Special Places On Earth
Glastonbury Abbey, The Old Gate with Blue Whale Jawbone
Avebury Stone Circle
Avebury Stone Circle, located in the County of Wiltshire, England, is the largest stone circle in the world, originally erected 4,500 years ago. Many of the stones were re-erected in the 1930s by Alexander Keiller. It has been estimated that originally there were 400 standing stones within the henge and forming the great avenues at Avebury, with the heaviest, the Swindon Stone weighing about 65 tons.
Latitude: 51.428016N Longitude: 1.854678W
The guide book, Footprints Through Avebury, credits John Aubrey, b.1625 d.1697, with discovery of the stones and earthworks of Avebury for the outside world, when fox-hunting on the Wiltshire downs. He later persuaded Charles II of Avebury grandeurs, and guided his king round the stones and up Silbury Hill. Aubrey is famous for his Brief Lives, witty and irreverent biographies of eminent seventeenth century thinkers.
The Swindon Stone at the Northern Entrance
The massive Swindon stone takes its place in the northern sweep of the Great Circle. It is one of the few megaliths in Avebury that has never fallen nor been moved since its erection four thousand years ago. The surviving stones in the north west quadrant adjacent to the Swindon Stone indicate that rather than just the entrance stones being of considerable size there was an intention to increase the size of the stones as they got progressively nearer to the entrances.
Unfortunately the diamond-shaped Swindon Stone that stands dramatically close to the road at the north entrance has lost its partner which reportedly fell in 1722 and was destroyed. This missing stone was recorded as being of tremendous size and possibly as much as 90 tons in weight which would have made it substantially larger than any of the stones that are there now.
Stone no.73 at the east entrance is worth a visit to see the spectacular tree roots that cover the outer bank nearby. It is reported that Lord of the Rings author J.R.R.Tolkien derived some of his inspiration from visiting this natural wonder at Avebury, as depicted in the hidden valley Rivendell and the golden wood of Lothlorian. James Cameron, director of Avatar may have designed spiritual features for the magnificent trees on Pandora in his film based in the same complex network. Subterranean catacombs amongst the roots of the tree are reserved for the most sacred rituals of the clan.
Faeries are, apparently, often seen among the Avebury stones at night and visitors claim there is a spirit in every home near the Avebury Circle.
Elizabeth Taylor - Queen of the Nile
Cleopatra's Needles are a trio of obelisks in London, Paris (Place de la Concorde) and New York City. Each is made of red granite, stands about 21 metres (68 feet) high, weighs about 180 tons and is inscribed with hieroglyphs. Although the needles are genuine Ancient Egyptian obelisks, they are somewhat misnamed as neither has any connection with queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt. They were originally erected in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis on the orders of Thutmose III, around 1450 BC.
The London needle is in the City of Westminster, on the Victoria Embankment near the Golden Jubilee Bridges. It was presented to the United Kingdom in 1819 by Mehemet Ali, the Albanian-born viceroy of Egypt, in commemoration of the victories of Lord Nelson at the Battle of the Nile and Sir Ralph Abercromby at the Battle of Alexandria in 1801.
The New York location is in Central Park (40 46 59 N, 73 58 20 W) a large public, urban park (843 acres or 3.41 km; a rectangle 2.5 miles by one-half mile, or 4 km 800 m) in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, USA.
Cleopatra's Needles are mentioned in, National Treasure 2, by the Gates, when they begin their search for clues that will lead them to an ancient treasure, believed to be near Mount Rushmore.
The Cumaean Sibyl
Cumae is an ancient Italian town on the Tyrrhenian Sea, possessing, according to a legendary tradition, tradition, a grotto sacred to the Sibyl Deiphobe, who pronounced her oracles at the time when Aeneas disembarked in the peninsula. Many fine remains. In one of the necropoleis the fresco known as The Funereal Toilette was found, an example of oscan painting, of Italic workmanship and inspiration.
For centuries the Cumaean Sibyl of Rome when Rome was a kingdom, then a republic, and then an empire, was considered legendary only. Modern archeologists pursued the history of Rome, so that the Cumaean Sibyl was recognized as the High-priestess of Rome, and as a member, one priestess after another, of a priesthood venerated for centuries by Romans.
