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Avebury:A Landscape Temple

Updated: May 1

Six hundred massive stone blocks, a circular ditch three quarters of a mile round and as deep as a house, the largest stone circle in the world and two man-made mounds, the largest being as tall as a sixteen story building with a footprint of nearly five football pitches – and all constructed nearly five thousand years ago. Avebury, where the earth energies flow, where water was key, where ceremonies to celebrate fertility, particularly at Beltane, have taken place for nearly five thousand years and where the movements of sun and moon were observed.

Many consider Avebury to be the energetic centre of England. Located halfway along the famous St. Michael leyline, the Avebury landscape is one huge interrelated temple from a time when the inhabitants of Britain knew much more about utilizing natural energies than we do today. They built Avebury henge, a colossal ditch and bank three quarters of a mile round, enclosing the largest stone circle in the world. This circle enclosed two smaller stone circles, referred to as a lunar circle and a solar circle. Leading away from the outer circle stretched two stone avenues extending a mile and a quarter in each direction and culminating at The Sanctuary, another former stone circle, and Knoll Down, a sacred grove. The latter is a natural cathedral of trees with a serene atmosphere.

It was proposed in "The Sun & The Serpent" by Broadhurst & Miller that a sacred ritual took place here every Beltane or Mayday (see The Golden Dawn at the end of the book for a moving description of these events and their symbolism).They suggested that women would process down one avenue and men down the other to arrive simultaneously in Avebury Henge at the moment of sunrise to celebrate the refertilising of the Earth goddess by the rays of the Solar god. The sun rises at the eastern end of the St Michael leyline on the morning of Beltane and beacon fires were lit in sequence along the whole 350 mile length across the south of England to draw the life-giving rays of the sun into the body of the Earth once again to provide a bountiful year ahead. Avebury is located at the midpoint along this energetic alignment and so it was the natural place for a Beltane ceremony. Within the Solar circle at Beltane sunrise the shadow of the former central Obelisk stone (destroyed and now a smaller marker stone stands there) would move across the ground to land upon another stone with a vulva notch in it.

Within this huge landscape temple we find other ancient structures such as Silbury Hill, The Sanctuary, Knoll Down, Merlin's Mound, Morgan’s Hill, West Kennet Longbarrow, Windmill Hill, Swallowhead Spring and more.

Add to this its relationship with neighboring Stonehenge, Old Sarum and other ancient sacred sites locally, all connected by a network of leylines, and we start to see that this area of Wiltshire is very special. If we then recognize its siting in relation to other ancient sacred sites nationally we can see that this is the heart center of an immensely powerful energy network and the hub of an ancient spiritual society. The immense manpower and planning involved shows that these were a sophisticated people with a strong driving motivation to carry through such huge tasks over a long period of time. They also must have been freed from survival issues by a level of prosperity that allowed them to devote so much manpower to spiritual construction projects.

John Aubrey, a seventeenth century antiquarian, on seeing Avebury for the first time stated that it “did as much excell Stoneheng, as a Cathedral does a Parish Church”.

It’s no surprise therefore that this area is the main focus of crop circle activity worldwide.

Silbury Hill

The largest artificial mound in Europe is over five thousand years old. It’s original purpose still shrouded in mystery, some very interesting theories have been proposed, several linking it to goddess culture. It was certainly a vitally important component in the whole Serpent Temple complex to which it is connected both physically and energetically. It sits on the Mary energy current between Avebury and West Kennet Long Barrow.

West Kennet Long Barrow

Constructed around the same time as Silbury, West Kennet is a long underground chamber usually referred to as a tomb. However evidence would imply that burial was a later function and that originally it was an initiatory chamber. It has wonderful acoustic properties and is a good place for toning and voice work.

Swallowhead Spring

A spring that got its name because it dried up annually. Connected to West Kennet and Silbury by the Mary energy current it was an important element in the landscape temple. Dropping water table levels have meant that this spring is now dry for longer periods.

Merlin’s Mound

This is an artificial hill half the height of Silbury Hill, the same age and standing within the same flood plain of the river Kennet just five miles downstream from Silbury. It was obviously once a very important structure and is the very reason for the existence of the town of Marlborough, the name of which derives from the Saxon for Merlin’s hill or splendid hill. It now stands in the grounds of Marlborough College, one of the top private schools in England. This mound has a remarkable story to tell.

Morgan’s Hill

It is a natural hill with a remarkable womb-like sanctuary carved out of the hilltop. This is protected by a grove of trees that houses a rookery. The whole place exudes ‘female’ energy and is a wonderfully gentle example of the natural expression of this energy. It is the perfect compliment to the man-made mound of Merlin. You will not find this listed in the guidebooks although locals appreciate its qualities. This is quite typical of the unsung ‘female’ nature.

Windmill Hill

Was the site where people stayed when they came to take part in ceremony at Avebury. Nothing remains physically today except the hilltop but the energy currents still cross at this place and it is a favourite location for crop circles.

Knoll Down

An atmospheric sacred grove of trees that marks the ‘tail of the serpent’ at the end of the Beckhampton avenue of standing stones.

The Sanctuary

A former stone circle (now marked by posts) which was the ‘head of the serpent’ at the end of the West Kennet avenue of standing stones.

If you've never been maybe its time to pay a visit...

by Glenn Broughton

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