Spirit Stones: Unraveling the Megalithic Mysteries of Western Europe's Prehistoric Monuments
Unraveling the Megalithic Mysteries of Western Europe's Prehistoric Monuments
by Dianne Ebertt Beeaff.
Spirit Stones is a meticulously-researched work which unearths society's ancient
lessons; their secrets long-buried in the relics of the Neolithic Era and Bronze
Age civilizations. Sharing both the pragmatic and spiritual significance of
Western Europe's prehistoric stone monuments, stone circles and burial chambers,
Beeaff challenges readers to reflect on humanity's common ancestry, culture and
connection. "Spirit Stones has been, for me, a journey through some of the
most powerful places in our civilization's history,"
she says. "When we
stand and reflect in many of these places, as I have been privileged to do, they
inspire us to live more fully in the present, to capture and apply the powerful
concentration of life they express
Both a history lesson and a modern-day guide to what the author refers to as "Spiritual
" Spirit Stones captivates readers with a unique metaphysical
perspective. Providing insight into the contemporary relevance of ancient
monuments like Stonehenge, Castlerigg, and Callanish, Beeaff makes masterful
connections between timeless generations of humanity, leading willing
participants on a quest both grounded in stone and spiritually transcendent. "In
the standing stones and prehistoric burial chambers of our past," she explains,
"we have mystery and message on many levels. Through them, we can rediscover the
inexhaustible, multifaceted, and wonderfully divine existence that is the life
in all of us
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Excerpts relating to the Boyne Valley
Chapter 2 - Form and Function: Megalithic Architecture (The Neolithic or New Stone Age)
"East of Slane Hill
in the Irish Republic, the River Boyne makes a loop to the
south. There, in the semi-circle it forms, are three great glacial mounds that
support the massive Neolithic chambered tombs of
The most famous of these, Newgrange, dates to about 3200 BCE and has a corbelled
roof that has been watertight for more than 5000 years. Newgrange had a massive,
white-stone facade - now reconstructed - that glistened under both the sun and
the moon and could easily be seen from many miles away. When I was there in
2007, the wet weather suddenly cleared to a deep blue sky filled with sunshine
and high, wind-rushed clouds. The mound, once covered with stones, is now green
and grassy, but its brilliant white-quartz frontage gleamed as ever in the
sunlight. Even in a bank of Irish mist, it could never have been very well
Chapter 7 - Heaven and Earth (Light)
"But in the same way that Heaven and Earth were likely considered intrinsically
connected for the agricultural societies of our prehistoric past, so, too, were
light and darkness. Ireland's Newgrange is certainly one of the most dramatic
examples of this. Facing southeast on the summit of a low hill this magnificent
passage tomb looks out on the lush Boyne Valley. Anyone fortunate enough to be
inside on the morning of the
(December 21) will see the first
rays of the rising sun filter through a gap in a roofbox above the entrance,
gradually moving down the passageway to illuminate the dark central chamber.
Well before the rediscovery of this roofbox, it was said that sunlight
penetrated the passage on certain occasions and focused on the tri-spiral stone
in the end chamber."
Chapter 10 - Body and Soul (Gods and Goddesses)
"Irish accounts tell us that the goddess of the River Boyne -- Boand -- lived in
a burial mound within the ancient site of Brú na Bóinne. According to
myth, the Celtic solar deity known as The Dagda stole inside and impregnated
Boand, who then gave birth to Óengus, the Irish god of love. In the Irish Fenian
Cycle, the warrior Finn describes Newgrange as the "house of Óengus of the Bru."
Incidentally, the Irish king Cormac mac Airt, a convert to Christianity, refused
to be buried there. Given the monuments position as a pre-Christian cemetery,
perhaps he feared some divine retribution in the afterlife.
Newgrange is aligned to the Winter Solstice sunrise. It seems fitting then that
Newgrange became the home of Óengus, whose father, at Óengus' conception, was
said to have made the sun stand still for the nine months prior to his son's
birth. Eternally youthful, Óengus is thus known as a solar deity who personifies
the day. The son/sun of the New Year is born of Mother Earth at the lengthening
of days. Nearby Knowth is connected with Englec, Óengus' lover. While at Dowth,
believed to be the oldest passage tomb of the Brú na Bóinne, the druid Bresial
tried to build a Babel-styled tower to reach heaven. Notably,
referred to as Sid Bresial, "sid" denoting a dwelling place of gods."
About Dianne Ebertt Beeaff
A native of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, Dianne Ebertt Beeaff has traveled the
world extensively and combines a lifelong love of history with a quest for
An acclaimed artist and writer, Dianne has authored two works of
nonfiction, 'Homecoming and A Grand Madness, Ten Years on the Road with U2'. Her
award-winning first novel, Power's Garden
, was published in 2009; her poetry,
watercolors, graphite sketches and magazine articles have been featured for
decades throughout the United States and Canada.
Bringing Western Europe's monolithic architecture to the contemporary forefront,
Spirit Stones reflects both the richness of Dianne's professional writing and
her personal thirst for knowledge and spiritual growth. She and her husband,
Dan, reside in Tucson, Arizona and are the parents of two.
Boyne Valley Private Day Tour
Immerse yourself in the rich heritage and culture of the Boyne Valley with our full-day private tours.
Visit Newgrange World Heritage site, explore the Hill of Slane, where Saint Patrick famously lit the Paschal fire.
Discover the Hill of Tara, the ancient seat of power for the High Kings of Ireland.