13 Jan 2017

Stonehenge Tunnel Controversy - Clear Thinking Needed

Photo by Thomas Sheridan

The breaking story of the proposed tunneling of the A303 road - so as to remove it visually from the overall Stonehenge landscape - has understandably inflamed many people's passions and stirred up strong emotions. Sensationalist headlines such as this have not helped matters either.

This entire story is upsetting to me on several levels. Firstly, I think putting the A303 underground is, in general, a good idea, but the tunnel would need to be twice as long as the current plan put forward, and with the approaches changed so as not to impact upon any celestial alignments of great importance such as the Solstice sunrise. 

Removing the A303 from the surrounding vista would help recapture something of the wider Stonehenge "sacred landscape" from a visual perspective. I have always found the sight and noise from passing traffic on the present A303 road to be annoying. Maybe to the coach party tourist with their experience lost behind the electronic narration of their headphones it matters not, but to the rest of us who wish for something more from the full sensory experience of Stonehenge beyond adding it to our 'bucket list', the sight and sound of Tesco trucks whizzing by is obnoxious for people like me.



What really concerns me is that the magic of Stonehenge could be made toxic by a protracted, high-profile legal battle. Especially if public protests descend into police clashes and other intense pathological spectacles which take place in sight of this incredible place. Having been one of the decreasing number of people who has been allowed access into the interior of the monument, on a brisk morning when as the sun was rising over Salisbury Plain, I can assure all that Stonehenge is very much still a magical place in every aspect to this day. However, a hugely publicized 'Battle' for Stonehenge' may well seriously impact upon this loss of magic to a far greater degree than any tunnel boring machine moving deep underground off in the distance.

This is precisely what happened here in Ireland with the M3 motorway and the Hill of Tara controversy. It essentially politicized the location. Made it a magnet for all kinds of sinister nationalism by Sinn Fein and other types.

Today, you can't even see the completed M3 motorway from atop the Hill of Tara without actively looking for it. The environmental impact study was more or less correct. The motorway is hidden behind woodlands and natural rises in the landscape. 

However, the Sinn Fein flag waving types are still there defiling the sacred landscape with their IRA tattoos, Glasgow Celtic shirts and gold crucifixes. Anti social behaviour such as 'knacker drinking' and various crimes are common at Tara during the summer months now. The atmosphere is one of intimidation. These anti-social elements would have never known that Tara even existed unless they were drawn, as toxic familiars of darker forces, to the location due to the massive political and media controversy caused by the motorway project. 

Tara was destroyed not by the road, but by the media sensationalism and something special was lost. With this proposed tunnel development at Stonehenge, cool heads and pragmatism is what's needed. Or you'll get EDL types arriving with crucifixes and union flags as well as every other kind of protesting tourist poisoning the magic of the place. It would be better in that case that nothing at all is done at Stonehenge.


10 Jun 2016

The Šetek: Ancestral Spirit of Bohemia

Reduced to the level of a hobgoblin by Christians, the Šetek was once an important ancestral spirit of Bohemian and some Slavic cultures. Often seen as having the personality of a mischievous little boy.

30 Apr 2016

Irish Academics Ponder their Ancestors

The above image is what the academics at the National Museum of Ireland (official illustration in the 'Celtic' wing) considered an Irishman of the past to have looked like. Apparently, ancient Irish people could produce the most spectacular craftsmanship in gold, silver and stone, but were unable to produce textiles? 

The default model of how the ancient societies of Europe are, and still continue to seen, is that of mostly wild, half-naked savages entirely obsessed with dancing rituals and little else. 

Aside from issues pertaining to hypothermia, as well as needing time and labour forces to undertake large scale agricultural and megalithic projects, this 'European savage' mentality was/is a result of applying the model of the African or Pacific Island 'savages' to the ancient Europeans. 

This came about due to antiquarian's initial serious studies of the European megaliths happening around the same time that Europeans began exploring the interior of sub-Saharan Africa as well as forays into Polynesia and the South Pacific.

Nothing Has Changed...

29 Apr 2016

Ogham and the 'Charged' Writing

Ogham Stones are upright standing stones containing the earliest known indigenous Irish alphabet. Of unknown, (fully determinable) antiquity, this alphabet represents the earliest form of the Irish language. Their use continued well into the Christian era. Today, there are over four hundred surviving Ogham Stones with inscription in Ireland, as well as some examples in Britain (mainly Wales). The origin of the term 'Ogham' (pronounced 'om') is from the Irish “og-úaim” meaning 'cut with a sharp point'. This is also the same origin of the term 'Rune' which suggests something of an emotionality given to the markings as they were made. A kind of a 'magical' charging of the inscription rather than just recording a line of text.

This is a close up I took of an example in the National Museum of Ireland which illustrates the 'charged' nature of the incisions.

25 Jan 2016

The Mysterious and Ancient 'Cart Ruts' of Malta

Truly one of the great mysteries of ancient times are the remarkable parallel trenches that are cut into rock surfaces on the islands of Malta, and nearby Gozo which are somewhat disparagingly refereed to as "cart ruts". Archaeologists have absolutely no idea what they are and the function which they performed. How they were made, nor how old they are. The general mainstream consensus being that they were created circa 2000 BC by Neolithic farmers who arrived from Sicily. However, there is no proof of this, and the evidence contradicts this theory completely. They could be far, far older.

Maltese mythology tells of a race of giants which lived on the islands before farmers arrived from Sicily in neolithic times. It is also worth noting that the Maltese folk history of these giants and how they were defeated by humans - using human 'ingenuity' - is shared with several other western European cultures. 