Giuseppe Consoli-Fiego believed that a line of priestesses, each called the "Cumaean Sibyl," had ministered at Cuma [the old Cumae] on the Bay of Naples. The following legend, quoted from Napoleon and Josephine's BOOK OF FATE, prompted Consoli-Fiego to excavate alongside the Bay of Naples. The date of this story is concurrent with the Fiftieth Olympiad.
THE SIBYLLINE BOOKS
The official book by the Vatican Press identifies Michelangelo's painting of Cumaea as: The "Cumaean Sibyl, face lined with age, absorbed in meditation." The Sistine paintings were unveiled on October 13, 1512, which was All Saints' Day.
A strange old woman came once to Tarquinius Superbus, king of Rome, with nine books, copies of the following work, which she said were the ORACLES OF THE SIBYLS, and proffered to sell them. But the king making some scruple about the price, she went away and burnt three of them; and returning with the six, asked the same sum as before. Tarquin only laughed at the humour; upon which the old woman left him once more; and after she had burnt three others, came again with those that were left, but still kept to her old terms. The king now began to wonder at her obstinacy, and thinking there might be something more than ordinary in the business, sent for the Augurs to consult what was to be done. They, when their divinations were performed, soon acquainted him what a piece of impiety he had been guilty of, by refusing a treasure sent to him from heaven, and commanded him to give whatever she demanded for the books that remained. The woman received her money, and delivered the writings, and only charging them by all means to keep them sacred, immediately vanished. Two of the nobility were presently after chosen to be the keepers of these oracles, which were laid up with all imaginable care in the capitol, in a chest under ground. They could not be consulted without a special order of the senate, which was never granted, unless upon the receiving some notable defeat, upon the rising of any considerable mutiny or sedition in the state, or upon some other extraordinary occasion.
The number of priests, in this, as in most other orders, was several times altered. The Duumviri continued till about the year of the city 388, when the tribunes of the people proferred a law, that there should be ten men elected for this service, part out of the nobility, and part out of the commons. We meet with the Decemviri all along from hence, till about the time of Sylla the dictator, when the Quindecemviri occur. It were needless to give any farther account of the Sibyls, than that they are generally agreed to have been ten in number; for which we have the authority of Varro; though some make them nine, some four, some three, and some only one. They all lived in different ages and countries, were all prophetesses; and, according to common opinion, foretold the coming of our Savior. As to the writing, Dempster tells us, it was on linen.
Solinus acquaints us, that the books which Tarquin bought, were burnt in the conflagration of the capitol, the year before Sylla's dictatorship. Yet there were others of their inspired writings, or at least copies or extracts of them, gathered up in Greece and other parts, upon a special search made by order of the senate; which were kept with the same care as the former, till about the time of Theodosius the Great, when, the greatest part of the senate having embraced the Christian faith, they began to grow out of fashion; till at last Stilicho burnt them all, under Honorius, for which he is severely censured by the poet Rutilius.
The Delphic Oracle
The Priestesses at Delphi
Three stories offer three rare accounts, which either seem to speak, or pretend to speak, of a Delphic Pythia: The Story of Phemonoe; The Story of Theoclea, or Themistoclea; and The Story of Psyche.
The first story takes its priestess's name from Pausanias (VIII), who placed her in the earliest century of the oracle, i.e., in "Pytho's day."
The second story, by Schure, is also based upon some piece of written evidence, and refers to Pythagoras-Pythia; the link was perhaps Pythia-Pythagoras, and demonstrates origin of that Pythagorean doctrine which many believe reappeared in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Gaul as Druidism. See Ancient Oracle
The third story, written by the famous African author Apuleius (Appuleius, who was born around 130 A.D. tells the story of Apollo and Psyche. The marvelous book, The Golden Ass, recounts his initiation into a Mystery Religion of the ancient world. Such rites were secret and never revealed; they were also conducted and adopted entirely or preponderantly by women. The story Apuleius tells could very well treat, it seems, the installation of a Pythia at Delphia.
