Author Archives: Tasha Winton

The Stonehenge Lectures 2155 by Mr BPD

This was written for the Human Henge Project and was inspired by the experiences I had, all images are photos taken by myself including the one from inside the Stone Circle.

The Stonehenge lectures 2155

Authors Resource

Name Mr BPD

Website http://www.my-dark-lyrics.uk

About Author. I have Borderline Personality Disorder and as a writer and poet I explore my madness through the creative arts. I have a personal belief that even in darkness light exists and it is a personal responsibility to always seek the light and I find the light in creating something.

Human Henge at Salisbury Festival of Archaeology

Photo by Chris Hogg

Our Human Henge exhibition will be at the Salisbury Festival of Archaeology on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd July at Salisbury Museum.

Come along and meet Human Henge participants, staff and volunteers, to discuss their experience of the project. View our exhibition, and maybe sing a  song or two. Then join Professor Darvill, world authority on Stonehenge, and Human Hengers to build BrickHenge, a scale model of Stonehenge, with bricks, a couple of sticks and a piece of string!

For more information about the festival visit www.salisburymuseum.org,uk

Amesbury Library exhibition

Our exhibition at Amesbury Library is on until 8th June and has been a great success so far. Here are some photos from the private viewing for participants, staff and volunteers, and from the picnic that took place to celebrate the exhibition.

Photo by Chris Hogg

Photo by Chris Hogg

Below is the leaflet from the exhibition which includes photos and poetry by participants.

Download (PDF, 1.63MB)

Human Henge on BBC Radio 4 Open Country

Stonehenge and mental health

Visit the website here 

The show was recorded on 22nd March at the final session of the project celebrating the Spring Equinox within the Stone Circle. Presenter Helen Mark hears how the idea for Human Henge began with the Restoration Trust, how it has been supported by English Heritage who operate Stonehenge, and interviews leading expert on Stonehenge, the archaeologist Professor Tim Darvill of Bournemouth University. Tim argues that the site may well have had a healing function in the past as a focus for rituals and ceremonies, and is glad to explore that aspect of it today.


The participants themselves describe how they’ve benefited from being out of doors, from getting to know each other and having a focus besides indoor drop-in support groups. More than one participant says what’s helped her is being treated as someone with a brain, glad to learn something new about her locality and its ancient past.

 Read the press release hereHuman Henge features on BBC Radio 4 Open Country

Human Henge also features on the English Heritage blog 

Human Henge: how can historic landscapes be good for you?

 

CONTACT INFO

laura@restorationtrust.org.uk

07740 844883

Human Henge Evening Talk

Cultural Heritage Therapy in Action with Professor Timothy Darvill and Dr Vanessa Heaslip

Monday 27th March at Stonehenge Education Room

Last Monday we had the opportunity to share how the project is going so far with National Trust and English Heritage members of staff and volunteers. It was an opportunity to learn about how Stonehenge is link to mental health in a therapeutic landscape. Tim Darvill and Vanessa Heaslip delivered a brilliant presentation focusing on the importance of health and well-being. Discussed how Human Henge is a breakthrough project creating engaging sessions, providing physical activities and having supportive social network. To end the lovely evening Tim demonstrated how Stonehenge was built by building a mini Stonehenge in the education room at Stonehenge.

Human Henge on BBC Points West

Watch the feature about Human Henge which appeared on BBC Points West’s evening program on Monday 27th March. 
It includes interviews by Rhiannon Fitzgerald of BBC West with participants Mel and Simon. Rhiannon also interviews our Director Laura Drysdale who manages Human Henge, Professor Tim Darvill, a renowned authority on Stonehenge as a place of healing.
 
The interviews are set in the world famous historic landscape of Stonehenge with the magnificent Stone Circle as a backdrop, and film of Cameroonian musician Alphonse Touna playing the balafon at King Barrows, courtesy of the National Trust.

Elemental Blessing – FAQs

What is an Elemental blessing?

The elemental blessing was created as part of a multi faith ritual, it is the very basic pagan ritual still used today at open meetings and groups. It is designed so non-pagans can participate without fear of offending their own religious beliefs.

What is a Pagan?

A somewhat vague term derived from the Latin word paganus. Pagan is a term which refers to a variety of different religions ranging from Wicca, to that of ancient Egypt and even Hinduism, among many others. Some Pagans are of no specific religion, but rather are eclectic. In general Pagan religions have more than one deity, or many gods, which are aspects of one (an idea similar to that of the Christian trinity). Another quite common feature of Pagan religions are that they tend to be nature oriented. Pagan can also be used as a derogatory word for any non-Judeo/Christian/Islamic religion.

