A message from Jason F. Cannon, who recently visited my web site which is about prehistory in Britain, prompted me to write the brief notes that follow.

The relevance to atheists participating in the ORIGINS GROUP is that centuries of attempts by christian archaeologists to interpret Britain’s ancient monuments has largely failed because their brains are blocked by inbred religious bias that numbs and neutralises the neuron circuits in their heads.

Many fear or dread to be caught thinking about the ancient religions that preceded the arrival of the first-millennium christian missionaries, so they haughtily assert that we can never read the minds of those far-distant peoples as regards their rituals and religions.

For it turns out that the megalithic monuments, and many others of the Neolithic and Early Bronze Ages (namely, 4000 to 1500 BC for Britain), can be broadly understood in terms of a fertility religion involving an Earth Mother, a Sky Father and their “marriage” which the people could witness as an arranged dramatic spectacle. Belief in this powerful idea encouraged the peoples to undertake great exploits by moving huge stones into selected positions according to an ambitious design plan.

The present research proceeds apace. Further publications are imminent in specialised archaeological books.

What I find satisfying---and wholly ironic---is that it takes a hardened atheist to solve these ancient mysteries that depend so much on deducing knowledge about lost religions; and this is being done simply by studying the symbolic, artefact and constructional evidence that is freely and openly available for anyone with a mind unfettered by later religious nonsense.

The ancient monuments were loaded with symbols and images that declared to the faithful what their religious understandings meant to them. Illiterate the people were, but they interacted with their divinities not only through speech and ritual but through powerful imagery too.

I can go into more detail another time, but it is enough right now to simply say that the stones of Stonehenge define a female monument representing the vulva and womb of the Earth Mother, and that she spends the year awaiting the longest day and crucially
(a) the arrival of the light of the rising sun into her open womb—an entry that is only possible at this time of the year because for the remainder of the year the path for the light of the rising sun is blocked by the presence of other well-positioned stones;
(2) the arrival of the phallic shadow of an outer stone (the Heel Stone) that penetrates the open vulva and enters the womb, to fall upon a vertical standing stone at the focus of the monument. Four centuries ago this mica-filled reflecting stone was misnamed the Altar Stone by uncomprehending christians who never produced any logical explanation as to what purpose it served.

In brief,
there is male penetration into the female monument, firstly by the light and energy of the rays of the rising sun, and secondly by the phallic shadow.

This can be interpreted as a visual ‘verification’ of the hieros gamos ----the pre-classical MARRIAGE OF THE GODS, whose consummation of divine union could be witnessed by all observers every 21 June.

What is more, this Sacred Marriage still happens. The effect still works, and it can be watched every summer.
Much the same happens at the far-bigger stone circles of Avebury which are 40 km to the north of Stonehenge.

Watching this “consummation of marriage between the gods” was a visual reassurance to the labouring farmers as regards the desired fertility of their fields and animals and women.

As I wrote at the start, solving THE ORIGINS OF THE DESIGN PLANS and therefore the basic MEANINGS of such monuments was achieved through the efforts of an atheist—rather than a christian—whose mind was not impaired by the numbing effect of illogical beliefs in irrational faiths about their own imagined gods.

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Replies to This Discussion

Wow - I have always loved reading about archeology, but this is amazing! Tie this into the entry about Peter - the more things change, the more they stay the same.
That is certainly a different annalist of Stoneheng than anything I've read in National Geographic. I have wondered over the years, why some of the stones were quarried so far away? Mica ! ,BRAVO, Dr.Meaden

A little update:

great advances have been made since I wrote this summary for Atheist Nexus, and major announcements will be made during 2013 and 2014. 

Meanwhile the Facebook page "Stonehenge Answers" supplies some information and a reference to a conference book. 

Terence Meaden




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