Continue
Click the audio play button above to hear Jon talk about his Star Goddess discovery.

Meeting the gaze of the Goddess

The process of discovery…

Ancient Archetypes Revealed in the night sky above Avebury, but visible throughout the world.
In a cold, brisk wind we had started by looking at another sight line which Jon had observed during the winter of 1998. Following a report that had been made of traces of a small circle located behind the Red Lion pub he found that, when standing on the site of this circle, the top of the henge bank coincided with the top of Silbury Hill. The effect of this is that people on Silbury appeared to be tiny figures moving on the bank. They looked like “fairies” when compared with the, much nearer, people standing on the bank. The right side of Silbury also continued the line of a notch in the bank. This created the alignment leading back to our observation point on a shelf in the high bank on the North side of the henge. We took a bearing along the line. It was 192 degrees, 12 degrees west of South. The other line through the line of stones in the South circle runs about 12 degrees east of South.

Jon Appleton and Jamie Blackwater

Heaven and Earth at Avebury
Click the audio play button above to hear what Jon wants you to do…

Jon Appleton

What it showed us was that at Samhain/Halloween in the early Neolithic, after midnight, in the South West, the eyes were level. Suddenly we could see, in the stars on the screen, a majestic figure rising high into the sky. We were transfixed by the power of this revelation. There She was. Her eyes, breasts, arms and skirt were clearly defined. The combination of the constellations of Gemini and Orion effectively created a clearly visible female figure. She extends on either side to include Procyon and Capella as her hands. Rigel becomes her right foot and mighty Orion seems to shrink from his former grandeur to become a child at her feet. They both stand together on Silbury Hill at midnight on midwinter’s day. When we overlaid these images on the star patterns printed out from the computer programme the correspondences were astonishingly accurate. (see the illustrations in the preceding section) These are only a few of the many possible. The universality of the images created by this constellation correspond to Goddess representations from all times and many cultures. As the stars revolve above the horizon the Goddess emerges as the sky darkens after sunset. Wheeling with the stars, rising above the foam of the Milky Way, She moves up and westward until She stands regally upright over Waden Hill in the South. The shape and height of the horizon over Waden Hill makes this a perfect stage set for this star performance. The area of the South circle at Avebury is ideally suited for humans to interact with the Goddess at this time of year. A number of ritual possibilities suggest themselves as this interaction of the Earth and Sky unfolds here. But it would also work at other sites with a raised Southern horizon such as Uffington and Wilmington which we have checked and undoubtedly many others in Britain and elsewhere. Glastonbury Tor seems another strong contender. Another extraordinary aspect of this area of the sky is that the path of the ecliptic passes diagonally through the body of the Goddess. This marks the path of all the planets and the Sun and Moon through the sky and therefore, at certain times, they will seem to combine their energies with Hers. In addition the band of the Milky Way, which is the plane of the Galaxy of which the Sun is part, extends horizontally across her breasts. It crosses the ecliptic over her left breast at a star which the Arabs called Wasat, the centre. The image in these stars is still visible today but is harder to see because the effect of precession has raised this whole section of sky higher above the horizon. It reached its highest point at the millennium and has now started its slow 13,000 year descent. In 5 or 6 thousand years it will be back where it was when Avebury was created. In those prehistoric times the powerful combination of visual image, significant timing and astronomically special positioning, upright on the Earth, was so strong that it is difficult not to accept that our ancestors saw and responded to what was clear in the sky above them. However, those with eyes to see can still look up to Her at the Spring equinox and experience Her appearance above the South western horizon. Look for the “Eyes” at about 10.30pm and she may honour you with her presence.
Stones in the rectangle in the SW quadrant of the Avebury henge lead toward Waden hill [Woden’s Hill] through the southern gateway.
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Meeting the gaze of the Goddess is continued... Ancient Archetypes Revealed in the night sky above Avebury, but visible throughout the world.
Megalithic Insights               						Jon Appleton
After working together studying and building stone circles in England and Wales in recent years we met together again in 2002 to investigate some “matters Megalithic”. To get things moving we went over to the ancient and enormous stone circle and henge at Avebury. While considering an idea about alignments across the henge from a spot on the bank to the East of the Northern entrance, which runs to Silbury Hill and over the Cove, we saw that they could not relate to either lunar or solar events because they ran too far south. So something more dramatic began to take shape in our awareness as we followed other clues that revealed themselves to us. Earlier we had looked at some of Alexander Thom’s drawings of the site and had seen that he indicated a clear alignment running through the Cove and the line of stones in the South circle. When projected northward this line crosses the henge bank through the spot we were sighting from.
We then walked to the Cove and through the South circle. We could see that the North-South entrances line and the two lines bracketing the South could only be stellar alignments. The line on Thom’s plan, when extended, runs over the top of Waden Hill to the South. The edge of the South entrance and the western side of stone number 1. on the English Heritage plan, a very large stone at the gateway, make a tight frame for this sight line. With no horizon events for the sun and moon we could only conclude that something significant happened in stars of the night sky over Waden Hill when Avebury was first settled and the henge created. What was it? A retreat from the icy wind into the Red Lion pub gave us a chance to talk over what we had discovered. We were soon on our way home to find out what the stars were doing at that time and loaded up the Voyager III astronomy programme which I had bought only three days earlier. When the programme was set to run for the Neolithic period we immediately saw that the stars of Orion passed, at culmination, due South at the midwinter solstice. He appeared at sunset and “walked” westward over Waden Hill and down to the Earth on Silbury Hill. The star Rigel, as his foot, tracked the curve of the top of the hill perfectly. The effect of seeing this on the computer screen was powerful and stimulated a flood of associations with myth and legend about this “hunter” figure for us. Sirius, the dog star, his hound followed his master over the hill and the other dog in the sky, Procyon in Canis Minor, crossed the North/South meridian line right above Sirius. Orion stands in the sky, facing the great bull Taurus, with the Milky Way arching across the sky and out to the west over his head. Many different associations with this image including:- Herne and the Wild Hunt, the “Path of the Dead” to Annwn, Osiris, Cernunnos and even the Fool card in the Tarot with an attendant dog, mirror this image of Orion. The timing of this spectacle with the “God” being born, becoming visible at midwinter, is not without significance. At many times throughout the history of the world the constellations have provided imagery for myth and religion. Examples can be found in cultures as diverse as Native Australian, Kalahari Bushmen, Andean Incan, Indian pre Vedic and Vedic, Babylonian, Sumerian, Egyptian and Northern European . Understanding the importance and significance of sky images in the creation of sacred myth is vitally important as it opens up a wealth of possibilities for greater understanding of ancient symbolism and belief systems. Looking for stars that had an equivalent visual impact in this part of the sky we focussed on Castor and Pollux, Gemini the Twins. In ancient Norse astronomy they were known as the “eyes” of Thiazi. We also found, in Richard Hinkley Allen’s classic book “Star Lore and Meaning”, that they were in pre Vedic Indian astronomy and myth the eyes of Aditi. This led us to look more closely at the way in which they were identified as eyes. You don’t have eyes without a head and body to go with them. They also suggested themselves as the “Eye Goddess” images of Neolithic times, double spirals on the stones of Newgrange and at many other places in the Megalithic era. If these were eyes where was the rest of the body? Using the computer programme we looked for the time and place in the sky when the stars would be horizontal and most eye like.