Olympic Games: Pausanias says, "Later on Iphitus, ... arranged the games at Olympia and reestablished afresh the Olympic festival and truce, after an interruption of uncertain length. ... At this time Greece was grievously worn by internal strife and plague, and it occurred to Iphitus to ask the god at Delphi for deliverance from these evils. The story goes that the Pythian priestess ordained that Iphitus himself and the Eleans must renew the Olympic games." (Pausanias 5.4.5-6) [Most historians date Iphitus to some time in the ninth century]
Praesepe the "Beehive Cluster"
named for the Greek Earth goddess Gaea, holds that the Earth as a whole should be regarded as a living organism and that biological processes stabilize the environment. First advanced by British biologist James Lovelock in 1969.
Balnuaran of Clava
The Deva of Raglan Castle
The cult at Dodona Before the Olympian Pantheon came to be the central power in the ancient world, Dodona was dedicated to the goddess Dione (Diana). The site was later seized by Zeus who claimed it for his own, though he retained the services of her priestesses to read his oracles. This they did listening to the cooing of black doves, the rustle of the Oaks leaves in the wind, or the clanging of copper pots and pans hung in the trees branches to produce sound. Water from the sacred spring partially filled the kettles to varying degrees, according to the logistical requiements. Interpreters claimed that within the sounds could be heard the voice of Zeus.
The most famous interpreter was an old priestess called Pelias, who prophesied the messages of Zeus from a sacred spring at the foot of a giant Oak in the grove at Dodona. The voice of Zeus was also heard in the sounds of thunder, and it was believed that more thunderstorms raged over Dodona than anywhere else in the classical world. By tradition, thunder is the prototype of music, so there may have been a link with the sacred dance in the temple, Eurythemy as referred to by Rudolph Steiner.
The Oak tree due to its enormous size and low electrical resistance, attracts and is struck by more lightening than any other tree species, and so the Oak became associated with the Gods of Thunder. Roman counterpart of Zeus, Jupiter, was also worshipped as a God of Thunder, and was able to control rain, storms and lightening. It was said he revealed the future to mankind by the flight of birds, especially their migratory habits. Birds were known as the “Messengers of the Gods” and the Oak with it massive frame and huge limbs is a natural resting place and home to many types of birds. The Oak became associated with Protection, Strength, Stability and Comfort. The Oak is also important in Druid lore. See The Garden of Arwen, Robin Hood, and Stonehenge for more information on the Druid culture and the mighty Oak.
The Eleusinian Mystery
Eleusis is fourteen miles to the west of Athens, by the blue waters
of the Aegean Sea. According to legend, the Mystery Play was
introduced to the people of Eleusis by the Goddess Demeter herself.
The Akasha Black, Emerald Green, and Golden Wave
Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries The archeological evidence for the Telesterion at Eleusis
is summarized in George E. Mylonas, Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries (1961)**
"I have seen the walls and Hanging Gardens of ancient Babylon," wrote Philon of Byzantium, "the statue of Olympian Zeus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the mighty work of the high Pyramids and the tomb of Mausolus. But when I saw the temple at Ephesus rising to the clouds, all these other wonders were put in the shade."
Ephesus [Turkey] disappeared, despite the fact that it was often placed first among the Wonders of the World, and then reappeared. Her priestesses reappeared with her.
The native scholars say the name Ephesus, or 'Ephesos,' in Greek, was originally the name of the Amazon warrior priestess who founded the city near her rich seaport and breezy valley.
See Vitruvius, c. 40 B.C. De Architectura Libri Decem (Ten Books Concerning Architecture). His contemporary Strabo had also left a detailed description of the Artemis temple and its situation.
The Great Temple followed the Ionic Order, Ephesus being in those days one of the twelve Ionic cities, or Greek cities of western Asia Minor. The towering cult statue of Artemis stood in the inner sanctum.
One, or possibly more of the earliest temples at this site contained a 'sacred stone', apparently a meteorite, that is described as having "fallen from Jupiter." Sites with such stones were always associated with eternal youth or, at least, some wonderful type of rejuvenation. The 'Fountain of Youth' sought by Ponce de Leon and many other adventurers, archeologists [see Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom], and explorers is commonly near a pilgrimage spot with a large stone 'from the sky' or a meteor shower composed of small stones.
