sites, visiting West Kennet long barrow, Swallowhead Spring and the Sanctuary, as well as the main Avebury circles of course.

The idea of the course is to give the students an understanding of why sacred sites almost always incorporate astronomical alignments to significant celestial happenings – be it a summer solstice sunrise as at Stonehenge, or the sunrise on a saint’s feast day as in some churches and cathedrals – and to show how designing the space using sacred geometry can actually enhance the use of the space by creating a subliminal resonance to the structure.

As modern city-dwellers we are astonishingly ignorant of what goes on in the night sky. It’s rare to find someone who knows what phase the moon is in, let alone find someone who knows how to find north on a starry night. Yet our Neolithic ancestors had an intimate and detailed knowledge about this, and constructed their stone circles as sophisticated megalithic calendars in order to track the turning of the seasons, the long-term cycles of the moon, and even when the next solar eclipse was due. All from just a few stones in the ground! There may still be some old-school archaeologists who dispute the validity of archaeoastronomy, but as I (hopefully) demonstrated on the course, anyone who has been to Callanish and seen the major southern standstill of the Moon can hardly fail to be convinced that the site was constructed purely to observe that specific  event, even if you do have to wait nearly 19 years between standstills.

As to the geometry – well, we were presented with a wonderful example of this overnight with the appearance of a crop formation near the Alton Barnes White Horse

Now, I’m by no means an expert on crop circles and haven’t visited many, but from reading reports by other dowsers and researchers, I was expecting to be able to feel some energy or at least dowse some earth energies in the formation. Yet four experienced earth energy dowsers could find hardly anything of dowseable energy in the formation. There were some small vortices in the centres of the circles, and I did dowse a water line running across the third one down on the central axis, but otherwise – none of us felt a thing. Not a tickle. The lay of the crop wasn’t very neatly done either, and the central axis was a little off a straight line. In short, it seemed to us like a hastily-constructed fake.

Rather poorly-laid crop at the head of the formation

However some people seemed to be getting something out of it. The prone lady at the centre of the ‘head’ circle was either completely attuned to the formation or perhaps simply overwhelmed by the heat?

Tuning in or just snoozing?

Whatever you make of them, and whether they are ‘real’ (whatever that is) or just carefully-constructed fakes, crop circles are still a wonderful expression of creativity in the landscape.

Me? I prefer to keep an open mind on such things, although as Terry Pratchett says, “the trouble with having an open mind of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”

Grahame Gardner is a professional dowser and geomancer specialising in house-healing work involving geopathic and technopathic stress, and the creation of sacred spaces. He is listed on the Professional Register of the British Society of Dowsers, and served as President of the Society from 2008-2014. He is also a founder member of The Geomancy Group. This article is from his personal blog Western Geomancy.

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