Bres Magazine – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Published April 1997

Wisdom of the Stones

Katheryn Trenshaw is an artist of international repute whose current work is focused on creating paintings inspired by meditations in stone circles and other sacred sites.

As a child growing up on Lake Michigan (which I have come to see more as a fresh water ocean than a lake) I would spend endless periods entranced by the waves lapping at the sandy shore. The focus of my meditative state was the smooth and sensuous stones . I would carefully study them , especially the forms just beneath the most shallow covering of water, the most colorful and alive among them. From among these I would choose my favorites to take home. And within that group was always a special stone that would then live in my pocket and provide me with comfort, a “worry stone” as I came to know it then. (And, back then, that stone would often end up banging the sides of my mother’s tumble clothes dryer. I never was good at remembering to empty my pockets of treasures.)

Now as a woman, I live near a salt water sea in Southwest England. I still collect stones from beneath the waves at the place where the waves kiss the shore. Now I would view the stone in my pocket as comfort, protection, grounding, a talisman…Not so different from my child self really, I just didn’t know those words then, but I had the energetic sense of it. I have grown over the years to appreciate stone as a magical channel of information and wisdom. The stones that comfort my fingers in pockets and journal bags now link me into the stones that mark the portals of information and energy on the Earth. This wisdom feeds my soul, my workshop teaching, my art, my life. Sacred sites of stone: stone circles [1], dolmens [2], stone rows, fogous [3]

— These are currently my links to ancient wisdom.

“Perambulating each year the wide range of their native territory, they traced the steps of the gods who first created it, thus living a cosmogony in which every spot, every feature of the landscape had its mythical significance…”

The Earth Spirit – John Michel

I am pulled to Stone Circles because they inspire me as muses and guides. I began creating a series of paintings entitled Wisdom of the Stones in 1993. At that time I was still living in Michigan in the US and I was doing a cross Atlantic jaunt 2-4 times a year for periods of 2 weeks to 6 months.(Ah, the joys of cross cultural relationship.) I hired a gorgeous studio, and began to visit and meditate in stone circles within the UK. This sounded so simple in the beginning. You know, get an ordinance survey map and plot it out, then simply visit these sites in a systematic fashion. This, however, was not meant to be. Partly because I don’t feel that a systematic approach is very natural to us human animals, and partly because I tend to have a more spiral approach to life. I found the visiting of circles to be a much more organic process and that I was to spend time in a much smaller number of sites. This time was more intimate, and required a great deal of space afterwards to integrate and absorb the experience into my system.

TAPPING INTO THE WISDOM OF THE STONES: meditations, sketches, ritual and paintings

Scorhill Circle

June 12, 1995, full moon, Scorhill stone circle on Dartmoor

I have packed the van with all the vital necessities for my time. Sketchbook and simple art supplies, journal, and my bag of portable sacred objects which includes, among other things: a special crow feather which brought me clear wisdom once on a walk along a stone row, dried black sage, special small natural objects from my chosen family/tribe around the globe and one very special small sand-polished stone from Lake Michigan. I have also a small backpack, very compact sleeping bag and mat, a few lovely organic vegetable pies, date flapjacks and a Thermos of tea (This is England after all…One cannot go without tea for longer than a four hour stretch ….) And last but not least, I have clothing and rain gear to cover all manner of circumstances from torrential downpours to balmy hot sun. This is Devon! A great place to see rainbows, and incredibly changeable.

I set off to the circle mostly up winding single track lanes surrounded by high hedgerows on both sides. The journey is smooth and refreshing and as soon as I cross the cattle grid I am on Dartmoor. The wild ponies have colts in their clusters as they snack on ferns and the soft rolling landscape of peat and river and wild is dotted with sheep and the occasional shaggy short Dartmoor cow. The clouds seem to dance and swirl along with the turning roads and jutting Tors.

Turns out to be a gorgeous day and though the clouds seem to loom low in the West, they miraculously never seem to threaten the area which I have chosen to spend these days. I park, strap on my backpack and hike up over the hill and down into the gentle valley toward Scorhill Circle. The circle is not a Stonehenge type scale or form. It is simple, over 60 feet in diameter and made up of tall pointed shapes of granite packed with quartz. The tallest stone stands 8 feet above ground. Most stones are still standing, a few have been toppled and some have been taken and used in the structure of the bridge below.

