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West Kennet Long Barrow
Landscape, Shamans and the Cosmos, by Peter Knight
Peter Knight, lives in Wiltshire and is a speaker and sacred sites guide of international renown:
"West Kennet long barrow is situated on a ridge just south of Avebury, and is one of the most frequented of Wiltshire's ancient monuments. It is the best preserved of all long barrows, comprising hundreds of tons of chalk and earth in a 100m long mound, plus five atmospheric chambers, which are guarded by large sarsen stones. The whole monument was designed to impress!"
"In the book, I present evidence that the users of West Kennet Long Barrow had a profound knowledge of astronomy, sacred geometry, earth energies, as well as acoustics and sacred sound. They had a shamanic-based cosmology, a belief system whereby the departed ancestors survived physical death, and could be contacted. West Kennet long barrow was never just a tomb, it was also a clan icon, a symbol of tribal permanence. It was the centre of the community, just as a village church is today."
"The book describes the excavations of 1859 and 1955-6. Finds were surprising in that, after the original burials around 3,600 BC, the chambers and passage were gradually filled to the roof with ritual objects and human bones over many centuries. Burials were piled up or lined up against the back walls, implying that the remaining space was for the living, not the dead - the shamans were going into the dark recesses of the long barrow to commune with their ancestors."
"West Kennet long barrow is intricately placed in the sacred landscape, with alignments to other sacred sites, such as Silbury Hill, the Sanctuary, and Windmill Hill. It is not ON the landscape, but rather is HELD WITHIN IT. I have walked the landscape, marvelling how precisely it has been placed in relation to other sites and the landscape features. Some alignments are astronomical, such as the midwinter sunrise over East Kennet, the lunar standstill over barrows on Overton Hill, and Sirius rising out of East Kennet long barrow. As it sets, Orion appears to go into the mound and chambers when viewed from the east; were Neolithic shamans following the Hunter into the Underworld for trance journeying and spirit flight? I think our Neolithic ancestors were as connected to the heavens as they were the land."
The Shamanic Experience
"Walking into the dark passage is a liminal experience - we walk from the light into the dark, from the known into the unknown. This has always been the case. Inside the long barrow the shamans would sit, drum and meditate to contact the ancestors. I have found acoustic 'hot spots' inside the chambers where the sounds of the drum or human voice noticeably change in tone and volume. Participants of my drumming and meditation evenings up there have noted how they can get ?heady? and even giddy at times as the energy builds up and standing waves are formed. West Kennet Long Barrow as always been about interaction and participation. In the flickering lights the large stones themselves reveal faces, the eyes of which flicker in and out of the shadows - all part of the experience. Perhaps the stones themselves were seen to be imbued with spirits."
"There is no doubting that West Kennet long barrow is situated on a powerful place on the sacred landscape. The currents of the famous St Michael Line pass through its chambers, and dowsers have found tight spirals in each of the chambers, some coinciding with either acoustic hot spots or else where psychics had envisioned strange phenomena; the barrow is a place of great power even today - the energies will not be denied."
The Future and 2012
"One section deals with the uses of West Kennet long barrow today, and how we must strike a balance between preserving the archaeology and allowing people in for ritual purposes. I am fed up with clearing so-called 'ritual litter' from inside the chambers, and scraping wax off the stones. It is ironic that people who come to honour the ancestors and the Earth are the people who do the most damage! I include a Code of Practice of how to use the site without damaging it, so that this prehistoric wonder can stay open. I regularly hold drumming events up there, yet at the end of the evening no one would even know we had even been there. The ancestors need our love - not our litter!"
"As 2012 approaches we need to once again connect with our sacred sites, to help heal them and ourselves, individually and as a species. Sacred sites such as West Kennet are 'open for business', for healing and personal transformation. The Earth Mother awaits the connection - she is listening. Are we willing to talk to her once more?"
West Kennet Long Barrow: Landscape, Shamans and the Cosmos. £12.99. 233 pages, well-illustrated. Published March 2011 by Stone Seeker Publishing.
Price £11.99 + p&p - Order now
An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Britain, by Peter Knight
New Low Price of £9.99 + p&p - Order now
The CD Rom is user friendly, colourful and up-to-date. It should be used as a website with hundreds of hyperlinks to take you anywhere on the massive site within seconds. The work has been a labour of love, the culmination of Peter's findings over 15 years, as well as an overview of the latest research by other authors, such as Paul Devereux, David Elkington, Graham Hancock, John Michell, Terence Meaden, Julian Cope, Danny Sullivan, Paul Broadhurst and Hamish Miller, as well as several academics. Many of the fine images come from these researchers. From Avebury to Acoustics, from Dowsing to Dragons, from Stonehenge to Simulacra, and much more, this guide is the ultimate work on British ancient sites and the way we can interact with them.
Peter Knight is well known in the South of England for his research and books. He is co-founder and chairman of the Dorset Earth Mysteries Group, gives seminars and workshops and leads field trips every year to sacred sites. He is a prolific freelance writer for magazines and his previous books include: Ancient Stones of Dorset; Sacred Dorset - On the Path of the Dragon; and Dorset Pilgrimages - A Millennium Handbook.
Reviews of the CD-ROM
A very good & comprehensive CD-ROM - Cheryl Straffon, author/researcher: www.meynmamvro.co.uk
This is so obviously a labour of love, a massive reference work, with beautiful illustrations, and with hyper-links to enable quick movement throughout the whole work. Peter's love for, and amazing empathy with EM, really shines throughout. The 95 A-Z categories are more than sufficient to cover all aspects of EM, they are well researched and written in a very easy to understand style. I have really enjoyed this Encyclopedia. On a cold wet day, make yourself a hot drink, get comfortable in front of the PC and let this guide really open your mind. Thanks Peter I just love it. - Malcolm Osborn (reviewing for megalithic.co.uk)
This CD-ROM comes well packaged in a tastefully presented crystal case. Comprehensive and it is indeed well illustrated. We really need more things like this to promote earth mysteries. Northern Earth Magazine.
The work is profusely illustrated with over 200 colour photos, many completely filling your screen with stunning images of sunrises and other evocative scenes. The ultimate up-to-date overview of both the history and latest theories in the amazing world of earth mysteries. An invaluable guide to British sacred sites and ancient wisdom. - The Watkins Review
This page last edited on Wednesday, 27-Apr-2011 17:13:29 BST
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