Jon Appleton

Continue

Meeting the gaze

of the Goddess

The process of discovery…

Back
After working together studying and building stone circles in England and Wales in recent years we met together again in 2002 to investigate some “matters Megalithic”. To get things moving we went over to the ancient and enormous stone circle and henge at Avebury. While considering an idea about alignments across the henge from a spot on the bank to the East of the Northern entrance, which runs to Silbury Hill and over the Cove, we saw that they could not relate to either lunar or solar events because they ran too far south. So something more dramatic began to take shape in our awareness as we followed other clues that revealed themselves to us. Earlier we had looked at some of Alexander Thom’s drawings of the site and had seen that he indicated a clear alignment running through the Cove and the line of stones in the South circle. When projected northward this line crosses the henge bank through the spot we were sighting from. In a cold, brisk wind we had started by looking at another sight line which Jon had observed during the winter of 1998. Following a report that had been made of traces of a small circle located behind the Red Lion pub he found that, when standing on the site of this circle, the top of the henge bank coincided with the top of Silbury Hill. The effect of this is that people on Silbury appeared to be tiny figures moving on the bank. They looked like “fairies” when compared with the, much nearer, people standing on the bank. The right side of Silbury also continued the line of a notch in the bank. This created the alignment leading back to our observation point on a shelf in the high bank on the North side of the henge. We took a bearing along the line. It was 192 degrees, 12 degrees west of South. The other line through the line of stones in the South circle runs about 12 degrees east of South.
Click the audio play button above to hear Jon talk about his Star Goddess discovery.
Ancient Archetypes Revealed in the night sky above Avebury