What if I don’t want to take part?

Although it would be nice for all to be involved it is understandable not everyone would want to be involved so there is no need to explain, you can sit and watch from the outside, other activities may be available.

How long does an elemental blessing last?

Elemental blessing only last a few minutes in the case of this one around 10 mins,

Can I have a more involved participation?

Yes, there are 4 roles 3 still available “posh title -Keeper of the quarters servant of ‘element’ see 4 What happens during the blessing?

What happens during the blessing?

1 we form ourselves into a ring circle as the Priest /ess  gives an introduction / meditation of our journey
2 then a sing along with Yvette
3 the group holds hands as Priest /ess chants over the group to create a sacred working space.
4 (at each cardinal point N,S,E,W stands a keeper) first the keeper of the East walks and faces the Priest /ess words are exchanged and hands the keeper object to give to each person who bestows them on members of the circle returning to Priest /ess before returning to their place followed by  Fire, Water then Earth
5 The Priest /ess will draw the blessing to an end and we sing the closing song (Yvette)
6 the end

Keeper of the quarter’s servant of ‘element’

In an attempt to make this more inclusive the roll of Keeper of the quarters servant of ‘element’ has been included:-

Keeper of the quarter’s servant of ‘Air’ East
Keeper of the quarter’s servant of ‘Fire’ South
Keeper of the quarter’s servant of ‘Water’ West
Keeper of the quarter’s servant of ‘Earth’ – North –

Each keeper will in turn walk and face the Priest /ess and State clearly

Keeper –  I am the servant of <element name>
Priest /ess – How do you come?
Keeper – In perfect Love and Perfect trust.

The Priest /ess will had the Servant a symbol of that element (feathers for air, a lighter for fire not to be used in stones, a drink for water and stones for earth)

Starting to the left hand everyone a symbol to keep, once back in front of Priest /ess hand back any remaining symbols the Priest /ess will then hand you a symbol and you move back to you place in the circle.

Then the next element come forward and repeats.

The Elemental Blessing

Positions

Priest /ess stands North east

Keeper of the quarter’s servant of ‘Air’ East
Keeper of the quarter’s servant of ‘Fire’ South
Keeper of the quarter’s servant of ‘Water’ West
Keeper of the quarter’s servant of ‘Earth’ – North

Everyone else completes the circle.

Creating the Sacred Space.

Everyone holds hands as Priest /ess as he /she says :-

I call on AIR for speed.
FIRE to cleanse,
WATER to bless,
EARTH to manifest –
And spirit to seal

The circle is now closed and a sacred space has been created inside a sacred circle. We are so close to the spring equinox or Ostara a day of balance and new beginnings and as a reminder of balance what begins must end.

And this is our final session together and we all are moving on to new things some of our paths will cross again but what we have shared will remain with us for all time.

Song / chant hoof and horn

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Main Section

The keeper of Air will step forward and walk and face the Priest /ess and State clearly

Keeper –  I am the servant of <element name>
Priest /ess – How do you come?
Keeper – In perfect Love and Perfect trust.

While bestowing the gifts the Priest /ess will say :-

“We bring the blessings of AIR
May the air blow troubles from your door,
May each breath you take restore your health,
May a soft breeze blow through your mind and clear away any negativity,”

Air will step back and fire will step forward and face the Priest /ess and State clearly

Keeper –  I am the servant of <element name>
Priest /ess – How do you come?
Keeper – In perfect Love and Perfect trust.

While bestowing the gifts the Priest /ess will say :-

“bring you the blessings of FIRE.
In deepest darkness may you always find the light,
May all your negativities burn away
And may your passions and inspirations be ignited”

Fire will step back and water will step forward and face the Priest /ess and State clearly

Keeper –  I am the servant of <element name>
Priest /ess – How do you come?
Keeper – In perfect Love and Perfect trust.

While bestowing the gifts the Priest /ess will say :-

“We bring you the blessings of Water
May your body and mind be purified
May negative feeling wash away
And may your emotions be as pure as a crystal clear stream”

Water will step back and Earth will step forward and face the Priest /ess and State clearly

Keeper –  I am the servant of <element name>
Priest /ess – How do you come?
Keeper – In perfect Love and Perfect trust.

While bestowing the gifts the Priest /ess will say :-

“We I bring you the blessings of Earth
So you will always have a safe and stable place to stand,
May you have the strength of stone when difficulties arise,
May your hidden treasure shine so all may see how special you are.”

