Saturday, 30 April 2011

Enduring Values

That wedding has stirred up a great deal of conversation; some concerning the need in our lives for ritual, and even religion. So I thought you might like a picture or two concerning our religious and ritual roots. We collected our young grandson the other day for part of his half-term break. We met him and his parents halfway between here and his South Wales home and finding ourselves near Avebury devided to make the diversion. This central England of chalk downland and river valleys holds within it some of the most magical elements of prehistoric times; burial mounds, henges, Silbury - largest man-made hill in Europe. There are stone avenues heading off across the plain. English Heritage cares for the site, and provides lectures on Shamanism and Druids and all manner of invented stories. The stones themselves speak more eloquently.

This great arrangement of ceremonial stones still evokes wonder: how did those prehistoric people erect such a monument, and why? It was good to see so many families there, playhing, picnicing, and simply wondering at it all. The Avebury circles predate Stonehenge, and even the Pyramids of Egypt. It is hard to grasp the scale of such a construction, which encircles a whole village. Although many of the stones have been removed, broken up for building materials, even buried over the centuries, what remains still speaks of the human need for meaning in life. So just look at the stones, and enjoy them.

[Click on the photos for a larger version]

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