I investigate the circle from the outside. It never feels right to just enter a circle. I feel the need to be “invited in.” And so I walk clockwise around the stones, touching each one, and also getting a sense of the space and its energy. Once I make my way around, I feel completely fine entering. Some circles, such as this one, seem to inspire this kind of reverence.

This day, I decide to sit and meditate in the circle. I install myself with my back supported by the stone next to the tallest megalith, facing it. I sit on my wonderful thin air cushion (specialty outdoor gear, the perfect gift for a woman who spends lots of time doing these sorts of things…) and breathe. I sit and breathe. Sit. Breathe. That’s it. The teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh [4] resonate in my body: “breathing in, I am breathing in. Breathing out, I am breathing out.” This is the basic practice of meditation we all crave on some level. This is the practice that could save the world. This is the stuff that prepares us to receive wisdom.

As the day rolls on, I find I have completely lost track of time — sometimes lost track of where I am. I am also aware that although there are clouds all around me and a soft breeze blowing, the sun has somehow kept shining upon me and warming me through and through, as if it were reserved for me and my important and humble task. I keep trying to empty my mind of thoughts and expectations. And at a certain point, my perception deepens. I don’t know if my eyes were open or closed, but I see the circle of stones as energy. Large spirals of energy emerge from deep in the Earth. These spirals become smaller as they passed through the stones and larger again as they go up into the sky. The spirals’ level of energy does not seem to change even when it becomes more compact. The stones, from this vantage point, are clearly channelers of energy. And the investigation I have done likening these megaliths to acupuncture points along the meridians [5] of the Earth all makes perfect visual sense.

After a time , I lose contact with this visual image. (though it is forever embedded in my body memory and will later emerge in my paintings.)

I try to capture this and other images I am inspired with in my sketchbook for a time. Then I stand and walk very slowly and deliberately counter-clockwise inside the circle studying each stone with my hands. I take in the texture and temperature of each, noticing again the magnificent substances that form these “markers”: quartz crystals and granite chunks covered in red, green, purple lichens. When I am complete, I feel drawn to chose a leaning stone and place my third eye to its tip. The stone against my skin is cold and hard as I had expected, but it also seems to have a warm flow of energy at the center point of contact. Through this simple gesture lasting only a minute or so, I have the distinct sensation of exchange.

This contact, I now feel, has been of the most profound sort. It has featured in my dreams and waking visions. Stone Channelling (image xx) is one of the more literal paintings to come as a result of this particular moment and others like it. I feel that an exchange of information and “remembering” takes place with such interactions. The unraveling of that information is a whole other story. For me, dreams seem to be the most prominent way my body has to deal with unfolding these shared secrets.

After this interaction with the leaning stone, I settle back into a seated meditation briefly and decide to take a bit of time to integrate and ground, and so…lunch. The break feels odd, though very important. I find myself in a state of excitement and disbelief and wonder. After lunch, I create and execute a small ritual in the center of the circle connecting me to my chosen family / tribe throughout the world. It is a ritual experience which puts me in direct contact with those I summon. It feels as if they are there in the circle with me. It is intimate and unforgettable.

Later, I sleep just outside the circle in the open air. It seems clear that, at least on this occasion, sleeping inside the circle is not meant to be. (When I walk back up over the hill to find the circle at nightfall, the landscape seems to shape shift and make it impossible for me to locate the circle even though I have visited it many times before.) My dreams this night are full and complex, and completely irretrievable the next morning, though I have a clear sense in them of the power of the moon penetrating my being.

The painting Moon Lover (see image) is based on this night spent in the open air near Scorhill. The figure is embracing the moon and being watched over from behind by the circle. Her obvious vulnerability is somehow protected by these nighttime” companions.”

 

Tintagel & Labyrinths

“Labyrinths are meditations on life, death and rebirth.” [6]

My journey into the realm of Stone has taken me to many unexpected places, not the least of which is into the world of labyrinths. In 1995, my partner Daverick and I took a week long biking holiday in the steep up and down landscape of Cornwall. (The beauty of the Cornish coast is breathtaking, but the steep grades are not for the weak of heart on bikes loaded with camping gear.)

July 10, 1995, Cornwall

After visiting the Tintagel castle ruin, reputed to be the birthplace of King Arthur, in its stunning rugged location on the north Cornish coast, we head east in search of the Tintagel Labyrinth. Tucked snugly in the Rocky Valley, alongside a lush fast-moving stream there are two labyrinths carved into the sheered rock wall of the narrow gorge. These particular carvings are believed to be 4,000 years old and are of the same design as the “Minoan” maze in ancient Greece of that same period.

