February 23, 2008

Eolas: Wisdom of the Oaks - Imbolc 2008

The third edition (Imbolc 2008) of Eolas, Wisdom of the Oaks is now available for download from the Druid Order of WhiteOak - Ord na Darach Gile website. This issue includes an interesting article outlining the mythological stories, some of the archaeological findings, and modern folklore regarding the solstices by Sean Harbaugh. For the Bard, Ann Heymann has a wonderful article about Brigid (Brigit), Imbolc, and the Gaelic Harp. I had heard of the "Ceremony of Raising" and it was great to have the several etymologies of Imbolc in one place. She goes further into a brief explanation of a tripartite cosmology of music; laments, dance tunes, and lullabies. Facinating. I'm hoping she will be able to present more in the future. There was also poetry, recipes, and reviews to round out the edition. Nicely done. Well worth checking out.

February 9, 2008

The Henge Builders

Archaeology Magazine, in the January/February issue had a wonderful article about "The Henge Builders: New Discoveries inspire archaeologists to re-envision the culture that created Stonehenge." The seven page article in the magazine is much more thorough than short, 1 page, extract on the Archaeology web site.

Among the many new findings are:

1. Bones near Stonehenge reveal that people were immigrating to the area from the European continent.

2. New carbon-14 dates indicate that Stonehenge is 1,000 years older than archaeologists previously believed.

3. A wooden henge nearby, at Durrington Walls, has lead to a contorversial idea that wood henges were associated with rituals for the living while Stonehenge was associated with rituals for the dead.

4. That the winter solstice alignment of the stones may have been more significant than the summer solstice alignment.

I must add that the author, Mike Pitts, takes some license in stating that the "view [of Stonehenge] has changed little since Hawthorne's time," [150 years ago] in that the stones were rebuilt re-erected and otherwise improved in early 20th century and again in the '50's and again in 1964. Photos of Stonehenge from before the 'Heritage Restoration" are a bit different. He even mentions the problems he had doing research 30 years ago because the intermittent excavations at the site went largely unpublished, so I'm surprised he thought there was little changed in the past 150 years.

February 8, 2008

Top 10 Discoveries of 2007 - Lismullin Henge, Tara, Ireland

Archaeology Magazine, January/February included an article about the Top 10 Discoveries of 2007. Among those discoveries, was Lismullin Henge, Tara, Ireland.

Within the articles, they talk about the discovery of the massive, 260 foot Lismullin Henge discovered just over a mile from Tara. This find confirmed the long-held belief that the area around the Henge contains a 'rich complex of monuments."

They also mention construction of the M3 highway which threatens not only the Hill of Tara but also the other archaeological sites in the surrounding valley. They go on to remind us of the worldwide support for the protection of the Hill of Tara, (See). There is a petition on the saveTara.com website that you can sign to show your support for saving Tara. I have long held that the Hill of Tara and its surrounding landscape are sacred as part of our ancestral heritage. There is a Save Tara Valley website and the Global Collective Arts is mobilizing with Anam Cara for Tara. I urge you to join and support any of these groups in opposing the M3.

See: Lismullin Henge • Gabhra Valley, Ireland for details.