Sunrise at Stonehenge...
A silver glow is growing behind the silhouetted horizon; it promises to be a fine day.
It is an hour before sunrise, that special time when the Earth seems to
hold her breath in anticipation of the appearance of her lover, the Sun.
He has been united with her throughout the dark hours; now he prepares
for his rebirth and subsequent climb into the heavens where he will take
up his duties as Lord of the Day. But that is still an hour off. Venus,
the morning star, illuminates the heavens to the east and bids us enter
her domain. She is another aspect of the Goddess; we feel the power of
her love directed towards us as we approach her temple. As we speed through
the awakening countryside the birds are singing their praises to the dawn
and there is movement to be seen in the hedgerows.
We crest a rise on the deserted road and there are the Stones, shadowy
yet dominating the landscape with a brooding majesty. Stonehenge! It is
a word that evokes feelings of magic, mystery and a little shiver from
the depths of our beings. It describes an ancient stone temple that has
presented an enigma to humanity for thousands of years. What is it? What
was it built for, used for? Why had so much effort, over so many years,
been expended on its creation? Why does it have such a profound, magical
effect on people?
I watch the questions arise, linger awhile, and dissolve. I smile. One
of the most important qualities about Stonehenge is its aura of mystery.
If these questions are ever answered, the awesome power of the place will
dwindle and fade away. Hooray for the mystery! Many aboriginal cultures
of the world go so far as to state that life itself is an unexplainable
Those who dare are encouraged to attempt to solve the mystery, even though
it is not possible to. Eventually, after years of spiritual quest, they
realise that not only is life a mystery, they are also a part of that
mystery. Once they take their rightful place as part of the mystery, they
merge with existence, at One with God, with Goddess. They have found their
The full moon, shimmering silver over the western horizon, will set in
an hour or so. She is a moving, wonderful sight, and creates a sense of
otherworldliness in all of us. Although we recognise the physical world,
tonight an alternate reality holds sway. We drive towards the carpark,
and pull to a halt at the entrance. I can see we are the first of our
group to arrive, and a security guard approaches. I get out of the car
and show him our letter of authorization; he removes the metal barrier
and politely waves us in. We park, get out of the car and stretch our
limbs. The air is crisp and fresh - my goodness, it's good to be alive!
At this time of day, it is as if only a handful of humanity exists upon
the planet. For a short while I feel as if the whole world is mine to
explore and enjoy without barrier or restriction.
Soon all of the group has arrived, and it is wonderful to greet each other
after varying periods of separation. Out come the flasks of tea and breakfast
packages, muted conversations hum in huddles around me and an occasional
burst of laughter splits the stillness. Most of us love to dress dramatically.
People are changing into robes of different colours, some with hoods.
There are some impressive looking staffs being carried, and I can see
other items of magical regalia being displayed. I keep an eye on the progress
of the sun behind the horizon. All the time the glow is increasing, changing
from silver to pink to gold, and a vertical beam of golden light splits
the heavens. It is time to enter the stones.
We make our way down the ramp to the entrance gates where we are greeted
by a guard. He asks if we know the rules; this is a formality as we recognise
each other from visits past. I answer in the affirmative. He waves us
through and wishes us a good time in the stones. The group snakes its
way through the tunnel that passes under the road, and up a ramp into
the field of stones. As I get my first unobstructed view of the henge,
the breath catches in my throat. It always happens like this. It is as
if this huge brooding temple, like a giant squat creature thrust up into
this reality from the underworld, becomes aware of us for the first time.
I feel its attention focus on us, a line of puny humans about to enter
its gigantuan coils, completely at its mercy.
Then my perception changes and I see the sacred space I love so much,
an immense temple of mystery, in front of a backdrop of pink and magenta
clouds. Golden rays pierce the deep blue sky like spears of promise, heralding
a new age, and I can feel the spirit of the temple reaching out and welcoming
me home. We have had a long and varied history over many years, and have
got to know each other like lovers. My heart overflows like nectar from
a flower and envelops the whole space with feeling. I recognise you, dear
stones, and I feel so honoured to be invited here again! ....we step over the rope at the edge of the path and slowly walk towards
the trilithon, two immense stones capped by a third, making an awesome
magical gateway into the heart of the temple. Some more hardy souls remove
their socks and shoes - I am one of them - and feel the dew as it anoints
our feet with ambrosia. ....One by one, we enter the megalithic gateway and walk in silence through
the gigantic stones which tower above our heads. From the road the megaliths
seem quite small and are a disappointment to some. Yet, when one approaches
on foot, they seem to rear up out of the grassy plain like ancient dragons
and completely overwhelm our tiny human egos.
Sunrise at Stonehenge;
a personal perception...
Please contact us if you would like to record your experiences.
'What magnificence! What
immensity! What power!