The impact of my experience with these labyrinths has led me to further my knowledge and exploration of this form. “A labyrinth is a magical unicursal (single path) maze. It is magical in that through the conscious use of the labyrinth, answers to questions can come, spiritual awareness can be enhanced, the path ahead, in the confusion of the labyrinth’s convoluted path, can somehow (magically?) become very clear. It’s your choice to enter the labyrinth, but once you have, there is only one way to go – back and forth, back and forth until you ultimately reach your goal – the treasure at the center. All labyrinths are mazes, but not all mazes are labyrinths.” [7] The labyrinth is an ancient symbol which occurs around the world including Peru, Arizona, Iceland, Crete, Egypt, India and Sumatra. Besides being carved into stone, it may appear as a design woven in a basket, laid out on the ground in stones, cut into turf or laid into a floor mosaic. While the origin of the labyrinth design is unknown, it is named after the classical Cretan Palace of Knossos, known as Labyrinthos, which had a famous labyrinth.

Labyrinths have been used in various magical traditions. Many labyrinths are found at cave openings; they are still found today in Europe placed at doorways and hearths to protect dwellings and bring prosperity. It is one of the most powerful symbols I have encountered to date, relating to the interwovenness of life and death. These magical patterns “enhance the possibility of bringing together our analytical/rational mode of consciousness with our intuitive/spiritual levels of consciousness.” [8]

When I spent time at the Tintagel Labyrinth, I had a vision of people journeying for days and weeks at a time in search of wisdom. I imagine that they came here to this very protected space and sat as I had and instinctively breathed deeply, reached forward and traced the labyrinth with their index finger. Entering at the bottom and slowly and carefully moving north south east west, winding and turning until they reached the center. Here they would pause for a moment, gather the wisdom or insight that awaited them there, and again retrace exactly the same path in the opposite direction until they reached the exit / entrance. I imagine that this could go on and on, tracing and retracing until the seeker found what they came to receive.

The use of this symbol in my work conjures the spirit of this seeking. And further, that connection to ancient wisdom that is timeless and resides both in the past and the future. Ancient Futures. (Image xx) is a radiant figure holding both a stone carved with a labyrinth and her totem guide, the owl. (Several paintings are modeled after this idea of a specific person in my life and their core symbols as I see them in the context of sacred sites.) In this painting, she is equipped with all the tools she needs for the current period of her life.

This symbol has become an exciting new, unfolding image to incorporate into my paintings as well as my life. (A small stone inscribed with a labyrinth is now at the entryway to my home in England.) In Solstice Witch (see image xx) the figure of a woman in blue and green body paint adorned with red spirals (which appeared to me in a summer Solstice time dream) is teamed up with a labyrinth of actual size of one of the two carved in stone at Tintagel. I made a rubbing in colored pencil in my sketchbook and then transferred that exact form into the painting. I remember the day I finished this painting. I was so thrilled to have brought back this treasure. Sharing this work feels like offering portions of that treasure out to all who are interested in recognising it.

Tregaseal Stone Circle

On the full moon in August, 1996 I explored a circle in the middle of a favorite area of Cornwall in the center of the Peninsula southwest of Saint Ives. This site is known as the Tregaseal Stone Circle or Tregaseal Dancing Stones and it consists of 18 erect stones of between 2 1/2 – 5 feet (0.8 – 1.5m) in height and has a diameter of 69 feet (21m). [9] This space is overlooked by several Tors gently jutting out of nearby hilltops acting as symbolic guardians. The circle is a beautiful large mainly intact monument full of gorse and heather with well-trodden pathways across and around the stones. This particular circle was one of the first sites where I chose to coordinate a group gathering / ritual.

August 28,1996 – full moon, Tregaseal Stone Circle, Cornwall

16 Men, women and children join in a gentle procession of drumming and chanting to the circle. Once there, we divide into small groups and prepare the space. Beautiful brightly colored scarves are tied to the gorse in the four directions to represent the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. A fire is built in the center of the circle in an already existing fire pit and candles illuminate the stones around the perimeter . We built a small altar of personal sacred objects on a blue-green batik cloth off to one side. Preparations complete, everyone gathers outside the circle.

As the Moon rises,the ritual begins by entering from the East. Each person is smudged (an American Indian tradition of purification and cleansing) and receives a small bit of cedar. The directions are welcomed with movement and toning. Individual prayers are offered aloud and in silence by each participant and “sent up” by placing a small bit of Cedar into the fire. The moon is addressed and honored with a meditation and song, and the ritual ends by thanking of the directions. The evening ends with songs around the fire and dozing children wrapped in sleeping bags and thick soft sheepskins as mist falls and the moon shines boldly overhead.