It is the same race of ancient 'giants' who were credited with creating not only these impressive and mysterious tracks, but also all of the megalithic structures of Malta and Gozo. In fact, this was commonly accepted until the mid 19th century as the only possible explanation for the scale and distribution of these structures.

The trenches are up to 60cm deep, with the distance between the tracks of 110cm to 140cm apart. At some locations the tracks criss-cross one another to form something akin to a complicated railroad junction. The mainstream theory on their creation is that the wheels of carts carrying heavy goods had worn these groves into the bare rock. However, no scientific testing has been undertaken, using a recreation of this process, in order to determine just how many years of wooden wheeled vehicles travelling along the same course would be needed to wear the rock down to a depth of 60cm. 

Even more mysterious is there is no trace of animals such as horses or oxen having pulled these alleged carts. The rock between the tracks is unworn other than by natural forces as if these carts were pulled along by flying creatures! If that was not enough, they often terminate at the edge of cliffs above the sea.

Therefore, ostensibly speaking, mainstream scientific 'explanation' for how these 'cart ruts' were formed; was that wooden carts hauling hundreds of tons of rock each were pulled by birds, apparently back and forth over the same precise paths for hundreds of years just so the birds could pull the wagons and their loads into the Mediterranean. Yet, this remains the official narrative as absurd as it sounds.

Calling them 'cart ruts' is only to entrench the idea in people's consciousness that this is what they were. They could have been anything other than parallel groves created by the wear of wooden wheels over time, especially considering that some of them take sharp turns at various locations and the width of trenches remain the same. A manoeuvre which solid wheeled carts can not perform unless the axle is pivoted. Something that was not invented for thousands of years after their alleged creation date.

If it came to a bet I would still put my money on giants having created them until the scientists and archaeologists can come up with something more prosaic to explain their creation. They also deserve a title other than 'cart ruts'.

6 Jan 2016

The Unfortunate Mixed Bag of William Comyns Beaumont

Biblical Avebury - British Isrealism on Steroids

Between the First and Second World Wars, William Comyns Beaumont, or simply 'Comyns Beaumont' as he preferred to be known was a highly regarded and well respected journalist writing mainly for the British newspaper the Daily Mail. Both his name and status within British society made him very much a part of the social and intellectual elite. His articles and reports on the arts, political intrigue and social issues eventually elevated him to the level of editor ranking him high among the Fleet Street movers and shakers of the time. 

His social and extended working life reads like a 'who's who?' of the British establishment having begun his career path as the Private Secretary to US German Ambassador to Germany during a period of great change and turmoil. As a young man he was no less than the personal assistant to the legendary publisher, Jesuit-insider and power broker James Gordon Bennett. 

Comyns Beaumont was a brilliant intellectual, well travelled, well read and highly regarded member of the British elite until he made the fateful miscalculation of tearing up ancient history (not always a bad idea) and developing his own theories based on his personal research, and you guessed it, British Isrealism. 

Now while I have to agree that much of his work is so 'out there' and well beyond the pale of even the most fanatical British Isrealism, Comyns Beaumont's, work needs to be considered in isolation. While his notions that Edinburgh in Scotland was the actual site of Jerusalem and that the English city of Bristol was the real Soddom of the bible, his theories on 'Atlantis' being located somewhere in the British Isles does indeed have merit and is worth examining in its own right without the biblical overlay.

Comyns Beaumont, believed (as do I) that Plato’s account of the Atlantis disaster was the Classical world's attempts to report an enormous natural catastrophe beyond the Pillars of Hercules. The disaster was so traumatic to the surviving societies that Comyns Beaumont maintain that the fabric of human society from top to bottom completely changed as a result. Not only was a complex and well developed society wiped out, but the after effects of the trauma skewed everything from religious beliefs to the social order. Resulting in the western psyche developing a 'divine punishment' neurosis which generated complete upheavals in social and spiritual dynamics.  Comyns Beaumont also believed that the survivors of 'Atlantis' became the Atlantic cultures of western Europe.

The reason for the disaster - which gave birth to the Atlantis tales - Comyns Beaumont believed was a comet which impacted the Earth about four thousand years ago and that the Celtic peoples of western Europe and the Scandinavians are a product of the aftermath of the impact. He also took the mythology further and suggested that rather than this Atlentean landmass sinking beneath the waves, sea levels quickly rose – as a result of earthquakes causing tsunamis – which then obliterating vast swaths of land and removing land bridges connecting the British Isles to continental Europe. This then resulted in severe climate changes leading to a drop in temperatures from Ireland to Norway.

Comyns Beaumont outlines this 'Atlantis of the North' theory in remarkable detail and complexity in his book Britain, the Key to World History, which was published over a century ago at the start of his glittering career in mainstream journalism. The book argues the point that Scotland was the centre of what was to become known as Atlantis. If nothing else - was remarkable for its time - is that Comyns Beaumont uses comparative mythology from around the world in order to develop his theory. This was long before Immanuel Velikovsky and Carl Jung.

Unfortunately, his otherwise interesting theory then strays absurdly into the domain of a kind of turbocharged British Isrealism by placing Scotland at the centre of not only Atlantis, but also the Biblical stories by proclaiming that Caledonia was – prior to 584 BC -  "the original domicile of the sons of Adam, who were the Titans or giants of classic fame as well as being the Atlanteans of Plato." 

Much of this association is based around finding Scottish, Irish, English and Scandinavian place names which sound Biblical. Therefore he concludes that the Faroes Islands are in fact the 'Pharaoh Islands' and so on. Unfortunately this undermines, what at its core, is a workable idea. Still, William Comyns Beaumont deserve much credit for much of the data he collected and presented in Britain, the Key to World History.