John Turtle Wood and his wife, working at Ephesus for the British Museum [and facilitated by Charles Newton, keeper of Greek and Roman antiquities] between 1863 and 1874, excavated the odeum and theatre. In May 1869 he found the outer wall, which had enclosed the various minor temples as well as the once huge, massive, towering Ionian Temple of Ephesus. The Great Temple of Ephesus, even so, lay a full half mile away, inside this outer wall, he was to discover. In 1873 the temple platform [foundation] was found. During the work that year there were the aurora borealis one night, and an eclipse of the moon another evening, around seven P.M. Wood found the tympanum, which had an angle of 17degrees. He painstakingly unearthed superbly carved lions' heads. Wood officially finished the excavation on December 31, 1873.
Norma Lorre Goodrich wrote, As violet-crowned Cythera Cypriot Aphrodite conquered the whole world, exception made for three virgins, Artemis of Ephesus, Athena of Athens, and Hestia Vesta of the Greek and Roman hearth fires.
This site is the last residence of Mary, Mother of Jesus, brought to the city by St. John. Her apartment, preserved as it once was, has been visited by Christians and Muslims alike. Paul VI was the first pope to visit this place in the 1960s. Later, in the 1980s, during his visit, Pope John-Paul II declared the Shrine of Virgin Mary has a pilgrimage place for Christians.
St. Paul worked in Ephesus for three years. The Epistle to the Ephesians is the tenth book of the New Testament, traditionally believed written by St. Paul when he was in prison. In Ephesians 2:19-22 we read about the state of unity that exists now in the mystical body of Christ.
So you are no longer aliens or foreign visitors. You are citizens like all the saints, and part of God’s household. You are part of a building that has the apostles and prophets for its foundations, and Christ Jesus himself for its main cornerstone. As every structure is aligned on him, all grow into one holy temple in the Lord; and you too, in him, are being built into a house where God lives, in the Spirit.
Ephesus is situated at the beginning of a great ancient trade route of the East, known as the horse road. In the present day, it is near the Kucuk Menderes River in Turkey.
Virgin Mary apartments at Ephesus
Gaia - What we know about the planet we call home
Power Site navigation
Mithras Temple in London
In 1954 archaeologists in London excavated a temple to the Roman god Mithras, the bull slayer. The mapped site reveals the locations of an amphitheatre, Roman cemetery, forum and fort, built along the river Thames, with Roman London superimposed by modern London. The original Roman street and cluster of structures was discovered because the WWII blitz unearthed part of the long buried history of the city.
Over 30,000 people queued daily for the remainder of the dig, that included wide press and movie news interest. The press and public interest inspired prime minister Winston Churchill to take part in preserving what could be realistically salvaged from the ruins. The owners of the site were encouraged to extend the time archaeologists had to uncover much more of the temple.
Today many of the sculptures from the Temple of Mithras are displayed in the Museum of London. Preparations are underway to move finds from the original excavation, yet again, to a new home where the original east-west orientation will be recognized and other details considered. It is clear the collective dream of true London takes precedence over the red tape problems that have been created by the discovery.
Read more about the background story as covered by British Archaeology, January-February 2015 issue.
The Egyptian House, Oxfordshire
This unusual, Thameside Egyptian home was designed by architect John Outram. The landscaping includes a water feature that leads down to the River Thames. More about this beautiful environment at Astroscape.
Scholars have recently discovered new information about the construction of Stonehenge in extant text - Stonehenge details & other information about Stonehenge. Stonehenge is a prehistoric temple. The stones are aligned with the movements of the sun. The new visitor center offers cases containing original artifacts, models, human remains, and detailed texts and captions. There are videos that provide the history of various projects and theories about the possible meanings of Stonehenge, from a variety of viewpoints. Walk to the stones from the center or take transportation, provided free by the center with your ticket.
Tor Burr Glastonbury Tor
Pyramid stage at Glastonbury Tor 2008
Villa of the Mysteries, Pompeii
Toward the end of the Life of Augustus
Large frieze of the Dionysiac Mysteries
On the western side of Pompeii, the Villa of the Mysteries is one of the best preserved and most imposing buildings in the excavated town. It forms part of a group of suburban villas which, with those of Cicero and Diomedes, possessed exceptional works of art. The most interesting is the fresco of an initiation cycle for a Dionysiac cult in one of the rooms, hence the name. It is a patrician house built in the 3rd century B.C. Partly excavated between 1909-1910, restored 1929-1930, it is an almost square building, overlooking the sea, on ground whose steepness is compensated on the west by a rampart. It possesses terraces and a hanging garden; in the middle of the façade, is a semi-circular exedra with windows, giving access to the porticoes, the tablinum and to the front part of the house which is grouped around the atrium, the apartments of the owners. Further back is a large peri-style bordered by a small atrium, which opens on to the kitchen, the baths, and the southern portico. The third part of the construction centres around the subsidiary entry, containing the servants quarters, the larders and garden.