At one point late into the wee hours of the morning, with everyone from our group sleeping around us, something happened. Julie (who I felt a deep connection with) and I were involved in an intensely interesting conversation. There was no noise around us to draw our attention and yet we both looked up and fell silent at precisely the same moment. We were graced with seeing an owl fly silently all around the circle silhouetted against the moonlit sky. Julie had drawn the medicine card for owl wisdom earlier on the same day specifically with this particular ritual in mind. And the owl for me is a primary totem as well.

Thus, owls have played prominently in this body of work. They feel important messengers between the worlds of light and dark, life and death. I feel owls carry ancestral wisdom to those who are willing and able to hear. In In Search of the Stone Dwellers (see image xx) a woman rides on the back of a black owl seeking her tribe and those to whom she connects in the ancient ways. She flies over a stone circle which extends into a stone row as well. The landscape nearby is dotted with Tors. She knows she will find them through the vehicle of magic.

Other Sacred Sites and Images they Inspire

Avebury

Avebury stone circle is located in the rolling chalk downs of North Wiltshire. This spectacular stone circle is the largest circle of its kind in Europe and the second largest open air temple of prehistoric Britain with a diameter of about 335 meters. It is large enough that part of the village of Avebury is enclosed in it. This site is so grand and in such a position that it was clearly a center for very large gatherings of peoples from all different areas. I can well imagine tribes coming together and exchanging ideas and magic and teachings. And what a site for ritual!

Avebury is the first stone circle I was to ever visit in the UK in the flesh. And something about it, whether it is that fact, or its intrinsic power, remains very sweet and potent for me. I have spent many days there sitting with my sketchbook and trying to capture the forms and faces I find in these stones. This circle particularly inspires faces and figures for me. Woman in Stone (see image xx) was inspired by one particular stone that attracted me to come and sit before her and sketch.

Pentre Ifan

In Southwest Wales there is an absolutely breathtaking Dolmen named Pentre Ifan. I went to spend the better part of a day here, with my friend and mother Cynthia visiting from the U.S. The capstone (approximately 18 feet by 9 feet) is suspended horizontally at the tips of three very large vertical stones.

June 14, 1994 – Pentre Ifan, Wales

We sit and meditate for hours facing this beautiful sculpture in stone that is believed to have marked the entrance to a tribal burial chamber. This site exudes an aura of calm and dignity. I sketch for a time, trying to capture the magnificence of the forms and textures. This dolmen, as most I have visited, is positioned in such a way as to overlook the valley around it. Its silhouette is very clear against the sky. Stone and Sky. Hard and Soft. And I feel within me the image of a woman tapping the energy of the moon by cradling it before this form in stone.

Mythic Texts (Image x x) captures this impression. The energy of the sky was very rejuvenating and orangey/pinks seemed to best translate that for me. The softness of woman and moon contrast with the clear form and sunset. It is a gateway between worlds.

BRES Note: (the following poem to accompany Mythic Texts painting, perhaps on a page with just the image and the poem. This was done as a collaboration between the poet and I and was exhibited as such)

Melody to a shrine in an ocean of grass

Doorus Wedge Tomb, Kinvarra Bay, Co Galway, Eire

I wear it like a hat stone-lidded decorated green the stone was old then lichen ached upon its surface then as now teetering for centuries and centuries. What was this field, now lilting with drooping shiny blades? I say nothing for I am young in heart of stone I am soft in thistle house. I am sat inside the grove within the mound upon the throne where death was monumented. I am in the centre of the belly-was. I am Omphalus I am some queen I am some tourist in the heart of the stone and nothing remains but the stone not-so-cold perpetual eye mounting the grass holding strong under sky glinting grey as the moon keep the heat of the sun hold the turning of earth stored in the vault in the heart of the stone four stones the door left open to an unknown direction to the burren no tasks now nothing more than a memory a chamber of secrets a focus for cows a mystery spot a magical vessel a shelter from storm a home of the ancients an elegant grove a safe place for nettles a landscape for cracks a sculpture for weather a mantel for campers a fly on the map a matter for question historical fiction a dreamspot a voiceless tale from the past a weight and a shape naked in flatland a jumble of rock freedom from fact gentle structure simple beams place of worship place of decay something lost something remains plain as the bones of the earth thats the stone and the old and the rock and the dead and the heart and the gap and the guess and the silence and the soft.  — Annabella Pollen

