How did he know? Stone Age man must have realised there was a good reason to build what is still the largest stone circle in the world at Avebury in Wiltshire 5,000 years ago, but how?
He was quite right, of course. There is a pair of leylines or currents of male and female energy that run from St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall to East Anglia, so strong they have been named the Michael and Mary lines. They link many sacred sites en route but, significantly, they actually cross at Avebury.
This crossing makes for a highly powerful surge of energy, and our dowsing rods were responding very strongly before we’d even asked a question! Stone Age man definitely knew what he was doing. It was no coincidence he chose this site – long before Stonehenge was even on the drawing board.
A group of twenty of us from Slimbridge Dowsing Group and South Herefordshire Dowsers met up for our first field trip of the summer on 27th June to investigate this remarkable place. Blessed with superb weather, we donned sunhats and suncream, and set off to explore, rods whizzing and brains reeling.
The Avebury site, built about 2,600 BC, is a large “henge“, being enclosed by an earthwork bank and a massive internal ditch, with an outer stone circle and two inner ones. Or, more accurately, the remains of, because over the centuries, the local population managed to destroy many of the stones, either to use them for building houses or simply to get them out of the way of their plough. One man got his come uppance when a stone he was trying to topple, fell and crushed him to death. Nearby coins dated 1320 conveniently date that incident.
As with Stonehenge, we’re not perfectly certain why Avebury was built, or what it was used for. The southern inner circle was dedicated to the sun and the northern inner circle to the moon. Human bones have been found, which indicates burial and worship on a large scale. Human sacrifice is a possibility as it has been a spiritual centre for Pagans, Wicca, Druids and Heathens. There is undoubtedly some connection with nearby Silbury Hill, Glastonbury, the later Stonehenge and, for all we know, the extensive crop circle activity in the area too.
While the sun was at its zenith, we retreated to the cool of the church to dowse the energies there. Churches are frequently built on what was originally a pagan site, with first a humble wooden building, and later something more permanent and magnificent. Consequently there are always strong energy lines to be found, and Avebury church did not disappoint. One leyline in particular, that passed through the font, was strong enough to send our dowsing rods into overdrive.
We cannot claim on this occasion to have come up with any answers, but we certainly enjoyed our day and came up with a whole host of new questions. We realise now, Stone Age man knew a lot more 5,000 years ago than we know today.