Reblogged from Ishtar’s Gate, a blog covering diverse subjects relating to antiquity, myth, culture, legend and ancient arts. Although the idea that the Aubrey holes around the outside of the stone complex have an astronomical observation and eclipse prediction purpose has been dismissed because later cremations were found in them, their number, spacing and mathematical relationship to the station stones indicates otherwise. Ishtar’s introduction follows:
This is from the book of the same title by the highly regarded Robin Heath, and it is a deeply researched and expert interpretation of the sacred geometrical azimuths and alignments of Stonehenge.
It is well established that the axis of Stonehenge aligns approximately to the midsummer rising sun azimuth. In addition, the station stone rectangle is constructed perpendicular to the axis and has a ratio of 5:12. In Megalithic yards, this is 40:96, i.e. the units of the rectangle’s ratio are expressed in 8 MY ‘quanta’.
Robin Heath: Stonehenge – The Marriage of the Sun and Moon
A rectangular structure may align to extreme sunrises and opposite extreme moonrise azimuths (the ‘lunstices’) only within half a degree of the latitude of Stonehenge. A 5:12 rectangular structure further aligns to the quarter day sunrises and sets – those days lying between the two solstices. Finally, from station 94 through stone ‘B’ on the axis, we find an equinoctial alignment to the rising sun. (Figure 4.3, Sun, Moon & Stonehenge, page 64)
The secret of the calendar (and eclipse prediction) is to be able to find the exact number of lunar months in the solar year. (Psst! – it’s 12.368, almost 7/19ths). The over-run is 0.368 of a lunation, which is 10.875 days. It is objectively true that the two main features of Stonehenge are built to the ratio 7/19. The Aubrey circle is 104 MY in diameter (283 feet), whilst the Sarsen circle has an outer diameter of 104 feet. The fraction is 0.367.
This same fraction may be found from a rope marked with 30 equal divisions. Peg out a 5:12:13 triangle, divide the ‘5’ side into ‘3’ and ‘2’. At this 3:2 point, a constructed hypotenuse to the apex has a length of 153, which is 12.369 units. One could even use the station stone rectangle, where the divisions are eight Megalithic yards. I have called the construction the Lunation Triangle, as it appears not to have been discovered and named previously by modern culture. However, there appears to be a story containing the lunation triangle in the last chapter of St John’s Gospel.
The plot now thickens. When using this triangle with units as Megalithic yards or multiples thereof, the 0.368 fractional component will automatically fall out as one foot (12″) or multiples thereof. Thus it is true that the Megalithic yard splits into a foot and a Royal cubit (20.64 inches). If the Megalithic yard is understood to represent the time elapsing between 12 and 13 lunations (full moons), i.e. between 354.367 days and 383.89 days, then where the foot meets the cubit is found to be 365.2 days – the solar year, or 12.368 lunations. (Table 5.1, Sun, Moon & Stonehenge, page 85)
I have, for years, used Stonehenge to calibrate ropes whereby I can subsequently derive a soli-lunar calendar for years in advance and predict eclipses ( see later). I have termed 0.368 ( very nearly 7/19) the Silver Fraction. Of course, astronomically, 12.368 is the metonic cycle expressed as an annual figure. [Metonic cycle: In nineteen years there are exactly 235 lunations. 235/19 is 12.368. Named after a 4th century AD astronomer, it appears that the phenomenon was known about by the builders of Stonehenge, i.e. before 2500 BC]
Some Thoughts on Moving Stones
The Sarsen Stones were moved over 20 miles from the Marlborough Downs, adjacent to Avebury. The smaller bluestones came originally from Carn Menyn in the Preseli Mountains of West Wales. Some think they came by glacier, others that they were lugged to Milford Haven, then rafted. Recent Chlorine 36 analysis (Bowen, UCW Cardiff) favours human transport, and the glaciation of southern Pembrokeshire suggests it unlikely that the bluestones would have been carried towards the south-east. However, my argument is that the large altar stone at Stonehenge is made from a sparkly sandstone found adjacent to the Haven (at Cosheton) – did a glacier then transport it from sea level uphill to Salisbury Plain? It is thought very unlikely that glaciation reached to the Haven.