Circle near Sheepstor

June 18, 1994, Devon

Its a blustery summer day in June. I visit a fairly unknown circle near Sheepstor in Devon with Daverick and Cynthia The wind seems to become more turbulent as we get closer to the circle. These stones are very sensuous in form and small in stature (1 to 3 feet tall). The circle is nearly intact and its energy very wild. This wild feeling may have just been the windy day, or perhaps it was influenced by the wild Dartmoor stallion that kept circling and circling around the stones at a 20 meter distance, with its long mane swirling and dancing around its neck. It was as if the pony were acknowledging a presence and helping to mark the circle as important.

Here, one of the stones particularly seemed to embody a dancing Goddess; breasts and hips round and swirling. We choose her as our guardian for the day and proceed to share a lovely picnic near her which Cynthia has prepared for us. This is especially challenging in the high wind, but we manage in spite of the occasional wayward flying lettuce leaf.

We venture further up the Moor only to discover not only another stone circle (even smaller) but also a stone row that extends for about 1/4 mile from this second circle. Walking along the row certainly inspires awe and deep introspection. It feels similar to a Labyrinth, as if it is another version, the stretched out model. I have the sense in this stone row of a weaving energy in and out of each stone, as if the energy dances in partnership with the stones and interacts in the form via a sensuous serpentine path.

The creative process

Robert Henri shares in his book The Art of Spirit:

‘When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature. he becomes interesting to other people. he disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and he opens ways for a better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it, shows there are still more pages possible…. He does not have to be a painter or sculptor to be an artist. He can work in any medium. He simply has to find the gain in the work itself, not outside of it.‘

Life is a lot more fulfilling when you see it as creation, and yourself as a co-creator of it ( rather than as a victim or a passive passenger)-along with God or fate or the universe, however you understand the force that turns the world. Creating art from these meditations with stones has been an ever opening process.

Creating paintings

From these brief encounters with stone circles, I would go back to my small studio nestled in the rolling hills above Totnes (a small Elizabethan town on the River Dart in Devonshire) and transfer the images and inspirations of these magical spaces and experiences into image and form. I begin by simply tuning into the memory of a sacred site and then begin to sketch. This is not always a flowing and carefree process, but the focus certainly helps a great deal. (I knew that my work as a professional artist was real when I stopped making the excuse, “I have to be in the right mood/be inspired!” Now, I just go to my studio on the days I have allotted for that creative work and find a way into the images.) I sketch 1 to 20 images of a given experience until I have a small series of these sketches completed and feel a cohesiveness among them. I then temporarily switch modes, usually marked by a warming cup of Earl Grey tea and biscuits — I’m not averse in the least to small “rewards” in my studio. I create color sketches of the final images I have chosen for now.

Then I dig out my yummy acid free hand made watercolor paper with deckled edges and transfer the images to this much larger format. At this stage, I just get lost in the application of color and texture and again tune into the memory in my body of the site. The colors I chose generally in my rough sketchbook paintings, but at this stage I find I may alter them again if the spirit moves me…and most often I prefer the latter choices. And as I often work into the night, I am often gifted with the songs of owls just outside my large picture windows.

For me the visual image can express more wholly the many layered nature of my experience. My paintings tend to be a more accurate expression of these experiences than any volumes of words I could string together. It seems that the simplest of ideas conveyed the most powerful energy. One such example is Moorland Maya (see image xx), inspired by a remarkable woman I met at Summer Solstice celebrations. In one of my meditations, she appeared to me as a priestess of days gone by, and simply capturing her form and energy were very calming and reassuring to me.

The first showing of some of this work took place in December 1995 in Grand Rapids Michigan in the US at 10 Weston Gallery. I made bits of information available to people about the sites: photographs, poems, maps, facts. And I also created a Labyrinth on the gallery floor for people to experience the transporting quality of this form. Amusingly, the children dove right in. It seemed to be much more of a challenge to surrender for adults. And many who did were surprised at the calming almost entrancing feelings they experienced having walked this simple path. Peoples reactions also showed that the mythical quality of the sights had translated into the paintings. One woman said she felt transported back in time and could feel the breeze on her face and the moisture of the moorland air on her skin when she stood before the Prayer for the Dying painting (see image XX). Just one reaction like that made all the works I had created feel like a victory.