Earth will step back and the Priest says

Each of us are connect by the air we share, the water we drink, the sun that shines on us and the ground we walk not just each other, but the land its history and its future.

Take a moment to thinks of your journey of how we got here today

End

A closing chant will end the blessing

Chant is

May the circle be open but forever unbroken
May the love of the Goddess
Be ever in your heart
Merry meet,
And, merry part,
And merry meet again (min 3 rounds)

 

Authors Resource
Name Mr BPD
Website http://www.my-dark-lyrics.uk
About Author I have Borderline Personality Disorder and as a writer and poet I explore my madness through the creative arts. I have a personal belief that even in darkness light exists and it is a personal responsibility to always seek the light and I find the light in creating something.

Session 10: Spring Equinox

Merry Part, Merry Meet again

Our final session as a group and the one session that made all that walking, singing of the piggy pig dog song, the wind and the rain worth it. Although this course had many highlights and created wonderful memories the unique experience of having access to the stone circle will remain with me and I will assume everyone else also.

The day started at silly o’clock being that we needed to be at Stonehenge for 7:30am as we had access to the stones circle from 8am till 9pm. We arrived at the education centre and grabbed a coffee and prepared ourselves with a nice harmonising mantra lead by Yvette.

We then jumped on the bus to the stones, Professor Tim Darvill was our guide he lead us to the Heal stone and removed the barrier, and let us on to the grass so we could see things that your average tourist does not. We could see where the old road was, the Stonehenge hole (Aubrey Hole). We then walked the remaining part of the avenue and into the stone circle.

The first impression I got as I walked between the stones and into the circle was how small it was inside. The tall stones tower above enclosing the space and shielding you from the weather its almost womb like.

In last weeks instalment The Penultimate Instalment we found out we had an infestation of pagans yes you know those peaceful people that worship the ground you walk on.

But enough giggles as well as writing blogs and poetry I am also a pagan priest and a few weeks back in discussion with Danny and Yvette I adapted a pagan blessing which was put to the group last week to see if they would like to take part. There was also an option for people to take an active part which they did. A copy of the blessings with notes is available here.

The basic premise of the blessing was to reinforce the unity of the group and share a common moment and connect to the healing aspects of the elements. Each element is given as a spoken blessing with a representational gift of the element. Normally these gifts would be a feather or incense, a lite candle, a sip of water or a shell and a crystal or stone. But adaptations needed to be made, due to what could be taken in to the circle so we had a feather for air, a disposable lighter with place and date on one side and the symbol for fire, Chinese symbol for fire and a good luck rune or Sigel for good luck or protection for fire, a swimming award from Chris for water and some blue stone from Yvette for earth. The nice part about the rite was that it took on a life of its own each person gave his or her own personal blessing as the main part went on.

It has been more than a few years since I have done a public rite, but the support and interest and acceptance from the group helped keep me focused and relaxed.

After the blessing we all went off and did our own things, some people made music, some sang, while others walked silently around the stones. No matter what peopled did they now have a unique happy memory.

Professor Tim Darvill was around to explain and answer questions on the stones and their history and many took up the chance to widen their knowledge and understanding of the archaeology.

As our time with the stones was coming to an end  we all gathered and raised those ugly umbrellas from our time in Fargo woods (For a flash back We sang in woods and rain) and sang a few songs and left for the bus.

Many of the group decided to walk back and yes I was on the bus well there’s a reason they provide a bus; it’s a long way back to the education centre.

The final part of the session was an informal affair we had Alphonse on the Balafon dress in a bright Dashiki their where singing bowls and people milling about having polite conversations.

There was fruit and biscuits and bacon rolls, and vegetarian rolls the only thing missing was waiters carrying trays of champagne it became a real social affair interspersed with a gender battle of the piggy pig dog song.

As the session came to an end there were many hugs of friendship and many kind words of thanks for all involved.

Next week we meet the first group to share our experiences so there may be more to come…     

Further information

Aubrey Hole  http://www.the-stonehenge-enigma.info/2012/07/stonehenge-mike-parker-pearson.html

Professor Tim Darvill https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Darvill

Authors Resource

Name Mr BPD

Website http://www.my-dark-lyrics.uk

About Author I have Borderline Personality Disorder and as a writer and poet I explore my madness through the creative arts. I have a personal belief that even in darkness light exists and it is a personal responsibility to always seek the light and I find the light in creating something.