It was constructed in several stages, enlarged, with more floors added during the centuries, giving it the appearance of a large patrician house as we see architecture today. The alternations in the reign of Augustus reveal the influence of second style decoration. In the tablinum, is a painting on a black background, in the Egyptian style; and in the cubiculum are human figures from a Dionysiac cycle. The house was clumsily restored after the earthquake of A.D. 63, alterations which probably coincided with a change of owner or function, and the villa lost its aristocratic appearance. It was then used largely for non-residential activities, and its valuable furniture probably removed. From information provided by a seal found in one of the servants’ rooms, it appears that the last proprietor belonged to the family off the Stacidi, who possessed a funerary mausoleum on the Via dei Sepolcri. The famous room known today as of the great painting is now generally assumed to have been the triclinium, although it must have been used for this at a fairly late period in the house history. Originally, it was used as an ante-chamber to the conjugal bedroom. Far from being a secret place of initiation for celebrating a cult forbidden by the Senate decree, De Bacchanalibus, this room was originally one of the most private and intimate in the villa. The Dionysiac fresco beside the bridal chamber is explained no doubt by the religious convictions of the mistress of the house; the portrait near the door, of the grave and majestic kneeling figure, is thought to be of her. The room was probably afterwards used as a reception room.
Wilderness and National Parkland
Yellowstone National Park Bison
Yosemite National Park -- The Mountain
go SITE [Power Sites]
Native American symbol: The God's Eye [popular 60's meditation symbol and used
by rock band Big Brother and The Holding Company - Haight-Ashbury]
March/April 2008 issue of British Archaeology Stanway: a Druid grave
Between 1987 and 2003, archaeologists excavated a series of unique graves in a gravel quarry at Stanway, near Colchester, Essex. Study of the finds is now finished, revealing a story of powerful, rich people who would have seen emperor Claudius invade Britain, and some of whom may have been close relatives of Cunobelin and his famous sons Togodumnus and Caratacus. One grave, containing a unique game board with pieces in place, divining rods and a set of medical equipment, is thought to have been that of a Druid
KIVA note similar style for American Southwest Kiva and design of the Neolithic chambered cairn [Corrimony]
* Some words are in doubt due to present condition of the text copy. DKD Trans. For  more, see index below for Transcriber Errors and Curious Omissions
- ** Ictinus (active second half of 5th century B.C.) was a Greek architect and the chief designer of the Parthenon. In addition, he is known to have prepared a design for the Telesterion, the great hall of the Mysteries at Eleusis. Ictinus is an architect who dealt with the well-known "refinements" of Greek temple architecture proportional relationships, curvature of horizontal lines, and inclination of vertical members which Ictinus brought to their highest point of development in the Parthenon.
Ictinus seems to have been particularly interested in the development of interior space in Greek architecture. In the Parthenon he integrated the colossal cult image of Athena with the cella in which it stood by using the superimposed rows of Doric columns which supported the ceiling of the cella as a three-sided frame for the image. Both Vitruvius and the archeological evidence suggest that the distinctive feature of Ictinus's design for the Telesterion at Eleusis, a project never completed, was to reduce greatly the number of interior supports so that there would have been more unobstructed space than ever before for witnessing the most secret rites of the Mysteries. The traveler Pausanias states that the temple at Bassae was a votive offering to Apollo for aid in averting the plague of 430/429 B.C. Some architectural historians find it difficult to believe that the old-fashioned exterior of this temple could have been built by Ictinus after his work on the Parthenon. The design of its interior, on the other hand, incorporating the first use of the Corinthian order, engaged Ionic columns, and an Ionic frieze, seems to represent an imaginative extension of the innovations in the Parthenon.
It may therefore be that the temple was begun by another architect around the middle of the fifth century B.C. but left unfinished for a time and that Ictinus was invited to complete it by designing its interior somewhat after 430 B.C.
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