Jon Appleton and Jamie Blackwater

Click the audio play button above to hear what Jon wants you to do…
We then walked to the Cove and through the South circle. We could see that the North-South entrances line and the two lines bracketing the South could only be stellar alignments. The line on Thom’s plan, when extended, runs over the top of Waden Hill to the South. The edge of the South entrance and the western side of stone number 1. on the English Heritage plan, a very large stone at the gateway, make a tight frame for this sight line. With no horizon events for the sun and moon we could only conclude that something significant happened in stars of the night sky over Waden Hill when Avebury was first settled and the henge created. What was it? A retreat from the icy wind into the Red Lion pub gave us a chance to talk over what we had discovered. We were soon on our way home to find out what the stars were doing at that time and loaded up the Voyager III astronomy programme which I had bought only three days earlier. When the programme was set to run for the Neolithic period we immediately saw that the stars of Orion passed, at culmination, due South at the midwinter solstice. He appeared at sunset and “walked” westward over Waden Hill and down to the Earth on Silbury Hill. The star Rigel, as his foot, tracked the curve of the top of the hill perfectly. The effect of seeing this on the computer screen was powerful and stimulated a flood of associations with myth and legend about this “hunter” figure for us. Sirius, the dog star, his hound followed his master over the hill and the other dog in the sky, Procyon in Canis Minor, crossed the North/South meridian line right above Sirius. Orion stands in the sky, facing the great bull Taurus, with the Milky Way arching across the sky and out to the west over his head. Many different associations with this image including:- Herne and the Wild Hunt, the “Path of the Dead” to Annwn, Osiris, Cernunnos and even the Fool card in the Tarot with an attendant dog, mirror this image of Orion. The timing of this spectacle with the “God” being born, becoming visible at midwinter, is not without significance. At many times throughout the history of the world the constellations have provided imagery for myth and religion. Examples can be found in cultures as diverse as Native Australian, Kalahari Bushmen, Andean Incan, Indian pre Vedic and Vedic, Babylonian, Sumerian, Egyptian and Northern European . Understanding the importance and significance of sky images in the creation of sacred myth is vitally important as it opens up a wealth of possibilities for greater understanding of ancient symbolism and belief systems. Looking for stars that had an equivalent visual impact in this part of the sky we focussed on Castor and Pollux, Gemini the Twins. In ancient Norse astronomy they were known as the “eyes” of Thiazi. We also found, in Richard Hinkley Allen’s classic book “Star Lore and Meaning”, that they were in pre Vedic Indian astronomy and myth the eyes of Aditi. * ( see the note about Aditi’s myth This led us to look more closely at the way in which they were identified as eyes. You don’t have eyes without a head and body to go with them. They also suggested themselves as the “Eye Goddess” images of Neolithic times, double spirals on the stones of Newgrange and at many other places in the Megalithic era. If these were eyes where was the rest of the body? Using the computer programme we looked for the time and place in the sky when the stars would be horizontal and most eyelike. What it showed us was that at Samhain/Halloween in the early Neolithic, after midnight, in the Southwest, the eyes were level. Suddenly we could see, in the stars on the screen, a majestic figure rising high into the sky. We were transfixed by the power of this revelation. There She was. Her eyes, breasts, arms and skirt were clearly defined. The combination of the constellations of Gemini and Orion effectively created a clearly visible female figure. She extends on either side to include Procyon and Capella as her hands. Rigel becomes her right foot and mighty Orion seems to shrink from his former grandeur to become a child at her feet. They both stand together on Silbury Hill at midnight on midwinter’s day. When we overlaid these images on the star patterns printed out from the computer programme the correspondences were astonishingly accurate. (see the illustrations in the preceding section) These are only a few of the many possible. The universality of the images created by this constellation correspond to Goddess representations from all times and many cultures. As the stars revolve above the horizon the Goddess emerges as the sky darkens after sunset. Wheeling with the stars, rising above the foam of the Milky Way, She moves up and westward until She stands regally upright over Waden Hill in the South. The shape and height of the horizon over Waden Hill makes this a perfect stage set for this star performance. The area of the South circle at Avebury is ideally suited for humans to interact with the Goddess at this time of year. A number of ritual possibilities suggest themselves as this interaction of the Earth and Sky unfolds here. But it would also work at other sites with a raised Southern horizon such as Uffington and Wilmington which we have checked and undoubtedly many others in Britain and elsewhere. Glastonbury Tor seems another strong contender. Another extraordinary aspect of this area of the sky is that the path of the ecliptic passes diagonally through the body of the Goddess. This marks the path of all the planets and the Sun and Moon through the sky and therefore, at certain times, they will seem to combine their energies with Hers. In addition the band of the Milky Way, which is the plane of the Galaxy of which the Sun is part, extends horizontally across her breasts. It crosses the ecliptic over her left breast at a star which the Arabs called Wasat, the centre. The image in these stars is still visible today but is harder to see because the effect of precession has raised this whole section of sky higher above the horizon. It reached its highest point at the millennium and has now started its slow 13,000 year descent. In 5 or 6 thousand years it will be back where it was when Avebury was created. In those prehistoric times the powerful combination of visual image, significant timing and astronomically special positioning, upright on the Earth, was so strong that it is difficult not to accept that our ancestors saw and responded to what was clear in the sky above them. However, those with eyes to see can still look up to Her at the Spring equinox and experience Her appearance above the South western horizon. Look for the “Eyes” at about 10.30pm and she may honour you with her presence.
Stones in the rectangle in the SW quadrant of the Avebury henge lead toward Waden hill [Woden’s Hill] through the southern gateway.
Megalithic Insights               						Jon Appleton