I enter the central area and I greet the Spirit that lives here. Then
I unpack the bag I am carrying, and make an altar on the grass. It is
not permitted to place objects on any of the stones. In the centre I place
a large crystal, and surround it with objects that symbolise the four
elements. There is a candle lantern that represents fire, a lovely coloured
stone for earth, a chalice for water, and a feather fan for air. I say
a few words, inviting the sacred to inhabit the altar during our stay,
and then stand up.
An expectancy grips everyone and we make our way to the eastern side of
the temple. The sun is about to rise, and we have been honoured this morning
with clear skies. This is a rare occurrence indeed, here on Salisbury
Plain, and we all know how blessed we are. Suddenly a laser beam flashes
from the horizon and hits each of us on our brow; as one we breathe in
the God who rises from his lover, the Earth. Why does this event initiate
such an open-mouthed wonder, filling us all with awe? Thirsty skins drink
in the radiance from our special star; we are reborn into the light.
To witness a sunrise or sunset, the times of the day when the veils between
worlds are thin, is wonderful enough. To experience these phenomena from
this sacred temple, also described as a major power spot on the Earth's
surface, is to directly encounter the divine. Places like Stonehenge subtly
affect our perception, transforming our experience of Earth into Heaven.
This is why these places are so important, and need protecting. They teach
us to live in a world of magic and mystery, where the numinous still inhabits
the land. Here, everything has meaning, and needs to be treated with love
and respect. Here people are precious, and harbour the god and goddess
The God leaves the embrace of the Earth, and starts his parabolic path
through the heavens. All at once, the spell breaks, and it is time for
us humans to celebrate. I invite everyone to come together and make a
circle (it's actually an ellipse, due to the shape of the space available).
We hold hands around the altar, eyes closed, surrendered to the moment.
The God and Goddess are honoured, the Spirit of the Land, and the Spirit
of Stonehenge. We ask for blessings and healing for our circle, and for
the Earth. Peace is invited into the Centre, for without Peace can no
work be. The seven directions (North, South, East, West, Above, Below,
and Centre) are honoured, and the circle cast. The space is now ready
for our ceremony.
A woman dressed in an embroidered light-blue robe steps forward and lifts
the chalice from the altar. In it is water from Chalice Well in Glastonbury,
and three drops of All-Heal, a Druidic healing essence made from mistletoe
harvested from an oak tree. The lady in blue slowly circumnavigates the
ring of people, offering each one of us a sip of the chalice as she passes.
When everyone has had a sip, she lets some fall onto the ground, an offering
to the Goddess.
Sometime during our invocation to the sacred, a hawk appears in the east
and flies overhead, circling and then hovering to the west. An electric
charge crackles through the group, ever alert for omens, signs of a visitation
from Spirit. The Hawk, messenger of the Gods, has arrived to bless our
ceremony this morning. The surge of feelings generated by the group radiate
outward from Stonehenge along the threads of light that emanate from such
temples, whether natural or man-made, and touch the hearts of awakening
Once the chalice has been replaced on the altar, it is time to make our
personal offerings to the Goddess. After enjoying the sunrise, our main
intent for visiting Stonehenge is to make pilgrimage to one of the most
powerful sacred spaces in the British Isles. We have all brought gifts:
a prayer, a dance, a poem, a pledge, a flower. One by one, as the Spirit
moves us, we step out from our position on the edge of the circle into
the centre and offer our gifts. What a wonderful outpouring from the hearts
of so many people! I feel very honoured to be part of such a loving, humble,
powerful group of people who have no inhibitions in sharing their innermost
feelings with one another.
As we are finishing, I notice a guard approaching from the tunnel entrance.
He has a determined air about him and I know he is going to inform us
that our time is up. OK. Everyone has delivered their gift, so we hold
hands again to complete our ceremony. We thank the God, the Goddess, the
Spirit of the Land and of Stonehenge for allowing us into their heart
this morning, and for showing us wonders. We wish the energy we have helped
generate this morning to be shared with All Beings, and those less fortunate
than ourselves. A last chant, and we are done. We let go of each other's
hands, and start to pack our belongings. The altar's components are wrapped
and are placed in their bag.
Individually, we say our goodbyes to this place of magic and wonder.
On the surface, not much has seemed to happen. Inside, our hearts and
souls rejoice at the time we have spent in the presence of the Divine,
recharging our batteries, rededicating our lives, merging with the Source,
at home with Spirit. We make our way back to the cars, cleansed, renewed,
smiling, talking in small groups.
One last part of the ritual still needs to be performed. Some of the
group might even consider it to be the most important, and there is a
keen sense of anticipation as we disrobe. Finally, in convoy, we drive
off to our sacred appointment with the Friar Tuck greasy spoon cafe in
the local town, Amesbury. The sacred chant that accompanies this part
of the ceremony is: Yum, Yuuuuuuummmmmmmm!