My latest book, Spirit Stones, Unraveling the Megalithic Mysteries of Western Europe’s Prehistoric Monuments, explores the enduring lessons of Europe’s prehistoric monoliths, stone circles and burial chambers. With first-hand accounts and fastidious research this book seeks to capture not only the architectural essence of these treasured monuments, but also their spiritual strength. Below a
re some awards received and reviews of the book. At the end of the page is a slideshow of some of the images from the book.
Reviews of Spirit Stones
“… a wide-ranging, thoroughly welcoming enquiry into the megaliths of the British Isles and Brittany… ‘Spirit Stones is always thoughtful, sometimes provocative, sometimes wise… at its heart beats a steady awareness of the mysteries embodied in the stones, those truths beyond words that unite us with their makers.” Kevin Crossley-Holland, Author of The Stones Remain, Megalithic Sites of Britain
“Part antiquarian, part shamanic… this evocative book felt more like a journey! I can’t recommend it enough.” Alex Whitaker (B.Sc. Hon)ancient-wisdom.co.uk
Stonehenge and much more
Spirit Stones starts off with a quick primer about the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, which I must admit I’d never been quite clear on before, and goes on to discuss the kinds of structures that were built in these ages, mostly out of stone but also of wood. (Quick cultural reference for Australians of my age: remember the band Things of Stone and Wood?!). Design-related issues like shape and colour get a mention too, and each section ends with a “Spiritual Fitness” section which is where the “spirit” part of the title comes in.
“While working with clients, I’ve identify two types of travelers:
1. Those who run a race to get from one site or monument to the next, striking them off their checklist one by one. I call them ‘Postcard People.’ They seem most interested in collecting postcards or photographs as souveniers, or medals, as a way to say, “Been there, done that!”
2. Those who visit a site, monument or place and enjoy digging a little deeper, to connect to its history, purpose and meaning. I call these people ‘Profound Travelers.’
Neither traveler is right or wrong. Yet, it’s important to know the type of traveler you are to know whether or not the book, Spirit Stones, will be an enjoyable read for you.
Spirit Stones is a history lesson of the relics of the Neolithic Era and Bronze Age civilizations. Now, if you are a Postcard People, you may alrea
I am a Profound Traveler. Simply photographing a megalith would not be enough. I would want to know more. Why was it built? What was its purpose? What did it mean to the people who put it there? I imagine myself back in that time. What did it feel like? Dianne Ebertt Beeaff tells us, “The megalithic builders of our ancestry were…intelligent and inquisitive…Their lives were short, insecure and filled with suffering. But they laughed and cried just as we do, and they must have found their world as full of wonder, cruelty, beauty and violence as we do ours.”
I have not been fortunate enough to visit all the megaliths Beeaff writes about. Nor did I have much knowledge of them or those who built them prior to reading Spirit Stones. Like the burial tombs of Dowth, Knowth and Newgrange, massive Neolithic chambered tombs in Ireland dat
One of the sayings in my house is: If we would remember our history lessons, we wouldn’t repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Generally, we are refering to politics. According to Beeaff, we can also learn valuable lessons from megalighic monuments. “Their builders paired stones of different shapes, lengths and colors. They placed a squat gray granite boulder beside a lofty red sandstone monolith. They used the square and the circle to define sacred space, and they directed the light of the sun or the moon… They have a fascinating relevance to our everyday living.”
Ask any good interior decorator and he/she will tell you a good design will give you balance in a room, evoke a desired feeling, and bring a sense of warmth and peace. A designer will encourage the use of hard materials mixed with softer ones, square items offset by round ones, and the use of multiple colors. The proper use of these design tactics create the perfect
fusion of form and function. Beeaff draws a similar conclusion from her study of megaliths. She has examined the materials, design, colors and motif of megaliths to draw modern day lessons to apply understanding, appreciation, peace and harmony in our lives.
Spirit Stones is not a book to scan and leave on a bookshelf to collect dust. It is meant to be a part of your journey in travel. I will carry it on future travels to England, Ireland and Scotland to help me “unravel the megalithic mysteries of Western Europe’s prehistoric monuments.” Julie Gilley, My Far Away Blog