Whatever this debate brings in the future, it is objectively true that the sarsens were moved by human effort and, as we shall now discover, it is not actually very improtant how the bluestones got to Stonehenge but why they assumed such importance.
The original latitudes for the bluestones and the sarsens is 364/7 and 360/7′ degrees respectively. The centre of the henge at Avebury is placed exactly at 360/7 degrees, i.e. at one seventh of a circle as latitude. So exact is this figure that I suggest it was no accident or coincidence. The builders had a technique to calculate latitude to seconds of a degree.
It is of note that the Sarsen circle may be precisely placed by constructing a seven sided star ( heptogram) from the Aubrey circle. The star-arms cross at 100.8 feet, the mean diameter of the Sarsen circle. (Figure 7.11, Sun, Moon & Stonehenge, page 137) Of course, we all know that the midsummer azimuth of sunrise is approximately a seventh of a circle and that Stonehenge’s actual latitude is within 15 minutes of a degree of a seventh of a circle.
The large Lunation Triangle, shown incorporated into a huge cardinally aligned 5:12 rectangle, includes the location of the bluestone site, and the exact north-south and east-west lines complete a right angled triangle via Lundy and Caldey Island. In Old Welsh, Lundy is called Ynys Elen, the ‘island of the elbow, or right-angle’. I suggest that this may be the reason why Stonehenge is located where it is – as the only man-made construction in this geomantic message about calendar wisdom? (Figure 5.2, Sun, Moon & Stonehenge, page 76)
Eclipse Prediction Anyone who has ever tried to make a model of how the Sun and Moon move around the Zodiac will end up, most simply, with a circle of 28 markers around a central earth. Moving a ‘Moon-marker’ one position per day and a ‘Sun-marker’ once every 13 days, provides a calendar accurate to 98%. (Figure 3.3, Sun, Moon & Stonehenge, page 52)
Every year, for about 34 days, the full and new moons occur near the Sun’s path (the ecliptic) and eclipses result. These two times, which are 173 days apart, move backwards around the calendar taking 18.6 years to complete a revolution. The precise two points where the moon crosses the apparent path of the sun through the zodiac ( the ecliptic) are called the lunar nodes.
By doubling the sun-moon calendar to 56 markers, we can obtain an accuracy of 99.8%, and meet the handy convenience that 18.6 x 3 is almost the same as 28 x 2. Now a 3:2 ratio enables eclipses to be predicted to high accuracy, as the picture shows. (Figure 3.6, Sun, Moon & Stonehenge, page 58)
For the past twelve years I have been running a model of the ‘Aubrey Calendar’. It has predicted lunar and solar eclipses accurately to the day, shown instantly the position of the sun and moon against the stars, indicated lunar phase at a glance and, with a 24 hour clock placed in the centre, enabled the state of the tides to be known.
Thus it is, that my ambition to produce a ‘Service Manual’ for Stonehenge has borne some fruit in the twelve years I have been researching the megalithic culture. Readers who wish to understand more are invited to read one of my books:
– Sun, Moon & Stonehenge (Published by Bluestone Press, 1999, Cwm, St Dogmaels, Cardigan, Pembrokeshire, Wales, SA43 3JF. Softback, 256 pages, colour cover. RRP (UK) £12.99)
– A Key to Stonehenge (Bluestone Press, 1993, out of print)
– Stonehenge (Wooden Books, 2000)
– A Beginner’s Guide to Stone Circles (Hodder & Stoughton, 1999)
– Sun, Moon & Earth (Wooden Books, 1999)
My email address is skyhenge(at)zetnet.co.uk. You may order signed copies of the above books here. Please be brief. I am also able to undertake lecturing and demonstration seminars, based on a large collection of working and practically based models. In the first instance please inquire via the email address above.