The Spiral Continues

Now, I live in England and don’t have a tumble dryer…but I still forget to empty my pockets… I continue to visit and meditate in Stone Circles and am experiencing new sites all of the time. The images and the lessons are rich and endless.

My experiences with these sacred sites have inextricably changed my life. Its been a bit like finding long lost tribe on an isolated island. And I am left feeling as if the most powerful things I can offer the world in this lifetime are anchored in three basic acts/ways of being: Reclaiming sacred sites; tuning in to the sacred elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit; and offering creative expression from these and indeed from every experience in my life. Nothing too radical really, just simple mindful living. Beauty in the truest deepest sense. Life as art.


Further Reading:

Cornwall Archaeological Unit: Nicholas Johnson and Peter Rose, Cornwall’s Archaeological Heritage From Prehistory to the Tudors: 8000BC – AD1540 (1990 Twelveheads Press, Truro, Cornwall).
Chris Barber & John Godfrey Williams, The Ancient Stones of Wales, (Blorenge Books, Abergavenny, Gwent, 1989)
Lonegren, Sig, Labyrinths, Ancient Myths and Modern Uses (1991 Gothic Image Publications)
McNeil Cooke, Ian, Journey to the Stones (1987 Men-an-Tol Studio, Penzance, Cornwall)
McNeil Cooke, Ian, Antiquities of West Cornwall Guide One: The Men-an-Tol Holed Stone and Other Nearby Ancient Sites (1990, Men-An-Tol studio, Penzance, Cornwall)
McNeil Cooke, Ian, Mother and Sun, The Cornish Fogou (1993, Men-an-Tol Studio, Penzance, Cornwall).
Michell, John, The Earth Spirit: Its ways, Shrines and Mysteries. (1975 Thames and Hudson)
Nhat Hanh, Thich, The Blooming of a Lotus (1993 Beacon Press, Boston)
Nhat Hanh, Thich, Touching Peace (1992 Parallax Press, Berkeley, California)
Purce, Jill, The Mystic Spiral, Journey of the Soul (1974 Thames and Hudson)
Woods, Stephen H., Dartmoor Stone (1988 Devon Books, Exeter, Devon)

brief exhibit statement:

Wisdom of the Stones

This group of watercolor paintings has been inspired by the sacred sites of England, in particular the stone circles of the Southwest. I meditated in these spaces with the stones; in some instances, as in West Kennett Long Barrow, on Silbury Hill and near Scorhill circle, I spent the night in the open air (…me, my sleeping bag, and my sketch book/journal). From these periods of BEing with the stones and their sacred ancient energies, I sketched and journaled and dream journaled and then returned to my studio in the hills of Devon to create more finished color sketches and finally the paintings you see here.

I feel that I have only just begun to scratch the surface of the deep insights and wisdom that can be tapped into in such spaces. Ancient sophisticated systems of sacred geometry, calendars marking solar/lunar festivals, as well as very complexly constructed burial sites and ritual celebration circles – these are the fuel and inspiration for these paintings and many works to come. I feel that Stones are the bones of the earth and within them lie labyrinthian realms of knowledge.


[1] Stone Circles are beleived to have served many different purposes; tribal gatherings, magic making, celebration, rites of passage, and rituals of all sorts. The archeological facts tend to be extremely vague at best, and do not address the physical, energetic or creative response to the sites. It can be said that “theirs was a co-operative and egalitarian soceity, the Ancestors being included in their Extended Family System…It is estimated that there may have been about 3,000 Stone Circles at the height of the culture with a span of use of 2,000 years.” Hollier, Jan, Circles-Nothing But Circles, 1989

[2] a dolmen is a Neolithic stone formation, consisting of a horizontal stone supported by several vertical stones and thought to be a tomb. (in French archeology- any megalithic tomb) Burial Chamber. Wedge Tomb.

[3] Cornish word for underground chambers

[4] Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese monk and world renowned meditation teacher based on the practices of conscious breathing and mindfulness.

[5] meridians are channels of subtle energy in the human body and acupuncture points are vortices of energy along the channels through which the energy system is accessed.

[6] Granquist, Susan, “The Magic of the Labyrinth” in Sage Woman, Winter 1992.

[7] Lonegren, Sid, Labyrinths: Ancient Myths & Modern Uses, Gothic Image Publications, 1991.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Cooke, Ian McNeil, Journey to the Stones: Mermaid to Merrymaid, Men-an-Tol Studio Publications, Cornwall, 1987