by Shaun Kirwan
Stone circles don’t have to be stone! Astronomical alignments were initially marked out using wooden posts. Only when the alignments had been verified were the posts replaced with more permanent stone markers. In 2006, Shaun Kirwan had the chance to build such a ‘woodhenge’ for the Sunrise Celebration Festival at Bearley Farm.
Our ancestors, who built many of the sacred sites and stone circles around Britain, most likely did not start their projects with stone. Let’s face it, you don’t want to build a huge stone circle with solar and lunar calendars and built in eclipse predictor only to find out that is out by a week or so!
So firstly, wooden posts were used with much observation, then later (50 years or so) when it was working and observations could be predicted, they replaced the wood with stone for a more permanent solution.
From archaeological evidence we know that our ancestors started building in wood between 5000 to 7000 years ago, but no precise date can be obtained (as wood rots away – but fortunately the holes don’t!).
In many major sites there is still the evidence of post holes. A prime example of this is in the Stonehenge car park. Yes the Car Park! There are three white circles in the tarmac at the far end of the car park, these are thought to be part of the first constructions which later became Stone Henge.
Woodhenge can be found just off the A345 north of Amesbury, now the wooden posts are represented by concrete ones, and near Avebury is the Sanctuary another Woodhenge, also with concrete posts.
In this new festival it is only fitting that we start with a wood circle, and see if we can inspire some of the more sceptical among us that sacred sites are very much needed these days.
Here is a thought, how many earthquakes do we have in Britain? And do you think this has anything to do with the number of stone and wood circles?
Well not only are these circles calendars, but also they harmonize energy and release geopathic stress from the earth (much like an acupuncturist will release chi from a meridian). With the creation and use of sacred sites we can alter the environment (including the weather), for the better.
The main alignments for this circle are for the Summer Solstice sunrise and sunset, as well as some local places such as Glastonbury and Stonehenge (see plan).
Remember that Sacred Sites can only be that way if they are treated as Sacred.
Please do not litter or abuse the Wood Circle, and it will be a magical space for all!
Shaun Kirwan (Geomancer & Avalon Rising Co-ordinator)